July 30, 2012 by dracs
Every gaming group has a go-to game, one game which always gets trotted out to much applause and demand, or just when there’s nothing else to play. In my gaming group that game is Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow.
Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow is something of a cross between a RPG and a card game for between 8 – 18 players, plus one narrator, based around the popular “Mafia” party game. The players are the villagers of the quiet town of Miller’s Hollow. Each night they go to sleep, only to wake up and find that one of their number has been eaten by vicious Werewolves. The werewolves could be any of them and in order to get rid of this threat to their peaceful way of life they decide to elect a sheriff and engage in a good old fashioned lynch mob. From then on it becomes a race. Will the villagers find and lynch the werewolves? Or will the werewolves succeed in fooling the villagers and eat them one by one as they sleep?
At the start of the game each player is given a card which they must not show to anyone else. This tells them whether they are a Werewolf,
Or a helpless, innocent villager.
When the narrator declares it to be night the villagers must all sleep. NO PEAKING! The Werewolves than wake up and, by way of mime, text message or interpretive dance, let the narrator know whom they have decided to eat that night.
When the narrator says the villagers can wake up they then elect a sheriff, a villager who counts as having two votes when it comes to choosing who to lynch, and then try and decide who they think might be a Werewolf. Now during the day Werewolves will act just like normal villagers, meaning that they can join in with the voting and even become the sheriff if they are a good enough actor.
Where Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow gets really interesting is the inclusion of special character cards, which a player may receive rather than a Werewolf or Villager card. the number of these special roles present in the game depends upon the maximum number of players participating.
Players with these cards count as normal Villagers, but with a few added bonuses. The Cupid, for example, can select two people to be bound forever in love, meaning that if one dies so does the other, while the Hunter can choose someone to take with him when he dies. I once played a game where everybody died because of that combination.
All in all this is by far one of my all time favourite games to play when you have a big group of people and are just looking for something quick and fun to play. Alliances and tactics shift and change in moments as players throw one another to the wolves, literally. Lynchings can go from reasoned debates to cries of “He has a beard! He Must be a Werewolf!”
While by no means a game to take seriously I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a way to really bring your gaming group together. Nothing builds friendships more than declaring an innocent Villager a Werewolf while secretly being one yourself.
Will this game be making an appearance at your gaming group next full moon? Have any of you played this already, and if so what do you think of it?