Laissez un Faire
...by Steven Medway. Laissez un Faire is a script containing experimental characters. You will need the kickstarter version of the game and/or some way of using experimental character tokens, which are not yet available for sale.
This script will create long, interesting games with a lot of deception and wild, unusual plays. The game will last a long time for a Teensyille game (as long, or even longer than a normal seven or nine player game) and that will give the players lots of time to put their information together, or decide on the perfect bluff. To balance this, the information available is much more vague than usual. It may take some effort to disentangle, but that is where the fun is. Many of the characters have information that is vague at first but gets stronger over time. Or, they have abilities that must be used at the right time to be most useful.
The Leviathan basically guarantees a longer, more high stakes game, due to it’s 5 day count, and the pressure on the good team to make every execution count. The Townsfolk all make the most of Leviathan’s weakness – that no deaths occur for 5 days. The Savant can gain a library of information and will usually have 10 facts (5 of which are false) by the final execution. The Amnesiac is often weak if they die early, so having 5 days to figure out what their ability is gives the player all the time they need – Amnesiacs will often figure it out at the last minute. The Artist can relax and ask the perfect question at the perfect time – they can wait and decide exactly what to ask based on what they need to know. The Fisherman is the same, asking for their hint at the right time without fearing dying at night. The Balloonist will also get most, if not all, of their information too, which leads to a final day climax of knowledge. So, each Townsfolk’s ability is used to the fullest…. and that is a big, big problem for evil.
The Goblin gives the evil team a lifeline. An evil player under pressure from all that information can always claim to be the Goblin, and scare the good team into reconsidering their vote. The good team may have figured it all out, and the evil team may be sweating because they can’t kill that pesky Savant or Balloonist… but they have an ace in the hole, and it may just be enough to sow doubt and win the game. The Goblin also interacts well with the Savant + Balloonist + Amnesiac because those players may claim to be the Goblin, even if they are good, so as to survive another day or two and get more information. When good players are incentivized to claim to be the Goblin, the real Goblin and the real Leviathan have a much stronger position – because a Goblin that has convinced the good team that they are good can win by their execution, and a Leviathan that has convinced the good team that they are a good player that claimed to be the Goblin is less likely to be executed.
The Widow is a great addition for two reasons. First, it provides a much needed poisoning. There are simply too many powerful information Townsfolk for the evil team to survive for five days otherwise. The Widow can not only nullify the power of one of those players, but turn it into an advantage. The interesting choice for the Widow player is “Which Townsfolk do I pick? Do I pick the most powerful Townsfolk in play, or do I pick another Townsfolk and make the players think I picked the most powerful?”. Because the good team knows a Widow is in play, this decision is an interesting one – it won’t be the same each time. The second reason for including the Widow is because it creates an interesting choice for the good team. If a player claims a Widow is in play, and a player claims that they are the Goblin, who do you believe? They can’t both be true, but the good team will need to find out. If the player that knows the Widow is in play is telling the truth, then good should definitely execute the Goblin. But if not, they should keep the Goblin alive. This also means that a player who learns that a Widow is in play is incentivized to not say so immediately, in order to trick the Demon into claiming to be the Goblin if nominated. This delay in good players claiming a Widow is in play also allows late-game Widow claims by evil. Or one evil player claiming Widow, and another claiming Goblin. Evil will probably claim Goblin or Widow each game, and will sometimes want the good team to believe one thing, sometimes the other. There are lots of interesting things that can happen.
The Cannibal was added to create conflict with the Leviathan and the other Townsfolk. A Savant, Amnesiac, and Balloonist all want to survive until the second to final day. An Artist and Fisherman want their information on the fourth day. This is because with only two executions available for the good team, they are best to wait until they really need to do it. The Cannibal throws a spanner in the works by wanting to convince the most powerful Townsfolk to die earlier – they want the Artist and Fisherman to get their info, then get executed as soon as possible, and they want the other Townsfolk to die, so that the Cannibal can be the one getting the information. This creates a certain strategy for the good team. Is the Cannibal lying? If they are telling the truth, who should be eaten? That is different every game. The Cannibal also works really well with the Widow. If a player can reasonably assume that they have been poisoned by the Widow, then they should definitely get the Cannibal to eat them so the un-poisoned Cannibal can get correct information. Of course, this incentivizes the evil team to claim a Widow is in play when there isn’t, which adds further layers of scheming and deducing, which is where the fun is.
