General Strategy

From Blood on the Clocktower Wiki

This is a page covering general strategies for good and evil players.

This is a guide and not gospel. Follow your heart!

Thank Heavens, I'm good! Now what?

  • Your single most powerful tool you have is your voice. Your character ability can give you information, but in order to get the other players to believe and utilise that information, you will need to use your voice effectively. Talk to as many players as you can - learn who they are and combine their information with your own. Be helpful. Be pro-active. Even if you have no information, telling the group what you think can provide them with information and gives you influence. If you are nominated, defend yourself. If you believe someone is evil, campaign for their execution.
  • Use your dead vote wisely. Once you are dead, you only get one vote for the rest of the game. This is extraordinarily valuable and should be used at a time when it makes the most difference. Usually, that means saving your vote until the final day, when many other dead players are voting too -.since the dead players outnumber the living players, it will be the dead that decide the fate of the game. If you throw your dead vote away frivolously in the early stages of the game, you are denying yourself that power at the end.
  • It comes down to 3 players
  • Single chain logic
  • Double chain logic
  • Tell the truth at some stage. While you do not have to reveal your character to the group straight away, you should reveal who you are, truthfully, before the final nominations occur. Some characters can benefit by hiding for a few days so as to collection information, but on the whole, the more good players that truthfully say who they are, the more information the good team has to collaborate and co-oordinate with. Even if you reveal which character you are, and you die because of it, you are still in the game, and your opinion may be even more respected.
  • You can not trust the whole group. At least some players will be evil, and lying to you. However, MOST players are good, so most players are trustworthy. Put your faith in one or two players, and talk in secret with them. Tell them which character you are and what you know. Ask for them to do the same. Come to their defence if they are nominated, and ask them to come to yours. If you have chosen well, the coalition you have formed will pay off. However, if the information of the rest of the group is pointing to them being evil, it may be time to turn on them like a pack of rabid dogs.
  • Be helpful to the group. If you are sharing information, coming to the aid of players you believe to be good, voting for players the group thinks are evil, and generally being a co-odinator and helpful person to the group as a whole, the group will trust you beyond the question of "which character are you"?
  • Engage the dead players. Sometimes, players that die disengage from the game and feel like because they are "dead", they are not influential. Nothing could be further from the truth. The dead players still vote, and the information that the dead players have is still useful to you to help win the game - sometimes even more so. After all, dead players are almost certainly not the Demon. If you talk to the dead players, swap information with them, and help them decide when and how to use their vote, they won't be using that vote on you! They'll be using their vote as wisely as possible.
  • If you want to reveal your character to the group, but don't want the Demon to know who you are, you can tell another player to pretend to be your character, or to simply tell the group your information on your behalf. For example, if a player says "I know that an Investigator is in play, and that either Amy or Evin is the Minion, but I'm not going to reveal who the Investigator is", then your identity is kept secret.
  • Don't get executed. Under most circumstances, getting executed is not helpful. Even if you have "used your ability", it is not wise to be executed, just because. Do whatever you can to avoid being executed - even lying about who you are to save your skin. Good doesn't win by executing good players. They win by executing evil players.
  • Get executed. If the group thinks that you are evil, then volunteering to get executed (and even voting for yourself) might be the best solution. If you die today, then a different player can be executed tomorrow, but if you are not executed today and instead you survive until the final day, the group will still think you are evil and want to execute you on the final day - which means that evil wins. Removing yourself from the pool of suspicious players earlier rather than later might be unhelpful to you personally, but may help your team win.
  • Prove who you are. This is difficult, but doable. In most cases, your character ability will not prove who you are to the group, but _other_ character's abilities may be able to prove who you are. Or, at least, provide good a case that is good enough to keep you alive. For example, if the Chef says that evil players are not sitting next to each other, and you can convince the group that one of your neighbors is evil by utilising the abilities of the Undertaker, Virgin, Empath, Investigator or even the Recluse, then you can look golden.
  • Find out "what your job is"
  • Stay alive in any way you can. If you die by execution, it isn't the end of the world, but that guarantees that an evil player is not being executed. If you can convince the group that you are good, then they are more likely to execute another player, and that player may be a Minion or a Demon.
