Common Mafia Roles

By Mekkah. Art by CyzirVisheen.
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A game of mafia always involves several roles. Your role determines your abilities and restrictions in the game, and are usually accompanied by flavor (storyline) by the game's host. Many roles already existed when Smogon Mafia started being played, and even more have been invented since. I will introduce you to the most common ones; how important they are, on what kind of teams you can usually find them, and how they are usually played out.


Inspector; also called cop sometimes, is a staple role that can be found at least once in every game. Mafia is a game of information management, and inspectors are a great way to gather and check information. In regular forum mafia, where the village is up against one or two mafia groups, the inspector is the main role to center the village around. Often, mafia factions and sometimes, even wolves have inspection abilities as well.

Inspections come in so many different flavors that it's almost impossible to describe them all. A generic inspector is one that targets a user, and receives their role PM; which includes alliance, abilities, flavor, win condition, and about everything else there is to know about them. They can of course be nerfed to only include one of these, such as "alliance checker". In anonymous games, inspectors (like almost any other role) target aliases instead of users, which gives the host the option to include an inspector that receives the username behind someone's alias. The possibilities are endless.

Then there's the option of varying their reliability, or sanity. A normal inspector is considered "sane"; a good guy turns up good, and an evil guy turns up evil. But sometimes they can be insane, which means their results are inverted; good guys turn up as evil, and evil guys as good. To make it more confusing, there are also paranoid (everything turns up as evil) and naive (everything turns up as good). Inspectors are never told beforehand which sanity they are. Generally, a game either has just a sane inspector, or multiple inspectors with different sanities. There's a game type called "c5" or "cop5" which involves five players, where four players are the cops of all the different sanities, the fifth is the mafia pretending to be a cop, and the key to winning the game for the cops is to work out their own sanities.

Aside from sanities, another way an inspector's results can be corrupted is if a player somehow gets the ability to falsify inspection results on themselves or others. These are usually called "moles" or "Dickens", and are explained in more detail later in this article.

As mentioned before, inspectors are often the foundation of an organized village. If you happen to be inspector on a game's good side; you will want to get your information out in the open without getting killed. If you find an evil guy on your first night; you may just want to speak up, claim inspector, and point your finger at the evil guy so he can get lynched. The bodyguard will be able to protect you from kills at the next night. If you find a good guy; you should contact him, tell him he has been inspected, and from there, combine your strength to gather more villagers. If possible, you may want to get another villager to bring your results to the public. This might make the mafia think he is the inspector, rather than you, making you less vulnerable.


The bodyguard, or doctor, is another simple role that is almost never left out. The bodyguard targets someone at night, and if anyone attempts to kill his target, the kill fails. Generally, a bodyguard is not permitted to protect himself, to discourage egoïstical play, but this varies.

Bodyguards generally keep one team's most important role or person alive. In traditional games with few if any roles aside from bodyguard and inspector, the protegée is often the inspector, so he can live through the night to gather results, and release them where needed. In a properly played game with just inspector, bodyguard, mafioso, and villagers (with fair proportions), the mafia requires insane luck to win if the bodyguard protects the inspector every night, while the inspector "cleans" people. They basically have to randomly hit unknown people, hoping they kill the bodyguard, and then next night finish off the now vulnerable inspector.


Hooker's older name is "role blocker", which sums up its use; preventing its target from completing their night role. It is easily the most powerful role on #fluodome mafia, as it can block a kill simply by hitting one of the mafia. In forum games, it is generally a lot less useful, since usually the kills are performed by a single guy, while the #fluodome bot considers them to be done by a whole team, significantly lowering the chance of getting the right guy. Hooker can also be highly detrimental if he (unintentionally) prevents another village role from completing their action.

In most games, a hooker requires information to be effective, or else it can be useless, or even detrimental. The hooker, or the person who tells the hooker his targets, needs to have a good idea of hostile roles, or at least know which of his own roles not to target. Idling is recommended if there are no known enemy targets, which is often the case early-game.


Vigilante is defined as "a killer on the village's side". Like hooker, having information on correct targets is essential here. You can't just shoot blindly, or you will end up killing your own team. Village vigilantes are often nerfed a lot, as usually the point of mafia is that the village kill strictly at day (using the lynch in combination with their numbers), and the mafia at night, but many game hosts have taken liberty with this in the past.

Like with hooker, idling early on is recommended, to prevent casualties on the village's side. The ideal time for a vigilante to come in action is when two mafians have been found, as the village can only dispose of one during the daily lynch. Killing on instinct is not recommended.


The mayor is simply a man whose vote counts for more than the usual amount during the day, usually two, very rarely three. There is not a whole lot to explain about it; it can be crucial for late-game votes, but obviously a double vote is useless at night. Just ride the right bandwagon, and you're doing your part!


Rogue was one of the first invented roles, its première being on the #fluodome bot. The rogue chooses to stalk one player, and if that player kills the rogue during that night, the rogue gets the option to resurrect himself at will. There are obviously variations; the most common one being that the rogue can resurrect himself if he stalks a member of the team that killed him. Generally, the rogue can only resurrect himself once, but there's also been cases of infinite resurrections, which is another way to boost this otherwise weak role.

