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Subject: Reccommended WereWolf Balance Guide...with Web Front-end rss

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Jared Heath
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I'm seeing games where the balance doesn't seem right between good and evil. This is a trend due to our desire as moderators to have lots of "cool" roles. Unfortunatley, if the wolf balance is not right in contrast to these, then the game breaks down.

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Many thanks to Melsana for automating this guide. Please access it and create your games at:

http://www.wildbunchonline.org/werewolf/

If you have any problems please let me or Melsana know. Please read the guide below to get the basics of the way this works first, though:

http://www.wildbunchonline.org/werewolf/guide.html

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I propose the following guidlines. Consider these as you design your game and add special roles to ensure you have some semblance of balance for the bad guys. Note that these modifiers should be applied, even if the power can be used once. Many of these powers are TOO powerfull for good and evil to have if they can be done over and over...take for instance the Witness. Letting him find multiple wolves with that power will break the game...keep this in mind, as that balance cannot be achieved by balancing the teams...

3-team games have to have a little different balance but not much. If you do a 3-team game, you should construct something akin to this for your other team (if it is evil) and apply similar balance.

Also, room and/or item games would not fit this perfectly. You would need to re-balance with other math factors in those cases.

How to use this guide:

- Start with the minimum evil guys per player...this is also the minimum WOLF number.
- Roll up your entire game if you are doing random role existance.
- For each good role present, go through the guide, and add/subtract fractional WOLVES and evils for each power the player has, starting with the base value for the role, and for any powers the role has, the modifier for that power as well. If a role has a one-shot or limited use power, always at minimum include the base modifier and see the note below.
Note powers are spread out across their general role assignment...ie seer roles are under a seer. If you have a role that has powers from two general role categories in the guide, use the largest base between the general categories, then add all the miscellaneous power modifiers for your role to the equation...this applies for evil and good.

- You should have large evil and wolf numbers once you have gone through all the good roles
- Now, go through all your evil roles/powers, reducing the evil and WOLF numbers by the appropriate values.
- Now, go through any roles/powers that have to be activated if you didn't already and count them as well...even if they don't get used, you have to account for them being in-game.
- Apply any game mechanic modifiers that apply to your game
- Apply any victory condition modifiers that apply to your game
- Always round up both WOLF and evil numbers at the end. Never round down, even if it is 2.10. This balances the random day 1 wolf lynch.
- Create as many wolves as your minimum WOLF number suggests. Create auxilliary or wolves from the remaining numbers. The definition of "wolf" is a player who can trigger a night kill.

Don't be surprised if you end up with 8-10 evils...this is common for a first run through of role sets. Add more bad guys, reduce the powers of your good guys...don't have so many good guys with great powers and let 2-4 wolves try to live without something significant going for them...it will not work.

Important Note: The guidelines below in most cases assume you get the power throughout the game. If this is not the case (ie, one-shot or limited use powers) you may consider modifing it towards 0, but take care with this....one shot seers are still seers that can find a wolf and/or clear another person for the rest of the game...they should never count less than 1/2 a wolf.

Always consider the potential to eliminate a bad guy with one-shot powers. They will succeed more often that probabilty suggests due to the nature of the role reveals and safe lists that happen in reality. Powers that should never get factored down have a (*) in the description.

Note throughout I have modifiers for evil. Where I have a modifier for WOLF, that means you should increase the minimum WOLF number as well as the evil number....I indicate these as WOLF/evil whereas just the evil ones say just "evil". In the cases where I say MAYBE WOLF, it really depends on what impact to the wolves it will have, versus impact to the evils in general

GUIDE

Base Evil & Wolf Population (minimum)
+1 Player = +0.10 evil/WOLF (so 18 players = 1.80 evil/wolf to start, keep the fraction at this point)

Seer Modifiers & Powers
+1 Good Seer = +0.25 evil/WOLF base
+1 Evil Seer = -0.50 evil base
+1 Evil Seer who is also a wolf = -1.50 evil/WOLF base (don't double count the WOLF, this is the entire base number for such a player)

Note the different sections for good and evil seers, and some powers have different strengths depending on which side they are on. This is important, as good seers are far stronger than evil ones.