  • However, if the group overwhelmingly thinks that you are evil, it can be beneficial to be executed earlier rather than later. If you believe that the group is going to execute you anyway, nominate yourself and vote for yourself, so that you are executed before the final day arrives - because if you die instead of the Demon on the final day, evil wins.
  • Similarly, do whatever you can to keep players that you trust alive. If you are the Washerwoman and trust the player who is the Ravenkeeper, because you know who they are, then convince the group not to execute them. Or, if you are the Empath and know both your living neighbours are good, then keep them alive too. You can lie, or tell the truth, about which characters they are, just keep them alive!
  • Most games of Blood On The Clocktower have an enormous amount of information to use. This information interracts in various ways to help you figure out who is who. Body language can be a factor in signalling who is who good an who is evil, but you will find that in most cases, body language can be deceptive. That player who "feels" like they are lying, might just be uncomfortable with revealing which character they are. Or they might be a good character that is incentivised to lie, such as the Soldier or the Sage. Acting based on who is saying what, on the information that is presented, will usually be more helpful than going on gut feeling.
  • Assume that players are not drunk and not poisoned. While drunkenness and poisoning are a threat, they are rare. Only one player can be the Drunk, not all players. Only one player can be poisoned by the Poisoner, and the Poisoner needs to know who to target. Most good players are sober (not drunk) and healthy (not poisoned) most of the time, so that is a good thing to assume. However, if there is a definite signal that a player might be drunk or poisoned, such as there being one fewer than normal Outsiders in play, or the Investigator claims that one of two players is Poisoner, then it is worth trying to figure out who is likely to be drunk or poisoned. Also, some characters can confirm that players are not drunk or poisoned, which gives even more reason to assume that all good players are sober and healthy - for example, if the Undertaker learns that a dead player is the Drunk or the Spy, then you know that no other player is the Drunk, and that a Poisoner is not in play (if there is only one Minion in-play).
  • Use your intuition if you are confused. Sometimes, the amount of information that becomes apparent can be overwhelming, particularly if that information is contradictory. As a backup plan, go with your gut, and trust the people you get a good vibe from, and execute the people you feel are evil. Sometimes, ignoring rational-sounding arguments in favour of your intuition can be the right way to go.
  • Finding out who is not the Demon is just as important as who is the Demon. It would be a short and unpleasant game for the evil team if the good team could figure out who the Demon was quickly and easily each game. The game is designed so that information comes into the game gradually, and much of the information is directed at learning who is good. This is good news! If you can figure out who is good, you know who NOT to kill! Keeping players you trust alive is just as effective as killing players you believe are evil. Once all living players except one are trustworthy, you have found the Demon.
  • If 2 players claim to be the same character, you know that at least one of them is lying. Usually, this will mean that one player is good, and the other player is a Minion. Since the Demon gets shown 3 not-in-play good characters that are safe to bluff as, it is unlikely that they will double up with a good player's character claim. When faced with the situation of 2 players claiming to be the same character, you can kill both players, thus ensuring that you have killed the evil player, or you can investigate further, and see if you can figure out which player is good and which player is evil - one player's information may prove to be suspicious. However, depending on the circumstances, you don't need to kill either player, since the Demon is probably elsewhere.
  • Work as a team. There are very few characters that can win the game due solely to their own efforts, such as the Slayer, Courtier, or Sage. The vast majority of the time, you will need to combine your information with the information of your team mates to find out who is good and who is evil. Talk to them. Listen to them. Use your combined brainpower to figure out what your information - as a team - means.
  • Kill with grace, die with dignity. Basically, be pleasant and sportsmanlike. Particularly when it comes to executing players, or being executed, if you act in a way that is respectful of the thoughts, feelings and situations of the other people in the game, if you are a fun person, a team player, a person that people want to talk to, then that also makes you a person that players will want to keep alive and share their information with. If you exhibit the qualities of a considerate leader, or a positive and helpful team member, then you can get many allies that will support you in victory.
  • Listen. Whilst it may seem that you have figured out who the Demon is, or that your information or ability is more important than any other player's, you may be drunk or poisoned, or you may simply be wrong. Listen to what the other players have to say, to make sure that what you think is the truth, and not just what the evil players have carefully manipulated you into thinking!
  • Be proactive - get other player's to use their abilities on you
  • Talk to players in secret

