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Subject: Improving as the Keeper (No Spoilers) rss

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Scott Caldwell
United States
Oklahoma City
Oklahoma
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I had a blast playing as the Keeper for my first game (Scenario 1A, Two Investigators). I taught the Investigators as I went, and helped them through their turns. When it came to the Keeper turn, I had spent all the time helping the Investigators, and was struggling to keep up with what cards I could play as the Keeper. Honestly, I did not do as much as I could have because I was worried about the flow of play, and did not want to spend a lot of time on the Keeper turn.

From my perspective it went pretty fast, and smoothly, especially for the first game. (1.5 hours). The Investigators barely met their objective on time, and within an inch of their lives. I felt like it was perfect. The Investigators reported that they liked the game, but felt that every time it was the Keeper's turn the game lagged. I have a pretty good handle (though not perfect) on the rules, so it wasn't due to lack of knowledge on how the game works. I really don't know what to do about this short of studying the cards before the game, or preparing like a DM would before a session.

Anyone have any thoughts on the best way to carry out the Keeper role smoothly?
 
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Chuckhazard
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Fayetteville
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One thing I feel slows me down as keeper is keeping track of the Mythos and Trauma cards in my hand. To address this I will look over my hand constantly, and discard any of them that I don't want or can't use immediately, instead of waiting until the Keeper turn, drawing, comparing, and discarding.

I'm sure I'm not playing the optimum Keeper game, but I like to keep the pace quick. If I have a card that is basement or room in darkness, and the players have left the basement, I will discard it immediately unless I have a mythos card that creates darkness.

Similarly with Trauma cards, if the investigators still have decent amounts of health or sanity, I'll discard anything with a 0 or 4 without much thought.
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Kevin Outlaw
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The keeper role is very indepth and there is lots to think about, so it is possible for that turn to lag. However, it shouldn't lag too much, because you are generally doing horrible stuff to the investigators to cause them pain, and that should keep them interested.

Studying any trauma or mythos cards you get for too long will become old fast. The best thing to do is check what the key areas are and then set them down and get on with your turn. Study the mythos cards in your hand in more depth during the investigator's turn as that is when you will use them anyway.

As the keeper you can spend a long time plotting perfect moves and really hurting the investigators - this is great, but don't get too engrossed in this as it will slow things down. Play to win, but try to keep it frisky - if you miss the opportunity to play a card, don't worry too much, you'll get more chances.

Flicking through your available mythos cards before the game isn't a bad thing to do. And like all things, it will get easier and quicker the more you play; and then you can focus more on those intricate plots that were harder to figure out in the beginning.

Happy gaming.
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James Pacheco
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I think it's also worth noting that there's nothing that says that the Investigators have to sit and wait for you turn to be over before they start making plans for their turn... Yes, you can do stuff to throw a wrench in the works, but not enough to completely screw up their plans. And the first couple games are gonna be a little slow on the Investigators planning during the Keeper turn, and the Keeper won't have as much time to plan during the Investigators' turn, but a few turns of each in and it should settle into a little more decent give & take.
 
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Chuckhazard
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Thought of another speed enhancer I do... I keep an eye on the Trauma, Mythos, and Attack decks. When they start to get low (just a few cards) I shuffle the discards and place them on the bottom. I don't know how much time it really saves but it keeps the game flowing.

Also, I don't bother keeping the combat decks face down and drawing; this takes forever. I keep them all face up, so when I'm shuffling through to find the right kind of combat card I can go through them real fast.
 
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Scott Caldwell
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Thank you everyone for the suggestions. I will try to incorporate these into the game, especially, reviewing all applicable trauma and mythos cards before the game.
 
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