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Doctor

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Doctor
T-doctor.png
Aliases:
  • Sorcerer
  • Archangel
Alignment:
Role type:
  • Protective
Choice:
  • Night
Doctor
M-doctor.png
Aliases:
  • Sorcerer
  • Archangel
Alignment:
Role type:
  • Protective
Choice:
  • Night
A Doctor protects players from being killed overNight. Each Doctor protection cancels out one kill.

Normal version

Each night, a Doctor chooses a player to protect. The standard (and only Normal) version of a Doctor cannot target themself. If a player is protected, they become immune to one kill performed by normal means (e.g. a Mafia or Werewolf factional kill, a Vigilante shot, or a Serial Killer's inherent kill can all be prevented by a Doctor).

If a player is targeted by multiple kills, a single Doctor will not be enough to save them; a number of Doctor protections equal to the number of kills is required. Additionally, some special types of death, such as those caused by a Strongman's kill or by a Weak role backfiring, cannot be stopped by Doctor protection; and of course, if the Doctor's action itself fails as a consequence of a Roleblocker or comparable role, it will not protect its target. Additionally, a Doctor's protection will have no effect on a Macho player.

As with most roles, Doctors do not have any inherent knowledge of whether their role has operated or not; if the Doctor's target survives, the Doctor cannot tell whether their target wasn't targeted for a kill, or whether they were killed but saved; likewise, if a Doctor is roleblocked, they won't be told that this is the case (unless some other player's role tells them).

In Mafia hands, the Doctor role has an additional, unrelated effect: a Mafia Doctor kills without the use of a gun, and thus a Gunsmith will not see a gun when investigating a Mafia Doctor. (This effect does not occur if a Mafia member gains access to a Doctor action via some other means, e.g. a Jack of All Trades role.)

Variations

In Theme games, the interaction between a Mafia Doctor and a Gunsmith may be different, and is typically driven by the game's flavour. Similarly, the exact list of types of kill that a Doctor can stop will often be flavour-driven in these games; an unusual type of kill might or might not be considered eligible for Doctor protection. For types of kill for which a Doctor is insufficient, sometimes specialised Doctor variants are introduced to stop them, e.g. a Firefighter or Poison Doctor.

There are numerous minor (but nonstandard) variations of the Doctor, e.g. some Doctors can self-target, some can stop more than one kill in the same Night, and some variant Doctors will inform the Doctor and/or their target if a protection stops a kill. These variations are not Normal, and should typically be mentioned in the player's Role PM so that they do not come to false conclusions about how their role works.

It is common for Doctors (especially those which can self-target) to have a targeting restriction, to prevent them saving the same player (especially the same power role) repeatedly. Nowadays, these restrictions often expressed in the form of a role modifier; modifiers that can break up Doctor combos include Non-Consecutive Night, Indecisive, Roaming, and Simple. In the past, Percentage was also sometimes used for this purpose (creating a role known as the Faith Healer), but roles with random aspects are normally frowned upon nowadays.

Sometimes, a Doctor can protect against kills from only one faction, normally signified by naming the role; an Archangel can block the Mafia's factional kill (but no other types of kill), whereas a Sorcerer is the equivalent for Werewolves. (The name "Sorceror" is sometimes simply used as a flavour replacement for "Doctor" in a Werewolf-flavoured game.)

In games with a Day Vigilante or similar source of kills during the Day, sometimes Doctors are adapted to be able to stop kills during the day, via one means or another (this can be difficult to implement, because daykills normally resolve immediately, and the details of this are not standard).

Analogous to Cop sanities, some moderators have experimented with Doctor sanities, Hidden aspects to a Doctor's role that cause it to act differently (sometimes, hidden even from the flip). On the rare occasions that they are used, these sanities are defined as follows:

Sane
A Sane Doctor acts normally.
Insane
An Insane Doctor has 50% chance of killing their patient instead of protecting them.
Naive
A Naive Doctor does nothing (i.e. is a False Doctor). This role is also known as a Quack.
Paranoid
A Paranoid Doctor protects their patient as normal, but also roleblocks them.
Weak
A Weak Doctor acts as normal, but dies if they protect an anti-town player.
CPR
A CPR Doctor prevents kills as normal; however, it will kill its target unless the protection is actually required.

Although Doctor sanities are basically never seen nowadays, three of them have been spun out into (self-aware) roles of their own; a self-aware Paranoid Doctor is a Jailkeeper, self-aware CPR Doctors are common in Theme games, and Weak can be seen as a modifier on all sorts of roles.

Use & Balance

Doctors exist to deter the Mafia from making "obvious" kills. They can be used as a standalone power role dedicated to stopping obvious Townies from dying, or they can be intended to stop power roles from dying after they claim.

In practice, the latter purpose is far more effective. Doctors are notoriously bad at protecting against Mafia kills when there is no obvious target; they are weak on their own. However, if a power role claims, a Doctor has no reason not to protect that power role. This prevents the Mafia from killing the power role, and that role can go on to safely and publicly aid the Town as well as it can. Thus, full/unmodified Doctors make the game much more focused on power roles and Night actions.

It is very important when including a Doctor in a game to check for broken combinations arising from its synergy with other power roles. Follow the Cop, for instance, arises when it is known in advance that there is a Cop and a Doctor in the game. Another broken combination involves two Doctors in the same setup; they can protect each other each Night and thus become immune to kills for the rest of the game. Because of this, full Doctors have fallen out of vogue in favour of Jailkeepers, modified Doctors, or simply not including a protective role at all.

It is not unheard of for Mafia to have Doctors of their own in games with Vigilantes, Serial Killers, or even rival Mafia factions. Their power is about the same in practice as that of standalone Town Doctors. Note. however, that in typical flavours, Mafia Doctors do not have guns, and therefore act as Godfathers to Gunsmiths.

Play Advice

As a Doctor, your role generally only has value if it's protecting a player that's being killed by an anti-town player (if you're protecting a player from a Vigilante, then you're basically just wasting all the town's power even if your targeting is correct). So you need to identify which targets your enemies would want to kill, and try to pick the same players. Good Doctor targets therefore include obviously-town players (especially if their towngame is good in other ways), players who are confirmed as town, and players who have claimed power roles (if the Mafia do not have a Roleblocker, they normally need to use their kill to shut the power role down).

The major difficulty in making use of a Doctor action therefore comes down to the situation where the Mafia have multiple good nightkill targets. In this case, determining which to protect will inevitably suffer from some levels of WIFOM (especially if there's a clear best and a clear second-best kill target). Sometimes Doctors get around this by flipping a coin or using similar random means to choose which target to protect (if the presence of a Doctor is clear, and town are leashing them, sometimes the plan will involve randomizing between two targets in the hope that the Mafia will consider both of them too risky to kill).

Sample Role PMs

The standardized Role PM for "Doctor" describes the action as follows:

  • As a targeted action: that player will be protected from one kill that night. (edit)

Example (simplest form)

Welcome to game! You are a Town Doctor.

You have the following active ability:

  • Each Night, you may target a player. Assuming no interference with your action, that player will be protected from one kill 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 (with modifiers)

Welcome to game! You are a Town 1-shot Loud Doctor.

You have the following active ability:

  • Once in the game at night, you may target a player. Assuming no interference with your action, that player will be protected from one kill that night. Your target will learn that you targeted them (but not what action you targeted them with).

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.