Good seer powers- For each seer, add to the base the following per power below
- Traditional Wolf Seer = +0.75 evil/WOLF (traditional seers find out the role of the player. If you say just "evil" and you have some non-wolf evil roles, use the power below)
- Good/Evil Seer - +1.50 evil/WOLF (the seer that finds out if someone is good/evil, but not if they are a wolf or some other evil. This is a very strong seer)
- Role Seer = +1.75 evil/WOLF (Strongest good seer. Probably should never be used as it breaks games. Gives the role of every player viewed rather than good/wolf)
- Truth Seer (one sentance) - +1.0 wolf (may submit a post per day to mod to validate a specific sentence in it. May NOT reveal truth about more than one player....)
- Truth Seer (entire post, or sentance about more than one player) - +2.5 wolf (yes, this is WAY too powerfull...see the Princess Bride game for reasons why. If you do this, you better have a lot of bad guys...)
- Role Voted Seer - +0.25 evil (finds good/wolf truth of a random person who voted for them in the previous day's lynch. If only one player votes for them, it is a valid vision, if more than one, you don't know who is what, only one player is the result)
- Latent Seer (doesn't start as seer, but may become one) = +0.50 evil/WOLF
- Sorcerer Seer = +0.00 evil
- Sorcerer Seer that can kill non-wolf evils = +0.10 evil
- Hidden Role Activation Seer = +0.75 evil/maybe WOLF (see mason section and apply PM modifier if they would be allowed to PM with this role if they are found.)
- Power Activation Seer = +0.75 evil/maybe WOLF
- Can scan the dead for roles (when they aren't usually revealed) = +0.20 evil
- has MOD pass-through PM rights for reveals = +0.50 evil(*)

Evil Seer Powers - For each seer, add to the base the following per power below
- has MOD pass-through PM rights = -0.25 evil/WOLF
- does not know who the wolve are = -0.00 evil
- knows who the wolves are, but isn't one = -0.10 evil/WOLF
- hidden role searcher = -0.25 evil/maybe WOLF
- can spoil a good seer's vision (targeted) = -0.25 evil/WOLF

Martyr Modifiers & Powers
+1 Good Martyr = +0.25 evil base
+1 Evil Martyr = -0.25 evil base

Good Martyr Powers - For each martyr, add to the base the following per power below
- Takes the place of a specific good player/role = +0.00 evil
- Picks a player and dies in place of them if killed = +0.00 evil

Bodyguard Modifiers & Powers
Note the difference between martyrs and bodyguards. Marytrs always die when they successfully guard, bodyguards may not.
+1 Good Bodyguard = +0.35 evil base

Good Bodyguard Powers - For each bodyguard, add to the base the following per power below
- Can choose same target each night (see note) = +0.25 evil/WOLF
- Cannot choose same target each night = +0.00 evil
- Can use ability on themself = +0.10 evil
- Can kill a wolf on success = +0.6 evil/WOLF(*)
- Has a limited chance of success = -0.05 evil per each 10% chance of failure
- Has a chance of death on success = -0.05 evil per each 10% chance of death
- Can prevent a lynch completely = +0.10 evil (*)
- Can prevent a wolf attack completely (meaning, the wolves don't get to go elsewhere) = +0.25 evil (*)
- If multiple bodyguards exist and there is a chance a seer can live more than one day after a reveal = +1 evil/WOLF per day the seer might live beyond the day they reveal and the first bodyguard save happens. DO NOT SHORT THIS. Multiple guard scenarios are B-R-O-K-E-N )
- Group Bodyguard that gets stronger per day = +1 evil/WOLF
- Group Bodyguard that stays the same or gets weaker per day = +0.5 evil(*)

Note bodyguard role should never be allowed to protect the same person over and over with guranteed success. That's a broken role...they must at worst alternate every other night, or if you allow them to defend the same person every night, they must have a chance of failure for balance.

Witness Modifiers & Powers
+1 Good Witness = +0.15 evil/WOLF base

For each witness, add to the base the following per power below
- must pick a random player that dies = +0.00 evil
- random witness done by moderator = +0.05 evil
- can pick a wolf and succeed = +0.10 evil/WOLF (*)
- per each 10% chance of success = +0.10 evil/WOLF (up to 0.85 max)
- can commune with dead and glean info = +0.10 evil/WOLF (*)

Hunter/Survivor Modifiers & Powers
+1 Hunter = +0.25 evil/WOLF base

For each hunter, add to the base the following per power below
- when lynched, must choose from those voting for him = +0.00 evil
- when lynched, can choose any player = +0.10 evil
- when eaten, gets guranteed wolf kill or a short list with wolves in it to pick from = +0.65 evil/WOLF (*)
- when eaten, does not get guranteed wolf kill = +0.10 evil
- Can survive a lynch = +0.00 evil. This should NOT be useable more than twice...
- Can survive an attack, but not fight back = +0.10 evil per # of times this is useable. This should NOT be useable more than twice...

