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Subject: is a 7 player game (not including moderator) actually viable? rss

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Travis Lilleberg
United States
North Dakota
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All the rules I've read for this game state that you can play with 7 players. They also say you should use 2 werewolves and start with a night phase.

Assuming the moderator is not included in the players, doesn't that give the players just one lynching before they lose?

Wouldn't it go:

Ratio of Villagers to Werewolves would be 5V/2W at first

When we start with the night phase, the wolves get a kill right away - making it 4V/2W

Then if the villagers lynch the wrong person during the day the ratio becomes 3V/2W

Then the werewolves kill another person and since it's 2V/2W they win?

Does anyone start with the day phase so the villagers get at least two days? Am I reading the rules wrong?
 
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Laurence Parsons
United Kingdom
Bristol
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Firstly, you should aim to start the day phase with an odd number of villagers, to make the voting for the lynching easier. Whether you start each game with a day or night should be decided by that aim.

Our group wouldn't play Werewolf with less than 9 players, as you just wouldn't get any meaningful discussion over tactics. Your one or two lynchings would be random, as there would be no voting patterns to analyse.

If you only have 7-8 players, may I recommend Shadow Hunters to you. This is a similar style hidden-role game, and it's better than Bang!

Cheers,
fred
 
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Wyrohn wrote:
is a 7 player game (not including moderator) actually viable?

No, I don't think it is. Sorry.

From an prior post of mine:
Rainbow Snake wrote:
As documented in my post
"Werewolf: A boring, pointless game with 8 players?",
when I first came to play Werewolf I was very keen but it just fell flat with so few players.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/306569

I've since played it with never less than 12 players and it's been so much better.

With 2 werewolves vs 5 victims, the games will be very quick. 5 minutes each?
Even if you assume the game starts with a "no kill night", you have approx 50% (17:18 assuming random) chance of the game finishing on the 2nd day - otherwise it finishes on the 3rd day.

While that means the villagers only get up to 3 votes every second game, spare a thought for the werewolves who would only get to kill 1 person in half the games you play, and that's not fun. If your extra roles eg Seer make the werewolves easier to find, they'll rarely get 2 kills.

With such a short game, there's little chance to get any real intrigue going, and for one of the "teams" it will be a boring game.

There was an interesting post on a variant (or IMHO new game) that you can play with 5-7 players, with no role reveal on death and lots of different roles with different motives. I've never tried it, but it sounds nifty.
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/30034

Other games I've played, with similar hidden roles, are BANG! and Saboteur, and they work with less players.

Good luck!
 
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Sight Reader
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Colorado
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Wyrohn wrote:
is a 7 player game (not including moderator) actually viable?

We were able to get it to work by using the Ultimate Werewolf: Ultimate Edition sympathizer type cards. Thus, you only have one Werewolf, but one of the Villagers is one of the many sympathizer types (Cultist, Wolf-Were, etc).


That being said, we found that the variant based on "The Thing" works well with groups that are as small as 6 players.

EDIT: Grammar
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Rob McFadden
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Cherry Hill
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A different point of view:

The first night, the wolves would open their eyes and acknowledge each other. However, they would not get a kill. The Seer gets a view. I've played this with smaller groups both with family (kids) and at game group (supposedly adults ) Very fun. The intrigue takes a bit longer to come out, but it is there! The first day, there is less info (only one view from the Seer) so people need to pay closer attention to body language and behavior. I would disagree with freduk - there are meaningful decisions.

Another thing to do with less players is start as I've scripted above. However, have the first person lynched be the moderator. The first night phase can be run by anyone (just announce "Werewolves open your eyes," then "Close your eyes" a few seconds later). However, the Seer would not get a look in the first night (as there is no moderator). This leaves even less info during the first day phase, but adds an extra player.

Finally, here is a session report from a game we had with just six:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/1243557#1243557

I hope you find a way to have fun with a smaller group... we have!
 
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Sight Reader
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macls29 wrote:
The first night, the wolves would open their eyes and acknowledge each other. However, they would not get a kill.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that. As a matter of fact, when we started playing we thought the Werewolves didn't get a kill right away since we rarely had more than 7 when we played.

In general, this game is pretty loose and lends itself to a lot of improvising with the rules.
 
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Damien Browne
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I find that seven works well when you give the villagers actual roles that can gleam information.

My preferred roleset would be:
Wolf x 2
Sorcerer (evil, views for seer)
Seer (good, views for wolves)
Hunter (breaks ties against wolves and wins in 1v1)
Priest (views the role of 1 dead player)
Villager

Night 1, the wolves acknowledge each other, no kill.
Seer views for wolf.
Sorcerer views for seer.
Awaken.

Generally, at this point, the seer and sorcerer can announce their night results.
Conflict arises. Also, the two wolves usually need to claim one of the other four roles (seer, hunter, priest, villager) which creates some paired conflicts.
Also, its best if the hunter does not reveal his identity, so often this can create a conflict also.

Work through these conflicts, work out who might be on your team, and vote for someone that opposes that player (or yourself, directly).

Even the villager knows one person that's lying...
And no role reveal on death.
 
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sunday silence
United States
Maryland
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Theres some very interesting ideas in here and I'd like to add one more, and perhaps a few more if the thread picks up.

