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Mansions of Madness: House of Fears» Forums » General

Subject: Don't play Objective 1C. rss

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Roberta Yang
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It's an autowin for the keeper, and a really boring anticlimactic one at that. If you want an interesting game, run 1A or 1B.

Explanation:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
In 1C, while the objective is revealed the keeper can spend 2 Threat as a Keeper Action to discard a revealed Lost Soul from play, provided it has a monster in its room. The keeper's win condition is that no revealed Lost Souls exist.

Now, if I were being particularly pedantic, I'd point out that the keeper technically wins at the start of the game, since when the game begins there are no revealed Lost Souls. But while that's something that should have been written better, the intent is clearly that the keeper wins when no revealed Lost Souls remain after the objective is revealed.

The problem? The Breaking Character Keeper Action card, for 2 Threat, plops a monster in a room with a Lost Soul. Neither this nor the "discard a Lost Soul" effect have a per-turn limit. Result: Even if all 4 Lost Souls are revealed when the objective is revealed, the keeper can spend 16 Threat to plop down four monsters, remove the four Lost Souls from play, and immediately win the game. All the keeper needs to do is save up Threat for a few turns, then spend it all when Clue 1 is found and declare victory.


Fan scenario writers, take note: when testing your scenario, make sure the keeper can't save up all their Threat for several turns and then spend it all at once to win instantly, with no possible defense. It's a very common type of problem in scenarios that can easily sneak in if you're not careful, and it leads to very boring easy games.

I want to play a couple more times, and try it from the keeper's perspective, before I write up a proper review of this scenario, but it's worth giving a warning now to stay away from that objective, since playing it is a total waste of time.
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Jen McTeague
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On a positive note, 1A was an absolutely fine objective. The scenario has interesting mechanics and the objective felt back and forth. The end came down to
Spoiler (click to reveal)
How the puzzle was set up - could Michael McGlen solve the puzzle by himself in one turn?

so overall, not bad. So far, it seems to be the best of the PODs.


Also, it has the best "Story so Far" I have seen. If you can do the appropriate 1920's talent agent voice while reading it, all the better.
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Roberta Yang
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Iammars wrote:
On a positive note, 1A was an absolutely fine objective. The scenario has interesting mechanics and the objective felt back and forth. The end came down to
Spoiler (click to reveal)
How the puzzle was set up - could Michael McGlen solve the puzzle by himself in one turn?

so overall, not bad. So far, it seems to be the best of the PODs.


Also, it has the best "Story so Far" I have seen. If you can do the appropriate 1920's talent agent voice while reading it, all the better.

Indeed, that was indeed the case. Which is all the more reason to warn people away from the one bad objective - hate to spoil an actual good scenario by playing its one bad instance first. (After all, most good scenarios have at least one broken objective.)
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Simon W
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Cool, thanks for the warning. I'm looking to run this on Wednesday, and this scenario looks like it has the potential to be the best yet.
 
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Bob Holmstrom
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You would think by now, FFG would have all MoM scenarios outside playtested.

Or even competently proofed to avoid simple things like this.
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Roberta Yang
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It's odd because it's such an obvious exploit - it's not even an exploit, the keeper's win condition is literally "spend 16 Threat after the objective is revealed", the "exploit" is just doing it all at once. Iammars first noticed it before we ever ran the game when he was just doing the keeper setup; this isn't even a lack of playtesting, it's a lack of reading.
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Nicola Zee
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salty53 wrote:
It's odd because it's such an obvious exploit - it's not even an exploit, the keeper's win condition is literally "spend 16 Threat after the objective is revealed", the "exploit" is just doing it all at once. Iammars first noticed it before we ever ran the game when he was just doing the keeper setup; this isn't even a lack of playtesting, it's a lack of reading.


Hello Roberta. I'm going to buy this scenario and my husband is going to run it - so I don't want to know all the details of story and fix Objective 1C myself. Is there any chance you're going to post up a fix, please?
 
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Roberta Yang
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The simplest fix I can think of is:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
2 Threat can be spent as a Keeper Action to discard a Lost Soul from play if there is a monster in its room other than a Witch or Cultist.


Unfortunately, investigators have so few ways of manipulating the game element in question that can't really say with certainty that it would help; it could still be easy for the keeper to set up in advance for a single-turn win, without the investigators having much ability to stop it. Maybe also tacking "once per turn" onto that effect would help?

For now in my mind it's basically a two-objective scenario, which isn't great but to be honest there aren't any real three-objective published scenarios yet (I need to get around to fixing Inner Sanctum's objectives, it's a fun core scenario but all three objectives are broken beyond belief), and outside of that objective the scenario does seem very fun.
 
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Nicola Zee
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Thanks for replying. I happily tack on 'once per turn' onto things but as I don't want to study the scenarios I'm going to follow your advice and just ask my hubby to avoid 1C.

With Inner Sanctum, I use a fix for 1B based on Chris's fix. I'm in correspondence with Chris re fixing 1C - it's more complex than it seems. Once I finalize the fix do you want me to email you what I come up with? I don't intend to post it to the forum as it overlaps with Chris's work.
 
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Roberta Yang
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Isn't 1B the Chthonian? That's actually the least broken of the objectives, since it's only an autowin for the keeper if the investigators are unprepared for it (whereas the other two are keeper autowins even if the investigators know they are possible objectives). Though with a nerf to Summon Worshippers, the insanity objective would probably be all right.
 
