Jump to content
PinkTaco

Traitor insanity cards have got to go.

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Has anyone else thrown away these god awful ridiculous things?

 

Yeah, i get what they were trying to do here and its funny the first maybe second time.   But after finally managing to get 3-4 people together for an epic 4-5 hour mansion game just to have someone go insane  3 hours in because the app just forces horror during eldritch phase with 'oh you see something move that didnt take 1 horror' and pull one of these cards is just balls.   In no way is it a good mechanic to magically end a 3 hour game randomly because some person pulled a traitor card and ends their movement on a space with someone on their turn.  

They seriously dropped the ball with those insane conditions.

Edited by PinkTaco

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have puled all of the traitor cards out of the deck too for our games. In one instance when we first started playing we introduced a new player and at the very end he went insane and had to try and fight against us. He had a fun time up until then and it ruined the experience for the rest of us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We play Mansions as a group and love the idea that someone could become the Mole or Traitor at anytime and work against the other players

 

We love that aspect of the game

 

imagine if the one person gets the traitor card and the person to their right get the"You must verbally agree with the person to your left " card ......  how cool of a situation would that be, i love it

 

you are dealing with horror and becoming INSANE, its not suppose to make sense, its suppose to be insane

 

i would never remove card from the game

 

 

i love this game 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the things in this game is looking after your Health and Sanity (also, as a group) to prevent becoming Wounded and more-so Insane - of course, it can't always be that easy. Because of these things that insanity can cause, it adds to the tense nature of skimming the edge of insanity and going beyond it. You don't want to go Insane, that's part of the game, and an insanity condition (whilst secret for a time) is part of what must be overcome, part of the risk of delving into the madness caused be these beings from beyond. The sudden and utter betrayal to the investigation is part of the game mechanics to be overcome (and whilst annoying from the point of view of success, adds to the bleakness of taking on the Mythos, and can also be a memorable performance in the hands of a great player). Perhaps next time, another bunch of Investigators will have more success. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Phoenix_FFG said:

One of the things in this game is looking after your Health and Sanity (also, as a group) to prevent becoming Wounded and more-so Insane - of course, it can't always be that easy. Because of these things that insanity can cause, it adds to the tense nature of skimming the edge of insanity and going beyond it. You don't want to go Insane, that's part of the game, and an insanity condition (whilst secret for a time) is part of what must be overcome, part of the risk of delving into the madness caused be these beings from beyond. The sudden and utter betrayal to the investigation is part of the game mechanics to be overcome (and whilst annoying from the point of view of success, adds to the bleakness of taking on the Mythos, and can also be a memorable performance in the hands of a great player). Perhaps next time, another bunch of Investigators will have more success. 

I dont mind managing health/sanity when its in control of the players.  Many missions however have eldritch events that auto give horror that cant be prevented.  And many, many times you dont find any ways to heal the damage.  so its inevitable someone will go insane.  And while thematically its cool.  Ive never had a single game end that way and all the players were happy with the result.  Even the traitor players have never felt like they actually won.  they still felt like they lost.  Which in many ways they kind of did.  

 

its just not a fun mechanic for the people I play with, to have a 4 hour game end 3 hours in because of a random draw.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, PinkTaco said:

I dont mind managing health/sanity when its in control of the players.  Many missions however have eldritch events that auto give horror that cant be prevented.  And many, many times you dont find any ways to heal the damage.  so its inevitable someone will go insane.  And while thematically its cool.  Ive never had a single game end that way and all the players were happy with the result.  Even the traitor players have never felt like they actually won.  they still felt like they lost.  Which in many ways they kind of did.  

 

its just not a fun mechanic for the people I play with, to have a 4 hour game end 3 hours in because of a random draw.

Consider a house rule where the player draws 3 or 4 cards and then picks one. That way they can tailor it to whatever their mood is.

Though to be fair, the entire line suffers from that... Including Eldritch Horror, the LCG and Elder Sign. The Mythos is meant to be unfair I think...

 

Edited by neosmagus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, neosmagus said:

Consider a house rule where the player draws 3 or 4 cards and then picks one. That way they can tailor it to whatever their mood is.

