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#21 SenFei

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Posted 01 October 2011 - 10:23 PM

The way i dealing with the mythos card is I making my players to make a will power check, because i telling them all this might just an illusion which make them believe that thing actually happen around them. if the person fail that check the mythos power reflect on them. some of the mythos card has their own requirement so i don't change them. it is fun to see your player to suspecioues about that which card you going to throw at them while without worry that players though u all full power on them. if bad things happen to them  i will just reply .... you haven't make sacrifice to your dice god.....( 8 games i only kill 2 player with that which every time they role 10....... what a luck  =p) evil laugh with this i have no worry to throw "there is only  one way out" so far out of 8 game keeper win 4 player win 4 . very balance record  with this house there still some player like your case... board is game is for player to win... while my answer is that would prefer that i play original ruling just on you evil grim and he was like grup... @@;; well and i totally agree with what Elbi say here.. if you can apply some of your own house rule to make things fun without changing too much. i c this game as story telling and enjoy the mod while anything might happen on 1 rare occasion  i tell my players that all this thing is just happen in their dream and they win the game because i just enjoy they effort the working out with each other struggle to survive and this is  4 v 1 scenario and actually they lose the game while they lose the actual game. i also reward them with skill point if they manage to complete some task which i note down in my note book...  so it encourage them to playing  (which i don't really write any stuff i reward them depends they willing to coporate with each other or how they manage the harsh situation some, time i did just to show them) and as long your player enjoy any type of keeper is still fun =) 

 


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#22 GrimJester

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Posted 27 December 2011 - 10:09 PM

I have been playing role-playing games for almost 30 years, and it's important as a GM/DM/"Keeper" in a RPG to give the players the experience that they're looking for.  However, I don't feel that MoM is a role-playing game.  Sure, it has vague role-playing elements when it comes to hit points and story accents, but it isn't a role-playing game for the following reasons:

-Options are limited due to the board game's rules. You can't problem solve the challenges in MoM the same way that you would in a RPG.  A RPG has virtually infinite more options.

-Players can see all the rooms on the board as well as the monsters.

With that being said, this is a board game with opposing players.  The rules of the game are built around this concept.  If you're using this as a role-playing game, I think that you'd be happier playing a role-playing game!  I have heard that some people use this as a way to get board gamers into role-playing... I guess I'm for that, if that's what it takes to convert them. :)

I've played the game twice so far as a Keeper.  Each time, the investigators lost.  The first time, they were just a few spaces from the exit.  In the second game, they were brutally overwhelmed.  I am very curious to see how tactics and interest levels change as the scenarios are re-played.

This may be inappropriate, but I also play another board game that pits heroes versus zombies.  Players take both sides, and in the end, one side ends up winning.  Like Mom, the game creates an excellent mood related to the genre, but in the end, it's a board game.

Of course you can play it as you'd like, but the main idea of my post is this: If you're more concerned about telling a great story with your players, play a role-playing game instead of a board game.  I think you'll be much happier.



#23 Morbox

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 04:36 AM

I really like this discussion. Have the game brand-new and have only played the game against myself with one investigator to find out more about how the game works. It was actually quite close, but the Keeper won by one lost and actually quite easy dice roll (Story 1B, keeper was a bit slow, final objective was changed a bit to be winnable by the keeper, elder sign roll didn't work out) But until now I've read more than enough about the game being brick-hard for the investigators. My two cents as quite an experienced roleplayer and all-over game geek: The game is winnable for both and thus both sides should win not too rarely. The rest depends strongly on the group. I.e. what makes play interesting for it. I think that this question, for example, is essential: How much are the players into Lovecraft? Because doom is part of the flavour with this guy. No story ends entirely well and some spell out doom for all of mankind. At the least for the protagonist(s). If all people involved are big Lovecraft fans, I think they are quite okay with a ratio that is quite, uh, distant from a 50/50 ratio. If people still want to win once in a while you could rotate the keeper role ;). In Arkham Horror, for instance, we had some games where we were on a road straight to hell, but instead of quitting or saying it's boring we played on and just died in face of the odds. But if the other players (I won't say YOUR players, I think the last thing you should be in this game is a DM) do aim for a ratio that is around 50/50, you should, in my opinion, not try to go easy (that's ridiculous. If they get wind of it they might think that their victory is worthless, etc.), but you should, after two games or so, try to change some rules. I'm not experienced enough with this game, but allowing skill point use after the roll might be a quick and easy idea to make things at least a bit easier for them. My experience with other games is that sometimes you just have to do this to keep games fun. You shouldn't be afraid of it. Nobody's perfect, game designers included. Afterwards you don't have to feel like a GM who doesn't want to have his players die all the time, but you can actually feel and act like the evil overlord you should be. Most important thing of all: I think you should talk to the other people and see what can make the game enjoyable, if it wasn't so this time. If everyone expects something else from the experience, you will be hard pressed to find some middle ground, especially if you don't talk about it.


