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Ultimate Werewolf: Ultimate Edition» Forums » General

Subject: Seer is a God when paired with bodyguard and witch. rss

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Scott O'Dell
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So I have been playing Werewolf for over a year now roughly every 3 or 4 weeks with a large group of people. Unusually 20 to 30+ people. We use ultimate werewolf.

We have always used the seer, bodyguard and witch.

What has happened is that if the seer finds a werewolf she will instantly say "I am the seer and I found a werewolf." The seer is a deity because the next night the bodyguard will protect her. The next night the witch will protect the entire village and the next night the bodyguard will protect the seer again.

I think that the actual modifier number for the seer when paired with the body guard and witch is much higher in favor of the village.

I would estimate that the village win rate is well over 80 to 90%.

One suggestion is to have the bodyguard only be able to protect a person once per game. Which would mean the seer is only invincible for 2 turns instead of 3.

Does you guys have any thoughts or suggestions. I am not a fan of the village always winning. One other concern is time. We use the nominate multiple people and then everyone votes for 1 person to lynch voting method.
 
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Adam Vajcovec
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Couldn't one of the werewolves just say "I am the seer and I found a werewolf."? If you're revealing roles as people are eliminated, he'd have to sacrifice a fellow wolf, but then he could claim he hasn't found any more while remaining invincible and wasting the bodyguard and witch roles for several turns. Do that in a couple games and people won't be so quick to trust someone announcing that they are the seer.

Even if a werewolf says that and the real seer speaks up saying he's lying, it'll still create some doubt. Alternately, when the real seer says "I am the seer and I found a werewolf." one of the werewolves should immediately say "What?! No you're not, I'm the seer! You must be a werewolf!"
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Henry Allen
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Interesting. We don't use Witch or Body Gaurd so haven't run into the issue.

The first reply has some good suggestions. I'll also add you could remove one or both roles. You could also create some uncertainty about whether the roles are present instead of letting everyone know for sure which are present making the blatant seer declaration more risky since they don't know for sure if there is somebody to protect them.
 
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Sight Reader
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Since we always have new players who are confused by it all, we never allow people to declare or imply their own roles, enforced more as a matter of etiquette than any hard definitions.

We do have The Copycat to ensure the killing keeps moving should the Wolves fail and we have the Pied Piper to make sure no stalling takes place (for really big games we increase the number of people the Piper can claim every round)
 
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Scott O'Dell
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We don't do a role reveals when someone dies. We only announce what team they are on, team werewolf or team villager.

And counter-claiming wouldn't work because if they lynch the seer they would know the person who counter-claimed was a wolf.
 
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Adam Vajcovec
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PimpMario wrote:
And counter-claiming wouldn't work because if they lynch the seer they would know the person who counter-claimed was a wolf.
Yes but they would have lynched the seer. Wouldn't that still be better for the wolves than an announced seer who's immune for 3 rounds? The point isn't always the specifics of that situation. The point is to sow doubt. It sounds like your group is a little too trusting. Everything anyone says should be suspect in this game. If the seer announces and everyone just says "Oh, okay!" then your players need to learn to start lying their asses off!

Or you could just play where you don't even reveal the team when someone's eliminated. That way the seer's claims can't be verified until the game is over. It removes the benefit of announcing, though of course it rather dramatically changes the rest of the game as well.
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Scott O'Dell
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BaseTwelve wrote:
PimpMario wrote:
And counter-claiming wouldn't work because if they lynch the seer they would know the person who counter-claimed was a wolf.
Yes but they would have lynched the seer. Wouldn't that still be better for the wolves than an announced seer who's immune for 3 rounds? The point isn't always the specifics of that situation. The point is to sow doubt. It sounds like your group is a little too trusting. Everything anyone says should be suspect in this game. If the seer announces and everyone just says "Oh, okay!" then your players need to learn to start lying their asses off! :)

Or you could just play where you don't even reveal the team when someone's eliminated. That way the seer's claims can't be verified until the game is over. It removes the benefit of announcing, though of course it rather dramatically changes the rest of the game as well.


You seem to be correct; the wolves should lie. It seems like in our group that the person they always believe is the one who speaks up first.
 
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Sight Reader
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PimpMario wrote:
It seems like in our group that the person they always believe is the one who speaks up first.