Healer Modifiers & Powers (infection games)
+1 Healer = +0.60 evil

For each healer, add to the base the following per power below
- can undo an infection = +0.25 evil(*)
- can kill a fully infected = +0.50 evil/WOLF (*)
- can be killed/infected by examining a full wolf = -0.25 evil (*)
- can bring a dead player back to life = +0.25 evil (*)

Mason Modifiers & Powers
+1 Good Mason = +0.00 evil
+1 Evil Mason = -0.10 evil

Note mason roles don't nessarily have to have buddies. If they have any of the powers below, good or evil, they are Masons

Good Mason Powers - For each mason, add to the base the following per power below
- for each known good player = +0.10 evil (so if they know 2 people, +0.20)
- can PM with their Mason buddy(s) once per day = +0.10 evil
- can PM with their Mason buddy(s) unlimited only at night = +0.10 evil
- can PM with their Mason buddy(s) unlimited anytime = +0.20 evil
- dies when their Mason buddy dies (LH Lovers) = -0.50 evil
- is public knowledge from the start of the game = +0.10 evil

Evil Mason Powers - For each mason, add to the base the following per power below
- for each known good player = -0.10 evil (so if they know 2 people, -0.20)
- knows who the wolves are and doesn't have a seer powr = -0.25 evil/WOLF
- knows who the wolves are has a seer powr = -0.15 evil/WOLF
- can PM with their Mason buddy(s) once per day = -0.10 evil
- can PM with their Mason buddy(s) unlimited only at night = -0.10 evil
- can PM with their Mason buddy(s) unlimited anytime = -0.20 evil
- dies when their Mason buddy dies (LH Lovers) = +0.50 evil
- is public knowledge from the start of the game = -0.10 evil

Miscellaneous Good Powers
- Can stop a lynch from happening = +0.10 evil (*)
- Can submit an individual secret vote = +0.10 evil (do not apply in secret vote games)
- Can lynch the second highest vote getter = +0.25 evil (*)
- Can lynch anyone you want (usually goes along with stopping...add them. This can be a power after stopping, or simply you can cut-voting off whenever you want and the votes stand) = +0.33 evil (*)
- Can create a double lynch in a day = +0.50 evil (*)
- Can determine the number in-game of an evil role per night (Witchfinder sensing witches, for instance) = +0.10 evil
- Cannot be lynched = +0.10 evil (*)
- Cannot be eaten = +0.10 evil (*)
- Can be resurrected from the dead = +0.15 evil (*)

Evil Powers
+1 wolf = -1 evil, -1 minimum WOLF
+1 non-wolf evil = take the base number from the roles above that they best fit, add any powers. If they don't fit any of the above roles, consider their powers and apply something appropriate.

For each evil player, add to the base the following per power below (invert sign if it is an evil mason)
- Brutal Wolf that has to choose from those voting for him = -0.25 evil/WOLF
- Brutal Wolf that can choose anyone = -0.33 evil/WOLF
- Difficult Lynch = -0.75 evil/WOLF
- Vote Control Power (secret vote, lynch stop, etc) = -0.5 evil (don't stack for multiple)
- Wolf that knows if good specials exist = -0.1 evil per good special known
- "Lone Wolf" exists that can kill by itself each night = -1.0 evil/WOLF
- non-wolf player who may become a wolf when eaten, or has a power that can cause this effect on someone else = -0.25 evil
- non-wolf evil player who may become good when eaten = +0.25 evil(don't let them know who the wolves are if this can happen!!!)
- non-targeted "Mis-Direction" powers that fool or foil a seer's vision = -0.25 evil
- have the power to appear upon death as something other than you really are. = -0.25 evil/WOLF

