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January 1st, 2005

Lupus in Tabula

This New Year’s Eve, we had a group of about 11 or 12 people and needed a party game that would be suitable for that large of a group. There are plenty of options, but this year we started the evening with a unique one… a card-based game that not only works well with lots of people, but requires it. “Lupus in Tabula” requires 8-25 people to play, and certainly gets even better the more people that you get involved.

The idea of the game is this: there’s one moderator that keeps the game going, two or three werewolves that attempt to devour villagers at night, one “seer,” and the rest of the players are villagers. The game has two cycles: night and day. At night, everyone has their eyes closed except for the moderator. Then, the seer opens their eyes and points to another player to find out if they are one of the werewolves. The moderator either nods in the affirmative or shakes his head “no.” Then, the seer closes his eyes again and the werewolves open their eyes. They silently come to a consensus about who to kill and point to them so that the moderator sees. Then, everyone opens their eyes and it’s daytime.

During daytime, villagers argue about who is a werewolf and who isn’t (keep in mind that the werewolves are involved in these discussions as well). The villagers then vote about who to lynch that day, in an attempt to kill the werewolves. The game ends when all the werewolves are killed (and all of the villagers are considered the winners) or when there are as many werewolves alive as their are humans (and the werewolves are declared the winners). The seer wants to be able to carefully guide villagers to who the werewolves are, but not be found out as a seer because, for sure, the werewolves would kill the seer during the next round.

It’s a surprisingly fun game and runs about 20-30 minutes with ~12 people playing. The werewolves won each of the four times we played and only one werewolf was successfully lynched. There are also a number of variations with “special players” including a bodyguard who can protect one person each round from death, a medium who can find out after someone has been lynched whether or not they were a werewolf, and a “ghost variation” that allows dead people to continue to vote on who gets lynched, though they’re otherwise not allowed to speak. There are even blank cards that allow you to create your own special characters.

Find out more over at Divinci Games or read some reviews. At just over $7, it’s a great party game that offers a nice variation on the standard fare.

(Happy 2005 from The Staff of The Ping!)

Posted in Everyday Life

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