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The 1st time I presented the game to my group, I was the keeper, and I screwed up the game by not being fully aware of all aspects of the scenario.
I have since done more homework, and created a more aware approach to playing the keeper.
We selected to play the Green Eyed Boy, with objective 1A.
I made notes when I setup the game, and kept them in front of me. I was thinking that if I could follow the progression of the clues, know where they are, along with the location of critical necessary items, I could help the story progress and move along in a more fun and engaged manner.
Most of my efforts paid off, and I was able to clarify for the investigators what was happening when they had questions. I did not directly answer them, I responded to their inquiries through the story.
One problem I came across was that I listed the clues on my notes in order of 1,2,3, etc... What I need to do next time is place them in order as they appear in the setup and progression of the scenario, because that is not in numerical order, and the setup actually depicts the progression of the story.
Another thing I forgot about was that the final event card is triggered by the NEXT to last event card, not the last event card. So I was doing good with preparing monsters and such for when the event cards were played, however, I was caught off guard when the next to last event card was played, and it revealed the final objective. I just thought I had 5 or 6 more turns until the objective card would be played. I will need to remember that for the future.
Something that was really frustrating is that the investigators decided to split up. 2 of them went with the clue from the prologue, which sent them in the right direction to find the 1st clue. However, before that actually happened, the other 2 investigators randomly went a different direction, and despite my keeper suggestion, explored a room where they found the primary / necessary item to complete the game. This happened on the 2nd turn. Crazy, huh. So I had to play like it was an evil item, and they were all freaked out about it, but I felt like the story was blown at that point.
By the time I had to reveal the objective card, there were still 3 hidden clues that told the story. So the investigators only uncovered 3 clues, and did not understand the story. I had to fill in as best as I could, but I still missed a few critical connections:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
1. Was the skull the boy's skull, or an item used to turn the boy into a ghost? I think the mom suffocated him with a pillow, but I dont know how the skull plays into the story, other than the investigators turn it into the police.
2. The game refers to "The Witch." As the Keeper, I could continually spawn witches, but I had to remove all witches at the start of the turn. So at times I had multiple witches, however, the story talks about "The Witch." Was the Witch the Green Eyed Boy's mom that killed him?
3. The Butler was obviously involved, however, it doesnt really say how. I guess he was involved in some kind of ritual, as we later appears in a full robe, but it doesnt define his actual involvement, nor does it define his relationship to the boy or the mom or the witch.
4. The story talks about a guy that claims he was not the kids dad or something. Was this referring to the Butler?
I am getting better at playing the Keeper, and everyone said I created a much more enjoyable experience that time than the 1st. However, I am left feeling uneasy when there are so many details which are left out. I feel just a couple more details could have really tied the story together, and created a more coherent story experience which brings sense to the setup and progression of clues.
So the game ended with
Spoiler (click to reveal)
the investigator who had the skull from the 2nd turn standing just 3 spaces away from the front door, and no monsters in the area. When the objective card was played and announced, it was so anti-clamatic. Everyone had worked so hard to run around, find clues, complete puzzles, open locks, fight and evade monsters, etc... only to realize that they had 6 turns to move 3 spaces and get out the front door. I even tried to spawn witches right at the end, but they werent even worried about it because the witches couldnt do anything at that point to prevent the character from moving 3 spaces in 6 turns, so people were like cleaning up and getting ready to leave as soon as the card was read, and they realized how close that player with the skull was to the front door.
I hope I can continue to improve my ability to play the keeper. I will have to be sure that I over-prepare, and fill in the left out details in order to make the story make sense, and flow well. I am also thinking about doing something to prevent players in the first couple of turns from stumbling upon the primary item needed to complete the game.
You mean that you, as the Keeper, told the Investigators "Don't go in there, it's a really bad idea, I swear! Oh, you went in there and found that thing? Um, you should probably put that thing down, it's totally evil and probably not important", and they somehow didn't believe you? I really can't imagine how that cunning plan might have failed; it seems so foolproof.
What you should have done was this: activate Uncontrollable Urges once to force them to use that item's effect, and they'll drop it of their own accord next turn to stop you from doing that over and over again. Or play Loss of Will on the Investigator holding that item to turn them to your side. Either works. Or even if they do keep the item, they can't use it yet and don't know that it's important (unless you really badly try to persuade them to drop it and inadvertently give away its importance), so the game is far from over. Look at it from a thematic perspective: it doesn't matter if the heroes find the key item lying around early on if they've no idea that it is the key item or what it is used for or how to use it or why it is so important. To them, it's just another thing they've found lying around until they find further evidence to tell them otherwise.
That is an unfortunately anticlimactic endgame, though, and is exactly why I hate "escape the house" Objectives that don't require the Investigators to have found Clue 1 before escaping. They're far too often decided by who is standing near the front door when Event 4 resolves, and don't make for a satisfying story - it leaves the Investigators feeling like they didn't accomplish anything and there was no point in them showing up.
Chris J Davis
Overtext pending moderation...
In my opinion, Green-Eyed Boy has the least coherent story out of the five base game scenarios (and probably the expansion scenarios as well, though I'm not as familiar with those). I've always taken it that...
Spoiler (click to reveal)
...the skull is the kid's skull...
...but the rest is pretty random and isn't explained at all, including why one of the investigators might suddenly turn traitor.
In my opinion, Green-Eyed Boy has the least coherent story out of the five base game scenarios (and probably the expansion scenarios as well, though I'm not as familiar with those).
Indeed. It's because MoM's structure of having each scenario have three Objectives is like writing three different plays in which their respective Acts 1 and 2 are identical. This is easiest to do coherently if the plays' respective Acts 3 are at least very similar, and that's how most scenarios do it. For example, in the Inner Sanctum, the monastery is always inhabited by an evil cult that is preparing to conduct a dark ceremony tonight and must be stopped; the exact details of that ceremony's process and goal vary, but the basic setup is the same.
The Green-Eyed Boy, on the other hand, has no such common thread linking its stories. The nature of the house, the Investigators, the eponymous boy himself, the witch, the butler, the traitor? All completely different depending on the Objective, and some of them don't even fit into some Objectives at all. The result is that only very vague pointless things happen before the Objective is revealed, and even then the game has very little text in which to explain itself and can't possibly explain all of the inconsistencies. It doesn't help that the Investigators don't even show up with a goal in mind; they arrive due to a car crash, which just makes the adventure even more aimless. Instead of being about something, the Green-Eyed Boy favors a very generic approach to be about three different things and falls flat on its face.
The only other story that comes anywhere close to that level of incoherence is Lost in Time and Space, as a result of nothing about any of the time periods actually manifesting in-game, and even after the epilogue for your Objective is read the events of the other two time periods are still completely unexplained.