Game Mechanic Modifiers
- Wolves have PM rights during the night only = +0.00 evil
- Wolves have PM rights during the day = -0.15 evil
- Allow player selected N0 vision = +0.25 evil/WOLF (very strong meta)
- Allow random N0 vision which might have a wolf = +0.25 evil/WOLF (just plain random luck hurts the wolves as well)
- Allow random N0 vision that will never have a wolf = +0.00 evil
- roles are revealed on death (strong for village) = +0.25 evil
- roles are not revealed on death (strong for wolves) = -0.25 evil
- "white hat" role where one person's role is revealed in a non-reveal game = +0.25 evil (it helps the village more than the wolfs)
- insta-lynch mechanic (strong for evil) = -0.25 evil
- secret ballot voting (strong for evil) = -0.25 evil
- limit unvotes to one a day (balanced) = +0.00 evil

- "infection" element that makes new wolves, beware this mechanic unless you do it right, it can get ugly both ways. = -1.25 evil/WOLF
- at least one non wolf/village team of more than one player exists whose victory condition is different than the village AND wolves. = -1 evil (not cumulative, -1 is the max, even if there are 4 teams)

Victory Condition Modifiers for various game types
- Villagers need to kill all wolves = 0.00 evil
- Wolves need to achieve parity only = 0.00 evil
- Wolves need to be larger than villagers, or a 1-1 at the end = +0.15 evil/WOLF
- Wolves need only kill a sub-set of the good guys = -1.25 evil/WOLF (powerfull game where luck makes a difference, so penalize the bad guys)
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Jared Heath
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Re: Wolf Balance Equation
As an example, we will take LOTR:IV which recently completed with a wolf victory.

21 players = 2 wolves minimum
+1.5 for Gandalf (a seer,secret PM rules)
+1 for Eowyn (hunter)
+0.2 for Pippen (no powers, knows another good special)
+1.1 for Aragon (hidden role searcher, good role seer)
+0.2 for Gimli (no powers, knows another good special)
+0.2 for KoTD (no powers, knows Aragon if found)

At this point, we should have 6.2 wolves...now apply the wolf mods:

-0.35 for Witch King (FUD spread, Theodin seer)
-1 for Gothmog (hidden role searcher)
-0.5 for Khamul (vote control)
-0.75 for troll (double kill)

so that leaves us with 3.6 wolves, which roudes up to 4. Exactly what kima had, and exactly what the game should have had versus the good guys.
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John Valvard
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Re: Wolf Balance Equation
Sounds very good. Doesn't quite fit a 3-team set-up, but if I make allowances, adding that up for B2 and B4 (19-23 players):

2.. | +1 wolf for every 10 players in game, rounded to the nearest 10
... | players (14 = 1, 15 = 2). This number of wolves is the MINIMUM in-
... | game, no matter what the math below might lead you to.

1.. | +1 Wolf for each Wolf Seer or potential wolf seer (latent)
0.. | +0.5 wolf if for each seer that has secret PM reveal rights through the moderator
1.. | +1 Wolf for each hidden good role searcher
0.. | +1 wolf for each martyr type bodyguard
0.. | +1.5 wolf for each non-martyr type bodyguard
1.. | +0.5 wolf for each witness type role (2 witches)
1.. | +1 wolf for each hunter
0.. | +0.25 wolf if there is some group bodyguard role
0.. | +0.25 wolf for each role that can affect the final vote tally secretly
0.5 | +0.10 wolf for any other good special that does not have any of the above powers
0.2 | +0.10 wolf for each good player that knows another good player

Total 6.7

0.. | -1 Wolf for each hidden evil role searcher
0.. | -0.5 wolf for any auxillary evil role that knows who the wolf/wolves are
0.. | -0.25 wolf for any auxillary evil role that does not know who the wolves are
0.. | -0.10 wolf for any auxillary evil role that is a seer of some kind
0.. | -0.25 wolf for any evil role that has PM rights through moderator to spread FUD
0.. | -0.5 wolf for each special vote control power the wolves have
0.. | -0.33 wolf for each brutal wolf
?1. | -0.75 wolf for each wolf that takes more than one day to lynch
NA. | -0.10 wolf for each wolf that knows if certain good specials exist in-game
?1. | -0.75 wolf for each seer power the WOLVES have (sorcerers do not count here)
1.25| -1.25 wolf if there is an "infection" element that makes new wolves

Total -3.25

Grand total 3.45 -> 4 wolves.

