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Mansions of Madness: Second Edition» Forums » General

Subject: Insane - what were they thinking? rss

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Andrew Walmsley
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I'm actually quite surprised how much I believe Fantasy Flight missed the ball on this one feature. I find the insane mechanic very poor and it's frustrating that there's no official alternative.

Me and a friend are going to play though this and we are very much looking forward to experiencing the twists, turns and working cooperatively to complete each of the scenarios. Unless I'm out of touch with the majority here the enjoyment of this game comes from the story, not knowing what's coming next and experiencing all that unfolds over the 2-6 hour session. Why then, would you put in a mechanic that's main goal is to inhibit and wreck the very reason a lot of us enjoy playing it and see as it's biggest strength?

I can just imagine playing the long scenario with a friend, 5 hours in and coming down to the last 45 minute finale when he stops me suddenly:
"Erm, sorry, I've won"
"What's that mate?"
"I've won. this card says that if I'm standing there with that...err... I win"
"Oh. Right. Erm... well done?"
"Ah...thanks. So, who was the culprit?"
"I... I don't know mate"
"Hmm. Oh well, I won I suppose [looks disappointingly at the board]...yay. Guess I better go then"
"Yup. Soooo, we'll just do that 5 hours again next time then yeah?"
"Erm, yeah, sure. Go team... Yay"

Just feels like FF have completely missed the point of the strength of their game. It's like being stopped half way through doing a crossword "you've won, you can stop now, don't need to do the rest!", "But I was enjoying it, can I just finish th.." "No, you've won, put it down, fun over!". Or playing a friend at tennis and getting told with 25mins left to play to stop immediately as you've hit the instant win part of the net. Yes, because that's satisfying isn't it.

Now I understand that some of you will like this mechanic, and all power to you, no problem. And note that I absolutely love the traitor mechanic in other games, it is one of my favorite. However to not have an official variant where players can, you know, continue having fun, just seems... insane? At the very least make it something they aren't doing voluntarily, so the player is still trying to help but there's a risk involved. It's actually a huge missed opportunity as this would have made it even better. Discussing this with the other player(s) would actually increase the tense decisions made, adding in more tactics and suspense. You'd even get the extra camaraderie in the game: "I know you're not quite right in the head but I'm not leaving you behind buddy, we can still make this!".

What I find even more bizarre is that I thought one of the biggest reasons for the app was so that everyone could work together on the same side. Just seems really odd...

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Donny Behne
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There are only one or two of them that outright end the game early. Most simply change the win condition of the person who has it. They continue playing but usually have other things to juggle in the process. See below for more details.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Pyromania and One of a Thousand are the only two that outright end the game when a specific condition is met. Crisis of Conscience may lead the person to inhibit the investigation, since they only win if the game ends and it doesn't complete, but it does not end the game prematurely as the other two do.


My recommendation is to take out the ones that end the game early. That still leaves plenty of insane conditions to flavor your game but not "ruin" it as you describe.
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Schu Bo
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kelann08 wrote:
There are only one or two of them that outright end the game early. Most simply change the win condition of the person who has it. They continue playing but usually have other things to juggle in the process. See below for more details.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Pyromania and One of a Thousand are the only two that outright end the game when a specific condition is met. Crisis of Conscience may lead the person to inhibit the investigation, since they only win if the game ends and it doesn't complete, but it does not end the game prematurely as the other two do.


My recommendation is to take out the ones that end the game early. That still leaves plenty of insane conditions to flavor your game but not "ruin" it as you describe.


That's what I did. Just took out the ones I don't like.
 
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Joshua Delahunty
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Out of all the games that have a betrayer mechanic, this is one of the few where that mechanic really seems truly thematic to me.

It puts the pressure on all players to help prevent insanity for every player, as opposed to "you're on your own there," and so incentivizes even closer cooperation along a mechanical thread.

Finally, as others point out, co-op games are about how the players enjoy the game as a group, and if you don't like the mechanics of those cards (as a group), they can be removed from play. The app doesn't keep track.

My 2c.
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Elijah
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I agree with you.

I think removing the "game deflating" insane cards solves the game-is-now-over aspect, but it doesn't solve the we-were-working-together-but-now-aren't issue.
 
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Erik Miller
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Just to add, the two above-referenced insane conditions AND the other one mentioned only trigger in 3+ investigator games. If you draw them when you are just playing as you and a friend (as referenced), they are discarded and redrawn. Down in the bottom right corner of each insane condition says how many people are required for this condition. Otherwise, it wouldn't be fun to draw any of them in a 2 player game since it is basically impossible to win now.

With 3+ players, even with one person trying to screw with you, it is possible to win AND prevent them from finishing their goal. Additionally, as a side, I find it very plausible and interesting that investigators can go insane from the horrors they see and switch sides. it fights the Lovecraft theme, happens in his stories, and adds an extra element to the game.

