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FAQ: A Player's Guide To Mafia (Take 2)


Quaxly Boy
Jun 9, 2012
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A player's guide to Mafia (Take 2)

In an effort to help all users who wish to participate in mafia games, the 2023 War Room staff has decided to create a new guide that introduces the basics of the game to newcomers and gives both neophytes and experienced players pointers on how to fine tune their strategies.

A mafia game is a competition between Town (a majority armed with numbers, who do not know who else is on their side) and Mafia (a minority that knows who the other members are). There may also be Independents (third parties, will have win conditions ranging from surviving the game, to eliminating players, to completing a specific objective). The key to each game is for players to strategize, coordinate and use logic to achieve their win condition.

Before signing up for a game in the War Room, the host will provide a set of rules. The first step is to read and understand the rules.

When signups are over, the host will give each player a Role PM. This includes your alignment, actions/modifiers and win condition.

The mafia game consists of a sequence of phases. In day phases, players may eliminate one player suspected of being against town via public vote. This is where the Mafia (who pretend to be town) will try to lynch other players instead. The player with the most votes is usually eliminated (lynched). In night phases, the Mafia can choose to eliminate (nightkill) a player. Most players have night actions that may be useful for the game.

Here are some ideas to keep in mind while playing (some of these do not mix together):
  • If not town, have a fakeclaim ready as soon as possible. It is near certain you will need it eventually, and having it thought out as soon as possible will make it easier to back up with fake thought processes explaining behaviours for supposedly having it. Do not stick too hard to Plan A in case someone else claims something similar, however, have a plan B ready.
  • Regardless of alignment, start soft claiming your eventual claim as soon as possible. Soft claiming means giving in-thread message hints about what your role is without outright saying it. The more cryptic the hints are, the better. The ideal softclaim should not be decipherable by anyone except you, yet also look obvious to everyone the moment you choose to share the cipher with them all. Non-town softclaims should be even more ambiguous if you are not 100% sure what you will be claiming next.
  • If mafia and not yet quite experienced, please try to learn as much as possible from your partners (as long as they are active enough and willing). Ask questions in mafia chat before doing something reckless in the thread.
  • Try to be around the phases ends and starts. Most important things happen then (this does not include Day 1 start usually, aside from the occasional Miller/Survivor/other indep claim).
  • Lying low. When a player chooses to lie low, their goal in doing so is to gather the maximum amount of information about other players while others gather the minimum amount of information about them. Withholding information or lying, even as a town player, can be useful. Lying low helps early-game survival (important for both Mafia and Town power roles) but can make you look bad as the game progresses. There's an important difference between lying low and struggling to contribute, so if you're new, it may still be worth chiming in to help yourself and the game overall.
  • Observe voting patterns (wagonomics). It is the prime way to gather information for players not aligned Mafia. It only requires reading and comparing the attitude of players towards certain votes. For example, if a player has consistently been quick to vote when that target was part of the Town but was very slow to vote when the target was Mafia, the player is probably a Mafia. All players should go back and examine old votes.
  • Vote Strategically. Someone playing a more aggressive type of play will often take the initiative in votes, using their votes to force confrontation (called pressure votes). This can be used to garner reactions and fish for Mafia and Town members. Consider this when examining past votes.
  • Claim Roles. Getting information about other players is crucial, so claiming a role is a good way to get people to coordinate and get information. Lying, especially for a Mafia, is a useful tactic but carries the risk of being suspected should the lie be discovered. Also, consider that claims given by other players may be lies from a mafioso.
  • Change playstyle based on roles. Some roles affect how you can play. For example, on the Town side, a player with the cop role can get information efficiently on other players and does not need to be risky to get information. A Mafia role like the Godfather can get away with being slightly more aggressive because if he arouses the suspicions of the cop, the cop will think the godfather’s innocent.
  • Temperament and meta. Players should consider what they are good at and what they are known for. Players should generally play to their strengths. Should they be known for a particular style, they should consider how people will react to them playing differently. Players who are not town should consider how they usually play as town and look as close to that as possible.
  • Analysing motivation. Players do the things that they do for a reason, and if you're unable to figure out a player's powers or alignment based on what they said, it may be worth trying to figure out why they said it/voted for that person. It might even be effective to look at what players aren't saying, such as seeing if a player posts too much fluff (unnecessarily wordy responses) or dodges a question to answer it in a roundabout way.
  • Be active. This is the most important advice we can give. The more active players are, the more enjoyable a game can be. If everyone’s inactive, then there’s no game. Do not be afraid to be active as mafia either: sometimes this can just confuse the town (this tacting is called powerwolfing).
  • Should your role contain a one-shot power, make sure you don’t waste it. But also, if you are afraid you may get lynched or nightkilled soon, do use it, before that happens.
  • Trust nothing but your instinct. Be careful who you trust. In mafia, anything can happen. Prepare for the unexpected.
  • Keep a paper trail — any useful notes, vote-counts, multi-quotes, and other records. Looking at the past with the perspective of the future will help you play.
  • Gambits: sometimes, it may be beneficial to lie even as town, if you believe this will help your faction in some way. This does not have to involve lying low. For example: softclaim hinting or even faking you claim under pressure that you have a power role when Bulletproof, or that you have some negative modifier that will make your slot self-solve and thus mafia should not worry about you when an actual power role. Please only use these gambits only if you are sure enough of what you are doing, else they may backfire horribly.
  • As mafia, try to distance from each other, but do not try TOO hard. Ideally you want the slots as little associated with one another as possible. Also if there are 3 or more mafia, it may be better that each person does not have the exact same kind of fake reads on all partners, for further confusion. All these are applicable to WIFOM ("they'd know we know" situations, so just improvise with what feels natural (most likely what you would do in this situation if actually town).
  • Do not be afraid to bus as mafia. If you believe your partner is misplaying or may get caught because of a claim that did not work out or a role interaction that exposes them, take initiative and look as willing to get them lynched as all town is. It usually is common courtesy to ask a partner if they are OK with this, but sometimes if the misplay is big enough or they are not active around, you may want to do it even without permission.
  • Have fun and remember it’s just a game. Ultimately, that’s what mafia games should be about. : P

Overall, players should understand that they have numerous options at their disposal and realize that mafia games also require improvisation and adaptation with those options. The style and strategy players choose in the beginning might not work during the endgame. Ultimately, players should experiment various play styles and find one they are comfortable with.

