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Subject: Do you like to include normal villagers in the roles? rss

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Mike Beiter
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Greetings.

I was wondering how many people like to incorporate villagers into the game, or if you forego them for the special roles.

At my table, we noticed that games without at least one villager make it harder for some people because they don't have that easy out. If there are no villagers present, the player has to not only lie about their role, but they have to lie about what they did with it. And if any character has a reveal type power it is that much easier to catch them in the lie.
Granted, there is where many people find the fun in the game, to be able to deceive the whole table under those circumstances.

Now I suppose like any game, it all depends on the players. My groups seem to prefer that a villager is always present.

I was hoping for some insight from others to find out how popular the normal villager role is in your groups.

Thanks.
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Dave Millar
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We're newbies at the game (only played 9 or 10 times), but we've played it both ways...with and without villagers. We found that without villagers, the werewolves never won. Admittedly, that's a small sample size (roughly 5 or 6 games without a villager), but we'll always add at least 1 villager into the mix from now on.
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Mike Beiter
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dmillar71 wrote:
We're newbies at the game (only played 9 or 10 times), but we've played it both ways...with and without villagers. We found that without villagers, the werewolves never won. Admittedly, that's a small sample size (roughly 5 or 6 games without a villager), but we'll always add at least 1 villager into the mix from now on.


That has been my groups experience as well. With 0 villagers, it is harder for the wolves.
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Rich Bright
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MajaiofDreams wrote:
dmillar71 wrote:
We're newbies at the game (only played 9 or 10 times), but we've played it both ways...with and without villagers. We found that without villagers, the werewolves never won. Admittedly, that's a small sample size (roughly 5 or 6 games without a villager), but we'll always add at least 1 villager into the mix from now on.


That has been my groups experience as well. With 0 villagers, it is harder for the wolves.


In my experience vanilla villagers make it easier for wolves to hide (claim vanilla villager and no one can really refute that). Experienced wolves will actively try to confound the village team by claiming a role like robber or seer and try to make claims against other players to either: A)Pretend to be that role and that no one will refute them, or B) Throw suspicion on the real robber or seer in order to split the vote or dump blame.

I'd say vanilla villagers are nice to have with a group containing inexperienced players, but are somewhat boring in a game of advanced players.
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Mike Beiter
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Zeppo007 wrote:
MajaiofDreams wrote:
dmillar71 wrote:
We're newbies at the game (only played 9 or 10 times), but we've played it both ways...with and without villagers. We found that without villagers, the werewolves never won. Admittedly, that's a small sample size (roughly 5 or 6 games without a villager), but we'll always add at least 1 villager into the mix from now on.


That has been my groups experience as well. With 0 villagers, it is harder for the wolves.


In my experience vanilla villagers make it easier for wolves to hide (claim vanilla villager and no one can really refute that). Experienced wolves will actively try to confound the village team by claiming a role like robber or seer and try to make claims against other players to either: A)Pretend to be that role and that no one will refute them, or B) Throw suspicion on the real robber or seer in order to split the vote or dump blame.

I'd say vanilla villagers are nice to have with a group containing inexperienced players, but are somewhat boring in a game of advanced players.


Thanks. This was what I was thinking was the case. If the group has less experienced players, or players who aren't as skilled at deception games, throw a villager or two in.

But a more hard core or advanced group would rather have all specialty roles.
 
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Clive Jones

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One of the beauties of One Night Ultimate Werewolf is how well it plays in so many different configurations, and then how much it rewards getting better at the game in each.

Sure, if there are Villagers in the game, pretending to be a Villager is an easy option for a Werewolf. But firstly, is it wise for the Werewolf to be making any claim at all of their identity at any given moment? Secondly, if Werewolves only ever claim to be Villagers, that means you can completely trust anybody who claims one of the other villager-team roles, which can make it very easy to work out which Villagers are genuine and which are Werewolves. Thirdly, if a Werewolf claims to be a Villager, that limits their potential for confusing mischief.

But then things get worse for the Werewolves if there are two of them. If they both claim to be Villagers, they're at significant risk of losing if players just pick a "Villager" at random to kill.

