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PinkTaco

Traitor insanity cards have got to go.

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It sounds to me like you are either upset that you are not winning, or that game night “ends too early”. It also sounds like this may not be the game for your group. I say this because it clearly does not have the ability to give your group the experience you want without some very significant modification.

You also seem to be skipping over one of my major points. If Janet is inflicted with Pyromania SHE DOES NOT HAVE TO START FIRES. It is a choice. She can continue the investigation aiding the team in her (hopefully) usual way. She technically will not “win” if the investigators succeed, but then again, she should not. She went insane. She should be punished for doing so. As should everyone (in the game that is, in the real world they should be rewarded!). Managing sanity should be a top priority. Yes sometimes the game just doles out sanity for no reason, but that has to be taken into account.

And finally, if the game abruptly ends because one of the players is inflicted with Pyromania (or any other condition) your group has not been paying attention. The whole group knows when a player goes insane. They may not know the infliction, but they know it has happened. The rest of the group should be keeping an eye on that person, making sure they are not up to no good. There are things you can do if you think someone is working against the team.

Edited by LabanShrewsbury

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****, yes, we're upset when a game ends just like that. We don't mind losing, we lose all the time. But at least this *feels* like losing, with time running out, the board filling up with monsters, getting horror and damage left and right, it is fun, it is satisfying. Being told the game is over is not.

And most of the times this came up, the "winning" conditions of the insanity were already met when the card was drawn — there already was lots of fire on the board or the insane 'gator was already standing in the same space as another with a knife in their pocket.

We love this game, in fact, although pretty new, this game has already seen more play than every other boardgame we own. But nothing is perfect and in my opinion, some of the insanities are simply not very well done and could use fixing.

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On 7/8/2018 at 6:07 PM, LabanShrewsbury said:

It sounds to me like you are either upset that you are not winning, or that game night “ends too early”. It also sounds like this may not be the game for your group. I say this because it clearly does not have the ability to give your group the experience you want without some very significant modification.

You also seem to be skipping over one of my major points. If Janet is inflicted with Pyromania SHE DOES NOT HAVE TO START FIRES. It is a choice. She can continue the investigation aiding the team in her (hopefully) usual way. She technically will not “win” if the investigators succeed, but then again, she should not. She went insane. She should be punished for doing so. As should everyone (in the game that is, in the real world they should be rewarded!). Managing sanity should be a top priority. Yes sometimes the game just doles out sanity for no reason, but that has to be taken into account.

And finally, if the game abruptly ends because one of the players is inflicted with Pyromania (or any other condition) your group has not been paying attention. The whole group knows when a player goes insane. They may not know the infliction, but they know it has happened. The rest of the group should be keeping an eye on that person, making sure they are not up to no good. There are things you can do if you think someone is working against the team.

Almost all of this argument loses its ground when i re-bring up the previously mentioned fact that there is no way to stop an insane person from throwing the game.  The mechanics of allowed actions do not allow players to stop someone that has clearly been flagged by the group as insane.  

 

How do we stop the person from making fire?  we cant.

How do we stop the player from landing in our space with a weapon they already had?  we cant.

How do we stop an insane player mixing up a puzzle to throw the game like already mentioned?  we can't.  

 

Thats why it feels cheap and leaves a bad experience.  Its not thematic, because thematically the group could stop the insane player.  its just lame.

Edited by PinkTaco

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23 hours ago, PinkTaco said:

Almost all of this argument loses its ground when i re-bring up the previously mentioned fact that there is no way to stop an insane person from throwing the game.  The mechanics of allowed actions do not allow players to stop someone that has clearly been flagged by the group as insane.  

 

How do we stop the person from making fire?  we cant.

How do we stop the player from landing in our space with a weapon they already had?  we cant.

How do we stop an insane player mixing up a puzzle to throw the game like already mentioned?  we can't.  

 

Thats why it feels cheap and leaves a bad experience.  Its not thematic, because thematically the group could stop the insane player.  its just lame.

This is what we do, and we are pretty successful:

- Pushing him; stealing him the object that lets him to make fire; extinguishing the fire... You can extinguish fires with one action without equipment, just moving.

- Move away from him if his behavior is suspicious; grab their weapons if he is going to go crazy (just in case).

- Oh, that's very funny. Push him again. ACT before him. It is possible that investigators have differing intentions and goals. If this prevents investigators from reaching a decision as a group, the decision is determined by an investigator chosen at random. So if he is crazy and he wants to play first, chose randomly a player to chose the turn order. If you are 5 players, almost certainly he will play the last.

