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Subject: Mitigating the simplicity of the Clue Cards. rss

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King of All Simians — Not a Mere Diplomat
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It seems to me that the "clues" are far too straightforward. "It smells like something's burning in the kitchen" may as well be, "GO TO THE KITCHEN RIGHT NOW!" And the clues on the cards are no better.

I was thinking that one way to make it a little more of a challenge would be for the keeper to read the clue cards a single time and then discard them from play, instead of handing them to the investigator. I think that most groups will be on the ball enough to get the hint from a single reading, but if it sows a little bit of doubt, that can only add to the atmosphere.

What would be even better would be to write up a paragraph for each clue, to "bury the lead" some. Then when you get clue 3B, just go to the prepared paragraph and read it instead of the text on the card. You wouldn't be putting in false leads, necessarily, but just adding to the padding, so investigators have to be actively listening to glean the information they require... You'd also be adding more flavor text, which is half the fun in this terrific game.
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Joe Sikele
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That sounds like an interesting idea. Do you think you could give an example? I might try this when I get my copy.
 
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King of All Simians — Not a Mere Diplomat
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No, I haven't sat down to write new copy yet; I'm just blue-skying...
 
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Jim Kiefer
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Holmes! wrote:
It seems to me that the "clues" are far too straightforward. "It smells like something's burning in the kitchen" may as well be, "GO TO THE KITCHEN RIGHT NOW!" And the clues on the cards are no better.

I was thinking that one way to make it a little more of a challenge would be for the keeper to read the clue cards a single time and then discard them from play, instead of handing them to the investigator. I think that most groups will be on the ball enough to get the hint from a single reading, but if it sows a little bit of doubt, that can only add to the atmosphere.

So far its been plenty of challenge even it I'm pretty sure where the clues are. You've still got to get there.

Also, the clue piles are different size and that's a a clue in and of itself.

Quote:
What would be even better would be to write up a paragraph for each clue, to "bury the lead" some. Then when you get clue 3B, just go to the prepared paragraph and read it instead of the text on the card. You wouldn't be putting in false leads, necessarily, but just adding to the padding, so investigators have to be actively listening to glean the information they require... You'd also be adding more flavor text, which is half the fun in this terrific game.

That would be more fun and more challenging. Are the investigators beating you now?

You can also through in more locks and obstacles if you want too. But I'd wait until you're sure your wise group of invesitagators is up for the challenge. There is a pretty unforgiving timer mechanism that could get upset.



 
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Chris J Davis
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I welcome the idea of more cryptic clues, but obviously they can't be too hard.

One other idea I had in mind was something along the lines of this: There are four markers of some kind (maybe corpses) scattered around the house. The clues indicate which rooms the corpses are in (as usual) but then the final clue indicates that in order to win the investigators have to perform some action in the room where the lines between the four corpses intersect.
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Jim Kiefer
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I saw that movie!

Sounds like this might become a homegrown scenario. (Also sounds like lots of work.)
 
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Chris J Davis
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mageith wrote:
I saw that movie!

Sounds like this might become a homegrown scenario. (Also sounds like lots of work.)


Which movie?
 
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Joe Sikele
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bleached_lizard wrote:
I welcome the idea of more cryptic clues, but obviously they can't be too hard.

One other idea I had in mind was something along the lines of this: There are four markers of some kind (maybe corpses) scattered around the house. The clues indicate which rooms the corpses are in (as usual) but then the final clue indicates that in order to win the investigators have to perform some action in the room where the lines between the four corpses intersect.


I seriously like this idea. It's just the sort of weird thing you'd see in a lovecraftian story!
 
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Jim Kiefer
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Bleached_lizard: Which movie?

Just kidding, but it sounds like a movie. I hope no one bumps the table.
 
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Darkwolven wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
I welcome the idea of more cryptic clues, but obviously they can't be too hard.

One other idea I had in mind was something along the lines of this: There are four markers of some kind (maybe corpses) scattered around the house. The clues indicate which rooms the corpses are in (as usual) but then the final clue indicates that in order to win the investigators have to perform some action in the room where the lines between the four corpses intersect.


