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Subject: Horror Amongst Us. Rules for a competitive version of Arkham Horror. rss

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Greg Betchart
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Fremont
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Most in our game group LOVE Arkham Horror, as well they should.

A small few, however, don't like the fact that you compete solely against the game, and instead are always looking for the card "joining the winning side" so they can find a way to beat the others. Even then, a few others expressed the desire to possibly play as either self-serving characters or those in direct competition with the other players.

So, for variety, we have created six "horror players" to choose from that try to stay close to something that might occur in Lovecraft's and other's writings in the setting. We generally have a player roll a dice, to determine which horror will be manifest.

The different "horror players" to choose are:

1. A formless, shapeless, indescribable horror that hunts the investigators.

2. A dark animal-minded priestess from blackest Africa who seeks to keep the gates that open through Arkham more difficult to close and become one with the ancient one upon its arrival.

3. An evil German psychologist, who through use of his position, delivers injuries and phobias upon the players, in an effort to steal their clues for his own ends.

4. A cult, led by a beautiful Egyptian woman, that seeks to hasten the arrival of the ancient one, by causing chaos through the streets and converting the townsfolk, to a point where they can be sacrificed to bring the ancient one here sooner and end this world.

5. A Jewish businessman, corrupted by power, who seeks to use his money and influence to hinder the investigators as well as profit off of them, while slowly amassing his own collection of clues for his own nefarious goals.

6. An ancient mad Slavic wizard who, who seeks to gather power with his own agenda in mind, and upon completion wishes to summon then harness the ancient one in play, to become a god himself.

If there is enough interest expressed about the variant, I will post the rules for using each "horror player." I will also show the minis we use for them in the game, so you can purchase them yourselves. If not, I will read your angry writings, or ambivalence via no comments, become sad, and instead wait for the recent Cthulhu kickstarters to arrive to cheer me up.


Capturing Lovecraft's prejudices was the intent. It's not something I adhere to personally [I wonder how much Lovecraft did himself, as his wife was Jewish if I recall correctly], but when I took them out, they just didn't feel right to me thematically.

As for a very good question about mechanics, some of the player horrors have ways for them to win, while others don't. Uniformly, their chances of winning are made very low personally, but their being in the game lessens the chance of the investigators winning. Their main impact is one of distraction, as I feel most of the other elements of the game are designed to keep you from gathering clues and closing gates. The player horrors are a double edged sword, in that, defeating them takes time away from doing what needs to be done to win the game, but ignoring them is probably a worse choice. They aren't meant to be fair, or to even win, though that may rarely occur.

I also only use one (1) player horror if there are at least five (5) investigators, and if included we count one of them as lowering the actual player limit by one (1). So 5 investigators with one player horror, the game plays as if there were 4 investigators.

I am having a formatting problem, so will post the six players over the next few days. I will fix and post the first one here in this message, then edit my original to include them there as well, space permitting.


1. The Juh'rud.

"Without reason, devoid of constant form, the Juh'rud rushed forward, its body first rising from it's own pool of liquid night, then writhing against itself with its mouths painted in sickening distorted smiles. The laughter had come for us."

Description: Fragments of blurry images with few correlating detail between surviving witnesses leave an inability for the Juh'rud to be fully pictured for the sane mind. What is agreed upon is the perception of it's speed, moving at rates that bend the concept of physics. Those who have survived state that it first appears as a dark pool of water running down a hill, before rising into something unfathomable, and bringing with it the soundless perception of a choir of children giggling and laughing. What it is, what it wants, and why... all are unknown. What is known is that it hungers, always.


Movement: Before investigator players' movement is made, the Juh'rud secretly selects to move to any space within seven (7) spaces of it's current location where a gate can normally open, or at a port, train station location, or other world (i.e. locations with the red diamonds, or with the aforementioned icons; the creature does not go to Kingsport). The Juh'rud does not move his player token there immediately, but instead secretly writes down where the the creature will be. At the end of all player movement, the Juh'Rud reveals where the creature has moved to, and places his token there. The Juh'rud avoids all interaction with monsters and never enters combat with them.