Tips aside, this is all the lingo used in mafia games you may be unfamiliar with. It can be a lot to take in at once, so better not rush learning it all, some are so rare they may not show up until you play several games anyway. It is advisable you just use the CTRL+F function (or find in alphabetical order) what you need in any given time.

AI: Alignment Indicative (used as opposed to NAI, or in phrases like "this strategy is never AI for this player's meta".)
Ambiguous interaction: Interaction between two or more roles that may not be necessarily paradoxical but still needs clarification: for example, what if a Strongman kill is placed on someone protected by Bodyguard? Hosts of non-bastard games may have these clarified, bastard games may have them intentionally remain confusing.
Angleshooting: Any tactic that attempts to form a conclusion or accusation off of something that is not conclusive (which can include metagaming). For example: building a case and saying that case is conclusive based upon an assumption that is not proven is angleshooting. The noun "angleshot" is also used sometimes.
Bandwagon: many people voting for the same person, also called wagon, analysis of these is called wagonomics
Balance: How correctly the setup is tuned to ensure fair (near equal) winning chances for all factions, assuming they play equally well.
Bastard: a series of role mechanics some hosts include in their games to make them more... crazy, usually involves outright lying to players (not just by omission)
BPV: Bulletproof Vest, 1x Bulletproof. "BPV breaks" means the 1x shot is used up.
Buddies: Mafia partners, also called scumbuddies or scumbaddies.
Bus: a makeshift verb (not irregular, "bussed" is also used) used to refer to the tactic of bussing, throwing mafia partners under the bus.
Bussing: One or more mafia members who fake a case against (and usually vote) for a partner of theirs, to get town credibility and avoid being associated with them (particularly if they misplay or are figured out via roles and claims). Derived from "throw under the bus".
catch-22: Another term for WIFOM, and all "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situations in general.
CFD: rapid changing of votes before phase end
Coasting: a strategy involving taking advantage of getting some sort-of early town credibility and then start lurking to not be questioned much for the rest of the game
Claim: Usually short for role claim, saying what your role is. Can also be name/character claiming.
Closed setup: A setup which is not open or semi-open, where the roles involved are intended to be surprises, not known before the start of the game.
Custom role: A very weird and specific role that usually only appears in one game to fit a very specific character, never to appear again: such roles cannot reasonably be included in this guide. A few formerly custom roles were eventually normalised, appearing again in later games.
Cred: credibility. Usually also called towncred.
CWAC: Contributing Without Actually Contributing. When a player posts a lot but provides little towards solving the game. Also called fluff.
Elim/elimination: Another term for lynch.
EOD: End of Day. Part of the phase where CFDs may happen, important claims too, wagonomics matter the most the closer the votes are to EOD.
EON: End of Night. Part of the phase where imporant claims on who people visit may happen. Reads lists may also be posted as late as possible so that mafia may not have enough time to reconsider and change nightkill based on WIFOM involving them.
Equity: Likelihood of someone being a particular alignment. Is typically used when comparing multiple players' chances of being on the same team together, or with the terms w/w and similar. Ex: "Since both A and B voted for the mislynch, they could have wolf equity.
Evils: Mafia and all non-benign (harmful) independents. Some town wincons state "eliminate all evils to win" to remain ambiguous. Also called "all threats to town" in some wincon wordings.
Fakeclaim: Claiming to have a role that is not your real role. Fake nameclaims can happen in some games that allow them.
FoS: Finger of suspicion. A way to say you suspect someone without voting them.
fmPOV: from my Point of View
Fluff: Another term for CWAC, much posting without much substance.
FX: "Final <number of players>". Typically used in reference to a gamestate that is in LyLo (example: F3 indicates a gamestate with 2 town and 1 mafia).
fyPOV: from your Point of View
Graveyard: A conversation message where all dead players and spectators can discuss about the game away from alive players' eyes.
Hammer: Can refer to hammer rules, where hosts allow the Day phase to end earlier if enough people vote for the same person. Can also refer to the final vote that causes this to happen, hammering the nail in the coffin.
Holster: Another term for Idle.
Host meta: Analysing how the game's particular host tends to design their setups (only matters in closed setups). By taking into account past design choices when it comes to balance and swing, as well as roles already known, conclusions can be drawn (guessed) regarding other setup elements not yet known in the game.
Joke votes: Votes in RVS early Day 1 that are not based on serious evidence, but still attempt to get the game going.
Idle: Purposely not submitting a night action.
Indep: short for Independent (alignment)
IO: Informed Observer, another name for Spectator. Do not confuse with Observer, a weaker variant of Watcher role. Do not confuse with Informed, a modifier that can mean a player has extra info on something.
ISO: isolating a player's posts *using the forums search tool) and usually multi-quote them to make a complete narrative case on them, from game start to upcoming point
Lurking: a player who is not posting.
Kingmaker: an indep who can decide whether town or mafia wins the game. Non-bastard hosting policy states they should be avoided.
LHF (Low Hanging Fruit): a player that is considered "easy to lynch" for some reason, and could be considered a "cop out" lynch for scum to hide behind and push easily
LYLO: Lynch or Lose. A situation where usually n+1 town and n mafia are alive, town must lynch correctly else they lose.
LYSLO: Lynch still Lose. A situation which is not yet endgame, but where even if town lynches correctly, there still is a chance they lose. Only shows up in very complex role setups.
Mercy kill: A kill analog to Policy Lynch.
Meta: a player's playstyle on older games.
Metagaming: Different from traditional meta - refers to the use of out-of-thread information to make conclusions or inferences about a player's alignment. Is usually discouraged in mafia games.
MILO: Mislynch And Lose. A situation where usually n+2 town and n mafia are alive, if town mislynches they lose, town can still No Lynch and make next day phase a LYLO.
Miselim: Another term for mislynch.
Mislynch: A lynch of a town member, a wrong lynch. Town can usually afford making a couple of those (maybe more in larger games), but they are of course not desirable.
MoD: Moderator On Duty. A War Room staff member who ensures War Room Rules are followed and helps the host towards that objective (if the host is not a staff member themselves).
NAI: Not Alignment Indicative. Usually part of a meta agrument, example "Zexy trying to avoid No Lynch in Day 1 so a flip happens and we get info is NAI for his meta."
NAGL: Not A Good Look
Null: Null read, neither town nor mafia read.
NL: No Lynch. A voting option some games have, to not lynch someone in the day phase.
