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Mansions of Madness» Forums » General

Subject: Game master rss

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Wanda Davies
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What is the advantage to playing a board game with a game master as opposed to just playing a simple RPG?
(In case it comes off this way, I'm not asking this as a knock on Mansions of Madness- I just want to know.)
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Guido Gloor
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The statement below is false.
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The statement above is correct.
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In a game with a game master, the players can win against him because unlike in an RPG, he's also restricted by the rules.

On the other hand, said rules restrictions also allow the game master to play competitively as well.

It's really quite a different role IMHO.
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Thomas Staudt
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haslo wrote:
In a game with a game master, the players can win against him because unlike in an RPG, he's also restricted by the rules.

On the other hand, said rules restrictions also allow the game master to play competitively as well.

It's really quite a different role IMHO.


Exactly that.

Plus, in an RPG the game master usually has a lot of stuff to do with regards to preparing new adventures, what to do when players want to do something that hasn't been foreseen in the scenario etc.

In a boardgame, he is subject to similar rules as the others and normally does not have to spend time for preparation.

This is great if you don't have a "good" / experienced / enthusiastic game master available or there just isn't enough time.
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Matthew Vantries
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Since the rules are more "structured" in a game like MoM than in an rpg, the PCs can't completely ruin the scenario by deciding to fly off to Australia and joining an aborigine tribe or whatever.
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Joe Reil
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Also to clarify the difference, I wouldn't use the term "game master" in reference to MoM (or Descent which also gets this comparison quite a bit) at all.

I see "game master" as a term for someone who's there to facilitate the game for the other players.

Whether you think of the "GM" as an RPG-style GM, someone who's running the game and the game world for the other players, or more like a moderator who oversees the game but is not directly involved (the way someone running a game at a Convention might), the Keeper in Mansions of Madness is neither of these.

The Keeper is another player of the game. They are trying to win the game and are bound by the rules of the game in the same manner as the other players, and in a way that a Game Master is not.

In short: The Keeper is not a GM. The Keeper is simply playing the "bad guys". This is no different than the Genestealer player in Space Hulk, the Dracula player in Fury of Dracula or the Zombie player(s) in Last Night on Earth and none of those are typically confused or conflated with being a "GM" in this sense.

EDIT: As to the differences/advantages: It really comes down to the differences/advantages of board games of any kind vs. an RPG of any type. e.g., what are the advantages of watching a movie vs. reading a book?
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Wanda Davies
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RedShark92 wrote:
Also to clarify the difference, I wouldn't use the term "game master" in reference to MoM (or Descent which also gets this comparison quite a bit) at all.

I see "game master" as a term for someone who's there to facilitate the game for the other players.

Whether you think of the "GM" as an RPG-style GM, someone who's running the game and the game world for the other players, or more like a moderator who oversees the game but is not directly involved (the way someone running a game at a Convention might), the Keeper in Mansions of Madness is neither of these.

The Keeper is another player of the game. They are trying to win the game and are bound by the rules of the game in the same manner as the other players, and in a way that a Game Master is not.

In short: The Keeper is not a GM. The Keeper is simply playing the "bad guys". This is no different than the Genestealer player in Space Hulk, the Dracula player in Fury of Dracula or the Zombie player(s) in Last Night on Earth and none of those are typically confused or conflated with being a "GM" in this sense.

EDIT: As to the differences/advantages: It really comes down to the differences/advantages of board games of any kind vs. an RPG of any type. e.g., what are the advantages of watching a movie vs. reading a book?


Ah, that clarifies it so, to draw from my own experience, the Keeper is more akin to the Sauron player in Middle Earth Quest? I'd seen posts about people playing a Keeper non-competitively which made me think of a traditional gamemaster role (which would make an RPG far more preferable in my view.) Anyway, thank you all for clearing this up for me.
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Joe Reil
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Hello Gregor wrote:
Ah, that clarifies it so, to draw from my own experience, the Keeper is more akin to the Sauron player in Middle Earth Quest? I'd seen posts about people playing a Keeper non-competitively which made me think of a traditional gamemaster role (which would make an RPG far more preferable in my view.) Anyway, thank you all for clearing this up for me.


I haven't played ME Quest, but I'd guess that this comparison is apt.

It would be possible to play MoM in an RPG-like manner, but it's not how the game is really designed to work and I think it would be a poor replacement for a real RPG experience.
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Carl Cox
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RedShark92 wrote:
I haven't played ME Quest, but I'd guess that this comparison is apt.


Same designer, same mechanic.
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Jay Shaffstall
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Hello Gregor wrote:
What is the advantage to playing a board game with a game master as opposed to just playing a simple RPG?


Some players are more willing to play a board game than an RPG. Less scope for players to go off the rails of the scenario, and drag a one-shot RPG into a mini-campaign.

Personally, I'd rather play the RPG, but some of the people I game with are more board game oriented, which makes Mansions of Madness an easier sell.
 
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