Circle of Life (and Death) Mafia
is a game designed for 12-21 players. The theme of the game is "Survival of the Fittest".
The concept of the game arose from concerns about my last idea posted, that being the concept of "Den Survivor" - a Den Mafia-styled version of the forum-popular Survivor ORGs. I've been kicking around the thought of the main theme for awhile and decided to connect the two. Thus, it is, to an extent, a "halfway" between traditional Den Mafia and my concept for Den Survivor.
There are a total of [up to] seven three-man factions, representing different animal families. Depending on the number of players, not all factions may be used, and which ones are is randomly determined. Each player is assigned a role from the factions in play and a "prey" role they must "hunt" as it's "predator", not necessarily by killing them directly, but outlasting them by surviving in the game longer. Once a player dies, the player who was their predator inherits their prey (Example: Player A's prey is Player B, Player B's is Player C, and Player C's is Player D. Player B dies/is lynched, and so Player A now inherits Player C as their prey, leaving no players prey, a predator, or being doubled-up on). No two players are assigned to hunt the same prey, and with one exception mentioned later, no two players are assigned to hunt each other. Hence, the game revolves around "Circles", the circles of life, and who can manage to make it to the top of the food chain.
There are a total of three "Circles", comprising between 4-7 players (depending on the number of players). One role from each faction is represented within each circle. Players are informed as to which role is their prey, but not which player it belongs to. They are also not informed of who their predator is, but they are informed of the faction to which they belong. Each player has the immediate wincon to outlast their assigned prey, but their primary wincon is to ultimately be the last player standing within their circle. Once a circle comes down to one player, that player is considered to be an apex species, and leaves the game with a win. Because there are three circles, there are therefore three winners.
Players are awarded points for each prey and predator they outlast (Example: Player A's prey is Player B, Player B's is Player C. If Player A and Player C die, Player B scores a point for both, but if Player C is hunting Player D, Player D is hunting Player E, and Player E is hunting Player A, then Player B doesn't receive any points if Player D and Player E die before Player A and Player C do). A player can, at minimum, receive two points (one at F3, and one at F2), and at maximum, N players in circle -1 (so for a 7-person circle, a player could receive, at maximum, 6 points, provided every player who dies within their circle is either their prey or their predator). At the end of the game, the winner with the most points is considered to be at the top of the food chain, and gets extra rep points. If there is a tie between two or all three of the winners, no extra rep points are given.
Each player is also further divided into BTSC groups, with the number of BTSCs and players within depending on the player count (12 = 3 groups of 4; 15 = 3 groups of 5; 18 = 3 groups of 6; 21 = 4 groups of 5, with one player starting out BTSC-less and joining the first BTSC to lose a member). Players may find their prey or predator to be within their BTSC at start, and if not then very quickly so as the game progresses. However, each BTSC to host a winner gains a rep point for all players within (so up to 3 if all three winners happen to be from the same BTSC), so BTSCs are encouraged to work together to ensure that one of their players is a winner. Each faction that hosts a winner also receives a rep point for all members (if all three winners come from the same faction, they receive an extra 4th rep point), so players have to make the choice whether to go faction-strong or BTSC-strong, as both will eventually conflict.
Each faction features a role with a block, one with a trap, and one with a save. Each player also has access to a kill and spy and can forgo their role ability to use one, but not twice in a row. (Example: N1-Block, N2-Block, N3-Kill, N4-Block, N5-Spy, N6-Block, etc.). Each BTSC also has an ODTG Lynch Save that they can use on any of their members, provided that the majority of living players votes to approve it.
The factions and roles are as follows:
Lion - The King of the Savannah, it's roar is amplified by bowing low to the ground, immobilizing any animal that hears it out of sheer terror. (Block)
Housecat - Even other animals can't resist the allure of watching cute cat videos on YouTube all night. And all day, too! (Trap)
Bengal Tiger - Bengal tigers are endangered, yo! They use their standing within the community to influence others to think the same about other species. (Save)
Coyote - Coyotes travel in packs and almost never attack on their own, so when you see one, you know you need to run the other direction because more will follow. (Block)
Wolf - Wolves are as beautiful as they are deadly. See one and you have a 50/50 chance of being allured by their sight or running for your life for hours, not knowing whether they're still just behind you. (Trap)
Fox - Foxes are elusive, and they can weave their way in and out of situations with surprising speed. Having a nine-tailed fox watch over you also tends to scare others away. (Save)
Chimpanzee - Chimps are highly adaptable, able to change their approach to situations in order to keep their target distracted. (Block)
Gorilla - Gorillas are large, strong, and their charge, if it doesn't scare the daylight out of you, can seriously knock you up and leave you out cold. (Trap)
Baboon - Haha, Baboons have funny butts. They are superheroes in the local community, using their butts to bash predators away. (Save)
Seal - Once you seal, it's a done deal. They can follow their targets on land or sea to make sure they can't escape. (Block)
Humpback Whale - Humpbacks are big enough to swallow animals whole and leave them there for days on end. Or just one, we hope. (Trap)
Dolphin - Their ability to echolocate helps them find where the danger is at and gives them the advantage to stop it before it even presents itself. (Save)
Horse - Don't stand to close to a horse, or it may kick you in the head and knock you out. Or poop on you. You don't want either. (Block)
Zebra - Contrary to popular belief, Zebras are actually horses that just got out of prison. Where you're now headed, because they're also jailers now. (Trap)
Mule - Mules are so accustomed to carrying large weights that they can step in between a predator and its prey and stop it from doing anything due to the sheer number of things it's carrying with it. (Save)
Koala - Maybe Koalas are good at blocking?
Kangaroo - Kangaroos love to box. They should be box-makers. But instead they spend their time knocking others out cold. (Trap)
Platypus - The platypus just looks weird. What are they, a duck? A beaver? Are they even a marsupial? (The answer is no, by the way) All anyone knows is that they have a penchant for showing up and saving the day no matter what the situation is. (Save)
Chicken - Why did the chicken cross the road? In order to amass a large army of fellow chickens and prevent anyone else from doing the same, duh! (Block)
Penguin - One minute you're enjoying a nice day, the next you're in the Arctic. How will you get home! (Trap)
Swan - Some say that swans sing a song before they die. It's so beautiful that even the manliest of animals stop and shed a tear in memorial. Now, if they used that ability and sang for those who were living... (Save)
In addition to the above, there is also a secret indy role that is assigned to one of the above roles, in addition to their main role. If the player carrying this secret role manages to become the last member of their circle, the game ends immediately, with or without the other winners being able to present themselves, and their faction and BTSC do not get extra rep points. They also have a secret ability. If the indy is spied, they will appear as their originally-assigned faction, and are otherwise indistinguishable from a normal player.