2708 South Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX
Whose Turn Is It? Games offers their secondary gaming space to host Werewolves of the Dark Arts. This event and location has been taking place since the shop opened over two years ago.
The first game will aim to start at 7PM and the event typically runs until approximately Midnight. There will be on average 3-4 games depending on attendance. A typical month will have around 20 people taking part in heated discussions of lycanthropy and clairvoyance.
(This is the final event for Whose Turn Is It Games in its current form. While the event MAY continue in some way, this will be in essence a final hurrah for the location that the local Werewolf games started at.)
(Starting at ~6:15, this event will be a party, both Xmas and a thank you to the store itself. Food will be provided for those in attendance. As always, tips are appreciated, but note that I am trying to transition to collection via Paypal: [masked])
F. A. Q.
What is Werewolf/Mafia?: Werewolf, also known as Mafia under its original flavor, is essentially a condensed social experiment under the guise of a game. In Werewolf, you are given a role card that only you know, and tasked to find and eliminate the players belonging to the opposite 'faction' or team. Your tools are limited only to your communication skills, observation skills, charisma, and if you're lucky, a special ability granted by your secret role.
I've never played either game before, am I still welcome?: Definitely! A lack of experience is as much an advantage as it is a handicap. As long as you make the effort to be an active participant to the game, you'll do just fine.
How does the gameplay work?: Gameplay progresses in a cycle of Day Phase -> Night Phase. During the Day Phase, everyone is awake and is considered to be equal. The village (those that are still alive) must reach a consensus on one person to lynch (eliminate). This is done by sitting in a circle and having discussions and making official Accusations (nominations for lynching). Once a player is eliminated, they can no longer speak or influence the game (but they can still watch).
Following the lynching, the village goes to sleep (closes their eyes) and the ghost of the Town Mayor (GM) will call on special night-time roles one at a time in order for them to use their abilities. This includes two main abilities that you will always see: The Werewolves will decide on one person to kill, and the Seer will investigate one person to see if they are a Werewolf.
Once all night-time abilities have been called, the village wakes up and the Town Mayor announces which players have been killed during the night. This continues until either all of the Werewolves have been killed, or until the Werewolves can take over the village by force (eg; 2 Werewolves vs two non-Werewolves).
I've played Werewolf/Mafia before. What's different about Werewolves of the Dark Arts?: WotDA focuses its specialty on two things. First, the social aspects that are the core of the original games. The biggest thing to note about my version is that I do not use a timer for the Day Phase. Rather than making the game about manipulating rules set in place, WotDA gives as much control to the players themselves as possible. Your actions can and will influence the fate of the village. Every player matters, every voice matters, every vote matters. This is emphasized by the way the Day Phase is executed; no timers, no Accusation limits, no leaving your seat, etc. It's all about discussion, persuasion, and diplomacy (and bloodlust). I have many reasons for this approach, largely involving psychology and sociology. If you're curious, ask me about it and I'll sit down for a discussion.
The other specialty of WotDA is the emphasis on mechanic balance. Every role can theoretically be included in the same game without any rules issues, and without the Town Mayor inadvertently giving away anything to the players through their actions during the Night Phase. Secrecy was a major concern during development, and the mechanics of the roles and intentional scripting will create an atmosphere unlike the more party-game driven Werewolf versions. The end result is an experience fueled by only the discussion of the Day Phase, and the information gained by individual players from their Night Phase abilities.
Additionally, a lot of care was taken in keeping a strong fantasy flavor in the roles themselves. If you'd like to learn more about Werewolves of the Dark Arts, please visit http://werewolfdarkarts.com/ for detailed information on all of the different roles, plus strategies, history, and more.
I can't make it on time. How long does a game last?: A single game's length will depend on the number of people and the personality of those playing. Smaller games will typically run between 40 minutes and an hour, while larger games can last up to two hours depending on the complexity. However, I personally feel watching games can be almost as much fun as playing in one, so don't worry too much about missing the start of a game or joining in the first game if you'd rather watch.
I heard there's social benefits to this game?: Absolutely. I can personally vouch for the ability to learn a ton about interacting with other people and improving social skills such as reading others, understanding their motivations, improving your quick thinking, etc. If you make your goal of playing to gain a better understanding of others, you're definitely going to start picking up a lot about what goes on inside other people's heads.
I had a ton of fun, and want to play more! Where??: To keep up with future events, they will be posted on the RedditAustin Meetup (S. Austin), AustinGeeksandGamers Meetup (N. Austin; Cedar Park), and on http://facebook.com/werewolfdarkarts/
(Other Meetup group posts for WotDA are usually special case advertising, so keep the Facebook group in mind.)