This post is an update of a 2014 post, published on my old blog.
Between games in this year’s world cup, the England Men’s Football Team spent their evenings playing Wolf, a card game also known as Werewolf. The BBC’s new reality show, The Traitors, is essentially a TV adaptation of the same game,.
Originally called Mafia, the game was invented in the 80s by Russian psychology student Dimitry Davidoff. It can be played with an ordinary pack of cards or even a few scraps of paper, but my family and friends usually play it with a proper deck of Werewolf cards like these.
Although the game has a distinctly Halloweeny feel, we play it all year round. It’s a popular fixture at our Christmas parties and ten years ago I decided to create a festive version, called Santa Saboteurs, to play at this time of year.
This version of the game it set at Santa’s North Pole workshop where the elves have been infiltrated by a small number of evil goblins — the Santa Saboteurs. The elves must root out the traitors in their midst and banish them from the workshop before Christmas is ruined for everyone!
If you fancy playing it yourself, you can download PDFs of the cards and rules below. The cards PDF contains both the card-fronts and the card-backs (with the snowflakes on). It’s best to print the cards PDF onto a sheet of A4 card or thick paper. Once you’ve printed out the card-fronts, turn the card/paper over and put it back into the printer to print the card-backs on the reverse side. Then cut carefully along the dotted lines to make your set of cards.
Click the images above to download pdf files of the cards and game rules
If you’ve never played Werewolf, don’t be put off by the length of the rules. Only one person, the moderator, needs to understand them fully and then they will be able to guide the other players throughout the game. Most people find the game easy to pick up once they start playing and it can be played with children as young as five.
The game is suitable for 8 to 24 players.
If you do make your own set, I hope you enjoy playing it as much as we do!