On spaces where there are both monsters and the Juh'rud, encounters with the monsters happen first, and the Juh'rud only interacts with the player if he defeats or evades those monsters. If the monsters defeat the investigator, the Juh'rud is treated as if it weren't there for that defeated player. The monsters, if evaded, do not take part in battle between the players and the Juh'rud.

The Juh'rud can enter other worlds via gates, where entering a gate costs three movement points and moving to the next area of the other world, as well as coming back to our dimension costs three for each type of movement. The Juh'rud may also stow away at train stations and boats for a cost of three movement to use that form of transport.

Combat: Any investigator may choose to combat or evade the Juh'rud if the Juh'rud is found to be on his space after the location reveal. To evade the Juh'rud, the player must make two (2) successes on his sneak skill in a single roll. If they fail they automatically suffer two (2) wounds and combat begins.

Before battling the Juh'rud players must make a successful sanity check or lose two (2) Sanity. The players automatically lose one (1) sanity even if they succeed.

Combat with the Juh'rud is different than other creatures. The Juh'rud does not need to be defeated in a single combat roll. It has seven (7) wounds plus two for every four (4) investigators past four present, rounding up (7 wounds with 1-4 investigators, 9 wounds for 5-8, 11 wounds for 9-12). Wounds that occur to the Jah'rud are taken off the creature.

Any investigator who loses either all his sanity or his wounds in combat with the Juh'rud is devoured by the Juh'rud, if there are no current investigators in the same space. If there are multiple investigators in the same location, the surviving investigators may attempt to make a successful roll against their combat or lore to keep an incapacitated investigator from being devoured. If an investigator fails, they suffer one sanity loss for being unable to save their colleague. For each investigator the creature devours, add one to the doom track.

If the Juh'rud is defeated before it attacks, it still gets one combat round, but investigators cannot be devoured by the creature following this last attack. The Juh'rud makes six (6) attacks, represented by investigators making rolls to guard against them (i.e a 5 or 6 means the creature missed; curses and blessings affect these rolls like any other roll they affect, only 6's with a curse, 4-6 if blessed). The Juh'rud may divide the dice out to as many players as it chooses. If the Juh'rud makes two successes, it gains two (2) health back, but still must retreat.

If still brought to zero wounds at this time, the Juh'rud is removed from the board and takes no action for three turns (3), whereupon it may then start rolling for health, as described below.

The Juh'rud may choose to flee combat at any time, and if it does, it is taken off the board and loses two full turns (i.e, after finishing that turn, then drawing a mythos card, the players play that round as if the Juh'rud was not in the game). Each round thereafter, as long as the Juh'rud is not deployed, the Juh'rud rolls five (5) dice to regain it's health back, regaining one health for each 4+ it rolls. In lieu of rolling for health the Juh'rud may choose to move from his last position back onto the board instead.

If the ancient one awakens with the Juh'rud still alive and deployed, the players are ambushed by the Juh'rud before they battle the ancient one, and must defeat the creature to proceed with the final battle. Players do not recover wounds or sanity lost in this battle, and proceed to battle the ancient one with the same stats they had when/if they defeat the Juh'rud.


The Juh'rud does not win. The Juh'rud does not lose. The Juh'rud ever hungers.

We use a warhammer 40k chaos spawn model for it. http://www.games-workshop.com/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m11...




2. Franz Heiggler, The 'Good' German Doctor



"No expression broke from his marble features, as Dr. Heiggler approached the semi-conscious and bound Harvey. Confused and tied down to the hospital bed, Harvey's drugged eyes opened wide when he saw the gleam of a reddish-brown encrusted scalpel in Heiggler's left hand, while in his right rested an ancient journal, whose loose-page drawings that were falling out of the tome's binding appeared to depict nightmarish horrors from the deep Atlantic waters. "Now," Heiggler calmly announced, "let us see what we can learn from you ... and what we can improve upon you...""

