News for August 2011
The Silver Tablet 16
A Print on Demand expansion for Mansions of Madness is now available

Look at me–listen to what I say–do you suppose there are really any such things as time and magnitude? Do you fancy there are such things as form or matter? I tell you, I have struck depths that your little brain can’t picture! I have seen beyond the bounds of infinity and drawn down daemons from the stars....I have harnessed the shadows that stride from world to world to sow death and madness. Space belongs to me, do you hear?
     – H.P. Lovecraft, From Beyond

A promising professor has absconded with university property – an ancient and mysterious silver tablet. Now, you’ve been hired to search her manor for clues to her whereabouts... all while treating the matter with the utmost discretion. But what darker secrets does the tablet hold, and why did Professor Wolcott cut off all communication with the outside world?

The Silver Tablet is the second Print on Demand story expansion for Mansions of Madness, and it is now available through our webstore! With half of its never-before-seen cards offering exciting new items and encounters, The Silver Tablet tasks players with solving the horrifying mystery behind an ancient artifact... all while resisting its sinister powers.

What is Print on Demand?

Having debuted back in March with our announcement of expansions for Space Hulk – Death Angel: The Card Game, Print on Demand is an exciting new process that allows Fantasy Flight Games to produce professionally finished cards on a made-to-order basis, which opens up new opportunities for expanding existing games.

This process (not to be confused with Print and Play), results in smaller print runs of professionally manufactured products, allowing publishers to provide fans with content that would otherwise not be commercially viable. If you’re a retailer interested in carrying our Print on Demand products, visit our Professional Zone website to learn more.

A word from the designer

To offer insights into his goals for The Silver Tablet, designer Darrell Hardy agreed to share a few words:

One of the things I love most about Mansions of Madness is how the clues and dangers of a single story can be combined in different ways to create entirely new adventures every time you play. (Yes, there are screams from the cellar, but are those the screams of a monster's victims--like last time--or the final syllables of a summoning ritual performed in an alien language?) When given the opportunity to write a new story for Mansions of Madness, this was the aspect of the game I grabbed onto. I enjoyed the challenge of developing multiple adventures all with the same setup, whose differences were slowly revealed--like the horrible secrets of a Lovecraft story--over the course of play.

While the Silver Tablet story isn't directly inspired by any single Lovecraft story, it embodies one of my favorite mythos themes: Those who seek power through the mythos will find it, but are invariably corrupted, destroyed, or made slaves to the very powers they sought to control. As much as I love the cosmic "We're-so-insignificant-that-Cthulhu-won't-even-notice-when-he-eats-us" horror, there's something more intimate and personal about this smaller-scale theme. It's easier to relate to. While none of us (I hope) have had our sanity shattered from poking our occult noses where they don't belong, we've all been burned at one time or another when our best-laid plans have caught fire around us.

The story should draw the players in with its twists and turns, then capture them with the spectacle of the horrific tragedy in which they have been caught up. But this isn't Shakespeare, where the tragedy is up there, on the stage. This is Lovecraft, where the tragedy has terrible consequences not only for the doomed fool who turned to the mythos for power, but all those around him. It's up to the investigators to confront those consequences, even if it means embracing their own tragic ends.

This exciting story expansion is available for order now, so visit our The Silver Tablet description to learn more, then head to our webstore to explore the terrifying crossroads between science and the supernatural!

Note: Due to variations in the printing process, cards from Print on Demand expansions will be subtly different in appearance and texture from base game cards. For this reason, any necessary base game cards (such as “nothing of interest” Exploration cards) are reprinted in each expansion, to retain a consistent appearance when shuffled.

Mansions of Madness is a macabre game of horror, insanity, and mystery for two to five players. Based on the beloved fiction of H.P. Lovecraft, Mansions of Madness tells a story in which one player takes on the role of the keeper, a malevolent force working to complete a sinister plot, and all other players take on the roles of investigators, the unlikely heroes who gather to oppose him.

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Comments (16)

hydra66
Published: 9/11/2011 6:49:44 AM
#16

 Why doesn't FFG just release these expansions the same way they do their LCG expansions for LOTR and Call of Cthulhu?

JerusalemJones
Published: 8/29/2011 1:53:21 PM
#15

@Julia, glad to hear that. Hopefully some other Euro players can take advantage of that as well. I think cheapest shipping stateside is still over $5, making these $20+ expansions, so the EUR price isn't that much more expensive.

Julia
Published: 8/26/2011 5:15:01 PM
#14

@JJ: at the moment, the exchange rate between EUR and USD is not that bad. I bought both expansions as soon as they were out, and in both cases I had them for something like 18 EUR each (including postage). Which is not that high if you consider that - at least, here in Italy - normal retailers tend to work on the golden standard 1EUR = 1USD. Besides, the first POD expansion is available thorugh Amazon.co.uk (11 £), and you have free shipments all over Europe for orders of 25£ or more. So basically, it's enough buying three of them via Amazon and it's a normal price

BlackZer0
Published: 8/26/2011 2:33:12 AM
#13

Sweet! Am so happy that FFG is keeping Mansions of Madness alive with affordable scenario expansions. However, I would still like to see a bigger expansion released for Mansions of madness. So I have the chance to build up my game ( just like: I did with Descent ). With more Investigators, keeper cards, Map tiles and monsters.