NOC: No Outside Communication (except chats approved by host)
OC: Outside Communication (games which do not have the NOC restriction; sometimes OC is still prohibited for Commuters activating that night, people targetted by Silencer etc)
OMGUS: Oh My God U Suck. A player suspecting/voting another player because they suspected/voted them first.
OP: usually means overpowered. Sometimes means original post/poster.
Open setup: A setup where everything is known beforehand.
Openwolfing: A mafia member who looks very obviously suspicious.
Paradoxical interaction: Interaction between two or more roles that can cause paradoxes: for example, Roleblocker and Jailkeeper targetting one another. This should usually be clarified by hosts, ideally at start in the relevant role PMs, or at least later if asked. In bastard setups, leaving those ambiguous in purpose is sometimes intentional.
PoE: Literally stands for "Process of Elimination." Typically referred to as part of a group of players who are not mechanically cleared in some way and thus are in the "process of elimination" pool to be lynched.
Policy lynch: A lynch decided not on if someone looks anti-town but if they are inactive, trolling, newbie who may vote wrong in a crucial phase later etc.
Post restriction: Any extra restriction on how a player may/may not post compared to the rest of the players: this can be temporary or permanent, it can be part of their role, result of another role, a non-role bastard mechanic randomly assigned, faked for supposed cred (or for confusion, or for fun: this is not a gambit we encourage unless you are sure of what you are doing), and more. Variants have included limiting amount of messages per day phase, allowing only images plus votes, having to use "talk like a pirate" "translators", posting text only in certain colours, speak in third person, having to use full character name instead of first person pronouns, and more. Some may not be compulsory or of punitive nature, but they are either encouraged (if upheld, gives positive power) or normal posting is discouraged (a few normal posts if forgotten or on purpose are OK, but too many incur some penalty). Very rarely, not upholding can result in modkill or pre-planned death within the game.
POV: Point of View. Can be used alongside fm (from my) or fy (from your), ex. fmPOV you look scum (because I know I am town) or fyPOV that looks scummy (since you know you are town) etc.
Power role: the best roles town may have, usually Cop and Doctor.
Powerwolfing: A mafia member who is very active, aiming to confuse town both by getting credibility to self and suggesting theories that lead to mislynches them and put ideas in their heads they did not have before.
Rainbow list: Different name for reads list.
Reads: If you think a player is town, you "town read" them (read their posts as towny). If you think a player is mafia, you "scum read" them.
Readslist: Listing your reads from towniest to scummiest. Also called rainbow list (if done with colours, dark green for very town, light green for slight town, yellow for null/indep, orange for slight scum, red for very scum)
ROA: Regardless of alignment
Role madness: Refers to setups (almost always closed, but technically not necessary) that have a lot of roles with weird interactions etc.
Role PM: The private message which contains your role in the game and details your abilities. Should be kept secret and never posted in-thread (unless the rules specifically say you can).
RVS: Random Voting Stage. Early Day 1, where most jokevotes happen. It is in town's best interest this stage of Day 1 ends as soon as possible so that more concrete reads can start being made.
Safeclaim: A claim that is safe to fake. Some hosts may give these to important roles for whom a bad fake claim early on could be game breaking.
Scum: alternate name for the Mafia faction
Scumbuddies: Mafia partners.
Scumhunting: attempting to find mafia, trying to solve the game
Seer cover: A tactic usually only viable in NOC open/semi-open setups with a Cop. Essentially everyone fakeclaims/counterclaims cop and fakes results (which are usually not followed up on by the entire thread, but each person treats their own as true for a while), while the real cop gives real results: this way, even if cop dies before openly claiming as the one true cop, they still managed to get their results out (everything else is disregarded and the true cop's results are taken as known fact).
Semi-open setup: A setup where all potential parameters are in theory known beforehand, but only some of them are actually used.
Setup: The entire set of roles and other potential special parameters for this game.
Self-Solve: Refers to situation where a player slot is in a position to be confirmed as town or mafia rather easily, and it is preferable to let the situation resolve by itself rather than (most) other players having to act on it.
Solving: Solving the game is the combination of scumhunting and using mechanical information to figure out who the mafia are.
Solvy: A player who helps a lot with solving the game.
Spectator: A person who is not playing but who the host/MoD allows to have information about the game. They should not interfere with gameplay, and only post in the graveyard chat.
sus: suspicious
Swing: A component of hosting meta and setup balance that refers to how much a game can swerve towards/against a faction's favor if everything possible goes right/wrong for them respectively. A high swing game is not necessarily badly balanced: but ideally bastard games should have high swing, while more tame (and especially open/semi-open setups) have low swing.
TD: Town Disruptive. Roleblocker, Rolestopper, Ascetic and others.
TI: Town Investigative. Cop, Tracker, Watcher and many others.
towncred: town credibility
TP: Town Protective. Doctor, Bodyguard, Jailkeeper, Bulletproof and many others.
TR: Town Redirective. Bus Driver, Bodyguard, Lightningrod, Nexus and others.
Tunneling: focusing too much on only one player being suspicious, having tunnel vision
TWTBAW: Too Wolfy To Be A Wolf. Basically someone looking so obviously scummy, they are probably not scum.
Vanilla: A player without any particular role (this is included in this section of the guide instead of the roles one, since it is technically not-a-role incarnate). Usually Town, but Mafia can also have them (also called Goon), and even Independent Survivors may show up as such in Rolecop investigations.
Villager: Another name for either Vanilla, or any town member.
v/v: an interaction that looks likely to be between two town members.
v/w: an interaction that looks likely to be between one town and one mafia member.
w/w: an interaction that looks likely to be between two mafia members.
Wagon: short for bandwagon
Wagonomics: bandwagon economics, analysing clusters of past votes in two or more people in the same phase.
Werewolf: Another name for the game of mafia.
WIFOM: Wine In Front Of Me. Refers to situations that can go either way because of "I know", "you know I know", "I know you know I know" thinking going on ad infinitum. Is also called catch-22.
Wincon: Win condition
Wolf: alternate name for the mafia faction (in the communities the game is called Werewolf)
Wolfy: Scummy
-YLO: Any phase that is LYLO, MILO, LYSLO etc. basically the final difficult phases for town if they mess up to reach that point. Lots of strategies need to be reworked and points of view need to be rethought by then. Even more important since some game implement hammer rules for these to make votes matter more and be used for pressure less.

