How to Play Werewolf Online
werewolv.es has two basic game modes. 24 hour games and speed rounds. The 24 hour games have 12-hour day and night cycles. In speed rounds a day and night only take a few minutes. The 24 hour games are played continuously - there is usually one ongoing, and one where you can sign up, at any moment. The speed games are occasionally hosted in the weekend. Whichever mode is used, victory conditions and basic play remains the same: The village is trying to work out who are killing them during the night, and the evil factions are trying to stay hidden until they have whittled down the numbers of the village. The evil factions are: the Werewolves, the Coven, the Vampire, and the Undead - each game includes at least one, and possibly multiple, of these factions, and may also include factions that assist these evils, or independent neutral or evil players outside of any faction.
The game is divided into two basic phases, day and night.
The daytime is where most of the game of werewolv.es actually takes place. The village must talk amongst itself and piece together whatever scraps of information they may have been able to find in order to work out who the enemies are. Once the village has a suspicion, they are able to democratically lynch someone. Once they have lynched all evils, they win.
Note that the first day phase only lasts a short time, and does not include a lynch vote - instead, this gives players time to settle into the game, converse briefly with the other players, and review their role and any setup information. However, since this day phase is present, it means that if you an evil player, you will not have access to your private night chat until the first night is officially announced.
Rather than having players play under their own usernames and avatars, games usually assign each player a random name and avatar from a theme. This allows games to be anonymous and disconnect players from tells that could otherwise put them in a disadvantage. In games where this is used, it is against the rules to divulge your true identity outside of any faction night chat you may have - the information of which identity mapped to which player will be revealed when the game ends.
Votes are cast throughout the day and when night falls, the player with the most votes is lynched by the village, eliminating them from the game. If there is a tie, nobody is lynched. Most games also offer the option for the village to deliberately choose not to lynch anyone.
In order to promote player activity, players must cast a vote at least once every two days, and preferably vote each day. A player that fails to vote for two days in a row is smited, eliminating them from the game. Players can also be smited by the moderator at any time for breaking game rules.
During the night phase, members of evil factions can talk to their allies in secret and choose their victim(s). This is the time that special characters can decide how to use their unique ability. When night is over, abilities and kills are resolved and day begins.
Night actions fall into a wide array of categories. They are too exhaustive to list, but these are some of the main ones players will encounter:
- Actions that kill players (such as that of the Werewolf):
- A target of such an action, if successfully executed, will be eliminated from the game and placed in the Graveyard chat, and their death will be publicly reported in the morning.
- Note that kills do not stop players from performing their night actions - unless the action fails another way, a player can perform their own night action, even killing another player, on a night when they themselves are killed.
- There are various actions and role characteristics that prevent or redirect kills, and special kill actions that can bypass some or all of these mitigations.
- Actions that gather intelligence (such as that of the Seer):
- A user of this action will receive a report in the morning revealing some information about their target, such as their role alignment, the players they visited (used their actions on) that night, or other auxilliary information.
- Each role page in this How to Play guide contains data about the kind of information that these intelligence roles can see.
- Actions that protect against kills (such as that of the Protector):
- A target of this action is protected from attempted kills against them during the night on which it is used.
- In most cases, the kill action simply fails, though some protective actions cause other effects to happen if someone attempts to kill the protected player - for instance, the Huntsman will kill all players that attempt to attack their target, but will also die in the process.
- Some kill actions are able to bypass protection, such as that of the Militia.
- Actions that revive players (such as that of the Reviver):
- A rare action, this allows a previously killed or lynched player to return to the game.
- In addition to regaining their night actions (unless already used up), night chats, and voting abilities, they may also carry information with them that they learned from the Graveyard chat.
- Actions that block roles (such as that of the Direwolf).
- If a player is targeted by a successful roleblocking action, their own night action will not take place.
- These actions are resolved close to first in the order of night actions in order to block as many actions as possible.
- Some characters, such as the Vampire and roleblockers themselves, are immune to role blocks.
- Actions that swap identities (such as that of the Shapeshifter).
- Targets of these actions swap their avatar and username assignments - this swap is not made known to anyone besides the targets, and each will appear as their new identities to the rest of the village.
- These swaps, however, do not exchange any other characteristics of the players, including their factions, night chats, abilities, and statuses - in essence, these are the exact same players in new skins.
- These actions are always performed last, just before kills and revives are reported to the village, which means that a swap cannot change the target of your night action, but that any intelligence reports you get might instead apply to a different identity after you get them.
Night actions are committed simultaneously at the end of the night and are resolved in a mostly deterministic way by the game engine. This order is detailed on the Night Action Order page.