Chill: Black Morn Manor
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Average Rating: 4 in 2 reviews
This terrific board game (wow, that's starting off on a good note, eh?) came out in 1985 and I believe I purchased my copy shortly thereafter. Produced by Pacesetter Games (the folks who brought you that classic (and now sadly out-of-print) horror RPG, 'Chill') 'Black Morn Manor' is a game of good versus evil on the grounds of a haunted estate.
All-but-one of the players assume the roles of investigators (Envoys) who are trying to discover the identity of the Master (a randomly selected beastie) and the means of destroying it, while one other player assumes the role of a possessed Envoy (called a Minion) who is trying to keep the Master safe by finding and removing from the game, the only item that is harmful to it (in the case of a Master Werewolf, the item would be a revolver with silver bullets).
The board is made up of 48 2' x 2' player-placed tiles representing locations inside the Manor and outside (Grounds). Two of these get placed during each player's turn and only by placing these tiles in sets of varying numbers, can the players move their tokens about the grounds and manor and complete their respective missions.
Cards are also used to help and hinder the characters via such things as 'magical' powers and random monster attacks. One neat thing is that there is always a 'character' specific deck of available cards depending on whichever Master card is drawn at the start of the game. This can sometimes provide subtle hints about the nature of the Master to the Envoys.
Some of the other interesting aspects to the game are: Envoys all begin the game with 6 chits representing 6 points of willpower. Willpower can be added and subtracted during the game, but if an envoy is reduced to zero points (via combat, etc.) he/she also becomes a minion, and, of course, if he/she already knows the identity of the Master and is perhaps in possession of the appropriate means of destroying it, the remaining envoys will have an even more daunting task ahead of them! And yes, all players can be reduced to zero points and evil can actually win! (Of course, a minion can also be 'cured' and made good again, as well...)
The game components are all very good (some of the art is average, some of it excellent) and the box comes with 48 board tiles, 96 cards (8-sheets of 12), 60 willpower chits, 2 nice 10-sided dice, 6 plastic pawns and 10 item counters.
The game is for 2-6 players (and like many games, is better when there are 3 or more) and it definitely has high replay value!
A highly requested item in my collection!!!
I have a lot of good memories playing this game. The rules are only four pages, so it's easy enough to explain the basic concepts and to get people playing within 5 minutes or so.
There are situations that make the game very sneaky. Players who represent the side of GOOD all win together (by discovering the identity of the LORD OF THE MANOR and destroying it), but evil players (Minions) can only win by themselves (by getting the item that can kill the minion to the mansion gate). Players ebb in strength, becoming a minion when they lose all their life points, and becoming 'human' again if forced to move to the CHURCH tile.
Devious players manipulate the situation, forcing Minions who are about to win onto the CHURCH tile, making them human again, and changing the victory conditions on them. It works the other way as well ... Humans sometimes play cards to force the last other 'Human' to become a minion just as the forces of good are about to triumph so that the victory is not shared.
Do yourself a favor and give this game a play if the chance ever presents itself ... preferably on a dark and stormy night.