Beloved: Sometimes called Beloved Princess. This role name is usually ironic, since their role usually comes as a negative to the Town. When they die, the Beloved will cause the next Day phase to be skipped. Positive variants skipping the Night phase are also rarely seen.
Bodyguard (BG): Weaker Doctor variant, guards a player at night, if they were to be killed, Bodyguard dies instead. Interaction with Strongman is ambiguous.
Bomb: When lynched, kills one of the people voting for them at random. When killed, takes their killer down with them.
Bulletproof (BP, BPV): Immune to non-Strongman kills. Usually 1-shot (also called Bulletproof vest, or BPV). Usually town, but can also be mafia/indep in setups with Vigilantes/Serial Killers.
Bus Driver: Selects two people: night actions targetting the one are redirected to the other and vice-versa.
Commuter: Allows a player to leave the Town at night, making them impossible to target with a night action (including kills). The downside is that they cannot use whatever other night actions they have. Also, some hosts might only make the commute happen every other night as opposed to every night or prevent the player from posting while they are away. Alternatively, some hosts give the commuter only a limited number of times they can commute.
Cop: checks a player each night, learns their alingment. Can be fooled by Godfather/Miller/Framer. Also called Seer in other communities (do not confuse with Memory Seer)
Deathproof: Essentially Bulletproof + Lynchproof, but technically also should provide immunity from Arsonist ignite (still not protected from Strongman). Some variants work as a reverse Doomed, with a "must survive until said phase" worded as "is Deathproof until said phase", but in such a case not even Strongman should pass.
Doctor (Doc): Usually town, but can appear in mafia in games with Vigilantes/Serial Killers. Visits a player each night, may protect them from non-Strongman kills. Some variants cannot self-target, or visit same player twice in a row (this is intended to prevent some situations that would otherwise be stalemates).
Miller: Appears as guilty to Cop checks despite being town. Non-bastard variants know this and are advised to claim it immediately in Day 1. Bastard variants may appear Vanilla to self and rolecops, or actually falsely flip as mafia if dead (this variant is called Death Miller).
TFPTSLBOOIA: The Flying Pumpkin That Shoots Laser Beams Out Of Its Ass. Very quirky ooold custom role that has become normalised: usually a Vigilante with 75% chance of success, but has the option to take aim on a player (idle for the night) then if the next night they take an aimed shot at that same player, it has a 100% chance of working if mafia (sometimes also indep) and 25% if town.
Vigilante (Vig, Vigi): The only town role who can perform night kills at choice (these are mechanically different from the factional night kills, usually considered part of role, may have different interactions on Ascetics etc.). Usually limited-shot. Some variants include a Strongman modifier. Dayvig variants have also been mafia.

Godfather (GF): Appears as innocent to cop checks despite being mafia. Some variants take the "leader of the mafia faction" a step further: if there is a dispute on how kill is to be used, Godfather's say is final, and Godfather should not be the one assigned to perform the kill unless they are last mafia standing. Non-nightkill roles usually give final say to the person who has it, but some hosts can have the Godfather override that too.
Goon: Essentially another name for Vanilla Mafia. Name has no real value and has somewhat fallen out of favor; they are supposed to Rolecop as Vanilla in case a non-mafia Rolecop exists (else they are just outright negative utility), and it is usually not a wise idea to be used like Named Townie (unless Mafia REALLY wants a person outed to pass information to an indep).
Ninja: Modifier that allows the night kill to not be seen by Tracker, Watcher (and similar roles such as Follower, Voyeur, Motion Detector...). May be limited-shot.
Rolecop: Usually Mafia role, has very rarely been town. Learns the role name of the player the visit. Hosts can be particularly tricky with this one, sometimes everything is properly revealed, but others indeps with no modifiers show up as Vanilla, and even some Miller variants do.
Strongman: Modifier that can make nightkills not be interfered with: this usually means they bypass conventional protection, such as Bulletproof, Deathproof, Doctor, Jailkeeper, Nurse and more. Usually limited-shot. "Not to be interfered with" can make interaction with all redirection roles ambiguous, and especially with Bodyguard who is also protective in spirit. Some hosts stay true to the spirit of the role, in the sense that it should make sure the kill goes through to EXACTLY the person ordered on. Others care more about the spirit of the role as it ensuring a kill happens (is not stopped by protection, but not care who it ends up going to). Cannot bypass Commuter/Enchantress and some Deathproofs which are of the reverse Doomed variant and thus "player MUST survive till such phase NO MATTER WHAT" in nature.

