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Thread: Game Hosting Resources

  1. ISO #1
    Ruler of the Universe Thingyman's Avatar Administrator
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    Game Hosting Resources

    Game Hosting: Standards, Tips, Guidelines & Tools

    This thread will contain some standards, tips, guidelines and tools to help you smoothly host an enjoyable game of forum mafia.

    If you ever have unanswered questions or if unique issues arise during a game, feel free to ask a moderator for assistance.

    1) Your responsibilities and privileges
    2) Designing your game
    3) Enforcing your rules and ensuring game integrity
    4) Resolving night actions
    5) Checklist for various scenarios and decisions
    6) Tools
    7) Sign-up Thread Templates & Expectations

    Updated Expectations / Guidelines for Game Hosts
    Last edited by Thingyman; April 22nd, 2020 at 05:01 PM.

  2. ISO #2
    Ruler of the Universe Thingyman's Avatar Administrator
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    Your responsibilities and privileges

    When you host a game, you should expect your time and your efforts to be respected by the players. Similarly, you should respect the players who are also committing a lot of time, energy and passion to your game.

    Responsibilities & Expectations

    1. You are expected to make timely reveals. You should always aim to reveal the results of a completed phase within 1 hour of its completion. If you cannot guarantee this, then you should ask for a co-host to help you. If need be, just do a simple role reveal and save the flavor story for later if you happen to be in a rush. This is being listed as the number 1 responsibility, because we have discovered the hard way that it's absolutely vital that hosts adapt to the communities that are used to relatively quick reveals, since otherwise your game will be at heavy risk for players losing interest in your game, requesting replacements or even abandoning it without warning. If players feel that you are not committed to the game, they will not commit to it either. If we see that you are having continuos trouble meeting deadlines and making timely reveals, then a moderator or admin will step in and help you host the game (not voluntary).

    2. Make the rules of your game very clear. Do not assume that the players are used to the same rules that you are used to. Read these 3 posts: Standard mafia rules, Resolving night actions and Checklist for various scenarios and decisions. If your rules differ from the standards in any of these 3 posts, then make this exceedingly clear to the players. These are the most common things that you may need to specify: Is the mafia nightkill assigned to one player, is no lynch a valid vote, how are ties resolved, is the thread locked during night phases, are all players allowed to communicate with each other outside of the game thread, is your order of operations different from the MU standard, and what are the lynch mechanics (deadline/majority)?

    3. Enforce your rules and maintain game integrity. Read this post to get a summary of what tools are at your disposal for intervening in a game/ensuring game integrity. The most important thing is to be vigilant and to address any issues that occur as fast as possible, since otherwise you risk things spiraling out of control, players growing impatient and players speculating or trying to act as a host on your behalf. Worst case your players will abandon the game and/or request replacements, putting you in a difficult spot. Keep in mind that addressing an issue can be simply informing players that you are aware of the issue; You needn't rush a decision. Sometimes a moderator may step in if a player is in breach of the general forum rules or the code of conduct, calling for immediate action. On only very rare occassions will a moderator step in to enforce game-specific rules on your behalf if we believe it is absolutely necessary in order to maintain and ensure the integrity of your game. If you're not sure what to do, reach out to a game reviewer (who is not in your game) or a moderator.

    4. Handle the inactivity in your game. One of the most common mistakes for a host to make is to leave players in the dark about inactives for longer periods of time. Be transparent about consequences for inactivity, don't force your players to have to speculate. If a player in your game has been inactive for two consecutive day phases without being either replaced or modkilled, that is not good and you should expect backlash from the players. Also, it always falls upon you, the host, to try to find replacements. If you want, you can ask a player if they think one of their friends might be willing to replace in for them, but other than that you should never be asking a player to find their own replacement.

    5. Let the players play the game. Although it's tempting to post in your games, you should only do this if absolutely necessary. Host posting may inadvertently let something slip and compromise game integrity.


    Your responsibility and privilege of making the rules of your own game clear also extends to being able to restrict who you will allow to sign up for your game. This means:

    Do you want to host an invite-only game? That's perfectly allowed. If you are inviting a lot of players from the active Mafia Universe player base, you will still need to schedule it though. If the players are mostly from other communities, then you don't even need to schedule it, you can just go ahead and create a sign-up thread immediately.

    Do you not want alt accounts in your game? No problem. Just specify this in your OP. You may also insist that alt accounts have to out their identities to you if they want to play.

    Do you want to blacklist players, or do you want to exclude people with a history of inactivity? Totally your prerogative. Technically, you don't even need to give a reason for excluding a player from your game, though the moderators may step in if we feel that your treatment of a player is inappropriate and against the spirit of the site or in breach of our rules.
    Last edited by dyachei; May 1st, 2020 at 09:42 PM.