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#24 MaddockKrug

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 05:56 AM

Hi everyone,

this is a very interesting topic. And I must say that I feel inclined to generally agree with what was being said. Now, why do I post then? Because I would like to add my 2c, a couple of new thoughts (unbelievable  since there are already plenty of good points), and to "reactivate" my FFG-forum-entity again. :)

 

First of all:


  • SolennelBern said: ... We immediately started arguying when he said to me: "You know, the Keeper is not there to win, don't throw every cards at us at once and place monsters everywhere. You're there to tell the story and blablablahhh...". ...


I need to disagree with your friend there. Although there is some truth in what he says especially about throwing around with monsters on each and every corner, the general point he takes about the Keeper not bound to win is completely wrong. On the one hand the rules of MoM tell you differently by

a) setting a specific goal for the Keeper to win as well as

b) explaining that the Keeper works against the cooperating Investigators aka the other gamers.

Just check it with what is described on pgs 1 and 14 in the Keeper's Handbook and also on pg 6 of the Rulesbook; you'll find this described in black on yellowbrownish or grey ...)

Furthermore there is no entry within the rulebooks that describe the Keeper as a storyteller. Right at the beginning of the rules there is a brief mentioning about all the gamers, i.e. Investigators along with the Keeper, to tell a thrilling and exciting story of true horror. But that's all ...

On the other hand - as being already mentioned - this is not an RPG, although it feels like it with respect to several game-concepts; and I doubt that this general rule about the Keeper/ Rolegame-Master being not bound to win is fully applicable on RPGs as well (which is arguable though) ...

Second:

I had some interesting and funny experiences in this game so far - five times I played it as a Keeper, and all the time I tried to be "polite" by keeping a low profile, explaining rules, throwing in some cooperative ideas. All this happened because I felt like a game-master of an RPG. And it even did not feel wrong doing so. Also the gamers realized that MoM is very complex and that I / we tried to stick as close to the rules as they are written down by the Great Old Ones of FFG ...

I only advanced against the players in accordance with the rules and tools I had, when there were pretty nasty situations by which I was able to catch the investigators flatfooted. And even then when I tossed tons of misfortunate tragedies at my gamers they still enjoyed the game a lot - mostly because then they realized that

a) I am not the nice guy I was so far and I had my own goals to win the game,

b) these things added a new level of complexity and problems to solve,

c) things happened as scarcely or were used as sparsely as good spice in a soup, and

d) it was well within what was allowed by the game-rules and evil game-schemes ...

During all the five games so far I happened to win in three sessions and loose two. And with the exception of one game all the different results were basically a surprise to me as well - especially since I sat around during the better part of the game not interacting too much. The reason for that is simple: Although I set up the game as described in the Keeper's Handbook, I did not care a lot about reading the different story-goals and clues etc. Therefore I blindfoldedly stumbled through the games as did the other gamers by investigating the Mansion, suffering from Madness and finally experiencing the utmost evil clowding above their heads.

During the one and last different game session I really did not have to do a lot about winning the game; because the gamers simply did not agree on what to do; they scattered around, argued (roleplayed) a lot and made it pretty simple for me to win, while they simply did as much wrong as possible and also suffered from bad luck in dicing; simply the time ran out for them ... Still: They enjoyed it. Me as well ...

So the points here are more then two things:

a) Cooperate with your gamers; since you are the Keeper you very likely are the one somehow "controlling" the game;

b) make the gamers feel like being in charge of the development of the story, because that's the way the game takes place(!)*;

c) be malicious every now and then;

d) don't forget your own goals during this game, i.e. don't forget to try to be successful in winning the game (what a mad sentence ...);

e) stick to the rules, then no harm is done and you won't even need to work with houserules;

f) enjoy the game together with your friends/ other gamers.

