What is Mafia?
Mafia, sometimes called Werewolf, is a social deduction game. It pits the "uninformed majority" (the Town) against the secretly evil "informed minority" (the Mafia). Players who are part of the Town try to identify and kill off members of the Mafia, who try to remain hidden long enough to take control.
A game of Mafia typically alternates between a Day phase and a Night phase. Each Day, players choose by majority vote who among them to eliminate from the game, or "lynch". Each Night, the Mafia secretly choose their own victim to "nightkill". The Town wins when all members of the Mafia are eliminated, and the Mafia wins when the Town no longer has the majority.
Games usually give some players additional abilities and sometimes feature unique mechanics, both of which introduce variety and complexity. Whether a setup is simple or complex, the core concept remains the same: the Town must work together to identify and eliminate the Mafia before it's too late.
What is Forum Mafia?
Mafia is often played in face-to-face groups or online chat rooms, with games taking anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.
At LynchPool the focus is on forum-style Mafia, with games typically lasting a few weeks or months (except for Blitz games, which are usually finished in 3-6 days).
During each Day phase, the main part of the game occurs in a Day thread, in which all remaining players may post freely.
At Night, the Mafia have access to their own private thread in which they can decide on their next victim and their plans for the next Day.
While Forum Mafia lacks the social cues found in face-to-face Mafia, the longer games and players' ability to refer back to earlier posts generally results in much more thoughtful and analytical play.
Signing up for a game of Forum Mafia represents a commitment to actively participate in the game. Most players find playing one or two games at a time very manageable, but it can get a little time-consuming every now and then.
Getting Started on LynchPool
The first thing to notice about the site is the light-colored navbar at the top of the screen. This contains key links for navigating the site. You'll see these links once you've created an account:
- Home: The home page of the site, showing the latest major announcement.
- Members: A list of all current members.
- Stats: Stats about the site, members and Rated games.
- Username: Your profile.
- (?): Any current notifications you have.
- Games: Sign up to play a game and explore the games that are currently being played.
- Forum: Discuss the site and whatever else warrants discussion with other users.
- Messages: Create threads and add other users for private discussions.
- Duels: A side-project unrelated to Mafia which some might find interesting.
- Info: This page.
Once you've created your account, it's highly recommended that you personalize your profile. From the Edit Profile page you can choose the following:
- Avatar: Uploading your own avatar makes you more memorable to other users, which helps a lot when playing games with them.
- Timezone: All timestamps on the site are displayed to you in your selected timezone, including deadlines. Ensure you choose your correct timezone so you're never confused about a deadline.
- Pronoun: Sometimes a game needs to refer to you, and will use your choice of "They", "He" or "She".
- Page Size: This determines how many posts are displayed per page when you are viewing threads.
Signing Up to Play
If you're new to the site, or to Forum Mafia in general, the best place to start is by playing a Rated game. Don't be intimidated by the term "Rated" - it turns out that simpler games which are ideal for beginners are also ideal for Rated games. If you have any questions, each game will have a moderator, and other players are usually also more than happy to help out.
You can sign up to play a Rated game from the Games page. Less Pressure is a great place to start. It's a Blitz setup, so you can try it out without committing to a longer game. Just make sure you read the setup rules before starting a game, as there are a few changes from the standard game of Mafia.
To sign up for a Rated game, simply click "Join" on the setup page. You'll see your username added to the list of users who have signed up. Your signup lasts 48 hours before it expires, so if a game doesn't start before then and you still want to play, you'll need to click "Renew" or sign up again. Once enough players have signed up, a game will start at the top of the next hour (UTC). You'll be notified when a game starts or a signup is about to expire, so keep an eye out for a (1) in the navbar.
