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Mansions of Madness: What IS this?!?

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Mansions of Madness: What IS this?!?

Post  Mr. Awesome on Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:47 pm

So it occurs to me that not quite everyone is aware of the game in question that I've raised here. So, allow me to enlighten as best I can without spoiling EVERYTHING that could happen here.

Mansions of Madness is, (as per the box...) a game of exploration, mystery, and horror. What this ACTUALLY boils down into is that its a boardgame based upon the works of the author H.P. Lovecraft. Most all the events in the game take place during the rough time frame of the 1920's through the early 1930's and works upon the basic premise of a group of investigators getting caught up into attempting to understand and, by extension STOP the plans and plots of the various horrors and creatures that populated most of Lovecraft's various short stories, novellas, and pulp magazine series.

Now, much like the Forgotten Realms books, having read and super analyzed the works of Lovecraft is not a pre-requisite to play this game. Point in case, most of the events of the stories have long since unfolded and past as the game unfolds, or the events are only related to the particular investigations in only a tertiary fashion at most. So don't be daunted by the author's name being involved stop you from playing. Besides which, I'll drop you some of the related stories based off of the investigation you're either just wrapping up or just getting started on so you get more of a full experience on what exactly IS going on.

Now, what goes on exactly? Well the idea is your group of investigators are given a particular case to solve, this is where the roleplaying aspect is going to come in. Now, role playing is not expressly part of the game, but there is ALOT of room for such things here and in fact, it could only go to further enhance play by leaps and bounds. Now sadly, there are fixed characters that are going to be used for the game, as you've seen via my previous posting, but as you will have probably noticed, they're still pretty wide open in terms of interpretation and backstory, so if you want to embellish them, feel free. As far as gameplay goes, the primary mechanics involve your group slowly investigating a site, and hunting for clues to find out exactly what is going on, and figuring out how to put a stop to it. At the same time though, I, as the keeper, will have my OWN set of goals to achieve in a time limit against you all, and I will be actively trying to put a stop to you as opposed to passively putting out things for you to just kill. Mental damages to your character's sense of sanity as well as injuries will be an issue here. The game is known to have people completely fail at a mission on occasion. All in all, its nothing none of us haven't dealt with before, just in a slightly new format is all.

Hopefully this answers some of your questions, and makes me sheepishly realize I should PROBABLY start putting up explanations well before posting stuff like this again. Any direct questions, please forward them along, and I'll answer as best I can!
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Re: Mansions of Madness: What IS this?!?

Post  Mr. Awesome on Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:08 pm

So, I've noticed that folks have been taking a good look at the stuff I've posted here for this game. Just to further along the process of getting things rolling here, I'm actually wondering how many of you are, in fact, actually interested in PLAYING the game. This way, it will help me to know more about how much prep work and set-up I need to have to do, as well as how many people I can expect to have participating in the end. If you have at least a half-interest in this, please sound off on it soon, so I know what I have to work with.
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Re: Mansions of Madness: What IS this?!?

Post  Colin Marcus on Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:10 pm

I think my main question would be this.

HOW exactly are we making this a role-play experience? I mean... I can understand getting into character around the board and having fun.... but talking about backstories and threads and such... for POSSIBLY a 30-60 minute game, with a high level of character death and dismemberment... I guess I get a bit confused over the actual goals here.

I'm all for playing the game... but I'm not sure I'm gonna write out a complicated backstory for someone destined to die fast and bloody Wink dragon


Besides... I have at least TWO other characters I'm working on backstories for Wink


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Re: Mansions of Madness: What IS this?!?

Post  Mr. Awesome on Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:18 pm

So how DO we make this work? Excellent question. This is one I've been knocking around on both the fantasy flight games forums as well as on boardgamegeek.com and there's REALLY two separate modes of thought that most people have on this game. Either you treat it as a straight board game and ignore any and all roleplaying aspects (which would truely cheat the game of it's unique atmosphere), and those who think to just add more descriptions to things. Myself, I think we can take this a bit further.

