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Hi there! If you're reading this thread, then I am going to assume you're either randomly curious or you've been directed here by one of the folks who play Werewolf here on Boardgamegeek.com. The Fresh Meat Initiative is a project run by Werewolf players every year in an attempt to get the word out to people. Sometimes, people give it a try and don't come back. Some of the time, it becomes their new favorite hobby.

If you haven't already been told, Werewolf (or its cousin Mafia) is a social deduction game. It can normally be summarized pretty easily, thusly:
A. There are two teams, an uninformed majority vs an informed minority, each trying to remove the other
B. The game goes back and forth between a "day" phase where everyone participates in voting on who to remove from the game and a "night" phase, where only the informed minority acts, choosing a player to remove

The standard victory condition consists of the following:
If all of the Max Evil players are removed from the game, then Team Good wins.
If the number of living Max evil players equals the rest of the players, then Team Evil wins

Games are played at one of two speeds:
Normal, where the day takes 23 hours and the night takes one hour
Fast, where each phase is over in a a certain number of minutes
The Fresh Meat games are all normal speed, and thus, should take approximately 3 to 5 days to finish.

What is expected of each player?
The biggest thing that is expected is participation. Players are asked to be present during the day phase. There isn't a set "minimum" amount, but it is encouraged that you are active enough for other players to feel your presence. There is more pressure to be active in the hour leading up to dusk (the end of the day phase), but players are asked to be around more than just that last hour.

There is a chat tool available to every player on the Cassandra Project page where you can ask your moderators questions. If you have an ability to chat with a teammate (for example, if you are a werewolf), then your chat will be on the same page.

The Fresh Meat Initiative has been set up with a number of games that are all running at the same time. The plan is to try and reach as many new players as possible, but there will be a few veterans interspersed. Each game has the same format, their dusk and dawn times are just spread around the clock in order to allow people to pick and choose times that work best for them. I would suggest that new players only sign up for one game at a time, but there is no actual limit.

Each game in the Initiative has the following roles: Seer, Hunter, Martyr, 5 Villagers, 2 Werewolves, Sorcerer. For specifics on what each role does, please refer to any of the associated games. Each of these games has a lynch at the following time:

Fresh Meat: 1000 Game

Fresh Meat: You Can Kill Werewolves With Love, Right? (14:00 Game)

Fresh Meat: 1800 Game

Fresh Meat: Late Lycans (10:00 PM lynch)

As an FYI, here is the forum's "Guide to Playing Werewolf on BGG!"

Here is a Dictionary of terms that are used often in our BGG WW games: /wiki/page/BGG_Werewolf_PBF_Dictionary

If you have questions, please ask. And welcome to the Werewolf forum, our little corner of BGG!
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In addition to everything that's listed above, I think it might be worth adding a few things.

The first is that online Werewolf is not the same game as face-to-face (F2F) Werewolf. The mechanics and the rules are the same, sure. But the game is not played the same way. In F2F Werewolf, there are visual clues you can use. People will react differently under pressure. You can listen to the wolves moving in the night and when you accuse them of something, you can even watch their eyes move to the left (for memories) or to the right (for imagination). You can watch their eyes dilate. You can literally see people squirm.

Online / PBF Werewolf doesn't have any of that. Instead of watching for visual clues, you have to pay more attention to what it is they're saying. Do they sound like they're using hidden information? Does their story change repeatedly? Do they keep voting in ways that are not pro-village? Believe me, there are ways that you can figure out who is on Team Evil and who is on Team Good. They are not the same tools that you have in F2F WW, but they are there. One other thing - in online werewolf, someone's entire history is available. In F2F WW, especially in longer games, you may have trouble remembering if Fred voted against Daphne or not. In PBF WW, it's right there in the voting record. Did he say one thing on Monday but a completely different thing on Thursday? That's available too.

So feel free to use your F2F Werewolf experience in learning to play PBF WW, but remember that while the tools are different - they're still there. It can be very enjoyable if you go into it with an open mind.

The second thing I'd like to mention is a few suggestions from a thread that contiguity started a little while ago: Day 1 Non-survival guide (for new players)

What happens when you die? Well, the first thing I need to tell you is that, in most cases, the game isn't over yet. So don't just kill the thread and walk away. Jump back into Cassy. There is a "Dead Chat" where all of the dead players and the moderators can talk. Do you want feedback on how you did? Would you like to keep playing behind the scenes? It's there. Watch and learn. Make suggestions. Keep involved! If you don't want to guess, then most moderators will offer behind-the-scenes spoilers, giving away everyone's identity. Then you can follow along and watch how people do different things, using insider knowledge.

Also important! When the game is over, discuss! Why was Player X night killed? What were some strategies that could have been used? How did Player Y pull the wool over your eyes? There are lots of topics that you can cover that will help you both understand why the game ended the way it did AND how you can get better with the next game.

Maybe you'll play one game and then walk away, never wanting to come back. If that's your choice, then we can at least hope that you had fun, but even if not - we're thankful that you gave it a try. If you think that the game has possibility, but it needs "something more", then ask your moderators - there are other games out there that will ramp up both the in-game mechanisms as well as require improved strategy. Werewolf on Boardgamegeek has hundreds of possible roles and endless permutations of how it can be played. If you want to see something specific, then ask.
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