- Warning: This section covers FAQ for Mafia and is transcluded in the Guide to Hosting Please don't make changes unless you wish these changes to be included in that guide!
Some Mafias have themes - either a fictional or a historically inspired setting, possibly pre-established by a book, a TV series, a movie or a game.
The following situations are sometimes encountered and give rise to comments from the community: Someone decides to make a Mafia based around a certain theme and someone tells him that this has already been done. A short discussion ensues: who holds the copyright? Is possible to redo a theme keeping the original roles or redo the roles and game mechanics completely? What are the limitations on the game names? etc.
The following is a set of guidelines that should help clear up the confusion:
- Mafia Game Names are the property of the originator of the first SUCCESSFUL game of that name.
- Themes/Game Ideas are the property of the originator of the first SUCCESSFUL game of that theme, BUT can be re-done/re-used so long as ( A ) a sufficient amount of time has passed and ( B ) the current originator of the game idea/theme has either given the okay or is not present to do so.
Comments on the guidelines:
- The definition of "first SUCCESSFUL game" is there to prevent someone from throwing together a quick Mafia just to claim the theme (and usually not being able to host it till the end).
- "Sufficient amount of time" for re-doing a theme is ambiguos but translates to: "enough time for people to forget the old game and see this as something new". Obviously a week or two after the game finished isn't, but obviously over 6 months is. It's a case by case basis, but please remember this is a courtesy to those who originally thought of the game.
General DOs and DON'Ts:
- No two Mafias should have the EXACT SAME NAME - this is mostly for obvious book-keeping purposes and to avoid confusion when speaking about a certain game.
- Feel free to take a theme that someone else has used (with the above permissions), but please re-name it for cataloging and creative license. Basically, sequels and series are fine as the long as the original creator envisioned them or explicitly gave permission to someone to continue them.
- Simply naming your game as a sequel (e.g. Mafia X) where someone else has hosted/created the previous mafias with the same name is frowned upon since a little creative work with the title can ensure a new Mafia is related to the same them without having the exact title. A different but related name can be found depicting the focus of the story in that specific game - e.g. Students vs Teachers Mafia instead of High School Mafia; Also renaming it will allow you to add sequels to the series you're starting (without any external interference).
- If the originator of a game idea is still around (and even if he did not host or play in a while), make sure you talk to them (via PM) before trying to host a game of a similar nature (theme or name). If they aren't around for a while, then you are free to make a game provided the original creator does not return.
- For the sake of creativity, unless you're trying the exact "redux" of a prior game, the host should change things: new roles or change the focus of the story or make the actual game from scratch (different game mechanics).
- If a person is preparing a new Mafia, gives updates (e.g. starts a thread with a new Game Idea) and does not go missing for a while, then no one should rush, put together a small Mafia and host it before that person finishes his/her idea. This type of "rushing past someone just to beat him to the finish" is severely frowned upon.
- As far as enforcing these claims on multiple sites, our mafia community is growing at a good clip. Obviously if you aren't active on the site where the proposed game is then you won't have much of a say if any at all. But if it is obvious that someone is taking your idea that you just finished hosting and is just playing it on another site THAT should be frowned upon and someone would hopefully notify you if they see that happening.
- Using a very general word (e.g. "Christmas") inside the name of a game, does not prevent someone from doing a Mafia that is related to a previous Mafia. E.g. if there is a Christmas Mafia (and there is) then this should not prevent people from making another Mafia related to Christmas. As long as names are different and roles are dissimilar, there is no restriction. The guidelines above still recommend a change in name i.e. not name it Christmas Mafia II, instead go with a different, yet theme-related name (Christmas Party Mafia, Christmas Spirit Mafia, Special Christmas Mafia, Weird Christmas Mafia etc).