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Mansions of Madness» Forums » Rules

Subject: Darkness Keeper Card rss

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Ryan S
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Played through a game of this with the scenario where the main keeper action for the first half of the game was to plunge the mansion into darkness. The keeper performs the darkness action. A room gets a darkness token. Then, there is a line that is something like, "each player in darkness" now must perform a test. The keeper of this game argued that whenever he took this action, all players in darkness must perform a test. I argued that it made no sense thematically to place a darkness token in some random corner of the mansion to force another test.

Which way is right? Our compromise that night was to force a test on everyone in darkness only if a darkness token shut the lights out on a player. "The lights went out causing an investigator to scream which increased the panic level of those already in darkness."

Second, which interpretation of this card is more balanced? The keeper lost badly this night. Based on how good the die rolls were for the investigators, this should have been the outcome, so I cannot tell if interpreting this rule as "any darkness action always causes all investigators in darkness to perform a test" would make this scenario more balanced or greatly skew the odds in the keeper's favor.
 
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Roberta Yang
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The keeper's interpretation is correct. It is also probably the most balanced.
 
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T France
United States
Oakland
California
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Unless the specific wording says otherwise, I agree with your Keeper player. If it says "each player in darkness," then it's each player in darkness...
 
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Roberta Yang
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There are really three qualities to check when trying to determine which rule is best:

Which rule is the most balanced?

Which rule is the most thematic?

Which rule creates the most interesting gameplay?

To the first question, we need to look at the context of the scenario in which the Darkness card appears. This is a pretty weak scenario in several senses of the word, but the keeper has noticeably few tools in it compared to other scenarios. A keeper action that moves monsters isn't going to do very much in a scenario where monsters are entirely absent for most of the game. Mythos cards alone can't carry an entire scenario, and Uncontrollable Urges is weak unless you have something to combo it with. Which leaves Darkness as the keeper's main weapon. Darkness needs to be very potent for the keeper to have any presence at all, so the keeper's interpretation is best for game balance. In particular, being able to efficiently plunge into darkness a room that the investigators have not entered yet but will enter next turn is important for slowing down Explore actions.

To the second question, the investigators' interpretation is clearly most thematic. The lights in your own room going out is scary; the lights going out somewhere you can't see is not. The compromise is the second most thematic, as even an investigator in a different room could know by another investigator's vocal reaction that the light in their room just went out too.

The third question is somewhat hamstrung by the first: without the keeper's interpretation, the scenario is a cakewalk for the investigators and the gameplay decisions don't really matter. But if we assume that the scenario's balance could be adjusted to suit any of the three interpretations, I think the keeper's is the worst for interesting gameplay. It encourages spamming Darkness over and over with no particular finesse; there isn't much in the way of counterplay on the investigators' side or trade-offs to consider on the keeper's side. Both of the other interpretations have more interesting gameplay possibilities. On the investigators' side, by choosing whether to end turn in light or dark rooms to control the damage the keeper can deal with Darkness; on the keeper's side, by being forced to choose between darkening occupied rooms to trigger horror checks or unoccupied rooms to slow future exploration.

In conclusion, Classroom Curses is not very good.
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Thomas Nicol
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Illinois
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My recollection of Classroom Curses is the Big Setup was that this school had some plumbing problems. As we played through, about half the investigators became convinced that the endgame was actually just to fix the plumbing.

I don't remember if the Keeper or Investigators won in the end, but we have not gone back to revisit the scenario.
 
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