  3. ISO #3
    Ruler of the Universe Thingyman's Avatar Administrator
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    Designing your game

    In a perfect world, your game setup should result in the town and mafia each winning 50% of the time over a large enough sample size (ignoring additional factions, neutrals or independents). And in an even more perfect world, every single player will have a good time playing your game. You can't always achieve this, but it's important that you strive to.

    Balance & variance

    Important things to consider:

    • An appropriate ratio between mafia and townies (and "others").

      You will usually want 20-25% of the total players to be mafia in any given game. However, this all depends on how the rest of your setup is balanced and designed. If you're hosting a very large game with many confirmable town roles, you will want to add maybe a couple percentage points. In very basic setups with no or very few power roles, sometimes you will want to aim for as low as 15% mafia -- and in games with multiple mafia teams, you will sometimes want to aim for as high as 33% mafia.

      If you want to add neutral and independent roles to your setup, the ratio between town and mafia should remain the same, assuming that the added roles don't favor one side or the other. However, if you add a pro-town neutral role to the game, for example, you should either add a pro-mafia neutral role as well or make up for the shift in balance by adding powers to the mafia team.

    • An appropriate setup type.

      You need to account for whether your setup is open (all roles are posted in OP), semi-open (a list of potential roles is posted in OP) or closed (no information on the setup is given), since this heavily affects game balance. The same roleset will not result in equal balance across the three different setup types.

      If your setup is open: You can't stack the town with too many power roles, since the town will otherwise be able to significantly narrow down the pool of viable lynches simply through roleclaiming, which is a strategy that the mafia team has little defense against, since they will always have to engage in a roleclaim battle if they want to claim anything other than vanilla. In an open setup, you want the % of town power roles to be less than in a closed setup.

      If your setup is semi-open: You will often want to use this if you want to allow the mafia team some creative freedom in fakeclaiming, while also being able to inform players about certain roles and mechanics that will not be in the game, which can be vital for balance. For example, a semi-open setup can inform players that there are no conversion mechanics at play and/or that all investigations can be trusted, which are balance tools you can use to make a game slightly more pro-town.

      If your setup is closed: The town doesn't know which roles are in the game, meaning that many roleclaims can't be trusted even if there are no counterclaims. Thus, townies have a harder time confirming themselves, and mafia have an easier time using their creativity to avoid lynch. However, even in closed setups some roleclaims will tend to be confirmable or nearly confirmable, and on top of this you will often have one or more investigation roles, so you still need to ask yourself these questions: If every townie claimed Day 1, would they always win? Does your game have 13+ players and is it possible for the town to be able to clear more than half the living players in 3 days or less? If the answer to any of these two questions is yes, then you need to redesign your game.

      Somewhat related to the topic of choosing a setup, it's also vital for balance to decide in advance whether or not the kills in your game are indistinguishable in the night write-ups or if it can be identified whether Player X was killed by the mafia, a serial killer or town vigilante, for example.

    • An appropriate amount of power roles.

      If your game has a normal town/mafia ratio and if you don't want to give power roles to the mafia team, you will probably only want to give power roles to 10-15 % of the town (these games will usually qualify as "vanilla"). If you want to make an advanced open setup, you can give power roles to 20-40% of the town, but in these cases you should also give proportionately valuable power roles to most or all of the mafia team. In particular, you need to consider adding roles that can counteract the town's powers -- and you need to consider if you should increase the mafia team's kill-rate in order for them to be able to keep up with the amount of confirmable townies.

      However, at a certain point you need to be watchful of trying to rebalance a setup with a powerful town simply by adding roles to the mafia team in an attempt to make the sides equal. This is because the benefit of roles to the two teams usually aren't equal: For the town, each power role is worth the value of the power itself, plus its ability to clear/confirm a player. Whereas mafia only get the benefit of the power. Furthermore, creating a too power-centric game will inevitably mean that the outcome of the game is often decided within the first few phases, because you're placing each team in a situation where their victory largely depends on killing off specific (and enough) members of the opposing team in a timely fashion, lest they quickly get overpowered. In this way, you force the hands of both the town and the mafia to a potentially extreme degree. The town can no longer just focus on lynching mafia -- they need to lynch the right mafia. And the mafia can no longer just kill the players that they fear -- they need to consistently kill power roles to prevent the town from being able to win the game through roleclaiming.

      Basically, when adding power roles to any game (but especially games with open setups), you should approach it with this basic mindset: There needs to be a sufficient amount of lynchable townies for the mafia team to have a chance to win, and there needs to be an element of skill involved for the town in choosing who to lynch.