Description:

The famed German surgeon/psychologist, Doctor Franz Heiggler, had come to Arkham just a few months earlier to take up a dual residency at both the hospital and the city's namesake mental asylum, while periodically giving lectures at Miskatonic University as a guest instructor. Donating over half of his income to numerous local charities and public endowments of the arts, as well as presiding over several surgeries that many in the medical community have deemed to be nothing short of miraculous in their success, the doctor is well loved in the community. It's this stellar reputation that casts doubt upon the rumors of him having something to do with the several journalists who have turned up missing and the large influx of patients to Dr. Heiggler's wing of the asylum. Whispers that the doctor is here from some bizarre and profane purpose, and conjecture of what is contained in the worn ancient looking journal he carries are met with scorn from most of the citizens. How could someone who spoke German be an evil man?

Movement: The doctor can move up to four spaces, after player movement has finished, but must remain in the Arkham part of the board. He neither travels to other cities nor to other worlds.

If he lands on a space occupied by monsters, they do not interact with each other, as the doctor automatically is considered to evade them. The doctor does not draw event cards when going to locations on the board.

Combat: The doctor cannot be attacked by players, unless he chooses to attack them first on that turn. He may not engage in combat at either the asylum or the hospital.

If the doctor chooses to do combat, to begin, all players combating the doctor lose 1 sanity automatically. The doctor further forces all players to make a will check that requires one success. If they fail, the player takes a phobia card. Normal rules regarding players being devoured if they receive a second phobia card of the same type apply. If a player is devoured in such a way, the doctor received all the clues that player had on them at the time.

The doctor can never lose the clues which he gains.

The doctor has two wounds and must be defeated in a single combat roll. If the investigators fail their combat roll, the doctor causes one further sanity loss for each failed combat roll and steals one clue from that player.

Jail :When defeated, no matter how grievous the wounds he appeared to have suffered, the good doctor is put in the jail where he fully recovers and stays for 2 turns. On the third turn, and every turn thereafter he may roll a dice to leave. On a 5-6 he is let out, as evidence is found that corroborates the false story that the player or players attacked him first. The doctor is let go by the police that turn, and is allowed a full turn upon his release. The player or players who defeated him are then considered "wanted."

Wanted: Any "wanted" player must make a roll against their sneak skill if three (3) or more of their movements pass through streets or if their movement ends on the street. On a failed sneak test they are incarcerated and must make a roll of 6 to escape from jail on every turn thereafter. They may also pay $10 to post bail to remove their wanted status. Other players may post the bail for that player as well. Players may try to free the player from the street and succeed in doing so on the roll of a 5 or 6. On a roll of 1, they are incarcerated with them as well and are themselves treated as if they had been arrested while wanted.

Players may also go to the jail and expend eight (8) clues to have the good doctor arrested. He must remain in jail for two (2) turns, where on the third turn he may start to roll to be let out under the same rules as if he were defeated, including having the investigator who turned them in being considered "wanted."

Bedside Manner: Players who go to either the hospital or the asylum when the good doctor is not present at that location, must roll one success on their luck skill. If they succeed they heal or recover as normal. If they fail they lose 1 clue. They must then roll to leave, needing to roll two successes on their will skill. If they fail, complications arise with their recovery and they are not permitted to leave.

Another player may try to free the captive patient, by going out to the street and rolling a 5 or 6 on the dice. If a roll of 1 is rolled, they themselves become a patient and are treated as if they had ended their turn at the hospital or asylum.

If the Doctor is present at either the hospital or the asylum when a player is there, he gives players there either an injury or phobia card for each turn they are under his care and also takes another clue from them. The choice is determined by rolling a dice (1-3, an injury card is drawn, while 4-6 a phobia card is drawn).

