Side-Stepping Suspension of Disbelief in Gloomhaven
Gary Olsen
United States
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"Everything you can imagine is real." [Pablo Picasso]
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"Maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it ought to be." [Miguel de Cervantes in Man of La Mancha]
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I'm a glutton for Story, so immersion in the world and the characters is a key part of why I love Gloomhaven.

Of course, the need for practicality means that real-world physics can't always be translated. The simplest example is how movement and range propagate outward in a hexagon rather than a circle. And that's fine. It's irrelevant over small distances, and as for the rest? We suspend our disbelief and move on.

But my question to you is, have you ever found a creative way to avoid having to suspend disbelief? Are there rules that seemed not to make sense at first, but you looked at them differently and suddenly everything snapped into place?

I love using these interpretations when telling the story of what's happening in battle. Please add yours below! We should all have a richer experience as a result.

(As always, no spoilers please. Try to stick with general cases, and censor yourself liberally with spoiler tags.)
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1. Board Game: Loot [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:1680]
Ben Kyo
Japan
Osaka
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Forward 1, Forward 2, Forward 3... siege attack 5?
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Why for this life there's no man smart enough, life's too short for learning every trick and bluff.
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End-of-scenario looting:

You can't do it, why not?

Two-part answer:

1: The "coins" don't represent money. Hounds, bears, and snakes aren't carrying coin pouches. The coins represent anything and everything in the environment that could potentially be sold for money. Skins, teeth, jewellery, scalps, equipment...

2: Anything your characters didn't pick up, they didn't notice, or didn't want to carry, or considered too spoiled to pick up, or didn't know of a suitable fence to sell it too, or...

Essentially, the abstract representation of money that we see in the game is not what your characters (fail to) see.
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2. Board Game: Gloomhaven [Average Rating:8.94 Overall Rank:1]
Gary Olsen
United States
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"Everything you can imagine is real." [Pablo Picasso]
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"Maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it ought to be." [Miguel de Cervantes in Man of La Mancha]
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JUMPING
by gtolsen & mhl7

A character can Jump over all enemies and obstacles. Should you really be allowed to jump over a large flying enemy? And columns are obstacles. How are you going to jump over a floor-to-ceiling column???

Solution: The ability to Jump includes other acrobatic or physically strenuous movements too -- such as sliding beneath a flying enemy or clambering over its back, or climbing and/or doing a parkour-style leap off a column.
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3. Board Game: Gloomhaven [Average Rating:8.94 Overall Rank:1]
Gary Olsen
United States
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"Everything you can imagine is real." [Pablo Picasso]
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"Maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it ought to be." [Miguel de Cervantes in Man of La Mancha]
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INVISIBILITY
by gtolsen

Invisible characters are treated as obstacles, so a supposedly unseeing enemy will still Jump over them, even if that character moved into their current position while invisible. And some monsters might have a good sense of hearing or smell, so how does that wrap in?

Solution: Invisibility is a mental effect. Enemies do perceive the “invisible” character, but their minds classify them as an unimportant part of the environment.


EDIT: There was originally a second solution: "Invisibility is proof against all relevant senses, and an enemy doesn't really jump over an invisible character. Instead, that character edges aside, allowing them to pass." However, this doesn't explain why an enemy without Jump will be forced to go around an invisible character, so has been rejected.
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4. Board Game: Falling Coin [Average Rating:5.24 Overall Rank:14231]
Scott Wheelock
Canada
Woodstock
New Brunswick
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David Malki drew this!
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APRÈS-MISSION LOOTING

People really have trouble with the fact that you don’t get to loot all the leftover coins after a mission. Not me! I know why.

The coins in the world of Gloomhaven are really, really tiny!

That’s why you can find them if you’re right on top of them, and you can find them if you devote a whole action to looking for them, but after the mission, there’s just no chance. You’ve just lost track of them. They’re buried in sand, or between paving stones, or maybe a mouse took them to use as buttons on his clever little waistcoat.

It’s also why there’s no rules about how many coins you can carry before you get tired, or have to hire a Glüber to get back to the city. No coin purse items, either.

Tiny coins!

Edit: Ben was faster! He obviously wasn’t typing on a phone, or using his toes, like me.
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5. Board Game: Gloomhaven [Average Rating:8.94 Overall Rank:1]
Gary Olsen
United States
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"Everything you can imagine is real." [Pablo Picasso]
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"Maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it ought to be." [Miguel de Cervantes in Man of La Mancha]
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PROHIBITED DIRECT SALES
by kzinti, gtolsen, masterzora, Benkyo, & mhl7

One character loots a treasure chest and gets an item they have no use for, but would be great for their colleague. They're forced to sell it to a shop for X, and then their colleague must buy it for 2X. Wouldn't a couple mercenaries agree on direct sale for a price that falls in between? Both would benefit.