I seriously like this idea. It's just the sort of weird thing you'd see in a lovecraftian story!


I like it as well, but I can already smell the FAQ entry for "Which room did you mean EXACTLY? And why didn't you say so?"

And 400 forum threads that go like this: "Last night we played MoM, when we got to that clue about the four corpses, one of the players argued that the intersection wasn't actually in the central room, but in the garden on the lower end, because 'intersection' means 'Down there in the garden on the lower end of the game board, stupid!' in Swaheli!'"
"It's the central room."
"Can you tell me where in the rules that's written? Just so I can show it to that player next time."
"The designer said so."
"And where in the FAQ exactly is that written?"
"Seriously, fuck you."
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Derek VDG
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I think the issue will be that the investigators are generally already under a time crunch to get the clues as it is. Making clues less obvious makes it more difficult for the investigators. Honestly, although I've only played a few games, I think the game needs the clues to be fairly obvious. Keep in mind that the investigators cannot access later clues until they've gone the the previous one, picked up the key/password/etc and physically moved to the new clue to open the lock/obstacle. All that while fending off monsters or trying to stop the keeper from doing things.
 
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Chris J Davis
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Flamin_Jesus wrote:
Darkwolven wrote:
bleached_lizard wrote:
I welcome the idea of more cryptic clues, but obviously they can't be too hard.

One other idea I had in mind was something along the lines of this: There are four markers of some kind (maybe corpses) scattered around the house. The clues indicate which rooms the corpses are in (as usual) but then the final clue indicates that in order to win the investigators have to perform some action in the room where the lines between the four corpses intersect.


I seriously like this idea. It's just the sort of weird thing you'd see in a lovecraftian story!


I like it as well, but I can already smell the FAQ entry for "Which room did you mean EXACTLY? And why didn't you say so?"

And 400 forum threads that go like this: "Last night we played MoM, when we got to that clue about the four corpses, one of the players argued that the intersection wasn't actually in the central room, but in the garden on the lower end, because 'intersection' means 'Down there in the garden on the lower end of the game board, stupid!' in Swaheli!'"
"It's the central room."
"Can you tell me where in the rules that's written? Just so I can show it to that player next time."
"The designer said so."
"And where in the FAQ exactly is that written?"
"Seriously, fuck you."


I agree. I bypass that problem by not playing with idiots, though.
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dvang wrote:
I think the issue will be that the investigators are generally already under a time crunch to get the clues as it is. Making clues less obvious makes it more difficult for the investigators. Honestly, although I've only played a few games, I think the game needs the clues to be fairly obvious. Keep in mind that the investigators cannot access later clues until they've gone the the previous one, picked up the key/password/etc and physically moved to the new clue to open the lock/obstacle. All that while fending off monsters or trying to stop the keeper from doing things.


Saying that, it would also be nice to have a scenario that isn't completely linear.
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King of All Simians — Not a Mere Diplomat
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Yeah, my issue is just that the idea of "investigators need to pay attention to suss out the next clue" just isn't there; it's too simple and obvious. I totally understand that making it a little more opaque is gonna work against the investigators, but I think that that's OK--at least in my group--if it enhances the mood and fun of the experience. I think that you can pad out the clues, and in the end maybe it's just as easy to pick out the pertinent info, but the investigators can feel like it wasn't just fed to them.
 
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Soonk Delgado
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I think you're on the right track with padding the clues. Instead of a clue card with one or two lines of text, perhaps a journal entry or research notes containing the clue would work? It would add to the story and while the clue would probably still be clear, it wouldn't read as, "Go to this room."
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Robert F-C
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This would be the sort of thing which BGG is great for!

We could establish a "Suggest better clue text" thread for each scenario (with massive and lengthy spoiler alert at the top saying that if you read this thread it will spoil the game for you). Then the more wordsmith-gifted among us can suggested some alternate clue texts, people can vote on them and then we can compile the best of them into a game-sheet over time.

[People should probably only participate in a thread once they've played the scenarios as investigators or keepers (or don't mind spoiling it for themselves).]

We could always start with one scenario and see how it goes.
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