This is generally true for beginners. When they're still trying to digest the roles, it's highly unlikely they would jump out and claim a role without having the experience to support their lie in future rounds.


This is why we have the etiquette of not implying or claiming a role, because if that person is a beginner it is either certain to be true or completely destroys their team.

 
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Jage
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Wait, so you play Werewolf while not allowing people to claim roles?

Isn't that just blindly lynching people and hoping you get lucky then?

If you're playing with beginners, the best way to get them to learn is to have them play in a game full of people lying.

To the original poster; if you have a 80-90% win rate with a set, it's probably really unbalanced towards one side. Remove some of the roles, or play in some games yourself and false claim as a role in order to sow doubt.

I would suggest you remove the witch, and instead of a bodyguard have a martyr (Can choose someone to protect at night, if that person is the target of the nk the martyr is killed instead). This will protect the seer for 1 extra night without preventing 3 nks and totally skewing the game in favor of the village.
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Archidamia
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jageroxorz wrote:
Wait, so you play Werewolf while not allowing people to claim roles?

Isn't that just blindly lynching people and hoping you get lucky then?

If you're playing with beginners, the best way to get them to learn is to have them play in a game full of people lying.

To the original poster; if you have a 80-90% win rate with a set, it's probably really unbalanced towards one side. Remove some of the roles, or play in some games yourself and false claim as a role in order to sow doubt.

I would suggest you remove the witch, and instead of a bodyguard have a martyr (Can choose someone to protect at night, if that person is the target of the nk the martyr is killed instead). This will protect the seer for 1 extra night without preventing 3 nks and totally skewing the game in favor of the village.


Also, some of the comments assumed that only the wolves would ever counter claim(which is a valid and necessary strategy-trade a life for a seer? sure!) does that mean you never play with any evil roles other than wolf? Because it would be the job of those other roles to do the countering before leaving it to a wolf to do so.
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The Original Thumb #50
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If you want some ideas for rolesets, you should peruse the Werewolf PBEM forum. In the roughly 1400 recorded games, good has a slight advantage in winning 51.9% of the time.

Then once you've looked around, you could play a game.
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Greg Wilson
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PimpMario wrote:
Does you guys have any thoughts or suggestions. I am not a fan of the village always winning.


Fewer protective roles. They really are very powerful when combined with a seer.

On the forums the standard protective role is a martyr (different from the UWUE martyr) who can 'guard' someone from the nightkill but takes their place as the kill, and therefore only works once. In high-power games there might be a bodyguard or a witch instead, but it's very rare for there to be multiple protection roles for just this reason.

Heck, one of the published versions of Werewolf (might be Lupus In Tabula?) has a bodyguard who can repeatedly protect the same person. Pair that with a seer and they'll break the game on their own. MafiaScum found this out with their newbie set.

Your evils do need to learn how to fake-claim and counter-claim, as mentioned, but fix the roleset first. What sort of player numbers do you have, and what's a typical set?
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Greg Wilson
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I've played in groups that don't like claiming. At one point in a game with the Cardiff mob, the mod put together a roleset that I pointed out was broken by including too many specials. He disagreed. So I broke it by forcing claims, and we got the wolves D1 and N1 with no casualties.

Apparently people didn't think that was a fun way to play. And I'd agree, but I feel like the solution is to make balanced rolesets that can survive claiming, not to ask one team to handicap themselves by banning claims. And when does something go over the line from hinting to claiming, anyay? Rules about what you're allowed to say (Masons, Teenage Werewolf) are pretty inevitably broken one way or another.

To be honest, I've somewhat given up on playing F2F Werewolf. I'd rather mod, because if I play I end up annoyed because people are Doing It Wrong. Like lynching an uncountered Hunter on D1. Or questioning whether it's too early for the Seer to claim on D4 of an eleven-player game. Or considering a sacrificial villager lynch when the village is at must-lynch.
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Sight Reader
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jageroxorz wrote:
Wait, so you play Werewolf while not allowing people to claim roles?

Yep. Our Werewolf community of non-gamers evolved in some very peculiar ways.

jageroxorz wrote:

Isn't that just blindly lynching people and hoping you get lucky then?

