A Guide to: PS! Mafia

By Transmuter and Snaquaza. Art by Nerina.
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The Mafia room on PS! hosts a fun yet strategic game. Some of you may be familiar with the concept of Mafia from other websites, as it's a widely popular game around the web.

It's a simple concept that resolves around a basic conflict: an uninformed majority against an informed minority. The majority, usually called the "Town", tries to eliminate the minority, which is also known as "Mafia". Meanwhile, the Mafia tries to stay hidden while eliminating as much of the Town as possible. The Town members win when they have eliminated all of the Mafia, while the Mafia win when they occupy 50% of the players without any threat to them being left. What these threats may be will be covered later.

Sometimes in Mafia there can be multiple "Mafia" factions, but they each get a different name. Third parties are possibilities too. These factions are usually on their own, but can be in a group at times.

The Basics

In Mafia there are two phases, the day phase and the night phase. At Day, the players discuss with each other in order to figure out who is Mafia between them, and every player can cast a vote on another player by typing "/me lynch [user]". Players can also remove their vote from someone by typing "/me unlynch [user]", or they can even decide to avoid lynching anyone by typing "/me no lynch". When a player has the majority of votes cast against themself, the day phase ends and that player dies. After the day phase comes the night phase! During the Night, the players shouldn't talk but instead they perform their night actions, if they have any, by PMing the host. When all players have submitted their night actions, the players that got killed are announced by the host and then the next Day begins. Some themes start with a mock night phase called "Night 0", which is a night where night actions that involve killing a player cannot be made.

Popular Themes


The simplest theme in Mafia is Vanilla. Vanilla has two different roles that are given to the players: Mafia and Villager. The Mafia roles form a faction and the Villagers form the Town. All of the Mafia know who the other Mafia members are and thus also who the Villagers are. The Villagers will not know who the Mafia members are, but have the advantage of a large majority. The ratio of Mafia to Town is usually around 1 Mafia member to 3 Townspeople. While this theme sounds simple and easy, it's not the best format to start out with. A lack of power roles that can help the Town forces the people of the Town to rely on "scumhunting". This can be confusing and hard for newer players who don't know how to act or find Mafia members yet.


The most common Mafia game is Classic. Classic is still fairly easy to understand, but it is way easier to play for first-timers. Classic capitalizes on having a few power roles, which may help the town finding the mafia, while still not being too confusing of a theme. The percentage of Mafia members among the players will be higher than in Vanilla, as it's easier to find them in this mode.

These are the new power roles in Classic:

Whoever has this role may send the host a PM at night stating: "Inspect [User]". He'll be told the role of this person.
A Doctor, commonly called a Doc, can protect someone from killing actions at night. He can do this by sending the host a PM with: "Protect [User]".
The Roleblocker can prevent something from executing their role that night. He can do this by saying "Roleblock [User]" to the host at night.
This role's lynch vote counts for twice as much. This isn't seen in the lynches, but the host will take caution when it matters.
Mafia Roleblocker
This is the same as Roleblocker, but a Mafia variant. This means the person will be part of the Mafia faction.
This person will be a faction on his own, but will function identically to the Mafia. His kills have priority over the Mafia's kills, though, and if a Roleblocker targets him, then the Roleblocker will be killed.


Another theme that is perfect for starters is Dethy. Dethy is a five-player setup that focuses on logic. There will be four cops and a single Mafia member. A cop can inspect someone and receive a "Guilty" or a "Not Guilty" result. However, it is not as easy to win as you might think! This is because there is something special about each of the cops: one is sane, one is insane, one is naive and one is paranoid. This is called the sanity of a cop. The sane one will get all results like a normal cop. The opposite is true for the insane cop: all of his results will be false. Naive and paranoid cops only get Town and Mafia results, respectively. This adds a twist to the game, as the cops won't know which type of cop they are, and therefore won't know whether the information they gather is accurate or not!

Closed Setup

A popular format along experienced players is Closed Setup. Being one of the most confusing and random themes, it is usually hard to get into for beginners. However, it's really fun once you get the drill. The clue of Closed Setup is that you don't know which roles are in and that it can be anything the host wants. The roles can range from the well-known Cop and Doctor to the obscure King and Underdog to even newly created roles like the Kindergarten Keeper and the 3-Shot Commuter (visit the Mafia room to learn more about these roles). It's recommended to first try other formats and lurk a bit before trying this theme.


Every Mafia game on PS! needs a host. The host is someone who regulates the game by taking care of lynches, night actions, and rule enforcement. Without a host, games would be chaotic, because night actions couldn't be executed, people could talk through the game without punishment, and people wouldn't know the votes or the role of any of the murdered people.