 

With expansions, there are more insane cards, so this handicap has been minimized. So it is less likely that you take a card which could finish the game suddenly. In fact, now I enjoy the new insane cards because its variants! (no spoilers)

Edited by gran_orco

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On 7/10/2018 at 1:53 AM, Samea said:

there already was lots of fire on the board or the insane 'gator was already standing in the same space as another with a knife in their pocket.

 

On 7/10/2018 at 7:42 AM, PinkTaco said:

Its not thematic, because thematically the group could stop the insane player.  its just lame.

*tap tap

Is this thing on?

I think I need to speak with a board admin. For some reason I am typing words, and I can see them, but apparently nobody else can.

Let me try this again.

A CHARACTER THAT DRAWS AN INSANITY CONDITION SUCH AS PYROMANIA ****DOES NOT**** HAVE TO "SABOTAGE" THE GAME FOR THE REST OF THE INVESTIGATORS.  IT IS THEIR CHOICE.  IF THEY CHOOSE TO "SABOTAGE" THE GAME, THEY MUST WANT TO, AND THEREFORE SHOULD BE HAPPY WHEN THE GAME ENDS AND THEY "WIN".

Please someone let me know that they can see the above text. I am starting to think that I have an insane condition that is making it so people cannot see what I type.

 

On 7/10/2018 at 7:42 AM, PinkTaco said:

The mechanics of allowed actions do not allow players to stop someone that has clearly been flagged by the group as insane. 

As you can (hopefully) see if you read gran_orco's comment from earlier today,  this is completely not true. You have plenty of options available to you to try to keep an insane investigator from "sabotaging" the game.

 

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You do not necessarily have a choice — if there already is enough fire on the board to meet the condition and you draw "Pyromania", the game ends at the beginning of your next turn, whether you want to or not.

But even if you do have the choice, there is no incentive to act out your insanity and no disadvantage to disregard it. Ending the game is the last thing I want, so if I draw "Pyromania", I'd probably go around extinguishing fires so the dumb card does not cut the game short.

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On 7/11/2018 at 7:58 PM, LabanShrewsbury said:

You have plenty of options available to you to try to keep an insane investigator from "sabotaging" the game.

Some of the insanity cards have the same impact on the game as a "you die" injury card would have.

Lets say your intrepid gang snoops around for a few turns, then investigator X gets a mythos event which causes one damage. "No problem" one might say. 
But then lets say the card drawn said; "Your investigator dies. The investigation is over, but due to your investigator being a good person, he/she goes to heaven which means you win!"

Would you have a problem with this sort of win condition?
The rules are clear, the investigation is over and the player that drew the "you die" card won. Fun for all?
Because this is essentially what happens. There is zero player interaction, and suddenly the game is over.

I can only agree that the problem seems to be that the game does not have any mechanism for restraining or effectively hindering an insane investigator, even if it is entirely obvious what they are up to. You can't even shoot or try to knock someone out! And on top of that, the game action-economy is so tight that the loss of even a turn or two due to having to try and deal with an insane investigator probably means the game is over anyway. 

Edited by totgeboren

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22 hours ago, totgeboren said:

I can only agree that the problem seems to be that the game does not have any mechanism for restraining or effectively hindering an insane investigator, even if it is entirely obvious what they are up to. You can't even shoot or try to knock someone out! And on top of that, the game action-economy is so tight that the loss of even a turn or two due to having to try and deal with an insane investigator probably means the game is over anyway. 

That is a dangerous request and I am not sure you thought out what it also implies. If you could shoot or restraint an insane investigator that means their investigator could do the same. Having an insane investigator who can cast Wrack/ fire a shotgun at me,  or who could deal out conditions like restrain on me would be bad news too.

I don't mind winning or losing to an insanity card though, I feel it fine in a Cthulhu game.

 

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I hate the insanity cards, but especially the traitor cards. Even the non-traitor cards are mostly poorly conceived and add little to what is otherwise an almost perfect game, in my opinion.

The games I've played where traitor cards were never drawn ALL rank as some of the greatest gaming experiences I've ever had and everyone, even non-gamers, have loved it. On the other hand, the 3-4 games that have had a traitor were complete flops of a gaming experience.

