I enjoy designing new sets of rules for the e-mail-based version of the party game Mafia (also known as Werewolf). These rules are typically centered around a theme, and are often more complicated than the original game. I have a Yahoo! group where I play-test these rules. I’m considering giving the rules a dedicated page on my blog where they can be accessed by others moderating e-mail or forum-based Mafia games.
Currently, they are all written in a way that my players are familiar with. Since I have limited experience with other groups, I’m interested in knowing how well these rules could translate to your play, and what parts you may find confusing.
Here are the rules I am currently play-testing:
Labyrinth Mafia Rules
Theme: Based on the 1986 cult Jim Henson film, Labyrinth, which is classified as an “American-British musical fantasy adventure”.
In this scenario, Sarah, a human girl, is attempting to get to the center of the Labyrinth to save her baby brother Toby. Sarah starts out with no allies, but attempts to recruit help along the way. If she cannot recruit someone she defeats them (by using her wit, or evading them, or getting help). Therefore, Sarah can be compared the “Mafia” team. The Denizens of the Labyrinth are ruled (loosely) by The Goblin King named Jareth (who looks like David Bowie). The Denizens initial goal is to prevent Sarah from making it further into the Labyrinth. She is unwelcome here, as she doesn’t belong. She also makes trouble and asks too many questions. Not to mention, The Goblin King can be quite terrifying and it’s best not to disrupt him. Therefore, the Denizens are acting as the “innocents”. Some Denizens can be recruited by Sarah, and once they are, their loyalty changes and their goal becomes helping her.
Mechanisms: Everyone has a role. Most roles are similar to roles you have seen in previous games with some minor tweakage. There are no events or additional mechanics, everything is role-based. The Mafia’s hit will either be a standard hit, or it’ll be in the form of a recruitment. Recruited characters may continue to use their special powers. No lynching is permitted and Day Zero actions will exist.
– 10pm eastern, Monday, Wednesday, Friday
– Results posted the following day
– Hard nightfall (last mod post is ~9pm)
– Voting format: I vote to lynch [insert name]
– Voting is standard; ties are broken with a die roll
– “I vote no lynch” is permitted
– You must post a reason when you vote
– Sarah: When Sarah’s Team composes more than 50% of the population.
– Denizens of the Labyrinth: If all members of Sarah’s team are eliminated
– Fieres (from the start)
– Knockers (when they find each other)
– Sarah’s Team (as it’s recruited)
– Hoggle and Sir Didymus (if Hoggle investigates Sir Didymus)
– Roleclaiming (telling the main forum what you are) is not permitted, nor is stating that you have information. However, you may share all knowledge and roles with your groupmates.
– Powers cannot be used on oneself unless specifically stated in the roles.
– You must state you want your power to be activated each and every nightfall. Do not assume I will use your choice from the previous day.
Standard mafia role equivalent(ish) is in parentheses
Denizens of the Labyrinth
- The Goblin King- “Just fear me, love me, do as I say, and I will be your slave.” Jareth, The Goblin King, is the ruler of the Labyrinth kingdom. The Goblin King cannot be recruited by Sarah. The Goblin King may choose one of two options to perform each nightfall: A) Send a Dream Bubble- He may send out a dream bubble to a specific person. The bubble causes his target to fall asleep and he or she is unable to act for the evening (roleblock). B) Hold a Magical Dance Party- The Goblin King can perform some “Dance Magic Dance” and distract (roleblock) three random people (as rolled by the Moderator).
- Hoggle- “Oh, she’ll never forgive me. What have I done? I’ve lost my only friend. That’s what I’ve done.” Hoggle is a cowardly dwarf who knows his way around the Labyrinth. Each evening, Hoggle can gather information about one of the denizens of the labyrinth (detective; team/alignment only). Since he is under The Goblin King’s thumb, each night there is a 25% chance that whatever information is revealed to Hoggle will also be revealed to the Goblin King. Hoggle can be recruited by Sarah. If Hoggle finds Sir Didymus, they may communicate.
