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Introduction

What is the purpose of this article?

There are many frequently asked questions regarding the Mafia rules. This article seeks to provide some clarity on the most common ones that Mafia staff receive from players, either in-game or via the SC2Mafia.com forum.

What are the one or two things I need to know about the Mafia rules?

Use your common sense and you should probably be fine for the most part. These rules are intended to ensure that all players have a positive experience playing Mafia and it should be pretty apparent if you are doing something that would cause another player to be upset with you (aside from winning the game of course).

Lastly, intent matters and will be considered in reviewing most offenses (other than Role Quitting or Inciting Leave Trains, which usually either happened or they didn't). If you are playing the game cleanly, attempting to win, you probably have nothing to worry about with respect to these rules. Play to your win condition, don't cheat, and treat other players with respect and you should be fine 99% of the time in SC2Mafia.

I have additional questions about the Mafia rules that aren't answered here.

Please post your questions to the Mafia Discussion forum on SC2Mafia.com or as a comment at the end of this article. We will respond and supplement this article as necessary.

Role Quitting

What is "Role Quitting"?

Role Quitting is the act of leaving the game immediately or shortly after you have been assigned a role. This is against the SC2Mafia rules and repeated violations may result in punishment.

If I don't like my role, why does it matter if I quit the game?

Most hosts typically make an effort to balance their saves between the different factions -- Town, Mafia / Triad, and Neutral roles so that everyone has a reasonable chance of winning with good play. Role quitting throws off this balance and is therefore, harmful to the other players. Some basic examples are as follows:

  • Player X is a terrible liar and dislikes playing scum roles. He enters a standard 9-3-3 game (9 Town, 3 Mafia, and 3 Neutrals) and is assigned Godfather as his role. X leaves the game. This changes the game from a balanced 9-3-3 to a more imbalanced 9-2-3 setup. As a result of X leaving the game, the Mafia are going to have a much more difficult time winning the game.
  • Player Y likes to play roles that can kill other players and is sick of rolling Doctor. He enters a standard 9-3-3 game with two possible Town Protectives. Of course, Y rolls Doctor and leaves the game out of frustration. The Town has just lost one of its Protectives and will have a much harder time protecting any important Town role that reveals to the Town.

So, when am I allowed to quit exactly? Suppose I don't like the host's setup?

You are always allowed to quit the game BEFORE you have been assigned a role. Please note, however, that if you choose to do so, please do NOT encourage other players to leave the game as well. This is another offense called "Inciting Leave Trains". There may be other players who want to play the setup in question and it is not constructive to people to leave such that the game cannot be played at all. Further discussion about inciting leave trains is below.

If you dislike the setup that the host has created / selected, you are able use the repick (-repick) or default (-default) commands. If enough players vote to repick, the game will select another host to set up the game. If enough players vote for a default setup, then the game will proceed to a standard Setup of the Day, instead of what the host has selected. You are encouraged to use these commands before rashly leaving a game given the amount of time it takes to get into a game, especially during off-peak times.

Inciting Leave Trains

What is a "Leave Train" exactly?

A Leave Train is when a group of players suddenly leaves a game at the setup screen for some reason -- for example, an AFK host, dissatisfaction with the host's setup, excessive lag in the game, the game was started without a full group of players, or of course, just to troll / grief others. Given most players prefer to have a full house (i.e. 15 players) when beginning a game of Mafia, a Leave Train almost always results in a game having to be abandoned.

So, am I not able to quit games if other players are leaving?

You are always allowed to quit the game before you have been assigned a role -- quitting after that may be considered another offense called Role Quitting (see discussion above for more detailed information on Role Quitting). Please note, however, that if you choose to do so, please do NOT encourage other players to leave the game as well.

In essence, this is the rules violation -- "INCITING Leave Trains" (emphasis added) as opposed to leaving the game itself. Language such as "choo choo", "everyone leave", "all aboard the leave train", and the like will be considered Inciting a Leave Train, regardless of whether you actually leave yourself.

If I dislike the setup, why can't I start a Leave Train?

If you dislike the setup that the host has created / selected, you are able use the repick (-repick) or default (-default) commands. If enough players vote to repick, the game will select another host to set up the game. If enough players vote for a default setup, then the game will proceed to a standard Setup of the Day, instead of what the host has selected. You are encouraged to use these commands before rashly leaving a game given the amount of time it takes to get into a game, especially during off-peak times.

Moreover, there may be other players who want to play the setup in question and it is not constructive to people to encourage other people to leave such that the game cannot be played at all. If you were hosting a game, you would probably not like other players Inciting Leave Trains with respect to your setups, so even if you do not like a setup, you should either attempt to repick the host / force a default setup, or leave without encouraging others to do the same.

Lag Cheating

What is Lag Cheating?

