A two player game – 4 characters.
I had scrounger Ashcan Pete with Duke, running around (+1 speed) with an axe. And Dr Vincent Lee sneaking around (+1 sneak) armed with food and dynamite, with spells to ignore pain! Played about 7 times?
The other player had Psychologist Carolyn Fern being lucky (+1 luck) with the Pallid mask (+2 evade), the Ruby of Rlyeh (+3 move) and a cavalry saber. And Indiana Jon… I mean archaeologist Monterey Jack being sneaky (reroll sneak – yeah right!) armed with two Elder signs?!?! Second time playing.
So it seemed a good start – I remember elder signs being rare – and good! We have two?!
So as Hastur is pulled out, all the clue requirements increase! We need 8! Thank goodness for the two elder signs!
The first turn was easy enough, starting to collect clues, a gate opens a monster appears. Fine. But on the second turn a rumour? The terrible experiment. So there are now two gates and monsters to fight everywhere – on the up side, we get a skill each when the rumour is quashed… if we can quash it… so we started to focus on that… constantly getting it to one creature, which we couldn’t hurt…
The main problem we had was all our characters were near constantly on 1 sanity. Health? Well we either killed the opponent, or died – like the ghost, we’re not evading that, we can’t beat the horror check and its immune to physical damage with -3? Dead.
We closed a lot of gates. But sealing? 8 clues? That was more of an issue! Yes we have the elder signs, but you have to survive the alternate dimension… failed twice…
The doctor healing health, has so far helped the recently resurrected Monterey Jack. Whilst the psychologist was constantly healing herself (and occasionally other people) As the doctor got the shotgun he became more useful. Both my characters were really good at sneaking, while the other two, just weren’t. Sealed one gate with clues (good ol doc!), closed about 4.
After two monster surges and discovery of goat headed people, the general store closed, but with vigilantes, completing the rumour (skills all round!) and masses of attacking, we were actually looking good – if very short on clues! Only 2 monsters in Arkham (we should also say we forgot when a portal is closed, that you take off monsters with the same sign – may have made a difference) and we had so many trophies: monsters and gates!
Then the new rumor comes out: The stars are right (don’t bloody look it!): give up an ally in downtown, (oh yes, I had sacrificed Duke earlier to kill a monster without going mad!) or each turn on a 1 or 2 rolled, add a doom token to wake up the great one… but on the upside, Ashcan has 10 gate trophy points and 10 monster trophy points – so the plan was to become a police officer, to get the car, to get an ally and get to downtown to stop the rumour before the great one was awoken! The race was on.
We got lucky after this for a while, with a number of gates opening, but no more surges, and then as we sealed another using the second elder sign, we started to get nothing happening. By the last turns we were wondering what was going on, creeping past the three monsters to close gates, occasionally get lost in time, often meeting up at the mental asylum but closing the gates without seals.
Vincent Lee managed to get a “Find gate” spell – giving it to Ashcan (who had the clue points) to try and seal off another gate, as he could police car it there, then jump back out… as long as he could cast the spell. Nope failed twice, including one time getting a Lore -1 check needing 2 successes, if you pass, get 4 clues! If you fail, lose ALL your sanity! Rolled, failed, added a clue, failed, added a clue, failed x4 times… not a single success. Lost in space.
Eventually the rest managed the gate closures, as we were teetering on 11 out of 13 doom tokens, the doc taking back the gate spell and finishing the last gate, luckily even after Monterey acquired two allies using all this gate tokens, we had 6 to win the game and save all of humanity, and all on max or one off max sanity?! But then there were only two monsters left in the streets…
Ashcan was left a speed freak (two speed skills) a magic lamp, the deputy revolver and a dollar to his name (he’d been passing out his police earnings to those in mental need).
Vincent was kitted like a crazy man – skills in lore, sneaking and stealth (for that reroll), carrying a shotgun, magic knife, bullwhip and lantern, with the Ruby of Rlyeh, Professor Armitage backing him up (yes he was on lore 8) and 4 spells to his name: Wither, Enchant weapon, mists of Releh and the Find Gate spell.
Cathryn was a lucky marksman at this point, with axe and cavalry saber, following her map of Arkham with Oliver Grayson and her trusty Flesh Ward spell.
While Montery just had Tom the mountain Murphy and Ryan Dean following him as he used his stealth and fighting skills, with the pallid mask and a rifle to clear the streets.
The game lasted 7-8 hours, on Vassal (easier/quicker with 1 or 2 players – and less table space taken) and we kept thinking we were doing well, then badly, then well… at the end we just wanted it to end, but also to see what would happen. Managing to take it in the end due to our 4 seals finally getting us some blockage, rather than monster surges in the other open gates! Sanity was always running low and health was nearly always full!
A long game, but won (somehow) in the end!
Go home Hastur, you’re drunk!
I Love Session Reports ~ yes, at times the game is frustrating, and you'll swear that the board is sentient (I'll speak to that in my next post). All-in-all, it's great fun!
I can certainly attest to Rumors posing problems (see previous posts/session report). And they almost always make the game longer. IMHO, the Terrible Experiment is one of the worst rumors. You happened to draw it right off the bat when the investigators were not prepared. This is a killer! You managed to overcome it and get the victory. Good game!
Thanks for taking the time to write this up. Great job... never despair, never give up!