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Subject: Arkham Eldritch Horror new Variant / Expansion rss

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Awake Land
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Here is another Arkham Horror expansion idea to add in the Mysteries idea from Eldritch and the finite, pre-constructed Mythos deck. The idea is to keep the tension up until the end of the game like Eldritch using the Mystery cards and to theme the story / tasks specifically to the OO.
This idea expands off some of the great ideas already presented here, but is more “Eldritch” flavored. In fact, the Eldritch mystery idea may have spawned from some of the excellent variants presents here in BGG! Great work everyone!

The reasons:

1) Keep up tension / pressure until victory or loss

2) Finite mythos deck based on OO creates shorter more focused game.

3) Thematic: specific OO mysteries determine the theme, not just closing gates (still wise to seal/close)

4) Amount of new cards for expansions is manageable.

a. >=6 Mystery cards per OO (randomly choose 3 and shuffle per game)

b. 1 Sheet with all OO Mythos deck building tables

c. Additional: have different stats for cultists (for each OO) on same sheet as Mythos deck


Normal rules for Arkham Horror, base set, except:

1) Mysteries: Add >=6 OO specific mysteries (cards/sheet) for each OO, select by cards (best) or roll for mysteries off a sheet. Use Strange Eons to make some interesting mystery cards.

a) Players win by solving 3 mysteries, whatever the cards state.

b) All other A.H. rules same, combat, evasion, movement, encounters, and so on.

c) Players win if they complete the 3 mysteries, or

d) if OO awakens, final battle as normal and players win if OO can be defeated.

e) Players lose if OO awakens and they lose before the three mysteries can be completed.

f) Closing / Sealing gates no longer is part of victory conditions unless the conditions are part of a specific OO mystery – but still a good idea to control the situation, and help solve mysteries.


2) Mythos:

a) Add a sheet w/ Mythos deck creation setup like Eldritch Horror, different for each OO.

b) Build the Mythos deck using specific types of cards / rumors / or expansion symbols as specified.

c) Mythos is staged in 3 sections, early-game, mid-game, end-game, and could speed up at the end / tailor to the OO.

d) When a Mythos card cannot be drawn, the players lose the game.

e) This will require some play testing to determine how to construct the Mythos deck for each OO, or could base loosely on the OO / Doom-track. For starters, base Mythos deck off the 4 OO in Eldritch.
Well, what does the BGG A.H. audience think? Any other ideas? Strange Eons possibilities?

Cheers.
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soak man
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I support this idea, though it would take quite a LOT of balancing and play-testing.

The main issue I can forsee is an overabundance of clues if we are no longer using them to seal gates (as the priority tends to be to hoard clues for gate seals).

I might suggest requiring clues to solve the mystery after completeing the pre-reqs on the mystery cards.

I'm not sure I'm all about completely re-structuring the Mythos as some need different expansions to play (regardless of whether or not they thematically fit with a GOO). I think it would get un-necesarilly fiddly and become a balancing nightmare.

That being said, I love the idea of a "mystery" oriented alternative to the played-out gate close/seal/final battle endings. I would also consider creating a custom deck for "researching" clues in each neighborhood if you want to add more lore into the game.

The problem, here, is obviously two-fold: (A) having to choose between clue-researching or regular encounters in your location, and (b) with the sheer amount of GOO's that exist in full-on AH you would need a task force just to tackle the creation of these research cards.

You could make them location non-specific, but here you might lose some flavor whereas the idea is to create a more present "thematic" for each GOO. For example: Why are random Masked monsters having an occult meeting at Hibb's Roadhouse?

But just some additional thoughts to throw your way.

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Awake Land
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soakman wrote:
I support this idea, though it would take quite a LOT of balancing and play-testing.

Yes, agreed. Play-testing is good.

soakman wrote:

The main issue I can forsee is an overabundance of clues if we are no longer using them to seal gates (as the priority tends to be to hoard clues for gate seals).

Perhaps, but thinking that it is still GOOD to seal gates to keep the terror track down and Arkham from becoming overrun. Also many of the Mysteries will need clues, so if anything there may not be enough clues, making it harder.

soakman wrote:

I might suggest requiring clues to solve the mystery after completeing the pre-reqs on the mystery cards.

Ah, you've read our minds!

soakman wrote:

I'm not sure I'm all about completely re-structuring the Mythos as some need different expansions to play (regardless of whether or not they thematically fit with a GOO). I think it would get un-necesarilly fiddly and become a balancing nightmare.

