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El Generico
Feb 3, 2009

Nobody outrules the Marquise de Cat!

The Rulebook posted:

A long time ago in the sleepy town of Ravenswood Bluff, during a hellish thunderstorm, on the stroke of midnight a scream echoes down the vine-covered stones of its twisting alleyways.

The startled townsfolk rush to the town square to investigate, and find that the local Storyteller has been murdered, their body impaled on the hour hand of the town clock, blood dripping onto the cobblestones below. Curiosity turns to fear, as it soon becomes obvious to all that a demon is on the loose—killing by night and taking on human form by day.

Each of the townsfolk has some information, but the demon and its evil minions are spreading lies to confuse and breed suspicion over the identity of the fiend. Will the good folk put the pieces of the puzzle together in time? Or will evil overrun this once peaceful town?

Blood on the Clocktower is a Mafia-like tradgame with some unique properties compared to other social deduction games. Every player gets a character with a special ability or at least a passive quirk. Townsfolk are good team characters with abilities that help the good team win, Outsiders are good team characters with quirks that usually make it harder for the good team to win. The Demon is the boss of the evil team, and usually has a powerful ability. Minions are the other members of the evil team. The Good team wins if they execute the Demon. The Evil team wins if there's only two people left alive, and one of them is the Demon.

One thing that's different from other Werewolf-like games is the Storyteller. The Storyteller is almost like a Dungeon Master, who makes decisions behind the scenes to keep the game tense and interesting. Rather than solely interpreting the rules like a referee, the game leaves some choices to the Storyteller, giving them some wiggle room to help keep the game dramatic and fun. There's a lot of ways that players can get misinformation during the game, and it's the Storyteller's job to decide just what wrong info to tell them. Some powers have a "might" in their description, like "if you do X, you might die", leaving it up to the Storyteller to decide if your character's death would make the game more dramatic and fun, or less.

Another is scripts. Scripts are a collection of characters that are designed to go together to give the game a particular style of play and theming. Each is almost like a different version of the game, but you can mix and match characters from all of them and make your own scripts when you're confident with the game. The first script is Trouble Brewing, a script designed for those learning the game. Sects & Violets is a step up in complexity that introduces Madness (yeah, I know), which compels players to pretend to be a character that they're not, and Bad Moon Rising is an advanced scenario where multiple deaths can happen every night and information requires sacrifice to come by.

Importantly, there's no player elimination in Blood on the Clocktower. When characters die, they lose their power, but they can still talk, participate in the social game, and even vote during the day, although they only get one more execution vote for the rest of the game. This means no bored players waiting for the game to end. Everyone matters through the entire game.

Finally, I'd like to talk about Travellers and the Fabled. Travellers are characters that are designed to be a temporary part of the game. If someone arrives at the game late, and still wants to play, they can become a Traveller, and if someone knows they're going to have to leave early, they can take a Traveller, making the game easier for people to participate in around their schedules. The Fabled are characters that allow players to join in a game when they would not otherwise be able to due to a real-world issue, like a disability. They can also be modifiers that help a game that has a problem to run smoothly. Fabled can help keep new players alive, keep veterans from dominating the conversation, keep players from talking over the Storyteller, give one player another player they can trust to team up with and share fates with, help decide a game that has to end early, or make games shorter or longer.

Blood on the Clocktower is technically not out yet, it's in a kind of "early access" with the game currently accepting pre-orders, but the rules are out there, people are already playing it in person in several big cities with advance copies, and people are playing it online over Discord, or video chat services like Zoom. That's what I want to do.

The physical game is super cool though. It has lots of cool character tokens and a Grimoire for the Storyteller to use to organize the game and the info however they like.

If you want to play or spectate Blood on the Clocktower with goons, please join the Discord.

Links to Stuff
Blood on the Clocktower's Official Website - Buy the game!
Blood on the Clocktower Wiki - Very useful for looking up the basics on how to play your character.
The Rulebook in PDF form
Blood on the Clocktower Digital Town Square - This simulates the Grimoire for online play. Everyone will have to get in here to play over Discord.
This is the review that got me intrigued about the game.

These are the playthroughs that convinced me I wanted to try to run it for sure.

Looking forward to playing with you!