In my opinion, removing these cards from the deck actually weakens the insane condition and now makes it "Well, sure, X player might not actually win the game, but we know they aren't trying to actively sabotage us so it's no big deal." There are ways to figure out what condition someone has- if someone goes insane and meets the qualifications of the above referenced card, IE
Spoiler (click to reveal)
has a bladed weapon and really wants to meet someone alone OR starts starting fires

You can figure it out relatively easily and either avoid them or try to remove them from a situation where they will hinder you from willing the game. As stated, I find these very interesting and add a good element of "well crap, do I trust X investigator now?" Removing them takes away one of the core aspects of going insane, namely maybe making you switch sides and take the teeth out of the insane conditions and make them more of a nuisance instead of a potentially game-changing experience. That being said, I can understand the frustration of playing for 3 hours and having someone win the game without figuring out the story, but I love how this happens because it lets me play the stories again and again before I figure it out instead of just making it a simple oh hey one time through we won let's move on kind of game.

Schuey wrote:
kelann08 wrote:
There are only one or two of them that outright end the game early. Most simply change the win condition of the person who has it. They continue playing but usually have other things to juggle in the process. See below for more details.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Pyromania and One of a Thousand are the only two that outright end the game when a specific condition is met. Crisis of Conscience may lead the person to inhibit the investigation, since they only win if the game ends and it doesn't complete, but it does not end the game prematurely as the other two do.


My recommendation is to take out the ones that end the game early. That still leaves plenty of insane conditions to flavor your game but not "ruin" it as you describe.


That's what I did. Just took out the ones I don't like.
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Grey Fox
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Honestly, it's not much different from when a player is eliminated by damage. The game ends right there and then. The only difference is that this way one of you "won".
Instead of the game ending right there, the "dead" player (possibly) starts to try to destroy the investigation. If you can deal with him, congrats to you, if not, well... you lose, as you would have had he simply died.


To be honest, I think the part of the insane player "winning" is merely an incentive for them to actually follow up on what's on the card and not simply ignore it for the good of the party.

Still, as was here previously mentioned, if you don't like the ones that end the game prematurely, remove them.

 
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owen sullivan
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Just take the ones you don't like out. The insane conditions are one of the most Lovecraftian parts of the game. It's literally called Mansion's of Madness, and not the fun weird Willy Wonka kind. It's the mind shattering, dreadful, incomprehensible kind. The madness that makes you want to spare you're friends from its horrible embrace. So you murder them to protect them. To embrace him. ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
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Arthur Peterson
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This is one of the best things about the game. You're insane.
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I dont really think of this game as playing to "win". The entire game is built around preventing that goal. The game doesn't even bother to balance the investigators. I think of it as a story generating RPG. We read each character bio and use that to inform our actions. A character becoming insane is a part of that story, even if it prevents the main goal.
As players, keeping your team sane is an important part of the theme.
There are a lot of ways to make the game easier for your party if winning is where your friends find the enjoyment. Fortunately FFG made it easy to use house rules.
 
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Dean Love
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Then don't let your friends go insane!

Look at it a different way: someone goes insane, you lose. That's the default. That's your "variant" as it were - someone is reduced to zero sanity, then the other investigators have one turn to win or you all lose. And you all stop playing, the game is over.

The insanity cards go "well actually, you've probably all lost, but maybe you haven't, you can keep going but there's a good chance you're all doomed".

They do exactly what you want: they don't end the game prematurely, they give you a chance to play a bit longer, have a final ditch attempt at finishing.

You're making the assumption that they were added to curtail the game length. I think they were put there to extend it.
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Andrew Walmsley
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Just noticed the following quote regarding the Beyond the Threshold Expansion coming early next year, note the part in bold, sounds like us friendly co-op types are going to get our wish after all! We'll just wait until this is released before delving into the mansion.

fantasyflight wrote:
The horrors of Arkham continue to haunt you in Beyond the Threshold, the first expansion to Mansions of Madness Second Edition. Featuring two new investigators, one new monster type, and dozens of cards and tokens, this expansion integrates seamlessly with the existing components and scenarios. These components introduce both new gameplay elements and unique insanity effects for the investigators who were unable to bear the terror. Two brand new scenarios will become available with Beyond the Threshold, leading to countless hours of suspenseful investigation and thrilling terror.

https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/products/mansions-of-m...

Edit: Scrap that, I can see I've misinterpreted it. Drat.
 
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Peter Cobcroft
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It's just a justified as ending the game when a single investigator becomes a casualty.
 
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Andrew Walmsley
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Curufea wrote:
It's just a justified as ending the game when a single investigator becomes a casualty.

Two completely different things really. Has no effect on the co-operative aspect of the game. If anything if somebody gets injured you have to co-operate and work as a team even more.
 
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