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Elder Sign» Forums » General

Subject: What is the thematic justification for locked dice (and spell dice)? rss

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Koen Pater
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The one thing I'm thematically struggling with in Elder Sign, is the 'locked dice'. Not so much for a single Investigator, of course, but why it also affects the others.

Why, when Mandy encounters Rats in the Walls of the Witch's House, is Michael also prohibited from using any yellow dice in the church? Same goes for spells. Why would Michael be able to benefit from any spell Mandy casts, when they're nowhere near each other?

Any help justifying this from a thematic point of view is greatly appreciated!
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mortego

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Sorry, I am unable to justify about locked dice or spells, thematically speaking that is, but I would like to state an opinion, for me, about this topic.

Great question, btw.

For me theme isn't that important (again, that's just me) and this game is my favorite game to play so maybe I subconsciously give little glitches like these a pass?

I can totally see your point though, it doesn't make sense locking dice, in fact, I HATE IT!!!!!!

....but that's just me.
whistle
 
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Gamer D

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I think there's no doubt that Elder Signis, while a fun game, the weakest of the Lovecraft inspired Fantasy Flight game in terms of theme. The theme isn't entirely absent but I typically don't see people reading the flavor text on adventures for instance or getting too much into the story that's going on. It's mainly a good cooperative dice rolling strategy game.

And I agree, locking dice isn't really thematic. Even if you accept that yellow and red dice represent mundane and magical "equipment" that doesn't explain why when one adventure locks a die you can't use the same equipment elsewhere. It would make more sense thematically if an adventure sometimes had a monster that was resistant to physical or magical damage so you couldn't use that color die in that adventure.

Fortunately it's still a good game either way. You just have to not think abut the theme too hard in it.
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aron craig
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dugman wrote:
And I agree, locking dice isn't really thematic. Even if you accept that yellow and red dice represent mundane and magical "equipment" that doesn't explain why when one adventure locks a die you can't use the same equipment elsewhere. It would make more sense thematically if an adventure sometimes had a monster that was resistant to physical or magical damage so you couldn't use that color die in that adventure.


When that beastie showed up it swallowed your gun.. when it's dead you can gut the corpse and retrieve it.

With a gate open to unearthly realms the magic forces that power the mystical book are disrupted.

You can come up with ways that the theme can work with locks.. just takes a bit of added narrative embellishment. =)
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Robert Ruescher
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locked dice, immunity of some type? physical or magical

spell dice, booby traps of some kind like a ward?
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Koen Pater
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Well yeah, like I said, it makes sense for the Investigator directly confronting the Adventure, but not so much for the rest of 'm.

aroncraig wrote:
You can come up with ways that the theme can work with locks.. just takes a bit of added narrative embellishment. =)

I guess the best way to treat it is as a bad omen, a crucial step in a prophecy that has to be disrupted. As long as the Rats in the Walls are not dealt with, fate is working against the Investigators.
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Gamer D

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aroncraig wrote:
dugman wrote:
And I agree, locking dice isn't really thematic. Even if you accept that yellow and red dice represent mundane and magical "equipment" that doesn't explain why when one adventure locks a die you can't use the same equipment elsewhere. It would make more sense thematically if an adventure sometimes had a monster that was resistant to physical or magical damage so you couldn't use that color die in that adventure.


When that beastie showed up it swallowed your gun.. when it's dead you can gut the corpse and retrieve it.

With a gate open to unearthly realms the magic forces that power the mystical book are disrupted.

You can come up with ways that the theme can work with locks.. just takes a bit of added narrative embellishment. =)


"A bit" is an understatement. You can rationalize anything, that doesn't make it a thematic element.
 
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Richard Launius
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Johns Creek
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Actually, for me it is very thematic. Locked dice represent the dark forces working behind the scenes to prevent the investigators from achieving success in shutting out the Ancient One. Roadblocks that occur as the result of other events that create a global crisis that affects all aspects of the investigation.

I have a vivid imagination, so the locked dice represent many things in my mind that the investigators have to face, the indomitable bad luck and events that place their good works in peril.

Thanks for your thoughts and thanks for support of the game. I appreciate it.

Richard
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Jonathan Hersey
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Peoria
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Ultimately the dice represent your ability to function and the rolls themselves are your performace. Locked dice represent a looming threat that is thwarting your progress or at least hindering your potential.
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Sergei Chavo
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Jonathan68 wrote:
Ultimately the dice represent your ability to function and the rolls themselves are your performace. Locked dice represent a looming threat that is thwarting your progress or at least hindering your potential.
I have nearly similar opinion. I think that on adventures you must perform some actions (tasks) and you dice is some sort of "possibilities" to do this actions. When you roll is failed you lose you time (3 hours per investigator, you know), and because of this you have less "possibilities" to complete task on your next roll.
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M.C.Crispy
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Basingstoke
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Richard Launius wrote:
I have a vivid imagination, so the locked dice represent many things in my mind that the investigators have to face, the indomitable bad luck and events that place their good works in peril.
I have no imagination at all! But I have no problem regarding Locked Dice as generic obstacles put in the way of the Investigators by the AO and its minions. It's Mythos baby: shit happens!
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