Dust, a Mafia Game

Creative Commons License
Dust by Kevin Maginn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Introduction

This place... was this place a town? Did people live and work here? Did children play here? The windows are all dark now, the streets a maze of fallen power lines, wrecked cars, and broken asphalt. The stores are boarded up, some with dripping red Xes of spray paint glistening crimson over their doors. Was there sun here, where there is now only glowering black skies and choking mist? Were the twisted branches of brittle trees once covered in leaves? Were the sidewalks once lit by cheerful streetlamps in the howling night?

Did you come here on vacation? Did you book rooms at the hotel that hunches on the shoulders of the lakeside, planning picnics on the broad green lawns or boat-trips to the shady coves on the woodland shores? Did you come here to get away, to escape the hurry and strain of your old life? What was your old life, and where? What place did you call home before you came to these silent streets?

It's hard to remember, now; your memories seem to meet a blank and incomprehensible wall. Are you sure you want to push through that wall and remember the things you might have done before, in your old life? Your new life is a bleak and empty thing, but there is no guilt or despair to chase you down the empty hallways of your own mind. There is only the dark day and the darker night; there is only the struggle to survive, the body taking over for a bent or broken mind. The hours pass into each other, each terror growing into a new terror before it, too, is overtaken by fresh fear.

The church offers no more safety than any of the other hollow shells of buildings in town. Some atavistic instinct to huddle together under the comforting watch of a protector, any protector, drove you there, and you were not the only one. Terrified alone, you are now terrified together, seeing in the faces of the others who have taken refuge here the same shock, the same emptiness and the same animal need to survive just one more day.

In the gloom of the few candles scavenged from some forgotten ceremony, the faces of the others take on a diabolical cast. None of you trust the others; how can you, when none of you can remember how you came to this place, or when, or why? If any were once residents of the houses outside the church, they've forgotten it now.

Looming above, improbably large, Christ looks down upon your pitiable group. This is no Christ of comfort or consolation, and he offers no forgiveness. His face is contorted in pain, the tendons of his wrists and neck lovingly sculpted in brutal tension. He is the god of this place, at this time; he is the god of those who hide in fear, waiting for the sounds outside to come again, waiting for the scraping at the door or the tapping at the window. He is the god of the distant scream heard somewhere out in the dark.

Welcome to Dust.

Special Rules!

Each night, you have a choice to make. You can stay inside the church, where there is at least the illusion of safety, or you can venture out into the darkness to scavenge for supplies. Everyone has the ability to take this night action. Going outside has a variety of risks you may discover in an unpleasant and fatal way. However, the supplies you can find might give you the edge in surviving the horrors of Dust.

When you decide to go out scavenging, you must choose a location to visit. Each location contains different items; it is up to you to discover what is in each place. As a location is emptied of its supplies, I'll take it off the list. I may also add new locations to the list as the game progresses.

As with all night actions, you need to tell me what you're doing privately, in secret. However, you may encounter others who have chosen to scavenge from the same location. If so, you'll both see what item the other discovered (if any).

When you have an item, you can give it to another player during the day by sending me email with the name of the item and the player you're giving it to. They won't learn who gave them the item (although you can of course tell them in the thread). Once the hammer falls, you cannot give an item to another player.

Many of the role powers in this game are conditional. The primary condition is 'In The Church'. You may have a power that only affects someone if they stay in the church that night; you may have powers that only affect you if you stay in the church. Another possible condition is 'Church is lit'. It may be possible to scavenge items that will let you restore power to the church, and turn on the lights at night.

Other role powers may cause you to leave the Church at night. This means that using that power will cause you to no longer be 'In The Church' for the purposes of using powers or being the target of powers.

Scavenging generally occupies your attention for an entire night, preventing you from using other role powers. If a role power will require the entire night, it will be described as such, and will preclude you from scavenging or using any other 'exclusive' role power.

Many of the items and role powers will have a limited number of uses. Items might be replaced with further scavenging, but role powers, once expended, cannot be regained.

This game has Twilight. After the lynching and the flip, you may continue to chat in the thread until night actions are resolved and the next day is posted.

The usual rules apply: no out-of-thread communication with other players; don't lurk; don't repost your role descriptions or any other text I send you verbatim; a majority is required to lynch. I also strongly, strongly encourage you to be as active as possible. The only weapon the Town has against the Scum is frequent, aggressive conversation. If you stay silent, or vote without discussion, you're going to hand the game to the Scum.

Locations that can be explored and scavenged in the first night:

Town

Town (x3) (alcohol, crowbar, crucifix)

You are VANILLA TOWN. You are TOWN-aligned.

Reverend

You are the REVEREND. You are TOWN-aligned.

Cop

You are the COP. You are TOWN-aligned.

Doctor

You are the DOCTOR. You are TOWN-aligned.

Watchman

You are the NIGHT WATCHMAN. You are TOWN-aligned.

Tracker

You are the TRACKER. You are TOWN-aligned.

Vigilante

You are the VIGILANTE. You are TOWN-aligned.

Innocent

You are the INNOCENT. You are TOWN-aligned.

Veteran

You are the VETERAN. You are TOWN-aligned. You have a personal win condition.

Drifter

You are the DRIFTER. You are TOWN-aligned.

SCUM

Scum cannot night kill players in the church while it is lit.

Despair

You are Dust's manifestation of DESPAIR. You are SCUM-aligned. Your false claim, if you want to make one, is: "You are the JUDGE. You are TOWN-aligned."

