Variants of Mafia Rules


We all know that our small Italian village is filled with Mafia and civilians, as well as the occasional werewolf or heavenly visitor. However, some of the civilians may be more than plain civilians. A select group of these citizens may be Masons.

Masons are just like plain civilians in every respect, except that they know each other from longstanding membership in the Masonic Lodge. They know each other well enough that they are sure their fellow Masons cannot be members of the Mafia.

Practically, Masons wake up the first night for the sole purpose of recognizing each other. After that, they are just plain civilians for the rest of the game.

This concept originated when Matt Hindman, on December 10, 1998, started asking people, "Are you a member of the Brotherhood?" (meaning the Mafia). Adrian Banner then asked, concerning one person, "What does it matter if he's a Mason? Find out if he's Mafia!"

The existence of Masons is a strong power for the civilians, because there is a nucleus of civilians in which no member will vote for the lynching of another member. Further, it would probably not be feasible for members of the Mafia to claim to be Masons.

The number of Masons should be small, and Masons should only be used in a game with a large number of players.

If one or more Masons are killed off early, their utility is very low, but Masons surviving to the end of the gameare extremely valuable to the civilians. It is only toward the very end of the game that Mafia members may claim to be Masons in order to convince civilians to kill off the real Masons. This is a desperate and risky strategy.

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