      Many people use this as a rule of thumb: 25% mafia / 25% town power roles / 50% vanilla townies. If half or more of the town are power roles in an open setup, then you need to redesign your game. If it's a closed setup, then you have some more room to maneuveur in.

    • An appropriate mix of roles and role types (to create "synergy" and/or "counteractive measures").

      A good tip is to think of your setup as a delicate ecosystem where everything should have a purpose and all the parts should be interacting with at least one other part of the system.

      In other words, when you add a specific role, you need to carefully think about how this role affects the rest of the setup and whether you need to introduce a role that can counteract it -- or maybe you'll want to add a role that can synergize with it, thereby awarding succesful and smart collaboration between roles.

      To give a few examples: If you add a Doctor to a game that already has a Cop role, then you will probably want to also add a Mafia Roleblocker in order to avoid a scenario where it's optimal for the Cop to simply claim on Day 1 and get protection from the Doctor. Similarly, if you are worried about the amount of investigative powers in your game, you can choose to make investigations less reliable by adding a Godfather and/or Miller.

      Keep in mind that certain roles have very different values, depending on which team they belong to. For example, a Cop is worth much more to town, and a Vigilante is worth much more to mafia. In other words, you should refrain from trying to balance a game by simply giving the two sides the same roles.

      An additional thing to consider (specific to closed or semi-closed setups) when adding roles to your setup is that you may want to give the mafia team some power roles that would make just as much, if not more, sense for town-aligned players to have. This is done to counteract players trying to "read the setup" and to allow the mafia a chance at "fake confirming" themselves through claiming their actual powers.

      Besides balancing a setup by adding or removing roles, you can also rebalance a game by adding modifiers to roles. If you think the Cop role is too powerful, maybe you'll want to make it an Ascetic Cop (immune to all night actions except nightkills, meaning that it can't be protected) or Scared Cop (if the cop ever decides to claim, he loses his powers). If your setup features a neutral or secondary evil faction and you don't want the Godfather to die at night as a "confirmed town kill", then you can make the Godfather immune to nightkills (i.e. Bulletproof).

    • An appropriate distribution of powers amongst each team (to reduce "variance").

      Preferably, you want to reduce the amount of variance/swinginess in your setup. This means that you want to avoid the game being overly dependent on how a few specific roles play out. If a certain role being killed Day 1 or Night 1 means that the game is practically unwinnable for one side hereafter, then you need to redesign your game (especially if it's a large game).

      Two simple ways of reducing variance is to either make sure that the very powerful roles cannot be killed early (but this is often not good game design), or even better you should "spread the wealth". Here again, modifiers can come in handy. As an example, if you're designing a large game with many confirmable town power roles, maybe you want to counteract this partly by giving the mafia team extra kills. But rather than giving the mafia one regular Vigilante who could potentially die on the first day, you may want to have three separate Vigilantes with one shot each on Night 1, 2 and 3.

    • An appropriate design of mechanics/events.

      If you're hosting a very advanced game, sometimes your setup will feature certain mechanics or events that may be untested. When running such a game, it's important to make sure that the setup cannot in any way be broken by the players (no matter how unlikely). Run through all the possible scenarios, consider any possible exploits or ways to abuse the mechanics. Be aware of whether your mechanics are pro-town or pro-mafia, and balance the rest of the setup accordingly.

      You should never readjust or make changes to a game that's already running. So you need to plan in advance how your mechanics or events will maybe need to change, depending on certain factors. Specifically, if you are planning to have in-thread attacks (windows during day phases where all players are typically allowed one chance at "shooting" and killing other players) or any other kind of mechanic intended to kill off players, you should decide on a juncture at which this mechanic is removed from the game (for example, with X players left). Similarly, if you're hosting a game where the players are split up into two different threads, establish in advance what will eventually trigger the players to be moved to the same thread.

    • An appropriate policy on roleclaiming.

      If you're running a themed game, you will usually run into a roleclaiming problem: If everyone is a named character and if only certain characters are "evil" or "good", then the town can win by simply forcing everyone to claim their character names.

      There are four ways of dealing with this problem:

      1) Give the mafia team some potent safeclaims. I.e. if you're running a Lord of the Rings-themed game, then either choose or randomize some "good" characters (e.g. Aragorn and Gimli) to be left out of the actual roleset and inform the mafia team that they can safely claim these names.

      2) Make it impossible to determine alignment from character names. Decide on which roles you want in the game and then simply randomize which character names should go with each role.

