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Subject: Less obvious room seeding rss

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Robert F-C
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There has been a few criticisms of the game so far that the current scenarios are quite linear, that is, players go from one clue to the next clue in a very linear fashion.

It has been also been said by some that the linear nature of the current scenarios is worsened by the fact that the important rooms in the mansion are (mostly) all quite obvious to the players because they are seeded with stacks of Exploration, Obstacle and Lock cards and the remaining unimportant rooms are seeded with only one random Exploration card (also lessening the mystery of when you are likely to run into a big encounter/puzzle/clue/etc).

For those that have played: do you think that an improvement would be for the Keeper at setup to place a single dummy "place-holder" Exploration card in every room which has more than one Exploration or Obstacle card in it (so that it is more difficult to tell the important rooms from the random rooms and so you have listen to the Clues that much more closely).

When the Investigators enter a room which has a place-holder Exploration card in it then it is only at this time that the placeholder Exploration card is replaced with the full card stack for the room. (The place-holder Exploration card could have small post-it note or similar attached to the bottom-side to remind the Keeper that it is a place-holder card - this should result in negligible additional record-keeping).

I imagine you would only consider this variant when you have at least 4 Investigators in play (as splitting up and exploring the mansion is more difficult with a smaller number of Investigators).

Thoughts?

[Again I haven't played this yet but it seems like might be an improvement to the "key locations are too predicable" complaint after a number of plays (and more workable than the hidden room tiles suggestion from a couple of weeks back)]

Edit: to make suggestion clearer
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Bruce Moffatt
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I can see that one of the first expansions is going to come with a Keeper screen to keep all your goodies secret.

Seriously, I don't know how workable that idea is, but it certainly makes more sense than the blind reveal idea which would be a nightmare of tablecloth removal tricks gone wrong.
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Robert F-C
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An alternate and probably better proposal is simply to place a chit (a coin, counter or whatever) in every room which initially starts with exploration cards.

Whenever the Investigators first enter a room which has a chit, then it is replaced with either a random Exploration card or the specified set of cards (as directed by the scenario).
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Ethan Nicholas
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The clues tell you where to go next. You don't need to see how many cards are in each room, because you already know where the next clue is located, and your chit idea really wouldn't change anything.

Honestly I'm not really sure where the complaints about this are coming from. If you didn't know where to go next, you'd have to resort to randomly wandering around. Not only does that not sound fun at all, it completely changes the game balance and makes it vastly harder for a single investigator.
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Chris J Davis
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dragonnyxx wrote:
The clues tell you where to go next. You don't need to see how many cards are in each room, because you already know where the next clue is located, and your chit idea really wouldn't change anything.

Honestly I'm not really sure where the complaints about this are coming from. If you didn't know where to go next, you'd have to resort to randomly wandering around. Not only does that not sound fun at all, it completely changes the game balance and makes it vastly harder for a single investigator.


From what I understand, the clues don't *explicitly* tell you where to go next. They are more along the lines of "...the professor had a guest staying over just before the incident occurred...", which indicates that maybe you should explore the guest bedroom. It's a lot more obvious that it's the guest bedroom you should explore if the guest bedroom has a big stack of cards in it, surely...?
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Chris J Davis
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LordHellfury wrote:
WhereAreTheBlackDice wrote:
Thoughts?


I have been thinking about this during the game I played at the end of last October.

But then again it is the DM in me springing forth so this may not be viable but what the heck.

I was thinking about making a token for each room. Every room on the house would have a token in it. The back side of the token (face down) would each have a unique number on it.

This gets rid of the investigators knowing which room to looking an what rooms can be avoided.

During game set up, instead of placing the cards on the board, I put the cards for each room in an envelope with a number that corresponds to the room that it belongs to.

When an investigator enters that room, the token number is revealed.

The corresponding envelope is opened (if there is to be cards in the room) and then revealed and placed in the room. if it is a lock, then the investigator is moved back one space just outside of that room and the cards placed in the room.

There is an major issue with this though concerning game balance.

When we played, we were told that we have a set time limit with which to accomplish out investigation and win the game. With such hidden info, there is an increased possibility that the investigators will not succeed due to wandering aimlessly about searching each room in the mansion.

This can be mitigated by handicapping the Keeper somehow. Perhaps time tokens once every two rounds instead of each round or less threat tokens per round. Not sure but if an idea like that is to be instituted it must be balanced somehow so that the investigators can still succeed within the allotted time frame for the scenario.

That's my idea anyway.


See, now there's a discrepancy here. You say that it would become too difficult for the investigators if they didn't have stacks of cards on the board as "signposts", but the previous poster says that the clues direct you to where you've got to go anyway. So which is it?

