Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 Hide
13 Posts

Mansions of Madness» Forums » Variants

Subject: Exploration variant rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Kolinho dos Santos
msg tools
Since I unboxed the game we've always ran it where the investigators explore mansion piece by piece, the keeper keeping all the other tiles and relevant cards hidden and placing them when and where they are explored, tracking all movements/summoning and whatnot on a printed map.

Anyone else do it like this? I can't see how anyone can get the same joy from the game knowing what's through each door from the start.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
S. R.
Germany
Mainz
Rheinland-Pfalz
flag msg tools
It's a fearful thing, to fall into the Hands of the Living God!
badge
Tell me, have you found the Yellow Sign?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
To be honest, this is a fine way to play the game. But only IF the Keeper pulls his punches, and plays more for atmosphere than for the win.
In this case, the tactical approach from the player's side, and the strategic approach from the Keeper's side go down the drain.

However, if the Keeper plays "for keeps", and uses everything in order to win, this way there is next to no chance for the players to win the game!

Thirdly, traps on the board not only are dangerous in this case, they are devastating...

If you like the Roleplay approach better than the competitive one, however, that is fine...
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chick Lewis
United States
Claremont
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Very nicely put, Dumon.

I, as a player, without my X-ray goggles, never felt like I knew everything from the start.

As a keeper, I considered revealing piece by piece, but the chances of screwing up the card order would be much increased, and I couldn't see pausing the game to re-set up every time the players enter a new room. Sort of destroys the excitement of the moment.

In addition, the players NEED TO KNOW what is summoning and coming for them before it appears in their room !!
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken Dilloo
United States
Bothell
Washington
flag msg tools
Everything is relative to perception, and your perception is limited.
badge
The Ginger Ninja
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
There are a few threads of this nature. While it sounds good in theory, execution is more trouble than it is worth, and it would skew things even more toward the keepers favor.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
B C Z
United States
Reston
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The players have a map of the house, they know its layout.

But they don't necessarily know what's inside each room. Even the Keeper doesn't know where EVERYTHING is (because they randomly shuffled the 'left overs' and put them 1/room face down).

"Revealing" the board as they explore it takes too much time in an already long game and unless it's a custom or new scenario, players will remember the layout anyway.

I prefer to leave things they way they are and let the investigators think that it helps them. zombie
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jon Dennis
United States
Waterloo
Iowa
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
bigloo33 wrote:
There are a few threads of this nature. While it sounds good in theory, execution is more trouble than it is worth, and it would skew things even more toward the keepers favor.

Your thoery sounds valid in theory, but have you even tried it? The results are well worth the effort. More setup time is needed by the keeper, but this is done ahead of time and gets rid of about 30 minutes down time for players when you pop the box open.

I modified a $5 scrapbook to hold all the tile pieces, numbered the rooms on a printed-out map (kept behind a keeper screen), and numbered the pages in the scrapbook. Easy. The only tricky part is remembering to block off the right entrance when you put out the map tile.

I've had players go from hating MoM to loving it, and had some of the best board game sessions running it like this. Best thematic feel, with a lot more suspense.

Does it work with competitive players trying to win at all costs?
No.

But neither does Mansions of Madness.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ken Dilloo
United States
Bothell
Washington
flag msg tools
Everything is relative to perception, and your perception is limited.
badge
The Ginger Ninja
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
No, I haven't tried it because it seemed like more trouble than it was worth, and would seem to skew things even further to the keeper. The two biggest bummers of this game are set-up time and keeper imbalance.

Guess the theory holds true, that you shouldn't knock it till you try it. If it works for you, great. Getting the most fun out of it, for your group is paramount.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
S. R.
Germany
Mainz
Rheinland-Pfalz
flag msg tools
It's a fearful thing, to fall into the Hands of the Living God!
badge
Tell me, have you found the Yellow Sign?
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
macgowan wrote:
But neither does Mansions of Madness.