Though to be fair, the entire line suffers from that... Including Eldritch Horror, the LCG and Elder Sign. The Mythos is meant to be unfair I think...

 

we never felt it was as troubling or anti climactic in other games as this game though.  My guess its because of game length.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/9/2018 at 8:00 PM, neosmagus said:

Consider a house rule where the player draws 3 or 4 cards and then picks one. That way they can tailor it to whatever their mood is.

Though to be fair, the entire line suffers from that... Including Eldritch Horror, the LCG and Elder Sign. The Mythos is meant to be unfair I think...

 

I agree the whole game is designed to prevent the researchers from winning the game. Although I do share experiences where a prematurely ending of the game due to such mechanics really was frustrating.

Besides that, some of my friends, girlfriend, family do not like that aspect either (insanity prematurely ending the game).

22 hours ago, PinkTaco said:

we never felt it was as troubling or anti climactic in other games as this game though.  My guess its because of game length.

My longest sessions have been playing Eldritch Horror, 6-8 hours and still losing the game.. Although I have to admit I haven't played the 4 hour MoM yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, kyozu said:

I agree the whole game is designed to prevent the researchers from winning the game. Although I do share experiences where a prematurely ending of the game due to such mechanics really was frustrating.

Agreed. That's why (IMO) it's important to leave the "traitor" cards in. Our house rules only  "fix" them to not end the game prematurely -- they still screw over the rest of the party and usually cause you to lose naturally. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

We (or I) have rewritten the rules for the traitor cards and for death (the game doesn't end because someone died), but these cards are still essentially a 'you lose' card for the investigation.
Though, in the one game we had where someone drew a crad like that, (4-player game) we had the traitor kill one other investigator, but the last two managed to secure the win two rounds after, which was actually super-fun all things considered.

The backstabbed player was all like "Avenge meeeeeeeeglaghgalgh..." :)
But if someone draws one of those halfway through the game, the session is probably over there and then. I agree that situations like that are not really good game design.

Edited by totgeboren

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree.  Respectfully.

I like the mechanic, but for introducing some players to it I could see myself removing them.

When introducing new players to the AH:LCG, I often choose their random basic weakness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We keep them in.  Love em!  Nothing as amusing as one of your players trying to coax you to join them alone in a room, or chasing them down as they light fires in every room while the rest of your party frantically tries to put them out.
I think you're just not roleplaying your character and getting lost in the mechanics.

I will admit, however, that every scenario needs to have a "Player went Insane" ending.   We don't losing because we're treated to a little story at the end.  The problem with these cards is that they offer no resolution other than laughs at the table.
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We've also kept them in, because the hilarity of someone doing their best to convince everyone everyone that they ought to have the party's only knife has been one of the most memorable gaming moments yet.  I also would really like some insanity scenario ending text. In a perfect world there'd be a few variations and you'd select the investigator who cracked so it could personalize it a bit. No narration necessary, in my opinion, it would just wrap things up neat and tidy on that session.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

A friend of mine used to run an amazing Call of Cuthullu one shot RP game every Halloween. Light candles, set the mood, put on creepy music. 

Every single year almost all of the party would go insane or turn to the Mythos. The characters we played were doomed from the start... we all knew it... but we'll loved it. It is to be expected, when you live in a Lovecraftian world.

I realise MoM is a board game, but it's meant to be brutal because Lovecraft's world is brutal. These insane conditions are a stark reminder of that fact and I for one keep them in.

One of our most memorable games was of a game where one of the investigators went insane and had to set the place on fire to win. Another player ran around putting out his fires and that turned into this little battle of wits mini game between them. The two remaining investigators struggled on in vein trying to solve the mystery and the party was all eventually eaten by the big bad. It was an "easy" 1/2 star mission (that I'd played before and won without issue) that got turned on its head, one of my most memorable and enjoyable games.

Par for the course in my eyes, but I can see how it could get frustrating in harder or very long games.

Edited by scrubbless
Typos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

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.