I will be printing out replacement insanity cards from BGG. These cards will replace the entire insanity deck with effects that do NOT change the goal, but limit what the insane investigator can do in much more interesting ways. This is so much more thematic and fun than some lame "can't speak" or "needs a bunch of spells" insanities (not to even mention the beyond awful traitor cards).

I hate houseruling things but I don't see any other way to prevent the deflating and disappointing endings of an otherwise absolutely incredible game.

Edited by PickleTheHutt

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On 7/15/2018 at 10:01 AM, totgeboren said:

Some of the insanity cards have the same impact on the game as a "you die" injury card would have.

Lets say your intrepid gang snoops around for a few turns, then investigator X gets a mythos event which causes one damage. "No problem" one might say. 
But then lets say the card drawn said; "Your investigator dies. The investigation is over, but due to your investigator being a good person, he/she goes to heaven which means you win!"

Would you have a problem with this sort of win condition?
The rules are clear, the investigation is over and the player that drew the "you die" card won. Fun for all?
Because this is essentially what happens. There is zero player interaction, and suddenly the game is over.

I... you... I do not even know how to respond to this.

 

8 hours ago, PickleTheHutt said:

I hate the insanity cards, but especially the traitor cards. Even the non-traitor cards are mostly poorly conceived and add little to what is otherwise an almost perfect game, in my opinion.

The games I've played where traitor cards were never drawn ALL rank as some of the greatest gaming experiences I've ever had and everyone, even non-gamers, have loved it. On the other hand, the 3-4 games that have had a traitor were complete flops of a gaming experience.

I will be printing out replacement insanity cards from BGG. These cards will replace the entire insanity deck with effects that do NOT change the goal, but limit what the insane investigator can do in much more interesting ways. This is so much more thematic and fun than some lame "can't speak" or "needs a bunch of spells" insanities (not to even mention the beyond awful traitor cards).

I hate houseruling things but I don't see any other way to prevent the deflating and disappointing endings of an otherwise absolutely incredible game.

Good idea! Mansions of Madness Disney Edition! Do not worry, all sharp edges have been removed!

Next you should work on the physical traumas. Who really wants a broken leg? That card should be "Stubbed Toe", because once your leg is broken you cannot run from the mob and then you die, and then the game ends for everybody because you broke your leg. What kind of ending is that? Completely not your fault that you did not manage your health better. I understand.

I really do not think some of you get it. As I mentioned earlier, you have the amount of sanity that is on your card, not twice that amount. When you exhaust your sanity, you are insane. That is a bad thing. If you are playing with new people and they go insane, they will learn that the next time they play they need to watch their sanity. If the game is "ruined" for them because they do not like their insanity condition and they never play again, well I guess that is too bad. This is a very well thought out game mechanic, and I am guessing that you are in the minority when it comes to not liking it. That does not make you wrong, and it does not invalidate your frustration. The thing that I do not understand is why you do not look at it as a challenge to play the game better, to not loose sanity. And if you do become insane, you do not have to "betray" your friends, you can "take one for the team". I agree, if my investigator goes insane, and gets a condition where I have to choose between me winning, or the team winning, I always choose the team. When the game ends, I am always bothered by the outcome. But I realize I was not up to the task, I do not blame the game. If one of my "friends" goes insane and "betrays" the team and "wins", I blame him or her, not the game. If the whole board is on fire and someone draws Pyromania, I blame the team, because why is the board on fire? If any of you that hate this mechanic make it to Arkham Nights this year, maybe we should play a game together.

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1 hour ago, LabanShrewsbury said:

I... you... I do not even know how to respond to this.

 

Good idea! Mansions of Madness Disney Edition! Do not worry, all sharp edges have been removed!

Next you should work on the physical traumas. Who really wants a broken leg? That card should be "Stubbed Toe", because once your leg is broken you cannot run from the mob and then you die, and then the game ends for everybody because you broke your leg. What kind of ending is that? Completely not your fault that you did not manage your health better. I understand.

