Forum Mafia is an alternative "long-form" way to play Mafia aside from the normal SC2Mafia game. As might be evident from the name, it is played through posts to an online forum, in this case, SC2Mafia.com, as opposed to as an Arcade game in Starcraft II.
Both Forum Mafia and SC2Mafia have hosts who set up the game's configuration (roles, rules, and the like). However, in Forum Mafia, the host runs the game himself and does not ordinarily participate as a player. This is in contrast to SC2Mafia where the host sets up the game but the SC2Mafia map runs / administers the game so that the host can play as well. The advantage of a player host (vs. CPU host) is very clear -- there is virtually no limitation to the roles, rules, and game types that can be played with a player host. That is, the variety of Forum Mafia games that have been played and which have been proposed is almost limitless and not restricted to what has been programmed into the SC2Mafia map.
Many players enjoy Forum Mafia because each game is far longer in duration than a typical SC2Mafia game would be. This allows players to get deeper into strategy, focus on the impact / meaning of each comment from another player, and take more time to develop a consensus around which players to pressure or lynch during the day. Of course, the natural disadvantage to this is that Forum Mafia games require a lot more of a player's time and attention given how many posts can be made in a short amount of time.
Differences between Forum Mafia and SC2Mafia
Some of the big differences between Forum Mafia and SC2Mafia are as follows:
- Forum Mafia games last a lot longer than SC2Mafia games do, which allows for far more detailed gameplay.
- A typical SC2Mafia game may last anywhere between twenty and thirty minutes and are intended to be played quickly and often times, in rapid succession (if you are playing a series of Mafia games in a row).
- In contrast, a Forum Mafia game can last days or maybe even weeks.
- On SC2Mafia.com, a typical S-FM (Small-Forum Mafia game with around 11 players) will typically last around a week. A typical M-FM (Mini-Forum Mafia game with around 20 players) will typically last around a month. Finally, a FM (Forum Mafia game with over 30 players) can last over two months in some cases.
- Upon receiving a majority of possible votes, players are immediately lynched in Forum Mafia -- there is no trial, which is unlike most SC2Mafia games that are played today.
- This makes voting far more dynamic in Forum Mafia than in SC2Mafia. Instead of voting a player to trial, players put pressure on other players with their votes. When a player is only a few or even one vote away from being lynched, they are effectively "on trial" in terms of their focus and attention.
- In Forum Mafia, any role that is not a Citizen is considered a "power role".
- Furthermore, the Citizen is the staple of games. In SC2Mafia games, many overpowered Town roles are needed to produce leads and create fast-paced discussion. In contrast, daytime discussion is the heart of Forum Mafia and what typically results in finding the evil players and lynching them.
- Forum Mafia games tend to be much more dynamic in terms of roles, gameplay, and strategies than SC2Mafia games.
- This is largely because Forum Mafia games are not subject to the limitations of the SC2Mafia game map and rules, which can make games more stringent and predictable. In contrast, Forum Mafia games are designed by a player host whose abilities to create game-specific roles and rules are only limited by his imagination. Accordingly, hosts often create many creative Forum Mafia games that could not easily be implemented in SC2Mafia, in terms of number of players, rules dynamics, and overall complication.
- In Forum Mafia, you play in a smaller, tight-knit community compared to SC2Mafia games.
- In a public SC2Mafia game, most people you play with will be complete strangers with wildly varying skill levels, ranging from never having played before to over 2,000 games logged in SC2Mafia.
- In Forum Mafia, you generally see the same faces from one game to the next, and in many S-FMs, you generally play under your user name (i.e. do not use an anonymous account). Therefore, players may be familiar with each others' playstyles, which can lead to players reading each other based on their past experiences in games together.