Wikipedia claims that werewolf/mafia requires "At least 6 people" but all calculations for that I can figure out results in the "evil" side winning the vast majority of the time. I would like to play something similar to this game live but have not been in a large social group (more than 6) that might enjoy such games for a number of years. I do, however, meet up with a group of 6 people where we do play board games occasionally. We have played 1 Night Ultimate Werewolf but that (though sometimes fun) ends up being a completely different game because players don't know their roles. I want to know if there is a smaller variation or modification to Werewolf or Mafia which can be played with the following requirements:

  1. Exactly 6 players are involved initially (though this number will obviously decrease)
  2. Players are eliminated by a voting process.
  3. All players know their own identities.
  4. Each side has a reasonably even chance to win.
  5. The game is fun

As of yet, Resistance (very fun) is the closest I've found but no players are eliminated. I think incorporating multiple "lives" into the game would work but I'm not aware of how that rule would be implemented.

  • Have you tried Coup? Doesn't have the voting (although there's still bluffing and discussion), but does have player elimination.
    – xorsyst
    Dec 22, 2015 at 11:43
  • Search for growl on kickstarter, you might like it. It's a werewolf variant and it does not require more then 4 players.
    – Lot
    Jun 4, 2019 at 7:58
  • Winning chance is calculated by perfect gameplay, which obviously won't occur with rule 5. A normal setup would be - two mafia, one doctor, one detective, two townies or one towny and one role blocker.
    – Someone
    Jun 17, 2020 at 7:24

4 Answers 4


I've found one option I overlooked until after I asked this question.

It appears that the "good" side has a 44.4% chance of winning if all votes are random, they have the option to not lynch someone on a particular day, and there is only 1 mafioso. A large portion of this, however, relies on the 16.7% chance they successfully guess the mafioso at their first vote. This would make it more of a "serial killer" game. This is far better than I initially thought.

I suspect it might be most fun if players are told they only win if they survive, multiple rounds are played, and they can lynch as many players as they like on a particular day as long as each defendant received a quorum of the votes as required in the original mafia game.

This answer is only speculative and, therefore, not a good answer.


I have tried various different styles of games to help a lower number of players over the years and the conclusion I've come to is that if you want an interesting game, the fewer the players you have, the more you end up deviating from "classic" werewolf play, and six is one of the most awkward numbers there is.

Some of the more successful variants we have played -

1) Doubles

Create two piles of cards, one for alignment and one for possible role. An example might be [Wolf, Villager x 5], [Seer, Healer, Villager x 4]. If you get two villager cards, you are a villager with two lives, if you get villager + Seer/Healer, you are that role as normal. If you are Wolf + Seer/Healer you are a wolf with that power (which becomes fairly useless). This helps create some ambiguity so the game isn't necessarily solved by people coming forward with their alignment, because the power roles in the game could still be evil. The extra lives of the villagers help to slow the game down a bit.

We play Doubles quite a lot at my monthly local meet up when we don't have sufficient numbers for a more standard game of werewolf. A lot of the players simultaneously love and hate the ambiguity of the setups because it reduces some of the deductive logic involved.

2) 'Broken' Seers

In this variant, most players will have the Seer role, but they won't know what type of Seer they are. The Insane Seer gets a reverse report (sees wolf as village and village as wolf), the Paranoid Seer always gets an evil check, the Naive Seer always gets a good check.

This style of game starts to feel like a giant simultaneous equation, matching up people's claimed checks against who has died in the night. We play this variant on my online site more often than in real life. More info on the Seers there. It can be quite a headache to moderate properly in person, and I'd recommend writing down people's roles if you are.

3) Throw in a neutral party

The Tanner, for example adds some extra danger to lynching and some cover for the wolf to fake claim something.


You can play it with 6, but you need to be creative. And adapt the rules a bit. Also be carefull with the roles with a higher kill rate (hunter, cupid). Maybe give the witch only one healing potion and no poison. One werewolf is probably enough.

You also can skip the kill in the first night (the previous mayor is killed).

Another thing to do is to introduce hitpoints. Each player has two hitpoints, each kill removes a single hitpoint. If the player reaches 0 hitpoints, she is emiminated and the role revealed. This changes the game a bit. But it will last a bit longer.


I think to make it even there should only be: townspeople, mafia, doctor and detective, since these are the most important characters. There should be 2 mafia members, 1 doctor, 1 detective and 2 townspeople.

  • Can you explain why this setup will work well? May 29, 2019 at 21:35

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