I really do not think some of you get it. As I mentioned earlier, you have the amount of sanity that is on your card, not twice that amount. When you exhaust your sanity, you are insane. That is a bad thing. If you are playing with new people and they go insane, they will learn that the next time they play they need to watch their sanity. If the game is "ruined" for them because they do not like their insanity condition and they never play again, well I guess that is too bad. This is a very well thought out game mechanic, and I am guessing that you are in the minority when it comes to not liking it. That does not make you wrong, and it does not invalidate your frustration. The thing that I do not understand is why you do not look at it as a challenge to play the game better, to not loose sanity. And if you do become insane, you do not have to "betray" your friends, you can "take one for the team". I agree, if my investigator goes insane, and gets a condition where I have to choose between me winning, or the team winning, I always choose the team. When the game ends, I am always bothered by the outcome. But I realize I was not up to the task, I do not blame the game. If one of my "friends" goes insane and "betrays" the team and "wins", I blame him or her, not the game. If the whole board is on fire and someone draws Pyromania, I blame the team, because why is the board on fire? If any of you that hate this mechanic make it to Arkham Nights this year, maybe we should play a game together.

I didn't realize I was in the presence of the master of all things related to board game fun. I will attempt to have fun only in your prescribed manner in the future.

Edited by PickleTheHutt

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1 hour ago, PickleTheHutt said:

I didn't realize I was in the presence of the master of all things related to board game fun. I will attempt to have fun only in your prescribed manner in the future.

Ah, good comeback!

Not as good as your first before you edited it though.

And... I am pretty sure it is the game developer that is prescribing the manner in which you “have fun” while playing the excellent game they created. I am only trying to point out that “neutering” the game is not necessary.

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  When we play, we try to not go insane. When It happens, usually when the story IS ending, anything could happen. It is funny for US. So preventing to go insane is part of the objective. See it as losing if you go insane.

Edited by gran_orco

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2 hours ago, gran_orco said:

So preventing to go insane is part of the objective. See it as losing if you go insane.

Yes! This is it exactly! Once you have gone insane you have lost. It is just a question of if you are going to take the team with you or not.

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On ‎7‎/‎18‎/‎2018 at 3:49 AM, LabanShrewsbury said:

I... you... I do not even know how to respond to this.

I don't know why you're confused by what they've said here.

 

We ignore the insanity effects almost entirely. And the reason behind that is that they're really boring. There's a difference between your insanity going up and then dying because of it and "I landed in a spot and due to a specific random thing now the game is over". Just like in the analogy totgeboren made, it's like getting an injury card that says "you die".

Yes it requires you to get to the insane condition first, but as the poster said originally - sometimes it just happens no matter what in some levels. It's not satisfying to have a game just end because of a random card draw. Getting ripped up by monsters or going insane because you've taken too much insanity, fine. Landing in a spot after a random draw? No thanks.

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3 hours ago, Taear said:

I don't know why you're confused by what they've said here.

 

I am confused because when trying to have a discussion about an actual game one should use an example of something that could happen while playing it instead of hyperbole. Give a real in-game example that shows exactly what this person said happening.

 

3 hours ago, Taear said:

Landing in a spot after a random draw

Are you not in control of your investigator? What does this mean? Again, give an actual in-game example of what you mean, or even better describe a time when a game you were playing ended immediately after you (or another player) drew a sanity condition. Since (I believe) all of the “traitor” cards start with the phrase “You do not win the game as normal. At the start of your turn...” it is extremely difficult to even imagine a scenario where drawing a card would mean the game is instantly over. You would have to be the last investigator to play their turn, and something would have had to happen in the turn of the investigator that played right before you to cause you to loose enough sanity to go insane, and the condition on the card that you drew would have to be met. I would love for every person wanting to get rid of the sanity condition cards to describe just one time when that happened in a game they played. No hype, just facts.

In the groups I have played with, we watch each other’s sanity. If someone goes insane, we would make them go last if here were six spaces with fire in them on the board. If they were in a room alone, we may make them go first depending on certain factors. You, and the insane investigator, can do things to keep the game from ending. If you draw Pyromania and there are five spaces with fire in them, ask to go first and go put out the fire in one of the spaces. These cards are not an issue if you put a little thought into them.

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Our group decided to create an insanity mechanic.  Since an insane person may or may not be able to control their insane impulses, we wanted a way simulate that as well as stave off some of the immediate game-ending effects of insanity.  Here is what we came up with.

When a player becomes insane, that player receives a number of tokens equal to their sanity, (we use the sanity tokens from Arkham Horror), along with their insanity card.  At the beginning of the next inspector phase, the insane player rolls a number of dice equal to the number of sanity tokens they have.  

On a single success the player maintains control.  They turn in one token and can act as normal, for that round.  