That seems a lot. I'd add a rider here:
-1 wolf for each independent team (ie more than one player acting for a common goal) other than wolves and villagers.
 
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Jared Heath
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Re: Wolf Balance Equation
Javal, you would have to add some other factors in due to the potions if you felt there was not a pefect balance with them.

You probably would need a factor for the blessing and the alchemst (which can be granite every night almost)

But the lyncathropy somewhat balances those. I don't have a feeling for how to balance the WFG versus the wolves. He really isn't a factor, other than being a good special which can reveal and should be put into the equation for that reason.
 
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J
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Re: Wolf Balance Equation
You might want to up the Witness factor to +1. I guess it would depend on the type of witness, but I have been burned by the Witness choosing to View N-1 and then you are automatically down 1 Wolf. I was able to bluff another day of life, but it still hurt. Maybe go +0.75
 
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John McGeehan
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Re: Wolf Balance Equation
It's a hard balance struck.

In WVS werewolf, a rough estimate is that the villagers will win maybe 35% of the time, assuming you have a reasonable number of wolves (2 wolves for up to 15 people, 3 wolves for 17+). This is assuming one Seer, and random lynches (save when the Seer points someone out).

However, in BGG games, the villagers have won a resounding majority of the games. Part of this may be due to the online nature of the game, meaning there's a permanent record of everything that a person has done (votes, words, arguments), added to the slower pace of the online game (giving more time for discussion and though); while in F2F games, hazy memories can lead to FUD, and the need for cycles that don't take centuries could lead to errant lynches.

It's at the point where a team of wolves that manages to win should feel ecstatic, because they've accomplished a very difficult task - note that LOTR IV was won by the wolves only because of recruiting the hidden evil special on the last possible night - and few wolf victories have been what you might call "landslides" (Disco Inferno was the ultimate landslide wolf victory, with one other I would categorize as such that I had in my mind and can't recall right now) while there have been multiple villager wins that I would say were fairly strong.

It brings to mind a comment by kuchick in the recent LOTR game that stuck in my mind, where she said that 6 good specials, including a Seer, to 3 bad guys didn't seem fair - for the good guys - where in a normal WVS game, there's only one Seer and nothing else!

This is exactly as you point out - very few of the BGG games are simple WVS games, and it's very important to correctly balance the number of wolves with the number of good special powers - I don't know if your numbers are exactly on target (for example, I'm not sure a hidden wolf is worth +1 - would you say one wolf but 3 hidden is equivalent to having 4 wolves? Additionally, any good role that can directly trade 1-to-1 with a wolf, like a Witness, is probably worth more than .5) but it's a great start.

T.
 
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Jared Heath
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Re: Wolf Balance Equation
Tarrant wrote:

This is exactly as you point out - very few of the BGG games are simple WVS games, and it's very important to correctly balance the number of wolves with the number of good special powers - I don't know if your numbers are exactly on target (for example, I'm not sure a hidden wolf is worth +1 - would you say one wolf but 3 hidden is equivalent to having 4 wolves? Additionally, any good role that can directly trade 1-to-1 with a wolf, like a Witness, is probably worth more than .5) but it's a great start.
T.


Tarrant, thanks for the comments. Yes I believe we all need to start re-balancing our games more to the wolves favor. It has gotten to the point where nobody wants to be a wolf since you can hardly ever win.

Another thing that really has to be done is getting rid of N0 seer visions that have any chance of getting a wolf. I'm going to add something in for that.

I'm not sure what you mean about hidden wolves, though? I think you must be reading something not as I intend. Can you qoute me where you are getting that from so I can clarify it?
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John McGeehan
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Re: Wolf Balance Equation
-1 wolf for every hidden evil role searcher.

You listed Gothmog, and counted him as -1 for his ability to find the Troll. That would mean that having a hidden Troll in the game, and having a 4th wolf, would essentially be equal in power. But that's ridiculous, because the probability of Gothmog finding that hidden evil role is not 100% (I don't even think it would be 50%). It would be much better to have a 4th wolf.

The total you reached was 3.65 or so, and you said "So 4 wolves, which is how many there were!" but the 4th wolf had a small probability of entering the game. It wasn't a given. Essentially, you double-penalized the wolves - they got a -1 for having a character that searches for the Troll, but also included the Troll as one of the 4 wolves in the game. If there was no Troll, no Gothmog, just 4 wolves, that would be much better than having a searching wolf, but the numbers don't say that.

