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Blood on the Clocktower» Forums » Rules

Subject: Poisoned Spy? rss

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Russell White
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I couldn't find any advice on this in the rules and I doubt it's likely to come up, but: How should the storyteller handle a poisoned Spy? As writ, the Spy should continue to THINK that their ability is working, so simply not showing them the Grimoire seems like the wrong move. The alternative would seem to be altering the Grimoire before showing it, but that risks messing up the game state so I'd be hesitant to do so.
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D. Vader
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Great question!

The spy must always be shown the Grimoire - but the ST can choose to alter the Grimoire in any way they like. This could be as simple as moving the "poisoned" token, to something more complex like interchanging character tokens.

I would advise to take a photo of the grimoire before any changes are made though
 
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Shak S
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A photo sounds sub-optimal. I thought the whole point of the Grimoire was to avoid such hacks? Isn't that why there's no app, phone or tablet dependency?

I understand the complexity of the context (and I am also struggling to provide an answer), so I suppose it's good to know at this stage that the Grimoire isn't the complete solution (over pencil and paper, say) that it's sometimes said to be.

Are there any other edge cases like this where we might have to depend on records outside of the Grimoire?
 
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Jon Gjengset
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A couple of thoughts about this:

First, this should be (at least in the official editions) an extremely rare occurrence. The Spy is only on the Trouble Brewing script, and the only way they can become drunk or poisoned is by the Poisoner's hand. Since you can only have two minions with >6 players, Evil will know each other, so the Poisoner would know that they are targeting a Minion (though not necessarily the Spy). I don't know of any good reason why the Poisoner would do so, and have never seen it in all of the games I have run.

Second, even if the Spy is poisoned, the Spy is likely to pretty much immediately realize that this is the case. They see the Grimoire every night, and if characters suddenly shift around, they'd be likely to notice. There are relatively few changing nightly status effects in TB, and they are generally obvious if they take effect (e.g., Imp, Monk, Butler, Undertaker), though maaybe you could trick the Spy about one of those. Or if the game is very large and the Spy hasn't had time to read over all the roles.

And third, if this did indeed happen, I think here's how I would run it within the Grimoire: on the right-hand side of the Grimoire, place a small night token for every player in the same pattern as on the left-hand side. Then, if you swap someone's characters, indicate this by placing an additional token on the two corresponding positions. If you swap another pair, place two additional tokens on them (i.e., this is "pair two"), etc. If you replace someone's character with one that is not in play, place their true character next to the position's night token on the right-hand side. If you remove a reminder token, place it on the right-hand side in the right place. Essentially, you are keeping the "delta" of the Grimoire on the right. Then, replace the night sheet on the right-hand side over this tracking board.

That said, of course, if you do have a phone handy, that would also work
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D. Vader
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sshaikh wrote:
A photo sounds sub-optimal. I thought the whole point of the Grimoire was to avoid such hacks?


Apologies - I meant for the ST to snap a quick photo before moving any tokens to show to a poisoned spy.
 
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Jon Gjengset
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VadersDumplingFetish wrote:
Apologies - I meant for the ST to snap a quick photo before moving any tokens to show to a poisoned spy.


This reminds me -- with more advanced players, I actually see the Spy take a photo of the Grimoire at night decently often. I generally let them, though they are not allowed to show it to anyone.
 
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Shak S
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VadersDumplingFetish wrote:
sshaikh wrote:
A photo sounds sub-optimal. I thought the whole point of the Grimoire was to avoid such hacks?


Apologies - I meant for the ST to snap a quick photo before moving any tokens to show to a poisoned spy.


Yes - that's what how I understood the tip. It just seems antithetical to the official justification of why there's no computer aid.

For the record it was a reasoning I agree with, so it's just a bit disappointing that it turns out we'll have to use that same technology anyway, albeit for an edge case.
 
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Jon Gjengset
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sshaikh wrote:
For the record it was a reasoning I agree with, so it's just a bit disappointing that it turns out we'll have to use that same technology anyway, albeit for an edge case.


As I outlined above, you can totally deal with this (rare) situation without a phone
 
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Citizen Keen
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For my players who will be easily confused, I'll probably just switch one or two things around, show them, switch back.

For my players with near photographic memory, I can imagine just showing them a framed photograph of the grimoire from the first game I played.
 
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Dylan Thurston
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CitizenKeen wrote:
For my players with near photographic memory, I can imagine just showing them a framed photograph of the grimoire from the first game I played.
Either that, or make some subtle changes to make it not immediately obvious that they have been poisoned...
 
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