Thursday, September 08, 2005

9 Player Werewolf

Hi everyone,

Sorry I haven’t written for two weeks. I got so busy with work I didn’t have time for it, and wasn’t thinking about it on the weekends when I did have some time.

I want to continue to explain some good Werewolf role setups, this time, for 9 players. Again, for games with 9 or less players, I find that it is important to not reveal roles on death. These small games are all about having lots of special roles, and having people make lots of role claims, and then trying to figure out which are true, and which are evil players bluffing. For games with more than 9 players, revealing roles upon death becomes more important, as things get a lot more random, and its important for people to be able to figure out something from vote records about what is going on.

Here is a 9 player setup that works well:

“Evil” team:
2 Werewolves
1 Sorcerer (Sorcerer wins if the Werewolves win, doesn’t know who the Werewolves are and they don’t know him, during the night, Sorcerer looks at a player and sees if that player is the seer).

“Good” team:
1 Seer (only sees Werewolves, not Sorcerer).
1 Hunter (if Hunter and 1 Werewolf and the last two players alive, the Hunter kills the wolf and the village wins).
1 Priest (during the night, the priest is shown the role card of players who had dies previous to that night, but is known shown the role of the current night’s kill).

3 Villagers.

In addition, there are two more roles, but the players who have those roles do not know they have them. (This is because if everyone has unique roles, in a game this large, it becomes too easy for the village to simply all say who they are, and then kill off people who contradict each other).

The first unknown role is the Tinker. The moderator randomly chooses one of the three Villagers to be the tinker. If the Seer looks at the Tinker, they see the Tinker as a Werewolf.

This can lead to situations where a Villager is accused by the real Seer of being a Wolf, and could become convinced that the Seer is actually evil, probably the Sorcerer. If that Villager is lynched, and the Priest later reveals to everyone that they were a villager, the Seer could be in real trouble. Of course, it is mostly the potential for this to possibly occur that makes things interesting. It also gives the wolves another excuse if the Seer fingers them. They can claim adamantly to be a Villager, who must be the Tinker.

The second hidden role is the Medium. The Medium can attempt to speak with the dead. Once per game, the village can, by majority vote, attempt to hold a séance, during the day. The dead person who the village is attempting to contact is agreed upon before this vote. If more than half the players vote to attempt the séance, then the attempt occurs. Only one attempt may be made per game. Then, all players state whether they are willing to participate in attempting the séance (by raising hands). If the medium is alive and is willing to attempt the séance, it is successful. If the medium is dead or did not raise their hand, it fails, and no other séance may be attempted.

If the séance is successful, the agreed upon dead person is allowed to speak for the rest of the day, but cannot vote. This can be useful in cases where the Seer is killed for example, and the Priest informs everyone that this has occurred.

Here are a list of additional variants to try, which change the game. They will aid either the village or the wolves, as I will explain. This can be useful if your group is seeing one team or the other winning repeatedly:

1) Change the Sorcerer ability to look for the Werewolves instead of the Seer. This helps the evil team find all of its members. This is a significant help to the Wolf team.

2) Change the Sorcerer ability to look for ‘any player with a night time ability’. The sorcerer would get a thumbs up (you found your target), if they looked at a Wolf, Seer, or Priest. You can also make variants on this. This is a moderate help to the Wolf team.

3) Change one Villager to the ‘Villager with a Big Hat’. This Villager’s role is revealed upon death. This is a moderate help to the village. This Big Hat villager can often reveal themselves if under fire, narrowing down targets. It also reduces the pool of players in which a Wolf can easily hide, since if they claim to be the Big Hat villager, its easy to verify, once another person claims to be the Big Hat villager, or that player dies.

4) Change the Priest to the Bodyguard. During the night (except the first), the Bodyguard may designate a person they would like to protect. If the protected player was targeted by the wolves, then the Bodyguard dies instead. (Variants where a kill did not happen proved too powerful for such a small game). The bodyguard can essentially choose not to use their power by pointing at themselves. This is a moderate help to the village team.

As you can see, there are many configurations you can play with. A final modification, is for the moderator to choose some configuration to play, and hand out roles, but not to tell others which set of roles is being used. However, the role set should be chosen to be close to balanced. (i.e, agree on a number of close to balanced role sets, and pick one of them at random).

For example, the group might agree that there will be either a Priest or a Bodyguard, and that there may or may not be a Tinker, and that the Sorcerer power might be one of three different things. The moderate would choose which set of power to use, and then give out the roles. This might require the moderate to meet with each person, and tell them their exact role/power. Alternately, a card could be made for each power, and the moderate could only put in the cards being used, for selection.

This can create additional opportunities for role claims, bluffing and deception.

And finally, as an additional twist, one villager could be given the power to know which roles/powers are in the game, and which are not. This would be a help to the villager side of course, so it might be combined with role possibilities that would aid the wolf team.

In all cases of course, at least one of the evil players, possibly more, will need to make role claims, either privately to people or out in the open, claiming to be various special roles, and sowing disinformation. The sorcerer might claim to be the villager who knows all the role powers in the game, for example, and make up things about what there really was.

Next week I will talk about 7 player, 3 team werewolf, which is my favorite version. It tends to be faster than other werewolf games, because its much easier to get a majority to agree to a lynch, when for any given player, more than half of the other players in the game are not on their team. With a demon team added into the mix, if a person claims to be the Seer and to have seen a Wolf, 5 of 7 players will want the wolf dead, and 4 of 7 will want the Seer dead, to different degrees. But more on that next week. :)

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