The rogue is usually fairly worthless, especially if he's found out. Your best bet as a rogue is to try and get yourself killed by the enemy without giving yourself away as rogue, or something else that needs death to work. Worst case scenario, you end up taking a bullet for a stronger role. Best case, you manage to resurrect. Oftentimes, rogues receive new powers in forum mafia if they manage to resurrect. Rogue is a very fun role to play if you like to mess around.


The silencer makes his night target unable to speak or post during the day, usually at the punishment of a godkill. There are some variations.

The main purpose of this is to negate someone's vote, making this role of more use to an evil side than to the village. Obviously, silencing a mayor is better than a normal person, as you're negating multiple votes at once. You may also want to consider silencing active people, especially anyone considered "village leader", as it means they at least have to get someone else to post for them. While this may sound like it's never going to work, you may want to silence incompetent players as they sometimes end up not reading, or understanding their "you are silenced" notification, and get themselves godkilled. Almost every big mafia game has had at least one silence-related godkill.


There are two kind of persuaders with almost entirely different purposes, but the most common one is the vote changing persuader. He forces his night target to vote for a specific person. For example, persuader A targets player B, and makes him vote player C. This is even more powerful than silencer, as not only does stop them from voting who they want, but it also nets you a vote for your side. The other version is simply forcing the target to post a certain phrase, which is almost useless unless it forces someone to break a posting restriction. For example, a role in DBZ Mafia called Trunks was disallowed from posting swear words, so forcing him to post several swear words would cause him to suicide. Like with silencing, not doing what the persuader demands results in a godkill.

Like with silencer, the voting persuader is most effective on mayors, as well as people that you know will vote against you. The text persuader is nearly useless, and should either be used as a joke element, or for the aforementioned post restrictions.

Silencer and persuader used on the same person contradict each other, which can have very interesting results, depending on what the host allows. They basically force the player to both post and stay silent. Viva la Mafia allowed the combination of these roles to kill someone off, but in most other games, the roles are in some way or another barred from working on the same person.

Mole Kotone


A mole is a role that turns up as something he is not upon inspection. Generally, it is an evil role that shows up as good. They allow an evil person to gain trust from the village's inspector, and in return, also have to make villagers wary of trusting inspected people even though they are "cleaned".

Moles are somewhat controversial since they go against the unwritten rule that the host either tells you the truth, or he tells you nothing. However, some kind of inspection cover is almost required for a wolf to win a game, as otherwise they are far too easy found out.

The goal of a mole is obviously to get inspected and learn the insides of a village, so that the evil side can co-ordinate their own night actions, ensuring the village gains as little information on them as possible, perhaps making them lynch the wrong guy. It also allows the mafia to dispose of important roles, such as the bodyguard. As a mole, you have to seem not too eager to get inspected, as this gives you away to an experienced player.

There are also "reverse" moles, sometimes called millers, which are good people that turn up as evil, making them harder to trust. Even if you claim to be a miller, people will find you hard to believe. Your best bet is resigning yourself to the fact that you will likely never be trusted fully, and do your best to contribute through votes and such.

The mole and miller, as described above are passive roles. They also exist as active roles, where they target someone (can be themselves), and falsify their inspection result. These are usually called "Dickens" roles, named after the first example of this role in Apocalypse Mafia. "Dickens" roles are even more controversial than moles, as they caused a wolf win in two big mafia games to date.


Thieves are self-explanatory roles in a game with items involved. Depending on the rules of the game, a thief either transfers one, or all of his targets items to himself. There's obvious variations to the thief, such as trading items, being able to move them from one target to another, and obviously there have also been roles that can detect items, or perhaps track where they go.

A thief spends most of his time randomly targeting amongst those who most likely have an item, which can be as much as everyone else, or everyone not on your known team. Sometimes you can be given hints, like through inspection results, or when someone tells you he has an item. The latter can also be a way of checking if someone is speaking the truth about an item he has, which is useful if you are a village-aligned thief. The reverse also works; if someone claims a role without an item to you, and a steal from him gets you an item he told you nothing about, you know he's been keeping things from you. But most of the time, thieves steal random things.

Question Asker

The question asker sends in a question at night that can be answered with yes or no, and is given the answer at the end of the night. This makes for an arguably more powerful inspector role.

It's not hard to come up with good questions for a village yes / no asker. "Is this user aligned with the village?" means that you have someone to trust if the answer is yes, and someone to lynch if the answer is no. You can play it more risky by including more aliases. Asking "is at least one of these players not aligned with the village?" means you can trust both if the answer is no. If the answer is yes, you can further investigate through another question, or other roles, or even wait until one of them dies. If one of them turns out to be clean, you know the other is evil.

Evil sides are better off using the question asker as a way to find powerful village roles, or perhaps the wolf. "Is at least one of player A or player B a village aligned bodyguard or inspector?" or something similar will do the trick. A split mafia can use it as a way to unite. It can also be used to try and see what is true of what people tell you; "does the village have a role that can kill people at night?", "does the other mafia group have less than seven votes?", etc. The yes / no asker leaves a lot of room for creativity.