If the doctors confiscates 18 clues from the investigators from a combination of combat effects, their time in the hospital, or their time in the asylum, the ancient one awakens. The doctor is considered to win the game, but a tie can be achieved from the investigators defeating the ancient one. If Azathoth is the ancient one, the amount of clues needed is raised to 22.

We use this miniature for the doctor, which is a heroclix figure of a batman villain, Hugo Strange. http://i.ebayimg.com/t/Heroclix-DC-Batman-Rare-Hugo-Strange-...

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Tiago Perretto
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Thinking about my next move.
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So, if my only options are these, then I shall...
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Well, hã, no.

I like my AH coop.
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Damien
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Just play Mansions of Madness.

But I wish have a look on your variant. Maybe something can be taken from it! ninja
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You've definitely managed to capture some of Lovecraft's infamous racism! Sounds like an interesting variant. Do you intend to have a balancing factor? Whilst the balance of difficulty may be less of a problem for the game when it's co-op as it's supposed to be a challenge*, when there is a player on the side of the Mythos I imagine it could potentially make that "horror player"'s win too easy.

*but still... The Black Goat Herald? WTF!?
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John Daker
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SHOW US YOUR HORRORS
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M.C.Crispy
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Jacky Blue Note wrote:
You've definitely managed to capture some of Lovecraft's infamous racism!
Stole the words right out of my mouth.
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Greg Betchart
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Capturing Lovecraft's prejudices was the intent. It's not something I adhere to personally [I wonder how much Lovecraft did himself, as his wife was Jewish if I recall correctly], but when I took them out, they just didn't feel right to me thematically.

As for a very good question about mechanics, some of the player horrors have ways for them to win, while others don't. Uniformly, their chances of winning are made very low personally, but their being in the game lessens the chance of the investigators winning. Their main impact is one of distraction, as I feel most of the other elements of the game are designed to keep you from gathering clues and closing gates. The player horrors are a double edged sword, in that, defeating them takes time away from doing what needs to be done to win the game, but ignoring them is probably a worse choice. They aren't meant to be fair, or to even win, though that may rarely occur.

I also only use one (1) player horror if there are at least five (5) investigators, and if included we count one of them as lowering the actual player limit by one (1). So 5 investigators with one player horror, the game plays as if there were 4 investigators.

I am having a formatting problem, so will post the six players over the next few days. I will fix and post the first one here in this message, then edit my original to include them there as well, space permitting.


1. The Juh'rud.

"Without reason, devoid of constant form, the Juh'rud rushed forward, its body first rising from it's own pool of liquid night, then writhing against itself with its mouths painted in sickening distorted smiles. The laughter had come for us."

Description: Fragments of blurry images with few correlating detail between surviving witnesses leave an inability for the Juh'rud to be fully pictured for the sane mind. What is agreed upon is the perception of it's speed, moving at rates that bend the concept of physics. Those who have survived state that it first appears as a dark pool of water running down a hill, before rising into something unfathomable, and bringing with it the soundless perception of a choir of children giggling and laughing. What it is, what it wants, and why... all are unknown. What is known is that it hungers, always.


Movement: Before investigator players' movement is made, the Juh'rud secretly selects to move to any space within seven (7) spaces of it's current location where a gate can normally open, or at a port, train station location, or other world (i.e. locations with the red diamonds, or with the aforementioned icons; the creature does not go to Kingsport). The Juh'rud does not move his player token there immediately, but instead secretly writes down where the the creature will be. At the end of all player movement, the Juh'Rud reveals where the creature has moved to, and places his token there. The Juh'rud avoids all interaction with monsters and never enters combat with them.

On spaces where there are both monsters and the Juh'rud, encounters with the monsters happen first, and the Juh'rud only interacts with the player if he defeats or evades those monsters. If the monsters defeat the investigator, the Juh'rud is treated as if it weren't there for that defeated player. The monsters, if evaded, do not take part in battle between the players and the Juh'rud.