      3) Don't give character names to players in advance. I.e. don't inform people of which character they are in their role PMs -- instead, reveal this in the "flavor story" when they die. A variant of this is to only tell power roles their character names, but not vanilla townies.

      4) Award bonus powers to the mafia team if they can correctly match players with character names (usually, the mafia team must be able to back up their guesses with evidence from the thread).

      Whatever you do, it is NEVER a good idea to not have any specified roleclaiming policy or to simply say that claiming any of your character flavor is disallowed. Players will always wander into grey areas, and you will always be left with difficult decisions to make.

      Also, we advise always including an example Vanilla Townie role PM in the OP, even if the setup is closed. Mafia should always be able to comfortably claim Vanilla Townie and not have to guess how this standard role PM is worded (i.e. so they don't out themselves by claiming "Vanilla Townie", if it's called "Vanilla Villager", "VT" or something theme-specific). Also, it prevents actual Vanilla Townies from being able to immediately "spew" their roles by hinting at the name (or even colorization) of their role, in case this is unique in any way.

    Fun & playability
    Players sign up to your game to enjoy themselves, so please do your best to not take the fun out of the game. Sometimes you may want to give everyone in the game a special role, but you need to be aware that this could lead to a massively unpredictable, high-variance and chaotic game where people become frustrated and feel that they are wasting their time in spite of your good intentions. If you want madness, aim for controlled madness.

    Examples of things that you may want to avoid:

    • "Handicapped" role types. It might seem fun on paper or it might seem appropriate for the theme, but will players really enjoy only being allowed to post once per day because their character is "shy" or having any other form of permanent restriction that impedes their ability to play the game?
    • Giving players "missions" that may not be very fun or may lead to them either breaking the forum rules or being an annoyance to everyone else in the game. For example, we would discourage including roles that have to spam or behave obnoxiously as part of their role.
    • Non-mafia mechanics. This is a site for playing mafia, so be careful about designing your game in a way that makes it no longer be mafia. If your game is a "multiball" (multiple minority/scum factions) or a faction game (all factions in the game are of equal size), you should clearly advertise this!
    • A painfully drawn out game. Make sure that you announce the expected game length if you're hosting a large-sized game and make sure that your prediction is unlikely to be far off (a good tip is to spread out the killing power and/or have balanced events or mechanics that speed up the game).
    • A "Kingmaker scenario". Is it possible for the game to go to a scenario where one player is guaranteed to lose, but is positioned to choose the winner of the game? If so, you may want to reconsider this, since many will consider this an unsatisfactory end to a game, plus it makes it possible for a game to ultimately be determined by relationships outside the game.

    Also, don't reuse a closed setup that you've already hosted once elsewhere. The players aren't stupid and they will find it.

  4. ISO #4
    Ruler of the Universe Thingyman's Avatar Administrator
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    Enforcing your rules and ensuring game integrity

    Game integrity and complete fairness is of the utmost importance. This means that you should aim to "guarantee" your players that the outcome of the game cannot and/or will not be influenced by factors that have not been established as part of the game from the getgo.

    Your tools for intervening as Game Host

    Be vigilant in enforcing your game's rules and don't let any breaches of the rules slide if they have compromised the integrity or balance of the game. We will leave it up to your discretion whether or not to always enforce by the letter of the rules. If a newbie makes an innocent mistake that doesn't effectively impact the game, maybe consider giving him/her a break. If someone is deliberately skating around the letter of the rules, but clearly attempting to break the spirit of the rules, we advise no hesitation in punishing said player.

    Here's a list of common intervention methods in approximate order of severity:

    • Prodding
    • Warning
    • Silence
    • No vote
    • Extra votes on oneself
    • No night action for the offending player
    • Extra night actions to the disadvantaged party
    • Replacement
    • Modkill

    Examples of when to use the above-mentioned methods of intervention

    If someone is showing signs of inactivity, you should prod them and remind them of their commitment to participate. If someone is in breach of the code of conduct or innocently breaks a minor rule, you should remind them of the rules and warn them that they need to stop before further action is required. If someone doesn't behave, maybe you will want to silence the player in question and forbid him/her from posting further until the restriction is lifted again (some consider this a controversial method for intervening in the game).

    If someone breaks a rule without it having a discernible impact on the game, but you still want there to be consequences, an appropriate response could be nullifying that player's vote for the day. In games with posting restrictions (being allowed to post a maximum of X times per day), a popular method for intervening is to add the number of illegally made posts to players' final vote tallies -- so if a player posted 60 times, whilst only being allowed to post 50 times, 10 votes are added to that player's tally. If someone games this punishment system or if someone intentionally abuses it to sabotage his/her own team, the Game Host can choose to remove said player from the game and leave the lynch intact so as to not undermine or discourage the efforts of the other players.