Indep only
Arsonist (Arso): Can visit a player each night and douse them with gasoline. Can ignite all doused players at a later night phase to get them all killed at once (this usually bypasses Bulletproof, but not Deathproof). Win condition is to be last player standing, town and mafia usually need them dead to win as well. Very hard to win as, so usually has more modifiers to help them. Firefighter role may also be included in setups with Arsonist.
Cult Leader: Converts one person per night to the Cult independent faction. Win condition is to be the only players alive by endgame. Some variants have the original Cult Leader as the centerpiece of this independent faction, so that if they die, the rest of the cult commits suicide too (like Lovers). Cult Leader usually has some sort of modifiers helping them win in this case. Other variants, the next person in line (by order of converting) becomes Cult Leader, or the remaining cult members become Survivors, or return to original alignments.
Jester: Win condition is to be lynched. Loses if alive by endgame or killed. Non-bastard versions just let the game continue after a Jester lynch, but bastard versions may end the game on the spot (with only Survivors treated as winners, and everyone else losing).
Lyncher: Win condition is to lynch a specific player (called Lynchee, who may not know of this)
Serial Killer (SK): Has a one-person factional kill each night, win condition is to be last player standing, town and mafia usually need them dead to win as well. Very hard to win as, so usually has more modifiers to help them. Common ones include investigation immunity (appears town to cops, Vanilla to Rolecops), immunity to any investigation and interference when it comes to the kill (half-Ninja, cannot be tracked/followed/motion detected, kill cannot be redirected (may or may not be watched/voyeured, kill may still be stopped by protection however), a Bulletproof shot or two (usually bypassable by Strongman, however), or just outright Ascetic (the good version that includes kills, some even the Strongman since it is technically blocked now) to cover almost everything. They are usually more weak on the lynch front. The higher player the setup is, the more extras they need to have for a fair chance of winning (some even have a wincon of survive to final X players instead of be last man standing for 30p+ games, this is not TWR standard for Small Games).
Survivor: Win condition is to stay alive until endgame. A few harder-to-win variants exist that have additional conditions they need to meet beforehand.
Unjester: Rare inverse of Jester, has to be nightkilled to win, loses if lynched, game may or may end upon them reaching wincon.

Any alignment
Double Voter: Day phase vote counts for two. Can be passive or limited-shot. Becomes stronger the later in the game. Is too strong for mafia too late in the game. As mafia, do not use shots of this unless in risk of being lynched or very late in the game. More common, but less useful, for town.
JOAT (Jack Of All Trades): A role that is an assortment of 3 or more limited-shot powers, ususally one-shot. While it has been seen on all alignments, the actual powers used may be fit for only one alignment.
Lynchproof: Cannot be lynched. Usually town and 1-shot.
Reporter: Can send a message to the host, that will then be posted in the phase update in the thread anonymously. Still rather common for mafia as much as town, for the mere confusion factor and the potential safe claim (which is not that safe because of hosting meta when it comes to this role). Can also be called Courier, Mailman, Postman, Messenger.
Roleblocker (RB): Usually Mafia role. Prevents target from using night action. Cannot self-target. Some variants may not allow visiting the same player twice in a row. Town variants usually block kills too (that variant is way more useful).
Tracker: Usually town. Can visit a player and see if/who they visit someone else that night
Watcher: Usually town. Can visit a player and see if/who they were visited by that night
Vanilla: Technically not a role, but can also be considered a role without night action and without any modifiers. Mafia ones may be called Goon, yet "Vanilla" can be the Rolecop result for any Vanilla Townie, Mafia Goon, or Indep without extra powers aside from win condition (whatever that may be).

