Category Archives: Rules

Posts about rules clarifications.

Clarifying “Information”

We’ve had a couple of questions about “Information” lately, in particular what do we mean when an ability says something like “After talking briefly with another player, you realize that they revealed more than they intended. They must show you their Information.”

Of course it’s obvious to us – but that doesn’t mean it’s obvious to everyone.

So to be clear, when we say “Information” we mean the small nugget of information on page 6 of the character booklet (or on that character’s information card on our older games).

However, with our new game (Lord and Lady Westing’s Will, due soon) we’re going to try using the word “Clue” instead. If that’s successful, then we’ll slowly move our old games over to the new terminology.

(That means that the ability will say: “After talking briefly with another player, you realize that they revealed more than they intended. They must show you their Clue.”)

As for what Information/Clues actually are, they’re really just a clue to a plot. It’s something that the character knows that, in game terms, we’d like to see deliberately circulated around the game. (Sometimes they pertain directly to the murder, often they don’t. And sometimes they are red herrings. We’ve made that clearer in the new game.)

We created the Information/Clue mechanic because our experience is that some players like to hoard information. This can cause problems because for our games to work best, the players need to share information. That way when a player learns a key piece of information that they need for one of their character’s goals, they can act on it. If everyone hoards their information then plots can fail and our games aren’t as much fun as they should be.

We have found that the more you play our games the more likely you are to share information, so the Information/Clue mechanic becomes less critical the more experienced your group is.

Steve Hatherley

Rewarding great play

Here’s an idea that you may wish to include in your game. (Note that if you’ve not played our games before, we suggest that you stick with the basic rules – but if you’re an old hand, go crazy!)

Here's a poker chip from us for "best beard" if nothing else!

Here’s a poker chip from us for “best beard” if nothing else!

Rewarding great play: You can reward great play when you see it. Simply keep some poker chips with you when you are the Host. When you see someone doing something really cool (which might be over-acting, good roleplaying, a fine costume – or anything else that you think is worth rewarding), then give that person a poker chip.

That player can then use that poker chip as an ability use for any of their abilities.

Remember to brief this out to everyone at the start of the party – otherwise your players won’t know what the poker chips are for!

Be generous!

Steve Hatherley

Arrests in Way out West

In Way out West the Sheriff and Deputy can (via an ability) arrest other characters. There are various ways in which someone can escape arrest, one of which is that the restrained player gets outside help.

Way out West wanted poster

Way out West wanted poster

We’ve recently been asked if the player providing the outside help needs an ability to cut the ropes/unlock the door and help the restrained character to escape.

If we’re presented with this situation during a game, we ask how the helping player plans to release the arrested character. If they have an item which will obviously help, that’s great: but if they have a good enough imagination, then they don’t need to have a specific item. After all, Way out West is set in the Wild West town of Cactus Gulch and there are lots of other things lying around which aren’t represented on the item cards.

So if they need something particular for their imaginative plan, and it’s reasonable that they might find it in Cactus Gulch, we let them succeed.

Basically our guideline is: if it feels ‘fair’ that they should succeed, because they’ve put in some effort to find items or to invent a good plan, then they should succeed.

Steve Hatherley