How to play the Bookish Games

Step 1. Sign up for a game.

Before you can play The Bookish Games, you have to be a confirmed participant by commenting on a sign-up post. To be notified when these posts go live, please join our mailing list or follow us on Twitter.

If you missed sign ups but still want to follow along with an active game, please contact us on Twitter and we’ll add you to the Spectator Chat. This chat is a private space for spectators and eliminated players to speculate about the teams, roles, and twists that exist within each game.

Step 2. Receive your role.

After the sign ups for an edition of The Bookish Games close, all participants will be emailed with information regarding their alliance and role. 

At the very basic level of The Bookish Games there are two teams: the good guys (known as the “Town”) and the bad guys (known as the “Mafia”).

If you are a Town player, your email will contain information about your identity ONLY. You will learn what character you are and if you have any special powers.

You may choose to reveal this information in the game at any time but caution is advised: just because you’re revealing the one thing you know to be true (your identity) does not mean anyone will believe you and it may make you a target for the Mafia.

Your goal will be to eliminate all threats to the Town.

If you are a Mafia player, your email will contain information about your identity AS WELL AS the identities of your fellow teammates. In other words, you will learn what character you are, if you have any special powers, and the names of your fellow Mafia players.

You will also be given access to a private page for you to communicate with your teammates at Night. During this time you will be able to come up with strategies to survive the Day and determine which Town player you want to target for elimination.

The Mafia will always have a smaller team than the Town but, as you can see, they start the game with the advantage of knowing who is on their team. The Town are completely clueless in the start but, if they’re lucky, their roles and observation skills will help them determine which players are Mafia.

To learn more about the possible roles that may exist within each edition of The Bookish Games, please see The Roles page. 

Step 3. Read the rules.

Once the games begin it is assumed everyone has read The Rules so it is best to reread them at this time just to remind yourself of what is expected.

The first time you break a rule, you are given a formal warning. The second time you break a rule, you are disqualified from the game.

Step 4. The Day Begins.

The Day begins each Wednesday evening. Once the post goes live, players from both teams are allowed to comment and vote.

If you’re Town, your goal during the Day phase is to look for and vote for any players who are acting “suspicious”. Of course, this is much easier said than done because there is never a clear consensus on what makes a player “suspicious”. Just do your best and explain your reasoning.

The Day phases of the game are very important for Town players as, unless they have special powers, this is the only time in the game when they are able to actively work towards their goal of eliminating all threats to the Town by observing interactions and voting. As a result, it is highly recommended that Town players vote during each Day phase.

If you’re an Anti-Town player (Mafia, Cult, or other Third-Party), your goal during the Day is to blend in and survive. 

The Day phase ends Sunday evenings. At that time, the votes will be tallied and whoever has the most votes is eliminated from the game. Their identity and alliance will be revealed in a final Day comment by the moderator and the game will transition to its Night phase. If for some reason their a tie, no elimination will take place.

Step 5. The Night Begins.

The Night begins as soon as the Day ends. Commenting on the public game page stops and everything takes place behind the scenes.

The Mafia members are allowed to communicate in their own private area during this time. They must determine which player they would like to target for elimination and which Mafia teammate they will be sending to complete the kill.

Players with special roles such as Cops and Doctors will be able to submit their Night Actions using a form provided. These Night Actions usually serve to help the Town advance in the game by providing them with investigative, protective, or other abilities.

Players who are plain Towns people with no special roles are able to do nothing during this time.

The Night ends 48 hours later on Tuesday evening. During the time between Night ending and the next Day beginning (the “Twilight” phase) the moderators will contact players to inform them of their investigative results, if they have been eliminated, and any other important information that needs to be passed along before the start of the next Day.

Repeat steps 4 and 5.

From this point forward, the game repeats itself. 

During the Days, The Town players will scour over the information revealed from each elimination to try and make sense of who to vote for (sometimes revealing their special powers in an attempt to convince teammates to vote a certain way) and the Mafia will continue to try and avoid detection.

Each Night, the Mafia will attempt to eliminate another Town player and those with special roles will continue to use their powers to assist them in winning the game.

This continues until there is only one team remaining.