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Spy
Affiliation Town
Summary A stealthy eavesdropper who listens in on secret conversations.
Goal Lynch every criminal and evildoer
Details
Has Night Ability? Yes
Abilities Hears what people say during chats at night (Mafia, Triad, Cultist, and Masons).
Categories Town Power
Investigation Results
Sheriff Not Suspicious
Investigator Trespassing.

Overview

The Spy is a specialized Town role whose abilities have changed through the development of the game from being able to listen to PMs (no longer the case) to being able to listen to Mafia / Triad night chat and see the Mafia / Triad's targets. Although many players do not find the Spy to be particularly powerful, it has the potential to reveal a good deal of important about the Mafia / Triad and prevent them from using more advanced strategies while the Spy is still alive.

Specifically, a Spy will be able to read the Mafia / Triad's night chat (but not see the names of the players speaking). Depending on the host's settings, a Spy may also be able to see the Mafia's kill target and / or other targets as well. These abilities can be very useful in confirming which players are likely Town members, because it would be very rare the the Mafia / Triad members would visit each other, as opposed to members of the Town or Neutrals.

Spies are also able to view any Mason night chats or Cult night chat that are taking place in a game as well (but, just as before, not the names of the players speaking). This ability may be very useful in a Mason / Cult type setup.

Overall, the Spy is a mind-game role and can be very powerful in the hands of an intelligent or experienced player, who is able to use and process the information received in order to confirm certain players as (likely) Town and help to lead the Town to lynching other more suspicious players. In contrast, a Spy is a much weaker role in the hands of a less experienced player, because the information received is much more indirect in nature (anonymous night chat and a list of Mafia / Traid targets, as opposed to exact information about who the Mafia / Triad members are).

Strategies

  • Having a Spy in the game makes it difficult for the Mafia to utilize any strategy that requires a lot of communication amongst themselves.
    • If the Mafia is unaware that there may be a Spy in the game, they may reveal critical information during their night chat about their roles, actions, identities, desired targets, or thoughts on Town members.
    • For this reason, it is highly recommended that Mafia / Triad members not use their names in night chat and attempt to refrain from talking to much about various players in the game. Otherwise, they may end up divulging valuable information that can be reported to the Town by the Spy and used against them.
  • If the host has enabled the "Can see all Mafia targets" setting, the Spy can be a very powerful role and keep a detail log of which players have been visited by Mafia / Triad members.
    • This can be very valuable information because as mentioned above, Mafia / Triad members rarely visit each other so their targets are almost always Town members or Neutrals.
    • However, there are certain Mafia / Triad members who can visit each other (for example, a Janitor / Incense Master) so this strategy is not always successful. Also, to the extent the Mafia / Triad knows there is a Spy in the game, they could target each other where possible to create misinformation.
    • Also, please note that Spies do NOT see target switches; you will always see who the Mafia plan to target, not who they actually target. [TO CONFIRM]
  • In terms of Mafia chat, it is often difficult to draw conclusions because a smart Mafia / Triad will be aware of the possibility of a Spy and compensate accordingly by attempting either not to say much or to provide misinformation.
    • For example, If the game contains a set role Spy, it is very unlikely the Mafia will provide any credible information in their night chat as they know you are listening to them. They may, however, use reverse psychology and mention their player names because they will assume you won't believe them.
    • In contrast, if the Spy comes from a Random role, the likelihood of the Mafia is speaking genuinely is somewhat higher, but still not assured by any means . In this case, Mafia members may still take precautions and deliberately feed misinformation in case a Spy is in the game.
    • As the mind games / WIFOM can be endless with Mafia chat information, it is helpful to use your best judgment in terms of determining what sounds credible (in terms of genuine slips by the Mafia / Triad) and what seems like manufactured information / leads being given which may be false.
  • Furthermore, the Mafia may also drop other clues unintentionally in terms of typing and spelling patterns.
    • For example, if one player utilizes very proper spelling and grammar in day chat, and in the Mafia chat there is also one player using very proper spelling and grammar, then there is a reasonable possibility that the player with proper spelling and grammar is a member of the Mafia.
    • However, some Mafia may deliberately capitalize on this by typing differently between day and night, or by imitating Town members' typing styles in their night chat in order to mislead you. A smart Mafia / Triad will always be concerned about he possibility of a Spy in the game and may employ these types of mind games / WIFOM tactics to keep you from being as useful as possible.

Options

  • Excluded from randoms - (Default: Off)
    • Because some hosts are not a fan of the Spy role in particular, they choose to enable this option which reduces or excludes the possibility of there being a Spy in the game. As always, however, it makes sense to check the list of possible roles at the top of your screen to see if there could be a Spy.
  • Can see all Mafia/Triad targets - (Default: Off)
    • Given the Spy isn't a particularly strong role to begin with (at least compared with more concrete investigation-type roles), many hosts choose to enable this option in order to give the Spy more possible information and allow him to be more helpful with his leads.
  • Can see Mafia/Triad kill - (Default: On)
    • This option relates to one of the Spy's main abilities. It is virtually never disabled by most hosts these days, as it would make the Spy essentially useless and only able to listen to night chat.

Notes

  • Along with the Mason, Mayor, and Executioner, the Spy is one of four roles with no active night ability.

Trivia

  • Spy used had the ability to read all PMs sent between players. However, this ability was removed in May 2013 because it allowed Spies to confirm themselves by reading test messages sent between players. Allow a Spy to be a self-confirmed Town role was seen as too strong so the role's abilities were changed to what they are now.
Roles
Town BodyguardBus DriverCitizenCoronerCrierDetectiveDoctorEscortInvestigatorJailorLookoutMarshallMasonMason LeaderMayorSheriffStumpVeteranVigilante
Town InvestigativeTown ProtectiveTown GovernmentTown KillingTown Power
Mafia AgentBeguilerBlackmailerConsigliereConsortDisguiserFramerGodfatherJanitorKidnapperMafioso
Mafia DeceptionMafia KillingMafia Support
Triad AdministratorDeceiverDragon HeadEnforcerForgerIncense MasterInformantInterrogatorLiaisonSilencerVanguard
Mafia DeceptionMafia KillingMafia Support
Neutral AmnesiacArsonistAuditorCultistExecutionerJesterJudgeMass MurdererScumbagSerial KillerSurvivorWitchWitch Doctor
Neutral BenignNeutral EvilNeutral Killing

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