Solution 1: You're not your run-of-the-mill party of cutthroats and vagabonds, and you want to make sure you stay that way. To prevent misunderstandings that might end in bloodshed -- or that, at the very least would break up the band -- you've established a set of rules. A couple are: 1) You find it, it's yours, and 2) No business deals among Party members.

Solution 2: You want to cut out the middle man? Are you crazy?!? You thought these were just some Mom-and-Pop shops out here? Hah! There's a hugely powerful Merchant's Guild. Think organized crime, but scary. If they find out they didn't get their cut, not only will you never get to buy or sell anything ever in Gloomhaven again, but you'll be lucky to survive the night!

Solution 3: That so-called "treasure" you found looks like junk, corroded and dull, but you pick it up since it might be worth a few gold. You sell it to a merchant and everyone thinks you were lucky to get what you did. But the merchant thinks there's some hidden value there, so he pays a blacksmith friend to restore the piece. Suddenly it's looking mighty fine, and it turns out it has a magical ability, too. Your colleague sees the result and just has to have it, so pays the merchant exactly what it's worth.

(Edit added Solution 3 by Benkyo & mhl7.)
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6. Board Game: Gloomhaven [Average Rating:8.94 Overall Rank:1]
Stephen Davis
United States
Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania
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Lucky 13, GASP
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Fiendish Furarri Fought Frightening Foes Flanking From The Fearsome Fog; But Now Furarri F'taghn.
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Grand Unifying Theory

I'm starting to think of everything - every ability, condition, and effect - as having a source from a blessing or curse. It seems any thought can manifest into reality in the world of Gloomhaven, or Kingkiller-esque sygaldry draws power from its owner, or spirits litter the world and take residence in physical objects that call to their nature. However you think of it, the real battle is a battle of will.

Exhaustion
Q: Why can't I keep fighting - I have HP left!
Q: Why can't we camp here, nap, eat, practice first aid, meditate, etc. before seeing what's behind door #3?
A: Exhaustion is far less physical exertion in the world of Gloomhaven than it is a mental battery running out. When that kind of power exists around you - the power to convert mental energy into physical results - the mind is dreadfully taxed in combat situations. It's a bit like the shield on your Enterprise going down and you are afraid your warp core will get beamed out. When your mental focus is gone, your survival instincts command you to take the flight response and get out. GET OUT NOW, YOU ARE ALREADY DEAD, MOVE MOVE MOVE!

Items
Q: Why does a poison dagger work with a Frost Nova?
Q: Why do potions refresh after a scenario is over?
Q: Why does my armor not work after just a couple hits?
Q: Why are there such limited supplies (only two pieces of leather armor in the whole city???) and why can't I equip two poison daggers?
A: Negative item effects are curses. Potion bottles are blessed, but require all of your focus to replenish. Blows curse armor to sunder; luckily, some armor is blessed to withstand the curses, but can only withstand so much before the curses render it useless. The blessing will regenerate when the strength of will of its wearer can focus to reestablish the blessings. The blessings are hard to imbue and Gloomhaven has more demand than supply. Having two of the same curse would just be redundant - they each need your mental energy to apply the same effect.

Retaliate
Q: How do monsters and characters whose only way to retaliate is with a physical attack actually retaliate since it isn't a physical attack in game terms?
A: Retaliate is a curse.
 
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7. Board Game: Gloomhaven [Average Rating:8.94 Overall Rank:1]
Vic R
Spain
Tomares (Seville)
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Pure mathematics is the world's best game. It is more absorbing than chess, more of a gamble than poker, and lasts longer than Monopoly. It's free. It can be played anywhere - Archimedes did it in a bathtub
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Q Why I can only use potion once but then again in the next dungeon?

Because the expensive thing is not the liquid, but the recipient!. The recipient have a magical glyph which turns water into magical when you store in it for 8h. So before going to adventure your prepare/refill your potions the night before. The "one use" potions became otdated and out bussiness when this kind of magical glyph were discovered.

Q Why we can lose and not die?
Q Why there are not road events in the way back?
Q Why cant we loot after the battle is over?

Before going to adventures it is usual to launch upon yourself a "recall" spell which teleport you back to gloomhaven temple when things go bad. The only drawback is that the spell is not conciously controlled but just driven by your adrenaline/heart rate level. So as long as you are ready and prepared to battle and have a bit above normal level of adrenaline the spell stay at bay, but as soon as the heart rate is critically low (or adrenaline too high) the spell take effect and teleport the user back to the safety of gloomhaven temple (thats the reason the mini disappear from the mapboard). Similarly the exhausted effect means that adrenaline got too much of you and you got teleported back to gloomhaven.

But why you cant loot anything when the fight is over? Well when the fight is over you cant avoid to relax too much and the spell take effect, so is like a glitch/side effect. Nobody like that but if you want to be a mercenary a be alive in the long run is better to play safe and use the spell.

You could go without the spell but is safer that way (ie if you play with permadeath, I will allow to loot after the fight)
 
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