    An alternate way of offsetting an unfair advantage illegally gained by a player without going to the extreme of a modkill is to nullify the offending player's potential night action for the next night phase (this is most often announced in the thread by the Game Host). A few examples of actions that might warrant this include non-participation, skirting the lines of the rules or illegally trying to fake a day action. Similarly, it can be a good idea to award extra night actions to a team to negate being disadvantaged by someone from the opposite team breaking the rules. Example scenario: A dead cop posts his checks in the thread or communicates them privately to living players -- you can't modkill a dead player, so instead you'll have to consider maybe giving the mafia team an extra nightkill or more to make up for the shift in balance.

    Often you will need to replace/substitute a player when that player has been inactive for too long (you should rarely modkill for non-participation, if it can be avoided). However, other times you will also need to replace a player for the sake of maintaining game integrity. For example, if a member of the mafia team accidentally communicates his role to a living townie, you should consider replacing the townie player rather than modkilling the offending mafia player. Make sure though that you're not giving away any information by intervening in this way.

    If the rules have been maliciously and/or intentionally broken or if the game's integrity has been strongly impacted, you should probably modkill the offending players. You should also heavily consider modkilling a player if they have been inactive for several phases and you are incapable of finding a replacement. Keep in mind, though, that removing a player from the game is an extreme measure and should always be a last resort reserved for when no other action would sufficiently restore balance to the game (such as when a player has quoted their role PM). If you're modkilling a townie, you may want to end the phase then and there -- but you may not want to do this if you're modkilling someone from the mafia team. The underlying principle to this is that modkills should disadvantage the modkilled player's team (and removing a lynch is considered anti-town).

    Commonly asked questions

    Can I delete posts in my game?
    No. In accordance with the site's standard mafia rule that no posts be edited or deleted, we also do not allow Game Hosts the ability to delete players' posts in their game thread, since this is extremely problematic in almost all instances. The reason for this is that once one player has seen a post, all players should have access to that same information. By deleting a post you are causing an unfair information disadvantage to players in your game. If an illegal post requires intervention, you will need to intervene in some other way. In very rare instances, though, you may contact a moderator or an admin to have a post deleted immediately after it was made if the circumstances make it certain or very likely that no one else has seen the post yet.

    Things to avoid

    As a rule of thumb, you should avoid all of the things listed below when hosting a game:

    • Do not "rig" the randomization of roles (intentionally give certain roles to certain players) or re-do it because you are unsatisfied with the first randomization.
    • Do not make comments on the game in the thread or to individual players as this may provide players with information (or make them read something into your comments even if they shouldn't). If, say, players are messaging you with comments on Skype, you should either not message back at all or you should develop a standard response that doesn't give anything away.
    • Do not ignore problems or players breaking the rules. If players can see that there is a problem and they feel like you're not addressing it, they will quickly grow impatient and lose faith in your game, so make sure to be proactive and/or to inform players that you are aware of the problems or issues that have occured and that you will handle it.
    • Do not rush an important decision -- once you've modkilled a player, there's no going back. You can and should always consult the moderators or experienced Game Hosts if you're in a dilemma.
    • Do not be pulled into Q&A sessions with players that may result in confirming information about the game that doesn't relate to clarifications on rules or similar. If in doubt, say as little as possible.
    • Do not leave any hints in your flavor/game stories, unless this is part of how you have designed and balanced the game.
    • Do not ask or prod players to concede. If the outcome is decided and a team has met their win condition, you should call the game -- if not, you should let the players play.
    • Do not give away "tells" as to who has night actions -- don't start next day early just because all night actions were submitted before the announced deadline.
    • Do not spontaneously introduce new mechanics, rules or other changes to a game if this was not a planned part of the design before the game started.
    • Do not make it a game of you vs. the players. Unless advertised otherwise, the players should be able to trust the information you give them (role PMs and action results). This does not include roles that can reasonably be expected to be in a game, depending on the context (godfather, tailor, miller, insane cop etc.).

  5. ISO #5
    Ruler of the Universe Thingyman's Avatar Administrator
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    Resolving night actions

    When a game features more than one night action, you will need to establish an order of operations; You and the players need to be aware in advance which actions are processed before others. I repeat, the in advance part is the most important part of all this; Your order of operations can be the most illogical one ever made, but the players have nothing to complain about if it was announced in advance.

    Order of Operations

    In most cases, it should be easy enough to resolve night actions if you follow this basic principle: Start by resolving a night action that cannot possibly be modified in any way by other night actions. When this is done, simply repeat this step.

