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Mansions of Madness» Forums » General

Subject: Whats the point of sanity? rss

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So many sanity trauma cards just lead to more sanity loss. They don't seem to do much at hindering the player's movements, fight or exploration.

Of the sanity trauma cards with with actual requirements (there are 6 of them), 2 of them make you lose more sanity...thats 1/3 of them!.

Must have 0 sanity: 2x attack own ally, 1x kill self
Must have 4 or less sanity: 1x discard all skill tokens, 2x do some sort of check to lose more sanity

 
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I would say the main point of Sanity is thematic. In Lovecraft's stories insanity is a common theme, if characters aren't killed outright by an Elder being then they are driven insane by the encounter. In some cases it can be seen as a fate worse than death, was it worth surviving if you've lost grip on reality, is it still a victory.

As for game play... It would really depend on what the Keeps Objective is and can those sanity trauma cards help you achieve it. Sometime they do sometimes they don't and sometimes it all depends on how you use them. Likewise though, with the "Choose a New Investigator" rule you can also say what's the point of health! It all depends on your objective.

Sanity also balances out an investigator's health. So if they have high health, than their sanity is low, and vice versa. which gives them a weak point to focus on. In one game a player picked his Investigators on highest health, it so happens that I had the "kill self" trauma card. I wore down the one with the lowest sanity and killed them with that card. He was running scared through the rest of the game worrying about his sanity, and all future games.
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Roberta Yang
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Mechanically the effect of sanity is really badly-implemented. As you note, insanity isn't punished very heavily. A lot of the strongest mental trauma effects (e.g. Panic) work at any level of sanity, and several effects like Uncontrollable Urges that thematically seem related to madness don't discriminate based on sanity at all.
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Nicola Zee
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Fatesadvent wrote:
So many sanity trauma cards just lead to more sanity loss. They don't seem to do much at hindering the player's movements, fight or exploration.

Of the sanity trauma cards with with actual requirements (there are 6 of them), 2 of them make you lose more sanity...thats 1/3 of them!.

Must have 0 sanity: 2x attack own ally, 1x kill self
Must have 4 or less sanity: 1x discard all skill tokens, 2x do some sort of check to lose more sanity


Yes - all good points.
But once an investigator is insane things change. The keeper can play a mental trauma each turn as a keeper action - which can be devastating to the party.
So, if you're the keeper it's often useful to focus on driving one investigator insane - rather than spreading the effect.
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I think midway through my first play through, it was easy to explain if you lose all your health, you die. My friends kept asking me what happens if you lose sanity, I said you're more vulnerable to trauma cards. It basically never came up and eventually we just stopped wasting time doing horror checks.

Stronger trauma cards are needed, or better integration with keeper cards or just outright penalties (random example, keeper can move you for one of your movements).

Do the expansions (esp. Call of the Wild) improve on this?

@Nicola. You can only play mental trauma cards on a keeper turn on investigators that already have 0 sanity points. You can't play it on just an investigator...so that again has some limitations.
 
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Nicola Zee
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Fatesadvent wrote:
...@Nicola. You can only play mental trauma cards on a keeper turn on investigators that already have 0 sanity points. You can't play it on just an investigator...so that again has some limitations.


I think my point was clear.
But once an investigator is insane things change. The keeper can play a mental trauma each turn as a keeper action

My point is that it's insanity that can be devastating. Apply all opportunities for horror checks, slowly whittle down the sanity of an investigator to 0 and soon you should find it should makes more sense.

The expansions do not change this (although they do add more trauma cards - which helps the balance of cards) because this is not really something that needs fixing. It's fundamental to the game.
 
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Roberta Yang
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Call of the Wild has a nice 0 Sanity trauma that gives the keeper a free Eldritch monster. In its own scenarios the problem doesn't really show up, since the keeper has more things to do other than whittle away investigators' health and sanity, and unlike the longer old scenarios usually doesn't have enough time to drive everyone insane. In the keeperless scenario, dropping to 0 sanity gives you a mania, which is pretty bad.
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Nicola Zee
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salty53 wrote:
...unlike the longer old scenarios usually doesn't have enough time to drive everyone insane. ...

All good points but just to clarify my point was not to try to drive everybody insane. Instead focus on driving one (or two at most) - unless the objective requires all to be driven insane.

With Health, spread the attacks because if you kill an investigator (before the objective is revealed) a new one appears.

With Sanity, focus the attacks on one or two because the aim is to drive one or two insane and then use a major trauma card (e.g. attack ally) at a key moment.
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Okay, I just thought you mixed the rules by saying its devastating to the party. I'm speaking of course from very limited experience, but just from base set, the 0 sanity cards look very weak which is why I said it seems pointless.

We stopped applying horror check because there was already someone insane and he just shrugged it off because I wasn't able to punish him for it (and eventually I stopped wasting threat drawing cards because I needed my threat for other objective related stuff)
 
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Geek Geek
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Based on Revised Version of Core Game:

Two Keeper Action Cards rely on sanity Check:
(i) Uncontrollable Urge (UU)
(ii) Witchcraft

An insane investigator would be 90% vulnerable to UU,
which in turns implies:

(a) your party can be easily split
(b) you cannot secure useful items like Sedative, Lantern and so on
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Geek Geek
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For Keeper dealing with experience players:

Do not try to intentionally kill an investigator by driving him insane. This could be easily counteract by players sacrifying themselves to regenerate a new investigator at full sanity.

Try to drain sanity by minions push, (said having 2-3 zombies chasing a guy, or having a guy dragged to the zombie horde by uncontrollable Urge), this could initiate multiple horror check in a round (which is more solid than using mythos card), with the flexibility to hunt down the investigator.

Indeed, flexibility is what you need when dealing with an experienced party.
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