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WEREWOLF - A enduring game for 10-50 people

The game is based on "The Werewolves of Bleak Forest" (French: Les loups-garous de Thiercelieux) by Philippe des Phallières and Hervé Marly, published in 2001 by lui-même. Its template was again the well-known game Mafia, to which Andrew Plotkin had given the werewolf theme.

Here, however, inspired by "murderer" games, the game is extended to be played as an enduring game over a whole leisure time.

We first played the game at a confirmation camp. As group leaders, we had the idea of putting a scary story into practice. At first, there were only vampires and werewolves, Cupid and the witch. At a choir retreat, we developed the game further. Since the werewolves were too strong, we invented additional roles to strengthen the vampires and the villagers. Each of the three groups had equal chances to win the game. For the game cards, we simply wrote new slips of paper with the role designations on them each time - depending on the number of players. Then fold the slips of paper so that you could not read what was written on them, handed them out, and collected them again after looking at them. There is no number ratio; depending on how the group is structured, you must readjust from game to game to get fair groups. But you can use 3 werewolves, 3 vampires, and as many villager unique roles as you want. As a starting point with 20 people—every +-10 people, then one werewolf and one vampire.


  1. The game is played all the time, except during meals or when the supervisors announce a game stop. Voting will occur at regular intervals, with a majority of all players determining one who will then immediately die.

  2. One game leader may be appointed to lead discussions and decide on disputed issues. He does not take part in the game otherwise and is bound to secrecy but should keep track of which roles are still in the game to determine the end of the game. Some roles must then perform their actions through the game master for more anonymity. If there is no game master, critical judgments must be made by a 2/3 majority of all players.

  3. Rule changes must be proposed publicly and, if all agree, are valid from the next game.

  4. Anyone who does not follow the rules will be excluded from the game for that round.

  5. Dead players are now witnesses and are not allowed to interfere in the game until they are revived. The only information they can share after their death is their former role. If they are restored, however, they may talk about their killer. Dead players have no role anymore; if you are dead at the end of the game, you lose.

  6. At the beginning of the game, each player receives a face-down role card and looks at it. (The cards may be collected immediately, but should it prove necessary, it may be decided to keep them as "badges" to perform role-specific actions).

  7. The game is over when only one of the large groups of villagers, vampires, or werewolves is still alive. A mixed pair of lovers is the only one still alive or when all are dead.

The roles

  1. Vampires:

    you must try to kill all non-vampires. You can hunt in groups, but you can also hunt alone. They cannot create new vampires. To kill someone, they must tick them and say, "I am a vampire, and you are dead." The victim must wait 1-2 minutes (within this time, he is already considered dead) so that the vampire can escape and then scream loudly. Vampires cannot kill each other. They cannot be turned into a werewolf.

  2. Rule breakers:

    role-specific action in front of witnesses (applies to vampires, werewolves, rune-keepers): These roles may not perform role-specific actions (murder, transform, convert) in front of witnesses. If someone witnesses the corresponding sentence being said, they must immediately tell the people involved and the game master. Of course, the murderer may not then simply kill the witness. The slayer is declared invalid by the game master, so the victim is alive again. As a punishment, the perpetrator is dead.

  3. Werewolves:

    they must try to turn all non-werewolves into werewolves or kill them. However, they can only perform their actions in a pack, that is, at least two of them. To do this, they must give the villagers a choice of dying or being turned. However, vampires and most villager's special roles cannot be turned, so they must choose to die. Werewolves vs. Vampires: If 2 werewolves meet a vampire, the vampire dies. If a vampire meets a single werewolf, the werewolf dies.

  4. Villagers:

    They have no role-specific abilities but can be turned into werewolves. They must try to survive and protect the villagers' special roles.

  5. Villager special roles (use as needed):

    They belong to the large group if they are not transformed.

    1. Cupid:

      Determines lovers via the game master; a normal villager can be transformed.

    2. Lovers:

      Can also be same-sex; Cupid can also pair himself with another person. If one dies, the other also dies as soon as he finds out about it. Until then, however, he is still considered alive. If they belong to the same large group, their game goal is to reach the purpose of their group together. Otherwise, their goal is to survive in pairs and kill everyone else.

    3. Hunter

      kills any teammate upon death, even in front of witnesses. Otherwise, same as other villagers. He can be transformed but then loses his hunter ability.

    4. Witch:

      She has a potion that she can use to revive a dead person as a normal villager and one that she can use to kill any teammate. She can also use her potions in front of witnesses. She cannot be turned into a werewolf until she has used up both of her potions. If a witch and a vampire meet, both are dead; if two witches meet, they can come to an agreement.

    5. Special rules for Hades and Witch:

      They do not perform their actions through the game master but go directly to the person in question. However, they briefly tell the game master afterward. If their love partner dies, they can revive him and remain alive if they have not yet used their ability.

    6. Hades:

      Can only once during the game revive a dead person as a vampire. After that, he is a normal villager and can be turned. If he dies before using his ability, he becomes a vampire himself after being dead for about 5 minutes.

    7. Bomb:

      Can blow up at any time she chooses. In doing so, she dies and takes up to five (but this number must be adjusted to the total number of players) teammates to their deaths. It hits those closest to her at the time of death (but in the same room). In case of ambiguity, the bomb itself decides. She does not have to go off, then she wins along with the villagers. However, she may ally with any large group and use her ability in their interest. If she is killed, she kills her killer and so many others nearby that the total (not including herself) is five. She cannot be transformed.

    8. Rune Keeper:

      Can turn (convert) a werewolf into a normal villager once, but only if there are no witnesses. He cannot be turned until he has used his ability.

For beginners or when the number of participants is low, you should start with few unique roles. When the game is played for the first time, it can be introduced with a scary story. Then only individuals can be secretly assigned to their roles. This makes it especially exciting.

Advanced players can come up with additional roles. In doing so, one can be inspired by the extensions of the template.

There are no limits to your creativity!

Submitted by Daniela S. from Regensburg.

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