Werewolf: A Primer

As you may have seen, the Avocado is home to an odd little sub-community of Werewolf players, and at first glance, the game can seem baffling. In actuality, it can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be, and the Avocado Werewolf Gang is always looking to welcome new players into the fold. In order to demystify the game a bit, I thought it’d be helpful to lay out some of the basics.

What the hell is Werewolf?

Werewolf (or “Mafia” in some circles) is a party game that has been adapted for online play. Players are either on the side of the good guys (Town), or the bad guys (Wolves). Wolves generally know who each other are, and collude to murder the members of Town. It’s the Town’s job to root out the evildoers in their midst.

How does the game work?

The game is split into two phases: Day and Night. During the Day, the players chat in an open thread, and there is a dedicated thread where players vote to kill (or “lynch” in the game’s unfortunate terminology) someone they suspect of being a Wolf. Naturally, the Wolves will attempt to mislead others into unwittingly lynching an innocent. At end of Day, called “Twilight”, whoever has a majority of votes is killed, and the game shifts into Night. At Night, the Wolves decide as a group who to secretly attack. Anyone with special powers (called “roles”) also generally acts at Night. The next Day, the Wolves’ victim is announced, and players use any previous information they’ve gathered to start the accusations all over again.

But how do you have secret conversations?

We use a site called Quicktopic, or QT for short. Every player gets their own QT link, which tells them what role they’re going to be for the game (randomly assigned by the moderator), and allows them to convey to the moderator any questions or chosen actions. The Wolves share a QT, which allows them to talk over their plans. There’s also a QT called the Graveyard, where dead players can discuss the ongoing game.

Tell me more about roles.

You could play a game with just the information listed above, but having plain ol’ Town and plain ol’ Wolves all the time would get a little stale. To keep it fresh, each round of Werewolf incorporates different roles, which grants the user certain powers. Here are a few traditional roles:

Cop: The Cop submits a player’s name to the moderator at Night, and the moderator will tell the Cop whether the chosen player is Town or Wolf.

Doctor: The Doctor submits a player’s name to the moderator at Night, and if the chosen player is attacked by Wolves that same Night, they will not be killed.

Jailkeeper: The Jailkeeper submits a player’s name to the moderator at Night, and while the chosen player is protected from Wolf attack, they also cannot activate any powers of their own.

Roleblocker: The Roleblocker submits a player’s name to the moderator at Night, and the chosen player cannot activate their own role.

Serial Killer: A role that is neither Town nor Wolf. The Serial Killer gets to kill at Night, and generally wins by being the last player alive.

These are just the basics. Players can have all sorts of roles! Maybe you’ll share a secret QT with another player (Masons). Maybe you’ll be a Townsperson that gets to kill someone at Night (Vigilante). The moderator can invent pretty much any role or power, and figuring out who is who is part of the fun.

So we’re always just playing a Townsperson or a Werewolf?

Nope! Each game has its own theme. Maybe you’re a soap opera character. Maybe you’re a monk, or a cartoon, or an ’80s mallrat. Maybe you’re a cop on the edge, or a talking horse. The possibilities are pretty much endless.

Sounds good! How do I get involved?

When each game ends, a new sign-up post for the next game will be posted by the game’s moderator. If you go to Quicktopic, join the site, and subscribe to emails for this thread, it will send you an email every time a sign-up thread gets posted.

Check out The Werewolf Den for a repository of past games, or just click on any post with the #Werewolves tag.

We hope to see you in a game soon!