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Eldritch Horror» Forums » Variants

Subject: Eldritch Horror: Dark Legacy Variant rss

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ELDRITCH HORROR: DARK LEGACY

GOAL: The objective of Eldritch Horror: Dark Legacy is to defeat each of the Ancient Ones in a campaign spanning multiple games where elements from one successfully concluded game can carry over into the next.


COMPONENTS: Requires the base game plus as many expansions as can be sanely managed (Forsaken Lore, Mountains of Madness, Under the Pyramids, and Strange Remnants in my case, as of this writing).


GAME RULES: Setup and gameplay rules remain unchanged except where noted below.


Choose and Place Investigators: Players choose from the available roster of Investigators as normal, but they are encouraged to discuss possible choices beforehand, as their selections will severely impact the future success or failure of the campaign. Players take the corresponding Investigator sheets and designate which of these will be their Primary Investigators.

The remaining Investigator sheets are then shuffled and divided equally among the players who must each choose one Alternate Investigator. This choice must be made without any hints or prior discussion. Alternate Investigators will form a communal pool of Investigators from which players can recruit if their Primary Investigator is defeated or devoured. Any player can also opt for using any Alternate Investigator at the beginning of any game if they desire. Note, though, that a Primary Investigator can only be used by the player who selected it.


Determine Ancient One: Instead of choosing the Ancient One, the Ancient One cards are all shuffled together and one is drawn at random from the stack.


Prelude Cards: A Prelude card must be drawn (if available) at the start of each game. After resolving the Prelude card's effects, it is removed permanently from the available stack to prevent it being drawn in future games.


WINNING THE CAMPAIGN: To win, the players need to defeat each of the Ancient Ones in succession without losing a single game. As an option, players may also track how well or how badly they perform over the course of the campaign (see Scoring). If the players lose a game at any point, or if one player is unable to field a new Investigator (meaning his Primary Investigator and all Alternate Investigators have been defeated or devoured), the campaign is over.


SCORING: To determine how well your team did overall, simply add the value of the Doom Track at the conclusion of each game and total this over all the games that the players have won. The higher the score, the better.


ELDRITCH POINTS: At the conclusion of every successful game, each player's Investigator is awarded Eldritch Points (EP) equal to the Starting Doom value of the Ancient One defeated. (Yig, for example, is worth 10 Eldritch Points.) These points serve as an abstract currency which allows players to better set themselves up for their next game in the campaign by spending them during the Aftermath stage (see below). Eldritch Points cannot be stored up and must be spent immediately after winning a game. These points also cannot be spent on behalf of another player's Investigator (i.e., an Investigator must spend its own points to remove its own Conditions; retain its own Clue Tokens, Focus Tokens, or Possessions; and recover its own Sanity or Health).


AFTERMATH STAGE: After each victorious game of Eldritch Horror: Dark Legacy, the following details should be noted down and taken into account before setting up for the next game:

1) Ancient One: Set aside the defeated Ancient One's card from the available stack to prevent it from being drawn in future games.

2) Investigators: Record the current location of each Investigator on the game board; this will be its starting location for whichever game it is used next. If the Investigator is on a sideboard, it starts on the connecting space of the main board.

3) Improvement and Impairment Tokens: Existing Improvement and Impairment Tokens are retained and become part of setup whenever that Investigator is used.

4) Health and Sanity Tokens: Missing Health or Sanity carries over for that Investigator's next game and are deducted from its pool of tokens as part of setup unless Eldritch Points are spent to recover them beforehand. It costs 1 EP to restore any combination of 2 points of Health or Sanity.

5) Focus Tokens: Any Focus Tokens that an Investigator has are removed unless Eldritch Points are spent to retain them. Retaining a Focus Token costs 1 EP each and these become part of setup the next time that Investigator is used.

6) Possessions: An Investigator's possessions are discarded unless Eldritch Points are spent to retain them. Retaining a possession costs EP equal to twice the asset's Reserve Value (Whiskey, which has an RV of 1, for example, costs 2 EP). A retained possession becomes part of setup the next time that Investigator is used.

