From Blood on the Clocktower Wiki
In Blood on the Clocktower, players can be lots of things - this character or that one, drunk or sober, alive or dead, healthy or poisoned. (Of course, we don’t mean literally.) These are called states. Basically, they’re permanent elements of a player that are independent from each other. For example, if you’re drunk and change your character, you stay drunk. If you’re poisoned, you can be drunk too.
Life and Death
At any given time, a player is either alive or dead. Generally, players die during the day from execution and die at night from characters’ abilities.
Execution is different from death. Sometimes, a player may be executed but remain alive rather than die. Players may be executed multiple times, and even dead players may be executed again, just to be sure. Regardless of whether the group executes an alive or dead player, this counts as the one execution allowed for the day.
A dead player cannot die again. If a dead player is attacked by the Demon, for example, they do not die again, and the group does not learn that they died last night.
Alignment and Character
At any given time, a player is either good or evil. Characters start as either good or evil, but their alignment may change. Sometimes, a Townsfolk will be evil. Sometimes, a Demon will be good.
If a good player has an evil character, or an evil player has a good character, turn their character token upside-down to remind yourself that the player’s alignment is the opposite of the color of the token.
'Character is independent of alignment. If a player changes alignment, their character stays the same, and vice versa. For example, if the Goon becomes evil, they’re still the Goon. Or if the Pit-Hag turns the good Juggler into the Witch, then the Witch is still good.
The player learns of changes... If a player’s alignment or character changes, they learn this at the earliest opportunity, in secret. You will usually show the YOU ARE info token and then their new character or alignment. The night sheet or character almanac will tell you when an alignment or character changes, prompting you to wake the changed player and inform them. Learning a new character or alignment isn’t information in the normal sense. It is not affected by drunkenness or poisoning, or by characters such as the Vortox. This is so that players know their own alignment and character.
...with a few exceptions. Sometimes, a player thinks they are a character or alignment that is different from their true character or alignment. For example, the Drunk and the Lunatic are designed to not know who they really are.
Drunkenness and Poisoning
At any given time, a player is either sober or drunk, and either poisoned or healthy. Being drunk and being poisoned do the same thing. Alive and dead players alike can be drunk or poisoned.
A drunk or poisoned player has no ability. A drunk Slayer cannot slay anybody, a poisoned Demon cannot kill anyone, a drunk Virgin cannot cause an execution with their ability, a poisoned Courtier cannot make anyone drunk. If a player tries to use their “once per game” ability while drunk or poisoned, they do not get to use it again. It is gone.
They can get their ability back. If a drunk player becomes sober again, or if a poisoned player becomes healthy again, they regain their ability. That said, if they used their “once per game” ability already, then tough luck.
Do not tell them they are drunk or poisoned! Instead, act just like they’re sober and healthy. For example, a drunk Monk still wakes each night and chooses a player to protect... but that player won’t be protected. A poisoned Demon still wakes to attack a player, but nobody dies, and the Demon won’t know exactly why. Sometimes you may want to hint to them that they are drunk or poisoned, such as by showing the Undertaker that the Mayor got executed when nobody is claiming to be the Mayor, but such times are exceedingly rare.
You can give them false information. A drunk or poisoned player does not have an ability, but they think they do. If their ability gives them information, you can give them incorrect information. For example, a drunk Empath still wakes each night and gets shown a finger signal, but you can show the wrong number of fingers. A poisoned Undertaker gets shown the character token of the player who died by execution today, but you can show the wrong character token. You’re not required to give incorrect info, but you can—and you usually should!
Drunkenness and poisoning do not cancel out. A poisoned drunk does not become sober or healthy! They’re just both poisoned and drunk.
Abilities used on a drunk or poisoned player work normally. For example, an Empath correctly learns the alignment of their drunk neighbors. A Fortune Teller correctly identifies a poisoned Demon. If the Duchess - a Fabled character that grants information to three players - is visited by a poisoned Slayer, then the Slayer gains correct information. In this case, the Duchess’s ability is working properly, while the Slayer has no ability.
