I'm going to go ahead and post an official game thread. If we get enough teams I will run this. Ideally, I think I would like twelve teams of two.
To sign up -
Send me a PM with your partner, and couple of choices for a team name. The forum will take care of setting up the hydra account and we will send you a confirmation of the team name and password before the start of the game. Please don't share your team identity or partnership with anyone (other than me and your partner).
Answering some previously asked questions -
Partners are free to communicate with each other by any means during the game. Mafia will be provided with a conversation space for night conversations.
Each team will be expected to post at least five times collectively, although it doesn't matter which individuals are actually posting at any given time and both could actually be posting at the same time.
The game play itself will run with a really basic rule set, so I am quoting Fancy Monkey's game one rules below with some modification as I actually read them over.
Time frame -
As I am hoping for a twelve team set up, I think we should look to start up game play in about two weeks. Say a start date of February 20th. Since the actual number of teams playing would be relatively small compared to some of our larger games, the time frame of the game could run as short as a week, but probably no longer than two, I think, as I am looking at our standard of 24/24 day/night phases with longer weekend phases as needed. I am flexible with this, however and if anyone wants to make a case for altering the time periods I will listen to them. It may not happen, but I will listen.
If you have any questions that haven't been answered in my poll thread, feel free to ask either here or by PM if you want to be sneaky about it. One of my goals in running the hydra set up is to see if we can remove some of the player bias we can fall in to by asking known players to provide reads on each other. This may or may not be possible given how much we analyze posts during our games, but we'll see.
Rules for reminders and new players -
FM's original rule post with my notations bolded. Read them or not.
Spoiler: hidden for size
Basic Gameplay and Rules
* Mafia is a social game pitting an uninformed majority (the Town) against an informed minority (the Mafia). The Mafia will make up somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 of the population of the town, depending on the number of players, and the number of Mafia will be announced at the start of the game. The Mafia know each other's identities, but the innocents do not know who to trust.
* The game progresses through the cycle of night and day; at night, the Mafia secretly agree to kill one innocent citizen of the town. That person is now out of the game and cannot participate, discuss, or communicate in any way to any other player about the game. After the night phase, the day phase commences a trial to determine who will be held responsible for the previous night's murder. At the end of the trial, one player is executed by a vote of the remaining players, their identity (Town or Mafia) is revealed, and they join the ranks of the dead (no talking). These cycles repeat, night and day, two killings per cycle, as the number of players grows smaller and smaller.
* The most important rule in Mafia is as follows: NO WHISPERING. The entire game will be self-contained in one thread, and there will be no discussion of the game permitted by anyone (current players, "dead" players, or curious onlookers) outside of the official thread. No peanut gallery. No PMs. No Skype chat. No phone calls. Nothing. (You know by this point we will probably have a ghost town.) This is the cardinal rule, and everyone who signs up to play is pledging that they will, on their honor, follow this rule at all times. When discussion is permitted in the thread (during the Day Phase), it is a relative free-for-all with (almost) no restrictions on what you can say, but the key is that all conversation must take place publicly, so that everyone involved in the game can see everything that was said.
* At the beginning of the game you will be sent a PM by the host giving you your secret identity. At no point during the game are you to divulge any specific information from this PM, and you may not forward it on to any other player. You may, of course, claim to have any identity you like, but what you can't do is, for example, post a screenshot of the PM you received in order to prove your innocence, or note any specific details about the PM such as its timestamp, font, etc.
* Your identity will not change throughout the game. There are four possible identities you will be assigned:
Actually - I will probably go with a Matrix6 set up, so I am not exactly sure what roles will be played. Part of it will depend on the actual number of teams I get. If you want specific info on the set up check this out. Otherwise just know that roles will range from vanilla to a power role or three.
Spoiler: old role info
- Townsperson - the most basic identity. This means you are an innocent member of the Town, with no particular special abilities or inside information. Your goal in the game is to figure out who the Mafia are and eliminate them.
