Monthly Archives: May 2024

Compare/Contrast: Werewolf and Blood on the clocktower

  • Similarities
  • Night and day phases
  • Central person who operates the whole game and knows everything
  • Secret things happen at night when everyone has their eyes closed
  • Evil people find out who their partners are in the night (with the exception of the Imp in BOTC)
  • Seer players that can look at other player’s cards or otherwise find out other player’s roles
  • Roles that copy other roles- Doppelgänger in werewolf copies another card they look at, and the Drunk in BOTC believes that they are a different role than they are.
  • The drunk role!!
  • Differences
  • Voting mechanism (pointing vs center person turning and raised hands)
  • BOTC has many more roles, and is more complicated in general.
  • BOTC can, and is supposed to take much longer than Werewolf
  • In werewolf, when you are killed, your card is revealed. In BOTC your role stays hidden even after death
  • When you are dead in werewolf you are essentially no longer in the game. When you are dead in BOTC you are still very much an active player (including dead votes)

I really like both of these games! I like that BOTC has much more fun mechanics, exciting new roles, cool art, and has a lot more different ways it can play out because of all the different roles. Werewolf, on the other hand, is much simpler and easy to manage. I like that it’s a lot more accessible than BOTC, I was very very confused the first time I played BOTC. I have fond memories of playing Werewolf when I was little, and I remember (and still do) thinking that the pointing mechanic is super fun, because in real life people aren’t so fond of the pointing.

I have to say, I think BOTC is my favorite, even if I am still learning the ins and outs of it. I think its much more playable for experienced players, and I think it would get even more fun every time you play. It has so many outcomes without the expansion packs needed for Werewolf! And I think the whole concept of the clocktower and all the clocktower mechanics are much cooler and more mature than Werewolf.

Compare and Contrast: Werewolf & Blood on the Clocktower

As an avid fan of social deduction games, Werewolf and Blood on the Clocktower were two of my favorite games that we played this semester. They’re both similar in some respects, but although some might consider Blood on the Clocktower to be a better version of Werewolf, I think that they both have their strengths and weaknesses. To start off with, they’re both hidden role social deduction games, that both have a day/night cycle, that both have different roles assigned to each player, and that both have a “good” and “evil” team. However, the main differences come from how Blood on the Clocktower’s Storyteller has an active role in keeping things “interesting”, how Blood on the Clocktower has everyone have a role that does something (as opposed to Werewolf’s villagers that don’t have abilities) and there isn’t a hard elimination; dead players in Blood on the Clocktower can still participate and influence the outcome of the game. 

While these elements for Blood on the Clocktower do make it more fun and engaging for the average player, since unlike in Werewolf there aren’t periods where you don’t have an ability and can’t do anything or are just dead and can’t do anything but spectate, I think the additional roles and the role of the Storyteller take away from the pure social deduction aspect. Both games focus a lot on deception and trying to find out people’s real roles, but Werewolf is very pure about this – people are who they claim they are, and there aren’t any neutral or muddy roles to confuse things. Blood on the Clocktower, however, has roles like the Poisoner or the Drunk where they might not even be aware that they’re not who they think they are, and while this element of obfuscation does make games more interesting, it does also put a hard cap on how much social role deduction one can do.

I also think that while the roles being able to interact past death and vote is really fun, it does also make it harder for certain victory conditions to be met because you can’t just eliminate someone who you suspect has problematic information. It causes the game to have less of a hard player elimination than Werewolf, which all comes down to the main difference between the two games: complexity. Werewolf (and Mafia and its derivatives) are really easy to play, and really just require some basic understanding and a bunch of people. Blood on the Clocktower has much more advanced and in-depth mechanics, and thus is more difficult to work through, and also does lean on the Storyteller being good at their jobs. I think they both cater to different audiences in the same niche, and while I think Blood on the Clocktower is the better game because you can do more with its more advanced roles and deeper mechanics, sometimes you do just want to play a quick fun game without having to set a bunch of things up for it.

Reflection on a campus leadership event

Rosalind Wiseman: Respect Is Earned, and Dignity Is a Given

Rosalind Wiseman works with youth for a living, and is deemed an expert on the subject. Youth all over the world inspired her lecture I attended, about mean girl culture, its roots, its effects on our society and all of us individually, and how this all applies to our lives. Rosalind also advises us that youth and children need our own advocation and empathy, especially those in crisis but definitely also every single other kid- every one of us deserves to have a social emotional life, and struggles, and to talk to trusted adults about them!