Rare roles:
Absorber: Usually another name for Amnesiac/Inheritor/Universal Backup. Rare variants can actually target someone once and inherit their role while target is still alive, but this is essentially also a free Rolecop and thus potentially overpowered, and can lead to very paradoxical interactions since some roles are really just not supposed to co-exist twice in the same setup. Even worse bastard variants just steal the role forever and Vanillize target, essentially Permanent Role Thief.
Amnesiac: Usually town. Has no role at start, inherits the role of the first person to die. Also called Inheritor, Absorber (common variant), Universal Backup...
Ascetic: Modifier that makes all non-kill night actions fail on the player who has it. Essentially passive Rolestopper. May be limited-shot activated only some nights.
Babysitter: Rare protective role that is essentially reverse Hider: their target is properly protected, but if Babysitter is targetted for a kill, Babysitter's target dies too.
Backup: Has a role lying dormant but is usually informed of its existence, example 'backup cop". When the actual cop dies, the backup then inherits the role. A Universal Backup variant is essentially Amnesiac.
Bleeder: A person who rather than killed immediately, survives a few more phases before dying from their wounds. Are informed when this happens.
Bookie: Guesses kill each night, gets extra powers if right. Usually town, but mafia/indep versions can exist guessing the other evil factional kill.
Commuterizer: Forces a player to become Commuter for a night. Also called Enchantress.
Converter: Usually one-shot. Forcefully changes a person's alignment from town/indep to mafia. Considered bastard role. Indep variant is called Cult Leader, discussed below.
Courier: Another name for Reporter.
Cupid: Rare role, can make people Lovers (several variants on how exactly it is done). Usually limited-shot, can cause weird scenarios if people of different alignments are tied together, when it comes to near-endgame situations and wincons.
Dayvig: Short for Day Vigilante. Kills a person at the end of day phase (submitted at role PM). Stronger for mafia. Usually one-shot.
Death Delayer: Usually town, usually limited-shot. Essentially makes target Bleeder, can be also called Bleederizer.
Doomed: A modifier that makes the player to always die by a designated phase if still alive. This can be done to either force a role being used soon (usually seen on Suicide Bomber), for outright negative utility, or for self-solving by removing self from process of elimination, or if the phase is rather late in the game, to prevent unintended stalemate scenarios.
Dreaming God: A JOAT/Inventor-like hybrid role with many abilities who they are not sure what they do (can have negative utilities, duds or neutral things like post restrictions at random, and more). A custom role called Developer with Multiple Personalities was also very similar to this role, it can be considered a sort-of variant.
Electrifier: A non-indep weaker variant of Arsonist, more likely mafia but has vigilante-like use in town: usually can get two people at a time electrified and if they somehow interact they die.
Enchantress: Another name for Commuterizer.
Escort: another name for Roleblocker.
Even Night: A more restricting version of the Odd Night modifier: action can only be used on Nights 2, 4, 6 etc.
Faith Healer: A Doctor with only 50% chance of success. This can make it look less credible, induce WIFOM, and avoid some stalemate scenarios if the host insists on not adding a "cannot self-target twice in a row" clause.
Firefighter: Only in setups with Arsonist, usually town, can visit doused people and undouse them.
Flavor Cop: A person who gets some flavor info on their target: clearly weaker than Cop, more supposed to be a more targetted Oracle/Prophet like role at best.
Follower: An analog to Tracker, the same way Rolecop is to Cop. Gets result of "Player did use (role) on someone"
Framer: Visits a town player: that night, if a Cop also visits that player, they would get a mafia result even if the player is town. Some variants make the target a permanent Miller (also called Millerizer).
Friendly Neighbor: A Neighbor who is announced confirmed town in their Neighbor Chat.
Fruit Vendor: Visits a player each night: that player is informed someone left a fruit outside their door. This does nothing otherwise, the whole point of the role is providing the info of the visit. Usually town (a better variant of Named Townie), but can be any alignment. Essentially Loud Visitor.
Granny: Another name for PGO/Veteran. Kills anyone visiting them at night.
Hidden Voter: Also called Secret Voter. Has a hidden day phase vote they submit to Role PM, either instead of or in addition to, the in-thread vote.
Gladiator: Can target a person, and force the next available day's lynch options only be the Gladiator and their target. Not seen on indeps.
Hider: Can select a person, if that person is nightkilled they die too, but if they are selected for nightkill themselves the kill fails. A sort-of reverse Bodyguard. Usually town. Day Hider variant has been seen, which is essentially lynchproof but also dies too if the people they hide behind is lynched.
Hooker: Another name for Roleblocker.
Hypersane: Quirky Cop sanity, usually positive utility, somehow better than Sane Cop (may even see through Godfathers/Millers).
Informed: Modifier that means this slot has extra info, usually only town/indep (mafia has most info by default).
Inheritor: Another name for Amnesiac
Innocent Child (IC): Townie who is either announced confirmed town at start of game or has the option to announce whenever they wish. Essentially a 1-person Mason.
Insane: Bastard Cop Sanity, all checks appear opposite of what they should be. Can still be useful if figured out.
Inventor: Gives out inventions to people each night: these can be active useful (ex. 1x Cop or a bomb that can be passed to someone else, effectively 1x Vigilante), active misleading (ex. 1x Insane Cop, this has been seen on Mafia Inventor variants), useful passive modifiers (ex. 1x Bulletproof), detrimental (ex. a bomb that just blows up the recipient) or just duds (ex. 1x Cop, but will always give a No Result, as if it was roleblocked; 1x Vigilante that will just fail. 1x Bulletproof that does nothing).
Jailer: Usually Town role, but can be any alignment. Doctor + Roleblocker 2-in-1. Protects and blocks target from acting. Cannot self-target.
Jailkeeper: Same as Jailer
Janitor: Can clean a nightkill crime scene, no role PM for that person will flip. Usually limited-shot.
Lie Detector: Can submit a quote to host and find out if it is truth or lie. Usually has restrictions (cannot be used on "I am town."). Usually limited-shot.
Lightningrod: Usually town. Redirects all night actions to self. Mafia variant does not redirect factional kill. Usually limited-shot.
Loud: A modifier that makes other players informed when the player who has it acts. Sometimes informs the person they visited, or anyone also visiting/visited any player informed at the same time, or the mafia team, or the entire thread.