In the mean time, keep these little PoD coming; They give the game, a spark of renewed life.

JerusalemJones
Published: 8/25/2011 3:52:11 PM
#12

There is no question I will be ordering this. In fact, I'll be ordering several copies for my game store. And in some ways, I think this is where FFG might be missing the boat.

When Season of the Witch came out, I immediately ordered several copies, plus the PoD for Death Angel. Reading forums posts, it sounds as though FFG had decent sales of SotW, and I know that at least one major US distributor ordered copies of all three PoD expansions, as I can now order them through their website. This leads me to believe that there is a strong market for these MoM PoD releases, and that they could release them as a standard product through normal channels.

If that is the case, the only arguement I can see FFG using for releasing them as PoDs would be the manufacturing time. Since my order was shipped from Kansas, I can only assume that is where the print house that made them is based. They could print out several hundred PoDs (or thousands?) and ship them out within a week or two, direct to the consumer. Otherwise, these releases would go to their normal printer (China), wait in the queue to get printed, packaged, and then take weeks to ship back to the US, then to FFG, then to the distributors, then to retailers, and then to you. This release may have just finished play-testing last week, and could be in player's hands by the end of next week. The other process...looks like late Q4 or early Q1 2012.

I understand that the European and foreign players are unhappy about the price, and I can't argue that point. Perhpas some European entity can form a coalition to get mass quantities (100-200) shipped overseas, then dispersed to the retailers/customers who want them to save on shipping. Also, unicorns and pegasus could be employed to carry them to their destinations (because this seems like a highly unlikely scenario, even given today's connected world). But, if people could pool their order together, even in the 4-6 copies range, it could help reduce the cost per item.

Conversely, since these PoDs are pretty much graphic files sent to a printer, perhaps a Euro printer could come forward to offer to do the printing. That would greatly reduce the shipping costs, and customs issues.

I think I will wait a short while before I order my copies for the store, since FFG has already said (before Gen Con) that the GC Lord of the Rings scenario would be made available as a PoD after the event, and this way I can save shipping by ordering both at the same time. Because, like many others who have posted, the idea is to order these for the lowest possible cost, and not having to pay shipping twice is a win in my book.

Cabello
Published: 8/25/2011 3:38:51 PM
#11

 Sweeeet!! Can I have it now?

Morbid666
Published: 8/25/2011 12:15:27 PM
#10

This is great! I will be ordering this.

sepayne7l
Published: 8/25/2011 11:44:16 AM
#9

I think Hardy is a solid designer and I look forward to these. It's a lot better than  having to wait for the regular print expansions. I hope my fave OLGS stocks this one, too.

I'm sure the announcement for the first boxed expansion will be made before the end of the year. More investigators, monsters, tiles, and scenarios...ahh the joy.

raivaaja
Published: 8/25/2011 10:52:33 AM
#8

Always good to see this game expanded, but I'm afraid I have to skip this one like the first expansion.

Add the cost for shipping to Europe and the price gets too high for just one scenario.

Would really like to see a boxed expansion coming, but if you make more of these then I could consider buying them all in a pack to reduce additional costs for shipping.

Eldil
Published: 8/25/2011 10:13:30 AM
#7

I bought the first one, but this time I'll wait for this one to become available through one of my regular vendors. Even splitting the cost of shipping with a friend, the total for the last expansion still worked out around $23 bucks, and at that price point, the contents were underwhelming. I'm a little disappointed that each package is going to come with another stack of POD-quality "nothing of interest" cards.

It seems to me that if a non-POD Mansions of Madness Boxed Expansion were printed, they could easily include a few generic exploration cards (ie Clue 1A, 1B, Special Item 1, Special Item 2, Special Obstacle 1, 2, etc) which could serve as proxies for the POD expansion cards. For example: you explore a room and find a "Special Item 1" card, which is immediately replaced by the POD expansion card (the same would work for clues, obstacles, locked doors). With just a few proxy cards, you could eliminate the need for all of the reprint cards in this expansion.

For now, I feel like the price point is $5 higher than it should be because the difference in the texture of the cards requires these reprints, which is a big disincentive for me, because I'm effectively paying that $5 for lower-quality copies of cards I already have.

Still, I love this game, and I like to see the new content. I'm just not crazy about how it's being delivered.

Mr. K
Published: 8/25/2011 8:58:19 AM
#6

Great news! So pleased that Mansions is getting all this love. Way to go.

K xx

Omnisiah
Published: 8/25/2011 3:38:12 AM
#5

 These are fantastic. I love Season of the Witch.

 

I don't understand the detractors to PoD. It's print on DEMAND. There's nothing lost to FFG in making the content here, so it's not like the prospect of a big box expansion is in any way differed or threatened by this at all.

 

I also don't get the concerns about price! This is a game that thrives on a steady stream of new narrative, not new bits. At the current price point, these packs are the spiritual cousin to the old pen and paper RPG scenario/encounter books; a standalone little pack that assumes you have the base game and so focuses on delivering great story.

 

Keep em coming!

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