Variants of Mafia Rules

The Devil

Georg Essl has suggested that one may want to include a Devil (ace of spades) for those situations where two mafia are too few and yet three are too many. The devil works on the same side as the mafia, but he doesn't know who the mafia are, nor do they know who he is. The devil has a right to ask if someone is an angel. One may vary this to allow the devil also to know whether the chosen person is an archangel, or modified yet again to let him know who is mafia. One could use any combination of these powers. Remember, the devil is trying to help the mafia by rooting out the angel.

Note - On November 2, 1998, we tried out this role for the first time, and it met with some success. It is important to make clear at the beginning of the game that the angels cannot "see" the devil-- they are told by the moderator that he is innocent. (One may play a variant in which the moderator uses his fingers to indicate horns when the angel asks about the devil; we haven't tried this one.) Either way, the procedure adopted should be made clear at the outset of the round.

Further, the devil may easily indicate his identity to the mafia by signaling during the night with his eyes closed.

In the one round we played, the devil was able, quite neatly, to have an angel convicted. Since, however, people didn't realize the identity of the devil until the very end of the game, it wasn't obvious that the devil had influenced the game, and the character was deemed irrevelant by a number of players. This character suffers from the fact that his labors are perpetually hidden.

Note - On April 1, 1999, we tried the devil again but added in the variant that the Devil receives a nod for both angels and Masons.

Note - The Devil has achieved a certain resurgence in popularity as of April 1999.

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