Complete Mafia FAQ

The Complete Mafia FAQ

questions answered by Frankie Viola, assistant to Mr. D.

What the Hell is "Tony DiGerolamo's Complete Mafia for d20"?

It's a role-playing game, "genius". And watch your mouth. It's like Dungeons & Dragons, only instead of stabbin' some orc in the head and takin' his gold, you might have to whack a guy that owes you money. Get it?

What does "d20" mean?

That's what ya call the basic game system. It's owned by Wizards of the Coast but we can use it under their Open Game License. Dat way, it'scompatible with other games usin' the same system. You make characters, in this case, wiseguys, babes and made guys. Each character has numbers that represent their various attributes. These numbers are then translated into modifiers and whenever you gotta do somethin' that might fail, you roll a 20-sided die, add or subtract the modifier and then check the result. Yeah, I know it sounds complicated, but it's not. Anybody who plays a role-playing game can tell ya how ta play.

What's a role-playing game?

Christ, you don't know nuthin', do ya? Like Dungeons & Dragons, a role-playing game allows you to create a character, like a character in a movie or TV show or novel. The character exists in a world created by a GM or Game Master. He's like the referee in a sports game. You and your friends are the players. Each player has a character. The GM creates the world that the characters exist in and he plays all the other extra characters they meet. For Complete Mafia, you and your friends create the main characters in a Mafia crime drama and the GM, like the director of a movie, sets the stage for the drama to happen. Depending on your die rolls, your decisions and the GM's ability, there are many ways that the drama can unfold. It's sorta like bein' in a movie, only you don't know the end. Good things and bad things happen, make sure the bad things don't happen to your character, huh?

So when I play this character, am I actually doing stuff? I mean, do I get up and walk around and pretend to shoot people?

Nah, this is what's known as a "tabletop game". That means ya sit at a table and play. You describe what you're doin' you don't actually do it. Although, you might, for instance, tell a joke if your character actually tells one. Or you might do a voice or wear a hat if your character has one. Your GM may award you points for the additional atmosphere you create when you play the game. I like to put out a nice anti-pasto and play the soundtrack to da Godfather. Sets the mood, see?

If you get up and walk around, that kind of game is more like a "LARP" or "Live Action Role-Playing". In a LARP, players might dress up as their characters and act out their confrontations with other characters like in a play. Complete Mafia isn't a LARP (yet), but we're lookin' to expand it to one sometime down da road. Again, you don't actually commit no crimes, you just pretend. If you gotta problem with dat, I suggest you seek profession help, know what I'm sayin'?

So when you say "Mafia Crime Drama", do you mean I'll be recreating The Godfather movie? Do I follow a script?

You'll be creating a Mafia Crime Drama LIKE The Godfather or Goodfellas or The Sopranos, but not exactly like it. Your GM will set the mood, but you call the shots, so there ain't no script. Maybe you'll play a Crime Family in the 1950's or maybe you'll play one in the modern day. Whatever you and your friends want.

Oh, so Complete Mafia takes place in different time periods then?

Yeah, genius. Dat's why it's called Complete Mafia and not Incomplete Mafia. The history of the Mafia goes back to 1282 when the Sicilian Vespers massacred the French. You can play the Vespers and everything in between. There's guys in the Renaissance too, but these are all proto-type Mafia. They didn't really have true Mafia families until the 1800's or so.

Does the game take place in Sicily or America?

You can't have the history of the Mafia without both. The early days all take place in Sicily. American mobsters don't show up until the Civil War and they don't resemble the classic mobsters from the movies until after Prohibition.

This sounds historically accurate. Does that mean I have to follow history if I play a game in the past?

Nah, you can do what you want. The historical information in the book is for resources purposes. You can play a Family that's historically accurate or you can play one that's very close or you can play one that ain't very historically accurate at all. It's all up to you and your friends who play the game. You can do what you want. What the Hell do we care as long as you buy the book? Know what I'm sayin'?

I don't know much about how the Mafia works, will the game teach me?

There's nuthin' in the game you can't find in a book or on the Internet. Mr. D. just complied it for ya. You can't be a real made guy by readin' a book, but you'll at least get a general idea so you can play one in the game. It even has a glossary of mob terms so you can talk like a wiseguy.

I'm an Italian American and I don't like the way the Mafia portrays us. Does this game reinforce Italian stereotypes?

We don't mean to disparage anyone's heritage. The game don't disrespect Italians and Sicilians any more than a Mafia movie or a Mafia TV show or Mafia book. The game places da Mafia in a historical context. You gotta problem with history and Mafia movies, I can't help you pal. It's a tough world, what can I say?

Is this game for kids?

Would you let your kids watch Casino or Donnie Brasco? Use your head. Don't be stupid. It's got plenty of mature materials. Much like an R-rated movie, this would be an R-rated role-playing game.

How can I find other people to play this game with me?

Visit the Living Room Games forums. You can advertise for other players, ask questions about the rules from Mr. D and you'll be able to download further scenarios for free.

Can I make up my own scenarios?

Sure! Once you read the rules, it'll be a snap.

Do I need any other rulebook?

Well, the game is based on the d20 Modern rules. Wizards of the Coast uses the Open Game License to help promote their system, so they want you to buy their books too. The d20 Modern rulebook is a necessity unless you know the handful rules they left out of the license. We can't tell ya. We recommend the d20 Modern rulebook anyway. You can use it to make additional characters outside the world of Complete Mafia. It would greatly upset us if you did not purchase both books. If you split the cost between you and your friends who are gonna play, it ain't so bad. You only need one copy of the books to play.

Okay, I'm sold. When can I buy this game and from who?

Living Room Games publishes Complete Mafia. We are plannin' that it be in stores during the Spring of 2005. Visit the LRG website or customer service rep, Johnny Rerun. Johnny's got a way with returnin' to stores that don't order enough copies of Complete Mafia.

I can't wait. Can I play it now?

Well, because you're a friend, I'll tell ya. Mr. D. himself is travelin' around the country testin' the game. If you'd like to play before the game comes out, catch him at a local gaming convention or invite him to your gamin' store or download the free demo of the Living Room Games website. You can follow Mr. D's travels here or you can drop him an email invite here. If you're not in or around the New Jersey area, Mr. D might need some transportation and room expenses, but I'm sure you don't have a problem with that, do ya? I mean, a man like Mr. D deserves respect. If he don't get it, well, then maybe you need to talk with our complaint department manager, Vinnie the Pick. Vinnie's a bit of a hothead, so if I were you, I'd avoid talkin' to him.

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