7) Conditions: Any Conditions, good or bad, are retained and become part of an Investigator's setup the next time it is used unless Eldritch Points are spent to discard them. It costs 2 EP to remove an existing Condition.

8) Clues: Clue Tokens on the game board are removed. Clue Tokens in an Investigator's inventory are discarded unless Eldritch Points are spent to retain them. Retaining a Clue Token costs 3 EP and becomes part of setup the next time that Investigator is used.

9) Gates: Gates that are still on the game board will reappear at their same locations for the next game unless Eldritch Points are spent to remove them beforehand. Removing a Gate costs 5 EP.

10) Monsters: Monsters remaining on the game board reappear at their same locations for the next game unless Eldritch Points are spent to remove them beforehand. Cultists are the exception to this rule -- these are always removed as they serve only the Ancient One that has just been defeated. Removing a Monster costs EP equal to its printed Toughness. Monsters that carry over into the next game do not apply their spawn effects.


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I came up with this variant to address the problems of Monty Haulesque versions of other Eldritch Horror campaigns that I've seen running around. In this version Investigators become progressively more powerful due to Improvements but that is mitigated somewhat by the +2 cap imposed by the rules and the balancing effect of Impairments. More importantly, Investigators don't become walking arsenals by virtue of gear they inevitably come across and accumulate. Here, Eldritch Points limit what resources the players are able to retain at the conclusion of each game while at the same time creating interesting and meaningful choices. Do you spend your Eldritch Points to stem the tide of gates and monsters that are plaguing the board and could potentially slow you down for your next game, or do you keep one or two key items that could improve your future success? Do you keep that Hypothermia Condition and hope you can get rid of it before the next Reckoning, or do you save one or two Clue Tokens which might help you solve the next Mystery more quickly?

As with most things, any suggestions for areas of improvement are welcome.

Enjoy, and may all your rolls be 5's and 6's.
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Matt E.

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Have you tried this out much?

The only thing that gives me pause is open gates snowballing. Seems to be the most important long term strategic factor, not carrying those over.
 
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spotH3D wrote:
Have you tried this out much?

The only thing that gives me pause is open gates snowballing. Seems to be the most important long term strategic factor, not carrying those over.


At the end of one game I had four gates still on the board, so I got rid of three using 5 Eldritch Points apiece, leaving one to return in the next game. Having to deal with two Gates at the start of a game isn't too bad when the Investigators already have a bit of a boost.

The whole idea behind the Eldritch Point rewards is you can tailor your end game response according to the board state, so remove Gates if there are too many out or get rid of Monsters that are too dangerous to be on the loose (like a Dhole in my last game, which cost 5 EP to remove but was totally worth it). Of course if you spend all your EP on threat removal you miss out on keeping potentially useful items. It's a tradeoff but you just make sacrifices where you can, as one does in a Lovecraftian setting.
 
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Davy Ashleydale
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So in a 4 player game, there will be a maximum of 8 investigators used?

I always prefer using completely random investigators, so I plan on playing this campaign with 4 random primary investigators who will be replaced with random investigators as those ones are defeated/devoured. But if we ever need a 9th investigator, I assume that means that we lost.
 
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Stephan Beal
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DungeonCrawl wrote:

WINNING THE CAMPAIGN: To win, the players must simply defeat all of the Ancient Ones without suffering a single defeat.


Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field defeating all Ancient Ones consecutively, without a single defeat, is approximately 3,720 374,340,501,217 to 1.

(PS: if someone wants to refine that number from the stats at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZdxFQZu-5jT9zyTRuE0J..., be my guest.)
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Davy Ashleydale
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That's true -- I don't think I've ever even won two games in a row. But I guess the idea here is that you may get a chance to start with some cool items.
 
