Games: Mafia - Dueling Gods (Dueling Gods Mafia Game)
See Also Our "Normal Mafia"....
- Extra Special Roles
- Small Group Game Roles
- Rules to Die By
- VIDEOS and photos
Dueling Gods Mafia: Overview – How Dueling Gods Mafia is different – FAQ
Created by David Lamb & John Cooper from the University of Michigan
This is a fun variation on the standard game of mafia. We generally play standard mafia with anywhere from 14-26 players. As you should know, basic mafia generally involves the following key players:
- Mafia: Kills one person each night. (Ace, King, Queen, Jack of Spades)
- Doctor: Selects one person to be safe from the mafia’s killings each night. (Ace of Hearts)
- Cop: Selects someone each night they think is in the mafia and the narrator lets him know if the person is in the mafia. (Ace of Diamonds)
- God: Narrates / runs the game, remembers who dies / is saved / is checked out during the night.
- Citizens: Everyone else is a citizen in the game's most basic form. They sleep at night and try to vote off the mafia during the day. (Non-face card cards)
HOW DUELING GODS MAFIA IS DIFFERENT:
For playing the Dueling Gods Mafia we actually play with double the special players listed above. This means double the narrators, double the mafia and double the fun. Note that some other people refer to the roles above by different names such as Sheriff, Angel, Devil, Werewolf, Seer, Sorcerer, Magistrate, Mayor, Nurse, Serial Killers, Vigilante, and Archangel. Read the narrative description of the game which follows and it’ll begin to make more sense.
The Game Play:
Cards are dealt out to establish roles. (Players keep cards with them and flip them over when they die.) If you are completely new to the game of mafia you can get a full description of normal game play here.
Night: Part 1
God #1 (game narrator #1) tells everyone to fall asleep (everyone shuts their eyes INCLUDING GOD (Narrator) #2).
God #1 tells his mafia (Ace, King, Queen SPADES) to wake up, and pick (point at) someone to kill. (The Ace mafia should stick out his tongue. If there is a disagreement amongst who to kill during the night, the Ace Mafia has the last word.)
God #1 tells his mafia to go back to sleep.
God #1 tells his doctor (ACE Hearts) to wake up and pick someone to save. (If the doctor selects the person the mafia tried to kill, that person does not die. If not the doctor serves no useful function that round.)
God #1 tells his doctor to go back to sleep.
God #1 tells his cop (ACE Diamonds) to wake up and pick someone to check out.
God #1 tells the cop whether or not that person is in the mafia (thumbs up if in mafia, thumbs down if not in mafia).
God #1 tells the cop to go back to sleep.
God #1 goes to sleep.
Night: Part II
God #2 wakes up.
God #2 tells her mafia (Ace, King, Queen CLUBS) to wake up, and pick someone to kill.
God #2 tells her mafia to go back to sleep.
God #2 tells her doctor (KING Hearts) to wake up and pick someone to save
God #2 tells her doctor to go back to sleep.
God #2 tells her cop (KING Diamonds) to wake up and pick someone to check out.
God #2 tells the cop whether or not that person is in the mafia.
God #2 tells the cop to go back to sleep.
God #2 tells everyone (including God #1 who was asleep) to wake up.
God #1 says what happened during his part of the night: “During the night.... David was killed….”
God #2 says what happened during her part of the night: “During the night.... John was killed….”
The gods narrate the day as they normally would: Two or three people are nominated and seconded. The town votes on whom to kill. The person who gets the most votes is killed.
Then God #1 puts everyone back to sleep, night begins and the killing resumes. This process continues until one of the mafia groups or the citizens win.
FAQ – DUELING GODS MAFIA
So who can win again?
