Each player in a Mafia game has a role. A role is a character that is part of a faction and has abilities & attributes that contribute to the success of the faction (or sometimes not, see 'nuisance role').
For example, "vanilla Innocent" would be a role, albeit a bland one (nothing to do but vote during days). 'The Doctor' is a role. 'Mafioso' is a role too, although usually the individual Mafia members have specific baddie-roles too.
Roles have some basic types of abilities:
- Night abilities - things they can do at night
- Day abilities - things they can do during the day
- Overall abilities - things that apply to them at all times, or an action they can perform at any time
- Conditional abilities - IF x happens to them, THEN y... or something of that sort
Many times abilities are used as a noun when referring to a particular role/character in a Mafia. E.g. "the BLOCKER blocked me last night" or "the REDIRECTOR redirected me last night". This type of referencing a role by the underlying ability is particularly useful when discussing order of actions or precedence.