(Consider as an extreme example having 1 Gothmog, no other wolves, but 3 hidden ones that he could find - would that be equivalent to having 4 wolves in the game?)

Now, in this instance, the numbers could be balanced by the fact that the Troll had powers of its own - but those are other questions to ask.

T.
 
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MK
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Re: Wolf Balance Equation
Man... I'd have to think long and hard about all those permutations, jared... that's a lotta work you just did. Don't you have a job?
 
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Dan Perez
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Re: Wolf Balance Equation
Great thread, Jared. I will apply this to my upcoming Thing game and see how it shakes out.

Thanks for posting your formula.

Update: Applied the formula to The Thing (with the current number of players and only one thing with special powers) and the number came out to 4, which is the number we came up with.

Not bad. I will do another analysis before play beings to incorporate any changes..
 
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Jared Heath
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Re: Wolf Balance Equation
kimapesan wrote:
Man... I'd have to think long and hard about all those permutations, jared... that's a lotta work you just did. Don't you have a job?


I've been working on it for 2 weeks
 
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Jared Heath
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Re: Wolf Balance Equation
houndsoftindalos wrote:
Great thread, Jared. I will apply this to my upcoming Thing game and see how it shakes out.

Thanks for posting your formula.

Update: Applied the formula to The Thing (with the current number of players and only one thing with special powers) and the number came out to 4, which is the number we came up with.

Not bad. I will do another analysis before play beings to incorporate any changes..


Great. I was thinking 4 was the right number in that game. I'm glad these numbers came up to that.
 
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Sean Tompkins
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Re: Wolf Balance Equation
Man... I had typed out a reply to this, and looking up I don't see my post anywhere... I'll try again.

+1 wolf for each martyr type bodyguard
+1.5 wolf for each non-martyr type bodyguard
+0.25 - +75 wolf for each witness type role (varies based on power of witness. If they have to pick the right person and then there is a %ille it is low, but if it is guranteed if they pick the right person, it is high)
+1 wolf for each hunter


I think the hunter and bodyguard numbers are too high. The hunter takes someone out when they go, but unless they've got great intuition they are just as likely to help the wolves as hurt them. The bodyguard enhances a threat, but at best can usually only delay something by one day, and lose the wolves a kill at night. Best case scenario this can be a deal breaker, but only really makes a difference late in the game... +1.5 seems super high for that...

As someone already pointed out, the witness number was off. The default witness role is completely a +1 trade. In fact, my advice to moderators is DON't INCLUDE A FREAKIN' WITNESS. It's a crappy special role to play, and pretty much takes a wolf night 2. Just start the wolves with one less and don't use a witness. If you have a witness-lite role like a medium as definied in lighthouse 3, then a +0.25 to +0.5 is workable. But a regular witness with no modifications is a 1-1 trade. If you think about it, unless the wolves pull a jmilum and get the witness lynched it's even higher than that, because you've got a guaranteed safe person that pretty much won't get killed until the seer is found by the wolves.

 
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Jared Heath
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Re: Wolf Balance Equation
seanp wrote:
Man... I had typed out a reply to this, and looking up I don't see my post anywhere... I'll try again.

+1 wolf for each martyr type bodyguard
+1.5 wolf for each non-martyr type bodyguard
+0.25 - +75 wolf for each witness type role (varies based on power of witness. If they have to pick the right person and then there is a %ille it is low, but if it is guranteed if they pick the right person, it is high)
+1 wolf for each hunter


I think the hunter and bodyguard numbers are too high. The hunter takes someone out when they go, but unless they've got great intuition they are just as likely to help the wolves as hurt them. The bodyguard enhances a threat, but at best can usually only delay something by one day, and lose the wolves a kill at night. Best case scenario this can be a deal breaker, but only really makes a difference late in the game... +1.5 seems super high for that...

