Avalon: Good vs Evil

This was the first meeting of our class and we started off by playing Avalon. We started playing the most basic version of the game in which there were generic good or bad characters. Every person is given a good or a bad character but does not tell anyone else. Each round a king has to choose the people from the game that he/she wants to send on a quest. The group then votes whether they approve or deny of the people on the quest. If it is denied, then the king moves to the next person and they choose the people they want for a quest. If the original quest is approved, then the people on the quest have to play either a success or a fail card. If they are a good character they must choose success and if they area bad character they can choose success or fail. So the bad players need to be careful in when they play a failure card. One failure card means the quest fails, and the bad guys win that specific round. The game has five “rounds” and three failed quests means the bad characters win. Three successful quests means the good characters win. Later on we added special good and bad roles that had special traits, like Merlin who knew who two of the three bad players were. And then Percival who knew that one player was Morgana and one was Merlin, but wasn’t sure who was who. I think that this had to potential to ease the uncertainty in the game, but again it seemed to me that the game is very short and moves quickly, so there wasn’t a lot of time to discern good from bad.

I’ve played games similar to this one like ultimate werewolf, in which there is good versus evil and you need to try and figure out which side everyone is on. In playing Avalon, I had a difficult time having enough information on an specific person to decide who was good and who was bad. There is a lot to consider when trying to decide this, like when someone approves or denies a quest and why. Also, if a quest fails, who is the person that caused it to fail. I feel as though there was a lot of uncertainty that had to be figured out in just five short rounds. I found this the most difficult part.

Within this game there was a lot of leadership shown, specifically inspiring someone to believe what you believe and to follow your lead. I think some people have a strong gift to control their behavior and tone within a game, no matter what role they are, to make people trust them. However, within this game someone’s ability to be a leader can hurt you. There was a time when I listened to someone’s explanations and thought, “oh yeah, this person has to be a good character, that logic was flawless.” Little did I know he was one of the bad characters, but it was very inspiring. While that inspiration and ability to gain trust was deceiving to me, it was very effective for the bad team. So a game where there are two sides its vital to have someone on your team who has the ability to gain the trust of other players.

I think that my dad would really enjoy this game. In playing games with him before, he seems to follow all of the moving parts well and be able to discern why people are taking the actions they did. Along with that, he is very good at controlling his behavior to make you believe and trust that what he is saying is the actual truth.  It was a fun game, and I can’t wait for next week!