Unlike regular mafia where there are two groups vying for power (either the citizens or the mafia wins) here there are three groups of people vying for power: Spade Mafia, Club Mafia, Citizens
If we assume 14 people are playing that means we have:
Group #1: Spade Mafia - 3 People
Group #2: Club Mafia - 3 People
Group #3: Citizens - 8 People (made up of 2 doctors, 2 cops, and 4 citizens)
In the end only one group can win. So yes that means that Spades Mafia wants to kill off the Clubs Mafia and vice versa.
If one god is sleeping… how does the sleeping god know who are the other god’s mafia?
- Each god does not know who the other god’s mafia are. This makes it more fun. Each god is kind of hoping his or her mafia wins.
If one god is sleeping… how does the sleeping god know what the other god’s cop and doctor do?
- The sleeping god does not know what the other god’s cop and doctor do. This is not a problem. Each cop's and doctor’s magic can only work against their god’s mafia (the mafia which wakes up during the same night they wake up). The cops' and doctors' powers do not work on the other god’s mafia. So, even though there are double the doctors and cops, the doctors’ and cops’ powers only work against half of the mafia.
Can you break down the strategy for me a little bit more?
- The Spades Mafia
- REALLY wants to kill: The other Mafia: Ace Clubs, King Clubs, Queen Clubs AND their Cop/Doctor: Ace Diamonds and Ace Hearts
- SOMEWHAT wants to kill: The normal citizens
- EVENTUALLY wants to kill: The other Mafia’s doctor and cop: King Diamonds and King Hearts. (Remember that the other Mafia's doctor and cop woke up during the other god’s night. The other god’s cop (King diamonds) and doctor (King Hearts) have no special powers against the SPADES mafia, but are bad for the other mafia (the CLUB mafia.)
- The Clubs Mafia
- REALLY wants to kill: The other Mafia: Ace Spades, King Spades, Queen Spades AND their Cop/Doctor: King Diamonds and King Hearts
- SOMEWHAT wants to kill: The citizens
- EVENTUALLY wants to kill: The other Mafia’s doctor and cop: Ace Diamonds and Ace Hearts
- The Citizens
- REALLY wants to kill: The SPADES Mafia and CLUBS Mafia
This sounds like fun. Any pointers for the God narrators?
- This variation is quite fun because the gods can have a lot of personality. They each can root for their own mafia to win. When describing what happened during the night, the gods should be “biased” in their descriptions and banter. In one variation the gods actually try to help their own mafia win, by helping them select who to kill. Remember, the gods don’t know who of the remaining players are in the opposing mafia and who are civilians. In essence this version allows for everyone (even the narrators) to play.
FAQ General – Regular Mafia and Dueling Gods Mafia
WHAT EXTRA SPECIAL ROLES CAN BE ADDED?
- Master Assassin: Extra “independent nightly killer” (acts just like mafia, but works alone, cannot be detected by the cop).
- Unstable One : A Dueling Gods Mafia / Univ. of Michigan Mafia exclusive creation, adding new dynamics to the game. During the day the "unstable one" can kill himself at anytime and bring any two people with him (i.e. kill any two players he'd like to) unless the he has been nominated and seconded (i.e. is on the block). If the "unstable one" is "on the block" he cannot do his deed this round. If the "unstable one" is voted off, nothing special happens: he just dies. Note that if the "unstable one" has just been nominated but has not yet been seconded he can choose to kill himself and two others, by announcing out loud, "I'm blowing up!" Additionally, if during the night the "unstable one" is checked out by the cop the game narrator has the "unstable one" die along with the person to his left.
- Dirty old bastard: Gets to take someone with him (i.e. kill one other alive player) when he dies.
- Lovers: A bottle is spun twice first night by god, the narrator. The two people are awoken by the narrator and fall madly in love. When one player dies the other player dies as well. This can make for an interesting game when the cop and mafia fall madly in love. A variation on this theme is the stalker. The stalker is just like lovers except that it is one sided. Only one person wakes up and selects one other player to fall madly in love with. If that person dies the “stalker” dies as well.