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Andreas Pettersson
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DungeonCrawl wrote:
6) Possessions: Possessions on an Investigator are removed unless Eldritch Points are spent to retain any of them. Retaining a possession costs EP equal to twice the asset's Reserve Value (Whiskey with a RV of 1, for example, costs 2 EP). A retained possession becomes an additional component of an Investigator's setup only for the next game in which it participates.


How about artifacts, unique assets and spells that have no printed value? Are they retained for free or should there be some fixed cost?
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randomlife wrote:
So in a 4 player game, there will be a maximum of 8 investigators used?

I always prefer using completely random investigators, so I plan on playing this campaign with 4 random primary investigators who will be replaced with random investigators as those ones are defeated/devoured. But if we ever need a 9th investigator, I assume that means that we lost.


A 4-player game would use one primary Investigator apiece with a pool of 4 alternates, so yes you'd be limited to 8 Investigators for the campaign and you lose when your fifth Investigator perishes.

It's quite acceptable to use all random Investigators, but given how difficult the game already is plus the challenge presented by having to win so many consecutive games to win in this variant, it is highly suggested that you create a working synergy with your primary Investigators.
 
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sgbeal wrote:
DungeonCrawl wrote:

WINNING THE CAMPAIGN: To win, the players must simply defeat all of the Ancient Ones without suffering a single defeat.


Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field defeating all Ancient Ones consecutively, without a single defeat, is approximately 3,720 374,340,501,217 to 1.

(PS: if someone wants to refine that number from the stats at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZdxFQZu-5jT9zyTRuE0J..., be my guest.)


I feel those odds will be favorably tempered in this variant by the Improvements and extra Possessions your Investigators are able to retain in each new game. (You just need to win the first game, though.) The rules as presented are working for me so far but feel free to tweak them according to your tastes. I tend to look at Eldritch Horror like golf: play it for the challenge it presents and handicap yourself accordingly.
 
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randomlife wrote:
That's true -- I don't think I've ever even won two games in a row. But I guess the idea here is that you may get a chance to start with some cool items.


Yep, once you've won the first game you're generally going to be in better shape in each succeeding game. The caveat, of course, is that you be mindful of what state you leave the board in at the end of a game and how you spend Eldritch Points afterwards. I found it prudent on one occasion, while I was ahead on the Doom Track and in relatively good shape, to hold off solving the final Mystery and spend a turn wiping out a few monsters and closing a Gate. Of course doing that doesn't come without risk, as the next Mythos draw could very well hose you, so weigh that decision with care.
 
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psson73 wrote:
DungeonCrawl wrote:
6) Possessions: Possessions on an Investigator are removed unless Eldritch Points are spent to retain any of them. Retaining a possession costs EP equal to twice the asset's Reserve Value (Whiskey with a RV of 1, for example, costs 2 EP). A retained possession becomes an additional component of an Investigator's setup only for the next game in which it participates.


How about artifacts, unique assets and spells that have no printed value? Are they retained for free or should there be some fixed cost?


You can only retain the common Assets that show up in the Reserve for two simple reasons:

1) Some of the Artifacts, Unique Assets, and Spells can be overpowering, and so having them constantly in the hands of the Investigators at the start of every game could make things too easy and break the entire campaign; and

2) As there is no printed value on Artifacts, Unique Assets, and Spells, there's no reliable way to quantify the cost of one card in relation to another.

Of course there's nothing stopping you from assigning a blanket cost for each category (e.g., Artifacts and Spells cost 7 EP), so go for it if that suits you and your fellow your players.
 
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Davy Ashleydale
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DungeonCrawl wrote:
randomlife wrote:
So in a 4 player game, there will be a maximum of 8 investigators used?

I always prefer using completely random investigators, so I plan on playing this campaign with 4 random primary investigators who will be replaced with random investigators as those ones are defeated/devoured. But if we ever need a 9th investigator, I assume that means that we lost.


A 4-player game would use one primary Investigator apiece with a pool of 4 alternates, so yes you'd be limited to 8 Investigators for the campaign and you lose when your fifth Investigator perishes.