- Ludo- “Rocks friends.” Ludo is a gentle and playful, but large and scary-looking, beast. Each evening he can call on his friends, the rocks, to roll in to assist preventing the action of one other players (roleblock). Ludo can be recruited by Sarah.
- Sir Didymus & Ambrosius- “Didymus: I have sworn with my life’s blood, none shall pass this way without *my* permission! Sarah: Well… May we have your permission? Didymus: Well I, uh… I… that is, uh… hm… Yes? “ A noble fox terrier on his loyal English sheepdog steed. Sir Didymus is protective, well-intentioned and concerned with justice. Each night, Sir Didymus may protect one person from all effects (both good and bad..this includes lynching and recruitment). Sir Didymus can be recruited by Sarah.
- The Worm- “Who, me? Nah, ‘m just a worm. Say, come inside, and meet the missus.” A friendly worm who lives in the outer Labyrinth walls and offers tea to passersby. The worms friendly advice and warm tea help other people get through the labyrinth more effectively. Each night, the worm gives the power of investigation (detective; alignment) to one OTHER person (not himself). If the detective receives this boon, he gets two investigations that night. The Worm can be recruited by Sarah. The given investigation takes place on the subsequent evening.
- Knocker 1- “Mumble mumble mumble! You’re a wonderful conversational companion!” A large, grumpy, animated brass door knocker who can’t hear well because he has a ring coming out of his ears. This knocker can choose to watch one person per evening (watcher). He will receive the names of the people who visited (targeted) that person. He cannot be recruited by Sarah, but if he watches Knocker 2, they become a team.
- Knocker 2- “You can’t talk all you do is moan.” Another large, grumpy, animated brass door knocker who can’t speak well because has a ring coming out of his mouth. Each evening, this knocker can choose one person to listen to, following all their movements (tracker). He will receive the names of the people whom that person visited (targeted). He cannot be recruited by Sarah, but if he watches Knocker 1, they become a team.
- Fiery 1- “We can show you a good time. And we don’t charge nothin’. Just strut your nasty stuff. Wiggle in the middle yeah. Get the town talkin’, fire gang”. The fieries all know each other, chill together, and don’t really care about anyone else. All the fieries start off in the game knowing each other. They cannot be recruited by Sarah.
- Fiery 2- See Above
- Fiery 3- See Above
- The Wiseman and his bird hat- “It’s so stimulating being your hat.” A slow-speaking, narcoleptic old man who gives out sage advice. The Wiseman may investigate one person each evening to learn their role, but not their alignment/team assignment. The Wiseman can be recruited by Sarah.
- The Junk Lady- “What’s the matter, my dear, don’t you like your toys?” A very crazy, creepy old lady who carries around piles of discarded items on her back. The Junklady can make someone forget who they are. She may eliminate someone from the game on every even numbered day (vigilante). She cannot be recruited by Sarah.
- A Goblin- “That’s not it! Where did she get that rubbish? It doesn’t even start with ‘I wish!’” Goblins are troublemakers. Each night, the goblin may select two individuals. Those two individuals will have the targets of their powers switched for the evening. The Goblin cannot be recruited by Sarah.
- Sarah- Sarah starts out as the only member of her team. Her goal is to get to the center of the Labyrinth and defeat the Goblin King, in order to do this she must recruit as much helps as possible, and defeat anyone who will not help her. Each night, Sarah targets one person for recruitment. If they are able to help her, they are recruited. If they aren’t, they are defeated (Mafia hit). Individuals recruited to help her may continue to use their powers.
- Goblin King
- A Goblin
- Sir Didymus
- Junk Lady’s Vigilante Hit
- Sarah’s Hit/Recruitment
- The Worm
- Knocker 1
- Knocker 2
- The Wiseman
Day Zero Actions: Day Zero Actions can be sent for every role that has an action except for Junk Lady. Sarah’s action will only work if she targets a recruitable character.
Order Roles are Added- The game may be played with only 10 players. After the first 10 are recruited, the remaining roles will be added in this order: A Goblin, Wiseman, Fiery 3, Junk Lady