Nope. First of all, we allow sound and motion intelligence: someone felt the couch move, someone suddenly stopped talking, etc (although I do have music playing so it's not suffocatingly quiet). If everyone is careful, then the first night can be a bit random, but almost never so by the second night.

New players HATE "just" being a Villager and will give up if that's all they get, so I'm pretty much forced to ensure everyone has some special power. Because of that, the number of deaths per night gives a lot of information (only about a third of the time is there just a single death with so many roles interacting in strange ways).


In case you're wondering, yes, the first night is very long when everyone has a power, but nights are still much shorter than the debates during days.
 
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Greg Wilson
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sightreader wrote:
New players HATE "just" being a Villager and will give up if that's all they get, so I'm pretty much forced to ensure everyone has some special power.


Huh.

What's a typical roleset for your group? Are the roles known in advance? Do you reveal role on death?
 
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Archidamia
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sightreader wrote:
...

First of all, we allow sound and motion intelligence: someone felt the couch move, someone suddenly stopped talking, etc (although I do have music playing so it's not suffocatingly quiet). If everyone is careful, then the first night can be a bit random, but almost never so by the second night.

...


So it's less frustrating to be caught because you moved in the night than it is to have a claim battle? I would find it incredibly frustrating to be caught because someone heard my sleeve rustling as i pointed than because someone fought me valiantly through a claim war and I lost. It just seems to change the game from "who do you think is lying" to "who made more noise during the night phase"
 
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Greg Wilson
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linguistfromhell wrote:
First, rolesets / balance. I've learned (through trial and error) that a very good balance for a roleset is 1/3 evil, 1/3 specials, 1/3 villagers.


If you don't use non-wolf evils, then 1/4 wolves, 1/4 good specials, 1/2 villagers is also good.
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BlackSheep wrote:
To be honest, I've somewhat given up on playing F2F Werewolf. I'd rather mod, because if I play I end up annoyed because people are Doing It Wrong.

I've been modding every Wednesday at lunchtime for awhile. I use the modding time to chisel my players out of marble. There's enough of them that get it now so that no stupid mistakes slip through and the claim wars are getting exciting.
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Sight Reader
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Howdy there!

miraria wrote:
So it's less frustrating to be caught because you moved in the night than it is to have a claim battle?

It usually is a claim battle. When so-and-so says she heard that chair creak during the Werewolves' turn, everyone starts arguing about whether she's lying or not, who else heard it, what it would mean and so forth. This is where I have to be extra careful during the "night" in terms of where I direct my voice, whether I use pronouns like "he" or "she", etc...

Now, the difference between a battle over noise claims and role claims is that it's a lot easier for beginners to take part in noise arguments: they don't have to know the subtle chain of consequences associated with supporting an attempt to pose as, say, The Seer. The group as a whole can advise them why it's significant that so-and-so might be a Witch without revealing anything.

The only time senory intelligence isn't a claim battle is in a case like the following (one of my all-time favorite blunders!)

Moderator: Ok, so Werewolf, choose your victim.
Werewolf: Ummm...
Moderator buries head in hands...
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Sight Reader
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BlackSheep wrote:
What's a typical roleset for your group? Are the roles known in advance? Do you reveal role on death?

Yes, I announce all the roles in advance, and there is no reveal upon death.


Here's what I gravitate towards, but note that some of these roles are heavily modified:

Werewolves
Lone Wolf
Lovers
Cursed (turns into Wolf if bitten)
Witch
Seer
Scientist (knows how many wolves exist)
Tough Guy (survives first werewolf bite)
Prostitute (finds one identity every night, dies if its a wolf)
Spellcaster (may silence one person for next debate)
Bodyguard (protects one role, but never the same as last time)
Copycat (kills chosen person if werewolves fail to kill)
Pied Piper (tries to recruit entire town two at a time)
Hunter (shoots someone when she dies)
Prince (if lynched, first accuser dies instead. We also give her two votes for the remainder of the game once she reveals herself, like the Sheriff)

Of course, there are always a few roles that come and go as we experiment, but this is usually enough to fuel our average game of 10-14 people.
 
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linguistfromhell wrote:
Sooner or later, they have to get to the point where they're ready for a challenge again.

