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Mansions of Madness: Second Edition» Forums » General

Subject: Questions about replayability rss

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Paul Lodge
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Could someone explain the varietyt in the replayability please? Some of the reviewers have said they've played the first scenario 4 or 5 times, & each game has been different.

I don't want to watch too many videos in detail because of spoilers, but the ones I have briefly looked at appear quite similar apart from a different tile layout.

Obviously I understand key points have to be the same, but say apart from using different characters, what sort of things happen in a scenario that will keep it different from the last play?

Many thanks in advance.
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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Re: This may sound a stupid question but...
Not a stupid question at all (although the title should reflect what your question is about so other people can find it easily - I suggest "Questions about replayability").

I have played the intro 5 times. Differences I have witnessed:

- There are a couple of different maps.

- The monsters spawn a little differently.

- Non-unique items you find differ from game to game.

- Choices you make in the scenario will lead to different consequences (mostly which/how many monsters appear).

- Ending differs somewhat based on how long you take to reach it.

Things that appear to be the same:

- Scenario dependent unique items seem to be located in the same place

- General story seems to be the same

This is based on only playing the intro scenario though.

Cheers!
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Greg Filpus
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Re: This may sound a stupid question but...
For Scenario 2:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
-There's only one map layout, but there's one variable that changes the pacing of how you can explore that map.

-Common items and monster spawns vary a little.

-There are a lot of "quests" to do, and you don't need to do all of them, so you can do a different set from game to game.

-Some of the items you need for various "quests" are in different locations

The overall story is pretty much the same, and there are a few mandatory "quests" you need to do to win that don't change.
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Paul Lodge
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Thanks Reverend & Greg.

So would you both say that these little changes do make for quite a different experience, or are they quite negligible?

Normally I wouldn't be so cautious, but with the hefty price tag I want to be as sure as I can that it won't get played just 3/4 times and then sit on the shelf gathering dust.
 
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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Laardge11 wrote:
Thanks Reverend & Greg.

So would you both say that these little changes do make for quite a different experience, or are they quite negligible?

Normally I wouldn't be so cautious, but with the hefty price tag I want to be as sure as I can that it won't get played just 3/4 times and then sit on the shelf gathering dust.


Each of my five plays of the intro scenario had at least one new and interesting thing happen. 4 of my 5 plays of that scenario were on the same map, but it took me all 4 games before I had actually seen the whole map. It wasn't possible to reveal the whole thing in one game and get anywhere close to winning (at least with 2 characters).

Given that it took me 5 plays to beat the intro scenario, which is the shortest one, I imagine it will take 15-25 plays for me just to finally finish all the scenarios with a victory. After that I can definitely see replaying the scenarios. Although the thrill of "unknown" discoveries won't be there, the thrill of trying to beat the clock and all the monsters, and seeing which monsters spawn and where will be. Given my own tastes I can easily see 30-40 plays of this game before I "need" an expansion. Although I will be buying the expansions when they hit stores anyway.

Keep in mind that once you add expansion content, those tiles and monsters will be available in the first four scenarios to some extent too.
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soak man
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I also want to add that the player interactions and emergent story in the sense that you can choose to approach each playthrough in a different way and with a different strategy are a kind of replayability. It is not a story-driven replayability, but I will tell you that my most recent (3rd) playthrough of the first scenario ended with an amazing insanity-related betrayal. I would go into more detail, but don't want to ruin the insanity cards for anyone.

On top of that, it DID have a completely different final objective but I couldn't tell if it was generated at the start of the game or if it was based on the amount of turns it took to reach the climax of the scenario.

I want to be clear that the actual story (who did what to whom and for what reason etc) was exactly the same. The only difference was the very final required objective.

But I would say it really depends on how often you want to play THIS game. If it is your only game and you play it repeatedly, the replayability may be disappointing (for now). But after a few more scenarios arrive or if you only come back to the game every other week or somesuch, the amount of variability will more likely than not be completely fine. And from there, it will only increase as they add new scenarios and expansions.