*Although there is the "artificial intelligence" of the game with the threat level gaining slowly and leading to a lot of stress within the story, it is up to the investigators to explore the Mansion of Madness; the Keeper only has at best some toons around and little opportunity to influence the things taking place; most of the time the Keeper is "only" the one managing situations popping in due to the actions of gamers and especially some incidents as the results of threat-levels and clues; only very few Keeper's Action Cards (don't know the proper English word for it ...) allow him to influence the game heavily - and even then he is restricted by the threat markers he may throw in to afford things like that ...

I hope all this makes some sense - somehowish.

Third:

Now something completely different:

When I read the rules of MoM the first time I had the impression that the game-developers had one thing in mind: There are several ways to be the more or less evil Keeper. As with the old Holes and flying Lizards game (due to trademark issues it might be a problem to write Dungeons and Dragons ... ooops!!! Now it happened ... ) I would like to differ between three different evil Keeper alignments:

-> lawful evil - you play along the rules, know your goal and try to get there - not with an inner drive, not on purpose, just in accordance to the rules and situations;

-> neutral evil - you know that you have a goal to reach, but maybe things take too weird turns, so let's see and maybe forget about options;

-> chaotic evil - do everything to kill the Investigators and maybe the gamers at the table as well ... (well, maybe not the gamers, but the investigators Yarrr!!!);

(other alignmets might available for Keepers as well, but what would be the point then to play a Keeper?).

Since this is up to the keeper to decide, there may be different expectations by the other gamers. That's why I suggest that - especially with experienced MoM gamers - you should discuss about the threat-level of your personal game-style as the Keeper before you start the game. Should it be more like sweet ice-cream with sugar on top and some fruits, or more like nightmarish-blood-spilling-soul-creeping hell ... ?

Years back when I was a gamemaster I started with discussing things like this before the game; and I also agreed with the other gamers how to deal with rule issues during gameplay. And since we treated and still treat agreements like these [b]more like guidelines[b] and not like heavy-duty-death-sentence-rules we very seldomly experience bad game-situations ...

 

All that being said: Am I a bad Keeper?

 

All the best!

Mad


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For GM: Mad's Adventure, Adventure Hooks, NPCs, and Locations - same at RPGGEEK

 

SW, to me, is a Spaghetti Western with space ships for horses. No matter what you do it causes a problem.  You just might save the day.  Crazy heroics and adventure!

 


#25 SolennelBern

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 05:04 AM

MaddockKrug said:

Hi everyone,

this is a very interesting topic. And I must say that I feel inclined to generally agree with what was being said. Now, why do I post then? Because I would like to add my 2c, a couple of new thoughts (unbelievable  since there are already plenty of good points), and to "reactivate" my FFG-forum-entity again. :)

 

First of all:


  • SolennelBern said: … We immediately started arguying when he said to me: "You know, the Keeper is not there to win, don't throw every cards at us at once and place monsters everywhere. You're there to tell the story and blablablahhh…". …


I need to disagree with your friend there. Although there is some truth in what he says especially about throwing around with monsters on each and every corner, the general point he takes about the Keeper not bound to win is completely wrong. On the one hand the rules of MoM tell you differently by

a) setting a specific goal for the Keeper to win as well as

b) explaining that the Keeper works against the cooperating Investigators aka the other gamers.

Just check it with what is described on pgs 1 and 14 in the Keeper's Handbook and also on pg 6 of the Rulesbook; you'll find this described in black on yellowbrownish or grey …)

Furthermore there is no entry within the rulebooks that describe the Keeper as a storyteller. Right at the beginning of the rules there is a brief mentioning about all the gamers, i.e. Investigators along with the Keeper, to tell a thrilling and exciting story of true horror. But that's all …

On the other hand - as being already mentioned - this is not an RPG, although it feels like it with respect to several game-concepts; and I doubt that this general rule about the Keeper/ Rolegame-Master being not bound to win is fully applicable on RPGs as well (which is arguable though) …

Second:

I had some interesting and funny experiences in this game so far - five times I played it as a Keeper, and all the time I tried to be "polite" by keeping a low profile, explaining rules, throwing in some cooperative ideas. All this happened because I felt like a game-master of an RPG. And it even did not feel wrong doing so. Also the gamers realized that MoM is very complex and that I / we tried to stick as close to the rules as they are written down by the Great Old Ones of FFG …

