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Prior to playing the game for the first time, I knew that I would be the one explaining the game to the other players. Because of this, I wanted to be sure I knew (or kind of knew) what I was doing, so I watched several videos online, in addition to reading the rules. While I love watching instructional and gameplay videos, one thing that they all failed to capture were explicitly describing the rules variations for different numbers of players. This was a bit confusing when the gameplay changed between videos, but was never explained. I guess that's when it's handy to read the rules as well.
The session consisted of 4 players, where one of the 3 mediums was "assisted" by a 7 year old. Believe it or not, this actually worked out for the best.
As expected, almost no one else had really familiarized themselves with the game, so I found myself in the role of explaining the game as well as being the ghost. The biggest problem I found with this was that I ended up managing both sides of the screen, which resulted in a lot of down time before the first vision was revealed each turn, since I kept reminding them of what to clean up, move, etc. In other words, there was no "lead" medium to take care of those things, which would have made it run much more smoothly.
We played the "easy" version, which definitely turned out for the best. One of the largest problems I ran into was the lighting in the area we were gaming. It wasn't as bright as it needed to be (which seems a strange thing to say given the overall setting of the game), and as a result it was very difficult to notice smaller details on the ghost cards when trying to match them with the vision cards. This brought up an interesting conundrum to me. On the one hand, it seemed to make sense that the ghost should be more familiar with all of the cards, in order to match them better. On the other hand, it seems like doing so would detract from some of their enjoyment should they ever play as a medium. I don't know, since I only got to play as the ghost, so I can't say if different ghost players' styles would make up for that.
It was close, with the last medium figuring out the last clue at the 7th hour. Interestingly, it was only because of the 7 year old that they succeeded. All 3 adults misread the vision, but ultimately decided to go with the kid's interpretation. I'm not sure if that means I'm on a 7 year old wavelength or not, but hey, it worked.
Because NO ONE had enough clairvoyance points to see any more than 1 of the final vision cards, I opted to go with the 2 and 3 player variant rule of turning over all the vision cards. This resulted in a 2 to 1 vote, which won them the game.
Overall, all the players had a great time, despite the downtime between each hour while I figured out how to match the new vision cards. It also took a while to get the players to really collaborate with one another, rather than each medium only working on their visions.
I'm looking forward to playing it again, but this time as one of the mediums.
Interesting. I was in the same situation (minus the 7 year old). I house-ruled it out of the gate and didn't even put the clairvoyance track up, and flipped all three of the final vision cards and let them discuss (they failed me anyway). The game is fun enough without the track, especially with new players. Can always add it in when everyone has a better grasp for the flow of it.
Kids trust their instincts a lot more than adults.
I played the game two times as the ghost. One time with 3 other adults and 3 teens (11 - 15 years), the next time only with the teens. We failed miserably the first time. The second time was a whooping success. It was a joy to see how much the children let their intuition guide them while the adults always seem to stumble over their intellect.
Such a fantastic game.