El Generico fucked around with this message at 03:30 on Oct 4, 2021


Oct 28, 2007

Color me curious.

El Generico
Feb 3, 2009

Nobody outrules the Marquise de Cat!

There are currently three players, including myself, who've expressed interest in the Discord. In an attempt to further drum up interest, let's talk about Trouble Brewing's Non-Townsfolk Roles! There are thirteen Townsfolk roles, so I'll do them separately.

The Rulebook posted:

Trouble Brewing has a little bit of everything. Some characters passively receive information, some need to take action to learn who is who, while some simply want to bait the Demon into attacking them. Both good and evil can gain the upper hand by making well-timed sacrifices. Trouble Brewing is a relatively straightforward Demon-hunt, but evil has a number of dastardly misinformation tricks up their sleeves, so the good players best question what they think they know if they hope to survive.

This is the most standard of the pre-made scripts, most powers are straightforward, and are relatively similar to Werewolf-y type abilities.

Demon: The Imp

"We must keep our wits sharp and our sword sharper. Evil walks among us, and will stop at nothing to destroy us good, simple folk, bringing our fine town to ruin. Trust no-one. But, if you must trust someone, trust me."

One of the hallmarks of Trouble Brewing is that there's only one Demon. Normally the Good Team figuring out which Demon is in play is a big deal, but in this case they know from the start.

The Imp kills people at night in quite a straightforward way, but has one interesting wrinkle: if you choose to kill yourself in the night, a Minion becomes the Imp, and play continues. This will overwrite their power with yours. In smaller games, you may only have one Minion, but if there is more than one, the Storyteller will decide which.

This power can be used to throw the Good team off of your scent. Townsfolk will generally trust a player who died during the night. This can be a late game play to throw suspicions into disarray, or you can do it early when the move will be least suspected. Of course it means you're killing one less Good player during the night, giving them more time, but if it's between that and survival, it's an easy choice to make.

Minion: Poisoner

"Add compound Alpha to compound Beta... NOT TOO MUCH!"

The Poisoner picks a player at night, and they are poisoned for "24 hours". The rest of the current night and the next day.

Being Poisoned and being Drunk work the same way: you don't have your ability, but you think you do. This means if your ability lets you gather information during the night, you'll get misinformation instead. If you can kill someone at night, you'll be offered to choose a target by the Storyteller, but that person won't actually be killed. The Poisoner wakes up first during the night, so whoever gets chosen will have their ability messed with that night.

Minion: Spy

”Any brewmaster worth their liquor,
knows no concoction pours trouble quicker,
than one where spies seem double.”

The Spy gets to see the Grimoire at night. The Grimoire is used by the Storyteller to mark who is what role, so the Spy knows who everyone is. They also might appear as Good when chosen by an investigation role's power, which means it's up to the Storyteller if they do or not.

Minion: Scarlet Woman

"You have shown me the secrets of the Council of the Purple Flame. We have lain together in fire and in lust and in beastly commune, and I am forever your servant. But tonight, my dear, I am your master."

The Scarlet Woman becomes the Demon if they die too early, keeping the Evil team from losing too early. You can see how this might be a useful role to include in a beginner's script! In other social deduction games, the whole Evil team has to be eliminated for Good to win, but in Blood on the Clocktower, all Good needs to do is kill the Demon.

Minion: Baron

"This town has gone to the dogs, what? Cheap foreign labor... that's the ticket. Stuff them in the mine, I say. A bit of hard work never hurt anyone, and a clip'o'the ears to any brigand who says otherwise. It's all about the bottom line, what?"

This ability is kinda boring for the Baron player compared to others, but it does make the game more fun. Outsiders, as you'll see below, make the game tougher and more confusing for the Good team. The added chaos benefits Evil a lot, even if the Baron doesn't get a fun toy to play with. The possibility of having a Baron in play also helps Evil to bluff as Outsider roles believably.

Outsider: Butler

"Yes, sir...

No, sir...

Certainly, sir."

The presence of a Butler helps Evil to control the voting during the day. If the Butler chooses an Evil player, or someone who's under Evil's social control, that's one less vote to execute they have to worry about.

Outsider: Drunk

"This is all perfectly <burp> logical. I know that Miss Dearheart is a Fortune Teller. Mrs Dearheart swears that Jenkins here is her Butler. It's simple <hic> deduction."

