One of the big differences between Forum Mafia and SC2Mafia is the virtually unlimited number of roles that can be created in Forum Mafia. The only real limitation on roles in Forum Mafia is the imagination of the game host. Roles that appear in SC2Mafia may be tweaked endlessly in terms of abilities or even alignment (for example, Mafia-aligned Bus Drivers and Witches are not at all uncommon in Forum Mafia).
Accordingly, this article focuses for the most part on a number of the roles that have appeared / continue to appear in many different Forum Mafia games, but which are not currently found in SC2Mafia. Given the importance of CItizens in Forum Mafia, however, that role is covered up front.
Please note that the descriptions below are common formulations of the roles in question, but each host reserves the ability to modify any roles as he chooses. Therefore, the description of the roles in your Forum Mafia game's setup obviously take precedence to the descriptions of the roles which appear here. When in doubt, please consult your Forum Mafia game host, who should be happy to answer any questions you may have about game roles.
The Citizen is the most central and fundamental role in Forum Mafia. Simply put, it is a Town-aligned role with no abilities at night, but which is expected to contribute to the Town's effort to lynch scum during the day through its contributions to discussions and votes. On rare occasion, hosts may give Citizens some very limited abilities such as a one-time bulletproof vest or the ability to win the game for the Town in a 1:1 tiebreak situation (both of which are abilities from the SC2Mafia mod). To the extent their setups have a theme, hosts often rename the role of Citizen something more fitting, such as Magikarp in a Pokemon themed game.
Unlike the SC2Mafia mod where Citizens are rare and undesired, Citizens are the the most frequent role in Forum Mafia and arguably, the most important. The overwhelming majority of conventional Forum Mafia games have a high percentage of Citizens -- often times, over half of the Town players will be Citizens with the rest being Town roles with a night ability (so-called Town Power Roles or "TPRs"). Because there are numerous Citizens in most Forum Mafia games, often times scum players will false claim Citizen to avoid being lynched.
Being an effective Citizen requires a combination of good instincts and good communication. You should strive to be an active participant in daytime discussion in order to read other players, determine who you think is likely Mafia or other scum put pressure on those players and attempt to uncover inconsistencies in their posts to make your case against them. Because you do not have any night abilities as a Citizen, you will be entirely dependent on your townreading and scumreading of other players.
In addition, because a CItizen does not have any night abilities, Citizens are often referred to as the "meat shields" of the Town, whose goal it should be to draw the attack by the Mafia or other scum at night. This is far preferable for the Town than to lose a TPR such as a Doctor, Sheirff, or other role that may be able to contribute at night. Accordingly, many players believe that Citizens should be as pro-Town as possible during the day in order to make themselves the type of player that the scum roles would want to eliminate.
- Actress - An Actress is typically a Mafia-aligned deception role with the ability to target a player at night. Upon the Actress's death, the Actress will appear in the graveyard as the alignment and role of its target. As such, the Actress can be a very effective deception-type role for the Mafia -- should the Actress target a Town member and later be lynched, this may lead the Town to believe it mislynched when a Mafia member actually died. This can have the effect of throwing off the Town's investigations and lead to suspicion of the player(s) who pushed a lynch on the Actress.
- Architect - An Architect is a Town-aligned role with the ability to target two players during the day. Those two players have the opportunity to speak to each other in an anonymous chat the following night. To the extent that the Architect is able to target Town members, this may be a very valuable opportunity for such Town members to coordinate and / or exchange information. Depending on the host's setup, the Architect himself may be able to participate in the chat in question as well.
- Armorer / Armorsmith - An Armorer or Armorsmith is typically a Town-aligned role with the ability to create armor (typically single-use bulletproof vets) at night and to give this armor to other players. Obviously, the major issue for the Armorer / Armorsmith is determining who is most likely to be Town and should be given a vest. A Armorer / Armorsmith accidentally giving a vest to the Mafia deprives the Town of vests and may allow the Mafia to survive if they are targeted by a Town Killing role such as a Vigilante or by a Neutral Killing role such as a Serial Killer.
