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We played a couple of dozen games over the weekend.

Is it all right to talk about things that are transpiring during the 'night' phase? There does not seem to be anything that discourages it.

For example, is 'I hear someone moving cards' a fair thing to communicate?

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  • I feel this should really have been two questions. To try to keep the answers on point.
    – Jontia
    Dec 8 '18 at 23:09
  • 1
    Edited title to make question more clearly about 'table talk' - talking about things in the game, such as "I hear someone moving my card"? Dec 8 '18 at 23:42
  • Are you asking if you can talk about things during the night phase, or are you asking if you can talk about what you did, saw or heard when it was night during the day phase events? First is no, second yes.
    – Andrew
    Dec 12 '18 at 18:47
  • The former. As in: talk during the night phase about things happening during the night phase. Dec 12 '18 at 19:46
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I will take the other answers a step further and say that talking during the Night phase is simply not allowed.

The other answers give good reasons why it could be an issue, but here's what the rulebook says:

At night, players who are not active (whose eyes are closed) may not move, point, or do anything to communicate with the active player(s).

Any form of talking can be seen as covered under "doing anything to communicate with the active player(s)". The rule itself is a bit strange, because no one except the active player knows who the active player is! So you can't avoid communicating with the active player specifically, you would have to avoid all communication.

Also, if read completely literally, the rule seems to imply that the active player IS allowed to communicate. But this is silly, as if the active player ever says anything out-loud, then they are giving away that they are the active player. It is safe to assume that the rule is intending to say that the active player is allowed to "act" by doing the things they are instructed to do.

Also, from the rulebook:

After the night phase, players discuss amongst themselves who they believe the Werewolves are.

This makes it clear that the time for discussion is AFTER the night phase.

So I think talking about anything related to the game is strictly forbidden during the Night.

If you are talking about more just general socialization, then this is somewhat similar to other games... in a casual game, card games which strictly forbid "table talk" may still have a lot of general talk and socialization while playing, as long as nothing about the game itself is spoken. However, the nature of the limited time in which to perform actions, along with the importance of hearing the instructions being given, makes socialization during the Night phase a bad idea, even if it is not strictly forbidden.

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  • 1
    The point of the rule preventing communication with the active player is to outlaw players from doing things like: player A holds up a number of fingers while the seer is taking their night action, player B claims to be the seer, and player A demands player B to prove that they are the seer by saying how many fingers player A held up at night. This rule does not do anything to prevent jokes or idle chatter during the night phase.
    – Zags
    Nov 29 '18 at 16:31
  • @zags in order to prevent that the active player needs to stop communicating and that can be communication in itself.
    – Joe W
    Nov 29 '18 at 17:17
  • @JoeW The rule is about preventing signaling to the active player as they have their eyes open and no one else does. It's not about spoken conversation (note that "talking" is not one of the mechanisms of communication specifically listed), and is especially not about spoken conversation that is active player agnostic.
    – Zags
    Nov 29 '18 at 18:25
  • @zags sorry but I disagree, it is to easy for someone to set up some communication beforehand that is picked up by the active player that can be missed by others.
    – Joe W
    Nov 29 '18 at 19:52
  • Thanks. There is a rule (albeit possibly ambiguous) forbidding communication during the night. That's a hard answer. Nov 29 '18 at 21:04
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It will largely depend on the regular dynamics of your group, but in general, this is an annoying thing to do.

  1. Talking confuses people about which role is doing what and when, covers up either the announcement of your moderator (be it human or electronic) and distracts everybody from the actions they are taking.

  2. Commenting about what can or can't be heard is either a problem in itself or indicates a problem you need to solve, since

    • somebody is making up nonsense and/or plain chatting during the night phase - see the first bullet point - or

    • somebody can unfairly gain information about which roles have been used that others may not have access to - you need to adjust the cards or sleeves, the table cover, or the ambient noise you use to disguise the card movement noises

That said, if your group is fine with the interruptions and doesn't care much about having strange gaps in the action, or is totally cutthroat and take a no-holds-barred approach, or are so far into the meta game that this kind of chatter is where most of your enjoyment arises, go for it.

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  • It's only annoying if someone is annoyed by it. As a group, we had interpreted it, at the time, to be acceptable. Dec 1 '18 at 5:06
  • "As a group" is a very dodgy thing to rely on, when discounting negative aspects of something. Individuals may not want to disagree with the perceived majority, even when it is in fact the disagreement that is the majority opinion.
    – Nij
    Dec 1 '18 at 6:13
  • Which is why one of the topics we chatter about is whether it's OK to table talk during the night phase. Dec 3 '18 at 18:34
1

Part 1: Is talking allowed during the night phase?

