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Introduction: Much has been made about the setup time for Mansions of Madness. In my opinion, it's not much more than other heavy Ameritrash games, but it's there. Also, it should be obvious that, if you really do want to minimize setup time, select a Story and its Story Choices before the players arrive. Likewise, after the game, sort the cards and bits so you can easily find them again. However, for those of you, like myself, who wish to only sort by Story, here's a way to do it.

1. Sort the Objectives and Clues by Story. Store each set in a penny sleeve. Since the sleeve is larger than the cards, the sleeve acts as a an envelope to store the cards.

2. Within the base game, some of the other cards are unique to some Stories. Store these in the sleeves with their Objective and Clue cards. Specifically:

2a. Story 1: The Fall of House Lynch:
* Keeper Action Cards: Maniac Attack.

2b. Story 2: Inner Sanctum:
* Keeper Action Cards: Dark Ritual, Summon Worshipper, Summoning.
* Exploration: Cult Robes.

2c. Story 3: Blood Ties:
* Keeper Action Cards: Pyromaniac, Raise Dead.
* Mythos Deck: Fire icon.

2d. Story 4: Classroom Curses:
* Keeper Action Cards: Darkness.

2e. Story 5: Green-eyed Boy
* Keeper Action Cards: Witchcraft.
* Mythos Deck: Question icon.

3. Alphabetize the other decks:
* Exploration
* Obstacle
* Lock

There's still a fair number of small cards, but, for the regular-sized cards, after taking out the Combat decks and Player cards, the Keeper has only *five* cards to sort through, all of them Keeper Action Cards.

Finally, after the players set up the board, start making the Seed Card stacks. But, instead of the Keeper placing the cards on the board, hand a stack to a player and have the player place the stack. Then place the Remaining Exploration Cards in the rooms. Yes, the players will know which cards are random, but this may not be a problem in the game.

EDIT: Updated title based on comments. If you do use penny sleeves (you can use snack-size baggies), put them into a ziplock bag to prevent cards from sliding out of the sleeves during transport.

EDIT EDIT: Make copies of the Keeper Action cards. Mount onto index cards. Store in penny sleeves. Less sorting!
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Roberta Yang
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Re: Reducing Setup Time by Sorting by Scenarios with Penny Sleeves (Warning: Spoilers)
Sam and Max wrote:
Yes, the players will know which cards are random, but this may not be a problem in the game.

They can already pretty much tell which are random - it's random if it contains a single exploration card and fixed otherwise.
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Dale Braun
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Re: Reducing Setup Time by Sorting by Scenarios with Penny Sleeves (Warning: Spoilers)
All good suggestions, but if you're trying to separate cards per #2 and you're combining Forbidden Alchemy, you're stuck. Some of the Keeper cards and the Fire mythos cards are used in those scenarios as well. I've just left the Keeper and Mythos decks separate; there's not a lot of Keeper cards, and the Mythos decks can be sorted into 5 (6 with FA) card sets.
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Roberta Yang
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A few more scenario-unique cards:

Blood Ties: Electric Lock

The Green-Eyed Boy: Opening the Gate

Guarded Passage: ...nothing, as far as I can tell? Take it out of the deck of Lock cards just to make it that much easier to find the ones you do need.
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Chris J Davis
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salty53 wrote:
A few more scenario-unique cards:

Blood Ties: Electric Lock

The Green-Eyed Boy: Opening the Gate

Guarded Passage: ...nothing, as far as I can tell? Take it out of the deck of Lock cards just to make it that much easier to find the ones you do need.


Really? What is the effect of Guarded Passage? Is it from the base game?
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bleached_lizard wrote:

Really? What is the effect of Guarded Passage? Is it from the base game?

Lock card: "Keeper gains 2 Threat and can move a monster one space". I thought it was included in the base set, but I can't find it in the setup instructions for any of the base game scenarios.

Anyone who only owns the base game care to have a look and see if there's a Guarded Passage in their set? (Or, alternatively, to check the Keeper Guide to see if I'm just overlooking where it is used?)

EDIT: I only count eleven different Locks actually appearing in base game scenarios (Dark Room, Dreadful Passage, Electric Lock, Jammed Door, Opening the Gate, Padlocked Door, Runelocked Door, Sealed Door, and the three plot-key-locks), and the components list in the base game rulebook says it contains twelve Lock cards, which suggests that one Lock card was left over. Maybe the Keeper guide is misprinted somewhere and a different Lock was named where Guarded Passage was supposed to appear? Similar errors appeared in the POD expansion setup instructions.
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Chris Lawson
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salty53 wrote:
EDIT: I only count eleven different Locks actually appearing in base game scenarios (Dark Room, Dreadful Passage, Electric Lock, Jammed Door, Opening the Gate, Padlocked Door, Runelocked Door, Sealed Door, and the three plot-key-locks), and the components list in the base game rulebook says it contains twelve Lock cards, which suggests that one Lock card was left over. Maybe the Keeper guide is misprinted somewhere and a different Lock was named where Guarded Passage was supposed to appear? Similar errors appeared in the POD expansion setup instructions.

I have the base game only (actually, I do have Season of the Witch POD but it is as yet unopened). The base game does includes 12 Lock cards, one of which is Guarded Passage.

Edit: I checked the Keeper Guide and it seems that Guarded Passage doesn't appear in any of the scenario setups.

One possibility (unlikely but not impossible) is that either Blood Ties or Green-eyed Boy (the two scenarios that list Dreadful Passage) is in error and one of them should list Guarded Passage instead.
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xris wrote:
One possibility (unlikely but not impossible) is that either Blood Ties or Green-eyed Boy (the two scenarios that list Dreadful Passage) is in error and one of them should list Guarded Passage instead.

Considering that the POD expansions made similar errors (for example, the Silver Tablet setup instructions list Dark Room where they mean Trapped Door), that doesn't seem too unlikely. My guess is that Blood Ties is the one that should have Guarded Passage, just based on the content of the scenarios - nobody's really around to "guard" anything in Green-Eyed Boy, and the permanent monsters there are too rare for the monster movement to be that important anyhow.
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