- Sandman: This player gets to select one person during the night. During the following day the player this person selects is not allowed to talk and must remain “asleep” (i.e. keep her eyes shut.) Alternatively this player again selects one person during the night. If the person selected has any powers that person's powers are disabled (i.e. if the doctor is selected the doctor is unable to save anyone that round.) (A Dueling Gods Mafia / Univ. of Michigan Mafia exclusive creation.)
- Bus Driver: This player gets to select two players to “swap” during the night. Whatever was to happen to one player happens to the other player and vice versa (i.e. if the bus driver swaps the mafia with the person the mafia selects to kill the switched mafia would instead die.) (A Dueling Gods Mafia / Univ. of Michigan Mafia exclusive creation.)
- The Priest: (A Dueling Gods Mafia / Univ. of Michigan Mafia exclusive creation.)
He picks someone at night who he wants to baptize (i.e. bring into the world
anew). The pick is not revealed until the end of the following day, after
someone is already voted off. At that time the "chosen" person's card is
taken from the person by the narrator (but the card is not shown to anyone)
and is put with all the other "dead" people's cards, which are all face down
in a pile. The pile is shuffled once or twice. And the "chosen" person
randomly picks a new card from the pile which now includes all of the dead
people's cards and his old card..... Then everyone goes to sleep as they
normally would and the "chosen" player acts at night as he would with his
So wait, doesn't this mean that the cop, doctor or even mafia could "die"
and then be brought back into the game, or that the cop could become a
-The answer is quite simply yes.
Won't there be a problem if the Priest picks a mafia?
-Nope. The mafia's card would then be put in among the "dead" people's
cards. The mafia person would redraw. During the night immediately
following, if the person is no longer mafia, the mafia can then simply kill
the former mafia person during the night (and no the doctor will NOT be
allowed to save the former mafia member in this situation).
Won't the game never end?
Nope, two people (assuming the doctor fails to save anyone) still die each
So why is this cool?
Even after the cop dies someone, even mafia, could claim that he is the cop
when the cop is actually still dead. Additionally, the doctor, cop and
mafia can all be "reborn" into the game. The town wins when all of the
mafia is in the "dead" pile.
- Killing Cop: Works just like the regular cop except that about every third round (at the narrator’s discretion) the cop does not get to check someone out but instead picks someone to kill. Alternatively the narrator could give the cop the option each round as to whether to kill or check out someone. (A Dueling Gods Mafia / Univ. of Michigan Mafia exclusive creation.)
- Politician: The politician works powerfully behind the scenes. Each night the politician wakes up and can point at any one person other than himself. The next day the person selected by the politician cannot be voted off by the citizens that round. Additionally when selecting who to kill the person gets two votes during the voting nomination and killing phases. The person has the power to nominate and then second someone during the nomination phase, and during the voting phase (when the town votes on who to kill during the day) the person gets to cast two votes (raise two hands) instead of just one. (A Dueling Gods Mafia / Univ. of Michigan Mafia exclusive creation.)
- Bribing Mafia: During the first night the mafia awakes and acknowledge each other. They then get to select a person to “bribe”…. The person they point at is then discreetly awoken by the narrator (i.e. the narrator touches both of the person’s feet.) That person is now a member of the mafia. Yes, this does mean that the cop or doctor could work for the mafia if the mafia is lucky enough to pick them. (A Dueling Gods Mafia / Univ. of Michigan Mafia exclusive creation.)
WHAT ROLES / RULES ARE GOOD FOR PLAYING MAFIA WITH LESS THAN 10 PEOPLE?