Lag Cheating is the act of communicating information related to the game in the "Waiting For Players" chat screen which appears when a player has lost his connection to Starcraft II / Battle.net. Lag Cheating is a violation of Mafia rules given it allows all players, living and dead, to communicate anonymously (through their Starcraft II names, not their in-game names) outside of the structure of the game, which is designed to allow players to communicate only during certain times and through certain means.

I accidentally Lag Cheated by typing too quickly and my in-game messages spilled over into the "Waiting For Players" screen -- did I just commit a game violation?

Technically yes, but action is unlikely to be taken against you for accidentally Lag Chat as opposed to clear efforts to cheat in Lag Chat. Keepers reviewing reports have access to timestamps which indicate when messages were communicated. To the extent you were spamming something in day chat, night chat, or dead chat, and it spilled over into Lag Chat accidentally, this should be reasonably obvious to the reviewer, who will take this into account, should you have been reported regarding Lag Cheating. As with most in-game rules, intent is very important.

Why can't I chat about the game in Lag Chat if the information has already been shared with the Town publicly during the day?

There are several reasons why there is an outright prohibition on any lag chat having to do with the game:

  1. In Lag Chat, players are identified by their Starcraft II names, not their in-game names. This allows for people to anonymously communicate information and not be held accountable through their in-game character for what they have said (until after the game).
  2. In Lag Chat, there is no way to distinguish between players who are alive and players who are dead. Therefore, it is simpler to disallow all Lag Chat versus having to review all lag chat that took place in any game to ensure that no dead players were passing on information that they obtained in Dead Chat.

Gamethrowing

What is Gamethrowing?

Simply put, Gamethrowing is taking actions against your role's win condition -- i.e. intentionally playing to lose the game. Gamethrowing is most problematic when you are a member of a mutli-player faction, such as the Town, Mafia / Triad, or Cult -- in this case, your gamethrowing will cause other players to lose the game as well, which can ruin their experience. However, gamethrowing is not limited to situations where you have teammates -- all roles are capable of gamethrowing and can be punished accordingly for such behavior.

How / why is it possible to gamethrow as non-Cult Neutral role without a team?

This has been a topic of discussion for a while, but the consensus reached is that any role is capable of gamethrowing since the definition of gamethrowing is playing against your role's win condition / intentionally playing to lose the game, regardless of your alignment. For purposes of clarity, this includes ALL neutral roles.

This rule is in place because most hosts typically make an effort to balance their saves between the different factions -- Town, Mafia / Triad, and Neutral roles so that everyone has a reasonable chance of winning with good play. Neutral gamethrowing throws off this balance and is therefore, harmful to the other players. Some basic examples are as follows:

  • Player X rolls Auditor in a standard 9-3-3 game (9 Town, 3 Mafia, 3 Neutrals), but already has an Auditor win so he doesn't particularly feel like playing a long game. Therefore, he decides to report to the Town whenever he audits a member of the Mafia. This drastically changes the balance of the game, effectively given the Town a tenth member who can identify the Mafia (whenever his target is changed into a Mafioso instead of Citizen or Scumbag). As a result of X gamethrowing (playing against his win condition), the Mafia are going to have a much more difficult time winning the game, contrary to the balance intended by the host.
  • Player Y roll Serial Killer in a standard 9-3-3 game (9 Town, 3 Mafia, 3 Neutrals), but already has a Serial Killer win and has friends in the game who are likely Town roles (strictly by probability or perhaps he is using out-of-game communication to figure this out, which would be another rules violation). Because of this, Y decides not to kill anyone and instead help the Town identify the Mafia. This changes the balance of the game because the Kills Per Night have been reduced by 2 to 1 (no Neutral Killing role is kill anyone) and the Town need not worry about the Serial Killer and only has the Mafia to eliminate. As a result of Y gamethrowing (playing against his win condition), the Mafia are going to have a much more difficult time winning the game, contrary to the balance intended by the host.

Bank Hacking

What is Bank Hacking?

Bank Hacking is altering one's Starcraft II Mafia game data file (called a "bank") in any way. Common examples include players increasing their number of points in order to unlock the blacklist or prefer commands or players giving themselves certain / all achievements even though they have not earned such achievements legitimately.

Bank Hacking doesn't harm anyone -- why is it a rules violation?

Bank Hacking is a rules violation for fairness reasons. It takes quite a bit of dedication to accumulate the points required to unlock the blacklist and prefer commands, or to unlock in-game skins or difficult achievements. Therefore, it is unfair to the players who have put honest effort into playing the game for others to be able to gain access to the blacklist / prefer commands, in-game skins, or achievements without earning them legitimately.

GIven Bank Hacking does not directly harm other players, the penalty for offenses is a Point Ban, which means you will no longer be able to accumulate any points or achievements in your bank. You will, however, still be able to play the game normally otherwise (unlike players on the ban list).

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