It's pretty quick in Eldritch, takes about 2 minutes. Just separate the Mythos cards by type, then follow the table to build the Mythos deck as in Eldritch.

soakman wrote:

That being said, I love the idea of a "mystery" oriented alternative to the played-out gate close/seal/final battle endings. I would also consider creating a custom deck for "researching" clues in each neighborhood if you want to add more lore into the game.

Well, yeah that would be like incredible to have research decks, even if it were OO agnostic, at least it would not be a sure thing to pick up a clue.

soakman wrote:

The problem, here, is obviously two-fold: (A) having to choose between clue-researching or regular encounters in your location, and (b) with the sheer amount of GOO's that exist in full-on AH you would need a task force just to tackle the creation of these research cards.

Perhaps, but were talking about 6 cards per OO. Just to try modding the E.H. mystery cards for the 4 Eldritch OO's to Arkham wouldn't be too bad.

Were talking 4x4 = 16 cards to translate the E.H. Mysteries, just to test out the idea.

soakman wrote:

You could make them location non-specific, but here you might lose some flavor whereas the idea is to create a more present "thematic" for each GOO. For example: Why are random Masked monsters having an occult meeting at Hibb's Roadhouse?

Right, would need to do a few at a time, and play-test.

soakman wrote:

But just some additional thoughts to throw your way.


Cool, some good things to consider!
 
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soak man
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The main thing I was thinking about in regard to the "Mythos" deck is that there already IS a Mythos deck in AH and it is very different than EH. The amount of time it would take (assuming you have all the expansions) to sort out specific appropriate Mythos would be staggering IMO.

And to balance them would be harder (how many gate bursts vs traditional gates? Rumors? Environments vs Headlines? What about the cards that force all monsters to move? And then once you have these basic answers, you would have to strip them down further to which are appropriate for each GOO. And THEN, do any of them interfere with the mystery conditions?)

I might be missing your intent with the "Mythos" deck. Maybe you wanted to just start with brand new Mythos cards and leave all the one's from AH in the box?

Anyway, I like a lot of this idea. I am working on a lot of my own projects, but if you keep an update here on your progress I will try to be a sounding board.
 
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Bob T
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I did an AH "Mysteries" thing around the time Elder Sign first came out. My "Mysteries" were a cross between Tasks and Rifts- you'd visit 3 Locations, usually stable, and have to pass Skill Checks at 1-2 of them in order to close a Gate. This lured you to places like the Bank or Library, and de-emphasized the Other World encounters. You could still close Gates the old-fashioned way, of course.

It play-tested very well, I just never made them into snazzy-looking Strange Eons cards to post online. And I never thought about customizing them for each Ancient One. Custom "Research Encounters" would be a pretty awesome addition to AH, but there's be an awful lot of them...

One thing I don't like about EH's Mysteries is there's no reward for solving them (besides winning if you do all 3). I'd like it better if you could banish a monster or close a Gate when a Mystery is solved.


 
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soakman wrote:
The main thing I was thinking about in regard to the "Mythos" deck is that there already IS a Mythos deck in AH and it is very different than EH. The amount of time it would take (assuming you have all the expansions) to sort out specific appropriate Mythos would be staggering IMO.

I might be missing your intent with the "Mythos" deck. Maybe you wanted to just start with brand new Mythos cards and leave all the one's from AH in the box?

Anyway, I like a lot of this idea. I am working on a lot of my own projects, but if you keep an update here on your progress I will try to be a sounding board.


Yep, good points! On the weekends, going to start play-testing some games with a modified Omen Track ala Eldritch, so doom keeps advancing if matching gates are out. Guess that Rumors could be sorted out from the Mythos deck and used as the actual Mysteries. Solve 3 and win, while Doom is advancing due to gates.

Mainly would need an Arkham compatible Omen-Track to advance doom on the gates. IMO, the Omen Track is a nice mechanical feature to allow players weigh risk based on what gates can be closed and where the Omen currently is.

Other than that, the current Mythos deck could be used, just sort out the Rumors. I'm guessing the total number of Mythos cards would need to be about 2x Eldritch, or 25-35 or something like that - hard to say until play-test some games.
 
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Thoth Amon wrote:
I did an AH "Mysteries" thing around the time Elder Sign first came out. My "Mysteries" were a cross between Tasks and Rifts- you'd visit 3 Locations, usually stable, and have to pass Skill Checks at 1-2 of them in order to close a Gate. This lured you to places like the Bank or Library, and de-emphasized the Other World encounters. You could still close Gates the old-fashioned way, of course.

