The only thing better than getting together with friends is getting together with even more friends. And people you don’t really know, but who could be friends. And people you don’t really know, who even if you may never be friends, are at least good for a lynching of an evening.
Werewolf is a perfect excuse to arrange for such gatherings. Designed to be played in a group of as many as a million billion players (well maybe not, but large groups are no problem – we played with 16 people). The scenario is simple, you’re living in a village and some number of your fellow villagers are werewolves. They get together at night when everyone else is asleep (everyone puts their head down with closed eyes and beats on the table, the werewolves are then ‘woken’ and must do their business without alerting all of the other players) and choose someone to rend limb from limb.
During the day, after discovering their newly dead pal, the villagers must try to figure out the culprit, then lynch them. Of course as the werewolves are very good at tidying up after themselves, the only evidence is in what the people around you say, and how they behave during the day. So as it turns out you’ve got a better than even chance of lynching someone innocent. Once the werewolves have culled back the herd, and equal the number of villagers, they’re then able to freely rampage and kill everyone that’s left – so there’s a pretty strong disincentive not to lynch your mates. Of course you don’t want to draw undue attention to yourself from the werewolves if you’re a villager, and if you’re a werewolf you’ll be desperate to subtly misdirect the attention of the villagers onto their innocent village mates, so there can be a fair bit of politics, and arguing, and of course a huge amount of baldfaced lying.
It’s great fun, we managed four rounds – most of the people playing had done so before, but I and a handful of others hadn’t. I was lucky enough to be werewolf (with two co-lycans) first round up, and we cleaned everyone up – it was like shotgunning goats in the verge, they really didn’t have a chance, and all three of us were left in the end, licking our happy sneaky wolven chops.
Next round up I was positioned as you see in the photo above – indicated by the pinkish arrow – the three folk marked with gray arrows were the werewolves, so it wasn’t a great surprise – in hindsight – that I was meat on the very first night. 🙂
(It’s good fun to watch a game, as a spectator of course you know everything that’s happening – as you don’t need to close your eyes during ‘night’ periods, so you see all of the werewolves, and any other characters who might have been added.
Small changes each round – for instance usually when someone is lynched during the day or mauled at night, their last act (really – there’s no talking or prolonged dramatic deaths, and once you’re dead you mustn’t contribute any further whatsoever) on leaving the table is flipping over their card, revealing whether they’re a wolf or villager or something else, but if you change it so their card isn’t flipped, the villagers never know if they’ve just lynched a werewolf or a villager – really keep everyone on their toes.
Sometimes the villagers prevailed (well, the few survivors) and sometimes the werewolves feasted until the village was bare. But it’s good fun either way, and whichever side you’re on.
If you haven’t already played and get the chance, you should jump at it. Like a slavering beast.