Why not instead have one claim to be the Insomniac and the other the Robber? The Robber says they stole from the Insomniac and the Insomniac confirms they were the Robber by the end of the night.

Or, one Werewolf claims to have been the Seer and says they saw the Troublemaker in the middle. Someone else claims they were really the Seer. "OK, if I'm lying about having seen the Troublemaker in the middle, who's the Troublemaker?" For a moment nobody says anything. Then the other Werewolf says "I'm the Troublemaker. And I swapped you (first Werewolf) with Kim (some fourth player)." "Oh, says first Werewolf, in that case I should admit I was really a Werewolf." Everybody kills Kim... who is actually innocent.

Both those stratagems have worked for me in actual games. But note that in each case the Werewolves had to co-operate without any opportunity for prior collusion.

The game is wonderfully dynamic. You probably can't win by waking up with a plan and following it rigidly - to do well you have to brazen it out, twisting your story to fit the emerging situation.
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Mike Beiter
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Another reason why my group likes to have villagers is to help the wolves. Wolves do not win as much at our table. If only one wolf shows up, that alone can make it an uphill battle for team lycanthrope. So giving them the chance to play villager really helps balance out in my opinion. But as said above, more experienced players may be more likely to win despite having no partner or no easy villager option.
 
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Mike Beiter
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I do agree that 2 wolves present opens up worlds of opportunities, but that is only IF two wolves are dealt.
At least at my table, a single wolf shows up way more than two wolves.
And 9 times out of 10 when the single wolf checks the middle cards, they always seem to peek at the other wolf, gaining no new role knowledge to bluff with.
 
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Clive Jones

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MajaiofDreams wrote:
If only one wolf shows up, that alone can make it an uphill battle for team lycanthrope.


Play the Lone Wolf option! (If, when Werewolves wake up, there's only one of them, they get to look at one of the three centre cards.)

I used to leave that out when teaching new players, but I've abandoned that practice - now I include it all the time, without exception.
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Mike Beiter
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clivej wrote:
MajaiofDreams wrote:
If only one wolf shows up, that alone can make it an uphill battle for team lycanthrope.


Play the Lone Wolf option! (If, when Werewolves wake up, there's only one of them, they get to look at one of the three centre cards.)

I used to leave that out when teaching new players, but I've abandoned that practice - now I include it all the time, without exception.


Oh we definitely do that. But as I mentioned above. The lone wolf always seems to peek at the other wolf card in the center so they never gain any new info.
 
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Clive Jones

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It can happen (and does, one time in three). But you're at least no worse off than without the lone wolf rule!

"I'm the Seer, and I saw two Werewolves in the middle. But I'm not going to say which two cards they were until someone owns up to having been the Drunk." If someone now owns up to being the Drunk and is foolish enough to say which card they picked, you can lie with certainty about whether or not they're now a werewolf. (-8

Alternatively, "I was the Drunk. I chose that card. [point to one of the other two]" Seer: please, please tell me I'm not a Werewolf now? (Look pleading and sincere; ostentatiously cross fingers.)
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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MajaiofDreams wrote:
clivej wrote:
MajaiofDreams wrote:
If only one wolf shows up, that alone can make it an uphill battle for team lycanthrope.


Play the Lone Wolf option! (If, when Werewolves wake up, there's only one of them, they get to look at one of the three centre cards.)

I used to leave that out when teaching new players, but I've abandoned that practice - now I include it all the time, without exception.


Oh we definitely do that. But as I mentioned above. The lone wolf always seems to peek at the other wolf card in the center so they never gain any new info.


A decent house rule is to let the lone wolf look at an additional card if the first card they examined was a wolf. Takes out some of the randomness.
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Clive Jones

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That doubles the power of the lone wolf option. (It goes from a lone wolf seeing an average of 2/3 of a centre card to them seeing an average of 4/3 centre cards.)

To me, that feels considerably overpowered. Especially given the Werewolf's other knowledge - i.e. that they're the only Werewolf - you're giving them more information than the Seer has. (Though the information may not be handed to them on a plate quite like it is for the Seer.)
 