Oh, yes it does.
At least that is my experience!
Granted, some scenarios have Objective options that are either slanted towards one side or the other, and one or two have been found to actually present autowin-situations.
But in general, it does...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Guillaume Zork
France
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We do play Mansions as an immersive, story driven type of game. For us, when we feel like playing a strategy game, there are tons of other better ones, so we pick another one.

We started recently playing the variant where the keeper reveals the map as the investigators discover it. We ALL conclude that it is WAY much more immersive and fun than the vanilla mansions. I do not think we will ever go back to the original version.

It does not increase the game length at all, it just makes it better (at least to our taste :-)

To play like this:

a/ You will need a notebook for visit cards (or any notebook where you can slide the exploration cards in it) with all rooms tagged on it. This way, there is no need to put the cards on the map (which by the way hide the map and are "ugly" ^^). When investigators try to enter a room or explore it, you cast a glance at your notebook. By the way, we have been playing with a notebook for a while now (even with the map completely revealed). Using the notebook, the game does not pause when you add a new tile.

b/ we use 3D doors (ie like these ones) to mark the transitions between rooms, so that investigators ask if the door is open or not. When the map is hidden, it clearly shows which doors are in play.

c/ when clues refer to undiscovered rooms, the keeper has to help the investigators using narrative to localize the area of the room. In general, the keeper add a lot of narrative to help the immersion. The keeper do not simply read out loud the flavor text, he tells a coherent story based on the text (ie like in rpg).

d/ you need a small complete map to place and move the monsters outside the line of sight of investigators. Personally, I draw in 3 minutes the map on a white paper and use a pen to mark the monsters. I always tell the investigators what I do with my threat... but they do not know where it happens exactly, they just hear noises... close or further away...

warm regards
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jen McTeague
United States
Rhode Island
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
If that works for you and your players, excellent. I'm glad that you're enjoying Mansions! Just be aware that it's going to throw off balance a little in favor of the Keeper. (I know both of my fan made scenarios get harder if you do not know what the map looks like, although Completing the Circle not by much)
As long as you're aware of that - have fun!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Guillaume Zork
France
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Well indeed this is true. It gets a bit harder for the investigators. Though, we add the rule of the investigators get a free skill point when they roll a one. And furthermore, when not knowing the map is a handicap after a clue has been discovered, the keeper tend to add extra narrative to guide the investigators. Though, if you play this game like a want-to-win game (which we don't), you may not enjoy this "rpg-like" variant. Though in that case, you may be disappointed in general. The objectives in the official scenarios tend to be very poorly designed and unbalance the game much more than any variant could do ^^.
(We recently played "the yellow matter" and really the objectives are unbalanced and not well thought. What a shame since the flavor and the mechanics were interesting.)

Completing the circle is next on our list (well, after the artic explorer that we should have played already a while ago). I like usually better fan-made than official ones. I shall translate into english the two that were written in french (see here "Esprit Es-tu Là ?" and "The Esoteric Order of Dagon") one of these days. They belong to my top list.

Warm regards
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kolinho dos Santos
msg tools
chicklewis wrote:
Very nicely put, Dumon.

I, as a player, without my X-ray goggles, never felt like I knew everything from the start.

As a keeper, I considered revealing piece by piece, but the chances of screwing up the card order would be much increased, and I couldn't see pausing the game to re-set up every time the players enter a new room. Sort of destroys the excitement of the moment.

In addition, the players NEED TO KNOW what is summoning and coming for them before it appears in their room !!


It's quite the opposite though, pausing to reveal what's through the door adds to the excitement of the moment.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kolinho dos Santos
msg tools
It's true that it requires less powergaming and more fluid play from the keeper, which are only good things imo. As keeper, I read out the fluff text and declare monsters as and when they are played. If the monster is off the revealed board then I simply place them to the side and mark their movement on my map printout. Takes about 20-30 minutes to set it all up, and it's more than worth it imo.

We've played the game through maybe 8 or 9 times now (we have plenty other games to play ) and all but a couple have been decided on the last turn, so i'm not sure I buy that it affects the balance all that much. Though it probably could, but as keeper i'm more interested in messing with the players than I am with 'winning'.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
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.