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Subject: How To Make Circle Voting Make Sense To New Players? rss

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Steven Albano
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Hey,

So I'm not going to get into the debate of whether or not I think players should have the ability to not vote. (I absolutely think they should.)

However, I've taught this game to plenty of groups over the past couple of months, and whenever the "circle vote" situation came up, people just didn't understand it: "Why can't we just not vote?" "Wait, why is she voting for me and I'm voting for them if we think nobody is guilty?"

I had a group that literally stopped wanting to play because it was just such a weird nonsensical experience for them: "I don't get it."

Now, again, I'm not going to debate whether or not player should be able to abstain from voting, but I'm wondering how y'all teach this and what your experiences are?

Because I pride myself in teaching and I love this game, but this specific part is rarely accepted. And I could use some pointers. Teaching that rule before the game doesn't works because people "get it" until it actually comes up, and you have to explain it over anyway.
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A J
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colormage1 wrote:
Hey,

So I'm not going to get into the debate of whether or not I think players should have the ability to not vote. (I absolutely think they should.)

However, I've taught this game to plenty of groups over the past couple of months, and whenever the "circle vote" situation came up, people just didn't understand it: "Why can't we just not vote?" "Wait, why is she voting for me and I'm voting for them if we think nobody is guilty?"

I had a group that literally stopped wanting to play because it was just such a weird nonsensical experience for them: "I don't get it."

Now, again, I'm not going to debate whether or not player should be able to abstain from voting, but I'm wondering how y'all teach this and what your experiences are?

Because I pride myself in teaching and I love this game, but this specific part is rarely accepted. And I could use some pointers. Teaching that rule before the game doesn't works because people "get it" until it actually comes up, and you have to explain it over anyway.


Wow, that's interesting. I've never encountered situations where people have had issues with this.

Abstaining would mean you're not sure, whereas circle voting is both a gesture of confidence in everyone else and a vote for "there is no werewolf." Villagers cannot win if there's at least one abstainer (assuming there is no wolf).

Again, I'm surprised you've had issues, but maybe I'm the odd one out.

Edit: FYI I don't typically allow people to abstain. I say that they have to vote.
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Aaron Cohen
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Is it possible that your attitude towards the rule is coming through when you teach it?
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Clyde W
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I've never had anyone question the circle point either.

But if they do ask, "Why can't we just vote for no one," you say, "Cause you have to vote for someone." It's really that simple. And you don't even discuss anything about circle pointing when you teach the game. You just explain that for someone to die, they need at least two votes. If everyone only gets one vote, no one dies.

Finally, if you start with a roleset that guarantees evil and lying, then no one ever thinks to not vote. They will definitely want to vote. So you don't even need to teach that rule. You just need to remind people that they can't vote for themselves.
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Clive Jones

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I think Aaron Cohen is on the right track, here.

The game breaks if you let players abstain from voting. Players must vote. As you say, we've had that discussion.

The reason players must co-ordinate a circular vote if they don't want to kill anybody is because abstaining isn't an option. If you accept that people can't abstain, that is easy to explain and people readily accept it.

The reason they're not accepting it is because they're not accepting that people can't abstain. And the reason you're not able to articulate to them why they can't abstain is because you don't believe it yourself.
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Pasi Ojala
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The Werewolves win if they survive. Thus, a vote not given will increase their possibility to win. So, if you are a villager, you should always be wanting everyone to vote. A werewolf could be hitting their swapped or robbed werewolf buddy.

The Werewolves win if they survive. Only the person(s) with the highest number of votes are lynched. So, if you are a werewolf, you should always be wanting everyone to vote to lynch a villager instead of one of your kind. (Ok, it's a stretch.)
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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clivej wrote:
The game breaks if you let players abstain from voting.


It really doesn't break the game, it just changes it slightly (in many cases for the better, such as in the "unwinnable" situations where you have a Tanner or Minion with no wolves)
 
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Mike Beiter
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Have your players played the regular werewolf game?
Most of my playerz have, so they go in understanding that everyone votes.
 
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Steven Albano
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remleduff wrote:
Is it possible that your attitude towards the rule is coming through when you teach it?


No. I only really dislike the rule in the context of a Minion or Tanner being present or all the bad roles being in the center - and I never play with them! So that's never on my mind when teaching.

clydeiii wrote:
I've never had anyone question the circle point either.

But if they do ask, "Why can't we just vote for no one," you say, "Cause you have to vote for someone." It's really that simple. And you don't even discuss anything about circle pointing when you teach the game. You just explain that for someone to die, they need at least two votes. If everyone only gets one vote, no one dies.

Finally, if you start with a roleset that guarantees evil and lying, then no one ever thinks to not vote. They will definitely want to vote. So you don't even need to teach that rule. You just need to remind people that they can't vote for themselves.


Well, it's not about thinking not to vote - it's just what to do when you've established that everyone is a villager. The game I'm talking about (though it has happened before) involved two new people, and it was our third game after loving the first two. I was the Robber, there was a Seer and a Troublemaker, and I forget what else - but we came to the unanimous conclusion that both Werewolves were in the center.

Once that is reached telling people, "Nobody dies unless they get more than two votes" doesn't cut it. You have to explain the circle. And I did, but it killed the mood for them, because again, they were like, "Why can't we just... not vote? I don't think anyone is guilty... so why would I be forced to vote for someone?"
 
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Jeffrey
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The fun flavor explanation is that we are a bunch of bloodthirsty crazies, so we must vote for someone.