    If you can't choose which night action to resolve first using a principle of "cannot be modified" (i.e. the actions occur simultaenously in the order of operations), then go by a principle of "has not been modified" by simultaneously occuring actions. If you still can't choose which action to resolve first, then you must process the night actions simultaneously and have them only affect actions further down in the chain.

    If in doubt, refer to the below list, which represents the Mafia Universe standard for resolving night actions (and which should be presumed to apply for all games on this site, unless your Game Host says otherwise):

    Bus driving

    How to resolve specific ambiguous OOO scenarios

    Again, these are Mafia Universe standards. Game Hosts are required to specify in advance if their game aren't following these standards for some reason.

    • What happens if Player A blocks Player B - and Player B blocks Player C?
      In this case, Player A would prevent Player B's block from occuring, meaning that Player C's action is not blocked. Refer to the principle of "has not been modified", which in this case applies to Player A.

    • What happens if Player A blocks Player B - and Player B redirects Player A to Player C (creating a loop)? In this case, Player A would succesfully block Player B and prevent him from using his redirection ability. Refer to the above order of operations: Blocks occur before redirects.

    • What happens if Player A blocks Player B - and Player B blocks Player A?
      This will create a paradox where the actions process simultaneously, but they will only affect actions below "Blocking" in the order of operations. This means, for example, if Player B also tries to kill someone on that same night, this action will be blocked -- and because this action is succesfully blocked by Player A, trackers and watchers will receive reports of this activity if they visit Player A or B, respectively.

    • If I kill someone, does their action still go through?
      Yes, killing someone doesn't prevent them from performing their night action (unless they investigated someone, in which case they will not receive a report). Refer to the order of operations: All kills happen at the end of the night, and everyone pulls the trigger simultaneously.

    • If I kill, say, a townie who is converted to a neutral faction the same night, does he die as a townie or as a neutral?
      He dies as a townie and wins with the town. Refer to the order of operations: Kills are processed before conversions.

    • If I check the role of a townie who is converted to a neutral the same night, will I receive a "town" or "neutral" result for my check?
      A neutral result. Refer to the order of operations: Conversions occur before role investigations.

    • If at night I roleblock a player who has a day action, can he use his/her day action the following phase?
      Yes. A normal roleblocker can't block a day action in advance at night - his role would have to specify this capability (Day Roleblocker).

    • If I roleblock someone who on that same night absorbs a power to be used the next night phase, is that person still able to use that power the next night?
      Yes. Being triggered to gain a power for use on a following phase does not count as a same-night action performed by the player in question. Refer to the order of operations: Absorbing occurs before blocking.

    • If I roleblock Player A on Night 1, and Player B on that same night gifts a power to Player A to be used on Night 2, is Player A still able to use his/her power on Night 2?
      Yes. Receiving a gift does not count as an action by the receiver. In this scenario, you would have to block Player B in order to prevent Player A from receiving a power.

    • If I roleblock masons or another role with out of thread communication privileges, can I prevent them from talking at night?
      No. The reason is that you may send in your roleblock right before the deadline, at which time the masons (or whoever) may have already talked with each other.

    • What happens if I heal Player A and on that same night, he is poisoned by Player B?
      He will wake up poisoned the next day. Refer to the order of operations: Heals are processed before poisons. Normally though, poisoned players are revealed at the start of a day phase and any Healers are then able to heal these as a day action.

  6. ISO #6
    Ruler of the Universe Thingyman's Avatar Administrator
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    Checklist for various scenarios and decisions

    When designing your game, you need to make a decision on how to handle all the below scenarios. We've explicated the suggested Mafia Universe standards -- if you want your game to be different, that's completely fine, but make sure you specify the differences in your rules.


    Is the mafia team's faction kill assigned to (aka carried out by) a specific member of the mafia team each night?
    This is purely a balance consideration -- if you want to make the game more pro-town by allowing the town a chance of e.g. blocking, watching or tracking the mafia kill, then feel free to make this a requirement for the mafia team. As a standard, though, we advise against doing this for gameplay reasons, since it can turn the game into a levelling game (WIFOM) and severely restrict the mafia's ability to utuilize one of the main and defining strengths/powers.

    If there's only one mafia left, can the mafia faction kill be blocked/redirected/tracked etc.?
    The standard should be no, unless you've included it as a requirement that the mafia needs to assign their kill each night to a specific member of the team.