On a failure, the insanity takes hold for that round.  The player turns in one token, receives a concealed horror and they can choose to play both actions towards fulfilling the terms of their insanity, or they can spend one of their two actions insanely muttering to themselves or staring off into space or whatever the player decides to do as a method of “pulling it together”.

Each inspector phase, the insane player has one less token then the previous round and therefore spirals down into their insanity.  Once the player is out of tokens, we allow a single unmodified die to see if they can maintain their sanity, otherwise they must act to resolve the terms of their insanity.

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17 hours ago, LabanShrewsbury said:

I am confused because when trying to have a discussion about an actual game one should use an example of something that could happen while playing it instead of hyperbole. Give a real in-game example that shows exactly what this person said happening.

The actual in-game example is getting a traitor card that says "if you end your turn in a square with another investigator and you have this card you win and the others lose".

They're using an analogy to say "Why don't the damage cards do this and if they did do it'd be just as rubbish".

 

Use some abstract thought. Honestly, what is up with you here? Using "a little thought" is the same as just straight up ignoring them and is basically you saying you don't like them either. They're not making it more fun, they're not making it "harder". They're just adding bookkeeping.

Edited by Taear

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2 hours ago, Taear said:

The actual in-game example is getting a traitor card that says "if you end your turn in a square with another investigator and you have this card you win and the others lose".

They're using an analogy to say "Why don't the damage cards do this and if they did do it'd be just as rubbish".

 

Use some abstract thought. Honestly, what is up with you here? Using "a little thought" is the same as just straight up ignoring them and is basically you saying you don't like them either. They're not making it more fun, they're not making it "harder". They're just adding bookkeeping.

Sorry, but I think that the card says something like "if you have this card and you are EXACTLY alone with another investigator" or something like that. First af all, we do not leave anyone alone if there is an insane investigator with a weapon. We only finished a game suddenly: the first time we drew that card. After that, the game is harder, only that. It is really funny when a player cannot speak and he wants to explain us his plan. It is really funny when the player interpret his insanity as an rpg (although not everyone does it). It is very funny when nobody wants to trust a madman, but his intentions are really good, because everybody thinks that he wants to kill us with his dagger. And is very funny to trying to stop an insane investigator when we understand his real goal.

But you cannot say emphatically that those cards should disappear because they are not fun.

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14 hours ago, Tempus_37 said:

Our group decided to create an insanity mechanic.  Since an insane person may or may not be able to control their insane impulses, we wanted a way simulate that as well as stave off some of the immediate game-ending effects of insanity.  Here is what we came up with.

When a player becomes insane, that player receives a number of tokens equal to their sanity, (we use the sanity tokens from Arkham Horror), along with their insanity card.  At the beginning of the next inspector phase, the insane player rolls a number of dice equal to the number of sanity tokens they have.  

On a single success the player maintains control.  They turn in one token and can act as normal, for that round.  

On a failure, the insanity takes hold for that round.  The player turns in one token, receives a concealed horror and they can choose to play both actions towards fulfilling the terms of their insanity, or they can spend one of their two actions insanely muttering to themselves or staring off into space or whatever the player decides to do as a method of “pulling it together”.

Each inspector phase, the insane player has one less token then the previous round and therefore spirals down into their insanity.  Once the player is out of tokens, we allow a single unmodified die to see if they can maintain their sanity, otherwise they must act to resolve the terms of their insanity.

That is a very interesting, and well thought out idea. But just to be clear, an investigator has the option to NOT act out a “traitor” sanity condition already.

I do take issue with your use of the phrase “immediate game-ending effects” though. I do not have the game in front of me at the moment, so I am working completely off of memory. The others on this thread that are against playing the game as developed use hyperbole as an argument, and seem to lack an understanding of the rules. So I ask a serious question, is there an instance that you can think of when drawing a sanity condition immediately causes the game to end?

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33 minutes ago, LabanShrewsbury said:

That is a very interesting, and well thought out idea. But just to be clear, an investigator has the option to NOT act out a “traitor” sanity condition already.

Thank you very much.  Any suggestions on this or other things people have done are greatly appreciated.  I have not been playing all that long, but I did not come across anything in the rules where it states that a player can just decide not to play the effects of insanity.

36 minutes ago, LabanShrewsbury said:

I do take issue with your use of the phrase “immediate game-ending effects” though. ....  So I ask a serious question, is there an instance that you can think of when drawing a sanity condition immediately causes the game to end?

Here are a couple of examples:

Pyromania: "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."