First, on the issue of 7, well I havent tried with 7 but the game seems flexible enough to handle these sorts of stretching/bending of the general parameters. Why not start w/ only one wolf?

ANyhow, what I wanted to say was; you can play with even numbers of villagers during the day phase, if say you have tie breaker type of villager who can do an execution in lieu of a vote. I dont know if this makes any sense for 7 player game, but it can be useful tool for GMs in larger games.

It goes like this: one villager is given a role: call it Crazy Ax Murderer, you can define it as you like. In the event that the villagers cannot agree to lynch someone after 3 votes, then the choice goes the ax murderer...players will go back to sleep and ax murderer comes out and pts to the victim.

THere are several advantages: letting the ax murderer decide on the night victim is quite beneficial to the village since: he wont kill himself his odds of killing a wolf are say 25% (say 2 wolves and 9 players are left). WHereas if we let the wolves kill we know they will kill a villager. Same reasoning goes for the day time lynch, if the villagers are voting randomly (big assumption?) with 9 players/2 wolves thay might have a 22% chance of killing a wolf, but really if the wolves are smart they wont vote for each other so the odds would seem quite less. So lets say the village only has a 15% chance of hitting a wolfe with a blind vote, but with a crazy ax murder the odds increase a bit.

Another advantage, is that with a max. 3 votes during the day, this might speed up some games. Depends on your play group, I've seen this game take over an hour with 13+ players. Another thing with 3 votes, is you can use The Owl for the second vote (why second vote, I'll explain that in a moment).

THe owl gets to make a free accusation. He pts to the accused during the night phase, so only the GM knows at that pt. The vilagers should of course get to make the first vote freely, as they might be onto the wolfe. If the first vote fails then the GM reveals the nomination of the owl.

THe advantage to the village of the owl is similar to the ax murderer. SInce the owl is a villager, we can be reasonably sure he will not be deliberately targetting a villager. IF say 9 player/2 wolves, an owl or villager has 25% of nominating a wolf if he is randomly guessing. If we dont know the identify of the nominator (which is what happens in normal daylight voting) there's a 22% chance he's a wolf and of course he will nominate a villager.

So again, a nomination from the owl after a failed first vote, give the village a slight advantage. Again this can be a benefit in speeding up play (no debate, and the advantage to the village is obvious) as well as making even numbers during the day more interesting.

Finally another advantage to the ax murderer is the GM can use this person to play another role later in the game under the right circumstances. Now I for one do not advocate jiggering the game in favor of wolves if the village is doing well nor vice a versa. But there are some game where some role is killed early on, let's say the person with wolfsbane, or perhaps the lovers, and the game is just screaming for another role. THe GM might consider switching the ax murderer into this other role.

Since the ax murderer is rather limited role (he only is used occasionaly) it is nice for him to do something if he has nothing to do. Again, the village should be made aware of this possibility and the GM should not try to jigger the game too much; if the village is made aware of this it should not be too much problem.

ONE ANECDOTE. I think the very first time I tried this role was as GM at Hunt Valley MD about 6 or 7 years ago...

Came down to three villagers left and it was time for daytime vote and the ax murderer was still alive!. Two of the villagers were real life sisters! Early in the game they were quite friendly to one another but as the game drew to a close they started to mistrust each other more and more. Sister one fairly trusted her sister and tried to convince her to vote for the other guy. Sister two just wouldnt do it and in a fit of frustration turned over her card, CONCEDING THE GAME!

We looked at each other dumbstruct.

"Moron! You could have just passed on the vote, and the ax murderer your sister would have decided the game for the village in fact..."

Too funny. THe game actually had been a fascinating battle, over an hour, with the wolfsbane guy having a key role as well as some others. It ended on a sour note, but still quite amusing and interesting.
 
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sunday silence
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Maryland
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Damien: Can you explain how the hunter works? I am too lazy to look at the variant threads I guess..
 
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Jamey Philipp
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Muskego
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Add a witch with one healing potion and NO posion. That extrends the game a day. We've played with a witch and 2 healing potions and no poision as well to extend it two days, but then do not use a seer as there would be too much info given away.
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Brandon Bernard
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The best 7 player setup that I know of is the following:

Wolf Team:
1 Wolf
1 Sorceress (does not know who the wolf is, and looks for the seer at night)

Demon Team:
1 Demon
1 Cultist (does not know who the wolf is, and looks for the cleric at night)

Village Team:
1 Seer (looks for the wolf at night)
1 Cleric (looks for the demon at night)
1 Hunter (does not shoot upon death, but wins if he alone is left with either the demon or the wolf)

The wolf team wins if the wolf and any non-hunter or non-demon character are left. The demon team wins if the demon and any non-hunter or non-wolf character are left. The village wins if they kill the wolf and demon or if the hunter is left with the wolf or demon. If the wolf and demon are left, nobody wins. There is no revealing of roles upon death.


As an additional note: an above poster reccommended Shadow Hunters as an alternative. If you are looking for a beer-and-pretzels senseless game, this is okay, but it is extremely luck and dice driven. Players have very little control over gameplay. As a better reccommendation, I would suggest The Resistance. It captures the essence of werewolf without player elimination for a small amount of players.
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