Recommend
6 
 Thumb up
 Hide
45 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Mansions of Madness: Second Edition» Forums » General

Subject: Insane - what were they thinking? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Andrew Walmsley
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
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...

13 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Donny Behne
United States
Fate
Texas
flag msg tools
designer
www.punchboardmedia.com/geaux-gaming/
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
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.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Schu Bo
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
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.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joshua Delahunty
United States
Colorado
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
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.
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Elijah
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
flag msg tools
You think that's air you're breathing?
badge
We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant That We Should voyage far.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
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.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Erik Miller
United States
Cincinnati
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
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.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Grey Fox
Portugal
Sintra
Sintra
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
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.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Owen Sullivan
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
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.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Arthur Peterson
United States
Cane Ridge
TN
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
This is one of the best things about the game. You're insane.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
East Windsor
New Jersey
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
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.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dean L
United Kingdom
Coventry
West Midlands
flag msg tools
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.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Walmsley
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
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.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Cobcroft
Australia
Canberra
ACT
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It's just a justified as ending the game when a single investigator becomes a casualty.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Walmsley
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
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.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wayne Schulatz
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
flag msg tools
Look, I have overtext!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm new to this edition of game but I have had some serious issues with going insane myself.

In both of my two games played, one of our players went insane in the very last couple of turns of the game. The insanity cards that were drawn made the game impossible for the insane player to win. Now, after several hours of play, those players are trapped playing a co-op game they have no chance of winning. This is a terrible situation. Does the player continue playing as a team despite the fact they can't win? Do they abandon the team's plan to pursue their own goals, despite the fact that they are unattainable? It just seems like a player is stuck in a game they cannot win and are forced to continue playing regardless, and that's an awful position to be in.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
East Windsor
New Jersey
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Wayne Schulatz wrote:
I'm new to this edition of game but I have had some serious issues with going insane myself.

In both of my two games played, one of our players went insane in the very last couple of turns of the game. The insanity cards that were drawn made the game impossible for the insane player to win. Now, after several hours of play, those players are trapped playing a co-op game they have no chance of winning. This is a terrible situation. Does the player continue playing as a team despite the fact they can't win? Do they abandon the team's plan to pursue their own goals, despite the fact that they are unattainable? It just seems like a player is stuck in a game they cannot win and are forced to continue playing regardless, and that's an awful position to be in.

The insane player can still win. They just have a different win condition and should do anything in their power to reach that goal. That may mean sabotaging the win conditions for the rest of the party. That could steal items from other players other tactics that could delay them winning before the insane player meets their goal.
I find it odd that people want to reject the story and role playing eliminate from the game. I don't see how it is more frustrating than a player dying and forcing the rest of the party to lose after one round.
Honestly if you don't like those insane cards in your gaming group, just house rule them or take them out of the deck. There are good variations in other threads.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Walmsley
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
err404 wrote:
The insane player can still win. They just have a different win condition and should do anything in their power to reach that goal. That may mean sabotaging the win conditions for the rest of the party. That could steal items from other players other tactics that could delay them winning before the insane player meets their goal.
I find it odd that people want to reject the story and role playing eliminate from the game. I don't see how it is more frustrating than a player dying and forcing the rest of the party to lose after one round.
Honestly if you don't like those insane cards in your gaming group, just house rule them or take them out of the deck. There are good variations in other threads.

Well this just isn't true, which was the point the poster was trying to make. There are certain insane conditions that just wouldn't be possible to do if you had two turns left. That seems like a flaw to me, and the rules don't state what you should do in this situation. This is another reason I believe going insane should just hinder you rather than change the goal of the game.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
East Windsor
New Jersey
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Your character should always play to win. Even if it isn't likely to happen. Ignoring your new win conditions just to make it easier on the rest of the party doesn't make sense.
There are many games were you know you are going to lose by the last two rounds. Do as much as you can to move towards wining in the time you have. If it is really two rounds until the end of the game, just suck it up and play your best.
But seriously, house rule it if you can't handle this aspect of the game. personally I feel that the implementation of insanity is too important thematically to remove or alter it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wayne Schulatz
United States
Las Vegas
Nevada
flag msg tools
Look, I have overtext!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
err404 wrote:
Your character should always play to win. Even if it isn't likely to happen.