Just my 2 cents.

OH quick run down:
Scenario 1: Most variable map
Scenario 2: Challenging but pretty identical every time; you will likely need to play this one multiple times just to beat it (or even know exactly what to do).
Scenario 3: Tactically variable; map seems to stay similar with slight alterations. Experience alters quite a bit based on number of players, but story seems identical every time.
Scenario 4: Idenitcal Map; similar story; randomly selected culprits selected every game. This means every game will involve hunting down clues about which of the 6 suspects are "the bad guys." This means you can't assume anything about the who-dunnit aspect, but you will likely end up knowing where everyone is and where to go to talk to people etc after a couple playthroughs.


All of this is based on less than a dozen paythroughs, so it's entirely possible there are some surprises I haven't come across.
 
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Paul Lodge
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Thank-you so much Reverend & Soakman, your detailed responses are so enlightening & appreciated.

My son has started to play more games, but it is still a struggle to get him to play regularly. He has watched a video on this game, likes it and is willing to pay a little towards the cost, so looks like tomorrow I'm off to my FLGS to purchase!!!
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Justin Colm
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soakman wrote:

OH quick run down:
Scenario 1: Most variable map
Scenario 2: Challenging but pretty identical every time; you will likely need to play this one multiple times just to beat it (or even know exactly what to do).
Scenario 3: Tactically variable; map seems to stay similar with slight alterations. Experience alters quite a bit based on number of players, but story seems identical every time.
Scenario 4: Idenitcal Map; similar story; randomly selected culprits selected every game. This means every game will involve hunting down clues about which of the 6 suspects are "the bad guys." This means you can't assume anything about the who-dunnit aspect, but you will likely end up knowing where everyone is and where to go to talk to people etc after a couple playthroughs.



Quite a nice overview.

I'm interested why a lot of people seemed to have trouble determining objectives for 'Escape from Innsmouth' on a 1st playthrough though? There is one specific event you need to do to be given a full picture of the scenario objective:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Use the radio in the shop


and this should happen early in the game unless players have gone off on some wacky route and totally ignored
Spoiler (click to reveal)
the shop
... which would seem really a really silly thing to do to me. We understood from that point exactly what tasks we had to accomplish and in what order... and there were no surprises to contradict that...

On our 1st game we came very close.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
We gathered all the necessary evidence (for 3 players) and did every other step but ring the bell, which we ran out of time on (the Mob destroyed the dock).
On the second play we completed the investigation 'perfectly'
Spoiler (click to reveal)
(got enough evidence against the Marshes as well as reached the boat)
, albeit it was very close! (as it should be) I'm not sure what people find so difficult about this scenario! It's tight, for sure, even if you know exactly what to do... but certainly not needing endless replays. Are we just unusually bad-ass cool cos I'm not seeing it...
 
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soak man
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High Flying Bird wrote:
soakman wrote:

OH quick run down:
Scenario 1: Most variable map
Scenario 2: Challenging but pretty identical every time; you will likely need to play this one multiple times just to beat it (or even know exactly what to do).
Scenario 3: Tactically variable; map seems to stay similar with slight alterations. Experience alters quite a bit based on number of players, but story seems identical every time.
Scenario 4: Idenitcal Map; similar story; randomly selected culprits selected every game. This means every game will involve hunting down clues about which of the 6 suspects are "the bad guys." This means you can't assume anything about the who-dunnit aspect, but you will likely end up knowing where everyone is and where to go to talk to people etc after a couple playthroughs.



Quite a nice overview.

I'm interested why a lot of people seemed to have trouble determining objectives for 'Escape from Innsmouth' on a 1st playthrough though? There is one specific event you need to do to be given a full picture of the scenario objective:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Use the radio in the shop


and this should happen early in the game unless players have gone off on some wacky route and totally ignored
Spoiler (click to reveal)
the shop
... which would seem really a really silly thing to do to me. We understood from that point exactly what tasks we had to accomplish and in what order... and there were no surprises to contradict that...