The announcer sends in a message to the host at night, which is posted publically, but anonymously in the day update. Without some kind of twist to this role, it is fairly worthless, since announcers are no longer an unknown phenomenon.

One way to twist it is to turn it into a yes / no asker, by privately giving the announcer a confirm / deny result on the announcement. This caused a great deal of confusion in Viva la Mafia, where this first variant of the role (called Nostradamus) was announcing people as evil, when in reality, Nostradamus was just asking if they were.

There's also weaker types of announcers, that can only change a small part of the update, such as the Weather Changer role in I Am The Mafia. All he did was pick the weather of that update.

They can also be more powerful by working instantly during the day. The announcer sends in his message, and the host posts it as soon as he sees it.

Finally, there's also the type of announcer that works privately, which could be more accurately named "messenger". He sends in a message and a target, and his target receives this message without the sender. This can be a good way to allow two mafia, or the mafia and the wolf, to communicate without giving each other away.

What to use an announcer for is up to the twist that is given to them by the host. If they have none, they might as well make joke announcements.


The kidnapper, also called "the Kraken" (a kidnapping role in Apocalypse Mafia, whose name stuck), takes his target away. What exactly happens to his target varies per game, but generally it means he is considered a dead player by most means, in that he cannot use, or be targeted by night actions, cannot be lynched, cannot vote, and cannot post in public forums. If he does any of the aforementioned actions, it either does not count, or he is godkilled (if the kidnappee breaks the rule himself).

The main use of these roles is to essentially long-term hook and silence someone. Often, if the kidnapper dies, his current victim dies with him, which means that he can die in the knowledge that he took an enemy with him. Kidnappers are often with the evil sides, though not always. To prevent them from keeping one person out of the game almost entirely, they sometimes have a limit of how many cycles they can keep a user kidnapped.

An unorthodox option is to kidnap an ally to keep him safe from being targeted, and in the case of a mafia kidnapper, perhaps try to indicate he is not aligned with the kidnapping mafia. But this has obvious drawbacks, such as the target not being able to use night roles. And of course many games have two different mafia groups, so even if they believe you're not with one of them, you could be with another.


Safeguard is the inverted form of the bodyguard; instead of protecting against kills, he protects his target against everything except kills. This includes, but is not limited to; inspections, steals, kidnappings, silences, you get the idea. It even prevents a bodyguard from protecting you. There's also weaker forms of the safeguard, such as only protecting its target from roles that would change anything related to his voting behavior, or his items, or even his own night role.

It's a fairly straightforward role that should be used on strong roles of your own party to make sure they work, and so that they aren't found out by the enemy.


Twins (or lovers) are usually two people who know each other's identity. They usually have no role, or a weak one, until one of the two dies. In traditional #fluodome mafia, the surviving twin always becomes killer. He stays aligned with the village if an evil side kills his brother, but if he is lynched at day; he becomes self-aligned, requiring every other player dead to win. The opposite variant also exists; the twins start with a role, but if one of them dies, the other loses his role, or even worse, his life.

If you're the first type of twin, you may want to get yourself killed just to make your partner more powerful or vice versa, or stick to what you are, and have all the pro's of a known partner. Always having a second opinion available is helpful, especially if you are a beginning player. No matter what you do as a twin, don't do anything your partner disapproves of.


Redirectors force their target to target someone else with their night role. As you might have guessed, this has the potential to wreak absolute havoc if you know what to aim for, which is why you rarely see this role completely unrestricted. The most common variations of this role are the martyr (forces his target to target the martyr) and the reverse martyr (forces anyone targeting his target to target the reverse martyr instead). There's also the possibilities of a redirector that always forces his target to target himself, and you could see the hooker as a redirector that forces his target to idle.

For any kind of redirector role, information is crucial, or else you are just randomizing enemy results, or perhaps hindering your team mates if you don't know who they are. Martyrs are generally best off idling in forum mafia unless they have proper protection (bodyguard and / or safeguard) against what they are martyring. Reverse martyr should try to protect the team's best role, and be protected by a bodyguard and / or safeguard, to effectively cover two people with the same protection. If you aren't sure what to do with a redirecting role, you may be best off idling.


A resurrector revives a dead player, simple as that. They are pretty much always one-time use considering their insane power. Games with resurrections in them should always have a warning in their first post that being dead might not be the end of the game, since people are sometimes tempted to spill their beans to dead people.

Resurrections usually bring back its target's powers, making your best role usually your best resurrection target. Killing roles are the top revival candidates, for obvious reasons.

Closing Words

All the above is just the tip of the iceberg. There is an infinite amount of role possibilities, and an infinite amount of ways to use them to their full effect. I am sure many seasoned players will disagree with me on the ways to use the above roles, but I'm also sure these strategies do well enough for beginners. Thankfully, you almost never have to be the only one who has to think on how to use your role. If you're still confused about how some common roles work, you don't have to worry; your role PM at the start of the game usually explains how your role works, and the host is usually more than willing to explain anything that isn't clear.

I hope you had fun reading, but moreover, I hope you have fun playing mafia and inventing new strategies or even roles as you go along.

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