Sweet Cherries, I'm a Townsfolk! Now what?

  • Share whatever information you have. If you are the Empath, tell the group how many of your neighbors are evil. If you are the Washerwoman, talk to the player(s) you believe to be the Townsfolk you learned. Share your information publicly - by telling the whole group what you know, or share your information privately - with one or two players that you trust. Either way, if you are sharing information, and they are sharing information, then you can put the pieces of the puzzle together in time. Even if you are not a character that learns information of a night time, you still have some type of information. For example, the Slayer, if they slay the wrong player, knows at least that that player is NOT the Demon. The Virgin, if nominated, learns something about the identity of the nominating player. The Monk, can learn who the Demon attacked, if no players died tonight. If you are the Soldier and the Demon attacks you, you learn that the Demon wanted you dead - which gives you some information about which player it might be!
  • If you are a character that takes a few nights to collate their information, or becomes more powerful as the game develops, it can be very helpful to bluff as a character that the Demon does not want to kill. For example, if you are the Undertaker, Fortune Teller, Empath or Slayer, you can bluff as the Ravenkeeper, Soldier, or even the Saint. This way, the good team will want to keep you alive, and the Demon will be afraid to kill you, allowing you to survive and gradually become more and more powerful. You will need to reveal your true identity to the group at some stage though...
  • Conversely, if you are a character that benefits from being attacked by the Demon, then bluff as a character that the Demon would want to attack. If you are the Ravenkeeper, Soldier, or other characters of that ilk, bluffing as the Fortune Teller, Undertaker, Slayer or even Virgin can temp the Demon into choosing you of a night time. The Ravenkeeper benefits enormously by gaining information, whilst the Soldier prevents a good player from dying. This strategy is also useful if the Monk is protecting you, or even if you are a character that has already used their ability or is a better choice for the Demon to kill. For example, if you are a Chef that has already gained their information, a Recluse or a Saint that is not being believed to be an Outsider, or even a Librarian, you can trick the Demon into killing you of a night, thus keeping the Townsfolk that are more powerful in the later game alive.
  • Whatever ability you have, milk it. If you use your ability as best you can, in the way that you feel is best, and all other Townsfolk are doing the same, then victory is certain. Probably.
  • Once you reveal you are a powerful Townsfolk, particularly one that acts every night, you become a juicy target for nefarious characters such as the Poisoner or the Witch. If you believe that such characters are in play, you can often assume that you are their target, since such characters want to take out powerful Townsfolk as early as possible.
  • If you are a Townsfolk that the Demon wants to kill as early as possible, such as the Undertaker, then a tricky strategy is to tell a single player (or two) who you are, but don't tell the group as a whole. If you die of a night time, it is probably because the player you revealed yourself to, is the Demon, or is a Minion that told the Demon who you are. For example, if you tell 1 and only 1 player that you are the Monk, and you die that very night, then the player you told might very well be the Imp. Once players become aware that you use this strategy regularly, you can actually use it to keep yourself alive instead. For example, if you tell a single player that you are the Monk, and that player is the Demon and also knows that you will tell the group that they are the Demon if you die at night, then they will be very apprehensive about killing you of a night time. This is tricky business indeed.

Goddamnit, I'm an Outsider! Now what?

  • Outsider tips - prove you are an Outsider.
  • Outsider tips - overcome your disability
  • Count the number of players that are Outsiders, and compare this number to how many Outsiders are supposed to be in-play. (This number is listed on the Traveller sheet, which should be under the Towns Square in the centre of the circle). If the number of players claiming to be Outsiders is the correct number, you can safely assume that those players are good - this is helpful, because even though Outsider abilities are unhelpful to the team, you know that those players are good, and you should be executing all other players instead. For example, if the game is supposed to have 2 Outsiders, and players have claimed to be the Saint and the Butler, then they are probably telling the truth. If there are too many players claiming to be Outsiders, you know that one (or more!) of them are lying. For example, if the game is supposed to have only 1 Outsider, and a players are claiming to be the Goon and the Gypsy, then you should probably kill both of them, since at least one of them is evil. However, if you have fewer players claim to be Outsiders than Outsiders in play, then there is a character in-play that either reduces the number of Outsiders in play (such as the Godfather), or makes Outsiders invisible (such as the Drunk). Either way, this is information that you can use.
  • If you are Outsider, don't say squat until the final day
  • Even the Butler learns something about the number of Outsiders in the game, or the inclinations of their master.

I'm evil, now what?

So, you've drawn a red token out of the bag and you're not sure what to do next? Feeling overwhelmed? Not sure where to begin? Don't worry - being evil is just as fun as it is scary!