One of a Thousand: "You do not win the game as normal. At the start of your turn, if you have a Bladed Weapon and you are in a space with exactly one other investigator, you immediately win the game and the game ends. If the game ends for any other reason, you lose the game."

There is nothing on the card or in the rules to indicate that this is at the player's discretion. 

In separate games, our group has had both of these cards come into play towards the end of a Mythos phase (failed horror check causes a player to go insane) and the card's "game ending" conditions were already met.  

In our "Pyro game", fire had been spreading on the other end of the map for several rounds.  At the beginning the the investigator's phase, the insane player revealed the insanity and because there were already 6 rooms on fire, the game ended.

In our "Goat game", while it was a complete and utter coincidence, the player who went insane had picked up the only bladed weapon in the game and became insane, drawing One of a Thousand, at the failed horror check.  He just so happened to be in the same space with one other investigator, at the time.  At the start of the Investigator phase, the card was revealed and the game ended.  Will this happen again?  it's possible, but unlikely.  Did it suck? You betcha!  We actually had a pretty good chance at winning that game.

Our modification allows for the player to attempt to stave off the effects of insanity and gives the player an out should he fail the check.  Again, if I missed something in the rules or if there are other ideas, I am fully open to them.

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4 hours ago, Taear said:

The actual in-game example is getting a traitor card that says "if you end your turn in a square with another investigator and you have this card you win and the others lose".

They're using an analogy to say "Why don't the damage cards do this and if they did do it'd be just as rubbish".

That is not an in-game example. It again is just a bunch of words vaguely describing something that maybe-sort-of-could-happen while playing, based off of a loose interpretation of what a card may or may not say. When people get on a forum and start complaining about an aspect of a game that they find so lacking that it should be removed, they should be able to give real in-game examples of the defect, and argue intelligently why they believen it needs to be “fixed”. 

At least if they want to be taken seriously. Where or what is the defiency in the game as developed? Here is a quote from PinkTaco’s original post,

“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.”

I have played the game many times, and while this vaguely sounds like something that could happen, what is the actual situation? Is there a sanity condition that states that the game is over when you end your turn with a second investigator in the same space? Is that the only condition that has to be met? What is the name of the card? How many cards of this type are in the deck - i.e. how often does this come up? I honestly do not remember if there is a sanity condition that simply states “end your turn in the same space as another investigator and you win”, but I do not think there is. And if there is, I believe there is only one, as the sanity conditions are unique if I remember correctly. But using PinkTaco’s example, if they do not want the game to end, they simply need to make sure that they do not end their turn in a space occupied by a second investigator. But as I have stated, it is very difficult to discuss this when we are not using in-game examples.

5 hours ago, Taear said:

They're using an analogy to say "Why don't the damage cards do this and if they did do it'd be just as rubbish".

I have re-read their post and do not think this is their argument at all.

5 hours ago, Taear said:

Use some abstract thought. Honestly, what is up with you here? 

I am not going to “use abstract thought” to further an argument about an aspect of the game that is not true. While you and others look at this as airing your complaints about a game mechanic that you do not like. I see it as having the potential to misinform people about how the game is played, and if it is enjoyable. That is why you should use real examples if you want to have discussions of this sort.

And also, if you are going to make edits to your post beyond correcting a simple typo, you really should note it.

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59 minutes ago, Tempus_37 said:

Here are a couple of examples:

 Pyromania: "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."

One of a Thousand: "You do not win the game as normal. At the start of your turn, if you have a Bladed Weapon and you are in a space with exactly one other investigator, you immediately win the game and the game ends. If the game ends for any other reason, you lose the game."

There is nothing on the card or in the rules to indicate that this is at the player's discretion. 

 In separate games, our group has had both of these cards come into play towards the end of a Mythos phase (failed horror check causes a player to go insane) and the card's "game ending" conditions were already met.  

 In our "Pyro game", fire had been spreading on the other end of the map for several rounds.  At the beginning the the investigator's phase, the insane player revealed the insanity and because there were already 6 rooms on fire, the game ended.

In our "Goat game", while it was a complete and utter coincidence, the player who went insane had picked up the only bladed weapon in the game and became insane, drawing One of a Thousand, at the failed horror check.  He just so happened to be in the same space with one other investigator, at the time.  At the start of the Investigator phase, the card was revealed and the game ended.  Will this happen again?  it's possible, but unlikely.  Did it suck? You betcha!  We actually had a pretty good chance at winning that game.