- Body Double - A Body Double is a Town-aligned protective role who is able to target a player at night. If the Body Double's target is attacked, the Body Double will die instead of his target. Effectively, a Body Double is a weaker version of the SC2Mafia mod's Bodyguard, as he does not have the ability to kill the target's attacker. However, the Body Double may be still be very effective in terms of protecting other Town Power Roles and leaving a last will (to the extent available) which will indicate who he protected on the night that he died. This will usually clear a certain player of being Town (as he would not have been attacked by the Mafia otherwise).
- Bomb - A Bomb is typically a Town-aligned role who will cause any player who attacks him to die as well. Essentially, a Bomb is a variation on Veteran who does not survive being attacked. As such, players should be careful not to draw the attention of Town investigative or protective roles.
- Bruiser - A Bruiser is a specialized Mafia-aligned killing role that has the ability to kill another player regardless of whether that player is night immune, healed by a Doctor, or swapped. Because of how powerful this ability is, typically a Bruiser is limited to using his ability only once per game.
- Bulletproof - A Bulletproof is typically a Town-aligned role who is immune to night attacks but who does not have any other abilities -- i.e. essentially a Citizen who cannot be killed at night. This role can be very useful for the Town, espeically if the Bulletproof player is able to make himself very valuable to the Town during the day and increase the chances of drawing the Mafia's night kill. Therefore, it is very important that a Bullerproof player be Town-oriented -- it would typically not make sense to lurk or appear scummy.
- Chauffeur - A Chauffeur is a Mafia-aligned Bus Driver who has the ability to "swap" two players each night so that everyone visiting the first targeted player will instead visit the second targeted player and vice versa. Depending on the host's settings, the Chauffeur may or may not be able to target himself as one of the players to be swapped. A Chauffeur can be a very power and disruptive role for the Mafia in terms of impeding Town investigatory roles and prevent Town protective roles such as Doctors from healing Town members. Sometimes, hosts may often include both Bus Drivers and Chauffeurs in their setups (or at least the possibility of either / both appearing) so that the Chauffeur may claim Bus Driver if suspected and so that the Town does not know whether someone bussed was targeted by a Town member or Mafia member.
- Corrupt Journalist - A Corrupt Journalist is a Mafia-aligned investigative role who has the ability to send an article to another player in the game. Depending on how your host has constructed the role, a Corrupt Journalist may be able to include questions in the article or they may merely be able to send a blank article to another player. The Corrupt Journalist's target has the option to fill out the article, which will then be shared with the Town at the beginning of the next day. Sometimes, hosts will include both a Journalist and a Corrupt Journalist in a game (or at least the possibility of both roles appearing) to increase the chances that the players will not know who sent the article in question.
- Electromaniac - An Electromaniac is a Neutral Killing role with the ability to target a player and give that player a charge. If a player with a charge targets another player with a charge, both of those players will die. Whether targeted players are notified about receiving a charge is dependent on how the host has configured the role.
- Ghost - A Ghost is a Neutral-aligned role which gains special abilities after it dies. Specifically, after a Ghost dies, he may target a player at night in order to "possess" that player's account, thereby being able to control that player's actions (chat) during the next day. The Ghost's typical win condition is to ensure that the player who cast the hammer vote to lynch him or who killed him at night loses the game.
- Gunsmith / Weaponsmith - A Gunsmith / Weaponsmith is typically a Town-aligned role with the ability to create weapons (typically one-shot guns) at night and to give these weapons to other players. Obviously, the major issue for the Gunsmith / Weaponsmith is determining who is most likely to be Town and should be given a weapon. A Gunsmith / Weaponsmith accidentally giving a weapon to the Mafia would be very problematic and could end up causing multiple Town deaths in a single night (the Mafia's normal factional night kill, plus another Mafia member using the weapon to kill as well).
