I recently played a game of Werewolf where the moderator was not very experienced with the game, and (I feel, anyway) the whole setup was very one-sided. After doing some reading of the rule book I admit I still don't really know how to make the game feel less 1-sided.

I know about the number system on the cards (try to balance to zero) and that there are some scenarios existing, but any tips or links on what to read for a good fun game would be much appreciated!

Also a little off-topic, should the players know what all is in the game at the beginning or not? Thanks!

  • Yes, they should know.
    – ikegami
    Feb 5 '15 at 15:14

The question is not completely clear. But I give it a try.

The balance between werewolves and good villagers is important. A rule of thumb is 1/3 werewolves. But it is not that critical. A single smart werewolf can win versus 12 villagers and 5 werewolves can be beaten by 12. Note that on a typical night the wolves eat a villager and during the day there is a chance the villagers kill a wolf. So if the balance (wolves, villagers) = (a, 2a). Then the balance on the next day is either (a-1, 2a-1) or (a, 2a-2).

The normal 12 player setup would be:

  • 1 Seer
  • 1 Witch
  • 1 Hunter
  • 1 Cupid
  • 4 Villagers
  • 4 wolves

Idea's to expand the game:

  • You can experiment with additional roles to spice up the game.
  • You can even try a game without wolves (the moderator selects the victim each night).
  • Try adding a theme to the setting. For example Call the village Waterloo, the villagers are the french, the wolves are enemy spies and the Mayor is called Napoleon.
  • Try adding extra elements. For example, in the morning, there is a mysterious bottle in the village. The first player that drinks it, has the effects (this can be good (protected vs the wolves for the next night) or bad (you are dead)).

In order to enjoy the game it is important to see it as a team effort. Even if a single villager survives, the villagers have won as a team. (Same for wolves).

In a face to face game, I rarely let the players know in advance what the roles are. In a forum game, more information is needed so I often include the roles.

  • 1
    Lots of information here to use! Thanks! EDIT: Evidently the enter key automatically posts. The main problem we seemed to have is using one of the "Scenarios" from the book for 2-3 games, by the end of it players wanted something different. Knowing how to balance different roles I'm sure will come with experience, but these look like good guidelines. Thanks again!
    – Solidus
    Feb 5 '15 at 18:27
  • The recommended setup seems quite role heavy, you could put the wolves in a difficult situation by claiming all power roles day 2, combined with a seer check and probably win with maths? Even if they counter claim each role perfectly. Feb 23 '19 at 16:31

As an answer to your offtopic question; I always think is a good idea to take 3/4 more role cards than there are players. Let everybody know exactly which cards are in the game, but when you give them out, 3/4 will be left and unknown to everyone (ofcourse the moderator can take a peek). So you can have a wolf, or any role missing without anyone knowing. It gives another dimension to the game, I think. It works the same if you play a forum game, just give them a few roles but don't use all of them and don't tell them how many of each role are in the game.

  • I like this idea. I'll have to give it a shot!
    – Solidus
    Feb 6 '15 at 12:17

I play this game in a childcare. The children keep begging for more. What I like to do is pull out enough cards for the group and then add 4-5 extra cards. I let the children know what all the roles might be, and explain how each one works. Then when it comes to the game I try to always say werewolves instead of werewolf just to keep them on their toes.

Depending on the size of our group in any given game I will either add a little roleplay to the game where they introduce themselves and say what they do in the town, or for a larger group I just tell them all to go to sleep. On top of that occasionally use the variant rule, which changes how the nights or days go. We roll the dice and tell the children, (today you can only say I accuse or I second) or if someone is turned into a werewolf I'll tap them on the head after the werewolves go back to sleep and show them their new werewolf card, then put them back to sleep.) Like I said, the children keep begging to play it even after a full summer away, they remembered it from last year. Make it fun, encourage people to act out a bit, that's what makes it fun.

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