Loved: A one-sided variant of Lover: someone is a Lover to a Loved person (and would die alonsgide them if Loved were to die). But the opposite is not true (poor unrequited soul).
Lovers: Two people that are tied together, if one dies, other commits suicide too. May have an Outside Contact chat even in NOC games. Usually both town, but other variants have been seen.
Lynch Redirector: Usually one-shot. Stops the lynch, then lynches player submitted at Role PM. Way stronger for mafia. Basically Dayvig variant that causes No Lynch.
Martyr: Can self-sacrifice in order to protect ANY person that would be the nightkill from dying. This is a way better variant of Bodyguard (that has no reason to exist in non-town, unlike the base form), it is usually better to use Night 1 and save a power role if there are no drawbacks to it (unless somehow you believe only you have the best reads in the game and most other town is misled, or are certain enough mafia may not kill a good role early but may do in a later night, or to hopefully look good enough and only flip when you self-solving is of max benefit to town). Has fallen out of favor for being unnecessarily overpowered, somewhat unfun to play as and against. Lightningrod is similar in theory, but it can also draw protection to self, can help investigatives figure more things out, and can make games more fun.
Mason: two or more town people who are informed at start of game they are all town, and may have Outside Contact in NOC games.
Medium: Can make a seance to bring a dead player back as Voteless, essentially makes them Restless Spirit. May be temporary sometimes. Games with this role need to make sure their dead townies do not get game-relevant info they should not have known from graveyard.
Motion Detector: Weaker variant of Tracker, only gets a result of whether target acted that night or not. Variants put a Watcher spin on it instead, with results of whether the targeted was visited that night or not. There has also been a variant that has a one-shot option of "tryharding" and upgrading to some better investigative role just that night, usually Tracker.
Mailman: Another name for Reporter.
Messenger: An app for chatting online... nah, actually just another name for Reporter.
Mirror: A more targeted Nexus: actions on them are deflected back to the person who acted. This can have interesting implications in that they can essentially be Ascetic, and if they can also mirror kills, they are also a free night-only Bomb with built-in permanent Bulletproof protection (and if somehow lynched, no risk on taking down someone of own faction who voted for them). It is advisable that kills just shatter the mirror for better balance.
Monitor: If they successfully visit another investigative role, they get a verbatim copy of their result.
Motivator: Another name for Reloader; can give extra limited-shots to limited-shot ability users that have used them up.
Naive: Bastard Cop Sanity, all checks appear town. Even Millers. Role essentially is useless, just glorified visitor.
Named Townie: A Vanilla Townie that is just named differently, this can allow them to claim Named Townie, not be counterclaimed, and get some credibility. May even appear as Named Townie in Rolecop checks for extra credibility. Much weaker variant of Innocent Child.
Neighbor: Has Outside Contact with other Neighbors. Unlike Masons or the mafia team, it is implied at least two of the people in a Neighbor Chat have different alignments.
Neighborizer: A Neighbor variant who recuits people into the Outside Contact chat like a Cult Leader, but wincons do not change.
Nexus: Sort-of inverse Lightningrod: Any night actions on self get randomly distributed to anybody else. Rather rare role.
Non-Consecutive Night: This modifier can be either Even Night or Odd Night, it is what you make of it! You have the power! (not really, you are still nerfed compared to someone who has permanent actions or limited shots that can still be used ASAP.
Nurse: A Doctor variant that has the additional modifier that if they visit a non-town member they are killed (this is an extra death aside from the factional kill of said non-town). In some ways it is weaker than Doctor since it has a supposedly negative utility exit clause: yet this can also make them a sort-of Cop, double checking on supposedly town clear players to see if they REALLY are innocent, and it can even self-solve itself out of PoE and potentially confirm a mafia if they claim who they visit next, and be an extra flip. Just needs to be extra careful until someone looks confirmed town enough compared to Doc, but can be much stronger!
Observer: Nerfed Watcher variant who may only see one player visiting at random if two or more visit.
Odd Night: Instead of limited amount of shots, the role is limited that it can only act once every two nights, starting with Night 1. Even Night is also a modifier option that is somewhat more limiting, since it has to start with Night 2.
Oracle: Gets random info insights about the setup, or is allowed to ask some sorts of Yes/No questions about setup.
Paranoid: Bastard Cop Sanity, all checks appear mafia. Even Godfathers. Role essentially is useless, just glorified visitor.
PGO: Paranoid Gun Owner, another name for Veteran or Granny.
Phase Resetter: Usually bastard role, can reset the game state to exactly what it was a set amount of phases ago. This can actually revive people, which makes things... interesting.
Postman: Another name for Reporter.
Post Restrictor: Imposes post restrictions on other players. A not-necessarily-mafia variant of Silencer.
Poisoner: A kill that does not immediately resolve, but instead the target dies after a few phases as if they were Bleeder. This can either be an extra kill, or an option instead of the regular kill: Poisoner, like Arsonist, technically bypasses Bulletproof, without needing to use Strongman (many mafia teams with Poisoner never have Strongman in the first place; they are just balanced so Bulletproof is only killable if it has to be done with delay). It can also have WIFOM confusion use, and in some -YLO situations, if the person poisoned has bad reads, keeping them around just a little bit more so they vote wrong (and maybe convince others to vote wrong), also since other town does not know the death is still happening later (even if claimed, it may not be believed if that person does not have enough cred) and thus the -YLO may be worse than they think, which can be rather useful.
Prophet: An Oracle variant, can be called Cryptic Prophet too.
Psychiatrist: Rare role, only appears in setups with Serial Killers/Arsonists. If they successfully visit the evil indep, they can turn them into Vanilla Townie or benign Survivor. A variant for bastard games that can turn non-Sane Cops into Sane has also been seen.
Random: Bastard Cop Sanity, all check results are randomized. Role essentially is useless, just glorified visitor.
Redirector: Redirects a Player A to visit a Player B despite what their role PM submission may be.
Reloader: If they visit a player who has used a limited-shot role, they give them one more shot of the role available again. Also called Motivator.