Unlike the poor good team floundering around with no idea who to trust, the power of the evil team is that you all secretly know each other, and can work together towards your common goal of dismantling the town from the inside. Work together,

  • Lie about who you are! Never admit that you are evil! If the good players know for sure that someone is evil, that is a lot of information for them to work back from, and will put your team at a severe disadvantage. Pick a bluff as early as you can - sitting there silently will only raise people's suspicions of you as the game continues.
  • Never give up. Never, ever, ever give up. The game is not over until the Storyteller says it is, and you always have a chance to turn things around and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
  • If you are in any way uncertain about how the character that you are bluffing as works - ask the Storyteller! Good players will notice if you don't seem to understand how your supposed ability works, and being found out that way can cause you a lot of problems.
  • Stay alive! The evil team is completely outnumbered, and a dead evil player means one less free vote and one less evil ability in rotation. Prioritising your survival (and the survival of your fellow evil players) is pretty vital, especially as the number of living players dwindle.
  • Being evil is all about being proactive. The good team has a lot of tools at their disposal to uncover and expose your team's nefarious plots - if you sit on your laurels, it'll only be a matter of time before they uncover you. Your most powerful tool in Blood on the Clocktower is your voice - make sure to utilise it.
    • Talk to your fellow evil players and coordinate with them. You have the secret advantage of knowing each other from the outset; use this to share important information (e.g. the existence of a Fortune Teller), coordinate bluffs, and maximise your deceptive potential.
    • Talk to the good players and gain their trust. Getting even one other player on your side means that you have aid when trying to convince the group of your version of events, backup if you are accused of being evil, and a patsy if all else fails. Outsourcing your arguments to players who are more trusted than you gives you credibility and makes it easier for you to put your focus onto other things. It also makes it harder for the good team to coordinate if they are busy fighting among themselves.
    • Communicate with the entire town. You need to make sure that your (extremely fabricated) version of events are out there and contradicting the truth as much as possible. Players who hide everything will eventually be seen as suspicious, so make sure either you (or someone you're associated with) is working with everyone to solve the mystery.
    • Lie about everything! Your goal is to set up a narrative that deflect suspicion from the demon and onto the good players (or even the minions!).
    • Tell the truth, selectively. It's easy to claim to be an Empath and throw suspicion on your neighbours, but you can easily gain their trust instead by claiming to get a '0'. The best lies have a little bit of truth in them, and if the group believes you are legitimate, it'll be much easier to backstab them later.
  • Undermine the claims of good players and their information! There are many ways to go about this:
    • Accuse them of being evil and lying. Pretty straightforward.
    • Accuse them of being drunk or poisoned. This throws their information into question since it may not be reliable.
    • Double up with their claim. Do you have a Mayor who is gaining traction with the town? Well, you are also the Mayor, and they must be a liar!
    • Claim that other information contradicts theirs - even if that information doesn't exist. Simply saying that a powerful character like a Fortune Teller got a positive read on them will sway people. (This is especially effective if you are well trusted by the town).
    • Get on their good side! Befriend that pesky Slayer and help them choose their target... helpfully excluding yourself from the list. Chat with that Ravenkeeper about who they're going to check with their ability should they die (and maybe get them killed if their decision would help you out!). Manipulating good players into making bad decisions can be just as effective as setting them up to look evil or unreliable.
  • Figure out what your job is. If you are the Demon, you have the responsibility to stay alive and take out the good team. If you are a Minion, you should be supporting your Demon in their endeavours and protecting them from the good team... even with your life. But it's more than that. A Poisoner for example may have the goal of undermining any powerful information character they can find in one game, but in another they may need to focus on undermining a troublesome Monk. The Baron might have the goal of causing a lot of noise and wasting the good team's time, but in a different game they may choose to undermine a specific player, or even set themselves up to look evil so that the rest of the evil team can look good in comparison. Your job will change depending on the game composition and who is playing; knowing what you need to do is vital for the evil team's ultimate success.
  • Support your fellow evil players, and back up their claims! An Undertaker alone can be suspicious, but an Undertaker confirmed by a Washerwoman, or who just confirmed your character looks more trustworthy in the eyes of the good team. Claim to be a Slayer and shoot at the Saint bluff, making them look legitimate. If they point at you and say you just pinged their Fortune Teller ability, start acting a little shady to lend legitimacy to the accusation. Sacrificing yourself at the right moment might be the push the evil team needs to succeed!
  • Being "undecided" or "confused" is a great little tactic to get the good team to waste a lot of time trying to convince you of their point of view. The longer they spend trying to talk you around to their way of thinking, the longer they aren't trying to convince other good players, or the group in general.

Mwehe, I'm a Minion! Now what?

  • You should never vote for your demon, unless you are 100% certain there is a backup plan (like the Scarlet Woman). The Demon's death is the end of the evil team!

Oh my, I'm the Demon! Now what?

  • Stay alive! Your death is the end of the evil team unless you have a backup plan in place like the Devil's Advocate or Scarlet Woman. Throwing a Minion under