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I now have a few games of Mansions of Madness under my belt, all of them with three players - a Keeper and 2 Investigators. And I've noticed that there doesn't seem to be time for them (the Investigators) to get even the majority of the house explored or make much progress once the objective is revealed.

So, I turned my designer's eye on it and thought this thought:

In a 5-player game (a Keeper and 4 Investigators), the Investigators will have 4 actions per turn. So an Event card that takes 3 turns to flip expects 12 actions to occur before it's activated. With 2 Investigators, only 6 actions have been taken in the same span. Since the Event card timings do not scale with the number of Investigators, it is no wonder that it seems the players are running out of time.

I saw two possible fixes for this:

  • Give Investigators in a 3-player game 2 actions per turn.
  • Scale the number of tokens required for an event to keep the number of actions between events the same for a given number of players.

I have decided that the "2 movements and one action" structure of the Investigator turn is too integral to mess with. So I am thinking of doubling the number of "clock ticks" between events for my next game - I'll almost always have 2 Investigators playing.

  • Has anyone else encountered this problem?
  • Have you solved it?
  • How?
  • Is your solution satisfactory?
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I have only read the rules, I haven't played the game -- but it does seem outright weird that there's nothing in the rules adjusting things based on the number of investigators. Keeper turns every 4 or 5 turns instead of every 2 seems like a huge difference. –  lilserf Mar 25 '11 at 19:06
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@lilserf - There is one thing that changes - the Keeper gains 1 threat per Investigator player. So the number of actions the Keeper can take is scaled by the number of Investigators. But the pace of Events is not. –  gomad Mar 25 '11 at 21:17
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1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Multiple Investigators

After my last 2-Investigator game, I was explaining this issue to one of the players and proposed the "scale the time between events solution."

She said, "Why don't we just each run two adventurers?"

Why didn't I think of that?

I think that from now on, MoM will be a 4-investigator game, with players running enough investigators to make up the difference. It works great in .

EDIT: There are additional benefits to this solution:

  • Scaling the time would drastically reduce the sense of urgency in MoM.
  • Not only the number of actions but the reduced breadth of abilities is unaccounted for in a fewer-than-four-Investigators game.

This is decidedly my preferred way to play the game now. I would only consider less than four Investigators as a way to bump the difficulty for players that consistently win too easily.

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Accepting my own answer for lack of others. Verified by play that MoM with 4 Investigators is how the game is built to play. –  gomad May 19 '11 at 17:22
    
This is a brilliant answer. I can now play properly with my girlfriend! –  deworde Jan 12 '12 at 9:41
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