Well recently, I’ve been playing some Werewolf games on the internet.
What is werewolf? Well this game was first introduced to me as Mafia a long time ago by some people in Thailand while we were on vacation. In mafia the game is divided into two rounds: day and night. During the day all the players get one vote and can vote to kill a player. During the night certain players with special roles get to do various actions.
Now, in mafia, there are two teams: the mafia and the villagers. The mafia (usually 2ish of them) must kill all the villagers, (and can kill one player of their choice every night. As well as voting during the day) while the villagers must find out who mafia are. On the side of the villagers is the sheriff and the doctor. The sheriff can investigate one person every night to discover if they are the mafia or not. The doctor can choice to protect one person every night and if that person is targeted by the mafia they will not die, but live because the doctor arrived at the scene of the crime just before the person who was attacked was killed.
So anyways… this game was always played in real time face to face with other people. Roles were dealt with via playing cards and the game generally moved fast and the mafia rarely won. However, I also learned of a different version of mafia called werewolf:
Werewolf is basically mafia but with a fantasy village setting rather than a small town setting. The roles are the same but there are extra ones: the lovers (one dies, both die) the village idiot (if he dies, he can kill someone as well), etc.
Anyways, so I discovered that one website I visit regurlarly, http://www.giantitp.com (primarily for the webcomics) has lots of werewolf games going via PBP. (these games can be seen under the “structured games” subforum of the “Silly message board games” forum. I’m registered as toasty on this website if anyone cares) I started playing in these and after two somewhat boring, but still decently fun games and one game where I got to play the devil (similar to the sheriff except I am a wolf (mafia) and my “investigations” reveal a players role, not if he is a werewolf/mafia or not) and managed to have some good fun because one of the werewolves managed to convice everybody he was a villager (we killed the villager’s seer (sheriff) and baner (doctor) in the first few rounds of the game very easily, primarily because they trusted the wrong person in the early game) and thus we won.
Now I’m in another two games and loving them both. I’m a villager, so while I don’t have any special role to play I’m beginning to see the intricacies of how the game works and learning to trust no one except myself and the like. One of these games is really crazy right now… I’ve changed my vote like 3 times and everyone agrees that the game has become really confusing. Best part is we’re only on day two! :D
What I think makes these werewolf games so fun is the fact that because they are doing via PBP instead of real time there is a lot more elements of deception and logic and stuff. People have time to plan their actions, look at how other people have voted and work out who is lying and who isn’t. This kind of stuff can be done in a face to face werewolf game, but it often generates into random “I think its Isaac!” with no logic to back the statement up.
And… I need to get to bed.