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The Nailbiter is an open Mafia setup for 16 players created by Lumpen that is designed to maximize suspense from beginning to end. It encourages high engagement, smooths over lurking, rewards risktaking, and the result is highly dependent on player skill over luck. This is a setup with plenty of roles that demands that the players play the setup... the setup doesn't play the players.

Lumpen's original post describing the setup can be found here. This setup has been mildly updated from the original post as follows:

  • Clarification of order of action resolution (i.e. SK kill happens prior to and can cancel out Scum kill if the SK kills the Scum performing the kill) to avoid any potential confusion.
  • Change of the Godfather's Bulletproof to be a 1-Shot Bulletproof.
  • Removal of the 1-Shot Bulletproof Miller as it did not promote interesting gameplay (day 1 claims are boring and force scum into a certain course of action)
  • Added Rolecop/Janitor effects to the first successful Godfather kill.


  • Town Jailer (can't self-jail, can't jail the same person on consecutive nights)
  • Town Cop (sane, TOWN or NOT TOWN results)
  • Town Doctor (can't self-protect, can't protect the same target on consecutive nights)
  • Town Tracker (can't track the same person on consecutive nights)
  • 7 Town Versatile Backup (when a Town Doc, Cop, Tracker, or Jailer dies in the night and is not Janitored, a random living Backup inherits the role. Lynched roles are lost forever. Each Role can only be inherited once.)
  • Unstoppable Serial Killer (cannot be blocked or jailed, and can kill a jailed or doc-protected target)
  • Scum Bulletproof Godfather/Janitor (1-shot BP, notified when expended. If making the Scum kill they lose the Bulletproof/Godfather protections for that night, but the first time their kill succeeds the target is Rolecopped and Janitored. A Janitored power role is not inherited by a Versatile Backup.)
  • Scum Roleblocker (makes a targeted power fail, can either kill or roleblock but not both)
  • Scum Ninja (can't be tracked)
  • Scum Poisoner (if making the Scum kill, the target will die after a 1-Day delay. Bypasses Doc Protection on targeting night, but can be stopped by Doc protection on the death night. A poisoned victim can also die in Jail.)

Specific Rule Notes

  • The Scum kill is resolved last. This means the Serial Killer's kill resolves first - if they kill the Scum performing their nightkill, or if they kill the target of the Scum nightkill, the Scum nightkill fails.
  • No role can self-target or target the same person on consecutive nights, unless an attempt fails.
  • Scum have a single shared nightkill that any team member may perform, which is modified depending on the team member performing it. (e.g. if the Poisoner performs the NK, it is ALWAYS a Poison.)
  • All kills and skills may be withheld.
  • Results are given as "your action succeeded" or "your action failed" for most actions. The Tracker gets "<player> appeared to visit <player>", and the Cop gets "<player> appears to be TOWN/NOT TOWN."
  • If the Tracker tracks the Ninja, they receive a result of "<player> went nowhere".
  • The Jailer causes ALL other actions targeting their target to fail if they successfully jail someone.

(Some) Completed SA Nailbiter Games

Battlestar Galactica II: Bastille Day

XCOM: A Nailbiter Setup

Icebound: A Nailbiter Game