Rules Explanation

From Blood on the Clocktower Wiki

The rules sheet describes all the major things that a new player will need to know to start playing. Simply read out the text written on this sheet to the group, or let those who want to read it do so privately.

Part of the rules sheet will prompt you to talk about various hand signals. You’ll want to demonstrate these hand signals as you go, since some players learn visually.

If you wish, you can read out the part of the rules sheet that talks about nominations and executions now, but most players will learn this better if you read it out later on, when the first nomination for execution begins.

There is a duplicate rules sheet on the reverse side of the Traveller sheet, kept under the Town Square. To save time, get a veteran player to read out the rules from this sheet, so you don’t have to. While they are explaining the rules, you can set up the game.

Before the Game Starts

A long time ago in the sleepy town of Ravenswood Bluff, during a hellish thunderstorm, on the stroke of midnight... you hear a scream. Rushing to the Town Square to investigate, you find your beloved Storyteller, myself, has been murdered... impaled on the hour hand of the clocktower, blood dripping onto the cobblestones below. You assume that this is the work of a Demon, and you are correct—a Demon that kills by night and takes on human form by day.

You are about to receive either a red or blue token. If blue, you are good. If red, you are evil. The aim of the game if you are good is to find and execute the Demon. If the Demon dies, good wins. The aim of the game if you are evil is to destroy the town. If just two players are left alive, evil wins.

The game is split into two phases: a day phase and a night phase. During the day, you talk. You will each have a secret identity, a character on the list. Generally, the good players share whatever they know and attempt to find out who is who. Most good players will be telling the truth, but some have an incentive to lie. If you are evil, you should definitely be lying! It is best to pick a good character to pretend to be, spreading as much false information as possible.

During the night, everybody closes their eyes. I will wake some players so that they can use their ability or gain some type of information. At night, I will be silent, but communicate using the following signals: (Demonstrate the following as you talk.)

  • 2 taps on your shoulder or your knee means EYES OPEN
  • This means EYES CLOSED
  • This means YES and this means NO
  • This means GOOD and this means EVIL
  • This means 0, 1, 2, 3 and so on
  • To choose a player at night, just point to them like THIS

Most of you will die. This is a good thing! In Ravenswood Bluff, death is not the end. Some players may even want to die, as they gain information when they do. If you are dead, you still participate in the game, you may still talk, and you still win or lose when your team wins or loses.

There is a lot of information in this game. However, some of it might be wrong. If you are drunk or poisoned, you have no ability, but I will pretend that you do. I am allowed to lie to you—any information that you get may be incorrect, but you will not know if you are drunk or poisoned. For example, if you are the Drunk, you drew a different character token out of the bag and only I know that you are actually the Drunk. Or, if the Poisoner poisons you, you may still wake at night to use your ability, but it won’t work.

Four Rules

This can be a lot of information to take in at once, so to keep things simple, there are only four things you need to remember:

1) You may say whatever you want at any time. This is a talking game. You can talk publicly with the group or have private conversations, it is up to you.

2) No peeking. Please keep your character token a secret, and never look into the Grimoire, as it contains all the game characters. If you see something you shouldn’t, it will spoil the fun.

3) Ask me any questions you need to. If you get confused, or don’t understand how your character works, or don’t understand how the character that you are pretending to be works, or if something happens at night that you don’t understand, or you just need some strategy advice... whatever it is, please ask. I’m neutral, and my job is to help you understand the rules and have fun playing. Let me know when you have a question, and we can talk in private so that nobody knows what question you asked.

4) Play nice. This is a game about deception and trickery, so please treat others with respect and consideration. Kill with grace, and die with dignity.

Before the First Nomination

I am about to call for nominations. To nominate a player, simply say who. For example: “I nominate Bob.” When a player is nominated, everyone votes on whether or not to execute them. For example: I will put my arm out like this (point to Bob), and say “Votes for Bob, starting now.” I move my hand in a clockwise direction (demonstrate this) and if your hand is up when I get to you, that’s a vote, and if your hand is down, that’s not a vote.

Each day, you may vote for as few or as many players as you wish, and whoever has the most votes is executed. This player needs a vote tally of at least 50% of the living players or no execution occurs. On a tie, neither player is executed.

If you die, you are still a major part of the game. You still talk, and you still close your eyes during the night time. Most importantly, you still win or lose with your team. In fact, the game is usually decided by the votes and opinions of the dead players. When you die, you lose your character ability, you may no longer nominate, and you have only one vote for the rest of the game, so use it wisely.