Mafia Camping Activity

Mafia Camping Activity

Mafia   Mafia Camping Activity   Camping Activity

More hours have been spent playing this game on long backpacking trips than any other. I was once with a group that played this for 3 hours straight in camp, sitting under a huge rock overhang, in the mountains at 10,000ft, waiting for the rain to stop.

All campers sit in a circle, facing the center. For each instance of the game, there are five roles:
  • God - this person runs the game.
  • Sheriff - he arrests people.
  • Doctor - he saves people from dying.
  • Mafia - two or more bad guys.
  • Townspeople - everyone else.


To start the game, the roles are assigned, either by God or randomly from a deck of cards.
  • God chooses:
    • God tells everyone to go to sleep. Everyone puts their head down and closes their eyes.
    • God says he is now choosing the mafia and walks around the circle and silently taps 2 people on the head to select them as the Mafia. If you have a large group, you may choose 3 mafia.
    • God then announces he is choosing the doctor and taps 1 person on the head.
    • God then announces he is choosing the Sheriff and taps 1 person.
    • God then takes his place in the circle.
  • Deck of Cards chooses:
    • Prepare a short deck of cards with red cards for all townspeople, black Ace for God, black Queen for doctor, black King for Sheriff, and two other black cards for Mafia.
    • Pass the deck around, face down, and everyone pulls a card from the deck without showing it.
    • Whoever pulled the black Ace begins the game.


Each round is a night and day in the life of a village, and goes like this:
  • God tells everyone to go to sleep. Everyone puts their head down and closes their eyes.
  • God then tells the Mafia to wake up. The two Mafia lift their heads and open their eyes.
  • God asks out loud who they want to kill. They silently point to the camper they want to kill - they must agree to one person. They then go back to sleep.
  • God tells the doctor to wake up and silently choose one camper to save by pointing to him. (The doctor may choose to save himself.) He then goes back to sleep.
  • God tells the Sheriff to wake up and suspect someone by pointing at him. If that camper is a Mafia, God nods his head, otherwise he shakes his head. The Sheriff goes back to sleep.
  • God tells everyone to wake up.
  • God then contrives a story of what happened, but basically states which person was killed, or attempted to be killed but saved by the doctor. If killed, that townsperson is out and can only watch the rest of the game silently.
  • The townspeople, mafia, doctor, and sheriff then debate who they think are the mafia. Once a majority vote selects one camper to accuse, God tells them if he is mafia or not. Regardless, he is out of the game and everyone goes back to sleep.


Continue doing rounds until all mafia are out or their number equals the number of innocent players left alive.


Read all about it.


Mafia Camping Activity