The Fisherman in particular was added to create some interesting strategies around the Goblin, the Lunatic, and the Leviathan. Since the Fisherman doesn’t get information in the normal sense of the word, these characters give a lot of options for the Storyteller to get creative. The Fisherman gets a hint at what to do, not a piece of information. Usually, this means the Fisherman is told “You should execute this player” or “You should nominate this player” or “Don’t trust this player” or “Keep everyone alive today” or “Find out who this player really is.” This kind of thing really plays nicely with the Goblin and the Leviathan, because the usual strategy of “just execute players you think are evil” is thrown out the window because of the huge penalties for getting it wrong. The Fisherman interacts well with the Lunatic and the Mutant, because there are also some good characters that the Fisherman player can get a hint to find out more about. Carefully crafted hints like “Ignore what Dave is saying” can mean a whole lot more than “Dave is evil”, because Dave may be the Mutant and deliberately lying, or Dave may be the Lunatic and has no idea he is spreading mistruths. Or Dave may be the Savant who is secretly poisoned and claiming to be the Goblin, but there is a Cannibal in play who will gain the Savant ability if Dave is executed – so the Storyteller has hinted not to trust Dave as a way of making this happen. The Fisherman is highly Storyteller dependent, so having lots of good options for hints is important. Mutant, Lunatic, Goblin, Cannibal, Leviathan, even Widow – all create these opportunities.
The Balloonist was added so that an extra Outsider can be in the game, but done in tandem with the Outsiders being hidden. A sentinel would have done the job, but Balloonist works well with Leviathan, Cannibal, and Widow too. The cool thing about the Balloonist adding an Outsider is that the added Outsider probably won’t reveal that they are an Outsider. The Lunatic doesn’t know that they are an Outsider, and the Mutant probably won’t mention it because, in a Leviathan game, the price of being executed willy-nilly is too high. Usually, at 5 players, an evil player bluffing as the Balloonist needs another evil player to pretend to be an Outsider too, because the Balloonist adds an Outsider (and there isn’t normally one in a 5 player game). With a Lunatic and a Mutant, the Balloonist becomes a much easier bluff. Of course, if an evil player is bluffing as Balloonist, and the other evil player is bluffing as an Outsider, then the real Mutant or Lunatic holds the game in their hands – they know who the evil players are, but getting that information out can be tricky.
Amnesiac is kind of like the Savant in this script. The good team sometimes has trouble finding out who Leviathan is, and they only have two or three executions to do it. The Amnesiac and Savant allow the Storyteller to drip feed information to the good team when they are hot on the trail of evil, or to provide more useful information if the good team is really struggling. Amnesiac also works really well with the Lunatic and the Mutant, and finding out who these players are is a huge boon to the good team but doesn’t throw the evil team completely under the bus. The Amnesiac works particularly well with the Leviathan because the Storyteller can feel free to make their ability more obscure, since the Amnesiac can be guaranteed to have several days to figure out what it is. The Savant is in the same boat. The Storyteller can give a hint when needed, or something more obscure when not.
The Mutant works great in combination here too. Whilst not being as hidden as the Lunatic, the fact that only two executions are allowable means that the price of the Mutant revealing they are an Outsider is high – the chance of executing the Demon is reduced by 50%. That should be enough to keep most Mutants bluffing as a false Townsfolk, which they’ll need to do because staying silent in Laissez un Faire only means one thing – you are the Mutant. Here, the Mutant will really need to be convincing that they are a Townsfolk, and so will be spreading information that might be false, or it’s curtains. The Mutant, or even the possibility of a Mutant, can keep the evil team alive when there has been no Widow claim, since just because a person is lying, doesn’t mean that they are evil.
The Lunatic works brilliantly in this Script. The Teensyville setting means that the Demon doesn’t know their Minions, so the Lunatic doesn’t get shown anything on night one. Most Lunatics in Laissez un Faire have no clue that they are the Lunatic until they die, and the game continues. Then, they know for certain that they are good. This is the Lunatic working at it’s best – when the player is totally convinced of one thing, then totally convinced of something else. It’s a beautiful moment when they figure it out. Lunatic plays perfectly with the Widow too – the Widow knows who the Lunatic is, and can talk to them in private and further convince them that they are in fact Leviathan. And if the Lunatic finds out – the Widow is outed, but the Demon is still a secret, which is fine. Evil players convincing good players that they are evil is super-risky, but also super fun. The Lunatic also works really well with the Balloonist and Leviathan. The Lunatic can’t confirm a Balloonist, and can’t kill at night, so the ruse is complete. However, the Lunatic being executed is a huge boon to the good team, and a confirmed Lunatic confirms the Balloonist, plus any character whose information led to finding out who the Lunatic is.
In Laissez un Faire, there are lots of reasons to execute a player, not just “Are they evil?”, and lots of reasons not to, not just “Are they good?”. There is information galore for the good team to use, but just enough misinformation from poisoned or lying good players to keep things interesting. The game goes for a long time, making a 5 or 6 player game feel like an epic, large game. There are lots of ways to get information, some passive and some active. The evil players have enormous bluffing opportunities and get-out-of-jail-free cards to play, and the good players have lots of interesting decisions to make. The good team should be able to piece the information together to narrow it down to one or two players, but a tricky evil player can insinuate themselves into a position of trust which can have a huge impact. It’s a game that generates a tonne of discussion due to it’s high information factor, and has high mid-to-late game surprise factor (with Lunatics figuring out who they are, and Balloonists and Savants and Amnesiacs putting things together on day 4 or 5), leading to a deduction-heavy game that comes to an exciting climax on the final day. Every game is incredibly different, due to the high level of creativity required from the Storyteller.