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When you've been lynched by the villagers or ripped apart by the werewolves, I believe the rules say those players are completely out of the game and should not contribute in any way.

In the handful of Werewolves games I've played, some of those dead characters are put out that they aren't playing any more & decide they'll go and do something else, hence splitting up the party.

Do people have any house-rules or innovative ideas for what dead players can be doing within (or around) the game as it continues?

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In the many Werewolf games I've played the dead usually enjoy watching the remaining players struggle. If the game proceeds at a decent pace, the wait won't be all that long, even with 20-30 players. A great moderator is key, though. When the game does run long it's not uncommon for the dead to move to another room for a while and talk. –  Matthew Frederick Jan 12 '11 at 10:08
    
Usually in long games the dead around here just kibitz. (It's quite easy to be entertaining and yet not "contribute". :) ) –  Allen Gould Aug 22 '13 at 15:34
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4 Answers

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A simple game variant is that dead people can become ghosts. This means that they still close their eyes, but do not vote. During the day, they can still talk and participate in discussions. Obviously, one's status is NOT revealed when one is killed. It's up to the moderator to say when the game is over.

This changes the game, since it's not possible to eliminate 'leaders', but it can keep everyone engaged.

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I do feel like it's a pretty crucial feature of Werewolves that you should be able to kill the most vocal/annoying players just to be able to shut them up. Maybe that's just my group though. (I usually get killed pretty early...) –  thesunneversets Jan 12 '11 at 19:34
    
Perhaps some ghosts have had their throats ripped out, so they can't talk! –  ajborley Jan 12 '11 at 21:29
    
@thesunneversets: I agree, that's a key point even in my sessions. Happens also if a player is too devious or smart: if you're in doubt, it's a wolf. That would be pointless if he was allowed to keep talking. Moreover, it would make being killed much less of an issue, spicing down the game. Finally, it would buff way too much the role of the Seer, making it less interesting. –  Lohoris Jan 13 '11 at 16:13
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Seems like an opportunity for further enhancement than a problem. Consider (1) Exorcising the ghosts as a particular action to be taken in the day (or night), that either costs the villagers or the wolves extra time. Consider also special role cards that could come into play ONLY if someone is a ghost... –  Neal Tibrewala Jan 13 '11 at 20:18
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@Lo'oris, there are several werewolf card decks being sold out there that significantly mess with the 'simple' game that work just fine and are quite fun. –  Neal Tibrewala Apr 28 '11 at 20:08
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I've always played with just 8-9 people, so the dead just wait for the next turn, which is going to happen in a matter of minutes (and it's fun).


One of the "official" game rules actually have a role for dead people too, but I fear that it would make the game needlessly complex.

update: I kind of found out. Those rules had people during the day first chose to nominees to be burnt, then everyone could vote which one to burn between those two: this last vote could be cast by ghosts too, which anyway could not talk.

This is an extremely lame and boring rule:

  • it adds unnecessary complexity
  • it either forces the ghosts to keep the eyes closed during the night (lame: it's fun to see what's going on!) or it makes them way too powerful (just terrible)
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@Lo'oris - Can you say what the official game rule is that you mentioned? I'm very interested in knowing. –  xiaohouzi79 Jan 12 '11 at 22:25
    
@xiaohouzi: I don't remember it, but a link to the complete official rules has been posted in this site... somewhere. –  Lohoris Jan 13 '11 at 9:11
    
@xiohouzi79 : wunderland.com/LooneyLabs/Werewolf/Rules.html ; but it states : Nothing Means Nothing: If you can't keep quiet when you're dead, leave the room. –  Joe Jan 13 '11 at 22:28
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@Joe: I read different rules. Moreover, from those you linked "The moderator points at the victim, who reveals his or her card" This is extremely lame: it is much better not to reveal the role of the dead. –  Lohoris Jan 14 '11 at 12:32
    
@Lo'oris : it's the only 'official' rules I know of ... of course, due to the history of the game there are going to be more than one set of even 'official' rules. –  Joe Jan 14 '11 at 12:41
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You mean I've been lying on the floor with my limbs twisted and an expression of ghastly terror frozen on my face all these times, and I didn't have to? Man!

I wonder if perhaps people bitten by werewolves should become junior werewolves - or at least ghosts, who can silently haunt people they feel helped stitch them up, and perhaps suggest future victims to the werewolves by pointing?

EDIT - I didn't really mean that death should involve promotion to full werewolf status. See my comment below for what was actually going through my mind when I typed that those bitten by werewolves should become a werewolf. Whoops!

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ROFL. I don't like this idea, though: this would take away a lot from the actual werewolves, and could also be an incentive to die! Yeah kill me np I'll be a wolf! Nonsense. –  Lohoris Jan 13 '11 at 9:13
    
@lo'oris - I phrased it pretty badly. I meant someone who could make suggestions (by pointing I guess) for the werewolves' next kill, rather than a fully participating werewolf. I totally agree with you that dying in this game needs to have pretty big negative consequences, or else it'd be, to use a currently topical analogy, like poker without the bidding! –  thesunneversets Jan 13 '11 at 17:20
    
but the wolves are already "just pointing" and it is very difficult for them to actually communicate. Adding other guys that point to random people would be kind of pointless: it wouldn't enrich the game. –  Lohoris Jan 13 '11 at 17:23
    
@lo'oris: I thought the point was not necessarily so much to "enrich" the game as to create some sense of continued participation in the knocked-out players. But I guess if someone does come up with an insanely brilliant way to use dead people then I will take my hat off to them :D –  thesunneversets Jan 13 '11 at 17:25
    
yeah yeah, I understand your point and I appreciate your effort. I still think that the best thing to do with dead players is to let them watch, which is pretty fun anyway. DISCLAIMER: I only played with groups of more or less 8-9 people. –  Lohoris Jan 13 '11 at 17:28
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A house rule I've played is that the first dead person becomes a ghost. They can keep their eyes open and watch the rest of the game, and cannot speak.

Every morning they may write a clue in the form of a single letter (not using the player's initials) to show the people who are still alive.

The reason it's only the first person to be killed is that they haven't had much of a chance to participate otherwise in the game, not even in the first round of lynching.

It can also be quite good if you have new players in the group, as it gives the people still alive a focus for their discussion.

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While "the person killed the first night" is a nice idea, I cannot think of anything possibly useful to be "said" using just a single letter. –  Lohoris Jan 14 '11 at 16:26
    
It's a single letter per morning, so you can start to build up a word, but the game is usually over before the word spelt out makes it definite who one of the werewolves are. Like I say, the main thing I like about it is that it can help focus the discussion a little. What does g mean? Glasses? Gloves? Gambling? –  ICR Jan 15 '11 at 17:24
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