 

Tempus_37, I cannot thank you enough! That is perfect!

Okay, let’s cover the thing that I believe is causing the most confusion here...

59 minutes ago, Tempus_37 said:

There is nothing on the card or in the rules to indicate that this is at the player's discretion. 

These cards caused a pretty heated discussion in my main gaming group, a group that usually does not get too worked up. While a couple members made the same argument as you do, my take was the opposite. If you read the card, there is nothing to indicate that the investigator MUST act out the sanity condition. They say “You do not win the game as normal.” followed (not always immediately) by “if”, and then the terms that have to be met for you to win. As illogical as this sounds, I argued that there is nothing in the rules that implicitly states that I have to attempt to win the game. It is (hopefully) obviously implied that winning is the desired outcome of most (if not all) games, but nowhere does it say “each investigator’s motivation should be to win the game as an individual, regardless of the effect it may have on the investigation, or the other players”. I knew that if the game developers had meant for the sanity condition to be the main focus of the investigation for the insane investigator, they simply would have said so on the card. But they are giving you a choice. They are basically saying (as gran_orco pointed out) “you are insane, you have lost”, but then adding “but... if you would like to win, you can betray your friends and meet this condition that will allow you to win, and cause them to fail.

Now that I have made you read all of that, I will tell you the part I could have mentioned at the start. After the gaming session, I contacted Fantasy Flight, and they did confirm that it is up to the discretion of the player to act out the sanity condition or not (if anybody would like I can paste the email here so people can see it). The reason I typed all of the above, instead of just stating the outcome was to make a point. Fantasy Flight is known for being “rule heavy” (and I think sometimes “rule confusing”). I believe that may be why this aspect of the sanity conditions is so confusing. Everybody assumes these conditions are absolute because if they were not, there would be a rule stating as much. We expect Fantasy Flight to have a rule regarding everything, so we sometimes inadvertently make up our own rules, because we do not actually understand the rules, and because we cannot find a rule that tells us the rule we inadvertently made up is not a rule. If that makes sense. But if you read the card the additional rule that would be needed to support your interpretation of the card is “you must at all times try to win the game”, which would actually be a bit silly. As I have said before (if you will humor me one final time) my interpretation of the cards are “You are incurably insane. That is a bad thing. You are no longer able to win the game as normal. You now have two choices, give in to the voices in your head and betray your friends, or try to fight the voices and stay true to them, knowing that you will never be the same, and that you as an individual will lose, even if the investigation is successful and your friends win”.

With that I do have to sign off but will happily return to discuss your examples, which I again thank you for giving.

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So in the case of Pyromania, if you're happy to throw your own game (and let the team win), you could battle the voices in your head and actually try to put fires out. With One of a Thousand, if you're happy to lose, it's the job of the insane character to try not to be in the same place as another character... but without letting the other players know your specific insanity. Which makes for some interesting strategy.

I like it.

I guess what's possibly missing is having a scoring system at the end of the game, such as you have in some of the FFG card games... being insane would mean your team gets a lower score if you don't get your own win condition.

All a bit moot for me as I play solo, but still.

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@LabanShrewsbury
First off, not understanding a simplified metaphor made to highlight the issue reflects badly on you, and if you understand the metaphor, it is better to argue against it rather than pretending it is to complicated.

Secondly, about not trying to fulfill the insanity card on purpose.
Sure, you might start your turn with a knife in a space with exactly one other player, but what's the point insanity if the player is allowed ignore their insanity card, i.e. fulfill their insanity win condition? I think most people assume the insanity conditions are supposed to introduce an rpg-element to the game play? Or should we view the game as a session of x-wing or Descent2ed?

This is a cooperative game, and the fun comes from trying to survive the horror together in a semi-rpg way. Winning on your own by making the other lose in a co-op generally feels like a loss for everyone for most people. If you can choose to ignore your insanity card, they become pointless since then most people will just ignore them. 

Or, I know that a few of our games have ended in success, except for one person who was insane and needed say more evidence or something and thus failed.
That person, given the choice of making the investigation fail for everyone or fail only for them due to their insanity card, always elects to fail their own insanity.

And if you can read the cards as optional, why could you not just ignore the Mute-card for example? (btw, I rewrote that card to disallow the 'Investigator' from interacting with persons and cast spells. The player is of course still allowed to speak! Everyone was very happy with that fix.)

Edited by totgeboren

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