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Talk:The Hermit's House

Talk:The Hermit's House

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Old forum comments

(The Ludocity website previously had integrated forums, but they fell into spam-covered decline and were shut down in 2015. The comments in this section have been automatically converted from that forum.)

Aha, great to see this making the jump from a forum game to a tabletop one.

Are there any forum private-message hangovers that don't quite translate to real life, though? The exorcism mechanic seems a little tricky to coordinate - I suppose you'd ask exorcists to raise their hands, and tell the quickest to open their eyes and point. But if several people raise their hands at the same time, you can't easily communicate to the first one that they were first.

Does the opening of eyes "if they wish" for ectoplasming also go for poltergeisting? Would it speed the night phase up if you had these running in immediate sequence? ("If any ghosts are manifesting tonight, open your eyes now... Now, indicate who you're ectoplasming. [pause, even if they can't ectoplasm because one of them proposed something] Now indicate who you're poltergeisting...")

What happens if one ghost tactically chooses not to open their eyes for the ectoplasming (or a poltergeisting) - does that prevent it from happening (because the ghosts aren't working "en masse"), or do they just not get a say in the target?

And two mystery gaps in the writeup, unless I've missed something - how would a ghost appear in a game that started with zero ghosts? And is the one reference to "demons" meant to say "ghosts"? --Kevan (talk) 2009-06-26 15:07:17

Great feedback, Kevan, thanks!

Thinking about it, the exorcism doesn't have to be strictly private. What I'd be tempted to do is to have a prop - a bell-book-and-candle kit, perhaps - that players can literally pick up at the beginning of the day phase to use, provided that they did the necessary abstention the day before. The point cost should prevent frivolous use, although I might add a points penalty for misuse (e.g. for accidentally exorcising a human - points totals are kept officially secret so that wouldn't even act as a soft confirmation.)

Putting poltergeisting and ectoplasming together does make sense. Poltergeisting is really a bit disposable, so if there's too much clutter I may just get rid of it. On optional eye-opening, I think that ghosts who stay tactically silent just get no say. Otherwise the ghost team is a bit too heavily weakened.

On the two gaps - yes, demon is a legacy term for ghost, I'll get that changed. And the zero-ghost game would be an immaculate conception - i.e. the GM taps somone on the shoulder during Night 3 and gives them a ghost card, as if they'd been turned. --Josher (talk) 2009-06-26 15:40:02

Expanding on that last point slightly: you tell the players that there may not be a ghost at the start of the game but guarantee that there will be one by night 3. So they play days 1 and 2 as usual but with the added doubt of not being certain as to whether there's a ghost or not. --Josher (talk) 2009-06-26 16:37:55

Maybe the exorcism could just have a finite number of candles (or vials of holy water or what have you), so that players will argue a bit about not wasting them.

Although does exorcism and ectoplasm not lead to the highest-scoring players (which you can guess fairly accurately from the number of successful proposals) being constantly dragged back and forth from team to team, to boost the final score (even if you waste a few points exorcising the highest-scorer)? Or do the humans not get told when someone gets ectoplasmed? --Kevan (talk) 2009-06-26 17:24:38

That's a good idea about the limited exorcisms. It'd be nice to give the ghosts some form of active defense, and trying to talk their way out of it does the job nicely.

The cycle of ectoplasm / exorcism tends not to come up. Firstly: yes, ectoplasming is secret to the majority of players. Secondly, ghosts tend to avoid turning the obvious targets, unless they are very close to a win. And third, most groups of players seem to find it natural and prudent to spread the points around. The restriction on ghosts, that they can't propose and ectoplasm at the same time, also means that a protracted bidding war will force them to reveal themselves. And the fact that an exorcism is an instant counter to ectoplasm, but not vice-versa, means that the humans win that game in the long run. Finally, the radio has to be used mainly by humans; the ghosts can't steamroll a win, which again means that this is ultimately a losing strategy for the ghosts. So while it's technically possible to have the feedback loop, it's not a massive problem when it does occur. --Josher (talk) 2009-06-26 17:40:53

Ah, okay, it sounds like you've balanced things out over the past playtests - the radio exception did puzzle me a bit, but I can see that it forces the ghosts to go for a slow onslaught of ectoplasm instead.

I look forward to giving this a go some time. --Kevan (talk) 2009-06-26 21:18:13