I think the nature of our game group may be different from others. I can only think of three sessions this year (we do them roughly once a week) where we didn't have someone with less than two games of Werewolf under their belt. Even in those sessions, out of sheer habit, we ended up playing without role claims.


linguistfromhell wrote:
But another responsibility is raising the players to the next level of game play.

We use Werewolf as a gateway game to provoke people's interest in gaming as a whole. For both me and our veteran players, the focus is about 20 percent strategy and about 80 percent convincing newcomers that gaming is a Good Thing and they need to come to future Game Parties.

Thus, our non-gamers are not just learning the Werewolf: the very concept that rules are weapons to manipulate rather than a mere list of No-Nos is tough to get used to if you don't game. That's a boatload to teach during a game: both me and the veterans are quite busy teaching bemused newcomers that strategy is not arcane and reserved for intellectuals, but rather fun and alive.

I have a rather extended thread discussing the mission of our game parties:

http://boardgamegeek.com/article/9549336

linguistfromhell wrote:
I'm not saying that information should be off-limits, but it should be a factor to determining lynch and not the sole reason.

Definitely. Don't forget that we were talking about the first day, where there may be little to go on, so sensory evidence can save the first lynching from being entirely random. By the second night, there's a lot to go on and sensory evidence takes back seat to who has been saying what and how it lines up with what happened.
 
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Greg Wilson
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sightreader wrote:
We use Werewolf as a gateway game to provoke people's interest in gaming as a whole.


And you've found that the all-special no-claim setup works better than a regular game? I'd have thought that trying to understand and remember all the roles and then sit through extended night phases would be a massive turn-off for non-gamers.
 
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BlackSheep wrote:
And you've found that the all-special no-claim setup works better than a regular game?

We just try to keep veterans from taking unfair advantage of newbies by being discreet about their roles. As far as specials are concerned, I learned the hard way that the quickest way for a newbie to check out is to find out that someone else has a power that she doesn't, no matter how much explaining you do.

Not being gamers nor understanding the game, all non-gamers take from their lack of power is "unfair". Even roles that have powers but are relatively passive receive strident complaints ("Argh, why did I have to be a Diseased again? That role SUCKS! Can I skip this round?")

BlackSheep wrote:
I'd have thought that trying to understand and remember all the roles and then sit through extended night phases would be a massive turn-off for non-gamers.

I would have thought so as well, but it's not the case. All I tell them is that there are Werewolves and Villagers and we start play. As I call one role at a time, I describe what it does, then have the player do their thing.

Here's a demonstration of a first night (my apologies, but we were watching a little too much Samuel Jackson which resulted in some foul language). I don't quite explain everything because it was the second game of the night, but hopefully you get the idea:



The immediacy (and fear) of someone using their power as you describe it has consistently proven effective in holding attention as I go through roles. I often give people a break whenever possible so they can open their eyes for a while.
 
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Whew! One moment there's so much criticism that I can barely read it all, then the next it's absolutely dead quiet?

I guess you guys finally decided our way of playing is so idiotic that it's no longer worth correcting...
 
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linguistfromhell wrote:
I can't speak for others, but I apologize if you thought I was criticizing you or suggesting that your way of play is wrong.

Oh.. Phew, thanks. I feel a lot better!

linguistfromhell wrote:
Your method works for you. I question the 'new folks every game play' statement, although I can understand how it may occasionally feel like that.

It's unfortunately true. Our gamers come from a college swing dancing group. People are constantly coming in and out of the club due to shifting class schedules. For some, swing dancing is a 2 month fad, then they move on. The vast majority are invited friends who won't come or know about it if the person inviting them can't come either. All three of the folks below, for instance, were core members who have moved on.


Thus, in almost every session someone will say, "Oh, we oughtta try playing with The " then suddenly realize, "Wait, nevermind, Joe and Harriet haven't played before... We oughtta try that sometime, though". It's frustrating in its own way, of course. We have 10 to 12 people in most parties, but the core who come to more than half of them is only about 4 to 5.

linguistfromhell wrote:
you're missing out on some of the fun that comes with being able to claim (or false-claim) a role. It is a different game - based on the same principles, but different.

Absolutely no doubt about that. True with most good games, though: you can't get into the meat of the game if you haven't played before. We do have game nights strictly for our core, but those are smallish affairs without enough people to play Werewolf.
 
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