I only advanced against the players in accordance with the rules and tools I had, when there were pretty nasty situations by which I was able to catch the investigators flatfooted. And even then when I tossed tons of misfortunate tragedies at my gamers they still enjoyed the game a lot - mostly because then they realized that

a) I am not the nice guy I was so far and I had my own goals to win the game,

b) these things added a new level of complexity and problems to solve,

c) things happened as scarcely or were used as sparsely as good spice in a soup, and

d) it was well within what was allowed by the game-rules and evil game-schemes …

During all the five games so far I happened to win in three sessions and loose two. And with the exception of one game all the different results were basically a surprise to me as well - especially since I sat around during the better part of the game not interacting too much. The reason for that is simple: Although I set up the game as described in the Keeper's Handbook, I did not care a lot about reading the different story-goals and clues etc. Therefore I blindfoldedly stumbled through the games as did the other gamers by investigating the Mansion, suffering from Madness and finally experiencing the utmost evil clowding above their heads.

During the one and last different game session I really did not have to do a lot about winning the game; because the gamers simply did not agree on what to do; they scattered around, argued (roleplayed) a lot and made it pretty simple for me to win, while they simply did as much wrong as possible and also suffered from bad luck in dicing; simply the time ran out for them … Still: They enjoyed it. Me as well …

So the points here are more then two things:

a) Cooperate with your gamers; since you are the Keeper you very likely are the one somehow "controlling" the game;

b) make the gamers feel like being in charge of the development of the story, because that's the way the game takes place(!)*;

c) be malicious every now and then;

d) don't forget your own goals during this game, i.e. don't forget to try to be successful in winning the game (what a mad sentence …);

e) stick to the rules, then no harm is done and you won't even need to work with houserules;

f) enjoy the game together with your friends/ other gamers.

*Although there is the "artificial intelligence" of the game with the threat level gaining slowly and leading to a lot of stress within the story, it is up to the investigators to explore the Mansion of Madness; the Keeper only has at best some toons around and little opportunity to influence the things taking place; most of the time the Keeper is "only" the one managing situations popping in due to the actions of gamers and especially some incidents as the results of threat-levels and clues; only very few Keeper's Action Cards (don't know the proper English word for it …) allow him to influence the game heavily - and even then he is restricted by the threat markers he may throw in to afford things like that …

I hope all this makes some sense - somehowish.

Third:

Now something completely different:

When I read the rules of MoM the first time I had the impression that the game-developers had one thing in mind: There are several ways to be the more or less evil Keeper. As with the old Holes and flying Lizards game (due to trademark issues it might be a problem to write Dungeons and Dragons … ooops!!! Now it happened … ) I would like to differ between three different evil Keeper alignments:

-> lawful evil - you play along the rules, know your goal and try to get there - not with an inner drive, not on purpose, just in accordance to the rules and situations;

-> neutral evil - you know that you have a goal to reach, but maybe things take too weird turns, so let's see and maybe forget about options;

-> chaotic evil - do everything to kill the Investigators and maybe the gamers at the table as well … (well, maybe not the gamers, but the investigators Yarrr!!!);

(other alignmets might available for Keepers as well, but what would be the point then to play a Keeper?).

Since this is up to the keeper to decide, there may be different expectations by the other gamers. That's why I suggest that - especially with experienced MoM gamers - you should discuss about the threat-level of your personal game-style as the Keeper before you start the game. Should it be more like sweet ice-cream with sugar on top and some fruits, or more like nightmarish-blood-spilling-soul-creeping hell … ?

Years back when I was a gamemaster I started with discussing things like this before the game; and I also agreed with the other gamers how to deal with rule issues during gameplay. And since we treated and still treat agreements like these [b]more like guidelines[b] and not like heavy-duty-death-sentence-rules we very seldomly experience bad game-situations …

 

All that being said: Am I a bad Keeper?

 

All the best!

Mad

Awesome post Mad, thanks!



#26 Tromdial

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 04:33 AM

My group plays with the Keeper unleashed: he gets the skill point variant and there is no holding back. Out of 50 or more games, I as Keeper am undefeated still, and alas we continue to play. I believe there is three reasons why:

1) When I get my uncommon chance to play Investigator, I am veteran to the game and I immediately tell players what I don't feel the Keeper should say to other experienced players on how to win (i.e. like Season of the Witch is definitely a map for grinning devilishly while seasoned players scratch their heads and lose their marbles). I state that the longer you wait, the stronger the Keeper gets. Always go for the clues as fast as possible, as sometimes that is your only means of winning is by finding Clue 1; as well, always leave enough time to escape. If doom seems assured before the Objective even flips, take your odds to running back to the start and hope there's an escape win; and even if the objective flips as no escape and the mission proves too improbable, stay alive until the Event deck runs out and see if that makes a tie or a win for investigators (because let's face it: a tie makes the Keeper equally sad ). If that doesn't either then you know next time it is more likely you will have to fight tooth and nail to win, and knowledge is power.