If you want to host on PS!, we recommend playing the format first for a while until you're sure that you know how it works. An extra preventative rule is that everyone that wants to host first has to PM a Staff member (%/@/#) to be allowed to host. Not doing this can result in punishment, depending on the quantity of the infringement. This can range from mutes to gamebans.

It is suggested for hosts to use bold so they can stand out from the rest of the players. This helps the players to be aware of anything that the host says during the game. You can use bold by putting two asterisks at the beginning and ending of your message.

When you're hosting, you have to take care of a couple of things. At Day, you have to count the lynches and unlynches the players make and put them together so the players can keep track of the votes. You also have to show the playerlist every once in a while. Without it, the players can get confused about who's in the game and not notice any possible idling. When it's hammer, you have to announce that it is, announce the lynched player's role, and remove him from the playerlist. You have to make sure you know how the lynching mechanics work and about "Plurality", "Majority", and "Definite Majority". These are mechanics that can influence the day's lynches and when it ends. Plurality means that if everyone has voted or it is at the Deadline, the person with the most votes will be lynched. If the game uses Majority, no one is lynched when there isn't a majority at the end of the day. Definite Majority is a form of Majority in which the day can't end without there being a majority; this is rare, however, and usually occurs in formats where you can't No Lynch. Sometimes, additional rules for days and lynches can be applied, but these are uncommon. When you lose track while hosting during a day, you can use various tools to help you. One of these is Vote Resetting. When you reset the votes, no vote done previously to this counts anymore. This can be useful when there is a blur of lynches and you can't figure out what has happened in time. Another trick which may be useful is setting a Deadline. With a Deadline, you can prevent days from taking too long, as otherwise, days can last forever with an indecisive Town.

After Day has ended, you should announce who was lynched and what their role was. Afterwards, the Night starts. At Night, players will PM you their actions. Every action has its own gimmick that you have to be wary of: for example, if there is a Roleblocker in the game, you should wait to see who the Roleblocker decides to block before responding to any other player's action. You should also be aware of the priorities in each setup: for example, in Classic, Werewolves have priority over Mafia, so if a Werewolf tries to kill a Mafia and that Mafia was aiming at someone else, then the Werewolf kills the Mafia member and thus that player can't perform their kill. This will have a different outcome if the Werewolf kills a Mafia member but the kill was also executed by another member of the Mafia; in this case, the targeted Mafia player dies to the Werewolf, but the other member of the Mafia is still able to perform their kill. Remember that the Mafia are a team and they have to collectively kill 1 player per night, so make sure that you ask them which Mafia member performs the kill each night.

When all players have submitted their actions, you are ready to announce who died and reveal their role. Some hosts like doing stories after the end of each night to make the game more entertaining, but we suggest that you get to the point and just announce who's dead. Stories tend to be long and drag out the game, causing players to leave.

Speaking of players leaving, you should do activity checks every now and then to check if a player is active or away from their keyboard. You do activity checks by PMing the player, and if they do not respond, they are propably AFK. If a player is AFK or even offline, you can do two things. What we recommend doing is asking for a substitute. Usually, there are a lot of users waiting to join a game as a substitute, so it shouldn't be much of a hassle to get one. If you can't get a sub any time soon, you can choose to modkill the inactive player. Modkilling a player is essentially removing him from the game. We do not recommend that, as it can put one side of the game to a great disadvantage.

Something important that you have to remember through the game is to pay attention to win conditions, or wincons for short. When any wincon is met, the game ends and the faction that acquired their wincon wins. The standard wincon for the Townspeople is that they win when any scum is eliminated, and the standard scum wincon is that they win when they occupy half of the town and have no threats to them remaining. Not keeping track of a wincon can cause games to be longer than they need to be.

Keep in mind that, as a host, you should be neutral, so avoid helping or hindering any side of the game.

How to be successful in the room!

Of course, one of the things every user has to do to be considered a good user in any room on the server is to be a nice and welcoming user. Other than that, in our room, you need to have shown dedication to the game by playing and hosting a lot. If the staff think that you are a great and frequent host and player, then they will consider you for promotion. All in all, we award welcoming, dedicated, and knowledgeable users, so don't expect to be promoted quickly after you've joined the room.

Make sure not to rage when something happens you consider unknowledgeable, as everyone has been new. Try to PM them and explain what they did wrong. If you absolutely need to rage, try not to do so in the Mafia chat.


Hopefully this guide has educated you about the Mafia room on PS! and about the game in general. We hope you'll check out the room and try out a game or two. If you want to learn more about Mafia, you can also head over to the Circus Maximus subforum here on Smogon!

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