As a Mafioso, you need to think about how to act as if you were a completely ordinary citizen, a John Doe. What do ordinary citizens have in common ? Well, they don't know anything, and they are constantly hatching new theories about the identities of the Mafiosi. The Mafia needs to come up with an alternative reality to present when asked, and this ought to include some of the Mafiosi, so that when voted upon at daytime, they support this false theory.

The age-old technique of "divide-and-conquer" is as good as gold in this game. Two skilled Mafiosi can trick the whole citizenship into falling for their opposing theories, each day making another innocent citizen die as a result of the accusations of these Mafiosi and their "useful idiots" on each side. This works even greater if one of these two Mafiosi are finally executed, because then the other one seems truly innocent and a really "good guy", which is the ultimate goal of the Mafia; namely to infiltrate the citizens at the very deepest level, so they can keep killing John Does at night until the bitter end.

Improving MAFIA odds by making it harder for the Inspector

A variety of the identification of one Mafioso at night is that the Inspector points out a person to be identified, and then the Referee indicates this by thumbs up (Mafioso) or thumbs down (John Doe). This is a way of reducing the power of the Inspector in case the mafias are few compared to the number of players, evening out the odds. Normally this should be done starting at night #2, not from the very beginning, since it might take too long before The Inspector catches onto the Mafia if he/she does not get the first identity "for free".

A final note

Since most of the players end up dead for most of the play, this game is intended to be fun for those players as well. The sheer fun of watching the interaction between the players, and of someone really pulling someone else's leg can be just as fun as doing it yourself. So all dead people: shut up and don't ruin the play by revealing the plot to those still alive.

The funniest situation of all situations in Mafia may well be watching the two or three last living John Does arguing after the last Mafioso killed himself/herself during the last night. So the real object of the game is not necessarily to stay alive or which side "wins", but how your little universe of people interact with eachother, and how you as a player can influence these interactions, trying to control this universe.


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Last modified: Fri Apr 23 04:59:02 MET DST 1999