It’s the Citizens versus the Werewolves!
It was at the 2008 Applied Improv Network conference held in Banff, Canada where I first learnt about this game Werewolf. It is an improv game known by a few other names such as Mafia and Assassins. It started around 10 pm at night, in the picturesque Banff leadership centre, situated in the snow-capped Rockies. A group of 30 people began the game which would be destined to finish in the early hours of the morning and, even then, lead to a zingy sleepless night for some. I often describe the game as being about power, deception, paranoia and misinformation.
And here’s the set up:
“Once upon a time…A time in the 16th century. A time when there lived citizens in a village and life is simple…Or is it? Retiring from their daytime activities, the Citizen folk now face a cold, dark night-time force, the force of the Werewolf, who feed on the Citizens…Will the Citizens discover who the Werewolves are in time to save themselves and their village?”
I was at the same conference in Banff, and it was my introduction to the game of Werewolf too, albeit somewhat different. Blissfully unaware of the unleashing of the game on my unsuspecting friend, I awoke the next morning and made my way to breakfast – to be greeted with howls and yips and talk of deaths and lies and treachery. It was pretty clear to me that I’d missed something significant. It only took a couple more years for me to experience the game first-hand and to realise I had made a serious misjudgement in preferring sleep that fateful night in Banff to playing Werewolf. It’s not a mistake I’ve made again, nor would I miss another opportunity to play Werewolf.
So I was thrilled today when Andrew presented me with his pack of illustrated Werewolf cards. Oh, wow! I’ll take them with me everywhere. And watch out, I might try and rope you into a game of misinformation, paranoia and lies. Come to think of it, I know a few people who would be perfect for this game!