Moire-tastic. This is exactly why you should never rely on in-browser image resizing. Do it on the server end, or better yet, before uploading in the first place.
I wonder how this compares with The Werewolves of Miller's Hollow, in particular with the Deluxe Edition thereof. I've looked at that game, but never got a chance to play it. It, too, has a lot of specialty characters, such as The Seer (similar to what's here), The Little Girl (who can peek during the Werewolves' phase, but only through her lashes, and if the Werewolves notice what she's doing, they can kill her instead of their original target), and The Village Idiot (who can expend his card to survive one accusation of lycanthropy). However, it lasts several turns instead of just one, and thus the problem of players "killed" early on would still come up.
The great thing about the original game is that you don´t need any equipment to play it though. Even if I´m out on the first turn, watching the intrigue unfold for the rest of the game is always fun.
What ages did you play with?
Are all the "simple villagers" male?
The werewolf I play has a bunch of extra roles anyhow. And my two friends that usually GM have invented dozens of new roles and rules. It's usually insane. For example, there's the Makeup Artist, who swaps two players faces around in the night, so anything that would happen to one happens to the other and vice versa. There's also the Barber, who "puts a mirror in front of someone's face", effectively redirecting anything that targets that player to the targeter. These two interact in confusing, nondeterministic, and hilarious ways. Half the fun is watching the GM spend 5 minutes muttering to themself, trying to work out what actually happened. Then there's the Teenage Werewolf, who is a Werewolf that must say "Werewolf" at least once during the day phase, the Fool, who wins if they die. Sometimes the GM creates dual-role cards. So you might have a Teenage Werewolf Fool. One GM sometimes plays a "Plague Game", in which there are no Werewolves, just the GM picking random players. The only way to win is to ask "Is this a Plague Game?", which instantly kills you outside of a Plague Game.
I agree. Simplicity, too, is why everybody has heard of this game. I'm not convinced the $19 version is an improvement. It's a great price, I will say that.
For another improved version of Werewolf/Mafia that is cards-only (no app), check out The Resistance. By instituting a best two-out-of-three mechanic, it keeps all players in the game until the end.
"Semi-reliable" might be my least favorite description of anything werewolf related.
I'm very fond of this version of werewolf. Plays quickly, and is a great filler while waiting for people to arrive or finishing up a night.
I'm a bit worried the short game play time---10 mins? That doesn't seem time enough to really flesh out any interesting interaction, backstabbing, deception, amongst the player.
With 2 Werewolf's in play, or one that doesn't get killed;
could you 'reboot' the game with the player holding the same cards they had for 'first night' and make it a second night with this game system?
This reminds me a lot of a simple game I designed while working in Antarctica during winterover. It was based on legendary documentary of Antarctic life 'The Thing'. It was played between the 13 people stuck on base during the winter. Rules were simple: one player was randomly assigned as 'The Thing'. Then if he (or other 'things') were in a room with a lone normal person for 3 minutes, that person became a 'Thing' too (he would just tell him). Also during breakfast, lunch and dinner we would discuss and vote on who we thought the 'things' were and we could 'burn' them (meaning they turned back to normal).
The game instilled a healthy dose of paranoia on the base... An understatement for 13 people stuck in a few buildings at -78C. As soon as someone would walk into your room, you'd start to freak out.
We played 4 or 5 rounds, which lasted 3 days on average, and the 'things' won every game, with once 12 'things' walking on the lone survivor...
It's about the short con rather than the long con; the werewolves have to come up with a lie, and change their story or discredit the truth as more and more factual information comes to light.
Think of each game as a separate round of a larger metagame.
There are a huge number of wonderful Werewolf variants out there. I have and play the Miller's Hollow version, and it's great. But you need a large number of people for most Werewolf games and a good bit of time, with player elimination that leaves many watching from the sidelines. If you have a group that's into it, traditional Werewolf is superior.
What makes this game so great is that it only takes ten minutes, and there is no player elimination. It condenses the experience down to its essence of logic, lying, and bluffing. I was skeptical, but you do get a "real" werewolf experience in a game you can play in many more circumstances.
Wow, I sound like a paid shill here. But seriously, I've played this game ten times as often as I've ever gotten to play Werewolf...
Resistance: Avalon is rated even more highly, though I prefer the original setting.
It has minor tweaks that change how information is generated in the game. It works so well that they started shipping two role cards with newer packages of resistance: merlin/assassin.
Avalon still has more roles that enable effective balance tweaking.
I played this at Origins a few weeks ago. I thought it was a decent party game. I like that it can be played so quickly and that it is very accessible, but it's really not a werewolf game. The roles in the game make it fairly solvable just by their nature, e.g. I know I switched these two roles between people which means that person is now X role. In Werewolf you have to make deductions based on peoples reactions. I think Werewolf is best played with a group that knows each other well whereas this game fits well in most parties
Paying ten or twenty dollars for one of these things has always struck me as a bit odd, considering I can recall playing the game with a perfectly ordinary playing card deck.
But then, the game itself has never really appealed to me. It just seems like frantic, wild accusations all the way through.
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