Werewolf (abridged)

30 minute party game for 7 to 15 players (v.01)

“Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.”

Setting Up

Assemble a group of players (odd numbers are best, although not mandatory). There should be a card for each player: One “Moderator”; Two “Werewolf”; One “Villager (Seer)”; All the rest “Villager”. Shuffle the cards and hand them out, face down. Each player should look at their card, but keep it secret. Only the moderator may reveal their card (or the group can choose a moderator in advance; the moderator then takes the “Moderator” card, shuffles the rest, and hands them out face-down).

Game Strategy

The werewolves are trying to slaughter everyone in the village. They pretend to be villagers and try to throw suspicion on real villagers.

The villagers are trying to figure out who the werewolves are. The only information the villagers have is what other players say—and who dies.

The seer is the greatest threat to the werewolves and can detect them. The seer tries to throw suspicion on any werewolves they discover, but without revealing themselves to be the seer (if they do, the werewolves will almost certainly kill them that night). The seer can reveal themselves at any time (without revealing their card), if they think it’s worthwhile to tell the other players what they’ve learned.

The moderator should stick to the script to avoid making mistakes or giving clues. The moderator should also be careful to not speak directly at any one player when giving directions.

Gameplay

The game proceeds in alternating Night and Day phases, beginning with Night. Everyone closes their eyes; the werewolves secretly select someone to kill; the seer (if alive) secretly learns another player’s status; then the sun rises and one player is found dead; the remaining players vote on removing another player from play (in hopes of catching a werewolf). Repeat until one side wins.

Night

Night Noises: When everyone closes their eyes at night, people should start humming or making some other noise. This is to cover any accidental sounds that could be made by the werewolves or the seer.

Moderator: Everyone, close your eyes and make night noises. Night is beginning and the wolfbane blooms. Werewolves, open your eyes and pick someone to kill.

[The two werewolves should look around to recognize each other. The moderator should note who the werewolves are. The two werewolves silently agree on one villager to remove from play. It is critical that they remain silent. When the werewolves have agreed on a victim, and the moderator understands who was chosen, the moderator continues...]

Moderator: Werewolves, close your eyes. Seer, open your eyes. Seer, pick one player to ask about.

[The seer opens their eyes and silently points at another player. The moderator silently signs thumbs-up if the seer pointed at a werewolf and thumbs-down if the seer pointed at an innocent villager.]

Moderator: Seer, close your eyes. Night is over.

Day

Moderator: Everyone, open your eyes; it’s daytime. And you [indicating the werewolves’ chosen victim] have been torn apart by werewolves. The mob wants bloody justice. Everyone, choose a player to remove from the game.

[The victim is immediately “dead” and removed from play. “Dead” players may no longer speak. The victim reveals their card and leaves it face-up. “Living” players may only discuss who to remove from play. They may say anything they want—truth, misdirection, nonsense, or outright lies—but no player may reveal their card to anyone, except when they are killed. When a majority of players have voted for a particular player to be removed from play, that player then reveals their card and the Day ends. Night then falls and the cycle repeats.]

Winning

The villagers win if they kill both werewolves.

The werewolves win if they kill enough villagers so that the numbers are even (2 werewolves and 2 villagers, or 1 werewolf and 1 villager), at that point they would be able to rise up and slaughter the villagers openly.


These are abridged rules based on the rules by Andrew Plotkin. Visit http://www.eblong.com/zarf/werewolf.html for more information and verbose explanation of the rules.

Dowload the one page pdf: werewolf.pdf (97k)

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N.E. Lilly  N.E. Lilly's website is the editor of Everyday Weirdness, Thaumatrope, and SpaceWesterns.com. When he isn’t reading submissions he’s developing websites for Science Fiction professionals and organizations through GreenTentacles.