Looney Labs Rabbits Mailing list Archive

[Rabbits] Are You A Werewolf? Convention Edition/Expansion

  • FromDavid Artman <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateTue, 04 Sep 2007 13:33:21 -0700
(Sorry, Amy, if I'm jumping the gun on your Coordinator Report, but I
have two purposes.)

OK, Rabbits, Dragon*Con was a SERIOUS success for AYAW?! From what I
heard (not being young enough to stay up all night) the games never
stopped from Saturday afternoon until MONDAY AROUND TWO AM!!! Even if
there was a break, it couldn't have been more than eight hours: I left
at 3am Sunday and returned by noon Sunday (by 2am Monday, folks were
being shut out of the Marriott, so the games perforce died off as folks
stepped out never to be readmitted).

At one point on Saturday, there was at least EIGHTY players in the
hallway: four groups of 15-25 players. I don't know of any other
individual game--other than d20--which sustained such interest during
the entire convention. Maybe there was an equivalent net number of
"player-hours" invested in, say, Vampire LARP or maybe Settlers of Catan
or War Machine. But sustained, continuous play for 30+ hours, with no
fewer than 20-30 players... man... that's just unheard-of.

Which brings me to my second point: The AYAW? Convention Expansion!

Yes, I know "the game is best when pure, with 15 players," but that's
just not how it goes down at conventions, once this momentum swells.
Moderator cards with special roles written in Sharpie start to come out.
Cupid (hate it), The Lovers (the right way to do Cupid), The Little Girl
(awesome role, so long as more werewolves than Little Girl plus Seers),
the Vigilante: there are great roles intended to provide deeper game
play when the numbers in the village increase, rather than just adding
more wolves and villagers or forcing folks to split up.

Take a moment to scan the list of roles at the "Mafia (game)" wikipedia

So, here's my idea (as if I need to spell it out, now):
1) Repackage AWAY? with the existing cards PLUS several roles and more
villagers and a few more werewolves. Rewrite the base rules to suggest
the 15-player game is "pure and best" but then go on to explain when one
would reach for more cards: how many villagers equal one werewolf, how
many wolves should you have before a villager is replaced with a special
role, what special roles are contradictory or in opposition to others,
etc. That way, folks running less than 15 players can just pare down the
villagers (and, eventually, a wolf) to fit their group size OR they can
scale up smoothly for each additional player above 15, adding wolves and
special roles at each "logical" population level.
2) As above, but do it as an expansion to the base card set, rather than
a repackage. In other words, everything above MINUS the cards in a basic
3) As above, but do each new role card as a promo which can also be
bought individually at the Looney store (like Fluxx).
4) Release AYAW? Blanks--the worst possible solution, as many roles are
interpreted differently/inconsistently, ruining the experience for folks
hopping from town to town at a big con; but a printed role card with the
rule on the card is unambiguous.

I know, I know: another SKU (or more), more stock, more risk. But I'm
here to tell you that Looney Labs is ALREADY exposed to risk--nay, is
paying for risk exposure right this moment--the way things are and if
they so remain. Consider:

At several times--some of which were the times with the highest
populations of players--moderators were using ***custom cards*** of
their own manufacture, to admit several special roles (without having to
mark up a ton of moderator cards, I presume). As such, many of the
people newly exposed to AYAW might have had NO IDEA that they were
playing a Looney Labs game.

Ponder that a bit; one of the most successful game products at the
largest convention of its kind in the world WAS NOT SEEN by many of its
players! Those players saw cardboard mock-ups, without even the product
name on the back of them. Why?

Because there are no AYAW? special role cards. Period. I know those
Rabbits would use them, if they could get them without having to buy a
whole pack just for one Moderator card to mark-up with a Sharpie.

That's my case, there's my evidence, and I am confident that the
existing production channels can handle it, judging by the myriad of
Fluxx promo cards. So, now, tell me why it will never happen....