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Radish

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  1. In that scenario we got 4 out of 5 rings during the parade and ran out of time during the party with only a few wasted turns fighting monsters and talking to people. If even slightly being inefficient means an end state because of the hidden timer I think that's a real problem. The interact tokens, by their descriptions, aren't clear enough to know which ones are red herrings and which aren't without investigating. It's absolutely true if we had beelined to the closet, talked to the girl and gotten the key, gotten the rope in the same room, someone else goes to the diadem room and steals that, then everyone runs to the second floor and quickly gives everything to Marie we would have had enough time. However there is a lot of hidden information such as the map layout, where stuff is located, what happens when certain triggers are flipped, etc. I don't really want to feel like in a game where exploration and exposition are focused on, every game we have to worry that any turn could be the last without any warning. It encourages people to not want to interact with the game and try to rush through even if the sense of urgency isn't there. The scenario with the multiple days of investigating the fish cult (I can't remember the name exactly) handled it better since there were clear indications that the day was getting longer and you would need to start wrapping things up instead of just saying "hey! you have one more turn" out of no where. It's also not just about the lack of notice; just ending the game when we could have instead been given the chance to fight out way our or escape with a mob following us would have been preferable to just saying "you lose" even if the likely hood of success was very low. People just felt that the end came out of nowhere and was absolute unsatisfying, especially after we seemingly did everything "right". We investigated the parade keeping the floats slow and got almost every ring to be found then in the party we found all the items we were supposed to while fighting off every monster and getting information from the guests. The game then punished us because we weren't going as fast as it felt we needed to without giving us the knowledge of that until it was too late to adjust. Part of me is frustrated since after a few of these sorts of sessions people in my group are starting to lose interest in playing; losing out of nowhere is not really that fun even if the game is set in the Lovecraft "everyone is screwed" setting. I really, really like this game and these kinds of hidden fail states are hard when people only have a very limited amount of gaming time and this takes sometimes over two hours to play. Basically more "the party guests look agitated, you better start thinking about wrapping things up quickly" at the 50% mark instead of one turn before the end. edit: I feel like I'm being overly negative since overall so I want to stress the game is really great and this is just something that ended the experience out of no where and faster than the players would have liked. If the game wasn't good and fun people in our group wouldn't care about it.
  2. One problem our group is running into with a few of these scenarios is that the game does not instill the sense of urgency that is in effect and it's causing us to lose. For example, the recent scenario with the parade and floats in Sanctum of Twilight. After getting to the mansion party we are basically told we need to find the girl and get out. However there are tons of things that need to be interacted with from pieces of paper, to buried figurines, to a ton of different people. We went though all of these and the last two had the items that were required for winning (the key and the rope) without much indication on where they were. One turn before we found the girl the app suddenly announced time was short. Then one turn later the game just ended without any real fanfare. I think this is bad for a few reasons. The first was that the main section of the game was effectively pointless and ate up over an hour of playtime. Getting the rings didn't really affect much as busting in the back door didn't waste much time, especially when we had several monsters attack us from the front door. Second, if the game is going to have a hard cut off there needs to be a lot more indication of this. The first half made this very clear with the floats getting to the end of the street so we could plan out what we had time to do and what we didn't. Then in the second half we are at a dinner party that just suddenly goes crazy and hard fails without any real notices. Third it's incredibly anticlimactic. The game seemed to imply that people would get violent and we would have to force our way out once the magic tiara was stolen. However we didn't even get that the game just ended and everyone just went "huh..." and felt like we wasted two hours. Lastly if there is going to be a "time is running out! Better hurry up!" it should be much sooner than a turn before everything is over. That is totally useless unless you were going to win the next turn anyway and thus didn't need it. There have been a few others like this although off the top of my head I can't really remember since we play sporadically. It's just an overall bad feeling when you find out you've been racing a clock without knowing it. The game encourages you to explore for narrative hooks and such but then you get punished because you only have a very set amount of actions before the game tells you the game has been lost. It often doesn't indicate how much you have outside of the most vague clues if even at all. I would like if the scenarios could either shy away from these sorts of end states unless they make it very clear what the timer looks like (like the previous example of the floats moving through town). As it is these end up feeling like the sadistic GM who smugly tells their players that they lost because an hour ago they forgot to search something and don't have the item they need to kill the villain. I don't want to have to play this game assuming we could lose at any time because we have taken longer than the app wanted without saying and have to rush through and game the system as much as possible.