This role is a highlight of Trouble Brewing. The Drunk is told they're an investigative role that they are not, and is fed misinformation every time they get to use their ability. The Storyteller gets to decide which lies to feed them, meaning they can back up Evil's bluffs if they like. It's worth noting that the Storyteller can choose to give them correct information, if they think it makes the game better... for example, if they are now sure they're the Drunk, and are assuming the opposite of whatever information they get is true.

Outsider: Recluse

"Garn git ya darn grub ya mitts ofma lorn yasee. Grr. Natsy pikkins yonder southwise ye begittin afta ya! Git! Me harvy no so widda licks and demmons no be fightin' hadsup ne'er ma kin. Git, assay!"

Pretty simple: the Recluse can seem Evil to investigating characters, even though they're not. This makes Recluse an excellent bluff for Evil.

Outsider: Saint

"Wisdom begets peace. Patience begets wisdom. Fear not, for the time shall come when fear too shall pass. Let us pray, and may the unity of our vision make saints of us all."

There's really only one way in Trouble Brewing for Good to massively, irrevocably gently caress the game up in short order: executing the Saint. Game over. Another fantastic bluff for Evil.

This can't happen in Trouble Brewing, but to give you an idea of how shenanigans custom scripts can get, it's a possible strategy in a custom script for Good to change the Saint's alignment to Evil and then execute them so Evil loses. Yeah.

El Generico fucked around with this message at 03:36 on Sep 29, 2021

El Generico
Feb 3, 2009

Nobody outrules the Marquise de Cat!

I'm not giving up on this yet! Also, there's a rule I haven't described that I should tell you, when characters die, their roles are not revealed. That keeps things mysterious.

With that said, it's time for the Townsfolk roles for Trouble Brewing!

Townsfolk: Washerwoman

"Bloodstains on a dinner jacket? No, this is cooking sherry. How careless."

A simple information role that can help clear someone from suspicion. This character dying is not a tragic loss for the Good team since dead players can talk and this character gets all their information right away.

Townsfolk: Librarian

"Certainly Madam, under normal circumstances, you may borrow the Codex Malificarium from the library vaults. However, you do not seem to be a member."

This is the same as the Washerwoman, but for an Outsider instead of a Townsfolk. Since there are fewer Outsiders, this can be more useful, especially if Evil is bluffing as Outsiders.

Townsfolk: Investigator

"It is a fine night for a stroll, wouldn't you say, Mister Morozov? Or should I say... BARON Morozov?"

And the same thing again except for a Minion. For towns who feel executing anyone is better than executing nobody, people claiming these roles are quite safe to be rid of.

Townsfolk: Chef

"This evening's reservations seem odd. Never before has Mrs Mayweather kept company with that scamp from Hudson lane. Yet, tonight, they have a table for two. Strange."

The wording on this one requires some explanation. Since so little text fits on the tokens, sometimes this is the case. Specifically, you learn how many evil players are sitting next to each other. If three evil players are sitting together, that's two pairs. Not terribly useful information on its own, but if Evil players can be confirmed, this can implicate or clear the players sitting around them.

Townsfolk: Empath

"My skin prickles. Something is not right here. I can feel it."

This is a big important role. Your neighbours are the two players sitting next to you in the circle. If either player beside you dies, then it's the next player after them who counts for this, since it's your nearest living neighbour. This is exceedingly valuable information that Evil should try to silence as soon as possible.

Townsfolk: Fortune Teller

"I sense great evil in your soul! But... that could just be your perfume. I am allergic to Elderberry."

This is also an important one, if you're lucky you can narrow the Demon down to only two people. With information from other roles, this can zero in on the Demon if unchecked. Of course, you could always be drunk or poisoned!

Townsfolk: Undertaker

"Hmmm....what have we here? The left boot is worn down to the heel, with flint shavings under the tongue. This is the garb of a Military man."


Bah gawd, it's The Undertaker!

Sorry, this is the exception to the rule that dead player's powers aren't revealed. If the Undertaker is trusted, this means Town can execute players and figure out a lot of information. Of course, this also makes the Undertaker an excellent Evil bluff, letting them craft a narrative about the state of the game as they go.