- Journalist - A Journalist is a Town-aligned investigative role who has the ability to send an article to another player in the game. Depending on how your host has constructed the role, a Journalist may be able to include questions in the article or they may merely be able to send a blank article to another player. The Journalist's target has the option to fill out the article, which will then be shared with the Town at the beginning of the next day.
- Lover - A Lover is either a separate role or role trait which can appear on any other role. There is no particular restriction on alignment for Lovers -- they can be Town-aligned, Mafia-aligned, Neutral-aligned, or a mix of any of these three categories. A Lover is paired with another Lover -- both typically know each other's identity. If one Lover dies, then the other will automatically die as well out of grief. Sometimes, Lovers have a win condition of ensuring their beloved's survival.
- Medium - A Medium is a Town-aligned role with the ability to communicate with players who have died earlier in the game typically through a special "Dead Chat". Depending on how the host designs the Medium, he may be able to have these conversations with dead players only at night or continuously throughout the day and night. This can be a very powerful role to the extent that deceased players have valuable information that they did not leave in their last will or which might have been concealed by the Mafia -- for example, by a Janitor or Disguiser.
- Miller - A Miller is a Town-aligned Citizen who when checked by an investigative role, will nevertheless appear to be a member of the Mafia. Essentially, a Miller is a Citizen with an impediment and the role is often used to provide further challenge to the Town in a setup where they may be slightly favored to win.
- Nurse - A Nurse is a Town-aligned role which can target another player at night, which will allow that player to use his night abilities twice the following night. This can be an extremely powerful abiltiy if the Nurse targets a Town investigative, protective, or killing role, as the Nurse's target will be able to accomplish twice as much. However, should the Nurse accidentally target a member of the Mafia or an evil Neutral role such as a Serial Killer, there could be serious negative consequences for the Town.
- Operator - An Operator is a Town-aligned role which has the ability to target two players and switch their night targets. This is essentially the opposite of a Bus Driver -- instead of the players' locations being swapped, their targets will be instead. This role can be used very strategically, especially if the Operator suspects that a specific player or two may be members of the Mafia. If not used carefully, however, the Operator may disrupt Town efforts to investigate or protect its players however.
- Oracle - An Oracle is a Town-aligned role...
- Professor (or Mentor) - A Professor is a Town-aligned role that has the ability to target another player during the day. The Professor will receive a permanent night chat with that player (often referred to as his protege) and if the Professor dies, his target will inherit all of the Professor's other abilities (if any) in addition to keep his existing abilities. This can be a very powerful Town role to the extent that the Professor chooses his protege wisely, but there is the risk that the Professor accidentally select a member of the Mafia or evil Neutral role, which could be very damaging to the Town.
- Student - A Student is typically (but not always) a Neutral-aligned role with the ability to target a player either during the day or at night (depending on how the host has designed the role). The Student's target will become the Student's Mentor (in addition to his existing role), the two will gain access to a night chat, and the Student's win condition will become ensuring that his Mentor wins the game. As such, the Student can cause a lot of swing in games, especially to the extent that he picks a member of the Mafia and begins collaborating with them.
- Tailor - A Tailor is typically (but not always) a Mafia-aligned role with the ability to disguise a player as another role (sometimes from a limited set of choices, such as from the graveyard, other times whatever the Tailor wants) so when the player is night killed or lynched, the incorrect role will be revealed to the Town by the host.
- Thief - A Thief is typically (but not always) a Neutral-aligned role with the ability to "steal" (in most cases, copy) the night ability of another his target. The Thief then is able to use the stolen night ability as if he started with it. Typically, a Thief has a win condition of stealing and using a certain number of players' abilities before the end of the game. Survival may also be a part of a Thief's win condition as well, but this varies per game.
- Traitor - A Traitor is a Mafia-aligned role who must typically see the Godfather or other Mafia members die before he is able to win the game on behalf of the Mafia. Depending on the game setup, the Traitor may not know the identities of the other Mafia members and may not share a night chat with them as well.