The Psychologist is an investigative role that determines a player's ability to kill. It does however have a drawback: if a player has already killed, the Psychologist can no longer discern whether this player is capable of doing so. This, along with non-killing scum, such as the Mafia Traitor, or killing-Townspeople, like the Vigilante can offer unreliable results, making it inferior to a standard Cop. It is important to note that the result is dependent on a player able to actively choose to kill someone, which would produce a Negative on a role like Paranoid Gun Owner.
The Psychologist role used to be an alias of Gunsmith, until the functions of both roles diverged.
Not to be confused with: Psychiatrist.
In a Normal Game, a Psychologist may choose to investigate each night. Only three results can be obtained from this investigation: Negative, Positive, or No Result. This investigation resolves after any killing abilities in the Night phase.
A negative result is returned from players that are unable to actively kill another player, or on a player that has already killed.
A positive result is returned from players that can choose to kill, but have not done so.
An older version of the Psychologist did not feature its loss of discerning a player's capability to kill upon that player performing a kill. This made it a stronger version of the Gunsmith, the role the Psychologist diverged from, as it no longer gained false-positives from Cops and Rolecops.
The now Normal version of the Psychologist was a weakened version originally designed for the Hard Boiled setup. An alternative way to weaken the role, that's been seen on occasion, is for the Psychologist to detect players who have the capability to cause a death at night (including indirectly); this is much more prone to false positives, e.g. it could detect a standard Miller if there's a Weak player around, a Deflector if anyone has a kill, etc.
Use & Power
Adding a Psychologist to a set up is a valid way to curb town power with an investigative role that is inferior to a Cop. It may be used with a purpose to generate false results from players, though the expectation of checks against this role may allow fakeclaim opportunities for scum to be stronger than they otherwise would be.
If using a variant, it's important to know in advance which roles in the game it will gain Negative and Positive results on. In addition, choosing when the action resolves when the game setup is still being created is crucial to identifying the role's power level.
As a player, the Psychologist should opt to play much like a Cop would. This means that investigating either players you find difficult to read or scummy players you would find it difficult to leverage a lynch upon take top priority.
There is not much purpose in trying to catch anyone other than groupscum with the Normal version of this role; a Serial Killer or Vigilante has no reason not to kill Night 1, in which case the role will be unable to detect them. On the flip side of this, a positive result nearly always means that you've caught a member of a scumteam.
Sample Role PM
Welcome, [Player]! You are a Town Psychologist.
- Investigate: you may investigate a player each night and discern whether that player has an active killing ability. Receive a Negative result on those that have no active killing ability, or on those that could kill and have tried to do so already. Receive a Positive result on those that can choose to kill, but have not done so.
- You win if all threats to the town are eliminated and at least one town-aligned player is alive.