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Mansions of Madness» Forums » Variants

Subject: Dungeon crawler like exploration rss

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Frank Otte
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Our gaming group loves exploring locations tile per tile while moving, like in a classical dungeon crawler.

I did not play Mansions of Madness yet, but its seems, that this aspect is lost, because the complete mansion is always prepared from the beginning of the game (contrary to Betrayal at House on the Hill, for example).

So I wonder: Is there any tested game variant, that makes a Mansion "explorable" in this way, while keep all official scenarios playable with that?

Btw, I know, that you must still explore the interior of a room in Mansions of Madness, but nevertheless, the geographic layout of the rooms seems to be open knowledge from the beginning with the official rules.
 
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Tibs
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I wouldn't.

Clues read aloud to the investigators indicate to them where they're supposed to be headed. If they can't see the room names they'll have no idea where to go.

Keeper actions and events often have monsters spawning in rooms that haven't yet been reached by the investigators.

 
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Frank Otte
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kungfro wrote:
Clues read aloud to the investigators indicate to them where they're supposed to be headed. If they can't see the room names they'll have no idea where to go.


Well, they can try ;)

kungfro wrote:
Keeper actions and events often have monsters spawning in rooms that haven't yet been reached by the investigators.


That's exactly one of the main "compatibility" problems, I saw with this concept, when I have read the rules.
 
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Jorgen Peddersen
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Keep in mind that the investigators will almost certainly lose if they treat this as any sort of dungeon crawl. They do not have a lot of time, and if they don't keep themselves going directly for the clues, then they will find it very difficult to win.

The first thing I tell new investigators is to ensure they are always advancing the clue trail.

However, it also seems like the Call of the Wild expansion might be perfect for you. It includes one adventure where the map is built as you go, more like a traditional dungeon crawl. It also has another mission that has no clues and no Keeper, where the object for most players is to explore to find Items with which to better kill monsters. A third mission will have you doing slightly random quests for various characters trying to figure out which one is evil, which also removes much of the linearity found in the base game scenarios.
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Tibs
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I thought of another issue. There are lots of doors and edges of the map that don't actually go anywhere. When playing with a full map it'll be obvious to everyone where they can't go but with your "dungeon crawl" vision, this will wind up actually being less thematic. Why doesn't this door open? Why can't they leave the garden? The investigators will wind up wasting time, which is a precious commodity in MoM.

Hermjard wrote:

I did not play Mansions of Madness yet

...

Well, they can try [to find the room without a map]


Once you actually play, you'll see where I'm coming from.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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There's always Betrayal at House on the Hill...

-shnar
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Roberta Yang
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In most of the scenarios, the investigators know where they're going before they arrive and have time to gather information in advance; it makes sense that they would be able to look up the records at City Hall to find the plans for Walter Lynch's house, or peek in the windows before entering the front door. The only exceptions I can think of are the Green-Eyed Boy, but certain objectives there have their own thematic reason for why the investigators should be able to just know what the house looks like.
 
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Byron Campbell
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One thing nobody has mentioned yet is that setting up the board properly is fairly time consuming and absolutely must be done right. This means that if you add tiles as you go (can't flip them, cuz they're double sided) you are also taking the extra time to seed the exploration cards and sometimes other tokens each time someone finds a new room, and this is a process you can't rush (and should do secretly in any case). There is one way around this, which is to seed the cards on the map pieces but not actually construct the map, but I think it would be simpler just to play the game as it was designed.
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Jon Dennis
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Cover unexplored tiles up with paper. Is an incredibly easy and fun fix. The only trick is remembering where you spawn and move monsters on unexplored sections. This is easily solved by copying and laminating the map and using a dry erase marker.
I also give players the option to listen at doors with this variant, and I tell them if they hear something moving in the next room. They can also close the door instead of enter (after making their horror checks of course).
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Guillaume Zork
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You can play by revealing tiles as investigators move into the map. The immersion is much deeper, though the keeper must give extra-help to the investigators. If the keeper is playing to win at all cost, this won't work. Some scenarios are very nice for playing that way, others are not.

After some games, we now place most of the tiles at the begining but replace tokens to signal the card stacks (so we can enjoy the nice map not hidden by the ugly cards). We use 3D doors to mark the locked doors and colored tokens for the obsctacles, so that all info is available to investigators.

The All saint asylum fan scenario has some hidden tiles. Plus, there is a new fan scenario (Mines of Yuggoth), still under test, with 3 mini-maps and only one is placed at the begining of the game. Though, the scenario was designed and balanced around this idea.
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Frank Otte
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macgowan wrote:
Cover unexplored tiles up with paper. Is an incredibly easy and fun fix. The only trick is remembering where you spawn and move monsters on unexplored sections. This is easily solved by copying and laminating the map and using a dry erase marker.
I also give players the option to listen at doors with this variant, and I tell them if they hear something moving in the next room. They can also close the door instead of enter (after making their horror checks of course).


I think, this is a great idea! Thanks for it!

Btw, the doublesided print of the house tiles is not per se an argument against tile-discovering, as Descent can easily prove.
 
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