Not sure how to explain Werewords to new players? Maybe this will get you and your players up to speed.
- The Explanation
In Werewords, players guess a secret word by asking “yes” or “no” questions.
The Fluffy backstory
Look at the people around you and explain:
The game is set in a strange village where almost everyone is a Villager. Some of you are playing the role of a pesky werewolf.
One player will be the Mayor. They know a secret, magic word that will banish the werewolves from the village.
Weirdly, the act of knowing the word has made the Mayor mute (and also unable to use pen & paper it seems…)
Werewolves also know the magic word; how else would they know what to be afraid of?
Pause. Let people ponder the fluffy backstory.
Winning And Losing
So, how do you win? It depends what your role is in the game.
If you’re a Villager you win if the Villagers:
- guess the word, and the Seer is NOT killed by a werewolf.
- fail to guess the word, and the Villagers kill a werewolf.
If you’re a Werewolf you win if:
- the Villagers guess the word, but you manage to kill the Seer.
- the Villagers fail to guess the word, and also fail to kill a werewolf.
Make sure people know to listen to the next piece of information.
Your role is SECRET during each round. You are the only person who knows whether you are a Villager oe werewolf.
The General Gameplay
A round will be timed.
Once the timer has started all players may start asking Yes/No questions to the Mayor.
Please try to let the Mayor answer one question before asking the next.
If the Mayor is asked a question they MUST answer it, even if someone else already asked the question. (is someone not listening? maybe they’re a werewolf wasting your precious Yes/No tokens…)
If they Mayor runs out of Yes/No tokens the round ends immediately.
THE MAYOR MUST NOT SPEAK.
End Of The Round
If the word is guessed correctly, the werewolves have a chance to win by guessing who the Seer is.
If the timer (or Yes/No tokens) runs out, the Villagers have a chance to win by killing a werewolf.
Don’t worry about remembering all of this - there’s an app that will help run the game.
Now that you’ve got an idea how the game plays, I should tell you about some of the roles.
MAYOR: the person who is the Mayor gets the box of Yes/No tokens, as well as these question-mark tokens which mean “maybe” or “I really don’t know”.
VILLAGERS: nothing out of the ordinary here; Villagers are just regular players trying to guess the secret word
WEREWOLVES: you’d think the fur would give them away, but things aren’t quite that simple! Werewolves will also be asking questions, but they might be trying to lead the Villagers away from the secret word, or muddy waters with confusing answers … generally just being unhelpful - but also making sure they aren’t too obvious. They don’t want to get themselves killed.
SEER: It’s not hopeless for the Villagers. They have a special person living amongst them. This person knows the secret word and might be able to guide the Villagers in the right direction. They don’t want to make themselves too obvious though - killing the Seer is how the werewolves win!
Depending on player count, and selections in the app, you might need to explain some of these:
FORTUNE TELLER: the fortune teller is like a rubbish seer; for reasons we can’t explain, they get to see part of the secret word.
BEHOLDER: they know who the Seer is; this helps them know who to pay attention to when questions are being asked.
THE THING: they wake up in the night and tap one of their neighbours on thie nearest shoulder. This gives you some information. It’s up to you how much you say, and when. If you say anything at all!
Other Roles: If you do use other roles, look them up in the book and give players the required information.
Most games play perfectly well with the roles described above.
You do not want to overload players with too many roles during their first couple of plays.
I need to tell you something else about the Mayor but it’s slightly easier if we do the setup first.
Make sure you’ve installed the app and that your device is LOUD ENOUGH or connected to an external speaker that’s loud enough. Players will need to hear instructions dictated by the app.
Get The App
One Time Setup
- make sure you select the correct game variant in the app (Werewords vs Werewords Deluxe, for example)
- give the Mayor more choice:
> Other > Mayor Choice
- Increase the “Number of Words”
- > Other > Mayor Choice
- select the appropriate number of players in the app; this is a good starting point for your character selection
- do not change the number of werewolves
Some suggested changes:
- the Fortune Teller is a good replacement for the Apprentice; you almost always want to do this
- replacing one Villager with The Thing is fun without adding much complexity
Select the appropriate cards:
- you should have the roles showing in the app PLUS the Mayor
These are the role cards; the werewolves are RED to help you remember you’re on the “bad” team
Shuffle or mix the role cards FACE DOWN. It’s not very secretive if everyone can see everything.
I’m about to give you each one of these role cards. It’s REALLY IMPORTANT that you do not let anyone see the front of your role card. Even a glimpse of red could be enough to give yourself away.
Deal out the role cards.
You should have ONE left over. Place it face down in the middle of the table.
I’ll explain this extra card in a moment.
Please look at your role card and remember who you are. Then place your role card FACE DOWN on the table in front of you.
If you are the Mayor, please turn your role card FACE UP and let us know who you are.
If no one reveals they are they Mayor, give players a few seconds and ask again. If there’s still no Mayor, reveal the card in the middle of the table. It should be the Mayor. If it is, explain that you need to shuufle and redeal the role cards. If it’s not, someone wasn’t listening. Oops.
Once you have a revealed Mayor …
Great! Now, being the Mayor is more of a title than a description of who you really are.
That’s what this spare card is for.
Pass the centre card to the Mayor. Make sure it’s not revealed to any other players.
This is who you really are.
You might be a Mayor Villager … great! Just answer the questions the the best of your ability.
Make sure other players are still listening. This next part is important for everyone.
However, you could be a Mayor Werewolf … Mayor-Wolf … if you find yourself in this unusual position, you will still be acting as the Mayor - however, you are allowed to LIE!
Be careful in your lies though … you don’t want to get caught, and there’s a Seer in the village.
You’re Almost Ready To Start!
That’s pretty much everything you need to start playing.
It might feel weird right now, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it.
Worst case scenario, we play a 4 minute round, make a mess of it, then discuss what went wrong and play again. It’s quick enough to play that it’s not the end of the world if things go a bit wrong.
Time To Play!
You all need to be able to SEE the phone
We expect the Mayor to move in a few seconds, but other than that you should all try not to make it obvious if you’re reacting to an instruction from the app.
Mayor, you might as well keep your eyes open to start.
Make sure your phone volume is up.