On our 1st game we came very close.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
We gathered all the necessary evidence (for 3 players) and did every other step but ring the bell, which we ran out of time on (the Mob destroyed the dock).
On the second play we completed the investigation 'perfectly'
Spoiler (click to reveal)
(got enough evidence against the Marshes as well as reached the boat)
, albeit it was very close! (as it should be) I'm not sure what people find so difficult about this scenario! It's tight, for sure, even if you know exactly what to do... but certainly not needing endless replays. Are we just unusually bad-ass cool cos I'm not seeing it...


I will tell you what happened my first playthrough and maybe it will make more sense.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
We chose Gloria and Yorrick. Yorrick had no weapon and Gloria had wither. We went in actually a little uneasy about the setup (the bus station route was stopped? On account of us? That means they know we're here...) So when the game started and someone banged on our door, I ran as Goria, and Yorrick decided to follow because I had the only means to attack. After going out the back, we passed the shop as it needed a password and proceeded out the back into the alley and began looking at the boats to try to find a way out aboard a ship, or perhaps some clues to the Marsh mystery among the beach.

Then the riot started coming around the board (we didn't realize it wouldn't go indoors) and the monster inside the hotel still had no luck getting through the room door, so as we were exploring the beach, "toward" was actually out the side alley and around the hotel, so it left and went that way. Meanwhile, the riot met up with it and when Gloria finally hit it with shriveling while running back into the hotel, it died and left the Cult sigil in the alley. I had no idea the sigil was going to be the clue to getting into Henderson's or that Henderson's would be so important. Oh, and the alley where the sigil dropped was on fire because of random riot horror checks while we were being chased by it.

Having found the key to the detectives room while on the beach, we then proceeded to explore that, but were firebombed by the riot as a priest of Dagon came out of the riot followed by something else, and being wounded, stuck in a flaming hotel, with no cult sigil unique item, we died a sad gruesome fiery death.


See, it's not THAT unlikely. In fact, it seems like all you have to do to get a little stranded is
Spoiler (click to reveal)
NOT kill the deep-one hybrid that is banging on your hotel door.


 
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ParisianDreams
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High Flying Bird wrote:
soakman wrote:

OH quick run down:
Scenario 1: Most variable map
Scenario 2: Challenging but pretty identical every time; you will likely need to play this one multiple times just to beat it (or even know exactly what to do).
Scenario 3: Tactically variable; map seems to stay similar with slight alterations. Experience alters quite a bit based on number of players, but story seems identical every time.
Scenario 4: Idenitcal Map; similar story; randomly selected culprits selected every game. This means every game will involve hunting down clues about which of the 6 suspects are "the bad guys." This means you can't assume anything about the who-dunnit aspect, but you will likely end up knowing where everyone is and where to go to talk to people etc after a couple playthroughs.



Quite a nice overview.

I'm interested why a lot of people seemed to have trouble determining objectives for 'Escape from Innsmouth' on a 1st playthrough though? There is one specific event you need to do to be given a full picture of the scenario objective:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Use the radio in the shop


and this should happen early in the game unless players have gone off on some wacky route and totally ignored
Spoiler (click to reveal)
the shop
... which would seem really a really silly thing to do to me. We understood from that point exactly what tasks we had to accomplish and in what order... and there were no surprises to contradict that...

On our 1st game we came very close.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
We gathered all the necessary evidence (for 3 players) and did every other step but ring the bell, which we ran out of time on (the Mob destroyed the dock).
On the second play we completed the investigation 'perfectly'
Spoiler (click to reveal)
(got enough evidence against the Marshes as well as reached the boat)
, albeit it was very close! (as it should be) I'm not sure what people find so difficult about this scenario! It's tight, for sure, even if you know exactly what to do... but certainly not needing endless replays. Are we just unusually bad-ass cool cos I'm not seeing it...


First play through we;

Spoiler (click to reveal)
barricade the door and then went out through the bathroom secret passage and proceeded to gather evidence on the Marsh Family as we went. So we totally missed the shop as we did not split up and did not even reveal/explore the shop until later.

