Mafia is what you make of it and a game can only be as good as those who are participating, regardless of how good of a job the 'mod' (storyteller, guy/girl who runs the game/sets it up) does with it. Here's some advice to the mafia newcomer, take it as you will. This post will not cover game mechanics or any of that stuff, its available many places.
First and foremost, players should know their role. Every time you join a game, Google the role description exactly as it appears. If you're like me and like research, browse ended games that had similar roles to your own on this site (hint: if the game's over you can just look at the first page of the thread to ascertain what role were in the game unless the mod is sloppy and doesn't update the OP */cough ga7 /end cough*...) Trust me, this will bring up many, many helpful things for a vet player or a 'noob'.
Secondly, join games where you are welcome. I mean this with the utmost respect, random new player who's reading this, but PLEASE don't jump into a game with all the 'old school' players when you've never played mafia before/don't plan to be active. Play in a 'noob game' (preferably more then one) before you step up to the big leagues. Don't take that the wrong way, I'm not saying they/us are better then you, its just that a different level of play is expected of you and the game falls out ENTIRELY different with the vets then it would in a normal game and you WILL be/get lost if you're inexperienced. When you wanna play ball you start in the minor leagues and work up, right?
Third, if you can't post at least a few times a day, don't join the game (incidentally, my reason for not playing any longer). I can't stress this enough, a bare minimum of 2 or 3 posts a day will do if their times vary (morning, afternoon evening works best IMO) but you should really aim higher. NOTHING kills a game like a bunch of inactive pricks...
Fourth, this community can some times seem elitist; it's not, they just come off like that...
Ask questions (in the appropriate places), make stupid mistakes, and post things you shouldn't; it's ok, when you're new that stuff happens to everyone and though you may get yelled at for it (speaking of mistakes...) no hard feelings will be carried over and you WILL get your question answered. Unless you do something BIG like post your scum buddies names after you die or something, if you ruin someone's game intentionally after all the time and effort they put into it you deserve to no longer be allowed to play here (ie, blacklisted) and be flogged repeatedly with something pointy and sharp.
Fifth, don't spam games with random nonsense, whether its your game or someone else's (unless your name is Fircoal, then its expected). There's nothing more annoying (besides maybe inactives) during a game then some fools spending pages discussing something totally un game-related. Chat is fine and please make friends and what not but just don't let it take over the thread.
Six, there is no editing of posts in mafia. That dumb-ass thing you just posted stays there for the duration of thread, get used to it now and think through your post thoroughly before hitting submit.
Mafia can be a fun game but it is not for everyone, if you're into forum games/games along these lines, please give it a try. You can meet some interesting/pretty decent individuals playing it on this site (
) which can be both pro and con, depending on who/how, but overall this is a great group of people who are willing to go out of their way to help you, the new guy, play and learn the ropes. PM any member who's name you see frequently posting in threads in this section with a question, I guarantee you'll get an answer (how truthful/helpful depends on this specific member you've chosen to ask, lol).
Just some random thoughts I wish someone would have told me when I first start playing this game, I'll add more as they come to me (ie, not 5:30 am...).