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Des Lee
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I don't mind having vanilla villagers in my games of ONUW. They can be useful to newer players, and a good go-to claim as an emergency.

However, I almost never claim vanilla villager, even when I AM a vanilla villager! Why? Because I like getting information, and claiming some other role helps me to get more information, whether it's by other people challenging my new claim, or the lack of challenges.
 
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Clive Jones

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There are plenty of reasons not to admit to being a villager, especially too early, but is it sensible to risk getting caught in a lie?

Or are you playing the meta-game, of getting a reputation as someone who lies whether you're Werewolf, Tanner or an innocent?
 
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Geoff C
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I love being a villager. I can lie to my hearts content and if caught, simply explain that I was lying to get information, as I am just a villager.



But yes, the villager count tends to go down as the players get more experienced.
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Carl G
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We always have at least one vanillager in the mix, especially if there's a new player. It adds a little bit of uncertainty.
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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clivej wrote:
That doubles the power of the lone wolf option. (It goes from a lone wolf seeing an average of 2/3 of a centre card to them seeing an average of 4/3 centre cards.)

To me, that feels considerably overpowered. Especially given the Werewolf's other knowledge - i.e. that they're the only Werewolf - you're giving them more information than the Seer has. (Though the information may not be handed to them on a plate quite like it is for the Seer.)


It isn't really. In typical setups, a Lone Wolf who sees a wolf card and then another card is in exactly the same state as one who saw a non-wolf card to begin with (discovering that there is a wolf in the middle doesn't help him because he already knew that).
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Clive Jones

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You're overlooking that it's helpful to know which of the centre cards is the Werewolf. If the Drunk is in the game, for example.
 
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Geoff C
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Or seer, which the lone wolf can now easily claim to be.
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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Knowing which of the center cards is a wolf doesn't help make make a wolf seer claim any more credible because the only person capable of confirming this is the seer who already knows the claim is a lie.

I didn't overlook the drunk. The drunk in play is literally the only time (in base game) when knowing which of the cards is a wolf is even remotely useful, and even then it isn't too useful unless you manage to get away with a seer claim and have enough credibility to tell players not to vote for the drunk, which isn't often.

Basically it's very rare, even with the drunk in play, for a lone wolf to actually get any benefit out of knowing which of the center cards is the other wolf.
 
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Geoff C
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MasterDinadan wrote:
Knowing which of the center cards is a wolf doesn't help make make a wolf seer claim any more credible because ...


No, but knowing which *2* centre cards are which certainly makes it easier to make his claim to the *rest* of the table.
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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Talonz wrote:
MasterDinadan wrote:
Knowing which of the center cards is a wolf doesn't help make make a wolf seer claim any more credible because ...


No, but knowing which *2* centre cards are which certainly makes it easier to make his claim to the *rest* of the table.


No, it doesn't.

If I'm a lone wolf and I say "I'm the seer. That card is a wolf and that card is a (whatever)" the only person who can say "I know your lying because that wasn't the wolf" is the seer themselves, who already knew you were lying to begin with.

Knowing which card is the wolf doesn't help because lying about where the wolf is is no less believable than telling the truth about it.
 
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No, and we don't include the Seer either. (4-5 players)
 
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Clive Jones

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MasterDinadan wrote:
The drunk in play is literally the only time (in base game) when knowing which of the cards is a wolf is even remotely useful


Agreed. But in that circumstance it is pretty handy.

If the Drunk admits which card they've taken, you now know whether they're a Werewolf or not.

Conversely, if you pretend to be the Drunk yourself, you can say which centre card you've taken and have a good chance of the Seer "confirming" you didn't become a Werewolf.

I agree seeing a non-Werewolf card is generally more useful (though Tanner and Drunk present significant difficulties), which is why I feel giving lone wolves a second peek if their first is a Werewolf is overpowered: moving their chances of knowing a centre non-Werewolf from 2/3 to 1. But seeing a Werewolf, whether by itself or along with another centre card, is still valuable.
 
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