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Rules for "Who's the Boss?"

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"Who's the Boss" is a social game that involves discussion, deception, detection and deduction. The object of the game is to eliminate the Boss before he or she eliminates the rest of the players.

Overview of Game Play

In the beginning, the Boss (whose identity is secret) will issue a memo to all the employees letting them know that downsizing has begun. The players may then discuss who they think the Boss is. After a certain period of time, the employees will vote. If the Boss receives the majority of the votes, then the Boss is fired and the players win. Otherwise, the Boss may fire some of the employees based on certain criteria (explained later). This ends the round. Each round will begin with an official memo from the Boss.

The Boss

Nobody has seen the Boss. Only the Rat knows the Boss's identity. Anyone who angers or annoys the Boss is likely to be fired at the first opportunity.

At the end of each round, the Boss will be sent a list of the players that may be fired. The Boss will choose which employees to fire. After picking which employees to fire, the Boss will send out a memo discussing the firings, the previous round and anything else that they want to discuss. Also, the Boss must honestly answer the Psych question, although he may choose to obfuscate his answer.

The most fun games happen when the Boss stays in character and provides fun, challenging and interesting clues.

The Rat

The Boss has an assistant. The Rat (whose identity is a secret from everyone) is loyal only to the Boss. The Rat's job is to divert suspicion away from the boss. If the Rat wishes to survive the entire game, he or she will need to keep the Boss happy. Be very careful who you trust!

The Rat can hack into the network and see who you voted for. The Rat may use this information to protect the Boss, but due to company policy, the Rat must keep specific voting results private. Instead of voting, the Rat must hack into the network at the end of each round to get the voting information. If the Rat fails to hack the network before voting ends, the Boss will be allowed to fire the Rat for slacking off.

The Moderator

Every game will have a Moderator. The Moderator's job is to make sure that everyone obeys the rules of the game. The Moderator has the power to edit all communications and instantly fire problem employees.

The Moderator also fills the role of the Office Psychiatrist. The Moderator is allowed to ask the Boss a question at the end of each round. The question cannot be anything that can directly give away the Boss's identity. The Boss must answer the question honestly, although they may encode their answer in an interesting way. This is one of the main ways that the identity of the Boss is discovered.


In each round of the game, the employees will cast votes for the Boss. The Boss and the Rat do not vote. The voting deadline will be clearly indicated. If you do not vote by the deadline, you will be instantly fired due to poor work performance. You may change your vote at any time up to the deadline.

Players may only discuss who they will vote for during the current round. Once the voting deadline passes, players may not say who they voted for or whether they voted for who they said they would vote for. Any violations of this rule will put those players on the firing list for rule infractions.


Whoever gets a majority of the votes is called the Candidate. In the case of a tie, there may be multiple Candidates. Because of Executive Privilege, the Boss is always able to slip out of a tie, leaving the other Candidate with a majority of the votes. If the Candidate is not The Boss, then everyone who voted for the Candidate is called a Lemming.

The Boss wants people who think for themselves. Therefore, all lemmings will be placed on the firing list.

Firing List

The Boss is only allowed to fire people who are on the Firing List. The Firing List contains the following people: 1. Lemmings 2. The Rat (If the rat forgets to hack the network, or if the Boss has received 25% or more of the votes) 3. Anyone that the moderator adds to the list for rule infraction or disorderly conduct.

The Boss will be allowed to fire a variable number of employees from the list depending on the game's logic. The game takes into consideration the round, the number of players left, and the number of people already fired that round due to non-voting.

If you voted for The Boss, you cannot be put on the Firing List.


Firing the Boss:The Boss must receive more than 50% of the votes to be fired. The players who voted for the Boss in that round will be declared winners of the game.

The Boss Fires the Rat: If the Rat fails to protect the Boss, then the Rat may be fired. If the Boss receives 25% of the votes in a given round, the Rat will be listed on the firing list (by username) along with everyone else. If the Boss receives 33% of the votes in a given round, the Rat will be listed on the firing list as "the Rat". The Boss is not required to fire the Rat in either of these cases. In the final round of the game, the Rat is safe from firing.

The Boss Fires the Employees: In any round in which the Boss is not fired, the Boss will be given a list of employees that are eligible for firing. The Boss may fire someone from this list.

Fired Players

Fired players will be asked to leave the company immediately and will no longer be allowed to participate in the game.


Boss Wins the Game: This happens when there is only one employee left who hasn't already been fired. At this point the Boss is able to fire the remaining employee without any worry.

Boss and Rat Win the Game This happens when the rat and one employee are left. At this point the Boss is able to fire the remaining employee without any worry. The Rat and the Boss then congratulate themselves on a job well done.

Employees Win the Game: This happens when the Boss receives at least 50% of the votes. All employees who voted for the Boss that round are declared the winners of the game.

Private Games

The moderator has the option to create a private game. Only friends of the moderator will be allowed to signup for these games.


Do not reveal information about other players that is not readily posted and available to everyone online. If you know another player in real life, please know that they may wish to keep parts of their life private. Also, if you know information about another player from a private talkbox, please make sure that you are only revealing information that everyone on Braingle has access to. Please let them reveal information about themselves that is not found online already. Other players might not want the information public knowledge. Please respect each others privacy even if this information will eliminate the other player from suspicion as being Boss. The other player may wish to remain a suspect for reasons and strategy of their own.

Outside conversations

What happens here must stay here. There shall be absolutely no outside discussion regarding company happenings. Alliances are not permitted as the Boss has forbidden them. Anyone caught conspiring together privately in the chat room or outside talkboxes may be fired by the Moderator.

The only exception to this rule is if you are a family member of a child younger than 13 who is a new player. You may explain the game to your young player and answer their questions regarding rules, etc. The young player must make all of their own decisions regarding voting for themselves, and they must vote privately. Of course, any special identity that you have in the game must remain secret from the young player.

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