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Mansions of Madness» Forums » Variants

Subject: Hidden room features rss

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Terry Thompson
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I was batting around the idea of hidden room features for scenarios and made up some exploration cards to test it out. You may want to weigh this with how strong your investigator players are vs. the keeper's way of playing.

As you know, way the standard game is played; barriers, hiding places, and ladders are placed on the board during set-up. But with this variant, the keeper instead places an exploration card of the type required in the room. The board stays more clear, but investigators stumble upon them when they explore the rooms. The card is revealed and basically says "Put a barrier token in this room and discard this card".

This is a small problem for hiding places and barriers. You can't use them unless you're in the room anyhow, but technically in the base game rules, you can use both before you actually explore the room. In this variant you wouldn't know the barrier/ladder/hiding place is there until you searched (favoring the keeper).


For altars,this could be more of an issue, because keepers are often playing with sample tokens, which does not require an investigator to be anywhere near it (or discover it) for the monsters to interact with it. But depending on the keeper's strategy, I can see it working very well to have hidden altars, for instance, in Fall of House Lynch.

There is a word document in the files section with the version of the cards I created. Put a bit of thought into it before incorporating them into your own games.
-Terry
 
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Roberta Yang
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I think thematically the reason you don't have to explore to use barriers is that it's a lot easier to spot a giant bookcase sitting against the wall than it is to find a grimoire buried in a desk drawer. The latter takes actual effort to search for, whereas the former would be seen automatically the moment you step into the room.

In my experience, barriers and hiding spaces are often relatively weak options that aren't usually worth the effort it takes to perform them; requiring an explore action on top of the normal cost would make them even weaker. Exploration cards like this would be fine if those exploration card slots would otherwise go to Nothing of Interest cards, but I wouldn't use them in place of regular items. (Call of the Wild actually does do something similar to "explore to find barriers" - instead of placing a barrier token directly, you receive a 2x4, which can be used as a weak weapon or spent as an action to place a barrier against a door.)

For ladders it makes sense, and indeed already exists in the Inner Sanctum and Blood Ties.
 
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Terry Thompson
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Very good points.

I wouldn't replace other exploration items with them. They would simply be added on top. I guess I don't see a problem with adding an additional card in a room because I use exploration tokens and a pocketed sheet to hold the cards for each room. So investigators don't see locks, obstacles or a quantity of exploration cards. Just a token representing the stack of cards, until they perform a search.

It's not like you have to use an action for each item in a room that you're searching. So they're not wasting a search. A search action reveals all cards in the room. Yet investigators will waste a search if the only card is a "nothing of intrest" or two, regardless of a barrier or obstacle being there.

By placing the cards on top of the normal seeding, obstacles and locks wouldn't even be an issue. Because the room feature would be resolved before the obstacle or lock. (Investigator looks through the keyhole and sees a book case in this locked room?)

Once again, I have to agree that the ladder and altar cards are very limited in their use as hidden objects, but I have thought they wold work depending on how you were running a couple of the scenarios.
-Terry
 
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Chris J Davis
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firespiter wrote:


By placing the cards on top of the normal seeding, obstacles and locks wouldn't even be an issue. Because the room feature would be resolved before the obstacle or lock. (Investigator looks through the keyhole and sees a book case in this locked room?)



You wouldn't be able to place an exploration card on top of a lock card, as this would cause problems in the sense that the players wouldn't be able to see that the rooms was locked until after they'd already entered it and explored it!
 
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Terry Thompson
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That was my point about the "looking through the keyhole".

Hypothetically, a player moves his investigator into a room. The cards are placed in front of him/her face down, the first is flipped-over and revealed to be a room feature that says "place a maker in this room and discard this card".
The next card is a lock. So the player moves their investigator back out of the room upon seeing the lock, and flips it over to see if they can resolve it - thereby finishing their move into the room (if successful).

Since we use exploration tokens, none of the rooms are foreseen as being locked. They have to enter the room to actually see the top card lock or not. It's a mechanics issue with using exploration tokens even if there isn't a feature exploration card on top.
-Terry
 
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Chris J Davis
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firespiter wrote:
That was my point about the "looking through the keyhole".

Hypothetically, a player moves his investigator into a room. The cards are placed in front of him/her face down, the first is flipped-over and revealed to be a room feature that says "place a maker in this room and discard this card".
The next card is a lock. So the player moves their investigator back out of the room upon seeing the lock, and flips it over to see if they can resolve it - thereby finishing their move into the room (if successful).

Since we use exploration tokens, none of the rooms are foreseen as being locked. They have to enter the room to actually see the top card lock or not. It's a mechanics issue with using exploration tokens even if there isn't a feature exploration card on top.
-Terry


But the investigator has to choose to perform an Explore action in order to start flipping the cards over, so this wouldn't work.

EDIT: It would actually work providing you make the "feature" cards as Lock cards, not Exploration cards.
 
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177ark
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If I recall, doesn't the Magician have an ability that works with the trunks? How might that be affected by not knowing where the trunks are?
 
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Terry Thompson
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Yes. Dexter Drake. Good question.
His special skill is a non-issue. It's a one-shot teleport from a place he is hiding (where a trunk he is actually hiding in) to another fully explored space.

Since all scenarios have an exploration, lock or obstacle in every space at the start of the game, the room he teleports to must have been searched first, regardless.
Note, his card doesn't say teleport from Hiding space to another hiding space. It says ANY cleared room:

"Once per game, while you are hiding, you may spend both of your movement steps to move to any space in ANY room that contains no Exploration, Lock, or Obstacle cards.

Basically, any room that has been searched successfully and any obstacles or locks resolved.
-Terry
 
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Terry Thompson
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Thanks Chris,
Okay. I see the boat in the picture now! In the instance someone moves into a room that hasn't been explored or tries to pass through it.

Using exploration tokens, you're constantly checking the stacks of cards to make sure the investigators aren't just running through the mansion, So it didn't even occur to me that a lock back is a much better idea. As you say it would trigger from an investigator's move attempt just from movement without even using a search action.

I'm geek golding you for that one.
-Terry
 
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Chris J Davis
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firespiter wrote:
Thanks Chris,
Okay. I see the boat in the picture now! In the instance someone moves into a room that hasn't been explored or tries to pass through it.

Using exploration tokens, you're constantly checking the stacks of cards to make sure the investigators aren't just running through the mansion, So it didn't even occur to me that a lock back is a much better idea. As you say it would trigger from an investigator's move attempt just from movement without even using a search action.

I'm geek golding you for that one.
-Terry


And as a Lock, you don't need to put the feature card on top. You can have the "real" Lock on top, then the next Lock underneath to be the feature card.
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