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Fury of Dracula (third/fourth edition)» Forums » Rules

Subject: Are hunters allowed to take notes? rss

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Domenic
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I got this to the table with three other first-time players a few days ago. The hunters were only able to engage Dracula (me) in combat once before I got to 13 influence early in week 3. I think the hunters were back-tracking and checking areas that I couldn't be in, but I'm not 100% sure. The game automatically tracks Dracula's last several positions, but only shows the hunters' current positions. The historical location information seems important. For example, if the hunters find out where Dracula was 4 turns ago, and were adjacent to that position 3 turns ago, they should know that Dracula did not move to that location on T-3. But if they hunters don't remember exactly where they were 3 turns ago, they don't actually know that, and they're looking at the whole area Dracula could cover in 3 turns, minus their current locations.

If I were playing the hunters, I would want to keep a list of every hunter's position for each day. Is that legit?
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Jon Hook
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I don't think there is anything to prevent them from taking notes.
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Gláucio Reis
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JonHook wrote:
I don't think there is anything to prevent them from taking notes.

That's not how game rules work. If something is not explicitly permitted, it's forbidden.
 
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K
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GSReis wrote:
JonHook wrote:
I don't think there is anything to prevent them from taking notes.

That's not how game rules work. If something is not explicitly permitted, it's forbidden.


It's not exactly the part of the game that the "game rules" would need to permit though.

Notes are basically an external memory aid. If your eyesight is bad you don't need permission from the rules to wear your glasses.
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Gláucio Reis
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SirHandsome wrote:
Notes are basically an external memory aid. If your eyesight is bad you don't need permission from the rules to wear your glasses.

Terrible comparison. Memory is a skill required in many games. Good eyesight is not.
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jay
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This is a group discussion. How you play a game is a social contract. Follow your personal table etiquette and be civil. Debate on things not explicit in the rules has traditionally been up to the players of the game to decide.
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Will Martin
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If it were me, as long as they weren't using it to communicate in a way that Dracula was not privy to (which is directly in violation of the rules), go for it.

But as jay said, it's really a group ruling on what they do or don't want to allow.
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Jack Eddy
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I think this is a discussion you need to have with the group. Personally, if it helps the game be more fun with notes, then allow them. If it makes it too hard for dracula, take away notes. Memory is a skill that's important to have, but having a bad memory or struggling with these specific types of details shouldn't prevent someone from having a bad time.

Personally I wouldn't want to do it because I think overthinking a game is a quick way to ruin it, but it's whatever is most enjoyable for the party.
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Paul Catley
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I agree with the above commenters who think it should be by discussion and agreement of your player group. If you allow it, you need to make sure it cannot be used as communication between hunters without Dracula's knowledge. Since players are usually sitting close to each other, it would be quite easy to view the adjacent hunter's notes, whether deliberately or inadvertently. You could rule that they should keep notes face down and only write or view them concealed from other players. Or alternatively, You could allow notes on the condition that Dracula is allowed to collect them up and view them after every hunter round.
 
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Randal Divinski
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I don't see any prohibition of notes, but any notes would fall under the "public information" doctrine. Any records that hunters keep would have to be either entirely private (a hunter could look at own notes but not show the notes to other hunters) -- except through a trade action or a public sharing which must include Dracula.

In our group, we allowed the hunters access to colored cubes. (We took them from Lords of Waterdeep, but there are lots of options.) Hunters would use one color for a confirmed sighting, another color for possible locations (linked to that sighting), another color for locations ruled out as part of the trail (because a hunter had visited it, or Mina had used ability, or from an event, or just too far away).

This helped the hunters pool information and coordinate actions, and it was all very public information that Dracula had full access to.
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Jason
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GSReis wrote:
JonHook wrote:
I don't think there is anything to prevent them from taking notes.

That's not how game rules work. If something is not explicitly permitted, it's forbidden.


