GM Manual

Want to GM?

Awesome. The main requirements are:

Most of what you need to know you will learn by playing, or on the How to Play page.


Announce that you want to GM a game, give a theme or let people vote on it, tell any variation in roles you want to introduce or let people vote on it, and set deadlines for signups and character creation.

Signups, confirmation, and characters

Allow at least a week for signup, but not too long, or some may have to back out due to other plans. When signups close, invite all those who signed up to co-authors, and allow at least a week to submit a character reference. This is their confirmation.


In the basic game, no more than 25% of the players should be mafia. There is usually a doctor and a police character on the innocents’ side. Until you have GM’ed a few times, do NOT stray too far from this basic structure. BALANCE is the key word here. You must make sure each side has a roughly equal chance of winning.

Use a Random Sequence Generator to decide who will be mafia and special roles. (i.e. Sort the players alphabetically then number them; in the sequence the first X are the mafia, the next is doctor, then police, and the rest are innocent.) Don’t meddle with what’s generated. You’d be surprised how a “boring” arrangement can turn out exciting.

Send everybody a PM with his/her role, before the first Day begins. Tell the mafia who the other mafia are.

Create a Google Docs document and invite all mafia members to be editors of it. This will be their discussion page.

Throughout, avoid drawing or speaking with a biased tone, whether for or against any individual or side.

Start of the game

Create an intro comic(s) setting the theme. The game usually starts with a mafia kill, which may conveniently be one who didn’t confirm. (If all confirmed, you might introduce a mayor character, and have him/her be the first kill.) Let the players draw and discuss suspects in the comments. Set a deadline of at least 24 hours after the comic for everyone to send in their votes for the first execution.


You’ll get the votes via PM. Post the results, revealing the role that person had, and post who voted for whom in the author’s comments. This is how the original game is played, and also makes the GM accountable to everyone. If there’s a tie, the ‘day’ will last another phase and there will be a revote. See the revote section of Day.


Enforce all idling rules as you see fit. Everybody should vote. If a player hasn’t voted - send that player a warning PM. Also tell which player didn’t vote in the voting results. If a player doesn’t vote for the second time, they are immediately removed from the game, in addition to the voted player. Tell the roles of both.

Night roles

You should receive the mafia and night roles’ targets by PM. Remind them 24 hours before if necessary. Post the results of the mafia kill. At the same time you post the mafia kill, PM the police with the role of the person he/she asked for. See the idling section of gameplay for consequences if these players idle.

End of the game

When a side wins, post a comic congratulating the winners, and post all stats you kept, like what the police and doctor did.

If you have any questions about a situation, consult a previous GM, listed in their respective games on the Hall of Fame page. They will be happy to help.