- Switcher: Small Group: Say you have only 9 total people.... you can play with 3 mafia, 1 doctor, 4 switchers, and the game narrator. During the night the mafia wakes up and chooses whom to kill, and then the doctor wakes up and chooses whom to save, BUT before everyone wakes up for the day the remaining 4 people (the switchers) each wake up one by one and and they each chose one person. When the switcher points at someone the narrator then switches the card of the switcher with the card of the person whom the switcher pointed at.... After all the switchers are done switching cards the night is done and everyone wakes up. Of course, first things first, the person pointed at by the mafia dies. Now everyone looks at their new cards. Note: everyone now plays by their new roles, based on what card they currently have. We have day as we usually would. There is discussion, people are nominated, one person is voted off, and then everyone goes back to sleep. Now we have night again (except remember everyone plays by their new roles, based on what card they currently have). So yes, last round you may have been a switcher and this round you may be mafia. Last round you may have been mafia, and this round you may be a switcher. Because there is so much switching going on at night, the fact that you, as someone who used to be in the mafia, may have known which players used to be in the mafia does not present a problem. Try it out. (A Dueling Gods Mafia / Univ. of Michigan Mafia exclusive creation.)
- Coptor (Equals the Cop + Doctor): Great for small groups: When playing with less people, (say less than 12 people) and with experienced players, the cop and doctor combination can make it extremely hard for mafia to win. With the coptor, the narrator chooses, each round what special power the "coptor" will have (cop, doctor, etc.) Alternatively, the narrator can let the coptor choose which power the coptor will have that round. This is a fun variation to the "regular" mafia roles. (A Dueling Gods Mafia / Univ. of Michigan Mafia exclusive creation.)
ARE THERE ANY RULES TO DIE BY?
- Yes. See below for the “way” the game should be played.
All players should keep their cards with them and flip them over for all to see once they die.
- We are very opposed to not revealing the card when a player is killed either at night or during the day. Why? Well because not seeing who is good/bad drastically reduces the amount of strategy involved in the game. Mafia is a fun game of limited information, which is gradually revealed as people die. Never revealing the information when people die reduces the strategy of the game. Without knowing for sure who is and is not mafia once people die eliminates the significance of watching who votes for who and eliminates the availability of certain advanced strategies such as mafia nominating and then voting off their own mafia to confuse the citizens. Now yes, it’s true that revealing the cards makes it easier for citizens to win. If mafia is not winning enough for your liking you can simply ADD MORE MAFIA instead of removing all strategy and intrigue from the game. We have found that it makes the game more fun when the citizens and the mafia know whether or not the cop and doctor are still alive.
Can the doctor save himself?
When there is a tied vote during the day…
- When people are voting other people off and there is a tied vote precede as follows: First allow the nominated people to redo their defenses. Then re-vote. If there is another tie then no one dies, and the night round begins again.
What happens if at the end there are two people left, how do we figure out who wins?
- If at the end of the game there are only two people left, say 1 mafia and 1 civilian, mafia will win. There vote is tied during the day and then mafia will kill the citizen in the night. If at the end mafia and the doctor are left, mafia wins again. (This is done because otherwise the doctor could always save himself and in so doing make it extremely difficult for mafia to win.)
How many of the regular special role cards should we play with?
With 8-11 players:
- 2 Mafia
- 1 Doctor
- 1 Cop (optional)
With 12-15 players:
- 3 Mafia
- 1 Doctor
- 1 Cop
- 1 Dirty old bastard / unstable one (optional)
With 16-17 players:
- 4 Mafia
- 1 Master Assassin (optional)
- 1 Doctor
- 1 Cop
- 1 Dirty old bastard / unstable one (optional)
With 18 or more players:
- 4 or 5 Mafia: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10 Spades (As the numbers approach the mid 20's, 30's or even - gasp - 50 people - we've played with groups that large - we may allow mafia to kill multiple people each round early in the game.)
- 1 Master Assassin
- 1 Psycho Killer (just like the Master Assassin; optional)
- 1 Doctor
- 1 Cop
- 1 Dirty old bastard / unstable one
When playing mafia don’t forget to add some of our extra special roles for an extra fun time. Feel free to check out our mafia videos to actually see us playing mafia! And when visiting this site don't forget to sign the guestbook. Sign the guestbook to let us know what else we should add to this page!