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Subject: The Shifting Blade (HEX map variant faction) rss

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Sid Rain
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Update: changed up the spellbooks with some alternates. Refocused the faction towards dealing directly with tiles or positioning. The Great Old One killing schtick has been mostly removed as it was feeling tacked on and competed with the tile-shifting experiment I was wanting to go for with this group.

While developing the idea for the Hex map variant, I realized that a new gameplay element was being opened that could also be manipulated by a variant faction. So I wrote up a draft of the Shifting Blade faction, as far as I know, an original Great Old One with spells and monsters that are able to manipulate the board itself to its benefit. In addition, all of its creatures specifically have advantages against Great Old Ones, which also negatively impact its own GOO, creating an odd dynamic where this faction's GOO can't keep too many of its monsters around itself.

So the idea is that the faction uses its abilities of board control to position monsters and GOOs in such a way that it's able to either separate GOOs from their bodyguards or at the very least put them at a disadvantage. Great Old Ones are the heavy hitters of the game, the tanks and artillery. So this faction specializes in neutralizing that artillery. It doesn't make terribly much sense in the Lovecraft Mythos and this was more a thought experiment in writing up a faction that manipulated the use of Hex tiles, just to see what was possible. Critiques/feedback welcome.

This faction can only be used with Hex tiles, as most of its abilities and spellbooks don't make much sense on any other map.



The Shifting Blade faction



Starting Location
The Corbitthal Nebula (Æther tile)


Faction Ability
Warp Space (Action: Cost 2):
Choose a tile containing at least one of your units, exchange this tile's position with another tile of equal size. Any Units, Gates, or tokens also move with the tiles.

Units
Cultists (6)
Cost 1 / Combat 0

White Worm (3)
Ravenous beasts that are drawn to arcane energies. Ordinarily harmless creatures except when in the presence of extreme magical power sources.
Cost 1 / Combat 0

Quicksilver Wraith (4)
Spectral beings that flit in and out of existence in search of prey. They excel at evading the glare of higher beings, instead preferring to skulk about in the shadows, striking when the time is right and the elder beings are distracted.
Cost 2 / Combat 1

Fenrir (3)
Supernatural creatures that hunt in packs, forever in search of the blood of unknown things. They are beyond control when they've picked up the scent.
Cost 3 / Combat 2


Krakynth
Krakynth, the Shifting Blade, the Cosmic Hound, the Cannibal God, while not a benevolent being itself, Krakynth hunts and feeds off of other Great Old Ones to stave off its own inevitable demise. Dimensional forces within itself constantly threaten to tear the Great Old One apart, even as it harnesses these same energies to manipulate the space-time continuum.

Space-time Rift (Ongoing):
Whenever Krakynth moves or is moved by some other effect, you must move the Rift token to a new border in the area he moves to. As a Cost 1 Action, you may move the Space-time Rift to a new border in Krakynth's current area. Remove the Space-time Rift token whenever Krakynth leaves play.

Special rule (Rift token):
Non-GOO Units moving through the Space-time Rift do not enter the area they are moving into, they immediately stop and instead move into an adjacent area (Krakynth's choice). If there are no other adjacent areas, they move into the area as normal.

Awaken (Cost 5): Must be summoned from one of your controlled Gates, eliminate the tile and all Gates/Units there and place Krakynth in an adjacent area. Place the Rift token on one of the borders in that area. May not be summoned there if it will create a disconnected area.

Combat: Equal to 1 plus the number of adjacent areas.


Spellbook requirements
• Control a Gate in an area with the Ͻ glyph
• Control a Gate in an area with the װץװ glyph
• Control a Gate in an area with the Ʌ glyph
• Three areas with each glyph (Ͻ, װץװ, Ʌ) are all adjacent to each other
• One of your Units kills an enemy Great Old One
• Awaken Krakynth


Spellbooks
Dead Zone (Action: Cost 1)
Move a White Worm to your faction card and flip over the Tile it was located on. All Units in the Area are pained out of the Area and no Units may travel through that Area until after the next Doom phase, at which point it is flipped back and the White Worm is returned. Gates remain on the area.

Insidious Ichor (Post-Battle):
If a Quicksilver Wraith is pained, you may immediately spawn another Quicksilver Wraith into the Area where the Combat took place.

Carnage (Battle):
Roll Combat dice for the Fenrir separately, each Pain or Kill die result from the Fenrir counts as two individual Pains or Kills.

Pocket Dimension (Action: Cost 1):
Remove a tile and any Units or Gates on that tile from the map and set it aside. This tile is still part of the game, but is adjacent to no other tiles until the next Gather Power phase, when it is returned to its original position. This cannot be performed if it would create a disconnected area on the original map.

