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Author Topic: Organizing real life mafia  (Read 292 times)

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Organizing real life mafia
« on: February 23, 2018, 03:36:30 pm »

I'm going to run a real life mafia game night. Anyone have any tips as to how to organize things?  What's a good setup for live play? How to run voting? The players won't have played much or any mafia, but are generally board gamers and interested in games like these. No one has played any online mafia so they probably don't know about things like follow the cop, but some of them have played enough IRL mafia to know that it's generally a good idea so I think a setup deeper than the usual doc + cop would be better. I think they can handle the roles.

Also if anyone has any ideas for less serious late night drunk game setups, those would also be welcome.

I also have werewolf in my bookshelf that I've never played myself, would that be easier than inventing a setup to run myself? Getting enough people for any setup won't be an issue, I was thinking around 10-12 players would be optimal.

Any ideas or tips would be welcome!


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Re: Organizing real life mafia
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2018, 03:43:50 pm »

Bomb, Cannon, and many of the Gunpowder cards can strongly effect gameplay, particularly in a destructive way

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Re: Organizing real life mafia
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2018, 03:01:32 am »

I have a regular RL mafia gaming group and thus a bit of experience.

How it's going to play out depends on the people. I have a lot of mathsy people there, and we like to discuss a lot so that it's not uncommon for one game day to last an hour. Most "party" groups I've met get bored after like 5-10 minutes and want to lynch. Correspondingly, our group catches scum a lot better than the party setting, and you need more scum then.

We usually use Werewolf roles, but I also think not all of them are well designed, especially if you have expansions. It's important that the roles work in the RL setting, which means the following:

- there is no one selected member of the mafia that performs the nightkill, instead they all do it, so Tracking and Roleblocking roles get iffy.
- you need to deliver results instantly instead of the end of the night, so depending on what roles you have it may be important to wake people in the correct order

Roles that work nicely in RL groups are things like Hider or Godfather. Doc is problematic due to follow the Cop; Werewolf has a role called Witch that sees the NK every night and may once during the game choose to save them. That works better I think.

Our group plays mostly open setups, the reason being that we have no assigned game master that complicates other things. Open setups are more newbie-friendly because you don't have to memorize what a lot of roles do that may not even be in the game.

For voting you want simultaneous voting. The forum way to do vote counts and stuff is impossible to track IRL. So at some point you'll just say "Now everybody vote" and everybody at the same time points to some other player. The person with the most votes gets lynch, in a draw repeat the vote on only the players with the most votes.

If just want to decrease randomness, you can introduce a system to "nominate" a subgroup of players that is eligible to be voted for. At any point during the game someone can say "I nominate X" and then that player is eligible. Of course that frequently leads to OMGUS nominating.

What our group does is a bit more complex. Once people are ready to vote on a given day they may raise their hand. If a majority does, voting commences. There is a first round of votes where everyone has 2 votes (both arms) which may not be given to the same player. The 2 (or more in case of a draw) players who received the most votes in round 1 then get a chance to make a final plea (everyone else remains quiet). Then in round 2 of voting, everyone has 1 vote and decides among those players.
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Re: Organizing real life mafia
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2018, 12:02:37 pm »

I haven't played IRL mafia in a very long time, and my group was never the most committed. I found it necessary for the narrator to involve himself more in the flow of conversation to keep things moving.

We favored a two-round nominations system. You would "nominate" someone by saying "I nominate X." If someone else seconded the nomination, than that person was added to the stand. Once two people were on the stand, the nominations phase would cease. Each of these two suspects could present a short case for why they were not mafia. Afterward, the vote would be held; you could only vote for one of those two candidates, but you didn't have to vote at all. If neither player received a majority, both survived and we returned to nominations phase. Now different people, or the same people, could be nominated and seconded. Once you had two people on the stand again, there would be statements and then the vote--this time, everybody had to vote for one of the two players.
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Re: Organizing real life mafia
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2018, 08:54:16 pm »

I ran a couple of games of the Less Pressure setup the other day. It worked well. I think the lack of night kill is a good thing for smaller groups - it does not feel good to be night killed and it's not necessary to speed the game up. Another big advantage is that apart from someone saying "Everyone close your eyes, Mafia open your eyes" etc, a moderator is not necessary so the person running it can play as well and help get the game going that way.

The way we did voting worked pretty well. It was pretty casual - anyone could say "I vote for X" and put their hand up. If a majority put their hands up that person would have a chance to give a defense. If a majority vote occurred again they were lynched, otherwise the Day continued.


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Re: Organizing real life mafia
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2018, 05:04:49 am »

I used to play IRL years ago in a very informal setting. I think generally we weren't very good at catching scum, so one thing we tried was:
- Scum keep eyes closed at night (except for identifying themselves to one another N0). I suppose that's equivalent to removing the mafia's QT in forum mafia.
- Night kills require a majority of (remaining) scum to vote for the same person (narrator reads out each person's name, watching carefully for votes).
- Thus scum must communicate subtly during the day to coordinate the night kill, giving town some real evidence to look for.
- It also had the interesting effect of making town reluctant to lynch the penultimate scum until they had a lead on both remaining scum.
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