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  • Nurse
  • Deputy
Role type:
  • Linked
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A Backup is a player who takes over control of a specific power role when the original holder of that power role dies.

Normal version

This role is allowed in Complex Normal games.

Backup is treated as a modifier to a role, causing the role to be unusable and do nothing until another player with a non-Backup version of that role (regardless of alignment) has died. For example, a Backup Cop could only attempt to investigate players once a Cop had died, and a Backup Ascetic could be targeted with actions until an Ascetic had died. (The role activates "upon the flip", i.e. at the end of the night or day phase in which the backed-up role dies, rather than being able to change state in the middle of night action resolution.)

Backups do not have any access to information gained by the primary role; so, for example, if a Cop dies overnight, their investigation result will be lost even if a Backup Cop exists.

It is possible for a Backup role to exist without the corresponding original role existing, in which case it is impossible for the Backup Role to "turn on"; it will effectively act as a Vanilla role in most respects, but Rolecops will be able to see that it exists.

Backup roles are accepted as Normal on if the role being backed up is Normal, regardless of whether or not it actually exists in the game. A Backup Cop may be named "Deputy", and a Backup Doctor may be named "Nurse", but the "Backup X" naming scheme is also acceptable.


Two Backup combinations are common enough to have their own names, a Nurse is a Backup Doctor, and a Deputy is a Backup Cop.

A Universal Backup is a general-purpose backup that backs up the first power role of the same alignment to die (and thus acts as a role-copying role rather than as a modifier; although similar in nature to a Backup, it can be thought of as being derived from Absorber rather than Night Specific).

Use & Balance

Most moderators design games with Backup roles to reduce swing. Having a Cop and a Backup Cop is a simple way to ensure a good chance of that investigation power to be successful, as opposed to a game with just a Cop, which is subject to a Day 1 elimination or Night 1 kill, completely eliminating that ability. (On the other hand, if the backup and backed-up role are opposite alignments, it normally increases swing, unless the role is positive utility for one alignment and negative utility for the other alignment.)

Some mods have also designed games with a Backup existing without the primary role present, which typically serves to sow seeds of misdirection about the setup for the individual player and sometimes the town if that player dies. A Backup in a game without a primary role present is essentially a Named Townie. However, some moderators find this practice in distaste - either because the backup role creates a violated expectation of a primary role existing in the game, or because the backup-with-no-primary trope has been overdone.

In Normal games, a Backup for a nonexistent role can act as a Named Townie substitute, or to allow a Rolecop to get an unambiguous alignment result on somebody (e.g. a Backup Innocent Child can only be town-aligned).

Play Advice

There shouldn't be any rush to make use of your role, unless you strongly suspect that the primary role has the opposite alignment, as the primary user can probably use it just fine; this is particularly important with investigative roles, where the death of the primary role means a missed result even though you get to take over from then on. As such, an inactive backup role is mostly valuable in terms of what clues it gives you about the setup.

If and when you do activate, your role is identical to the primary role, and should be used as such. One slight difference is that players are less likely to play around your new role because they think it's already died, so you should take a more straightforward line of thinking in WIFOM situations. (For example, Doctors sometimes make "WIFOM protections" of players other than the obvious kill, in the belief that scum will be trying to play around a Doctor; this is probably a bad idea in general for a Doctor, but it's an even worse idea as a Nurse.)

If you are scum planning to fakeclaim Backup, bear in mind that if the primary role you claim happens to exist, the town will expect you to be able to prove your "new role"; so, e.g., if you fakeclaim a role like Nurse, the death of a Doctor will mean that you cannot make obvious kills for the rest of the game.

Sample Role PMs

The standardized Role PM for "Backup" describes the modifier as follows:

  • As a modifier on an active ability: Each night, but only once a non-Backup P1 has died, (edit)
  • As a modifier on a passive ability: P2 once a non-Backup player with your role has died (edit)

Example (modifying an active ability)

Welcome to game! You are a Town Backup Jailkeeper.

You have the following active ability:

  • Each night, but only once a non-Backup Jailkeeper has died, you may target a player. Assuming no interference with your action, that player will be protected from kills that night, but all their actions will be blocked that night.

You win if all threats to the town are eliminated and at least one town-aligned player is alive.

Confirm by replying to this PM with a summary of your role.

Example (modifying a passive ability)

Welcome to game! You are a Backup Bulletproof Townie.

You are protected from kills that target you once a non-Backup player with your role has died.

You have no active abilities.

You win if all threats to the town are eliminated and at least one town-aligned player is alive.

Confirm by replying to this PM with a summary of your role.