Edited by Radish

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I also remove the traitor insanity cards from the game, because they can lead to very unsatisfying ending. While I think FFG could have done a much better job with integrating these into the app, I guess what bugs me the most is, that there is no narrative resolution to the story (besides from the text on the card). It can be very frustrating for the group and might leave a very bad impression of an otherwise great game.

Since it would be a lot of work to change the insanity card system, I think some kind of middle ground would be the option to bring up a choice menu when the "End Game" option is selected, where you then could select the insanity card which led to the premature ending of the game. Then there could be an insanity specific thematic story ending, just like when one of the investigators is killed or goes insane.

This would at least make provide some kind of closure, and it would even be realistically doable, as only a menu as well as a few narrated stories would have to be added to the app.

But until this is the case, I think I'll just not use the traitor cards, because they might ruin the ending of an otherwise great game. And I really hate that I have to do this, because I like the idea in principle. It's just a case of very bad implementation :(

Edited by DerDelphi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I do not get to see my gaming group often (we live in separate states), and when I do MoM usually only makes it to the table once, even though it is probably our favorite game. I (and I am sure everyone in my group would agree) cannot imagine the game without these cards.

There is a very fine balance in the game that has to be observed. Decisions have to be made as a team to make sure people do not lose sanity or health. That is part of the game. In most of the scenarios your biggest enemy is time, which means you all have to work together as a team to win. Part of that working together is helping to make sure the other players on your “team” lose as little sanity as possible. Taking these cards away makes the punishment for not doing so much less severe then it should be. I look at these cards as, if you fail as a team to stay sane, you are no longer a team.

Having said that, I think there is confusion about some of these cards. Pyromania for example says “You do not win the game as normal. At the start of your turn, if 6 or more rooms contain Fire, you immediately win the game and the game ends. If the game ends for any other reason, you lose the game.” (Or, I should say, I believe it does as I copied that from a BGG discussion). Nowhere on the card does it say that you have to start fires. You do have the ability to decide to “take one for the team” and not win the game. You now have a decision to make, should I give in to these strange desires that make me want to turn everything into a Disco Inferno, or am I going to fight it and stay true to my friends?

On a separate note, I am not a fan of “house rules”. I have never heard anyone complain that a game is “too easy”, and then create house rules to make it harder for the sake of “balance”. House rules always seem to “balance” the game in the player’s favor, and are often created (in my opinion) because of rules confusion. This is just my opinion.

Edited by LabanShrewsbury

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, LabanShrewsbury said:

On a separate note, I am not a fan of “house rules”. I have never heard anyone complain that a game is “too easy”, and then create house rules to make it harder for the sake of “balance”. House rules always seem to “balance” the game in the player’s favor, and are often created (in my opinion) because of rules confusion. This is just my opinion.

There's a thread on the front page with someone looking to create a 'Fire Spreads' dice. Usually you can decide to make the fire spread so it does the minimum amount of disruption to the main game. With the dice, it would make it more difficult as the fire could spread in a direction making it much more difficult for the investigators. That's one example of a house rule making it more difficult. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, LabanShrewsbury said:

You do have the ability to decide to “take one for the team” and not win the game. You now have a decision to make, should I give in to these strange desires that make me want to turn everything into a Disco Inferno, or am I going to fight it and stay true to my friends?

As I see it, it is a choice between technically "winning" by ending a game night early for everyone and technically "losing", but playing for another hour, solving the mystery and getting killed with everyone else.

I play the game to play the game. I feel that everyone wins when they see the game through and everyone loses, if the game ends prematurely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, SDW740 said:

could spread in a direction making it much more difficult for the investigators.

Regarding fire you do not need a house rule to make the game more difficult. The rules allow you to place the fire anywhere you would like. If you want a harder game, place the spreading fire in the most inconvenient space for the investigators. Also, I believe one of the reason that FFG leaves it up to the investigators to choose the direction the fire spreads is to save time.

 

43 minutes ago, Samea said:

As I see it, it is a choice between technically "winning" by ending a game night early for everyone and technically "losing", but playing for another hour, solving the mystery and getting killed with everyone else.