As someone already pointed out, the witness number was off. The default witness role is completely a +1 trade. In fact, my advice to moderators is DON't INCLUDE A FREAKIN' WITNESS. It's a crappy special role to play, and pretty much takes a wolf night 2. Just start the wolves with one less and don't use a witness. If you have a witness-lite role like a medium as definied in lighthouse 3, then a +0.25 to +0.5 is workable. But a regular witness with no modifications is a 1-1 trade. If you think about it, unless the wolves pull a jmilum and get the witness lynched it's even higher than that, because you've got a guaranteed safe person that pretty much won't get killed until the seer is found by the wolves.


I agree, the witness role is fairly lame, unless it is a sub-power of a player.

Alos, I don't think all witness roles are 1-1. It depends on how powerfull it is. You can weight the witness such that not only do they have to watch a player killed by a wolf, but they then have only a certain percent chance of seing something (see Chaos Spawn). In this case, a witness role is not worth a full +1 wolf.

As for bodyguards, any type of bodyguard that can keep a seer alive for more than one day and not die while doing the protection AND negate a wolf kill is easily worth +1 wolf, maybe +2...this was my reason for putting this in (ref the game you know I'm talking about)

I think I need to modify the bodyguard part...maybe not as strong if the bodyguard dies with success, but much stronger if he can live through it and even more strong if it can twart a wolf attack completely.

As for the hunter, yeah, that needs to be split as well. It depends on how you define the hunter. If he can take out a wolf guranteed when eaten, he is worth a full +1. But if he has to make a random guess, he's worth less.
 
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Jared Heath
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Re: Wolf Balance Equation
I've been asked to also put this in terms of per role/power in game.

I think this approach will actually be more valuable, and I'll put that in.
 
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Tom Thingamagummy
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Re: Wolf Balance Equation - Major update. Now listed by role you add, and powers those roles have
Very nice, Jaredh! I've sorta put something similar into a spreadsheet based on your comments. I mean really, we can play test this, work out the kinks, put it in the database, and upload it as a new game in the BGG database Someone will have to photoshop a good logo pic...

I'll have to take a look at the numbers to see.

As for the 1-1 witness comments...

Janiera's Medium is a witness modification. But it's certainly not a 1-1 unless it works, which is really small. Even then, it's not the best role to play, but unfortunately, you have to play the role you're given.
 
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Damien Browne
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Re: Wolf Balance Equation - Major update. Now listed by role you add, and powers those roles have
Any idea of what happens when you include a fourth or fifth team?

What about independant conflicts?

I don't think B3.5 can be used to cross-check your theory here, so I'll just stand aside and read about what you guys say.

But this is nice work Jaredh.
 
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Jenny Wadkins
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Re: Wolf Balance Equation - Major update. Now listed by role you add, and powers those roles have
Jared, thanks so much for this analysis. I am definitely going to use this when considering the balance for my upcoming Showbiz game. Balance is such a touchy subject, and difficult to get right. Who knows how I might adjust it, though - I actually want the wolves to have a fighting chance. Like someone else said, they never seem to do so in these BGG games!
 
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Re: Wolf Balance Equation - Major update. Now listed by role you add, and powers those roles have
Jenny, that was my primary reason for doing this. To balance the games as much as possible, so we don't have run-away victories one way or the other.
 
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Alex Rockwell
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Re: Wolf Balance Equation - Major update. Now listed by rol
jaredh wrote:

Base Wolf Population (minimum)
+10 Players = +1 wolf

Good Seer Modifiers & Powers
+1 Seer = +0.25 wolf base



I think this is WAY WAY WAY too low. And I've been making werewolf variants for a year and a half now and have played hundreds of games.

I think it should be about 2.5 wolves for 10 players, and .5 for seer.

Of course, the existence of other evil, non wolf roles reduces the wolf count, just as other good roles increases it.

There are some important considerations: First of all, if every villager were to truthfully reveal their role, this should not break the game. If it does, there arent enough evil roles.


Here are some games that are balanced or near balanced:
(For small games, <10 players, roles should not be revealed on death, for large games they should be revealed on death)


5 player: 1 wolf, 1 sorcerer, 1 seer, 1 villager, 1 hunter (if hunter and wolf are only 2 remaining players, village wins). This is slightly in favor of the village.

7 player: 2 wolf, 1 seer, 4 villager. This is slightly in favor of the village.

7 player: 1 wolf, 1 sorcerer, 1 (evil with no special power), 1 seer, 1 hunter, 1 priest (sees the role of players who are killed), 1 villager.