    Can the mafia submit a kill for one of their own members?
    As a standard, we advise that you don't make this possible, assuming that the game's night write-ups will make it clear anyway that the mafia killed one of their own. By allowing such an action under such circumstances, it can never conceivably be used in a beneficial manner, and it makes sabotage possible by allowing the possibility for an individual mafia member to submit a kill on a team member right before the deadline. In games where the kills are indistinguishable from each other in the night write-ups, you may want to allow this to give the mafia team more strategic options, but beware that sabotage is still a concern, Also, what if the member whom the team wants dead disagrees with the decision? Think about whether you want such scenarios to potentially occur.

    Is it compulsory for the mafia to submit a faction kill each night?
    As a standard, faction kills should be compulsory. If a mafia team fails to send in their desired nightkill, the Game Host should randomize the kill among the remaining non-mafia players. This is done in order to avoid deadlocked games where the town keeps no lynching and the mafia refuses to submit a kill.

    Should the thread be locked during night phases?
    Most hosts tend to lock the thread during night phases, but certainly not all. It is mostly a balance consideration; Do you wish to allow the town more time to talk and discuss? Some hosts dislike leaving the thread open during night phases, since they believe it pressures scum into participating during a time where they'd rather be focused on deciding their night actions.

    Is it compulsory for all town power roles to submit an action each night?
    At least for standard open setups, we advise that certain roles whose night actions can never be hurtful to their own team (such as Cops, Trackers and Watchers) are forced to use their night action each night, since it can be reasonably assumed that they will always want to and that they might've just forgotten to send in their action. If these roles don't submit anything, randomize their target for them. Town Vigilantes and Roleblockers can obviously be harmful to one's own side, which is why it should usually be allowed for these roles to forfeit their actions. However, we advise thinking carefully about whether to make any night actions at all compulsory in closed setups, seeing as it's conceivable that even though it's almost always beneficial for a town Cop to use his/her night action, there's still a risk that there are non-town roles in closed setups that can maybe track players' movements at night or in some other way benefit from a role using their action.

    Is no lynch a valid vote?
    As a standard, we strongly suggest allowing the ability to no lynch. It gives the town more freedom in deciding how to proceed, and it makes it possible to bring a game back to uneven numbers, which often is desirable in especially mylo situations.

    How are tie votes handled?
    As a standard, tie votes are resolved through randomization. I.e. if Player A and Player B receives the same amount of votes in a game with deadline lynches, the result will be randomized (each player will have a 50% risk of being lynched). Many different systems exist for resolving ties, and all systems have their biases and their flaws, but on Mafia Universe we advise prioritizing fairness above all else. A randomization method ensures that no advantage is given to certain players and that gameplay isn't affected by players actively trying to account for alternative methods for resolving ties, such as would be the case if ties were, for example, resolved by lynching the player who was first to receive either their first or last vote still on them after deadline (such a system disadvantages people from certain timezones).

    Are night actions by proxy allowed?
    Generally, any member(s) of mafia teams (and any other teams) should be allowed to decide and submit actions on behalf of their entire team, even when not all members have been present for the discussions or been able to give an approval. However, if the mafia team wants to roleblock Player A, but the player with the Mafia Roleblocker role wants to roleblock Player B, then he/she should have the final say on how to use his/her own night action. If there are any specific night actions which the mafia team may not proxy, we advise that you inform them of this at the beginning of the game.

    In games that feature neutrals or extra factions in addition to the standard mafia and town teams, can one of these neutrals or factions concede if there are 3 or more factions still alive in the game (a lone neutral counts as a "faction" for this question)?
    No. If one team conceding and leaving the game impacts another team's chances to win, the concession should not be processed. However, be careful about how you choose to handle this, as you may end up giving away information about potentially affected roles that a team maybe didn't realize were in the game.

    Does the mafia always win when they achieve parity?
    The mafia should always win when they achieve parity (equal numbers with the town) in a vanilla game, since they will always have effectively won the game at that point. However, the distribution and combination of town power roles that are still alive at parity situations in more advanced games sometimes mean that the town can technically still win, and so you need to be deliberate and careful about how you word each team's win conditions. Usually, you will want to word the win condition for the mafia team similar to this: "You win when you achieve immutable/mechanical parity and it is no longer possible for the town to eliminate the mafia."

  7. ISO #7
    Ruler of the Universe Thingyman's Avatar Administrator
    Join Date
    May 2015
    PokerNet / 2+2

    Below you will find various tools that can make hosting a game much easier.

    The Mafia Universe Modbot

    This is the most important tool that you'll need for hosting a game. In short, it will keep track of votes for you and make it possible for players to summon a votecount any time they want. For turbo games, it will even automate the entire game, including randomizing and sending out roles as well as handling reveals and night actions. Find it here. A more fleshed out guide to using modbot can be found here.