  3. We had a similar situation to the OP. We spent several hours trying to solve a mystery and fight a giant monster and then a player just screwed everything by jumbling up puzzles and the game ended with no real fanfair. It was totally anti-climactic since it's not like the game knew why we failed and could incorporate that into the narrative. The player that lost us the game and "won" was disappointed as well since he knew he couldn't have been stopped and he wanted to see the real resolution anyway. It wasn't like he outsmarted us, we were just powerless to affect him or his efforts. The problem with these cards is that the game clearly wasn't designed for them. For instance when you KNOW a character is trying to screw with the party you have no way of stopping them. There's no mechanic to attack fellow players or even really interact with them much at all. It isn't like Betrayal at the House on the Hill where when you figure out who the haunt is the game turns from coop to adversarial, everyone is still technically on the same team and the goal and plot hasn't changed. So you have a player you know is trying to screw things up and the most you can do is try and work around it while they are grabbing story specific items or making puzzles unsolvable. Additionally most of the other insanities are just kind of lame, it's a mismatched mix of stuff that is just role playing like the "don't talk for the rest of the game" (which is incredibly unfun for the person who gets that one by the way) and totally game changing ones like the traitor. I get that the idea is the traitor is supposed to pretend to have one of the more benign insanities while subtly influencing the game in their favor, however there is just no need when there isn't some way for the other players to really do anything about it if they figure it out. If the game had some sort of way for the other players to identify a traitor or some sort of branching path with the app where that mattered it would be much better. It's just totally half baked. It also punishes people that don't have time to play often and aren't familiar with all the insanities. For instance the one where the player is trying to be along with one other person holding a bladed weapon. If you haven't played the game many times so you aren't familiar with that possibility, there is literally no way to know to avoid that and the game just ends. You could read all the cards beforehand and explain the possibility to every player but that is not really encouraged by the game rules and also is at odds with the pick up and play low setup nature of the game. The game is also totally about action efficiency. Having one player doing nothing means you are probably going to lose, let alone with one wasting time setting fires or trying to stab people. This isn't a RPG, it's a board game with very specific rules run by a computer program. A better way to do an insanity mechanic is to have scenarios that assume that there is a possibility for that to occur, have a flag you can set in the app for when someone goes insane, and then have it react to that and tailor the experience to that player. Potentially you would need the app to have something like "The insane player hits this button to see what his or her insanity effect is in secret." The method with the cards that is absolutely not designed to work with the game at a fundamental level just doesn't cut it. We basically house ruled it that when you hit your cap on insanity cards you flip them over and keep all the ones that were permanent and discard the rest. This gives you a handicap like when you hit your wound threshold but doesn't ruin the game.
  4. Thank you guys for your input on this. I'll have to think it over. The game isn't a huge investment for one box so maybe I will give it a shot and keep in mind it might not be optimal. I really appreciate all the incite from more experience people!
  5. Hey just had some questions for the community on this game that's kind of hard to research. I'm looking into getting into a new card game to play with my friend. However she isn't a huge game person (she likes playing them but isn't going to go out of her way to do it) however is usually willing to give stuff a shot and likes things like Hearthstone and is ok with the Arkham Horror LCG. The stuff I'm interested in knowing is: 1. How "crunchy" is this game? I like Netrunner but it's got a lot of systems and card interactions that are required to know very well to be effective which my friend does not like. Does it require a ton of knowledge on every card that exists or you get blown out? 2. Is one Core set enough to actually play the game and have fun? I'm worried that it would be a very mediocre experience and give a bad first impression. I don't want to really invest in this and end up with literally no one to play with if my friends end up disliking it like I did with Netrunner. 3. Is this something we can learn as we play together out of the box or am I going to have to read a ton of stuff on how to play it properly then teach her? Any honest answers would be helpful. If this game isn't for us that's fine but I'd like to know before I waste her time.
  6. Radish

