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Subject: Covering rooms and scattered monsters? A good idea? rss

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Rich Wolgemuth

California
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 We played MoM last night for the first time.  Awesome game.  

I am curious - anyone try playing with the rooms covered at the beginning?  Seems like that would add to the dread and mystery of it, and avoid that "run to the rooms with locks for good stuff" mentality.  You could even add a few scattered monsters underneath some covered rooms that get revealed once a room is opened (just the monster card obviously).  

Any reason why this would or wouldn't work? It's seems obvious and thematic. These people Shouldn't know what a room is until they open the door. This also might get them to split up more to cover more ground.

You could cover a room until someone goes to a door and reveals it.  Maybe then hide a "map" token somewhere as well that can reveal the whole map to speed things along towards the end. 

Thoughts?

Since I'm new to the game I might be missing something. Could this somehow break a crucial element or something? Only thing I can think of is that you might need to add a few rounds to the event timer.
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Martin Smith
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It would make the game a lot harder for the investigators to win (they already have a hard enough job in most scenarios) as they then would no idea where to head next on the board based on the clues (e.g head to the lab).
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Roberta Yang
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One of the investigators' only advantages is being able to see the map. Without that, they'll be spending the first half of the game moving randomly. Hidden rooms have been tried before; in general they're nice for atmosphere but bad for gameplay. They're also something that only works once per scenario (since investigators can remember parts of the map in future plays), so you'd be voluntarily slashing your own replay value.

Thematically, in most cases the investigators know where they're going in advance, and, being investigators, they should be able to look up a map of the building in advance. The blueprints for Walter Lynch's house will be on file at city hall. There's no way they'd be asked to check out the school in Classroom Curses by the principal without having access to a map of the school. Blood Ties even takes place at your own uncle's house! And so on, and so on. Your investigators have done their homework. (Green-Eyed Boy is an exception but depending on the objective it makes sense there too.)

Also, think for a moment about the gameplay implications of giving the keeper a few free monsters right on top of investigators during the game. You may as well just kill all the investigators before they enter the house.
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Rich Wolgemuth

California
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Makes sense. Thanks for your well reasoned response.

I might test it out sometime to see, but your reasoning seems very solid.
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Bazil Khiznjak
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I thin this great Idea. Right now I`m doing some stuff to make clevel cover for all the tiles duiring gameplay. And dopt the rules how the cover works.
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Original Dibbler
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I think it would take away from the fun. I love the discussion the investigators lead after they heared the opening text!

I1: The lab was mentioned. Let's head toward the lab!
I2: No. It is a trap!
I3: We will die if we go there before we have found some things in the other rooms.
...
I1: So? Where are we going To the lab?
I2+3: OK, let's go to the lab...
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Bazil Khiznjak
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Usually when i play, meet with such situation:
I1: there`s Shoggot in library.
I2: Let go around the building.
result: Investigators loose the game.

But with cover until they enter the Library the will not know who`s inside.
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Roberta Yang
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There are a lot of fascinating mysteries to investigate.

"Is the next room the Dining Room... or the Study???" is not one of them.
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David Botartt
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We actually love to play with limited tiles exposed and hidden movement; it really does add a ton of dread factor and the story line takes on more life. And it's really not too hard to manage as long as the keeper is very familiar with the scenario. He might have to make adjustments accordingly: the biggest problem is making sure the clues will still lead them where the investigaotrs need to go. Obviously, if playing this way, the keeper does all the set up and the players never see the map.

First of all, try following the natural storyline: don't cover up any areas they can see right away. If they've had a chance to explore you can allow them to know other areas (i.e in mansions, all outer rooms with plausible windows). Also, if there's a reasonable time they could have researched, allow them a map (place down) the tiles of what they might see. For example, in "Classroom Curses", I allowed the investigators a map of the ground level (given to them by Dr. McBride), though the Attic & Tower was not included. That's usually all you need; a couple of rooms to be exposed later as they explore. It helps if the Keeper uses a screen to hide the hidden tiles until they are exposed, though I just use the box. In some cases monsters begin in on the hidden tiles, so keeping track of their movement is the only tricky thing during play, which is not bad at all. In "Blood Ties", I had all the tiles exposed except for the underground ones. which is only a few tiles so it was easy to move creatures on them, and then exposing them when they come up.

We also tried "the Witch House" this way, with having the boarding house exposed (talking with the student could reasonably reveal the layout) and the otherworld completely hidden. The only difficulty came when arriving to the otherworld, the clue won't lead them anywhere, so I had the surrounding doors open to have those rooms revealed. Thus the tower could be seen and the clue had some relevance...

We're about to play "The Silver Tablet", and the spaces I plan on having hidden are the Master Bedroom, The Tower, Secret Passage, and perhaps The Laboratory (all of those aren't really visible via windows) One of my clues does lead to the freezer, though I figure the players will have expored that space by the time the clue comes up. And even if they haven't...it'll be one of the few unexplored areas and they'll likely check it out as they'll have no where else to go...

With "THe Fall of House Lynch" I was playing with newer players, so only had the Basement & Ceremony room unexposed.

"The Inner Sanctum" I had just the Chapel, Study, And Corner Hall exposed. I did run into a clue problem later, though that was mostly due to the investigators being timid. Usually if they explore at a regular rate, the clue thing won't matter, as they'll at least know to go where they haven't explored (that can be told to them from the begginning, too)

I haven't played "Greeb-Eyed Boy" yet, though this one seems tricky. The storyline has them arriving from a car crash, right to the front door (with no chance to survey or research the area). Thus my inclination would be to have all the rooms hidden. This one seems to want more investigators, so perhaps advise them at the beginning to explore quickly to find where to go. An extra time chit per card will likely help this adventure

"Till Death Do Us Part" also seems tricky, as the only exposed part would be the small Graveyard & Building. Haven't figured out this one either...

Haven't played "Return Of The Reanimator", though at first glance I'd say the Cave 3, Crypt, Secret Passage, Hidden Laboratory be hidden. "Lost in Time & Space" might be one where most of it is unexposed...perhaps just the Front yard, Garden & Graveyard are upturned. Hard to tell until you see how the clues lead....same with "Yellow Matter"

Another thing I'm a big fan of is hiding the cards underneath the tiles until the room gets explored. The players get to enjoy the board more, without the clutter of cards everywhere. Also, they don't see a stack of cards in any closet or whatever, and thus don't know it's a place they must visit. It slows play a little as the keeper has to keep peeking under tiles, but we find it well worth it.

These adjustments make it harder for the players, though I don't think it's very much. And it really does make it much creepier for the players to explore the scenarios. If your playing with less experienced players, you can allow them an extra time chit per event card. Or, as we've tried a few times, allow them to have "Super" investigators, where they get all of the starting items and abilities, instead of having to choose (though they will have to pick one set of numerical abilities...)
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Chris Fern
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Thanks for the great explanation David. I too have been looking into figuring out ways to make the game more immersive.

My idea is to make square and rectangle pieces of black felt to cover the board tiles that have not been explored yet. I think this would give that investigative atmosphere while allowing the players to discover new areas organically. Best part, I don't think, it would add much to the difficulty due to the fact that they know the size of the map. I definitely want to use Davids idea of keeping hidden areas, such as caves and underground passages, secret and off the table. I feel that it makes sense and by exploring the main area they will undoubtedly discover the ladder or doorway leading to said caves naturally.

I will update with how it goes once I have a chance to set it up and test it out.
 
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