Always give correct information about the rules, even to drunk or poisoned players. They need to be able to trust you at least that much.
The player is drunk or poisoned, not the character, even though it is common to refer to a drunk or poisoned character. If a drunk player becomes a new character, they are still drunk. If a poisoned player swaps characters with another player, the player remains poisoned.
The timing of drunkenness and poisoning can vary slightly with unusual character combinations. Normally, if an ability is a permanent ability or is already affecting the game, the player loses their ability when they become drunk or poisoned, and that ability resumes when they become sober and healthy again.
The Tea Lady is poisoned, so she does not protect her neighbors. Later, the Tea Lady becomes healthy, so she protects her neighbors again.
The sober Witch has cursed a player. The Witch becomes drunk, so that player is not cursed. Later, the Witch becomes sober again, so that player is cursed again.
If an ability is triggered or used when the player is drunk or poisoned, the ability is wasted. It has no effect now, and no effect later on, even if the player later becomes sober and healthy.
A poisoned Sweetheart dies. The Sweetheart does not make a player drunk, even if the Sweetheart becomes healthy later on.
A drunk Innkeeper chooses two players to protect. They are not protected, even if the Innkeeper becomes sober later on.
If an ability is triggered or used when the player is sober and healthy, the ability works normally, even if the ability relies on some condition being true in the past and the player was drunk or poisoned at that time in the past.
A sober Juggler wakes at night and learns correct information, even though the Juggler was drunk when they made their guesses earlier that day.
Clocktower is designed so that such odd timing situations are rare. When in doubt, refer to the character’s almanac entry for clarification.
TIPS. To run drunkenness and poisoning well, listen to the bluffs of the evil players, and support those bluffs wherever possible. For example, if the drunk Ravenkeeper chooses to learn about Doug, who is the Baron but bluffing as the Mayor, you can help the evil team if you show the Ravenkeeper the Mayor token. If the drunk Ravenkeeper instead chooses to learn about a good player, it can be helpful to show an evil character token instead. Normally, you should make drunkenness and poisoning as harmful as possible to the drunk or poisoned player.
Madness is introduced in the Sects & Violets edition. It’s fairly rare, with only about a dozen characters that cause madness over the many editions. It is more like a real-world state than a game-state. You cannot look in the Grimoire and see which characters are mad or not, but you can watch and listen to what people are saying to determine if players are mad or not.
When a player is mad about something, that means they’re trying to convince the group that something is true. Some players are instructed to be mad about something, and some players are instructed to not be mad about something.
When a player is instructed to be mad about something, but they aren’t, the Storyteller might give them a penalty. Likewise, if they are mad about it, the Storyteller might give them a bonus. The specific instructions, benefits, and penalties of madness are written on the character token or character sheet.
The Mutant’s ability is “If you are ‘mad’ about being an Outsider, you might be executed.” Alex, the Mutant player, is trying to convince the group that he is the Mutant, an Outsider character, so he is mad about being an Outsider. Alex might say something obvious, like “I am the Mutant!” or “I am not a Townsfolk... but I’m not going to tell you my character.” In either case, the Storyteller is welcome to execute him.
Alex may instead try something more subtle. He might say something like “I am not going to tell you who I am, but I’m definitely not the Mutant,” with a mischievous grin on his face, or he may even say nothing at all while other players accuse him of being the Mutant. In either case, the Storyteller may judge that Alex is trying to convince the group that he is the Mutant. In the first case, he is saying one thing and meaning another. In the second case, he is saying nothing at all but hoping that, because of it, the group will conclude that he is the Mutant. In either case, the Storyteller might execute him.
Similarly, even if the Storyteller doesn’t spot Alex telling anyone that he is an Outsider, but an evil player comes up to the Storyteller in private and says, “Alex told me he is the Mutant,” then that’s evidence enough that he’s trying to convince the group that he is the Mutant, so the Storyteller can execute him.