- Doctor - a townsperson with special powers. Every Night, the Doctor has the ability to try to "save" one person. If they save the same person the Mafia try to kill, that person survives and there is no killing that night. The Doctor has no special powers during the day, and as a member of the Town, the Doctor wins if the Mafia are eliminated.
- Sheriff - a townsperson with special powers. Every Night, the Sheriff gets to inquire about the identity of one person, and the host will announce publicly whether the person the Sheriff asked about is or is not a member of the Mafia. (Note that only the Sheriff will know the identity of the person they asked about; the rest of the players will simply get a "yes" or "no.") The Sheriff has no special powers during the day, and as a member of the Town, the Sheriff wins if the Mafia are eliminated.
- Mafia - the evil opposing team. If you are a member of the Mafia, you will convene with your fellow Mafia members every Night and agree amongst the group of you which other player to kill (and thus eliminate from the game). The goal of the Mafia is to outlast the town members by killing enough of them during the Night phases, and having enough members of the Mafia survive the trials, to outnumber the townspeople at some point of the game. If, at any point, there are more Mafia left alive than townspeople, the Mafia win the game.
* If the Sheriff or Doctor are killed, either by the Mafia at Night or by the Town during the day, their powers die with them, and the remainder of the game operates without that particular role. If a Mafia member is killed during the day, the game continues as long as at least one Mafia member remains.
Dead is Dead
* Once you are killed, either by the Mafia at Night or by the Town during the Day, you are out of the game, and prohibited from posting in the thread until the game is complete. You are also prohibited from discussing the game with active players for any reason. This includes Mafia who die; you cannot send PMs to your old Mafia colleagues about the game, strategy, etc., until the game is over. Once you die, you will be given the option to know the secret identities of the Mafia, Sheriff, and Doctor, and dead people are free to discuss (via PM or other private conversation ONLY) with the hosts or with other dead people any aspect of the game that they wish, but no information, communication, etc. may be conveyed at any time to the "living." This will be a tempting rule to break, especially if (for example), you are the Sheriff and you are killed overnight on the same night you discovered the identity of the last Mafia member. DO NOT BREAK THIS RULE. Take a walk, vent to the hosts, commiserate with your fellow dead, but from the moment one host declares you dead until the moment the game is declared over, remain silent to all other active players and do not post in the thread for ANY reason (even sarcastic comments that seem unrelated to the game are forbidden).
The Night Phase
* Every round begins with the Night Phase. The host will announce the start of the Night Phase by saying "Everyone go to sleep." At this point the thread is closed (Mods willing, locked) and no communication about the game of any kind is permitted between players, with the exception of the Mafia. You are "asleep" until the host "reawakens" you in the morning. At this point the host will call for each of the three special roles to PM or email him a decision:
- The Doctor must PM or email the host who he/she would like to save. As stated previously, if the Doctor saves the person the Mafia targets for their kill, that person does not die. The Doctor may save themselves, and they may save the same person repeatedly or change it every night, with no restrictions at all except that they may only save one person each night. If the Doctor is successful in saving the right person, the host will not announce that person's identity the next day, but simply say "There was an attempted murder last night."
- The Sheriff must PM or email the host who he/she would like to accuse. When the host wakes players up the next morning, he will announce either "Yes" (the person the Sheriff accused is a member of the Mafia) or "No" (the person the Sheriff accused is not a member of the Mafia). If the Sheriff accuses the Doctor, they will not be told of the Doctor's identity beyond the standard "No."
- The Mafia must decide, collectively, who they would like to kill. During the Night Phase, and ONLY during the Night Phase, the Mafia may exchange PMs or emails ONLY (no Skype, chat, texts, phone calls, - PMs or emails ONLY!) with the host(s) copied on all communication. These PMs may include strategy discussion, or not, but regardless, the group must come to a consensus on their next intended victim. The host reserves the right to hurry the Mafia up, ask for clarification, or use his own discretion in trying to determine who the Mafia's intended victim was if there is no clear consensus from the PMs or emails that are exchanged. Once the host wakes everyone up the next morning, the PMs/emails MUST STOP until the next night. Secret Mafia communication is ONLY permitted at Night; during the day, any info that the Mafia need to pass on to each other must be communicated openly in the thread, just like the rest of the townspeople. Dead Mafia are no longer permitted to be part of the Secret Nighttime Conversations.