I agree that you should explain that most votes dies, if two or more people are tied for most votes they all die, BUT it takes at least two votes to kill someone. Let the topic of a circle vote come up naturally or not at all. In the middle of your third game or whatever, when someone asks "wait, we might all be good guys, what if we don't want anyone to die?" you can re-explain that a person can only die if they have two votes, so if we can coordinate it such that no one has two votes, no one dies.

At that point, the new player can come up with the circle vote idea herself and it seems much less arbitrary than if you had explained circle voting up front as a bespoke rule of ONUW, which it isn't really, it's more of an emergent rule.
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Clive Jones

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colormage1 wrote:
they were like, "Why can't we just... not vote? I don't think anyone is guilty... so why would I be forced to vote for someone?"

A vote is a vote. The rules of the game can't distinguish voting for one reason from voting for another. You can't say "it's OK to abstain if you believe there are no Werewolves present, but not if there's someone you suspect but are unsure if they're a Werewolf or the Tanner", for example.

Also, the game's dynamic works a lot better if the decisions of the people who are uncertain carry the same weight as those of the people who are sure about things. If you let people abstain, you diminish that.

(Now we're getting back into reasons why people have to vote...)
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Clyde W
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MasterDinadan wrote:
clivej wrote:
The game breaks if you let players abstain from voting.


It really doesn't break the game, it just changes it slightly (in many cases for the better, such as in the "unwinnable" situations where you have a Tanner or Minion with no wolves)
*in many cases that happen very rarely given the right roleset
 
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Clyde W
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colormage1 wrote:
Once that is reached telling people, "Nobody dies unless they get more than two votes" doesn't cut it. You have to explain the circle. And I did, but it killed the mood for them, because again, they were like, "Why can't we just... not vote? I don't think anyone is guilty... so why would I be forced to vote for someone?"
It totally does cut it. Let the players figure out the circle scheme on their own. Note that the rules say NOTHING about a circle point. You can invent all sorts of ways to ensure each player gets one vote, with a circle point being the easiest. One player will realize this and suggest it. Everyone will agree, because it's clearly the easiest thing.
 
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Clive Jones

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Once, in a four-player game, the other Werewolf and I were opposite one another. Once we'd fooled everybody into thinking there were no Werewolves (mainly by our stories corroborating one another, with nobody contradicting us) my fellow Werewolf suggested that, just for a laugh, we each point at the person opposite instead of pointing in a circle.

What the other two players didn't realise was that we'd worked out who the Tanner was. Having made the point-across-the-table pact, we then both reneged and pointed at the non-Tanner. This ensured a win for us, where if we'd gone with the traditional everybody-points-left, we'd have had a two-thirds chance of losing when the Tanner misbehaved.

We'll never again be able to pull that same stunt with that same group, but it was fun while it lasted. The game can get really subtle and deep, if you let it.
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Steven Albano
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clydeiii wrote:
colormage1 wrote:
Once that is reached telling people, "Nobody dies unless they get more than two votes" doesn't cut it. You have to explain the circle. And I did, but it killed the mood for them, because again, they were like, "Why can't we just... not vote? I don't think anyone is guilty... so why would I be forced to vote for someone?"
It totally does cut it. Let the players figure out the circle scheme on their own. Note that the rules say NOTHING about a circle point. You can invent all sorts of ways to ensure each player gets one vote, with a circle point being the easiest. One player will realize this and suggest it. Everyone will agree, because it's clearly the easiest thing.


You're trying to imply that with a minute left, I should let new players try and puzzle out that everyone needs to figure out a way to vote so that nobody can vote for more than on person? Yea, that doesn't work nor does it cut it.
 
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Clyde W
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colormage1 wrote:
clydeiii wrote:
colormage1 wrote:
Once that is reached telling people, "Nobody dies unless they get more than two votes" doesn't cut it. You have to explain the circle. And I did, but it killed the mood for them, because again, they were like, "Why can't we just... not vote? I don't think anyone is guilty... so why would I be forced to vote for someone?"
It totally does cut it. Let the players figure out the circle scheme on their own. Note that the rules say NOTHING about a circle point. You can invent all sorts of ways to ensure each player gets one vote, with a circle point being the easiest. One player will realize this and suggest it. Everyone will agree, because it's clearly the easiest thing.


You're trying to imply that with a minute left, I should let new players try and puzzle out that everyone needs to figure out a way to vote so that nobody can vote for more than on person? Yea, that doesn't work nor does it cut it.
It'd take new players more than a minute to realize how to ensure everyone only gets one vote? Really?

Anyway, of course you can explain all of this ahead of time if you want. "Time pressure" is a confusing objection to this.

Also, a pause button on timers exist for a reason. Also, it's only a game. So what if you mess up one round? Play ten more.
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Darrell Howard
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A friend of mine didn't explain it as "someone only dies if they have 2 votes on them" but described it as "if it's a perfect tie between all players then no one dies."

From my understanding of Epic Battles, this isn't true (I only have ONUW and Daybreak currently), but if my group decides to play an Epic Battle then we'd definitely discuss that in the rules.
 
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Kris Boyen
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DeejOMatic wrote:
A friend of mine didn't explain it as "someone only dies if they have 2 votes on them" but described it as "if it's a perfect tie between all players then no one dies."


The wording from the rulebook is
Quote:
If no player receives more than one vote, no one dies.


This wording is important, for a role like the bodyguard, which says that all votes on the player the bodyguard is pointing to are canceled. Then a perfect tie isn't possible if the bodyguard is in the game.
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Geoff Conn
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Everyone must vote.

Circle vote so that no one dies if there is no werewolf.

End.
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Jeffrey
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