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At the start of the game, the moderator will tell each player what role they will have in the game, usually from the results of a script that selects people randomly. There are two basic roles that players could be:
- Townsperson – A townsperson will know his role, but not the role of anyone else, even his fellow townspeople. The townspeople will win when they have killed all of the members of the mafia.
- Mafioso – A member of the mafia. The mafia will know who his fellow comrades are, and will win when the mafia equals or outnumbers the townspeople.
The moderator's job is to describe the transition from day to night and night to day, describe when things happen such as lynchings, and do anything that's required to keep the game running. The moderator is not a player, so he can't be killed.