Wednesday, October 1, 2008

'Werewolf' the party game

The Moderator explains:

"Each round has Night and Day. Each night the werewolves will silently indicate a single victim to me. There is a Seer in the village. Each night the Seer will indicate a player to me and I'll let him know whether he's a werewolf or not.

"Then it's day, and I reveal the victim. He is dead, and he can't talk. Everyone picks someone to lynch. Then that person is dead too. Then it's night again, a new round.

"Rounds continue until
1) all the werewolves are lynched, or
2) the number of werewolves and villagers is equal, then the werewolves rise up and slaughter the rest of the villagers in broad daylight.

"Follow my instructions."

1. "It's night, everyone close your eyes and go to sleep."

1'. On the First Night: "I'm cursing the werewolves. Keep your eyes closed." For 6 players, including you, tap one werewolf. For 7 or more, pick 2. For 21+, pick 3.

2. "Werewolves, open your eyes. Select a victim. Close your eyes."

2'. On the First Night: "I'm blessing the seer. Keep your eyes closed." Tap one seer.

3. "Seer, open your eyes. Select someone to use your Second Sight on. ::thumbs up/down:: Close your eyes."

4. "It's dawn, everyone wake up and open your eyes. Alice has been torn to shreds by werewolves. Vote on someone to lynch. Bob has been killed by the mob."


This is a fun game, and I recommend it. Definitely have fun with the atmosphere in your descriptions of the setting and the transformations of the werewolves, the visions of the Seer, the bloodthirsty justice of the lynchmob.

I have condensed the script here to make it easier to start up the game. I've only played the game a few times. It seemed like the reason the game wasn't broken out more often had to do with tricky setup and explanations. Now that I've written it out, it's apparent that you could easily play it sitting at a table or around a TV if the Moderator just said, "Hey, let's play Werewolf," and launched into it.

Other versions of the game call for cards, but that's not necessary. Any game this fun that can be played with nothing more than a crowd -- no dice, no cards, no board, no ball -- is really noteworthy.

Check out Zarf's Werewolf page for more details on how the game is played, the werewolf-to-villager odds, variations, the game's origins, and more. If this post is your first exposure to Werewolf, don't think you get it until you go to Zarf's page.

This guy ( adapted 'Werewolf' from 'Mafia', which was invented in 1986 by Dimitry Davidoff.

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