Mafia is a role playing game with two teams - good (Town) and evil (Mafia).
In a standard (vanilla)13 player game the roles in the game are:
- 9 vanilla town
- 1 town cop
- 3 mafia
The mafia know each other and may communicate outside of the game thread. Everybody (Town+Mafia) posts in a single game thread.
The roles are randomly determined and sent to the players. The evil team (the Mafia) may start communicating directly devising their evil plans.
The town cop has a special ability: every night he may submit a name of a player and will learn if that player is mafia or town. This is a key role in the game. Before the game starts (night 0), directly after having received his/her role, a player may be peeked already by the cop. Then we start day 1.
During the day, people discuss who can be good or evil. People can vote. At the end of the day, the player with most votes is killed (lynched) and removed from the game. His/her role will be made public, so town will know whether they killed one of their own or if they lynched a baddie.
After a day, follows a night phase during which there may not be any posting. Usually, the game thread will be closed.
During the night, the Mafia team choose a player to kill. And again, the Town Cop choose a player to peek. This day/night cycle continues until all mafia has been eliminated (town wins) or until there is an equal amount of mafia and town (mafia wins).
In the beginning of the game, there is hardly any information available and finding a mafia is quite hard. But as the game progresses, more information becomes available and through analyzing interactions you can draw conclusions. For example, when a mafia is lynched, you will want to read his posts, because he has been lying/misleading all the time and you may be able to find some useful information.
When the Cop is killed, you must absolutely read his posts and try to distill what information he had available.
As a vanilla town player, you must try to interact and accumulate information.
As a cop, you want to steer the other players to lynch a certain player or to not lynch a certain player - the ones that you have hard game info on. You must not be too obvious, or the mafia team will nightkill you and your vital ability is lost for the rest of the game
As a mafia, you must try and lynch townspeople. During the night, you try and find out who is the Cop and playing with extra information. You need to find and kill him ASAP.
Many things can happen in a game and many strategies exist. For vanilla town it is important to make some posts that a Cop would make (for example last night, I peeked player X = town), to provide cover for the real cop. If you are nightkilled and the Cop survives another night, you did a good job for the team!