It isn't that it's not likely, it is that occasionally it will be impossible. Oddly enough, that has happened twice out of two games in my case. I am assuming that isn't the norm, it is just a bad coincidence.

err404 wrote:
...personally I feel that the implementation of insanity is too important thematically to remove or alter it.


That's awesome that it works for you guys. For us, we don't care how thematic it feels if it ruins the entire three hour game for even one person. I believe a strong game design allows each and every player to at least believe they can win up until the very end, even if that isn't the case. With this game, that just isn't true.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kelly Overholser
United States
Minnesota
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Wayne Schulatz wrote:
I'm new to this edition of game but I have had some serious issues with going insane myself.

In both of my two games played, one of our players went insane in the very last couple of turns of the game. The insanity cards that were drawn made the game impossible for the insane player to win. Now, after several hours of play, those players are trapped playing a co-op game they have no chance of winning. This is a terrible situation. Does the player continue playing as a team despite the fact they can't win? Do they abandon the team's plan to pursue their own goals, despite the fact that they are unattainable? It just seems like a player is stuck in a game they cannot win and are forced to continue playing regardless, and that's an awful position to be in.


Here's how I think of it...

"Winning" and "losing" is a matter of perspective. Personally, I consider myself to "win" if I had fun while playing to the game's objectives, and that holds especially true in a highly thematic game like this.

If I got an insanity card that was impossible, my new "win condition" would be to do everything possible to come as close as possible to completing my new objective. Even at the expense of the other investigators. If they're set to win in a few turns and I can somehow spend my turn sabotaging them so it takes longer to win, in order to give myself more time to finish my own objective? I'll do just that. If there's nothing I can do to delay them? Well, my objective is to do as much as possible before they end things.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Arinmir Belegar
Spain
flag msg tools
mb
For me, the main problem of this insanity system is that you can't play 2 players with 4 or 5 investigators. Knowing that less players is harder and less fun, We decided to play madness cards face up.
You know what madness he has but you must decide to let him burn rooms and resolve the scenario or go after him stoping fires. Or if he must have a knife and a single companion, you try to avoid this situation.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Janne
Finland
Tampere
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
eorahil wrote:
You know what madness he has but you must decide to let him burn rooms and resolve the scenario or go after him stoping fires. Or if he must have a knife and a single companion, you try to avoid this situation.


Those two insanity conditions are for 3+ players. The number at the bottom right corner is for the number of players, not investigators.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Cantor
United States
Columbus
Ohio
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Wayne Schulatz wrote:

That's awesome that it works for you guys. For us, we don't care how thematic it feels if it ruins the entire three hour game for even one person. I believe a strong game design allows each and every player to at least believe they can win up until the very end, even if that isn't the case. With this game, that just isn't true.


There are trivia contests where the final question is worth half the points, so in the end nothing you did for two hours matters because the last round decides the game anyway, as long as you're not in last place going in.

This is a co-op, so the usual rules don't apply, but I don't think it's a good design if people can play badly and still win in the end, and I don't know what the point of "thinking you can win but can't" would be. So I can't agree that that's a good design for a game.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Arthur Peterson
United States
Cane Ridge
TN
flag msg tools
Avatar
mb
It's literally one of our favorite design choices in any game ever. This thread boggles the mind.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Walmsley
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
zpeteman wrote:
It's literally one of our favorite design choices in any game ever. This thread boggles the mind.

We know, you already said in post 9. I don't share this opinion and wish they'd have offered an alternative for those inclined.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.