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Subject: Thematic question about custom characters rss

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Robert Corrina
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I have been looking over Arkham horror expansions and fan made expansions.

This has me thinking about investigators and the thematic formula behind them.

in the base game we have, not Sam Spade, but Joe Diamond.
we have, not Indiana Jones, but Monterey Jack.

So, it seems a bit odd, a bit wrong to for example, add back in the actual indiana jones as a fan-made investigator. Doesn't it?

We have Dexter Drake, not Harry Houdini. this feels right too, but intellectually... Harry Houdini is a literal original Lovecraft character as well as a historic figure. Does Harry Houdini belong in the ally stack with the other original characters? I think so, that feels more right.

there is a fan-made aviatrix, a cypher for amelia earhart, which I adore. some egyptologists too.

Someone made Investigator Shaggy, and I thought that was a great character to choose, that was perfect. I have been thinking about why. I think Shaggy is a like a Lovecraft character at heart, somehow. He has THE FEAR, maybe that's it. I also like the venture brothers version of shaggy and scooby for this, very much.

Shaggy is friends with Batman. How do you feel about investigator Batman? For some reason I feel more comfortable with batman, then say, Hellboy. But that is illogical too, because Hellboy is the creation of a VERY clear Lovecraft devotee.

I guess... because batman could conceivably lose? he suffers loses? he is involved with fear on a profound level?

Someone made an Orangutan, which I thought was great because of The Murders at the Rue Morgue. But I would like to see it as a monster or herald rather than an investigator.

How do you feel about Tesla? I can't decide how I feel. In a sense he is too identifiable. But then he is also mythological. Kripes, we could screen shot David ALL-CAPS Bowie and photoshop it for the artwork.

I feel like batman saddled with the cowardly shaggy, saddled with the son-of-sam version of Scooby would be just perfect, lol. but I need a third, we play with at least three people. hmm.
 
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Tristan Hall
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I made the Batman hero after reading the rather excellent Gotham by Gaslight:



Sherlock Holmes after reading A Study In Emerald:



With G'Yar I liked the idea of an elder monster turning on its kin to fight for mankind.



And of course, the Doctor can travel through time:



Can't speak for anyone else's creations of course. goo



EDIT: added links to the pre-Strange Eons hero sheets in. Those am old...
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Bern Harkins
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lupine wrote:
Harry Houdini is a literal original Lovecraft character as well as a historic figure. Does Harry Houdini belong in the ally stack with the other original characters?


And so he does! Harry Houdini was a stage name; the magician's given name was...



Hard to delay someone with the world's greatest escape artist for an ally...

Extra points and some geekgold for knowing that Houdini appears as a character (the narrator, in fact) in a Lovecraft story.
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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lupine wrote:
in the base game we have, not Sam Spade, but Joe Diamond.
we have, not Indiana Jones, but Monterey Jack.

So, it seems a bit odd, a bit wrong to for example, add back in the actual indiana jones as a fan-made investigator. Doesn't it?


Why? I'm not sure about any other versions, but mine is quite different than Monterey Jack, and a better representation of the character, IMO. Probably a bit OP for the game, compared to MJ, but meant to work within a larger IJ campaign. And frankly, IJ should be a bit overpowered, at least as far as surviving bad situations and finding artifacts and such.



I like a variety of the fan material, but I think the best things also fit the timeframe (1920's-30's), which is why IJ works well. Houdini and Tesla and Amelia Earheart are also good choices for that era.

I like my X-Files expansion a lot, as it's a perfect fit, thematically (investigators fighting against supernatural/alien intruders), but you have to overcome the anachronism of the time period.
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Jason Sherlock
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Batman appears as an event. There is a vigilante who cleans up the neighborhood around Arkham Asylum.
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Brian Mc Cabe
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jackalope wrote:
Batman appears as an event. There is a vigilante who cleans up the neighborhood around Arkham Asylum.


I had never looked at the Mythos card that way. Interesting take.

Brian
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Robert Corrina
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Radulla wrote:


Harry Houdini was a stage name; the magician's given name was...



Hard to delay someone with the world's greatest escape artist for an ally...

Extra points and some geekgold for knowing that Houdini appears as a character (the narrator, in fact) in a Lovecraft story.


Woah! What an excellent homage that ally card is. To pull out a quote from memory: “during my many years as an advocate of escape...”

Thanks for that information you have enhanced my inner geek. Let me compliment you as well for your generosity. Your gift and a cup of coffee are just the start to today that I needed!

ninjadorg wrote:
I made the Batman hero after reading the rather excellent Gotham by Gaslight:


Sherlock Holmes after reading A Study In Emerald:


Can't speak for anyone else's creations of course. goo

EDIT: added links to the pre-Strange Eons hero sheets in. Those am old...


I will go and read Gotham by Gaslight and A Study in Emerald. I admire your pre-eon design of the cards, that is what we call hard-core. I am printing that batman and it may see play. thank you

Grudunza wrote:
lupine wrote:
in the base game we have, not Sam Spade, but Joe Diamond.
we have, not Indiana Jones, but Monterey Jack.

So, it seems a bit odd, a bit wrong to for example, add back in the actual indiana jones as a fan-made investigator. Doesn't it?


Why? I'm not sure about any other versions, but mine is quite different than Monterey Jack, and a better representation of the character, IMO. Probably a bit OP for the game, compared to MJ, but meant to work within a larger IJ campaign. And frankly, IJ should be a bit overpowered, at least as far as surviving bad situations and finding artifacts and such.

