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CF Phalla Signup List

BandwagonBandwagon Registered User regular
edited October 2019 in Critical Failures

This is Critical Failures' Phalla Signup thread. It is for signups for running Phalla games, and discussion of game mechanics. Keep the thread strictly on-topic. Generally, there will be one main Phalla running (with up to two threads), as well as up to two smaller Phallas. You must sign up in this thread to run a major game. No dead threads, and the game will be run in the same threads where the signups take place. This is going to be the system until we start having problems, at which point a mod will probably fix those problems in ways that no one will like, so play nice.

What is Phalla?

Phalla is the Penny-Arcade Forums' version of the party game Mafia.

The Basic Rules

The "village" consists of all players in the game. Included in the village are a small number of bad guys, commonly known as the "mafia". Normally, the mafia members all know one another at the beginning of the game, but nobody else knows anything about anyone other than themselves.

Each day (normally a 24-hour period) the village discusses and publically votes for one person to be executed that night. At the same time, the bad guys choose one person to kill each night and PM the name to the narrator. In larger games, the bad guys might get two kills per night or other abilities to use.

The good side wins if all of the bad guys die. The bad side wins if the number of good guys is less than or equal to the number of bad guys (on the assumption that at that point, they control the vote plus get their kill, so it's inevitable). Large games generally take between a week and two weeks. Small games usually last a week or less.

Usually, there will be one or more "special" roles among the good guys (and occasionally among the bad guys). Exactly who holds each role is only known to that person, and it may not even be known which or how many specials will be in any given game.

Each night, the narrator gives the details of who died, and normally whether they were a bad guy. Some games also include clues or outright statements if someone who died was a good special.

Living players may not communicate regarding the game with dead players and vice versa, unless there is some specific mechanic in place to do so. In that case, communication normally goes through the narrator. If you are dead and the moderator allows a "goodbye" post, make sure it includes absolutely no information about the game, even if you think the information is obvious. If you receive a PM or see a post breaking this rule, notify the person running the game immediately.

You may not use any anonymous method of communication to discuss the game. Forum-based PMs, external IMs, e-mails and other message boards (like proboards) are allowed as long as the person you are talking to knows who you are. You may not use screencaps to "prove" anything to anyone. Do not speak in code.

Along similar lines, don't use the "Add to conversation" feature. Phalla requires a certain amount of uncertainty, and since adding a person to a conversation allows them to see the entire thread, it can serve as a form of verification along the same lines of screen captures. If you wish to communicate something from a PM/conversation to a new player, then start up a new conversation with that individual.

Play nice. It's okay to argue, but don't get too hostile. If it's getting to the point where you're asking other people to quit the game, you're going too far. We're all here to have fun, so take it easy and keep as level a head as possible. Respect others and they'll respect you.

Common Variations

Many larger games contain multiple groups of bad guys working at cross-purposes (a Mafia vs. Werewolves game). Other games may put all players into different factions with each faction’s goal of eliminating a certain subset of the other factions - there may or may not be a common Mafia-style faction that all groups will need to eliminate to achieve victory.

Additional voting or other mechanics can also be used. At least one game has included a council or single person elected every other night who is able to use a power publically. For example, one game had an elected council able to shift the execution vote to the second person. Another had an elected emperor able to choose a person to kill.

In a small game, the typical size for a group of bad guys is 15-20%; the player population, although an individual game may lean toward the high end, particularly if there is only one group of bad guys in a larger game.

Often, everyone gets a "flavor" role in the game. Bad guys and good specials usually get a normal "villager" role in addition to their special role. This keeps people from using their initial PM to verify someone else's role. The two most common ways to do this are to (a) use the exact same message to everyone, or (b) give everyone a unique villager role.

Special Roles

Roles will have different names depending on the theme of the game. Listed below are the usual "generic" terms for each role. Normally, specials exercise their power by communicating with the narrator via PM. The core roles present in some form in most games are:
  • Seer - once per night can "investigate" a particular person and find out from the narrator if they are a bad guy. Variations of seers may be able to determine a good special as well, although they may be unable to distinguish them from a bad guy.
  • Vigilante - once per night can kill a person of their choosing.
  • Guardian - once per night can protect someone from any death other than execution by the village. Whether they can protect against multiple attacks on one person in the same night is up to the narrator.
  • Masons - a group of two or three good guys who start the game knowing each other and knowing that they are all good.

There are many, many other roles that can be present. The following is a list of some of them:
  • Miller - a villager who appears to be evil when seered. A Death Miller appears to be evil when seered or upon death.
  • Thrall - an evil person who appears to be good when seered. Sometimes revealed to be evil upon death.
  • Bus Driver - once per night chooses two targets. Any powers targeting one instead targets the other, and vice versa.
  • Role Blocker - once per night chooses a target. The powers of that person do not work for the night.
  • Tracker - once per night may "investigate" someone. Unlike the seer, only finds out if their target used a power that night. Some variations finds out if their target was targeted by someone else, or who their target targeted.
  • Spy - in a game with multiple groups, is a member of two groups. Usually he is really only aligned with one of the groups.
  • Messenger - allowed to send messages to the narrator, which will then be relayed to a single person or during the narration.
  • Jester (Village Idiot)- wins if he is voted out, but loses if he dies for any other reason or if he survives to the end. Rarely used.
  • Survivor - wins if he survives until the end. Usually paired with some other power to make survival easier. Roles which require the player to survive until the end are usually called "neutral."
  • Serial Killer - basically an evil group with one person in it. The SK has a nightly kill and has to kill every single other person, or every other person but one. Often has other powers to make survival easier.
  • Conditional Invincibility (Athan) - a (usually evil) person who is invincible until something happens. The role Athan from the Phalliad is the best known example.
  • Vote Manipulator - a person whose vote counts more than once, less than once, or who affects the vote in some way.
  • Reverse Seer (Befriender, Child) - chooses a target once per night. The person chosen discovers which side the reverse seer is on.
  • Paranoid, Naive, or Insane Seer - a paranoid seer always seers targets as being on the other side. A naive seer always seers targets as being on their side. An insane seer always seers good targets as bad and bad targets as good.
  • Converter - chooses someone to convert to their side.
  • Cultist - individual that converts people to their side each day, and wins if a majority of remaining players have been converted. When killed, converted players are normally released to their original roles.

Bandwagon on


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