* Once all three decisions have been submitted to the host, the host will announce in the thread (unlocking if necessary) the results of the previous Night: the player killed (if there was a successful murder) along with their secret identity (Townsperson, Sheriff, or Doctor), and the answer to the Sheriff's question (Yes or No). If the Doctor was successful in saving the Mafia's intended target, the host will simply say "There was an attempted murder last night." Note that if the Sheriff is killed during the Night, their answer is still revealed, but obviously they are now dead and won't be able to reveal who they inquired about. With this announcement from the host, the Day Phase begins.
The Day Phase
* The purpose of the Day Phase is to arrange a trial and avenge the blood of the previous night's victim. (In the event of an attempted murder, there is still a trial and an execution. What can I say? We take crime seriously in this town.)
* As long as the trial has not started, the thread is open for discussion by any active (not dead) player, and with the exception of the aforementioned restriction on sharing information about that initial PM, players may say ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING. You may lie, you may tell the truth, you may fling around accusations wildly, or play things close to the vest. It is entirely up to you how you want to proceed, just remember that all conversation must be public in the thread, and remember your goal (either to ferret out and execute Mafia members, or to escape detection and convict innocent townspeople instead). You will find that there are as many unique approaches to the Day Phase as there are personalities on this forum; have fun and approach it however you think will help your side achieve its ultimate goal.
* If needed, the host may attempt to move conversation along in order to facilitate a trial.
Setting Up a Trial: Nominations and Seconds
* Every day there must be a trial with AT LEAST two defendants, but especially early on, there may be more than two. The way someone gets "put on trial" is to be nominated and seconded by two other players. Every player may nominate or second only one player per day, and no one may nominate or second themselves. So, because it takes two players to put one defendant on trial, a minimum of four players (two defendants minimum) must either nominate or second in a given day. By extension, the maximum number of defendants in a given trial is going to be the total number of players, divided in half, rounded down in case of an odd number. So if the day starts with 10 players in the game, there could be as many as 5 defendants (again, no fewer than two). If the day starts with 9 players, there can be as many as 4 defendants (since each defendant must be put on trial by two separate people, the ninth person could not get a fifth defendant on trial because there would be no one left who could second their nomination).
* In order to announce a nomination or a second, you must, in your post, say "I NOMINATE _____________" or "I SECOND ___________." Please use all caps, bold if you like, so that it is obvious when scrolling through the thread who has been nominated. Note that the language of "nominate" or "second" is not critical and the terms can be used interchangeably; two players may both "nominate" a defendant to get them on trial; the second person does not have to specifically use the word "second." If three players all nominate/second a defendant, the first two in the thread will "count" and the third one does not; that person still retains the ability to nominate/second someone else.
* Before nominations are closed by the host, they may only be withdrawn if the withdrawal of the nomination would still leave an intact trial. Before two defendants have been placed on trial, no nominations or seconds can be removed. If there are three defendants on trial, one player may remove his/her nomination on one of the defendants (thus removing them from trial) because there is still an intact trial of at least two defendants. To remove a nomination, say "I REMOVE MY NOMINATION OF ____________." Before nominations are closed, you may switch your nomination to someone else, provided again that the switch does not result in a situation where there are not two defendants on trial.
* Examples, because that's sometimes easier:
- There are six players left in the game at the beginning of the Day Phase: IwannaBlost, The Central Scrutinizer, Mattie, MinaKitty, Dezie, and Frecklestoo.
- IWBL nominates TCS. There is currently no one on trial, so this nomination cannot yet be removed.
- Mina seconds IWBL's nomination of TCS. TCS is currently on trial, but because there are not yet two defendants on trial, we do not have an "intact trial" situation, so those nominations cannot be removed. At this point, at least two of the remaining four players MUST agree on another defendant before the game can move to a trial. IWBL and Mina have already used their nominating power and cannot nominate anyone else.