Whether or not to allow talking during the night phase is going to be up to your group. A bunch of people sitting around with their eyes closed is an odd situation, and the natural inclination of humans in that situation is to chat or make jokes to break the tension, so in general it's not a problem. It can even help obscure the noise people are making by moving cards, which is a good thing. It's only a problem if it does at least one of the following:

  • Causes the night phase to take too long through people being distracted
  • Prevents people from hearing the app/moderator
  • Gives away information about roles or actions people are taking, it's a problem.

The only thing in the rules on the topic is:

At night, players who are not active (whose eyes are closed) may not move, point, or do anything to communicate with the active player(s).

The point of this rule is to prevent players from sending secret information t other players. The situation the rule is trying to prevent is something like the following: player A holds up a number of fingers while the seer is taking their night action, player B claims to be the seer, and player A demands player B to prove that they are the seer by saying how many fingers player A held up at night. Note that the rule is talking specifically about non-verbal communication in a situation where one player has their eyes open and others don't, which is also why it is specifically about the active player. The rule does not mention verbal communication at all, because verbal communication at night does not convey different information to the active player versus the non-active players.


Part 2: Can players comment on what they heard in the night phase?

There are two relevant pieces of the rulebook here:

You may want to tap on the table during the night to cover up any sounds made by the different players when they are looking at and moving cards.

After the night phase, players discuss amongst themselves who they believe the Werewolves are. All players may say anything, but may never show their card to anyone.

The rules as written do technically allow saying things like "I heard player X moving cards during the Seer's turn" (this falls under "Players may say anything), but the rules also suggest you are not supposed to be able to hear what happened during the night phase (hence the suggestion for covering up the noise of moving cards).

In my experience, it's really unhealthy for the game if players use or discuss information about things heard or felt during the night phase (with the exception of roles like the Cow or the Thing that explicitly use this). At the very least, you should take measures to prevent people from being able to hear whether or not players are moving cards. If players in your group are still trying to gain extra information from the night phase, you can house-rule that things heard during the night phase cannot be introduced as evidence during deliberations. Here are some techniques for obscuring noise:

  • The app (if your using it) has background music.
  • Put down a tablecloth to muffle card noises.
  • Have everyone stand before the night phase to minimize the amount people need to move to reach cards.
  • As mentioned in part 1, chatter during the night phase can actually help block the noise of night actions.
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  • We avoid interrupting or interfering with game play during the night cycle. Nov 29 '18 at 21:00
  • @DaveC426913 If people aren't interrupting play during the night phase, then chatter is not a problem. It's only giving away information (either from people hearing other people moving cards or people signaling to the person with their eyes open) that's the problem in your situation.
    – Zags
    Nov 30 '18 at 16:53
0

Chatter should be kept to an absolute minimum during the night phase because it can give away way to much information about what is happening during the phase.

Werewolf: Can be outed if you are talking as you look around for other players as someone may notice the change in your voice. Or it may be noticed that you suddenly stop talking.

Mason: Can be outed if you are talking as you look around for other players as someone may notice the change in your voice. Or it may be noticed that you suddenly stop talking.

Robber: Can be outed if you are talking as you reposition to swap cards. Or it may be noticed that you suddenly stop talking.

Trouble Maker: Can be outed if you are talking as you reposition to swap cards. Or it may be noticed that you suddenly stop talking.

Seer: Can be outed if you are talking as you reposition to look at a card. Or it may be noticed that you suddenly stop talking.

Drunk: Can be outed if you are talking as you reposition to swap cards. Or it may be noticed that you suddenly stop talking.

A lot of time what happens noise wise during the night phase can be used to figure things out. When my group played this game we used the ios/andriod app to announce things and just made random noises with hands and objects while things where happening to attempt to drown out the noise from players actions.

As for sounds and other signs of card manipulation the group I have played with have always considered discussing what we think (or what we want others to believe happened) during the night to be fair game. One of the strategies we have employed is to move position of other cards in order to deceive others into thinking something has happened.

One thing you can do to reduce the ability to detect if a card has been moved is to add a step right at the end of the night phase where everyone reaches out to where their card is and moves it around before opening their eyes so that it is harder to know if it was moved or not.

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  • Naturally, the person whose turn it is to take an action is not likely to do the talking. Nov 29 '18 at 21:01
  • We tend to lightly tap or drum during the night phase, to drown out any spurious noises. Nov 29 '18 at 21:02
  • @DaveC426913 The issue with not talking when it is your action is that if you are talking before and after your action it can be easier to spot which action you took because you stopped talking. My group ran into this issue with this game and other games from the simple fact of the moderator talking when they had an action to look around for other players and people caught on to their voice changing as they looked around since they didn't stop talking.
    – Joe W
    Nov 29 '18 at 22:23
  • It's not a constant chatter - and it's focused on the game. "Someone moved my card.", "Somebody just crouched over the phone app while the music was playing." Nov 30 '18 at 2:28
  • @DaveC426913 I added some more tips, let me know if they help.
    – Joe W
    Dec 4 '18 at 0:19

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