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Nicola Zee
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salty53 wrote:
Isn't 1B the Chthonian? That's actually the least broken of the objectives, since it's only an autowin for the keeper if the investigators are unprepared for it (whereas the other two are keeper autowins even if the investigators know they are possible objectives). Though with a nerf to Summon Worshippers, the insanity objective would probably be all right.


I play Summon Worshippers: Once per altar per turn.

Even with this it's usually fairly easy wins for the keeper. So, I'm thinking of using variants based on Chris's ideas.

'Summoning' modded to include Chthonian for 4 cultists and Crawling Chaor for 3.

Objective 1B - Inner Sanctum
If a Chthonian is in the Chapel at the start of your turn, reveal this objective. It does not move but may attack adjacent spaces.

At the start of your turn (if there is at least 1 Cultist in the Chapel) place a horror token on this card. The keeper wins if there are 4 tokens on this card at the end of the Event step.

The monstrous creature is growing rapidly in size and soon will consume the whole monastery. But if it is killed or driven away, the cultists will lose heart and flee. You remember, Marie was working on a spell to send the creature back from whence it came but the ritual will take her a long time.

The investigators win if the Chthonian is ‘killed’.

If the ‘Dhol Chants’ card has not been found, the keeper reveals the room it is in.

Objective 1C

The summoning of the cult’s evil god requires a ritual performed by three alien creatures at key locations - followed by a suitable sacrifice.

The keeper may reveal this objective if a Beast or Eldritch Horror monster is in the Chapel, Study and Corner Hallway 2. The keeper wins if a Beast or Eldritch Horror kills an investigator or Event V is resolved.

Marie has been marked as the special offering to the cult’s foul god. If she escapes, the ritual will fail and the wrathful god will take its revenge on its worshippers.

The investigators win if an investigator with the ‘Marie Leblanc’ Ally card escapes from the Chapel.
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S. R.
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Interesting.
I found, at the outset, objective 1C to be the most interesting one.

Concerning the Objective, I had a completely different take on this thing. As I understood it, you can only kill one of the Lost Souls per Action Round. Granted, it is not really worded this way, but then, it is not worded differently, either.

Additionally, and again this is not specifically stated, I understood the objective to be in effect only once the Objective Card was revealed. So basically the Lost Souls can only be killed once the Lost Reel is found.

If you do it this way, it takes the Keeper 4 rounds to kill the Souls. And these four rounds are all the players need to fulfill their own objective. It is tense in the end, but possible for the investigators.

However, it needs careful planning, and very good gameplay. And it is easier than thought for the Keeper, and basically an autowin in the fourth round after revealing the Objective.

This is especially true if there are 4 investigators, as nothing stops the Keeper from Insta-Summon-Kill a Lost Soul (2 Threat + 2 Threat).

On the other hand, I don't know if using other monsters only will provide the Keeper with any chance to win this at all. It all comes down to knowing the Events. If you do, then yes, this is possible. If you don't, no way.
There are only so many other monsters you can place in this scenario. And when they are killed, it is an insta-lose for the Keeper.


I would opt for a different fix, here.
I would suggest that the Keeper
a) can only kill 1 LS per round (making it a fixed rule)
b) can only win after objective reveal (dito)
c) can only kill a LS at the beginning of his Action phase, therefore making it impossible to insta-summon-kill.
d) has to remove a Cultist/Witch killing a LS, just like a regular attack

This way, investigators have a chance to react, can kill monsters before they have an effect, and still the Keeper has a chance to use his Cultists and Witches to that effect. I am not even sure if d) is such a good idea, since it does not take long for the investigator to escape with the Lost Reel...
 
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David Cart
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I always thought the cultist/witch placed in the room was the Lost soul...that it broke character for a second to to attack the material human world. Thinking this way they couldn't (or wouldn't) simply attack themselves to end the game
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Byron Campbell
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CabotArt wrote:
I always thought the cultist/witch placed in the room was the Lost soul...that it broke character for a second to to attack the material human world. Thinking this way they couldn't (or wouldn't) simply attack themselves to end the game


This is indeed the case. I played this story for the first time today, and I played it with a few additional unwritten rules in place:

1) Only one lost soul can be killed per turn. Any time I see a keeper action that might win me the game in a single round, I mentally tack a once per turn clause onto it. Winning by an exploit just isn't fun.

2) This ability is only in effect after objective reveal.

3) Lost souls cannot attack themselves via break character. I guess you could have them attack each other if they are in the same room, but that still takes several extra turns and some additional threat. I used a hound of tindalos and a maniac (the editor) to kill all four of them after having them mass in the Chapel.

4) Monsters spawned by Breaking Character are one per Lost Soul, and they can't leave the room the Lost Soul is currently in. I chose not to attack with one of them early on to up the suspense (I play so investigators don't know the effects of keeper actions until they happen). This seemed obvious thematically.

All of these tweaks were just based on a thematic reading of the cards, but they also served to balance the scenario, it seems. I still won by a large margin, but that was because my investigators got way off track early on (tried to enter the library from the study, which was also locked). If I hadn't won, the game would have been over before they completed their objective anyway. If only Dexter Drake had picked Mists of Rlyeh instead of that sword cane, things might have gone differently...

Overall, I thought it was a fun objective with those rules in place.
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