I like a variety of the fan material, but I think the best things also fit the timeframe (1920's-30's), which is why IJ works well. Houdini and Tesla and Amelia Earheart are also good choices for that era.

I like my X-Files expansion a lot, as it's a perfect fit, thematically (investigators fighting against supernatural/alien intruders), but you have to overcome the anachronism of the time period.


Let me qualify here by declaring my support for fan-made material, mods, variants and everything. As someone who has been heavily involved with the PC modding scene, I know how much work goes into any project. As I gamer I know how much bang I have gotten, for free, from the work of other fans. A lifetimes worth.

Indiana Jones comes directly from Weird Tales and adventure serials, I understand that...

Let me put it this way, I have two (unnamed) super hero games right now. In one you ARE the superhero's. In the other you generate your own character who has no powers; You are in that world but not one of the hero's. The hero's can be made into ally's or resources.

I think the design intent of Arkham Horror is in-line with that second game. This works well because I view Lovecraft fiction as a folk tale rather than a fairy tale with an uber-hero. I mean thematically, not mechanically. Thematically some characters are meant to win, you see? Part of the macabre fun of Lovecraft is that "winning" is defined by getting away with the least horrible fate, many of which are worse than death.

That being said, if I were invited to a game where there was going to be a timelord character who summons a hellboy character and an indiana jones character both will full ally teams to face a “most difficult” configuration of Arkham Horror, I would totally be there.

Your X-files game sounds very worthwhile. Interestingly Fox and Dana are already stand-ins for Holmes and Watson. Did you make up lovecraft versions of those two? “insane/disgraced former fbi turned fugitive” “Vivisectionist” ? Much like their supernatural successors those two are not afraid to illegally exhume a body. Heh, they get pretty ALLCAPS dark, my friend.

jackalope wrote:
Batman appears as an event. There is a vigilante who cleans up the neighborhood around Arkham Asylum.


you, sir, take the cake.
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I have a downloadable file in the files section with 8 custom thematic characters that fit into the base game's pulpy-1920's theme. Have you taken a look at those?

One of them is based off of Anastasia and the woman who attempted to assume her identity, Anna Anderson.

To me, the theme for Lovecraft (and the game?) is more about the failings of humanity and the comparative lack of knowledge we actually hold over the universe. The backstory is what really cements a character to the game-world. If you can tweak a famous character in such a way that they become fearful, uncertain creatures with a responsibility entirely too large for their already tired shoulders, they belong in Arkham. That being said, without a backstory tweak, a LOT of character do just "feel wrong" to me. Superheroes especially. But depower the superhero? Force him/her to deal with 1920's sexism and/or racism? Travel around in a circus freak show? Yup, I'll take it.

I'll probably be back to respond more thoroughly to this thread, but I have to take off for the moment.

Here's a link to the preview gallery (Anna is the first investigator displayed; Anna, Obi, Astrid, Eunice, and Hosea are probably my favorites.): http://community.fantasyflightgames.com/index.php?/topic/977...

Here's a link to the files: http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/98384/8-new-thematic-inves...
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Robert Corrina
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soakman wrote:
I have a downloadable file in the files section with 8 custom thematic characters that fit into the base game's pulpy-1920's theme. Have you taken a look at those?

One of them is based off of Anastasia and the woman who attempted to assume her identity, Anna Anderson.


Y E S
yes, I had already taken note of your work, soakman, over at the FF fan creation forums. You and Dr.Faust and corinthian are my absolute favorites. I took one glance at Anna and I knew exactly what you were going for. and it was an ALLCAPS bullseye.

she makes so much sense on so many levels.

thank you.
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Robert Corrina
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Spoiler (click to reveal)
ever since someone mentioned Fox and Dana, I just keep thinking about how grim those two are. so I would like to place some of my ideas here, mostly so it comes up for me later, and then I will be reminded.

rough draft: concept only:choose 2 powers

Red Panda Muldoon
fbi turned fugitive

"You're not my real father"
anytime you would take HP damage from a male monster, roll a die, if you roll a success then return the monster to the cup and do not take the damage.

"the truth is out there"
anytime you lose sanity gain that many clue tokens.

"why dossiers?"
anytime you might trade, you may choose to have that character gain clue tokens until they have as many as you do. (in our house rules you cannot normally trade clue tokens)

"just a fluke"
if you are in (police HQ district)and there is a monster in the(police HQ district)streets then during your upkeep you may place that monster directly into jail. monsters in jail no longer counts toward the monster limit. anyone sent to jail must fight all thusly incarcerated monsters.

Sandra Decky
reluctant vivisectionist

"faith"
same as the Sister, or whatever

"Love Autopsy"
anytime you trade in trophies, gain clues equal to their toughness.
 
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Robert Corrina
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Penny Dreadful: spoiler alert:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
cowboy impersonator shoots vampires in olde london towne? check. Mina Harker's rich, pissed off dad? check. a reformed witch with a troubled past and nothing left to lose? check. is that jack-the-ripper? no, its victor von frankenstein.

oh, and one of the characters actually probably is jack-the-ripper. the time period is about 4 decades to early, but I just adore it for arkham anyway, once again, thematically it 'feels right' for some reason. perhaps the overwhelming feeling of characters who are in over their heads and are going to lose.
 
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Bern Harkins
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If it's too early by a few decades for Jack the Ripper, consider an earlier "murderous madman".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spring-heeled_Jack
 
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