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Psychologist

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Psychologist
Alias:
  • Gunsmith
Alignment:
Role type:
  • Investigative
Choice:
  • Night

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.

Normal version

A Psychologist can investigate one player for unused kills 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.
  • The "no result" result is returned as a result of the action failing as a consequence of another role (e.g. a Roleblocker or Ascetic) interfering with it.

Roles like Paranoid Gun Owner, who have passive kills, give negative results because they have no active kill. Likewise, a Mafia Traitor has no kill and thus will produce a negative result; a Vigilante will produce a positive result before it makes its first kill.

Variations

An older version of the Psychologist could discern a player's capability to kill even after that player had killed; this was effectively a stronger variant of the Gunsmith (because it did not have false positives on, e.g., Cops). The two roles thus used to be very similar but have diverged somewhat since; this version of the Psychologist is still called a Gunsmith on occasion.

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.

The Psychiatrist is an unrelated role with a similar name.

The Detective is the opposite of the Psychologist, able to sense only players who have killed.

Use & Balance

A Psychologist is normally used as a substitute for a Cop, in cases where the Cop would be too powerful and a weaker variant is desired. In particular, its power tends to fade later in the game (especially if the scum know it exists), and thus can be useful to help balance skewed setups in which pro-town swing is more of a danger than pro-scum swing.

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.

Psychologist is almost (but not quite) useless for anti-town players, except in multiball.

Play Advice

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 an elimination 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 PMs

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

  • As a targeted action: you will learn whether or not that player has an unused active killing ability (which gives a "positive" result), as opposed to having no kill or a kill that has already been used (both of which give a "negative" result). (edit)

Example (simplest form)

Welcome to game! You are a Town Psychologist.

You have the following active ability:

  • Each Night, you may target a player. Assuming no interference with your action, you will learn whether or not that player has an unused active killing ability (which gives a "positive" result), as opposed to having no kill or a kill that has already been used (both of which give a "negative" result).

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 Psychologist.

You have the following active ability:

  • Once in the game at night, you may target a player. Assuming no interference with your action, you will learn whether or not that player has an unused active killing ability (which gives a "positive" result), as opposed to having no kill or a kill that has already been used (both of which give a "negative" result). 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.