You need at least 3 players for this mind game and each player needs one token, which can be easily hidden in the hand (penny, pebble). Stand in a circle.

Before it starts, each player secretly decides to be good or evil. A good player hides his token in the hand, while an evil player hides it somewhere else (pockets, bag). An evil player wins by being the last man standing. The (alive) good players win as a group, when everybody dropped his weapon.

During the game each player has two actions available: Shoot another player or drop weapon. Shooting a player, takes him out of the game. There are no turns, so everybody can act at any time. However, everybody must keep track of the order of actions: Who shot whom in which order?

"Gesture thumb up then down forefinger out like gun" by User Jeremykemp on en.wikipedia - Jeremykemp. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

You can shoot a player by pointing at him with a finger gun gesture and yelling "bang!". The victim is out of the game immediately and shows his hand to reveal if he was good or evil. If the victim had dropped his weapon, the killer can shoot again. Otherwise, he must wait for somebody else to act (shoot or drop) first. So while speed is sometimes important, you cannot win by just shooting faster. If the victim was good and did not drop, the killer must drop his weapon.

You can drop weapons by folding your arms. Also announce it verbally, so everybody notices it. Once dropped, you must stay dropped until somebody gets shot, who has not dropped his weapon. This means you are unable to act, but as a good guy, this is how you win. The following picture shows good guys winning:

Good guys win arms folded by Brian Johnson


Variant Ideas

0. Equipment

You can use water pistols or mockups instead of hand gestures. Then you can literally drop your weapon to the ground.

1. Scoring

Keep track of points across multiple rounds. An evil solo winners gets as many points as there are players plus one. A good winner gets as many points as there are good players alive. Thus good players are incentivised to keep each other alive. Being evil always pays the most, but has the highest risk.

2. Civilian

For a bigger challenge to good, players can opt for being civilians by hiding two tokens in their hand. Civilians are good and cannot shoot anyone.

3. Hostage

Put some stuffed animal in the middle. The animal counts as a civilian. Players can take it as a hostage by grabbing it and announcing the hostage situation. The abductor is/becomes evil and cannot be shot as long as the hostage is alive. Of course, players can shoot the hostage with the usual consequences.


This game is very directly inspired by Andrew Plotkin's ideas. It is obviously related to the Werewolf/Mafia games, but requires no moderator, so it works with smaller groups.

Rule Summary for (Python) Programmers

def drop_weapon(player):
  player.dropped = True

def shoot(killer,victim):
  assert (not killer.dropped)
  assert (killer.may_shoot)
  for p in all_players:
    p.may_shoot = True
    p.dropped = False # if p wants to
  if not victim.dropped:
    killer.may_shoot = False
    if victim.good:
      killer.dropped = True
© 2015-05-28