Looney Labs Rabbits Mailing list Archive

[Rabbits] Adding More Characters to AYAW??

  • FromAndy Looney <andy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • DateMon, 17 Sep 2007 17:29:52 -0400
So I've done a lot of thinking and consulting with others on the whole question of adding more characters to Are You A Werewolf? and to get right to the point, I'm not in favor of adding anything except perhaps for blanks.

First, there's the practical reality: We won't be revising the product again until we sell through what we've got, which is going to take awhile. We currently have over 7,500 copies in the warehouse, and having sold just 2,258 in the last 12 months, those are going to last us for at least 3 more years (given the current sales volume).

Secondly, I don't want to revise the product again anyway. We made a whole bunch of little changes to it for the 3rd printing, and I've very pleased with how it stands now. We've talked over the years about adding other characters, and we've even playtested a bunch of them, but as I've said before, I believe the game is best when played in its pure original format.

David wrote:
Yes, I know "the game is best when pure, with 15 players," but that's
just not how it goes down at conventions...

Well, it can be, if Authority Figures insist. During the sessions I was running at GenCon, we had as many as 8 villages going at once, all with 15 person villages and no extra characters. The games continued all night, every night, and we've had bigger crowds than that at Origins, again sticking just to the basic game.

I hate sounding like a stuffy old fuddy-duddy, but after playing this game a LOT, I remain convinced that the pure game is still the best way to play. I understand that players crave more secret roles, and the novelty of adding new stuff can be powerfully attractive, but that doesn't mean doing so is a good idea.

I'm reminded of the classic card game Hearts. Some people like playing with various optional rules, such as making the Jack of Diamonds worth -10, or giving a -5 bonus for taking zero tricks, or even the really wacky rule that says your score resets to zero if you hit exactly 100 points. I know some players like these rules, since on the face of it they seem to add more fun to the game; however, I strongly dislike those extra rules, and refuse to play Hearts using them. For me, they really mess up the basic action of the game, in a way that can be really annoying for those who take it seriously, i.e. players who like trying to Shoot the Moon.

OK then, if changing the core product is out, what about releasing a few new characters as either promos or an expansion pack?

Again, the problem here is that I've yet to find a new character which I think it really benefits the game to have added. I've seen the Lovers really ruin the gameplay, and I really don't care for the Little Girl. Even the Vigilante messes up the dynamic for the serious hunter. Given this, I could imagine us doing a promo card or two, but I'm pretty skeptical about an entire packet of new characters.

Lastly there's the idea of issuing blanks. I could see this happening, though not soon. As I said, I'm sensitive to the fact that there's demand for more characters, but my devotion to quality won't allow me to create something which I think is a bad idea. That said, if people are so determined to add more characters to the game that they're doing so by writing on existing cards with Sharpies, well, then I guess we ought to make it a little easier on them by making AYAW? blanks available. Doing so will create an open system, allowing people to take our core game and customize it, but without us having to approve or sanction any new characters.

So those are my thoughts on that.

-- Andy Looney