The Juh'rud can enter other worlds via gates, where entering a gate costs three movement points and moving to the next area of the other world, as well as coming back to our dimension costs three for each type of movement. The Juh'rud may also stow away at train stations and boats for a cost of three movement to use that form of transport.

Combat: Any investigator may choose to combat or evade the Juh'rud if the Juh'rud is found to be on his space after the location reveal. To evade the Juh'rud, the player must make two (2) successes on his sneak skill in a single roll. If they fail they automatically suffer two (2) wounds and combat begins.

Before battling the Juh'rud players must make a successful sanity check or lose two (2) Sanity. The players automatically lose one (1) sanity even if they succeed.

Combat with the Juh'rud is different than other creatures. The Juh'rud does not need to be defeated in a single combat roll. It has seven (7) wounds plus two for every four (4) investigators past four present, rounding up (7 wounds with 1-4 investigators, 9 wounds for 5-8, 11 wounds for 9-12). Wounds that occur to the Jah'rud are taken off the creature.

Any investigator who loses either all his sanity or his wounds in combat with the Juh'rud is devoured by the Juh'rud, if there are no current investigators in the same space. If there are multiple investigators in the same location, the surviving investigators may attempt to make a successful roll against their combat or lore to keep an incapacitated investigator from being devoured. If an investigator fails, they suffer one sanity loss for being unable to save their colleague. For each investigator the creature devours, add one to the doom track.

If the Juh'rud is defeated before it attacks, it still gets one combat round, but investigators cannot be devoured by the creature following this last attack. The Juh'rud makes six (6) attacks, represented by investigators making rolls to guard against them (i.e a 5 or 6 means the creature missed; curses and blessings affect these rolls like any other roll they affect, only 6's with a curse, 4-6 if blessed). The Juh'rud may divide the dice out to as many players as it chooses. If the Juh'rud makes two successes, it gains two (2) health back, but still must retreat.

If still brought to zero wounds at this time, the Juh'rud is removed from the board and takes no action for three turns (3), whereupon it may then start rolling for health, as described below.

The Juh'rud may choose to flee combat at any time, and if it does, it is taken off the board and loses two full turns (i.e, after finishing that turn, then drawing a mythos card, the players play that round as if the Juh'rud was not in the game). Each round thereafter, as long as the Juh'rud is not deployed, the Juh'rud rolls five (5) dice to regain it's health back, regaining one health for each 4+ it rolls. In lieu of rolling for health the Juh'rud may choose to move from his last position back onto the board instead.

If the ancient one awakens with the Juh'rud still alive and deployed, the players are ambushed by the Juh'rud before they battle the ancient one, and must defeat the creature to proceed with the final battle. Players do not recover wounds or sanity lost in this battle, and proceed to battle the ancient one with the same stats they had when/if they defeat the Juh'rud.


The Juh'rud does not win. The Juh'rud does not lose. The Juh'rud ever hungers.

We use a warhammer 40k chaos spawn model for it. http://www.games-workshop.com/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m11...
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Greg Betchart
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2. Franz Heiggler, The 'Good' German Doctor

"No expression broke from his marble features, as Dr. Heiggler approached the semi-conscious and bound Harvey. Confused and tied down to the hospital bed, Harvey's drugged eyes opened wide when he saw the gleam of a reddish-brown encrusted scalpel in Heiggler's left hand, while in his right rested an ancient journal, whose loose-page drawings that were falling out of the tome's binding appeared to depict nightmarish horrors from the deep Atlantic waters. "Now," Heiggler calmly announced, "let us see what we can learn from you ... and what we can improve upon you...""