It's quite acceptable to use all random Investigators, but given how difficult the game already is plus the challenge presented by having to win so many consecutive games to win in this variant, it is highly suggested that you create a working synergy with your primary Investigators.


I think what I'll do is to use random investigators (handicap), but not have an investigator limit (bonus). I still can't really imagine making it through all of the AOs with no defeats, but it should be fun!
 
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randomlife wrote:
I think what I'll do is to use random investigators (handicap), but not have an investigator limit (bonus). I still can't really imagine making it through all of the AOs with no defeats, but it should be fun!


I'm sure you'll have a blast! Good luck and let me know how it turns out. I'm also genuinely interested to know how well this variant plays for those interested in trying it out, as it's difficult to adequately playtest rules due to the inherent length of an Eldritch Horror game.

Some important tips I can offer based on my own gameplays are these:

1) When spending Eldritch Points to clean up Gates in the Aftermath stage, consider the starting locations of your Investigators for the next game relative to where leftover Gates will appear and remove the ones that are too far away. You ideally want someone to be able to get to a Gate and seal it on Turn 1 of the next game. It's always probably better to remove a Gate if it's on a sideboard due to the amount of time needed to reach those areas.

2) Improvements are a big deal in this variant because they're essentially semi-permanent upgrades for which you don't need to spend Eldritch Points, so try to raise a skill or two in every game, particularly the ones in which your Investigators are deficient. Raising a 2 to a 3 will serve you better in the long run than raising a 4 to a 5.

3) If you're getting close to solving the last Mystery, take a Rest action or two on your more beaten up Investigators to avoid wasting Eldritch Points on healing later. This will also potentially get rid of any lingering Conditions.
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Stephan Beal
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DungeonCrawl wrote:

1) When spending Eldritch Points to clean up Gates in the Aftermath stage, consider the starting locations of your Investigators for the next game relative to where leftover Gates will appear and remove the ones that are too far away. You ideally want someone to be able to get to a Gate and seal it on Turn 1 of the next game. It's always probably better to remove a Gate if it's on a sideboard due to the amount of time needed to reach those areas.


Gates are a primary factor in advancing Doom, so one could (IMO) thematically justify the gates being tied to the current AO and disappearing when it does. Granted, the OW cards are not AO-specific, but the current Doom level is.
 
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sgbeal wrote:
DungeonCrawl wrote:

1) When spending Eldritch Points to clean up Gates in the Aftermath stage, consider the starting locations of your Investigators for the next game relative to where leftover Gates will appear and remove the ones that are too far away. You ideally want someone to be able to get to a Gate and seal it on Turn 1 of the next game. It's always probably better to remove a Gate if it's on a sideboard due to the amount of time needed to reach those areas.


Gates are a primary factor in advancing Doom, so one could (IMO) thematically justify the gates being tied to the current AO and disappearing when it does. Granted, the OW cards are not AO-specific, but the current Doom level is.


I actually thought about that when designing this. My own thematic justification for Gates in this campaign-style variant is that the Ancient Ones are collectively responsible for disturbing the fabric of reality, and the Investigators are on the trail of that collective threat and closing Gates as they encounter each entity's cult one by one. Of course if this reasoning doesn't satisfy, just rule that Gates disappear completely after defeating an Ancient One. But be aware that doing so will make the campaign significantly easier, as lingering Gates serve primarily as a "resource sink" meant to balance out the growing strength of the Investigators and force a decision of whether or not to pay for them using Eldritch Points during the Aftermath.

Personally, I like the idea of having to "pay" for Gates because of the artificial sense of responsibility it instills in the Investigators. Just because you saved the world this time around shouldn't let you off the hook for ignoring those Gates in Shanghai and Istanbul all those weeks, letting them go unchecked to vomit unspeakable horrors onto the citizenry. Having Investigators still be forced to deal with them during the story's epilogue, as it were, makes for somewhat more conscientious decision-making.
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I want to try this variant, but I'm confused about your rule regarding improvement tokens, impairment tokens, and possessions retained by spending Eldritch Points as being additional components of on an investigator's setup "only for the next game in which it participates".

