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.
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.
- Some Traitors inherit the ability to nightkill if the rest of the scum are dead.
A Traitor is considered Normal on mafiascum.net, as long as it:
- is Mafia-aligned
- knows the identities of all of the Mafia team
- identity is not known by the Mafia team, although they should know a Traitor exists
- cannot be recruited to join the rest of the Mafia team, and (unless Bulletproof) is killed if shot
- is endgamed if all other Mafia are dead
- gives a "guilty" result to Cops, an "innocent" result to Gunsmiths, and a "Traitor" result to Role Cops
If you want a Traitor that cannot be killed by its team, make it a Bulletproof Traitor. (A Traitor that investigates as though they were town is not Normal, because the Godfather role is not Normal.) Roles like this should return full names (e.g. Bulletproof Traitor) to a Role Cop investigating them.
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.
In Theme games, it is fairly common for a Traitor to have some additional role to help them help their faction. For example, a Traitor who does not know who their Mafia allies are may well be made into a Cop to help them find them, or a Traitor might be given the ability to indirectly help their team at night with a Roleblocker ability or the like.
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.