Restless Spirit: A person who is still allowed to post after their death, but is now Voteless and can only advise their faction. Never indep obviously, more likely town.
Reviver: Usually bastard role, can bring a people back from the dead completely (not in a half-state like Medium). Can be very OP if used right, hosts who put this in setups please watch out.
Role Thief: Can steal a shot of their target's night action, then use it themselves.
Rolestopper: Effectively makes the player they visit Ascetic for the night. Way more useful for mafia, way less useful for town. This usually does not include kills when town (else it would be a stronger variant of Doctor).
Sane: The regular Cop Sanity, all checks appear as they should be.
Sanity: Bastard modifier that is designed to make Cop checks less reliable. See Sane, Insane, Naive, Paranoid, Random, Hypersane.
Seraph Knight: Essentially 1x Doctor on someone that lingers for every night, as long as Seraph Knight is alive.
Silencer: Can target someone at night, and prevent them from speaking for the entire next day (and sometimes even vote). Other variants just impose a post restriction. Despite obvious usefulness, it has slightly fallen out of favor as a role, because prohibiting talk at all for a player can make the game unnecessarily unfun.
Singer: Negative utility role. When they die, a random role PM flip of some townie shows up in mafia chat, essentially giving them a free Rolecop.
Suicide Bomber: Another name for Vengeful. Some variants can choose to suicide earlier, even if no outside factors kill them, just to take someone down as well.
Suit Bearer: Formerly custom role that was eventually normalized. Usually 1x Bulletproof who can sacrifice their BPV to get a 1x Vigilante kill on someone. Only seen on town and indeps without factional kill. Day/Lynch Suit Bearer variants also exist that can trade 1x Lynchproof for 1x Lynch Redirector or Dayvig.
Spy: Usually town. Can get random snippets of Outside Contact chats with all names REDACTED.
Tailor: Usually considered a bastard role. Can change any role PM flip they wish to a role PM tailored by their choosing. Usually limited-shot.
Traitor: A mafia member who does not start as part of the main factional contigent: they usually have the privilege of appearing town in copchecks (despite not being Godfather) until they choose to join the mafia chat, and appear as scum in cophcecks afterwards: in which case they have to consider the trade-off of when to switch. Some variants are forcibly entering when only one mafia member is left at main chat. Usually cannot be nightkilled by mafia either; if that were to happen, the kill fails and they are just forced to join the mafia chat sooner. Very bastard variants do not actually know it until much later (or may keep town wincon if they never learn it, and them sticking to the losing side is intended part of game balance to anti-swing a little), as town wincon they may even be night-killable. Despite some unfortunate implications of host lying to mafia by withholding info of this role, it can have use, because as long as they do not know team and team does not know them, in-thread interactions can feel more genuine. Also a Traitor showing up too soon could make the team more complacent than it would be if they felt more pressured due to lower numbers, only to be treated to a surprise +1 member later making the win so much easier.
Universal Backup: Another name for Inheritor/Amnesiac/Absorber (common variant).
Upgrader: Very rarely mafia. Can upgrade a player's role. These upgrades are predetermined by hosts for each and every role and hidden unless they actually happen.
Usurper: VERY BASTARD role. In addition to usual mafia wincon, the Usurper also has to ensure Godfather is eliminated before endgame: some Godfathers actually lose despite mafia winning if that happens, and certainly do not know there is a backstabber in the team they are supposed to be leading (the Usurper part is conveniently hidden from the role list of mafia at the OP of their chat). The situation is not that much more desirable for Usurper either: this is the kind of role that is hard to win as, like most harmful indeps (SK/Arso), which is thus supposed to have extra bragging rights if they pull it off. Hosts that include this typically make the mafia team overpowered to make up for the fact there is infighting between it, which only makes the entire situation more unfair to town and maybe indeps. Thankfully for any mafia members who are not Godfather/Usurper, lots of Usurper variants inherit the Godfather modifier, which can be VERY useful for mafia yet RUIN town, as town may now think any and all innocent checks from now on are safe, but they are not... This is the kind of role that should either be included for bastard all the way, or not at all.
Vanillizer: Much more likely to be anti-town, usually limited-shot: makes target Vanilla. Some variants consider it an upgrade of Roleblocker, or a 1-shot "tryhard" version that can be used instead of it.
Veteran: Another name for PGO/Granny.
Vengeful: A Bomb/Vigilante hybrid. When they die, they can choose who they want to kill alongside them. May also be called Suicide Bomber.
Visitor: Visits a person each night, the visit does nothing, except being investigate-able from other roles such as Tracker/Watcher and more. The only point is providing info as such. A better version of Named Townie, usually, but can technically be any alignment. Basically a Fruit Vendor without loud modifier.
Voteless: Usually indep, sometimes also town. Player's vote does not count. Can be used to confuse (can make what appears to be a tie be a lynch) or to avoid Kingmaker indep scenarios.
Vote Freezer: Can submit Vote Freeze to host at any given moment of the day and ensure the lynch happens based on that moment's vote count. Is a bit too much like Lynch Redirector if they are around for end of night/start of day update, if they just manage to vote whoever they choose then immediately vote freeze. This has maken it fall out of favor somewhat.
Vote Thief: Can steal a player's vote, then use it themselves.
Voyeur: An analog to Watcher, as Rolecop is to Cop. Gets result of "(list of roles) was used on Player".
Weak Doctor: Another name for Nurse.

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I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the War Room staff (old and new alike) for their helpful suggestions. Should you have any comments or suggestions regarding this guide, feel free to contact a War Room staff member via private message or mention it in the Situation Room.

Special thanks to non-current War Room staff: Phoenicks, The Puppetmaster, hurristat, Iteru, CheffOfGames, DarthWolf, Doctor Floptopus, Elieson, Pikochu, Soulmaster and Maniacal Engineer.
Last edited by a moderator:
Added "ROA". Lie Detector is already in, under rare roles (not sure when was the last time we actually had it in a game...)
Please note: The thread is from 9 months ago.
Please take the age of this thread into consideration in writing your reply. Depending on what exactly you wanted to say, you may want to consider if it would be better to post a new thread instead.
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