Second playthrough we went there first and while it wanted a pw, we just used strength to break it down.


So I do not think it was silly at all. We simply chose to go in the same direction away from the monster knocking at the door. It was a 2P game, maybe if it was more players we would have split up more?
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ParisianDreams
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Oh and I've played it 3xs now, once solo and twice with 2P and enjoyed it all 3xs and look forward to playing it again.
 
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Pat Mccrotch
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Be careful. While 2e does support differing tile layouts, monster spawns, and some different conclusion screen text, 2e doesn't have the multiple storylines per scenario that 1e did. If you play a scenario in 2e, you know it, because clues are tied to certain rooms. So on second playthrough, once you hit that room you'll get your clues and you know where to take them, same as last time. There is one scenario that asks you to chose two culprits, and they can be different, yet the scenario always finishes the same way. That's as divergent as the storylines get in 2e, that one scenario, and it's the 4-6 hour one.

Strange that the app isn't being used to offer a greater variety as this is something everyone expected (since it was done in 1e), it should be simple using the app. Perhaps there is some plan to release scenarios with varying stories but there's been no public announcement at all We have to assume the game released is the way it was meant to be.

This talk of 'emergent' gameplay and how it leads to replayability is puzzling because presumably these players already know in 1e you got 15 possible different plays, yet in 2e you get 4-6 (6 is really a generous estimation as that scenario finishes the same way, as stated). You get 'emergent' gameplay and replayability in 2e, the same way you get it in arkham horror or even settlers of catan. It seems an odd way to frame things.

There seems to be an effort to hide the fact that 2e has no different endings. Both here and on the FF boards, fans or employees (not sure which) keep talking around the subject when asked point blank about divergent stories/clues within scenarios. They act as if they've misunderstood the question and point to the differing tile layouts, monster spawns, and differing ending text as if it's a different investigation... when it clearly isn't.

I'm not saying everyone's lying but it's puzzling. Perhaps some are people trying to deal with buyer's remorse or the fact that 1e divergent storylines are dead, thus they paid $100 for a handful of plays. Maybe they are trying to look on the bright side?

People deserve to know what they're buying though.
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Freelance Police
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With 1e, you had one board layout per scenario and three different story lines, each which had some variance in the story. With 2e, you have one board layout per scenario and one story line, with some variance in the story. You can even sorta play (cheat!) your way through the app without the boardgame, sorta like how you can flip back and forth through a CYOA book.

Hopefully, FFG will release more scenarios for further play. Unlike certain other games, you have more than 30 days to buy a copy! goo
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Pat Mccrotch
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Sam and Max wrote:
With 1e, you had one board layout per scenario and three different story lines, each which had some variance in the story. With 2e, you have one board layout per scenario and one story line, with some variance in the story. You can even sorta play (cheat!) your way through the app without the boardgame, sorta like how you can flip back and forth through a CYOA book.

Hopefully, FFG will release more scenarios for further play. Unlike certain other games, you have more than 30 days to buy a copy! goo


Or hopefully they'll add more storylines to the scenarios so there's more reason to play them again. It's probably a lot easier to write different conclusions, different clues, and a modified intro than it is to write whole new scenarios. But if we get basically one play per scenario they need to churn them out. 1e had 15 (5 scenarios, 3 stories each) in the base game!
 
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Scott Cantor
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lovecraftgeek wrote:

This talk of 'emergent' gameplay and how it leads to replayability is puzzling because presumably these players already know in 1e you got 15 possible different plays, yet in 2e you get 4-6 (6 is really a generous estimation as that scenario finishes the same way, as stated). You get 'emergent' gameplay and replayability in 2e, the same way you get it in arkham horror or even settlers of catan. It seems an odd way to frame things.


Some of these players think the 1e "variability" in the 5 scenarios is vastly overstated and that the emergent gameplay *is* replayability, just as in Arkham, and that it isn't at all an odd way to frame things.

Food for thought.
 