Guilt

You are Dust's manifestation of GUILT. You are SCUM-aligned. You are the scum godfather, and make the final decision about who will be targeted with the night kill, and which scum will perform the kill. Your false claim, if you want to make one, is: "You are the LIBRARIAN. You are TOWN-aligned."

Paranoia

You are Dust's manifestation of PARANOIA. You are SCUM-aligned. Your false claim, if you want to make one, is: "You are the URCHIN. You are TOWN-aligned."

ITEMS

Gun
Gunshot: Night action. Exclusive. If your target leaves the church, you kill him. This power requires you to leave the church. If you successfully attempt to kill another player with this power, it is expended and cannot be used again, regardless of whether the target was killed.
Bulletproof Vest
Bulletproof: You avoid death once from any source other than lynching. Once a death has been prevented, this item is discarded.
Chalk
Tracking: Night action. Exclusive. You learn the names of all the people your target met during the night. Your target will also learn that he was followed. This power requires you to leave the church. If your target leaves the church, and you receive information from this power, this item is discarded.
Flashlight
Investigate: Night action. Exclusive. Target a player. If your target leaves the church, you learn his alignment. This power requires you to leave the church. If your target leaves the church and you receive information from this power, this item is discarded.
First Aid Kit
Protection: Night action. Exclusive. Target a player. If your target stays in the church, he cannot be killed by a night action. If this power prevents a player from being killed, this item is discarded.
Gasoline
Generator: Expend this item during the Day phase to cause the church to be Lit that night. If you expend this item, all players will immediately learn that the generator has been turned on, but not by whom.
Hammer and Nails
Jailer: Night action. Exclusive. Target a player and expend this item to lock the player up. This prevents that player from taking any night action, and also prevents that player from being killed by a night action. The player will learn that he has been locked up, but not by whom.
Crowbar
Hiding: Night action. Exclusive. Expend this item to pry away boards in a back room of the church and hide inside the crawlspace. You cannot be the target of any night action while hiding.
Knife
Paranoid Bodyguard: Night action. Exclusive. Expend this item to protect yourself or another player from one night action. If the protected player is targeted by a night action, you kill the person targeting him.
Notebook
Notes: Night action. You can write a note of any length and send it to me, and it will be discovered at the start of the next day phase. You can choose to write a note at any time before the start of the day phase, including after you have been killed by a night action. You can write two notes before the notebook is discarded.
Rucksack
Storage: If you scavenge at a location, you may receive more than one item. If you ever receive more than one item, this item is discarded.
Adrenaline
Energy: Night action. If you are the target of a power that would block you from using your powers, you ignore the block and your powers function normally. If used, this item is discarded whether or not you are the target of any power.
Alcohol
Comfortably Numb: Night action. If you are the target of a power that relies on hopelessness to block you from using your powers, you ignore the block and your powers function normally. If used, this item is discarded whether or not you are the target of any power.
Generator: Expend this item during the Day phase to cause the church to be Lit that night. If you expend this item, all players will immediately learn that the generator has been turned on, but not by whom.
Relic
Dark Aura: While this item is in your possession, you cannot be the target of a night kill by the scum. You can still be the target of any other power, including scum powers, but you cannot be night killed. While this item is in your possession, your alignment appears to be scum for the purpose of any power that detects alignment. You cannot trade this item. If this item ever prevents a scum kill, it is discarded.
Black Book
Dark Ritual: Night action. Exclusive. Target any player. If that player is scum, any powers he has are blocked for the night. This does not prevent scum from night killing; it only blocks other powers the scum might have. While this item is in your possession, your alignment appears to be scum for the purpose of any power that detects alignment. You cannot trade this item. If this item ever prevents a scum power from activating, it is discarded.
Crucifix
Lightning Rod: Night action. Exclusive. Target another player. You cause a night action targeting that player to target you instead. If you successfully divert a power to yourself, this item is discarded.

LOCATIONS

Night 1

The Hardware Store
crowbar
hammer and nails
The School
chalk
notebook
The Garage
gasoline
flashlight
The Cafe
knife
first aid kit

Night 2

The Hospital
first aid kit
The Avatar of Fear (nothing scavenged; flee to church)
adrenaline
The Hotel
crucifix
The Avatar of Fear (nothing scavenged; flee to church)
alcohol
The Police Station
bulletproof vest
The Avatar of Fear (nothing scavenged; flee to church)
gun

Night 3

The Asylum
The Avatar of Fear (counts as a scum night kill)
relic
The Lake
The Avatar of Fear (counts as a scum night kill)
black book

SCAVENGING

A scavenging attempt at a location returns the next item in the location's list. If the location is empty, the player learns that there are no more items in that location. If the player takes the last item in a location, he also learns that there are no more items in that location, but can share that information (or not) as he chooses.

Scum cannot scavenge (thought they can be sent items, and use item powers).

If the scavenge results in the Avatar of Fear on Day 2, the player sees the Avatar, and flees back to the church, having gained nothing. If a player with the rucksack takes the first item and then the avatar, he keeps the first item. If he sees the avatar first, he does not gain the item after the avatar.

If the scavenge results in the Avatar on Day 3, regardless of location, the player is killed by the Avatar. This respects the normal rules for a scum night kill, so can be prevented by the bulletproof vest.

Two or more players in a location both scavenging see each other, and the items they pick up. The rucksack doesn't work if there are two players present. If there's not enough items to go around, players are chosen randomly to receive each item.

If there are two or more players in a location and one is the target of a night kill or other visible power, the other sees the event but not who did it.

Items held by a player are lost if he is killed for any reason.

Day 1 locations close on Day 3. Day 2 locations close on Day 4. Day 3 locations stay open for the rest of the game. Any location that is emptied is closed the next night.