The game is set up with individual scenarios, and it actually DOES require some brain stretching and puzzle solving within a group format. That alone lends itself to a role-playing set up. Role play could be set up and begun here on the forums and also accomplished around the table. Now while this may seem like a short period of actual game time versus role playing, I can remember rather quite a few game sessions from multiple different game systems we have ALL participated in over the years that wound up with a long time around a table, with only about an hour of action and we all still walked away pretty happy with the night from that. As far as the danger aspect for the characters go, as I have delved into the mechanics and played with some of the creatures and ideas that can be used in the scenarios there actually ARE ways to bring people back which in itself can lead to other new and unique stories. (granted I'd have to write them in advance, but still...) So ultimate and immediate death isn't going to be QUITE the hurdle that it otherwise could be.

Really, we're not looking at TOO big a shift here from our normal routines of gaming as long as we are able and willing to adjust a bit and enjoy the added bonus of having an actual map of our adventures unfold and expand in front of us. There's alot to be enjoyed from this game, alot of sudden twists and suprises (and I'm not talking about spontanious traumas here) and alot of fun to be had. Its no worse than Ravenloft stuff, and I know everyone has enjoyed that in the past.

Good questions, if anyone has more let me know...

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Re: Mansions of Madness: What IS this?!?

Post  Mr. Awesome on Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:18 pm

Incidentally, I just got a tip on some house rules that someone made, and has provided ALOT of group satisfaction in terms of game play and player enjoyment. Makes the game more competitive for the players versus the Keeper, and gives more flexibility of play. I'll just pull a cut n' paste here to show you what I'm talking about. I'll post the rule change if anyone wants to take a look at them. (Not a huge change, but it's definately enough of one to make it more fun...)

I prefer to play with the "rolling dice equal to the Luck stat and keeping the best" as I feel it retains the spirit of the original rule. Sure, it seems to make Skill Tokens more valuable but hey, if it makes it more fun for the players...

Played with both house rules today in the "Return of the Reanimator" story. Last turn victory for the players, with Michael Mcglen passing an amazing Intellect roll to realize that Herbert West's weakness is a Sledgehammer to the head. Hilarious. A couple of observations:

-happier players

-i had to pull fewer punches with both mythos cards and monster spawning.

-more strategy conversations between players, as they had more options.

-for 3 attacks in a row Dexter Drake decided to throw his swordcane (and missed each time, of course)

Basically, if you are either A) having difficulty keeping your players from being too frustrated, or B) are interested in a more competitive game for the Keeper, I recommend trying out either of the two house rules I mentioned in my original post!

thanks

-wellist
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Re: Mansions of Madness: What IS this?!?

Post  Magyc on Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:39 pm

The setting sounds pretty interesting (though I have only read summaries of his books). How many sessions do you think it would take to play through a module, given what you know about our usual rate of progress? I'll read over the rules, they would make for good lunch time reading.

--Matt
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Re: Mansions of Madness: What IS this?!?

Post  Mr. Awesome on Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:55 pm

Well officially speaking as per Fantasy Flight Games, it takes 2 - 3 hours to play one session of the game, and thats just playing it without any actual story/tension building. The way I look at it, if we were to approach this playing with set up, playing characters, and then the actual investigation themselves, we could probably make one module last upwards of one or two full game sessions. ALSO, there is the fact that every module has about three different variations upon it, so it could be a case where you potentially solve one case, but haven't sorted out ALL of what is going on in your investigations. So we can essentially make one module last for weeks if that was the case.

Also, I've almost cracked how to generate your own investigators for the game. I still have to work out some of the details on skill points, but past that I THINK it's possible enough to make it happen if thats something everyone still is holding out for.
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Re: Mansions of Madness: What IS this?!?

Post  Mr. Awesome on Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:14 pm

Okay, so things are getting extra quiet here. Still need a head count on potential interested parties for Mansions of Madness folks.
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Re: Mansions of Madness: What IS this?!?

Post  Magyc on Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:48 am

Got through about half the rules so far, sounds good. I'm up for trying it.
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Re: Mansions of Madness: What IS this?!?

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:35 pm

When are we going to do this?
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Re: Mansions of Madness: What IS this?!?

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