I am completely not trying to be rude, but I have no idea what you are talking about. :)

There are three outcomes once an investigator has drawn Pyromania, as long as no other investigator also has a “traitor” condition. One is the investigator with Pyromania wins the game, and all of the other investigators lose the game. The second being the investigator with Pyromania loses the game, and all of the other investigators win. And the third, all of the investigators lose.

55 minutes ago, Samea said:

I play the game to play the game.

I hope that is true for all of us. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, LabanShrewsbury said:

I am completely not trying to be rude, but I have no idea what you are talking about. :)

There are three outcomes once an investigator has drawn Pyromania, as long as no other investigator also has a “traitor” condition. One is the investigator with Pyromania wins the game, and all of the other investigators lose the game. The second being the investigator with Pyromania loses the game, and all of the other investigators win. And the third, all of the investigators lose.

I believe hes saying that if the game ends pre-maturely because of some random insanity card that was drawn it *feels* like everyone loses.  regardless of wether or not the text on the card says the insane player "wins."  Which for my groups I play with I can say without a doubt is the feeling at the table every time.  Sure the card says they win.  But the reality is it still feels like they lost.  And they only lost because of a random card they drew.

Its also not fun to ride it out then have the text of the card basically say, oh look everyone at the table won BUT you.  Which may not even be so bad, but there are mythos events that can drive you insane and it be completely out of your control.  You dont even get to roll dice.  cool... great experience.

Edited by PinkTaco

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, PinkTaco said:

I believe hes saying that if the game ends pre-maturely

I do not understand how this is premature. It is a legitimate ending.

Keep in mind, Jenny Barnes (for example) has 10 sanity. After she loses all of her sanity, she goes insane. She can lose an additional 10 before she dies, but she is now permanently insane, whether or not the investigation ends in the investigator’s favor, or her favor. That is part of the story, and what makes this game interesting.

If you are familiar with the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, and the members of the “Lovecraft Circle” (who I think wrote much better stories than Lovecraft himself) nobody gets out unscathed. Even if you “survive”, you are usually a little crazy, and or on your way to full blown insane. That is reflected in this game.

If the investigators “lose the game” and nobody goes insane, they are not dead. They live on as failures, and something probably pretty bad happens to our world. Years later you might see an article in the paper about the death of one of your former teammates, and wonder if you are next. Especially considering the strange dreams you have been having lately. There is one story.

If an investigator becomes insane and DECIDES TO complete their winning condition and succeeds, the game ends, the players are all still alive (unless the insane person’s insanity condition was to kill one), but they have failed, and again something probably pretty bad happens to our world. The party immediately splits up, probably running in panic from the insane person burning everything. The next day you read in the paper about their arrest, and hope it does not somehow get linked to you as you try to find a way out of town unnoticed. There is a second story.

If an investigator goes insane, but DECIDES NOT TO complete their winning condition and continues to help with the investigation, and the investigators succeed, everybody continues with their lives and the insane investigator has a little secret that haunts him or her for the rest of their life. Nobody actually knew this person was insane, though they did act a little strange toward the end of the investigation. You will probably hear later about how they ended up institutionalized, dead of a self inflicted wound, or maybe they walked into the ocean thought lost at sea, even though a body was never found.

Or maybe nobody goes insane and you all win. Yay! But honestly, that never really happens in Lovecraft stories. And from my experience, rarely happens in this game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/6/2018 at 7:05 AM, LabanShrewsbury said:

If you are familiar with the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, and the members of the “Lovecraft Circle” (who I think wrote much better stories than Lovecraft himself) nobody gets out unscathed. Even if you “survive”, you are usually a little crazy, and or on your way to full blown insane. That is reflected in this game.

I have read a ton of Lovecraft and other Mythos stories. Every single I've read has a proper ending. The main characters may not live to see it or may be too mad to comprehend. But for me as a reader there is some sort of closure, none of the stories simply stop.

What does a card that basically says: "the fire in the game is too much fire, game night is over, pack up and go home, Janet won" reflect? It doesn't feel like an ending, it doesn't feel like winning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×