I, personally, think that my gaming group would *hugely* enjoy the game more if the deductive aspect was strengthened and that the "solution" to the clues wasn't made obvious (or more obvious) by the fact that the destination rooms have stacks of cards on them.

I'm wondering how easy it would be to just keep the stacks off the board in front of the Keeper, and he just hands the correct stack over when the investigator enters the correct room...? He can also keep a stack of the leftover encounter cards for when an investigator enters an unimportant room.

This also solves another little niggle I had with the game, in that you have this incredibly beautiful board that is completely covered up by loads of little cards!
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Chris J Davis
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LordHellfury wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
I, personally, think that my gaming group would *hugely* enjoy the game more if the deductive aspect was strengthened and that the "solution" to the clues wasn't made obvious (or more obvious) by the fact that the destination rooms have stacks of cards on them.

I'm wondering how easy it would be to just keep the stacks off the board in front of the Keeper, and he just hands the correct stack over when the investigator enters the correct room...? He can also keep a stack of the leftover encounter cards for when an investigator enters an unimportant room.

This also solves another little niggle I had with the game, in that you have this incredibly beautiful board that is completely covered up by loads of little cards!


As for this I couldn't agree more. You just have to find the sweet spot for balance and I think that lies in the time tokens placed on the event deck (most likely way to balance the time constraint issue and easily fixed with one time token per two rounds or even more easily just double the amount of tokens on the event deck in order to trigger the event ).

Example: The top event card has the number 2. It would then take 4 time tokens to trigger the event.


Obviously I don't own the game yet, but providing the clues are easy-ish enough to figure out, then I think maybe one time token extra per card might be enough...?
 
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Ethan Nicholas
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bleached_lizard wrote:
From what I understand, the clues don't *explicitly* tell you where to go next. They are more along the lines of "...the professor had a guest staying over just before the incident occurred...", which indicates that maybe you should explore the guest bedroom. It's a lot more obvious that it's the guest bedroom you should explore if the guest bedroom has a big stack of cards in it, surely...?

You are correct that it says something along the lines of "the professor had a guest staying over", but... really, how is that not obvious? It's not like you're going to read that and think "hey, maybe I should check the basement".

I have played four times, and in none of those games did anyone have any trouble figuring out where the next clue was. And it wasn't due to the stack of cards there, as most of the rooms have a stack of cards on them.
 
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Paul Newby
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If the clues only hint at the next location ie. a 'guest stayed over', wouldn't as a player, human nature draw you to the bedroom with all the cards stacked as opposed to any bedrooms with only 1 card?

I think it would me.

Whether this impacts on player decisions during the course of a game remains to be seen.

I do like the idea of 1 card marking each room, with the full deck placed as and when the room is entered. Bookkeeping and play area space aside, the actual idea appeals to the story teller in me...
 
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B C Z
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WhereAreTheBlackDice wrote:

[Again I haven't played this yet but it seems like might be an improvement to the "key locations are too predicable" complaint after a number of plays (and more workable than the hidden room tiles suggestion from a couple of weeks back)]

Edit: to make suggestion clearer


Play it first.

If, after playing every scenario three times, you think it's a problem, then work on fixing it.

I don't think you'll find it is a problem. Even if the players 'know the path' they don't know the Keeper's actions, the mythos cards or the way the die will roll. Nothing is more demoralizing than knowing what to do and not being able to do it because the lights went out, you ran screaming from a monster and are suddenly afraid of being in the same space as another investigator.

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Chris Schenck
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dragonnyxx wrote:
I have played four times, and in none of those games did anyone have any trouble figuring out where the next clue was. And it wasn't due to the stack of cards there, as most of the rooms have a stack of cards on them.

I agree with this. To me, the most compelling reason to keep the cards off-board is to allow the players to more fully appreciate the beautiful art on the board. It's more immersive without cards all over the place, and immersion is the whole point of a thematic game.

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Ethan Nicholas
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Khula wrote:
If the clues only hint at the next location ie. a 'guest stayed over', wouldn't as a player, human nature draw you to the bedroom with all the cards stacked as opposed to any bedrooms with only 1 card?


I urge you to play the game before jumping to any conclusions, because this really isn't how it works.

As a specific example, in one of the scenarios there is a clue that says "he let me stay the night". There is no other text on the card which could be remotely construed to refer to a room in the house. There are two bedrooms on the map, "Master Bedroom" and "Guest Bedroom". Now, where would you head after reading that clue?

