A Traitor is a member of the Mafia who is separate from the main contingent of the faction. Because it is not a member of the main contingent, it is not capable of talking to the other Mafiosi and cannot perform the factional kill. Beyond this simple definition, the implementation of Traitor varies wildly between games.
This role is necessarily Mafia-aligned. It is considered Normal on mafiascum.net even though it is not standardized.
These are a few of the ways that Traitor has been implemented.
- The Traitor may or may not know who is in the Mafia to begin with. If not, Traitor is basically intended to act like a "bad Townie" - whereas "good Townies" try to find scum, "bad Townies" hinder the Town from finding the scum without necessarily knowing who they are. However, it is considerably more common for the Traitor to know who the scum are.
- On occasion the Traitor is only told who one of the scum is.
- The Traitor may give negative results to Cops (that is, they show up like Townies would). This hearkens back to the earliest interpretation of the Traitor, called the Mafia Spy.
- The Mafia Spy shows up as Town to Cops, but the Mafia can "call them back" at any time to make them full members of the Mafia at any time. (Obviously, the Mafia would know that the Mafia Spy exists.)
- Some moderators allow for Mafia teams to kill their Traitors with the factional kill. Other times, the Traitor is immune to kills from their Mafia (in which case if the Mafia tries to kill them there is no kill that Night). Still other times, if the Mafia attempts to kill their Traitor the Traitor is instead recruited into the Mafia, allowing it to talk to the rest of the faction and perform the factional kill. All of these have been seen regularly.
- If the Mafia can potentially kill their Traitor, they are sometimes told that a Traitor exists in the game. This forces the scum to hunt for their own Traitor in hopes of learning who NOT to kill at Night.
- Some Traitors, particularly those that cannot be recruited into the main faction, are compensated by being granted extra powers. For instance, the Mafia Traitor may also be the team's Roleblocker.
- Some Traitors lose if the main Mafia group is wiped out, even if they are still alive.
Use and Power
Traitors are used to provide "half-Mafia" in games where they are having a hard time deciding whether they want to include an additional Mafioso. They can also be used simply to give scum someone to look out for in single-faction games. Their power depends on what combination of the above variations is employed and how quickly the scum find their Traitor. If the Mafia know who their Traitor is, they arguably have gained another member, even if they can't speak to them.
Note that if there is a Traitor in the game, this implies that the main Mafia group is undersized by one.
It is important that there be some means of counteracting the ability for scum to kill their own Traitor, as this can lead to uncomfortable situations at LyLo where the scum quickhammer and then kill their Traitor for what they thought was the win.
If the scum know that there is a Traitor in the game, it should not be difficult for the Traitor to distinguish themselves to the scum. Just do something outrageously scummy or eye-catching for them. ;)
Because the Traitor cannot perform the Night-kill and may lose if the main scum die, the "bad Townie" strategy may be a good one to consider. Try fakeclaiming an incriminating result on some random Townie in order to score a free mislynch.