    1) Click on New Game. Then select from Automated Game Preset whether you want to start an automated turbo game, or whether you wish to host a custom game.

    2) Fill out the rest of the form.

    Give the game a name, change starting phase to Day 1 and set a deadline for when Day 1 ends. Most importantly, make sure to input the correct thread ID for the game thread that you need to have created in advance. For example, for this thread the ID is 464:

    3) Proceed to fill out the hosts and the players. Then hit "Submit".


    From then on, all votes cast in the game thread during an active day phase will be automatically registered by the Mafia Host, and anyone can request a votecount by pushing "Post Votecount" in the top right corner of the game thread. If you allow people to vote before having made an entry for your game in the Modbot, the votes will not be registered - so it's very important that you always make the Modbot entry before starting your game!

    The Modbot will automatically lock the game thread at deadline. If you wish to reopen the thread, you can do this by pushing the "Open/Close Game" button in the top right corner of the thread.

    Remember to update the phase and deadline every time a phase ends in your game. Also, remember to update living and dead players in your game via the form as well.

    The software will take care of randomizing roles for you, but if you ever need a randomization tool for any other purpose, we suggest that you use's list randomizer.

    Google Sheets

    Google Sheets is a valuable tool for keeping track of your games, especially complicated ones. A good suggestion is to have one tab with all players and their roles and a second tab for processing night actions.
    Last edited by dyachei; May 1st, 2020 at 09:45 PM.

  8. ISO #8
    Season 6 Champion Beck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Where it's at!
    Sign-up Thread Templates & Expectations

    All sign-up threads once submitted must first be approved by a Queue Manager before they will be visible to all other users. If your sign-up thread fits some of the expectations below, it should be approved immediately.

    1) Standard Mafia Universe Sign-up Thread Template
    -- So long as your sign-up thread is thoughtful and includes at least the majority of the information below, it will be approved. This can be used as a foundation for any type of game.

    [CENTER][TITLE][Game Title Here][/TITLE][/CENTER]
    [BOX=GAME INFO][B]Hosted By: [Username(s)][/B]
    [b]Start Date:[/b] [Day of Week, Month, Day, Time]
    [B]SOD/EOD:[/B] [Time, Timezone/Time, Timezone]
    [B]Phase Lengths:[/B] [Day Length/Night Length]
    [B]Mechanics:[/B] [Include Game-Specific Mechanics]
    [B]Night Chat:[/B] [Allowed/Disallowed]
    [B]Out of Thread Communication:[/B] [Allowed/Disallowed]
    [B]Posting Requirement:[/B] [Minimum Posting Requirement per Phase?]
    [B]Setup[/B]: [If Open, what? If Closed, say so.]

    ***Feel free to copy/paste this template.

    Cats vs. Dogs Mafia
    Hosted By: Beck
    Start Date: Monday, April 10 @ 8:00a EST
    SOD/EOD: 8:00a EST/8:00p EST
    Phase Lengths: 12/12 (36/12 on the weekend)
    Mechanics: Deadline lynch, majority is on starting D2. In the case of a tie at the deadline, the lynch will be randomized between the tied parties. No lynch is a valid vote. Locked votes at LYLO.
    Night Chat: Not allowed, the thread is closed during each Night Phase.
    Out of Thread Communication: Not allowed under any circumstance, unless your Role PM says that you can.
    Posting Requirement: 5 Posts per Day
    Setup: Matrix6

    ***While a theme (flavour) is not always required, it is HIGHLY encouraged. Games with flavour tend to fill quicker than games without, and can often times be the difference between a game that fills and a game that does not. How can you incorporate flavour into your sign-up thread? Add a picture, a video, theme music, or copy-write. Explore the Archived Sign-Ups forum for more ideas on how to make your sign-up thread stand-out.

    2) Sign-up Thread Expectations
    -- Like with any other thread you create, it's expected that you manage/moderate it. Sign-up threads are no different, so it is expected that Hosts update their thread as often as possible, and does not go without an update for more than one week.

    -- The Sign-up Queue at the top of the forum is also an extension of your sign-up thread, so it should be updated as often as you update your thread. If your game fills, you're more than welcome to keep it queued until it begins. The information in this entry should match the information posted in your sign-up thread.

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  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments

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about us
Mafia Universe is a community hub for people who enjoy playing the forum variant of Mafia (also known as Werewolf). We offer fully automated Mafia games and a wide variety of customized features crafted to optimize your game experience. We also proudly host the Internet's only database of Mafia/Werewolf communities.

We hope you stick around!
Role of the Day

The Doppelgänger will be viewed as another specific role/character in the game if investigated by a Cop ability.