Description:

The famed German surgeon/psychologist, Doctor Franz Heiggler, had come to Arkham just a few months earlier to take up a dual residency at both the hospital and the city's namesake mental asylum, while periodically giving lectures at Miskatonic University as a guest instructor. Donating over half of his income to numerous local charities and public endowments of the arts, as well as presiding over several surgeries that many in the medical community have deemed to be nothing short of miraculous in their success, the doctor is well loved in the community. It's this stellar reputation that casts doubt upon the rumors of him having something to do with the several journalists who have turned up missing and the large influx of patients to Dr. Heiggler's wing of the asylum. Whispers that the doctor is here from some bizarre and profane purpose, and conjecture of what is contained in the worn ancient looking journal he carries are met with scorn from most of the citizens. How could someone who spoke German be an evil man?

Movement: The doctor can move up to four spaces, after player movement has finished, but must remain in the Arkham part of the board. He neither travels to other cities nor to other worlds.

If he lands on a space occupied by monsters, they do not interact with each other, as the doctor automatically is considered to evade them. The doctor does not draw event cards when going to locations on the board.

Combat: The doctor cannot be attacked by players, unless he chooses to attack them first on that turn. He may not engage in combat at either the asylum or the hospital.

If the doctor chooses to do combat, to begin, all players combating the doctor lose 1 sanity automatically. The doctor further forces all players to make a will check that requires one success. If they fail, the player takes a phobia card. Normal rules regarding players being devoured if they receive a second phobia card of the same type apply. If a player is devoured in such a way, the doctor received all the clues that player had on them at the time.

The doctor can never lose the clues which he gains.

The doctor has two wounds and must be defeated in a single combat roll. If the investigators fail their combat roll, the doctor causes one further sanity loss for each failed combat roll and steals one clue from that player.

Jail :When defeated, no matter how grievous the wounds he appeared to have suffered, the good doctor is put in the jail where he fully recovers and stays for 2 turns. On the third turn, and every turn thereafter he may roll a dice to leave. On a 5-6 he is let out, as evidence is found that corroborates the false story that the player or players attacked him first. The doctor is let go by the police that turn, and is allowed a full turn upon his release. The player or players who defeated him are then considered "wanted."

Wanted: Any "wanted" player must make a roll against their sneak skill if three (3) or more of their movements pass through streets or if their movement ends on the street. On a failed sneak test they are incarcerated and must make a roll of 6 to escape from jail on every turn thereafter. They may also pay $10 to post bail to remove their wanted status. Other players may post the bail for that player as well. Players may try to free the player from the street and succeed in doing so on the roll of a 5 or 6. On a roll of 1, they are incarcerated with them as well and are themselves treated as if they had been arrested while wanted.

Players may also go to the jail and expend eight (8) clues to have the good doctor arrested. He must remain in jail for two (2) turns, where on the third turn he may start to roll to be let out under the same rules as if he were defeated, including having the investigator who turned them in being considered "wanted."

Bedside Manner: Players who go to either the hospital or the asylum when the good doctor is not present at that location, must roll one success on their luck skill. If they succeed they heal or recover as normal. If they fail they lose 1 clue. They must then roll to leave, needing to roll two successes on their will skill. If they fail, complications arise with their recovery and they are not permitted to leave.

Another player may try to free the captive patient, by going out to the street and rolling a 5 or 6 on the dice. If a roll of 1 is rolled, they themselves become a patient and are treated as if they had ended their turn at the hospital or asylum.

If the Doctor is present at either the hospital or the asylum when a player is there, he gives players there either an injury or phobia card for each turn they are under his care and also takes another clue from them. The choice is determined by rolling a dice (1-3, an injury card is drawn, while 4-6 a phobia card is drawn).

If the doctors confiscates 18 clues from the investigators from a combination of combat effects, their time in the hospital, or their time in the asylum, the ancient one awakens. The doctor is considered to win the game, but a tie can be achieved from the investigators defeating the ancient one. If Azathoth is the ancient one, the amount of clues needed is raised to 22.

We use this miniature for the doctor, which is a heroclix figure of a batman villain, Hugo Strange. http://i.ebayimg.com/t/Heroclix-DC-Batman-Rare-Hugo-Strange-...


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