    Ethical Discussion

    Don't view this as an "ethical" issue since it's the players versus the board and it's something that's being agreed to as a group. You aren't cheating anyone by not following the rules to the letter. The rules of the game are just there to create a system in which it all works so if you guys cheat like crazy, it's not immoral since nothing was done to anyone. You can have ideological differences on how to play a co-op game but it's only an ethical issue if you are cheating against another player or doing stuff without other player's knowledge (like counting up the XP and giving your team more or less without them realizing). House rules aren't an ethically issue if everyone is on the same page. Fudging stuff like this is a hard tightrope to walk. If you do it once, you open the door to doing it any time which trivializes the game, especially one designed around punishing mistakes or less than optimal use of actions. On the other hand, it's a game and if everyone is going to have more fun playing it with that extra XP and feel like they were screwed out of it it's not worth being a stickler. The point is for everyone to have fun. Conversely if most people really want a strict playthrough campaign they would have less fun if mistakes are being forgiven. You have to understand the players. In this case I think what I would do if most players want that XP (but you obviously aren't really for it) would be to give it to the group and then make some ground rules for the future that mistakes can't be undone so that the game isn't trivialized and make sure everyone is cool with that.
  7. I would be ok with that more if the game was designed around it. Like the traitor outs him or herself and then you basically have an additional bad you have to fight at the end. As is the game just doesn't so you get into the situation where a traitor dying ends the scenario, you have to get yourself killed at the very end, or adding "if you get 6 fires on the table the game ends for no real reason." Of all the parts of this game that are really good, the insanity stuff feels half baked and thrown in without really considering them.
  8. That's a really good idea.
  9. Yeah I agree with this entirely. Nothing is worse that having to sit around while you have been dumped from a game, even if it is just effectively since you can't really do anything. The insane player didn't want to spoil the game and actually would have rather seen the resolution. In a story based game like this, making everyone else unhappy and "winning" just doesn't really work and is negative for everyone, including the winner. Has anyone else proposed a way of just taking out the insanity cards altogether and just crippling insane players with a similar effect to wounded where it's just the same disability for everyone and not random? I agree in theory it's a neat idea to have insane players act differently but in execution it's either a minor annoyance or ruins the experience.
  10. The issue is that they really can't do much to mess with stuff outside of a few actions that pretty much immediately out them as the traitor. At that point you can't do much other than shove them or steal items from them. Even then it's dumb when the person that is obviously no longer on the team causes a scenario loss when they are eliminated. If that player doesn't care about "winning" and just making sure since he or she has already lost that everyone else fails that errata doesn't stop him or her committing suicide and ending it with literally no way to stop it. The knife insanity has some player agency where you just make sure you aren't in a room alone with a knife holding insane person and even if it goes off the game is over instead of watching as the traitor kills himself and then you lose for no good reason. It's just a negative experience all around and was wondering if the fix I proposed has been tried by anyone or sounds like it would make that card better. Basically there's no real game mechanics for having a traitor and how that player is supposed to act as one and how the rest of the group is allowed to react. It's like they crammed the haunt from Betrayal at The House on the Hill in but didn't commit.
  11. Yeah he wasn't happy about doing it either; just without the errata it was his best course of action since there wasn't really much else he could do to stop us from winning other than running to the other side of the map and hoping having one less person would tilt the game in the board's favor. It left a bad taste in everyone's mouths and no one was left happy, even the winner. It's why I'd like to potentially "fix" it because otherwise everyone has a blast with this game and that was a really bad way for a scenario to work out. Even with the errata it basically encourages a player that can't win to suicide bomb the game so that if he or she can't, no one does. It kinda gets back into my problem with the insanity cards in general. Once you've seen one a single time, you know what that person is doing and can either help them or ignore them accordingly (gathering evidence, can't talk, etc) in future plays of the game and it really doesn't actually do much more than just annoy people. I kinda wish that they were all basically "traitor/not-traitor" with the stipulation that traitors could be killed without losing. That would result in a trust dynamic where you don't know if that person is trying to sabotage the group and if you make the wrong choice either way you lose as a group.
  12. Yeah my issue is basically that there is no real mechanic to deal with a player that you know is trying to scuttle the mission as in other games where someone might be a traitor. It's a fringe scenario since most of the other inanities require the insane person to still win with the other players, just with specific requirements.
  13. So we recently had a player get this insanity where he wins if the other investigators lose. It resulted in him purposely killing himself forcing the scenario to end. I looked up the errata and it seems they have added to the base rules where if an effect doesn't specifically say you will lose you don't win so in our case, everyone lost including the insane player. The issue I have is that the other players have no real agency to stop an insane player from causing issues. So even if he can't "win" by suicide, he can force a scenario to fail without any way of stopping it if he has been outed as a traitor so that no one wins. I like the idea of having this card because it means any insane player could potentially be working against the team. However the fact that you really can't do much outside of not letting them do puzzles or important NPC conversations means they have a lot more power to screw with stuff and can't be really stopped if they don't want to be sneaky. I think a good house rule to this card is that once you get it, if you are ever defeated you reveal your condition and you do not count as a defeated investigator. This works thematically since once someone is a traitor why does the group care about them? Game play wise it means the other players can leave him or her to die or whatever if they KNOW that player has gone bad but it also means that with that option they can potentially let a good person killed (who they thought was fishy and couldn't trust) which would mean they would lose leading to more trust/distrust dynamics. Has anyone else had issues with this sort of thing?
  14. Radish

    Melange Mining question

    Interesting. Thanks for that write up! Is there a specific strategy for the other corporations? It would be helpful when we play again for everyone to have an idea of what they should be leaning towards.
  15. Radish

    Melange Mining question

    Just a quick question after playing this game one time. The ability for Melange Mining is a little awkwardly worded. I just want to confirm that the effect is basically "After an event if the threat meter only increases 1 or nothing at all that player receives 3 capital." The player that was using that corp felt that it was pretty weak since they was only six opportunities for it to possibly be applicable (and there's not always a lot you as one player can do to stop threat gains from effects) and the reward wasn't as great as say, Jinteki wiping out a ton of illnesses for instance. I'm assuming that the Melenge has all general actions is the offset; does that even out the balance? Also it could just be that it's a slow gain instead of bursty like other players that get stuff when things are actively removed. Just wanted some input from more experienced players, thanks!
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