[Comrade Stalin] Beta rules version 1 -- please playtest!

I have created a full set of beta rules for Comrade Stalin. It is a simple, yet (I hope) tactically and socially complex game that slightly resembles games like Mafia and Werewolves. Comrade Stalin explores the fear, paranoia and ruthlessness of totalitarianism ... while you are having fun.

To play, you need to download the rules and the roles. The roles are presented in an easy-to-print format: simply cut the pages in half to get role sheets.

Please playtest this game and tell me about your experiences! You can post here, e-mail me (victor@lilith.bb, except that it is "cc" instead of "bb"), or post wherever you like and put a link here. Thanks in advance! All playtesters will be credited in future versions of the rules.


  1. So if you have two tokens, does that mean you could choose to use your spy ability twice, rather than using two of your abilities? Also, can only the Assassin gain tokens now?

    I'd recommend still having a role card for Stalin, describing the end game rules and how they can win.

    Looks good! I want to play it!

    1. Yes, you can choose how you want to spend your tokens, but you can only spend them on abilities on your role sheet. All characters with the "Purify" ability can gain tokens, so that would be the Ideologue, the Assassin and the Informer.

      (I notice that I have forgotten a flavour description of the Informer. Well, no big deal.)

      Your idea about a role card for Stain might be good, I'll think about it!

  2. This does look interesting. Trying to work out if it could be successfully adapted for play on forums.

    1. Shall we start one on intfiction.org?

    2. I have no experience with running any games like these on fora, but apparently people do lots of roleplaying and even stuff like Werewolves/Mafia on them. If you can play Werewolves, you can play Comrade Stalin.

      You'd need a Game Master who deals the roles and goal cards, and tells people the result of their spy actions.

      Unlike Werewolves, all actions are taken publicly. So everybody should see that person X takes a look at person Y's goal card.

      It is essential that you know which goal cards have been looked at, so they should be labelled "goal A" and "goal B". Then, spying takes the form of saying "I'll spy on goal A of Peter". When people kill or get killed, they should say which of their goal cards get discarded / given away.

  3. The oldest home of internet Mafia is the Grey Labyrinth forum. I'm sure people there would be quite open to trying something like this. The problems I see would be making sure that comrade Stalin is a reliable person who will show up with great regularity to keep the game moving, and with the timer. I can't help with reliability, but here's the patch for the timer:

    At the beginning of the game, comrade Stalin constructs some phrase specifying a date between 2 and 4 weeks in the future (assuming 1 day on forum is about 1 minute face-to-face). He remembers the phrase exactly (write it down!), and uses some previously agreed hashing generator (such as http://www.md5hashgenerator.com/index.php) to produce its fingerprint and posts this fingerprint publicly to start the game. When the specified date comes up, comrade Stalin ends the game by revealing exactly what the hashed phrase was, so the other players can check. The point of a phrase or sentence rather than just the date is to prevent people from just trying all possible dates; there are far too many possible phrases.

    1. Note that in the beta rules, it is no longer Stalin who chooses the time! (That rule made no sense, because for Stalin it is ALWAYS better to have the end of the game later, since he can stop the game early if he wants to.)

      I don't think you'd need to use a hash generator either, since you would need a GM anyway, right?

    2. Oh yeah, I missed that. You're right though, since you have to have a GM (or at least an automated GM) anyway, he can announce the time for October October Revolution. In that case this should make a great forum game, and I highly encourage you to suggest it at GL.


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