In scenarios I have played, I have not seen a single case where the number of cards was helpful in figuring out where to go. The clue either makes it obvious precisely which room to go to (as above), or narrows it down to a couple of rooms which all have the same number of cards. And in the specific case presented above, even though it's obvious that the Guest Bedroom is intended, the Master Bedroom and Guest Bedroom still have the same number of cards.
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Derek VDG
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A couple things, and I've only played once last weekend...

Keep in mind that it's not like there are multiple guest bedrooms on the map to check. AFAIK there is a master bedroom and guest bedroom. The same for the other rooms. So, if the clue points to the guest bedroom (or any room), you *know* which one it is. you don't know what's there, or which other room with cards that the clue that is there will point to. There are stacks of cards in locations other than where clues are, in addition the stacks seem to need to be found in order. Generally, the clues open up the next location in the chain (you get a key or phrase to open the lock to the location). So, if the investigators go to a random pile of cards, they won't necessarily be able to get in.

Also, altering the time tokens doesn't seem like it will work. For one thing, some of the victory conditions are based on TIME. For example, the game I played the investigators win if they kill the big bad monster OR if the Keeper fails to have the monster escape before time runs out. We won (by a single turn) because we were able to delay the Keeper/monster long enough that it couldn't escape in time. In this situation, placing a time token every other round would double the amount of time available for the Keeper to succeed (and making it more difficult on the investigators).

Personally, I didn't have a problem with the stacks. There are several rooms that don't have clues that have locks and cards and puzzles. Add in the rooms that have clues (that you can only access in order it seems) and there still seems to be plenty of choices and unknowns IMO.
 
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Chris J Davis
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This stuff is all good to know. Seems like I will have to wait and see what a typical setup looks like, though from this feedback it sounds as if the stacks-of-cards problem isn't a huge issue, but conversely it also sounds as if keeping the cards off the board also wouldn't be an issue (I'd prefer to do this anyway just to keep the board clear of clutter).
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Derek VDG
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I will also point out that in the game I played, there was a room with a locked card on it that seemed to be obviously an important room (and it was, but for a different reason than we suspected). The other card set up in that room was actually a "nothing of interest" card we found out after the game was over. So it was actually something of a red herring placed by the game/scenario setup.

I don't know how many "Nothing of Interest" cards there are available, but perhaps just adding some additional dummy "nothing of interest" cards to the bottom of some smaller stacks might help make things less obvious, and/or some dummy lock/obstacle cards for the tops of locations.
 
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Chris J Davis
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So what's needed:

A set of tokens numbered 1 to... 10 (or higher)? One pair of each number.

Then a set of additional tokens that have some generic symbol on them.

All of these tokens must have the same back.

Can anyone think of a game that contains such tokens (to scavenge from)? Does Arkham Horror contain anything like this?
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Chris J Davis
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Bugger it - I'll design my own. I think the doom token design from AH should make a good background image for the tokens, no?

I just need some info...
 
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Eric Engstrom
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bleached_lizard wrote:
Bugger it - I'll design my own. I think the doom token design from AH should make a good background image for the tokens, no?

I just need some info...


Duh duh DUH!!!
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Chris J Davis
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Have just finished creating the tokens and will be uploading them to the file section shortly. Just need to await approval.
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Chris J Davis
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It's nothing hugely special. Preview here:


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Chris J Davis
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2cm. Slightly larger than the original Doom tokens (which are 1.5cm).
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colin darra
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Must confess to thinking of this "problem" too while reading through the rules.

I wondered about making a seperate board with numbered slots on which to place the cards and features for a room, and then simply place the corresponding numbered token (only) into the room. When an investigator wishes to enter that room, the token is turned over, the related features are placed into the room, and cards enacted.

 
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Chris J Davis
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File has been approved and is now available for download.
 
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Peter Ball
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One of the 1st things I have done is run of a set of cards with the names of each room on. I then place the cards that go on the board under these not in view of the players. This immediately eliminated theres a large stack of cards syndrome.When players explore a room I place a marker to indicate it. The keeper needs to record were monsters are if they appear in areas not explored and move, allows for more dramatic play!
I am also only placing the start board down for the players. Having looked at the scenario's you can easily move some of the rooms around to give variation. This makes scenarios done before different, ie the basement was through the kitchen but now it is on the otherside of the house through the lab. Allows for more replayability.
 
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John Saturn
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I like the idea with envelopes! You have a set of envelopes with room names on them, and when the investigator enters the room the keeper gives him the envelope, he opens it and reeds the text just like an b class movie detective :>
I think that card stacks are not the only problem here. I didn't check this yet but isn't it that all clues are in locations with locks? There are locks that don't have a clue, but I guess that all clues are in locked locations. So the player can ignore all non-locked rooms if they want to rush for the clue.
 
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