The Trials of Idavare
The Trials of Idavare
Debate, reason and argue your way to your faction's victory in The Trials of Idavare, an easy to learn but hard to master party game!
Debate, reason and argue your way to your faction's victory in The Trials of Idavare, an easy to learn but hard to master party game! Read more
The Trials of Idavare is a card-based party game for 9–27 players. Join a fierce battle of truth and deception, a battle of conviction that threatens your very life. As your faction struggles to claim Idavare, well-chosen words are more precious than any card dealt, and a single misstep can mean certain death. Victory depends on your ability to debate, lie, reason, and – should the night call you – move silently...
In The Trials of Idavare, every player secretly receives a faction card and a skill card. At night, the evil, sneaky werewolves transform into beast form and take a villager's life. During the day, the villagers must determine who is a creature of the night and hang them before the last one of the innocent is inside a werewolf's belly. Besides their senses and wits, some villagers have useful skills at their disposal that might help in battle – just pray the skill is not used by a werewolf...
You might think, “That sounds a lot like the various Mafia or Werwolves games. What's the deal?”
For over eight years, we have been playing Mafia-like games, such as The Werewolves of Miller's Hollow – which is a great game. Alas, with time, techniques emerged that sent werewolves to the grave rather unspectacularly. In their struggle against the revealing and combining of special powers, werewolves were often forced to risk their cover, their only way to survival. (See the section near the bottom of this page for some thoughts on unfortunate dynamics.) As the pile of lupine corpses grew, we felt that something had to change, and sought a way to revive the werewolves' defining powers of stealth and deception.
What began as a minor idea turned into The Trials of Idavare. Its rules are designed to allow variety in the game, but not at the cost of the players' chances to deceive or reason. We have split characters into factions and skills, so that a display of ability is no warrantor of trust. The available skills aim to convince with quality, rather than quantity. The Trials of Idavare is a game that gives power to your understanding of the other players, your senses, your acting and ability to convince others. A game to bring out the battle of wits that can turn an evening into an adventure.
Yes. We've first started playing The Trials of Idavare four years ago. We've played it with eight players, we've played it with 23 players. We've played it with newbies and with veterans and international friends (mostly New Zealanders – but we love every country :) ). Throughout the past years, we've refined it and received a lot of positive feedback. Now, we are confident to present a really great game to you, the Kickstarter community! If you like having debates for days to come after a round of The Trials of Idavare, this is definitively a game for you!
We've played with very plain prototypes up until now. You can download them further below! But none of us is an artist, and we'd like to be able to present some eye candy to you. That's why we work together with the amazing artist Dichrome. She will do the artwork for The Trials of Idavare and has done the character illustrations you see on this page.
By debuting on Kickstarter, we want to share a game we have developed and came to love, as well as seek some financial support in order to pay our artist properly!
We ask for 4000 EUR, which corresponds to about 100 copies plus Kickstarter fees plus shipping, since production would be too expensive for fewer copies of the game.
One copy of The Trials of Idavare lets you play with up to 27 players, plus one game master, so it is ideal for parties. The sweet spot is around 13–16 players, but additional cards also allow you to experiment with different skill card combinations! All cards are, of course, in English!
- 55 cards: 27 faction cards (7 werewolf, 20 human), 27 skill cards (7 special, 20 farmer), and one mayor card, printed on high quality robust 330 g/m² card paper
- A beautiful game instruction set (250 g/m² cover, 135 g/m² pages, non-glossy coating, full-color)
- A helpful quick reference A5 sheet for the game master
- An awesome full-color box that is big enough to contain potential stretch goal rewards!
So, why does the game cost 23 EUR?
First of all, everything is printed on high quality materials, which raises the base price a little – but it is worth it. All cards will last for many, many rounds of intense Trial'ing.
If we get funded for 100 copies, the costs per copy are:
- Printing the cards ~11 EUR
- Printing the game instructions ~2.50 EUR
- Production of the game box ~9 EUR
- Game master Quick Reference Sheet ~0.50 EUR
That makes 23 EUR per copy + shipping&packaging, covering all basic costs. If you want to help us cope with Kickstarter fees and pay our artist, we certainly would appreciate a little extra – but don't feel obliged!