I'll have to remember this the next time someone in my game group trash-talks...
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Domenic
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I appreciate the general comments about getting agreement before using memory aids. Nonetheless, the consensus regarding Fury of Dracula seems to be that the game is balanced only for experienced players, and otherwise favors Dracula. Removing memory as part of the challenge might help newer players focus on the rest of the game. Also, having the move history can help speed the learning curve: "Oh, if I'd moved here instead of there, we would have had a tight net, but since I moved there, he might have slipped out through here. I better do that differently next time."

randiv wrote:
I don't see any prohibition of notes, but any notes would fall under the "public information" doctrine. Any records that hunters keep would have to be either entirely private (a hunter could look at own notes but not show the notes to other hunters) -- except through a trade action or a public sharing which must include Dracula.

In our group, we allowed the hunters access to colored cubes. (We took them from Lords of Waterdeep, but there are lots of options.) Hunters would use one color for a confirmed sighting, another color for possible locations (linked to that sighting), another color for locations ruled out as part of the trail (because a hunter had visited it, or Mina had used ability, or from an event, or just too far away).

This helped the hunters pool information and coordinate actions, and it was all very public information that Dracula had full access to.


I definitely agree that using notes to circumvent the rules against private sharing of information would be against the rules.

The cubes idea sounds reasonable. Each player can leave a trail of cubes behind them (perhaps even of different colors, so timing information isn't lost even when paths overlap). That would work to track the past locations. But then you would also want to age the other information. If Mina determines that Dracula is not in Germany, that information was true for a specific turn only, right? So you could find a spot that means Germany, and then add a cube to that spot each turn to show the aging? Or use a different color for each day of the week - a white cube means Dracula was not there on Monday, a yellow one means he was not there on Tuesday, etc.?
 
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Chris Merritt
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I have a feeling that such notes would extend an already lengthy game into something interminable. The map analysis and discussion that would ensue would likely grind the game to a halt while the Hunters try to figure out their optimal moves for the turn. Just my opinion, of course, and I also feel that if everyone at the table agrees there is no reason notes or cubes cannot be used, but I also really don't feel it is all that necessary.
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Randal Divinski
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COMaestro wrote:
I have a feeling that such notes would extend an already lengthy game into something interminable. The map analysis and discussion that would ensue would likely grind the game to a halt while the Hunters try to figure out their optimal moves for the turn. Just my opinion, of course, and I also feel that if everyone at the table agrees there is no reason notes or cubes cannot be used, but I also really don't feel it is all that necessary.

Avoiding things that needlessly extend the game time is a valid concern. However, I believe a judicious use of cubes (or a laminated mini-map) for tracking could actually speed up play, if hunters don't have to slow down to commit things to memory, or argue about what they do remember, but can reach a quick consensus. Trying to be TOO THOROUGH (as in the example above, where you are trying to remember the entire game state from Turn 1) is taking it too far, and I would not recommend it.

It should be more like, "OK we just learned Dracula was HERE 4 turns ago." Put down cubes on all cities 4 turns away. OK, which have hunters traveled through (without an encounter)? Remove those cubes and the cities could only be reached by going through them.

I would not want the active hunter to spend more than one minute on this, though other hunters could continue adding and removing on other's turns.
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Paul S
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jepmn wrote:
GSReis wrote:
JonHook wrote:
I don't think there is anything to prevent them from taking notes.

That's not how game rules work. If something is not explicitly permitted, it's forbidden.


I'll have to remember this the next time someone in my game group trash-talks...


This must be right.

The obvious comparison to me is Witness, where the rules specifically state that you may NOT take notes until after the 4th whisper round.

I think note taking is so plainly extrinsic to the rules, that one should take it as read that one can do it, unless (like Witness) the opposite is said.

Edit: hmmm... I should add, that there are, to be fair, a few games where you might argue that memory is a feature, not a bug, such that note taking might spoil the game. I don't see that is remotely an issue here, though.
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Andy
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FWIW - in our group we do allow taking notes but of course it has to be in full view and earshot of the player controlling Dracula as per the rules in the rulebook about sharing information.

We have found that while it helps the hunters stay focused, and therefore make decisions quicker, it also let's Dracula hear their thoughts regarding where he or she might head to next which serves to balance it somewhat since he or she can do the opposite of what the hunters expect.

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