It play-tested very well, I just never made them into snazzy-looking Strange Eons cards to post online. And I never thought about customizing them for each Ancient One. Custom "Research Encounters" would be a pretty awesome addition to AH, but there's be an awful lot of them...

One thing I don't like about EH's Mysteries is there's no reward for solving them (besides winning if you do all 3). I'd like it better if you could banish a monster or close a Gate when a Mystery is solved.


Sounds interesting! Kinda keeps the game advancing, measure progress. Like Arkham! MUCH, by the way, but just want to see if could shorten / focus the game more by changing only a few mechanics and not require too many new cards.

That said, really looking forward to doing Arkham Investigations scenarios, which are really different, rule-wise but just look fun! Wondering if anyone tries those scenarios yet.
 
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Bob T
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Can't find my notes, but I found the Mystery cards- there's only 11 of them (for base game Locations only, not Expansions...yet)

The way this variant worked, Gates appear face-down. When a new Gate appears, one player may draw a Mystery card (max 1 per Investigator) You'd visit the 3 Locations listed and spend a Clue or pass a Skill check at 1-2 of them- when completed, head to any face-down Gate and survive a single OW encounter to close it. The 2 toughest Mysteries let you close it automatically without an OW encounter.

Each Mystery has a theme; tracking down an escaped lunatic, or finding some strange relic etc. Made for some very interesting games... I'll try to do these on Eons and post them- haven't had much luck posting custon content thus far.





 
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There is a new thread with some notes on Arkham variant to incorporate some of the Eldritch rules.
http://community.fantasyflightgames.com/index.php?/topic/996...
Looks like some others are interested in recycling Arkham over at the FFG forum also.
 
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Play-tested 1st pass at a "Eldritch" variant using Mysteries and Omen Track to advance doom.

Notes:

1) Everything is Arkham is easier to get, spells, unique items, clues, you name it. So all mysteries need to be harder, multi-part, multi-resource cost, and probably with skill tests. These need to be even harder due to the 4th point.

2) We're using stable locations that are rarely visited in the mysteries, and forcing encounters before performing whatever task is needed for about 1/2 the mysteries. This worked well and seemed fun.

3) Pace: completely changed the pace of the game, sped it way up, win or lose, with the Omen Track, you had better solve the mysteries to win or doom will reach the end.

4) Mysteries and the Omen track increase the difficulty quite a bit, which is fine because the next rule was to "Eldrich-ize" A.H. and changed the game the most, if successful, a gate can be closed in 1 turn minimum if you survive it (perhaps a year passes in the gate, but in Arkham it is only moments). The pace of A.H. is throttled mainly by the minimum 3 (long?) turns to close a gate, and this timing structure is almost the most important thing, since closing/sealing gates is how you win in A.H. By removing completely the victory conditions of "close all" or "seal 6" and instead "solve 3 hard mysteries themed for the A.O." doing the 2 Other World encounters and attempting the gate close roll in 1 turn worked fine. Doom still advances when gates appear, and the Omen track can further advance doom - solving the mysteries is the only way to win, but gates cannot always be ignored. This gives more interesting choices, *and* not spending 3 (long?) turns in a gate sequence.

5) Possible resources (or tests) to spend for mysteries: clues (more needed than E.H.), gate trophies, monster trophies, money, stamina, sanity, skill tests, common/unique/spells/allies, location encounters at particular locations, and combinations of the above. All of this is more abundant than in E.H., and in general easier to obtain. Movement in Arkham is also much easier, so getting somewhere, is 3 turns tops, but probably 2 at most for even the slower investigators. Ergo the mysteries need to be harder for the more abundant currencies of Arkham.

So in the end, the game seemed (with omen track and mysteries) more focused, more thematic, more strategic, more meaningful decisions to be made.

The variant took *less* time, much less, the Omen Track (and or mysteries) will make the game end quicker, almost guaranteed (but not 100% unless the # of Mythos cards are limited) in a reasonable amount of time.

Strangely we also found it more *fun*. Didn't really seem more complex, only needed to count monster limit, gate limits for A.O. awakening don't matter anymore, the Omen Track solves this by adding Doom - and most importantly acts as a timer for gates left open.

So we need to balance the mysteries, and create more. This actually doesn't change so many rules and changes are easy to learn. Changes will be easy enough for Arkham or Eldritch players to understand.

We're testing with only the base game right now, seems to improve the focus and flow of A.H. immediately.

We know, the Dunwich board + OmenTrack + Mysteries will be just hard as heck to actually win, which is fine, it should be.