- TCS decides to get revenge and nominates IWBL. There is still one defendant on trial (TCS) and one with a single nomination (IWBL).
- Frecklestoo nominates Mattie. There is still no "intact trial" because while TCS is on trial, IWBL has one nomination, and Mattie has one nomination. Neither of them is on trial yet.
- Mattie, feeling the heat, decides to second TCS's nomination of IWBL. TCS and IWBL are now on trial. Mattie has one nomination. At this point, only Dezie has not nominated someone. Dezie can, if she likes, second Frecks' nomination of Mattie for a third defendant. She can decide to do nothing. Or, she can nominate someone else and try to get someone to switch their nomination.
- Dezie decides to nominate Mina. At this point TCS and IWBL are on trial, Mattie and Mina have one nomination each.
- IWBL likes her chances against Mina better than against TCS, so she decides to remove her original nomination of TCS and place it on Mina. Note that she can do this now because by seconding Mina, we still have an "intact trial" of at least two defendants (IWBL and Mina; TCS is no longer on trial since one of his two nominations was removed). She could NOT, however, have removed her nomination to place it, for example, on Dezie, or to leave it unused, because that would result in no "intact trial" of at least two defendants.
* At a certain point, the host will close nominations and call for defenses. Discussion is still permitted at this point, but this will be the last time that anyone other than a defendant may speak up in the thread before the Night Phase.
* Every defendant submits theircan post their "defense" to the host via PMin the thread at any time. This is their last chance to sway the voters to spare them. They can say whatever they want in these defenses, and other than the other defendants' submissions, this will be the "last word" as players will not be allowed to respond, either with rebuttals, follow-up questions, etc. A defendant is not required to submit a defense.
* Once the host has received all defenses, or the deadline for submitting them has passed, the host will close all discussion in the thread and proceed to the official trial. At this point, no one else, defendants or otherwise, may speak up in the thread. The host posts all players' defenses and calls for a vote.
* Every player is required to vote at the trial. Defendants also vote (unless there are only two defendants on trial, in which case, their votes would cancel each other out). Your vote is to execute one player, and you may vote for any of the defendants. You cannot vote for yourself. You do NOT have to vote for the player you nominated/seconded, and in fact, many times you won't. You will PM your vote to the host.
* Once all the votes have been received, the host will reveal the results, including whowhich hydra voted for whom. In case of a tie, there will be a re-vote between the tied defendants only. There will be no opportunity for new defenses or discussion, but there will simply be a re-vote. Re-votes will continue until the tie is broken (see the exception, below, for a four-players-remaining scenario). The player receiving the most votes (does not have to be a majority, in the case of more than two defendants) is executed. They are immediately out of the game, the host reveals their secret identity (but not the team individuals), and then the host IMMEDIATELY moves the game to Night Phase, with no further discussion by the living players until the next Day.
* If you've read this far, PM Cr8tor saying "I want my 50 bonus shots to use against Mattie's board!" Who knows, maybe you'll get something out of it. It's probably worth a shot. I've been doing it every Thursday for a year and a half, just in case. Told you they were FM's rules.
Four Players Left
* With four players and fewer left, the previous rules about trials go out the window. If there are four players left in the game and it is Day, three of the players must simply agree to turn on the fourth. There are no nominations or seconds, you simply state, in the thread, "I VOTE FOR ____________." (All caps again, please.) These votes can be removed only to be placed on another player; you cannot remove your vote in order to "hold onto it" for later. Once three players have voted for the same fourth player, that player is immediately considered to be executed (even if the host hasn't officially announced it, they're dead - in this case the game is on pause until the host arrives to announce the result). The host then announces the secret identity of the executed player, and if the game is still going, moves it into the next Night Phase.
* There may be a scenario where three players CANNOT and WILL NOT agree on a fourth to execute. This is especially likely when two Mafia remain, and the other two innocent players know those two Mafia's identities. In this case, the host may impose a deadline, after which he will randomly select one player to be executed (this would be the equivalent of drawing for the purple rock to you Survivor fans). The players themselves may unanimously agree to do this before the host-imposed deadline if they would like.
