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Subject: Card of the Week #0B: The Shroud of the Ghost rss

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Ted Alspach
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This card was one of the three originally shown when Ultimate Werewolf Artifacts was announced.

The Ultimate Werewolf Artifacts Shroud of the Ghost card is very different than its related role, the Ghost, from Ultimate Werewolf: Ultimate Edition. In Ultimate Werewolf: Ultimate Edition, the Ghost is all about cluing in the village to the identities of the werewolves by sending a "spiritual message" of one letter each morning to the village. There's a limitation necessary for gameplay that the letters used can't be spelling (or giving the initials of) the names of anyone; otherwise the Ghost would be way too powerful. In most games the Ghost spells something unique about a werewolf (or more if he can find a common denominator), such as the color of there werewolves' shirts, unique attributes like "mohawk" or "glasses," and other such things. One recent game the ghost put out the first letter of the color of the shirts of each of the werewolves...something the village figured out just a little too late!

In Ultimate Werewolf Artifacts, however, the Shroud of the Ghost Artifact card is used very differently. First of all, it's a one-time use card. The holder of the card, when it is revealed, asked the player lynched the previous day for a single letter. That letter may be anything...there's no restriction on using names. Of course, that's the only letter the dead will ever convey to the village, so it had been be a good one. The dead will have, at that time, witnessed an entire night, and should know who all the "bad guys" are. Of course, oftentimes it happens that immediately after a lynch the player leaves the game during the night phase to use the restroom, grab a drink, whisper with other evictees, etc., and there's a chance that they *don't* have any information that will be useful for the village. Yet they still have to give a letter. They may not comment on the usefulness of the letter, or what that letter means, but instead just provide a single, solitary letter.

When I moderate a game with any ghost (role or artifact), I never let the ghost speak. I always require that they write down the letter and then, as the moderator, I'll show the letter to everyone (or post it up on a wall for all to see). There's too much information that can be given by the tone of the Ghost, even with a single letter!

Depending on the sort of game you're playing, you may or may not know the identity of the Ghost when he is lynched. Obviously, not knowing is going to make the Ghost's letter very intriguing, because there's a chance that the lynched player isn't really on the village side at all! In games with several werewolves, if a werewolf is lynched (whether the village knows it or not), a werewolf holding the Shroud of the Ghost has the equivalent of a super power; they might be able to find out who the Seer is from their fallen brethren!

One thing is for sure...the Ghost adds a lot of information to a game, and provides a huge amount of discussion possibilities!
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Greg Wilson
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With either version of the Ghost, is there anything to stop the village assigning a letter to each player at the start of the game, so that the Ghost can use those to signal?
 
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The Compulsive Completist
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BlackSheep wrote:
With either version of the Ghost, is there anything to stop the village assigning a letter to each player at the start of the game, so that the Ghost can use those to signal?


Where would the fun be in that?
 
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Ted Alspach
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BlackSheep wrote:
With either version of the Ghost, is there anything to stop the village assigning a letter to each player at the start of the game, so that the Ghost can use those to signal?


No, and in fact the Ghost role is particularly susceptible to gamer-think. Some players won't play with the ghost because of this. My suggestion is to not talk about it until right before the cards are dealt, which reduces the pre-strategy.

One of the nice things about the Shroud of the Ghost Artifact card is that it's part of a larger set (40) cards, and you never know if it'll be in your games, and if so, who will have it. So even if it seems like the lynched player is clearly pointing to another player, most people in the village won't know for sure if that person is a werewolf, the seer, or some other character. Of course, the village could always lynch that player to find out what they are first, and then decide how to respond to that player's letter clue...laugh
 
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