Forms of BTSC:
- PMing (PM = Private Messages in a Forum environment)
- Host-setup method of communication (such as secret BTSC forums)
- Player-setup method of communication (AIM, MSN, email, etc)
- Talking irl (in real life) about the game - if you know another player irl
Note that BTSC is almost always not allowed! Do not ever BTSC with any other player unless explicitly told by the host that you are allowed to! Nobody cheats in Mafia. People find out, and you are basically exiled. If you PM somebody about the game, usually they will lightly warn you that BTSC is not allowed, or possibly tell the host immediately. Either way, trying to establish illegal-BTSC serves no actual purpose because nobody trusts anybody and it's likely to make you more suspicious and possibly get you lynched or killed within the next phase. Bottom line: don't BTSC unless it was explicitly allowed for you. That would be illegal BTSC.
First, what exactly counts as BTSC? Of course you can PM and chat to your friends, even if they are playing in the same Mafia game. But you can't discuss strategy, roles, events, desires about the game, ANYTHING. Anything that conveys information, probes for information, etc. No letting slip your opinion on the lynch vote during an AIM conversation. This is the most common form of "accidental BTSC"
Roles with BTSC (legal BTSC - approved by host!):
- Baddie factions generally have BTSC as a group-wide ability. This means that all members in the faction can chat with each other
- Sometimes, two members of the majority faction ("the Innocents") get BTSC as a special part of their roles. Or sometimes they don't start out with the BTSC but have the possibility of obtaining it. All of this will be described by the host, so only use BTSC if you're sure.