In the first game of the campaign, I managed to get Lily Chen +2 improvement tokens on ALL of her skills with the help of her De Vermis Mysteriis artifact and her passive ability. So her improvement tokens carry over into game 2, but she loses all of them at the start of game 3? But in another post of yours, you state these improvements are semi-permanent, baring later impairments I imagine. Please clarify.

Also regarding an "additional" component of an investigator's setup: Does each investigator start the next game with their starting items if they lost them last game? Charlie lost his +1 Influence ally. Does he get her back at the start of the next game? Does Jacqueline fine get to keep her spell that's part of her starting setup? Does she get a new clue even if she already has one?

And final question: What a rumor was left unresolved from the last game?
 
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GermanTodd wrote:
I want to try this variant, but I'm confused about your rule regarding improvement tokens, impairment tokens, and possessions retained by spending Eldritch Points as being additional components of on an investigator's setup "only for the next game in which it participates".

In the first game of the campaign, I managed to get Lily Chen +2 improvement tokens on ALL of her skills with the help of her De Vermis Mysteriis artifact and her passive ability. So her improvement tokens carry over into game 2, but she loses all of them at the start of game 3? But in another post of yours, you state these improvements are semi-permanent, baring later impairments I imagine. Please clarify.


I intended only to clarify (though clearly that has not turned out to be the case) that items needed to be "re-purchased" between games and that they don't automatically carry over into every game once they are bought. As for Improvements and Impairments, yes they always carry over for each Investigator who has acquired them. In your example, Lily Chen would carry over all her maxed-out stats. (I also used Lily Chen just to see how game breaking she might be, and surprisingly not so much. Turns out the dice and the cards can still hate you regardless of how many skill dice you have.)

For non-starting items, you are essentially "buying" them from game to game for the privilege of having those items as an additional part of an Investigator's starting setup. These are non-transferable before setup but can be traded as normal during the game.

Here's an example:

Game 1: Charlie Kane starts with a Personal Assistant (by default). The Personal Assistant dies during this game but Charlie finds an Enchanted Dagger and buys it.
Game 2: Charlie Kane starts with a Personal Assistant (by default) and an Enchanted Dagger. At the end of Game 2 he still has the Enchanted Dagger so he re-buys it. He has also acquired a Bodyguard and buys it as well.
Game 3: Charlie Kane starts with a Personal Assistant (by default), Enchanted Dagger, and Bodyguard. At some point, he trades the Enchanted Dagger, Bodyguard, and Personal Assistant to Lily Chen. The Bodyguard dies but the Enchanted Dagger and Personal Assistant are still with Lily at the end of the game so she can buy them if she wishes. Charlie could not spend his own points to buy the Enchanted Dagger or Bodyguard for himself because they are not in his inventory. Lily could, in theory, buy the Personal Assistant, but if Charlie Kane is with her in the next game he will automatically gain it as a starting item first, according to priority, and so the points Lily would spend for buying it would be wasted.


Quote:
Also regarding an "additional" component of an investigator's setup: Does each investigator start the next game with their starting items if they lost them last game? Charlie lost his +1 Influence ally. Does he get her back at the start of the next game? Does Jacqueline fine get to keep her spell that's part of her starting setup? Does she get a new clue even if she already has one?


Investigators always begin the game with their starting setup items as listed on their card. This happens even if they lose those items during a previous game. Just consider these items, clues, or whatever as intrinsic to their character or profession, and so they always find some way to replace them.

Quote:
And final question: What a rumor was left unresolved from the last game?


From a thematic point-of-view, Mythos cards are only relevant to the Old One that you have already vanquished, so their effects do not carry over into the next game and are just discarded.

As a final note, I've re-edited some of the wording in the original rules above, thanks to your confusion , and hopefully it makes more sense now.
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