Should we have more backers than that, production costs will decrease. That's when stretch goals kick in!
Currently, the localization candidate is German, and the runner up is French!
Want to test The Trials of Idavare? We provide you with a plain, English, printable version of game instructions and cards – the same we've used for years. Just print, cut out and play!
Here you can watch episodes from a marvelous game of The Trials of Idavare we played the other day (real gameplay! ;-)).
- Multiple copies: If you would like to get additional copies of the game or T-Shirts (see below), please increase your pledge by 23 Euro for each game and 20 Euro for each T-Shirt. We will ask you how to spend these additional funds before production.
- The Mask: Always wanted to surprise your friends or run around at night looking like a werewolf? That is no problem with the werewolf mask we used in the film! Will also keep your face warm (very warm).
- A silk-screen printed shirt with metallic silver paint accents to show the world that there's more to a book than its cover! Unlike thermal printing, a silk-screen print will last for many wash cycles. We'll ask you to choose from black or blue women's or men's shirts of multiple sizes!
- The Ars Versipellis: A limited, super-high-quality book with black leather binding, silver metal book corners and silver embossings on the front – containing artwork without distracting text, strategy discussions and advanced playing techniques that we've collected and discussed in the past years. Also, there's a chapter about ways to determine a score for player strength. We like to quantify stuff. ;) This gem of a book is limited (There will be a maximum of 50) - and each will carry its unique serial number.
- For the highest reward tier, we'll request a picture of you – and have a farmer digitally painted based on your appearance that will be included in the regular game! You also get to choose a quote from our collection of The Trials of Idavare-suitable quotes to accompany your farmer card. Additionally, you receive a high-quality A4 poster print of your farmer!
Phew – you managed to reach the bottom and you are still interested. Great! This section will only make sense if you know The Werewolves of Miller's Hollow though. So, what are the “severe weaknesses” of The Werewolves of Miller's Hollow we were talking about?
- Any special characters that have been disclosed cannot be werewolves, and players can often identify too many relevant roles beyond reasonable doubt. This is especially problematic in small rounds or at a later stage in the game, when the couple is dead or known. Once people start leaking information about their special characters, werevolves are faced with an arms race to come up with a more plausible story. Since sticking with the truth is much easier than coming up with a credible alternative, this often means inescapable death for the werewolves.
- The Little Girl. This character enables the player to peek during the werewolf phase. This means she can identify all werewolves at once, and then ask for protection from a healer or witch. A werewolf claiming to be the little girl first can, at best, delay his demise by one round – and even this rarely works, as most humans can tell the respective roles at this point.
- The Witch sees who is going to be killed. This makes the character even more powerful, as she can selectively protect known important characters, including herself, and knows for certain that someone she saved is human.
- In the first night, a player already dies. That means that there is one player who has no chance of defending themselves – and it is really boring if you are the one who drops out before the game has even really started.
- The add-ons only add more characters which just confuse the game and make everything more random.
You might say, certain revealing moves could be banned from the game. But this creates the unfortunate situation where players get stronger the less strictly they limit the information they share. We tried a rule that forbids telling your character, but it ended up in people saying “Well, I'm reaaaallllyy sure those two are human” or “By the way, nobody dies next night” – same result. You simply cannot forbid conveying such information – it's not a clean game design in our opinion, and would only result in dissent about increasingly obscure ways around the rules.
We have fixed these problems by separating factions and skills. A witch may now credibly demonstrate her skill – but that does not prove she is human. We have balanced the skills and introduced a brutal attack, so a clairvoyant is at a huge risk when revealed. This has produced interesting results, where clairvoyants would check their neighbours and, if they are safe, use them as a “clairvoyant proxy” – at the cost of dangerous communication. We have a lower character count – but that is not a bad thing if you like to make decisions and not rely on random luck. But – please play and see for yourself!
Risks and challenges
We are committed to this project and have done our math. Unless our printing press goes bankrupt and there is not a single alternative with comparable prices, there's really not much to worry about.
Should something unexpected happen, we might be forced to downgrade some components. We do not expect this though.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)