Hoping by the end of Summer we have mysteries for 4 A.O. and the rules addendum. We should have some sample Strange-Eon mystery cards soon for Azathoth, about 6 per A.O. (solve 3, same as E.H., expose new one after solving current mystery) and an Omen Track - always performed 1st thing in Mythos Phase (4 locations with the similar looking gate symbols doubled up) soon.

Each ancient one could have 1 Strange Eon sheet = 6 cards of specific thematic mysteries. I'll also post a formula for resources to spend per mystery so new mysteries can be created for other A.O. if anyone else is interested, once we can get the balance -just- right. It would be easier if we were not speeding up the gate closing, but it really souped up the game flow (+fun), and those players could make other decisions during the 3 turns they were normally "stuck" in a gate. So it's worth making the variant more "Eldritch" since E.H. also has a 1 turn gate close (if successful). And more player turns with real decisions = more fun.

Cheers!
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Playtesting notes, from last night.

4 investigators < 2 hours. Lost to Azathoth, very close, about 2-3 turns from winning. The AH mystery cards are working, as are the other variant changes, complexity is pretty much the same.

A few more tweaks, and soon will test A.H. Yig for a shorter Doom Track, then later some of the Hard A.O., like Abhoth.

Fast gate closing works A-OK, with the changes in the variant rules, then will add the Dunwich board - to make sure still possible to solve Mysteries w/ a hard expansion board.

Will need to tune the Mysteries to the A.O., but so far it's really working well, faster game, more focused, more co-op, more actual decisions to be made. Omen track working really well as a clock. Also Mysteries used to have encounters at stable locations.

A good challenge, more "puzzley" and we kept engaged in trying to solve the 3 mysteries. Also will need to work on some thematic text.

Hope to have Mystery Cards for 1-2 A.O. posted soon, with well formatted variant rules.
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Noreen
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Thanks for the update. This sounds interesting!
 
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ngwilliam wrote:
Thanks for the update. This sounds interesting!


Glad to hear it! We're aiming to create a set of about 6 cards for all A.H. base set and Dunwich A.O.'s. Makes sense to just post them as we get a set finished if people are interested in trying it out. Amazing how 1 set of 6 cards and a few rules changes makes such a big difference.
 
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More play-testing completed, worked well and looking like we can speed up the game and actually *not* change too many rules, well at least any fiddly rules. Were *just* changing:

1) Victory conditions (solve 3 mysteries) instead of gate seals or close - final combat still can win of course

2) Loss conditions, unlimited gates allowed (but not desirable)

3) Always roll 1 die (like Eldritch Horror)

4) 1 turn gate close (do 1st, 2nd, and 1st attempt at Fight/Lore role in 1 turn) -- unless delayed.

5) Possibly a few of R.L.'s house rules, make it slightly more 'Eldritch,' we're figuring out which ones, but may only be a couple of his house rules.

Of course, the trick is balancing the things needed to be done in the mysteries, decisions are now, seal/close a gate? or work on solving a mystery?

Also making mysteries to force deck-encounters from *stable* locations, that investigators would otherwise never read, and this is all just baked into the mysteries.

We will not need the Omen Track after all, balancing the mysteries does a lot of the work for us, because the last thing we want to simplify so there are only a few rules changes, mostly what you see above, to Eldritch-ify the game towards mysteries, speeding it up, and bringing in some of the rich AH content that is already there.

We've tested some ideas for "Epic Monsters" or "Epic Battles" as mysteries, and it's working well.

Also working out how to handle the final battle, it may be a little different for each AO, but pretty much the same, although the manifestation may differ.

Simplification is good.
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Cedric TOLLET
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I just discovered that topic: very interesting !

Any news since May ?
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Yes more play-testing to get the formula down for how much the mysteries need to have put into them. Also we're simplifying as much as possible so if anyone plays Arkham Horror, it will be mainly AH rules, with a few, easy to learn, modifications - but which change the feel of the game.

We only get in one play-test a week so when we are closer, we'll post a variant at least with some test mysteries for Azathoth. We reversed direction on combat variants and instead are looking at a few rule changes, but big ones: gates & victory-loss conditions & mysteries.

Seems if we can get one test variant online here everyone can test out the rules and we can change as needed, and/or if interest make more mysteries for the OOs.

The formula of resources / tasks for the mysteries (per investigator) is key for balancing the changes to gates and victory conditions.
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Cedric TOLLET
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AwakeLand wrote:
...

The formula of resources / tasks for the mysteries (per investigator) is key for balancing the changes to gates and victory conditions.


I understand well. I'll follow your job with interest.
 
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Posted the actual play-tested variant rules over at
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1198061/new-variant-eldritch...
 
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