I win as an investigator about half the time. Playing as the Keeper too once or twice also broadens your horizons on Investigator stratagem immensely. The other means of good Investigator tactics against a near-impossible Keeper is try and try again because of all the knowledge you gain each time you lose on a map. Lately I have noticed a huge difference in Investigator line-up: some maps are way easier with fewer investigators while some others are way easier with a whole mob. Keeping the Keeper on his toes by going non-stop after clues is probably my best advice; every round less he has of threat, the better for you. I could also continue on tactics for paragraphs and paragraphs but I feel the rest needs to be experienced by readers like you.

2) I dangle the proverbial carrot too: I have more than 50 wins. That daunting statistic makes all my friends want the privilege of knocking me off that high and mighty Keeper pedestal, and I get more worried about their tactics each and every session. My new thing to take in account is Dexter Drake and one of his two Once Per Game abilities that allows him to "teleport" for his turn . Because I show people when I play as an Investigator how it's possible to win, this "reward" becomes more and more fetching each time we play. A couple sessions ago my friend stumbled upon a weakness the Keeper has on a particular map and albeit I am willing to play it again, I am genuinely worried because it's a gaping weak-spot. When we do play it again, I definitely want one or two more friends present so my fall will be felt by many.

3) Playing against the Keeper hardcore is a fun way to experience sheer terror. Very few games give me an overwhelming sense of horror as I slowly approach a natural defeat, but the win against it is that much sweeter. I can't recommend Mansions, imo, without the huge challenge factor. I believe really what makes the game is having your investigator's hopes dashed as he and his friends are shredded to ribbons. This is the way of playing Mansions: more investment as a gamer to watch poor souls undergo merciless wrath from a greater power.


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#27 SolennelBern

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 03:59 AM

Ok, after 5 games in the past 3 weeks, all as Investigators (which I love), I must say that this game is pretty well balanced in all aspects.  Sure there's some holes here and there and some scenarios are completely imbalanced but it remains a greatly enjoyable game and even more so when the Keeper (in those games, my brother) is playing to give the Investigators a hell of a hard time.

One thing that the "Arguing friend" doesn't seem to understand is that if the Keeper would let lose everything he can in every rounds he would still be limited by his Threat bank, the many options provided by his Action cards, the limit and windows oppotunities to play Mythos and Trauma cards, his random hands of Mythos and Trauma cards and the rules.

So, in all those 5 games (Scenarios #1 to #4 from the base game and Scenario #1 from Forbidden Alchemy), I felt the terror all around me but never did I felt like this was a dead end.  Till the end of each games we could never tell which side had the edge and never we felt it was a no win situation for either of us.  Most games were decided at the very end, in the last turns.

This is pretty awesome if you ask me (well, us) and the more my bro plays the Keeper, the more he sees the tools he have and how/when to best use them.

The Keeper is not a babysitter, he's a weird dude that like seeing petty humans suffer



#28 m0j0NL

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 11:36 PM

I have 2 friends with who i play lots of board games, and the other day we were playing Doom, with a friend being the "Keeper", and he played his role in such a way that in the early and middle stage of the game he held back, we gained a lot of ground, then towards the end he upped his evil level, and we lost.

I had a big discussion with him that a "Keeper" should be the enemy of the players, he should do his stuff to make them fail, to kick their b-hind, to make us fight for the win, he did not agree.

Not long ago we played Descent for the first time, i was the Keeper, and i went hardcore and tried to beat them, the former keeper dude went crazy because of all the traps i tossed at him, but after playing around 6 levels, the score is 3 wins for me, 3 wins for them.

They had to beat me, because i did not go easy on them, and they did 50% of the time.. which made the win really great for them, there was even a high 5 :P

Tomorrow is our first game of MoM, i will be keeper, and i will not be going easy on them (unless i find out my win ratio is like 100%).

 

Kr.


m0j0
 


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