Ending the Game
* The game ends under one of the following conditions:
- All Mafia are dead. Town wins.
- The Mafia outnumber the Town (the Sheriff and Doctor are considered part of the town), whether at night or during the day. Mafia wins.
- Two players remain in the game. One of them is Mafia, the other is a Townsperson. Mafia wins.
- Two players remain in the game. One of them is Mafia, the other is the Doctor. Mafia wins.
- Two players remain in the game. One of them is Mafia, the other is the Sheriff. Town wins.
* These are the only scenarios in which the game is over. The appearance of a mathematical certainty that one side or the other will win is not the same as one of these scenarios.
Timeline and Logistics
*Each Night/Day/Trial/Voting period will last no more than three days, ideally two. The hosts will impose deadlines as they see fit, roughly along the following schedule (days of the week are shown as examples for the sake of clarity; the actual cycle could start on any weekday):
- Night Phase commences - Monday between 8 AM and 9 AM ET. Mafia discuss their targets, Sheriff and Doctor submit their choices to the host. No activity in the thread.
- Night Phase ends with the announcement of the previous Night's results - Tuesday between 8 AM and 9 AM ET. Day Phase commences at this time with open discussion, nominations, and seconds.
- Host closes nominations and calls for defenses - Tuesday between 9 PM and 10 PM ET. Discussion still permitted while defenses are being submitted. (Provisional Defenses can be submitted early by players who won't be around in the evening if they prefer.)
- Host closes discussion, posts defenses, and calls for votes - Tuesday between 8 PM and 9 PM ET. No activity in the thread. Votes can be submitted via PM at any time during the day phase, but ideally after 10PM after the nomination period closes. You can vote as many times as you like. One vote per hydra and the last vote received is the one that counts. So the the teams members can't come to a consensus, that last one I hear from is the vote.
- Trial results are announced, Day Phase ends, and the next Night Phase commences - Wednesday between 8 AM and 9 AM ET. Lather, rinse, repeat.
* In the above example, that's 48 hours for the entire night phase and day phase, trial, and voting. The first 24 hours are pretty quiet, the second 24 hours pretty active. Note that the only thing you HAVE to do in there is to vote on Tuesday evening after defenses have been submitted. Based on how discussion, nominations, and seconds are progressing, and depending on tie votes, there may be a need to push forward into a third day. There should never be a need for a Day Phase to go longer than 48 hours. Note that due to the schedule of the hosts, the Night Phase will ALWAYS commence between 6 AM and 7 AM ET on a weekday morning. Saturdays and Sundays are not counted as part of the 24-72 hour window. So if a Night Phase starts on Friday morning, the host will not move to the Day Phase until Monday morning. If a Day Phase starts on Friday morning, and if the host calls for votes on Friday evening, results will not be announced until Monday morning. You may reasonably expect to never have to be online on Saturday or Sunday, although if discussion is currently active over the weekend during a Day Phase, you may feel free to keep discussing if you like. I am flexible for the weekend times. If the remaining players wish to speed up the schedule, I may be able to accommodate this.
Please, please, please, we are serious, no outside conversations. If someone else in the game approaches you to talk about the game in any capacity, first of all, probably shouldn't trust them, but second, by signing up to play you are saying that you WILL report this person to the hosts immediately. The penalty will be at the discretion of the hosts, up to and including simply cancelling the entire game. That's how important this rule is, and how much breaking it undermines the whole point of the game. So just don't do it. Keep it in the thread, all the time.
Final notes -
If we are looking to start by Feb 20th, I probably need our teams by Feb 16th so we have time to set this up and get back to you.
If you are interested in playing but don't have a partner, let me know and I will help facilitate a team up with others in the same boat. (I could also conceivably entertain a one person hydra, but I would encourage against it.)
If you have any questions post here or PM. As I am running this solo at the moment (with technical help from admins), you may think of something I haven't.
Disagreeing with each other's ideas does not have to mean denying each other's humanity.