9 player: 2 wolf, 1 sorcerer, 1 seer, 1 hunter, 1 priest, 3 villager. Again, slightly in favor of the village.

11 player: 3 wolf, 1 seer, 7 villager.



For large games, you cant have too many wolves, as then they can vote block too well, instead, you should add many more non-wolf evil roles who dont know who the wolves are.

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Alex Rockwell
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Re: Wolf Balance Equation - Major update. Now listed by rol
seanp wrote:

+1 wolf for each martyr type bodyguard
+1.5 wolf for each non-martyr type bodyguard
+0.25 - +75 wolf for each witness type role (varies based on power of witness. If they have to pick the right person and then there is a %ille it is low, but if it is guranteed if they pick the right person, it is high)
+1 wolf for each hunter


I think the hunter and bodyguard numbers are too high.


Yes, they are.
I think a witness that just sees the first kill, is about .8 wolf.
A bodyguard who dies to protect is about .2, one who doesnt die is more, I dont know how much more. But its a role that imo, should not ever be used in werewolf games.

 
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Jared Heath
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Re: Wolf Balance Equation - Major update. Now listed by role you add, and powers those roles have
Alexfrog wrote:
seanp wrote:

+1 wolf for each martyr type bodyguard
+1.5 wolf for each non-martyr type bodyguard
+0.25 - +75 wolf for each witness type role (varies based on power of witness. If they have to pick the right person and then there is a %ille it is low, but if it is guranteed if they pick the right person, it is high)
+1 wolf for each hunter


I think the hunter and bodyguard numbers are too high.


Yes, they are.
I think a witness that just sees the first kill, is about .8 wolf.
A bodyguard who dies to protect is about .2, one who doesnt die is more, I dont know how much more. But its a role that imo, should not ever be used in werewolf games.



Yes, and that was my reason for doing this. Alex, you did notice the modifiers for the powers, right?
 
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Jared Heath
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Re: Wolf Balance Equation - Major update. Now listed by role you add, and powers those roles have
Alexfrog wrote:
jaredh wrote:

Base Wolf Population (minimum)
+10 Players = +1 wolf

Good Seer Modifiers & Powers
+1 Seer = +0.25 wolf base



I'm confused. You did see the modifiers, right? This is the minimum wolf modifier per seer. As the specific seer powers add up, so do the wolves.

A traditional seer is 0.25 (base) + 0.75 (wolf seer) = +1 wolf.

Any seer that can reveal a wolf in a 1-1 trade should be worth +1 wolf in my opinion

As for the minimum per player, I agree, I think we need to come to some idea on where that break point is. I put it at +1/10 players. It may should be at 8 or 9. I don't think it belongs at less than 8, though.

 
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Re: Wolf Balance Equation - Major update. Now listed by rol
I didnt see the modifier. I think a seer is about .75 wolf.

I think the #wolves per players is about 1 more wolf for 5 players.

Non wolf evil roles with moderate powers are about .5-.7 of a wolf depending on the power. If you were going to have 5 wolves it would be better to have 3 wolves and 3 evil non wolves. This avoid vote block issues, and makes it more interesting, because evil roles can lie and dispute other players roles.
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Jared Heath
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Re: Wolf Balance Equation - Major update. Now listed by role you add, and powers those roles have
Alexfrog wrote:
I didnt see the modifier. I think a seer is about .75 wolf.

I think the #wolves per players is about 1 more wolf for 5 players.

Non wolf evil roles with moderate powers are about .5-.7 of a wolf depending on the power. If you were going to have 5 wolves it would be better to have 3 wolves and 3 evil non wolves. This avoid vote block issues, and makes it more interesting, because evil roles can lie and dispute other players roles.


I think we are in the same ballpark on seers. It comes down to the specific ruleset on whether they are .75 or 1.0 or 1.25 wolf

I agree the non wolf evil roles are better to reduce the voting block, but there should always be a minimum number of wolves versus the player population and the roles that can come against the wolves. If there are 3 seers, 2 hunters, and 3 bodyguards in a 25 person game, then there should be at least 5 wolves, maybe 6, and then several non-wolf evil roles.

As for the non-wolf evil value, I have the sorcerer at 0.25. I think it is a dumb and useless role that helps the bad guys very little. I cannot see a sorcerer being worth more than 0.40 wolf. They have to find the seer in the first two turns to be of any use.
 
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