Role Selection

appChoosing a good combination of roles is probably the most difficult part of the game. Role selection needs to:

  • be balanced between the Werewolf and Village teams
  • not create too much chaos, nor be too deterministic
  • ensure the night phase does not take too long
  • contain a level of complexity appropriate for the level of players’ experience

The example setup in the rulebook is perfect for beginner players. Beyond this, role selection requires experience as well as trial and error.

Some specific tips are:

  • Use of the Doppelganger is not recommended for inexperienced players, nor for games with many players since the night phase will be stretched even further. The Doppelganger is, however, virtually essential for a player counts of 3, to inject the right amount of doubt and confusion.
  • The Village Idiot should not be used for large player counts, say 6 or more.

The following recommended rolesets have been compiled from user contributions on the Board Game Geek forums:

Players Suggested Roles
3 Robber, Minion, Doppleganger, Alpha Wolf, Mystic Wolf, Witch
3 Robber, Tanner, Doppleganger, Alpha Wolf, Witch, Dream Wolf
3 2 Werewolves, Robber, Tanner, Drunk, Doppleganger
4 2 Werewolves, Robber, Tanner, Doppleganger, Alpha Wolf, Witch, Curator
4 Werewolf, Seer, Hunter, Mystic Wolf, Apprentice Seer, Revealer, Bodyguard
4 Alpha Wolf, Mystic Wolf, Dream Wolf, Robber, Witch, Village Idiot, Aura Seer, Cursed
5 Werewolf, Seer, Insomniac, Mystic Wolf, Apprentice Seer, Paranormal Investigator, Witch, Revealer
5 Werewolf, Robber, Troublemaker, Doppleganger, Alpha Wolf, Witch, Village Idiot, Curator
5 Seer, Troublemaker, Tanner, Insomniac, Alpha Wolf, Mystic Wolf, Paranormal Investigator, Witch
6 2 Werewolves, Villager, Seer, Robber, Troublemaker, Tanner, Drunk, Minion
6 Robber, Troublemaker, Tanner, Minion, Doppleganger, Mystic Wolf, Paranormal Investigator, Witch, Dream Wolf
6 2 Werewolves, Seer, Robber, Troublemaker, Minion, Doppleganger, Witch, Revealer
6 2 Werewolves, 3 Villagers, Tanner, 2 Masons, Doppleganger
7 2 Werewolves, 2 Villagers, Seer, Robber, Troublemaker, Tanner, Drunk, Minion
7 Robber, Tanner, Drunk, Minion, Alpha Wolf, Apprentice Seer, Paranormal Investigator, Witch, Revealer, Dream Wolf
8 2 Werewolves, 2 Villagers, Seer, Robber, Troublemaker, Tanner, Drunk, Hunter, Minion
9 2 Werewolves, 3 Villagers, Seer, Robber, Troublemaker, Tanner, Drunk, Hunter, Minion
9 Robber, Troublemaker, Tanner, Minion, Doppleganger, Alpha Wolf, Mystic Wolf, Apprentice Seer, Witch, Revealer, Bodyguard, Aura Seer
9 Seer, Robber, Troublemaker, Tanner, Drunk, 2 Masons, Minion, Doppleganger, Alpha Wolf, Mystic Wolf, Witch
10 2 Werewolves, 2 Villagers, Seer, Robber, Troublemaker, Tanner, Drunk, Hunter, 2 Masons, Minion
10 Robber, Troublemaker, Tanner, Hunter, Minion, Doppleganger, Alpha Wolf, Mystic Wolf, Apprentice Seer, Paranormal Investigator, Witch, Cursed, Prince
10 Robber, Troublemaker, Tanner, Drunk, Hunter, Minion, Doppleganger, Alpha Wolf, Paranormal Investigator, Dream Wolf, Bodyguard, Cursed, Prince

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

10 thoughts on “Role Selection”

  1. can you suggest role selection for One Night Ultimate Werewolf (the one with 12 roles, NOT Daybreak or Vampire or other expansion versions) ?

  2. Alpha Wolf is confusing.

    Rules-as-written, you add a separate werewolf card (doesn’t much matter which) to the setup for the Alpha Wolf to use. But some people do “shuffle all non-Alpha wolves of this setup, put a random one in the middle, add the others to the setup”. If you do that, then your setup needs 3 werewolves.

    Some of these setups (e.g. the top one) are clearly for rules-as-written, others (e.g. the last 4p setup) only make sense with the house rule, and others are ambiguous.

      1. Actually, you can use any generic WW card. Nobody will ever have that role at game start, so there’s no difference between any specific WW card to use here. Dream wolf is a bit different – they know they’re a wolf at game start and other wolves (if any) know who they are, but they’re oblivious and without any information – even from the one card in the middle that WW’s can look at in some rulesets if only 1 wolf is present.

  3. So i like this game a lot i played it with my family last night it was really fun today i played it with my uncle and my 79 year old grandma she cheats an awful lot but she really loves the trouble maker role keep up the good work!! :)

  4. It feels like a few roles have some implied minimum player counts to them, particularly the Masons and the Alpha Wolf. Anyone have any guidelines for when the best minimum number of players for these cards?

    I like to think of role selection as a cocktail of player preferences for interesting roles and surprising games mixed with a desire to balance things. WW’s losing? Throw in a Tanner, Minion, and/or Mystic Wolf. Seer too trustworthy? Throw in a Mystic Wolf to make it more suspicious. People getting caught without a defense? Throw in more role swapping cards.

    I’m also wondering about adding a 4th card to the center (not the alpha WW’s WW card) as a balance mechanism for the WW’s if they’re losing too frequently. Haven’t tried that yet.

    My favorite mix so far is for 5:
    Alpha Wolf
    Mystic Wolf
    Minion
    Tanner
    Revealer
    Seer
    Troublemaker
    Insomniac

    Nobody is bored and it’s pretty balanced while still adding some Alpha Wolf and Troublemaker shenanigans.

    1. I tend to save the Masons for 6+.
      Alpha Wolf doesn’t have a minimum. On low player counts, he might cause a werewolf majority, but that is by no means a problem (provided your setup contains enough shenanigans to make it difficult to know for certain).

  5. Thanks for that info.
    Do you have any recommendations for ONUV?
    We played with 3, all the vampires were in the middle and absolutely nothing happened!

    1. I’ve been looking for Vampire 3-person games also. I’ve always used Assassin in 3-player games, as he makes the game very interesting. I haven’t decided between 1 or 2 Vampires, as having 2 in the same game makes a boring round. Roles like Cupid, Diseased, and Priest should never be used with 3 players.

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