Townsfolk: Monk

" 'Tis an ill and deathly wind that blows tonight. Come, my brother, take shelter in the abbey while the storm rages. By my word, or by my life, you will be safe."

As simple a protective role as it gets in this kind of game. Worth holding onto, since while information roles can still share their information as ghosts, the Monk is shut down when dead.

Townsfolk: Ravenkeeper

"My birds will avenge me! Fly! Fly, my sweet and dutiful pets! Take your message to those in dark corners! To the manor and to the river! Let them read of the nature of my death."

This is the absolute worst role for the Imp to kill, and the second worst role for Good to execute! This can be incredibly valuable, if things work out how they should. It'd be worth this player bluffing a role that the Imp will definitely want to kill and spreading that bluff around in the hope the trap will be sprung. This also makes it a great bluff for Evil though... unless Good believes that the Imp knows you're the Ravenkeeper and will never kill you. Then it's OK to execute you, so, it can be a tricky for Evil to bluff as. Minions are fine, the Demon will find this bluff risky.

Townsfolk: Virgin

"I am pure. Let those who are without sin cast themselves down and suffer in my stead. My reputation shall not be stained with your venomous accusations."

Insert virgin goon joke here I guess :sigh:. This almost seems like an Outsider role at first, but if this happens, the Virgin and the nominator get a pretty solid clear, and if someone Evil nominates you first, they're going to look very scummy. The possibility of this being out there may also scare Evil off from making nominations on anyone first, which can make that behaviour scummy as well. Since in Blood on the Clocktower, dying isn't as bad as it is in other social deduction games, Townsfolk dying to get information is definitely a thing (it's the entire theme of Bad Moon Rising).

Townsfolk: Slayer


This is obviously powerful, and the trick to it is obviously timing. The longer you wait, the more likely you nail your shot, but if you die before you use it, you've wasted it. If a Slayer does make it to the late game, it makes an Evil win impossible, since Good has an extra shot, they can just use process of elimination.

Townsfolk: Soldier

"As David said to Goliath, as Theseus said to the Minotaur, as Arjuna said to Bhagadatta... No."

The best value you can get out of this, obviously, is to buy the Good team an extra day's worth of time to solve the case by having the Imp attack you. In order to accomplish this, it might be worth bluffing a more powerful role to try and fish for it. This is also an easy bluff for Evil, as you don't have to fake any information, and it's not going to be questionable why you're surviving, but it's also a safe role for the town to execute since Good doesn't lose any information by killing you.

Townsfolk: Mayor

"We must put our differences aside, and cease this senseless killing. We are all taxpayers after all. Well, most of us."

And finally, a role that adds a lovely wrinkle to proceedings. This role creates an additional win condition for Good, but only if trusted. Executing nobody when there's three players left will cause Evil to win if the Mayor isn't real. Also, Imps may not want the Mayor to survive to that point, so for it to work, so a real Mayor is going to want to be cagey about their role... which won't engender trust. This makes Mayor an excellent bluff for Evil, who might win the game for their team if the bluff pays off.

* Except Night 1, which takes place before Day 1, and therefore wouldn't be a useful time to wake up these roles

El Generico fucked around with this message at 04:30 on Oct 4, 2021

Hal Insandenza
Feb 12, 2004

If this doesn’t start for a week or so (seems likely ha) then I would totally be into this

Feb 14, 2009

The Pit Awaits

I'd like to give it a go.

El Generico
Feb 3, 2009

Nobody outrules the Marquise de Cat!

Hal Insandenza posted:

If this doesn’t start for a week or so (seems likely ha) then I would totally be into this

Yeah, people are slowly trickling in still thankfully but I doubt we'll be ready for the first go in a week.

Right now my plan for the thread is to post my elaborated game notes for any games that were exciting.

EDIT: Turns out there's already a Discord bot for this so I'm gonna have fun trying to figure out how to host it! Whee!

EDIT 2: This is not the bot I thought it was.

EDIT 3: I found the bot I need!

El Generico fucked around with this message at 09:50 on Oct 5, 2021

Jan 13, 2012

Your favorite furry wrestler.


I'm down.

Mr. Humalong
May 7, 2007

yeah I'd give this a shot


Oct 21, 2008

I'm keen as a bean, now that my last university tests are over.

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