When you click on a link to a game, you'll notice the top of the page now shows a dark-colored navbar. This indicates you are on a page for a specific game. Underneath the navbar you'll see the name of the game, the page you're on, the current phase of the game (Night 0, Day 1 etc), and the deadline. During a Day Phase, the deadline indicates how long the players have to decide on a lynch. During a Night Phase, the deadline indicates the time at which the next Day Phase will begin. Any Night Action you have, such as the Mafia nightkill, must be submitted before the deadline in order to take effect.
The right-hand side of the navbar contains the main links you'll need to find your way around the game.
The first place to check when you start a new game is your Personal Thread - click on "Personal" in the navbar. Here you'll find your Role Message, which will tell you your alignment (typically Town or Mafia), as well as any special abilities you might have. If you have an ability which allows you to submit an action (such as a Cop or Doctor), this will be done in your Personal Thread. You may also use your Personal Thread to post your own thoughts on the game, or to take notes.
If you have any questions or complaints about the game, click on "Help" to access your Help Thread. This is where you can chat to the game's moderator, whose job it is to answer questions and resolve any issues between players.
Each player in a game has access to their own Personal and Help threads which are only accessible to them and the game's moderator. These threads are made public when a game ends.
If you are a member of the Mafia, click on "Mafia" to chat to your teammates. Typically you can only post in the Mafia Thread during Night Phases, so it's best to ensure you make use of it while you can. Most games start with a Night 0, in which the Mafia can chat but don't get a nightkill. On other Nights, the Mafia Thread is also where the nightkill is submitted - you'll see a list of names next to orange "Target" buttons. To target a player for a nightkill, simply click on the button next to their name. You have the whole Night Phase to decide on who to target, and can change your mind up until the deadline. Only one member of the Mafia can submit a nightkill each Night - if multiple members attempt to, only the kill listed first is valid.
Once Day 1 has begun, you'll see a link to the Day 1 Thread. This is where the main part of the game occurs. During each Day, all living players chat, make arguments, vote and try to settle on a lynch. If you are alive in the game, at the top of the thread, you'll see a list of names next to orange "Vote" buttons. To vote for a player, simply click on the button next to their name. You can change your Vote up until the Day ends. If a Vote button has been replaced with a red "Hammer" button, this means the player is 1 vote away from being lynched. Clicking a Hammer button means a consensus has been reached - the majority of living players have decided on a lynch. When this happens, the player is eliminated from the game, and you'll find out what their alignment and role was. The Day ends immediately and the Night begins. In most games, if the deadline arrives before a consensus is reached, the Day ends without a lynch.
If you find yourself eliminated, due to either being lynched during the Day or killed during the Night, you take no further part in the game. You will have access to the Spectator Thread, in which you can chat to the moderator, spectators and other dead players. You'll end up dead more often than not, so don't be too disappointed. Just join another game!
Posting in Threads
Whether in a Forum thread, a Message thread or a Game thread, posting is mostly the same.
To post in, or reply to, a thread, click on "Reply" at the top or bottom of the page. Alternatively, if you'd like to reply to a specific post in the thread, click on "Reply" at the top of that post. Then, simply type your reply and click "Post". When posting in a Game thread, you will instead click "Post in x Thread" to remind you which thread you're posting.
You are not able to access or post in Message threads that you have not been added to.
Some Game threads, such as for a Day which has finished, or the current Day if you're dead, you will be able to access but not post in. Others, such as the Mafia thread if you're not a member, you will not be able to access at all. After a Game ends, you'll be able to access all threads for that game, but not post in any. An Aftermath Thread will be used for any post-game discussion.
If another user posts in a thread while you're typing your reply, when you click "Post", you will receive an alert saying "Warning - this thread has new replies. You may wish to review your post." You will see the latest replies under the Post button. You can edit your post accordingly and then simply click "Post" again.
Playing in Rated Games and using the other parts of the site is completely free. However, playing in or moderating Custom Games requires you to Upgrade your account.
If you're interested in checking out Custom Games, or would like to support the site, please consider upgrading.
Payments are made through Paypal. A Bronze Membership is just $2 USD per year (or part thereof).