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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Sam and Max wrote:
With 2e, you have one board layout per scenario and one story line, with some variance in the story.


I have only played the first scenario so far, but I have had two very different tile layouts.
 
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Matthew Watson
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lovecraftgeek wrote:
fans or employees (not sure which)


None of us are who we claim to be. Trust no-one. Be afraid. Soon, we will unmask and say to you "We all have laid aside disguise but you."
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soak man
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More Mellotron wrote:
lovecraftgeek wrote:

This talk of 'emergent' gameplay and how it leads to replayability is puzzling because presumably these players already know in 1e you got 15 possible different plays, yet in 2e you get 4-6 (6 is really a generous estimation as that scenario finishes the same way, as stated). You get 'emergent' gameplay and replayability in 2e, the same way you get it in arkham horror or even settlers of catan. It seems an odd way to frame things.


Some of these players think the 1e "variability" in the 5 scenarios is vastly overstated and that the emergent gameplay *is* replayability, just as in Arkham, and that it isn't at all an odd way to frame things.

Food for thought.


Or maybe we're just all rationalizing how much we like the game because, clearly, we don't have better things to do with our time? shake

And having made my own 1E scenario, the "multiple" stories were both resistant to immersive story-telling and filled with generic plots by the nature that you had MULTIPLE story choices for each game (so EACH clue could be part of each story and therefore was independent OF that story). This meant that each clue HAD to be able to be shoe-horned into each scenario or it wouldn't make sense. What's that? You found a demonic stuffed toy in the playroom? What happened to the demonic kid? OH wait, that's objective 1C not 1A... The narrative here is much more compelling the investigation process is a lot more organic. There are no more "a shadow passed in front of the window!"... Oh, gee, I guess we have to go to the lounge since it has an outward facing window...

Seriously, some people play games for the experience, not the ending. And the experience between plays even within the same scenario can be both different and enjoyable. I mean, if you're going to only play solo, and always play it exactly the same way, always making the same choices, then no, it's not replayable... the same way most games are not "replayable." People love Cluedo, yet you always know where all the rooms are, who the suspects are, that someone died, and which weapons could have done it.

What we're getting at (those who enjoy multiple plays) is that WE still have fun playing the same scenarios. This will be true for me so long as I don't beat my face into the the same scenario over and over and over again.

I don't think any of our previous responses have tried to hide the fact that the story more often than not does not change.
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mortego

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In my opinion I think each of us has a different definition of replayability so for one person MoM2e's scenario Cycle of Eternity may feel exactly the same each time they play it even if they use different characters so to them that's pretty much the same play through and for another even the small difference of a tile being placed in a different spot than the last game might make the game, to them (actually, me), an entirely different game.

This game is my second Best Buy this year!
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M M
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After a few plays of this of the couple of scenarios and reading what other people are saying, I'm pretty disappointed in this. The first couple of things I skimmed about it talked about stuff being randomized but looks not nearly as much as I would have hoped.

At a certain level some of it is necessary the way they do it. If you want a consistent and overarching story and narrative you have to have things in place for this character and that character and that item. And maybe for some sort of balance you want to spread some things out. But there's still other ways to get around this.

First, you can just drop a strong overall narrative. In AH and EH your goal is basically just close gates. But you get variance in where the gates show up and what the mythos phase produces and other things. You could do the same thing here with maybe something else subbed in for closing gates. Cultist rituals or something. Same with something like Betrayal on House of the Hill. The map gets randomly generates every time. And then you get a theme in the middle.

Second, you can open up the app to user-created scenarios. And let everybody else do your work for you. If the app creation was simple enough, you'd probably get a ton.

For now, I'm kinda disappointed.
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Dean Love
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Mat628 wrote:

First, you can just drop a strong overall narrative. In AH and EH your goal is basically just close gates. But you get variance in where the gates show up and what the mythos phase produces and other things. You could do the same thing here with maybe something else subbed in for closing gates. Cultist rituals or something.


Well that's sort of the point - EH and AH already do that. MoM is meant to be a more narrative led experience.
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