Something Wiseman said that really stuck out to me was “People learn early that maintaining a relationship is more important than how you are treated in a relationship”. I was definitely sitting in the auditorium thinking about how I’ve lived my whole life thinking this way, to a certain degree. And hey, this might be my conditioning, but I do think maintaining relationships is important in most situations, but I also recognize and absolutely believe that if you are not receiving respect or being treated well in a relationship, you have every right to leave that relationship and maybe you should!!

Another key point in Wiseman’s lecture, talked about as well in the Q&A portion, was conflict resolution. Most of the time, when you’re attempting to maintain a relationship, or you are required to, you need to have conflict resolution skills. You need to be able to “acknowledge that conflicts are difficult, but normal, and can be worked through”. You can’t just walk around hurting your friends, coworkers, family members, any of their feelings, you need to make them feel valued and dignify them even in times of conflict. “Identify key moments to support them” even if you’re not on the same side of the issue yet, or even if you part ways on the opposing side. 

As this was a lecture titled “Mean girls”, a lot of Rosalind Wiseman’s advice mainly applied to how to work with women and girls, and how to deal with issues as a woman or a girl. Something she leveled with us about is that a lot of women act the way they do because they’re scared of what other people will think of them. Specifically other women and girls, their peers. This is a huge problem because “women showing anger and frustration are worried people will label them as mean”, so we are taught to be docile, and bottle all of our frustrations up. This goes hand in hand with the maintaining relationships aspect of Wiseman’s talk. Both of these issues teach people to avoid conflict at all costs, and not how to handle it properly.

The most important thing Wiseman talked about, and mentioned over and over again, was that every person deserves dignity. Young girls, old women, everyone, even the person you might have conflict with. She said “Respect is earned, dignity is a given. Dignity is non-negotiable”. As long as we live according to that principle, we are off to a good start in keeping long, healthy relationships in all aspects of our lives.

TIME Stories Week 2

This week was the second week of TIME Stories and I don’t think I enjoyed it more than last week. To start the game we had a player who wasn’t in class the previous week, so we had to try to catch him up with what we’ve done, what we are currently doing, and what we’re planning to do; I’m not sure we did that good of a job on that. We then reset our time almost immediately after starting the game and started a new round. We were able to get a lot of what we wanted to do accomplished, but we kept running into dead ends or doing things we definitely didn’t need to be doing, like unlocking certain locations twice because we thought it might lead us somewhere else. I also died this round, because I flipped a card that made me immediately lose one health point which was all I had. I think this game would be much more fun if it was played in one sitting (which is obviously almost impossible for our class) because once we forgot what we had done previously and why the game became a little frustrating.

I think there were two equally difficult things we ran into while playing the game this week, deciding we needed to go to every place to finish the story, and not seeing each other’s items. Starting with going to every place, every time a new place was revealed we decided that we needed to go there to solve the puzzle even though at one point we had all the items we needed to solve it. This leads to the problem of not seeing each other’s items. It turns out one of the pieces we needed to solve the puzzle was slightly hidden within another item in the game. This wouldn’t have been so much of a problem except that the person who had the item didn’t notice the puzzle piece, and because we weren’t looking at each other’s items neither did anyone else. Once we were told to look at that item so we could solve the puzzle we still had an issue, or at least I believe it was an issue. The problem was that because there was only one of each puzzle piece and they needed to be examined really closely, the rest of us not solving it (especially me since I was the furthest away from the items) didn’t entirely know what was going on and how to help. For example, there was one phrase we really needed to know to solve the puzzle, and while I remembered it and considered it might help, I didn’t announce it because from my viewpoint it didn’t look like it would help with the puzzle.

While the leadership topic I discussed last week still applies, I think the fact that we had someone who hadn’t been there the week prior allowed for a unique leadership experience; making sure everyone feels included even if it is their first time coming to a club meeting. This idea is somehting that is sometimes really hard to do since people usually have distinct groups already established. But, I feel that to be an effective leader it is something that needs to be done because without it that person may be confused and less likely to attend future meetings. Unfortunately, I think we did a fairly bad job at this, so it is definitely something I’ll need to improve on in the future. However, doing a bad job allowed me to see how that person was a bit confused and flustered, which led to my noticing that this is something I need to improve on. (I do think this was harder in the game than it would be in other settings because the people that were there last week didn’t completely remember what we had done either).