2023-09-03: Hell Helm Changes. New Role, New Item.
Hell Helm Changes
The Hell Helm is no longer capable of hearing evil faction chat. It can still hear all village subfaction night chat, such as Masons, Illuminati etc.
The Hell Helm will also hear whispers sent (either through an activated rune or orb) regardless of the whispering player's alignment. Once the whisper item is deactivated however, chat from evil players will not be heard again.
Developer comments: The Hell Helm has remained a controversial item since its introduction and had the potential to out an entire faction's players.
When it was originally added, it was started with a solo evil player to give them extra information so they could manoeuvre the game. Along with Clarity Potions, this strong item was only ever intended as powerful tool for evils that they could not reveal entirely, as it would incriminate themselves if they ever divulged this information.
Players unanimously dislike evil night chat not being "safe" after a day of stressful lies and deception. There are codes and methods to protect night chat from eavesdroppers, but this is yet another burden to place on the evil players when night planning can already be time consuming and mentally taxing.
The Hell Helm was last used in the "whispering evils" wlf setup, which is inspired by Blood on the Clocktower. In Blood on the Clocktower, the "whispers phase" allows players to form smaller groups from the main game and have conversations in private.
Players are free to try to eavesdrop and to keep an eye on who is plotting in secret together and these groups of trust (or deception) become forms of information themselves. The werewolv.es version of this setup includes Bloodmoon Cult and Damned players that are looking to find their evil allies, and the Hell Helm was included as a potential tool to help them. However, its presence still felt like a hindrance to the wolves.
These changes should address the main issues players have with the Hell Helm and allow this more interesting item more use in games in the future.
New Village Role - The Holdout
The Holdout has no active ability until a night phase begins with five or fewer players left alive. At which point, they may either A) shoot another player as if they were a Militia B) activate an Agitation as if they were an Agitator or C) nothing.
The Holdout's power is not single use, in the unlikely event of a second night of five or fewer players they will be able to use either of their abilities again.
The Holdout would be viewed as a potential killer by an Adjudicator at any point in the game.
Developer comments: Auxiliary evils such as the Bloodmoon Cult or Damned can make for interesting setups whilst the game is in flow, they can result in disappointing end game situations where revealing themselves and then tying the vote locks the game into an evil win. The Holdout was designed as a potential counter to such situations.
The Holdout also fits into a category of roles that have less incentive to reveal themselves early, as one principle I try to follow with setups is to make an early "full claim" a dangerous option for the village to pick.
I also considered combining the role "transformation" into an item/aura to allow for more flexibility and this remains a possibility in the future.
New Item - Graveyard Records
Graveyard Records passively reveals the role of a random dead player to its owner each morning. If no one is dead, it does nothing.
Developer comments: A fairly straight forward item, the Graveyard Records is designed to be less useful as the game progresses.
2023-07-03: Sleepwalker / Spellbound Changes
Sleepwalker and Spellbound Changes
A weighted algorithm has been applied to the code which is used by Sleepwalkers and Spellbound players to determine which random target they will visit.
Previously, this was a simple random pick from any living player in the game. It has been changed to give more weight to players being targeted, with additional weight if they are being targeted by a player that is seen as a killer. The weighting scales with the number of players left alive and the number of visits being made.
How a Target is Picked for a Sleepwalking Player
- A bag is created which contains each living player
- For each visit being made that night, the target is added to the bag again:
p times if the visitor is not viewed as a killer.
p + (p * v) times if the player is viewed as a killer.
p: 1/3 of the players left alive.
v: the number of visits being made.
- The Sleepwalker themselves is removed from the bag
- One random name is drawn from the bag
In a 5 player game with a single Werewolf and a Harlot alive. If the Harlot checked the Werewolves' target, a Sleepwalker in the game would have a 62% chance of visiting the victim, and a 12% chance for each of the remaining players.
In a 9 player game with a single Werewolf and a Harlot alive. If the Harlot checks a player other than the Werewolves' target, a Sleepwalker in the game would have a 49% chance of visiting the Werewolf target, a 19% chance of visiting the Harlot's check and a 4% chance for each of the remaining players.
Developer comments: This change was inspired after a conversation at Manchester Werewolf. Sleepwalking is far less of a hindrance to visiting intel roles than Lycanthropy is to Seer roles. Sleepwalkers almost never provide "cover" for killing roles like their original intent.
2023-04-14: 2 New Items. Visit Intel Changes
New Item - Askeleita Rune
An Askeleita Rune allows you to make your target visit every other living player.
Developer Comments: This item opens up new methods to incriminate players against harlots, create cover for kills or straight up murder parties in combination with an Omegawolf or Daggers of Paranoia.
I hope to be able to draft some setups for wlf games built around this item, which I think will allow for some interesting bluff and double bluff situations.
New Item - Potion of Toughness
A Potion of Toughness can be used to make a player Tough for the rest of the game. You cannot target yourself with this item.
Change to Visit Intel
Harlots, Stalkers, Insomniacs (and their item, familiar and drunken equivalents) have been altered so that multiple actions against the same target will only appear as a single visit.
For example, if you use your ability and an item on the same target, a Stalker would see you "leaving your house" once. If you however, used your role ability and an item on separate targets, the Stalker would see you leaving twice.
Currently, the BlindMonk remains unchanged.
Developer Comments: Whilst this change was inspired by the addition of the Askeleita Rune, I feel that this change gives more room for evils to bluff or hide visits. Visit checks have increased in value over time and this goes someway to rebalance that power. Furthermore, it just seems a bit more realistic. If you had nefarious intentions against someone with a War Axe and a Potion of Poison, do you think you'd make two trips from your house in the same night? Being a homicidal murderer doesn't make you insane.