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Arkham Horror» Forums » Variants

Subject: Advice for playing with AH Designer, Richard Launius' House Rules rss

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Jordan S
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Two of Richard Launius' house rules that I love:
"Rule 3 - Gate Locations Unknown:All gates are placed face down on the board rather than face up. With this rule, the gate is only revealed when an Investigator goes to the location and travels through it. At the point an Investigator enters the location and announces they are traveling through the gate, flip the Gate over and the Investigator immediately moves through it. (This rule works best with Rule 4, below.)
Reason for House Rule: Creates mystery and makes the game even more interesting. No longer can any players rush their Investigator to a Gate because they know it is the Dreamlands and they feel more comfortable about traveling to that location than the Abyss. This rule does make the game a little more difficult, but the trade-off is it creates a lot of dialog and role-playing with a creative crowd.
Rule 4 – Choose to Travel through Gate: Locations with gates do not automatically suck the Investigator through. Moving through a Gate is a choice for the player, unless a Gate opens at a location where an Investigator just happens to be visiting – then they are sucked through as noted in the Rules.
Reason for the House Rule: Enables players more choices and opportunities to have Arkham Location Encounters. My logic for the rule is that the gate is not huge, probably only 12 feet by 12 feet and may even be in the basement of the building. The areas at each location are large - buildings with multiple floors and rooms, or acres of thick woods so there is an opportunity to still have normal encounters in a location even though nasty creatures may be slithering through a gate in the basement below…"

But I need advice!
I also play with the Lurker At The Threshold Expansion, and some of those gates move like monsters. But if they are face down on the board then I can't tell if they need to move during the Mythos Phase. The only thing I can think of that might work, I could put the appropriate dimensional symbols on the backside of the gate markers, so if they're on the board I'll know which ones move... but once I make the association of which symbols coincides with which OW, that still ruins the mystery that this house rule creates (which I love).

Anyone else run into this dilemma that has a good alternative?

[Side note: I play that if any investigator uses a spell or unique item that allows them to choose which gate or Other World they want to visit, all Gate Markers on the board are turned over (conceivably the magic of the spell or item would let them discern which gate leads where). This also makes it so you don't choose to visit an OW that doesn't have a gate to/from it, meaning you'd be lost in time and space when you tried to return. BUT, any gates that open after that spell or item is used go face down like before]
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Kārlis Jēriņš
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You could simply ignore the movement rules for gates that are face-down. When you flip them face-up, they begin moving.

I had a similar problem once when I tried to use the face-down gate rule with Daoloth - one of the promo AOs. When he's the AO, every time there is a monster surge, all gates get shuffled in the gate pile and new gates are drawn to replace them. With the face-down gate rule, the replacement gates are placed face-down, which essentially means that if you're in an Other World when a monster surge occurs, you'll be lost in time and space when you try to return.
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Jordan S
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TheNameWasTaken wrote:
You could simply ignore the movement rules for gates that are face-down. When you flip them face-up, they begin moving.

I had a similar problem once when I tried to use the face-down gate rule with Daoloth - one of the promo AOs. When he's the AO, every time there is a monster surge, all gates get shuffled in the gate pile and new gates are drawn to replace them. With the face-down gate rule, the replacement gates are placed face-down, which essentially means that if you're in an Other World when a monster surge occurs, you'll be lost in time and space when you try to return.


That's what I've done so far, just move them once they're turned face-up. Doesn't exactly make sense with the rules/theme of the Moving Gates, but I don't see any other way to do it. Maybe thematically, the gates are sort-of dormant, until they're discovered or interacted with? I guess that would make me feel a little better about initially ignoring any potential gate movement.
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Walt Winfrey
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Yeah, I play with gates face-down too, but we only do that when we're not using Lurker gates (about 50% of the time). The other option would be to have the Lurker power not become "active" until someone enters the gate and it's turned face-up - since other than the ones that move, most of the powers are only important when you're trying to close it. So the moving one would stay stationary until someone enters it, then it would start moving around while they're in the other world - I know it doesn't utilize the full intent of the power, though, but you could still run into cases where one investigator dives in, then it moves and sucks someone else in on the Mythos Phase.

Edit: oops, you just said that. ninja
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Jordan S
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wwinfrey wrote:
Yeah, I play with gates face-down too, but we only do that when we're not using Lurker gates (about 50% of the time). The other option would be to have the Lurker power not become "active" until someone enters the gate and it's turned face-up - since other than the ones that move, most of the powers are only important when you're trying to close it. So the moving one would stay stationary until someone enters it, then it would start moving around while they're in the other world - I know it doesn't utilize the full intent of the power, though, but you could still run into cases where one investigator dives in, then it moves and sucks someone else in on the Mythos Phase.

Edit: oops, you just said that. ninja


Haha! I did, but at least you helped me justify my reasoning
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Bob T
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Yeah, the gate needs a living human organism to pass thru it...

And what about ol' Chompy, the Devouring Gate? And the Gate Of Doom? By activating dormant face-down Gates you'd have a much greater chance of triggering these dreadful effects than you would normally, when they must open on you to activate...
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Aren't you supposed to be able to come out through any gate to the other world? This rule completely screws that up.

(unless that's yet another rule I've been playing wrong...)
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M.C.Crispy
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Seahawk wrote:

Aren't you supposed to be able to come out through any gate to the other world? This rule completely screws that up.
Yes and Yes No gain without pain, as they say. I don't use this way of playing. Mr Launius is much further down the AH as an RPG road than I am, I don't think it's necessary to go that far, there are RPGs for that itch

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Jordan S
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Seahawk wrote:

Aren't you supposed to be able to come out through any gate to the other world? This rule completely screws that up.

(unless that's yet another rule I've been playing wrong...)


No, you've been playing it right!
I just play that if your investigators have "discovered" multiple gates to the same Other World, you can then choose which one to come out of. Also, there are the spells and unique items (and maybe even certain investigator abilities?) that can help see the gate locations. While it's nice being able to see if there's another exit on another part of the board, I like trading in the convenience for mystery.
Without getting too crazy with adding house rules, if you're using the "Investigator chooses whether or not to go through the gate" rule, you could spend a certain amount of clue tokens or something while at the location with the gate to flip over the gate before deciding if you want to go through it.
I've never played like that, but it's an idea!
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Ian Bell
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What I'm doing is using both gate stacks, kept seperate. When a gate opens I roll a die. 1-3 its a face-down Arkham Horror base set "mystery gate". 4-6 its a face-up LotT Expansion "known but nastier" gate. When a gate token is spent I return it to the appropriate stack.
This alters the "no gates in stack when a gate opens => Ancient One awakens" dynamic because there are twice as many gate tokens in play, but I'm not too worried about that.
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Jordan S
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icgb wrote:
What I'm doing is using both gate stacks, kept seperate. When a gate opens I roll a die. 1-3 its a face-down Arkham Horror base set "mystery gate". 4-6 its a face-up LotT Expansion "known but nastier" gate. When a gate token is spent I return it to the appropriate stack.
This alters the "no gates in stack when a gate opens => Ancient One awakens" dynamic because there are twice as many gate tokens in play, but I'm not too worried about that.


That's not a bad idea either! While this game does have rules for a reason, I love that you can tailor things to get the most gratifying games possible (without altering the core mechanics)!
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