Some of you may already be familiar with the Russian party game "Mafia" (also known as "Werewolves"). I've given the game a bit of a Chinese makeover (based more-so on "Werewolves" than the original, because it's more fun in my opinion!).
Find out about the original game here.
In the original "Werewolves" (or at least in the version my friends and I play), there are a range of characters, each with different roles:
- The Game-master: The game-master oversees the game, keeping track of everyone's roles and their special abilities.
- The Werewolves: The werewolves are all aware of who the other werewolves are, act together, and must make a unanimous decision each "night" to kill another player. There are usually 2-4 werewolves depending on the group size.
- The Serial Killer: The serial killer can decide to kill a player each "night", however, unlike the werewolves, they can decide to abstain if they so wish.
- The Fortune Teller: The fortune teller has the ability to see another player's true nature (limited to looking at 1 player per "night"). As they pose a serious threat to both the werewolves and the serial killer, it's in the fortune teller's interests to remain discreet about their powers, yet try and help the villagers stop them.
- The Witch: The witch possesses 2 potions, one that can kill another player, and another that can resurrect a player. Each potion can only be used once and the witch cannot make any more.
- The Huntsman: If the huntsman is killed, they will chose another player to die alongside them.
- Cupid: At the beginning of the game, Cupid decides to make 2 players "lovers". When one of the lovers is killed, the other will be overcome with grief and also die. The lovers know each other's identity. Thereafter, Cupid behaves as a normal villager.
- The Bus Driver: The bus driver is a very odd role. Each night, the bus driver chooses 2 people to "switch paths". This means that whatever would have happened to one person, will now happen to the other. For example; if the werewolves or serial killer decide to kill player X, but the bus driver has chosen to switch the paths of player X and player Y, the player Y will be killed, and player X will be none the wiser (only the werewolves/serial killer will know that something's up). This also applies to other players' abilities: If the fortune teller want to know player X's true nature, but players X and Y have been switched by the bus driver, then player Y's true nature is revealed, but the fortune teller thinks that they see X's.
- The rest of the players are "Villagers", with no abilities whatsoever.
The idea of the game is that nobody can be 100% sure of the other players' identity, so people must try to deduce who poses a threat to them, and who their real friends are.
Here's how the game goes:
To begin, everyone sits facing each other in a circle, the game-master hands each player a card with their role on it, the player will look at this, but must keep this a secret. After all the cards have been dealt, everyone closes their eyes. The "special" characters will then identify themselves;
- The game-master will ask each of the "special" characters to identify themselves by raising their hand (so they don't make any noise to alert the other players).
- The werewolves will then open their eyes and identify each other, then they close them again.
- Cupid then opens their eyes and silently indicates the 2 players they wish to be "lovers", and then closes their eyes again. The game-master will then tap each of the lovers on the shoulder and ask them to open their eyes so they can identify each other.
The village goes to sleep for the night (all players close their eyes), the "special" players take turns to open their eyes and use their abilities (or not, if the case allows) in whatever order the game-master chooses. By the next morning, there will be at least one dead player. The dead player is now removed from the game and cannot influence it further (the game-master can decide whether they are allowed to reveal their role to the rest of the players upon death). All the players gather together and must decide to lynch someone whom they believe to either be a werewolf or the serial killer, usually decided by a vote. Another player dies and is removed from the game. The cycle continues until one of these results has been achieved:
- All the werewolves and the serial killer have been killed, meaning that the remaining villagers and/or "special" players win.
- Only the werewolves are left standing, meaning that they win.
- Only the serial killer is left standing, meaning that they win.
- There is also the very unlikely situation where nobody survives.
In my Chinese version, I have changed the names of the characters to reflect Chinese mythology:
- 狐狸精 (Húlijīng) "The Fox-daemons". Hulijing, or "Fox-daemons" are something like a Chinese version of vampires. They can take on human form and need to consume the souls of the living in order to survive. Traditionally, they took on the form of beautiful women and seduced gullible young men...
- 刺客 (Cìkè) "The Assassin". Speaks for itself, the assassin is there to kill people, something that they're very good at...
- 圣贤 (Shèngxián) "The Sage". This character possesses wisdom, wisdom that allows them to see the world as it truly is. Whether this shall be a blessing or a curse, only time can tell...
- 炼金术士 (Liànjīnshùshì) "The Alchemist". Possessing 2 magical potions, one can be used to kill another player, another to bring someone back from the dead.
- 少林武僧 (Shàolín Wǔsēng) "The Shaolin Monk". The Shaolin monk is a brave fighter, but not invincible. When he falls to another player by murder or lynching, he at least takes another with him to his grave.
- 月下老人 (Yuèxià Lǎorén) "Yue-lao". "The old man in the moonlight", he binds couples together in unbreakable love with his silken cords...
- 命运 (Mìngyùn) "Fate". Fate is fickle, fate is indifferent, but there is no escaping it...
- 村民 (Cūnmín) "The Villagers". Together the village is strong, divided, it is weak...
Prepare for many hours of enjoyment, mind-games, and trying your best poker-face...
Hope you guys have a load of fun over Christmas and New Year. 圣诞快乐！