Even Death May Die (Ongoing):
Great Old Ones treat Pain results as Kills. Any enemy faction may cancel a Pain/Kill result against one of their Great Old Ones, but each time a Pain/Kill result is cancelled in this manner, you gain an Elder Sign token.

Adaptive Organisms (Ongoing):
In an area with a Ͻ glyph, you may move any or all of your units as a group for 1 Power.
In an area with a װץװ glyph, your units may travel 2 areas.
In an area with a Ʌ glyph, your Monsters may control Gates.
On Aether tiles your units can accept two combat results, as long as one of those results is a Kill, the unit dies.



Catch phrase!

Other Cthulhu Wars projects/variants:
Cthulhu Wars Compendium
Cthulhu Wars: HEX (map variant)
Cthulhu Wars: Singularity (Single-player)
The Destroying Eye faction
The Shifting Blade faction
Liber Maledicta: Neutral Spellbooks
Asenath Waite/Cthulhu Dice variant
Location cards
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Adam Starks
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Re: The Cosmic Hound (HEX map variant faction)
I like this!

Question: how would the empty spots left by Pocket Dimension be treated? Would they be impassable tiles that must be moved around, or would all tiles that are adjacent to that blank space be considered adjacent to eachother?
 
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Sid Rain
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Re: The Cosmic Hound (HEX map variant faction)
The assumption I had was that it would be treated as a hole and that units would have to move around it. The stipulation I threw in there about disconnected areas hopefully covers any problems that might arise from creating another "island" on the map. Plus, shifting tiles everytime you use the spellbook could get annoying and problematic when you try to fit it back into it's original position on the next turn. Although it could potentially be done so that areas around the hole are treated adjacent, it doesn't feel intuitive to me for some reason.
 
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Michael Nunez
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Where r these monsters from? what mythos ref?
 
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Sid Rain
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Not really any Mythos reference, though I always like to think of the Cthulhu Mythos as open-source literature that anybody can add to. I didn't see anything that really fit with the mechanics, so I just made up my own monsters. The White Worm was from a Bram Stoker book, Quicksilver Wraiths came out of thin air, and the Fenrir is actually a slight nod/tip of the hat/tribute to Fenris games. It's originally a Nordic wolf creature/villain that will kill Odin during Ragnarok, which is what got me thinking about a GOO-killing faction.

Krakynth is made up as well, though it was originally going to be Yib-Tstll, I decided to just make up something new.

edit: and apparently Clark Ashton Smith also did a story about a White Worm as well.
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Sid Rain
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And not because I think this is a particularly great faction but for the hell of it, I threw together a Faction glyph. I'll probably make one up for my Destroying Eye faction as well from eons ago.


 
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Sandy Petersen
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Comments based on not having experienced the game on a hex map.

The spellbook requirements of needing a Gate in specific Areas is a difficult one to achieve. Not a deal-breaker of course. Just needs to be balanced with his other abilities.

Parasitic Leech, Fade, and Eldritch Bloodlust are all anti-GOO abilities. I understand this is Shifting Blade's focus, but frankly he can probably use some combat abilities that are useful in other situations.

Even Death May Die is a neat spellbook.

 
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Sid Rain
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Quote:
Comments based on not having experienced the game on a hex map.


Honestly, I don't know if anyone has experienced a game with Hex tiles. I'm still building a set and haven't even experienced a game of regular Cthulhu Wars itself. So it's all just conjecture from me, but your comments obviously have more bearing than anybody else.


Quote:
The spellbook requirements of needing a Gate in specific Areas is a difficult one to achieve. Not a deal-breaker of course. Just needs to be balanced with his other abilities.


I was actually afraid these requirements would be TOO easy for this faction since Warp Space allows it to just swap areas around the board. It does present something of a problem for him, since he has to have a unit on one of the tiles that are getting swapped, effectively stranding that unit in what is probably enemy territory. Or it may also work in his favor if can stir up trouble. But until it's tested, I have no idea.


Quote:
Parasitic Leech, Fade, and Eldritch Bloodlust are all anti-GOO abilities. I understand this is Shifting Blade's focus, but frankly he can probably use some combat abilities that are useful in other situations.


I'll take a look back at these and see what I can do to add some generalization in there. The idea I had was that the faction would be strong vs GOOs, but then weak vs regular units to make up for that. Though it would probably be better to at least have some options available for dealing with regular units.


Quote:
Even Death May Die is a neat spellbook.


Well that's as much endorsement as I need to keep it in there.
 
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Sid Rain
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I've come up with a few alternate spellbooks for each monster if anyone cares to vote. First draft spellbook included for comparison.

White Worm spellbook:

Parasite (Ongoing):
White Worms decrease the Combat value of Great Old Ones in the same area by 2 for each White Worm present.


Leech (Ongoing):
White Worms decrease the Combat value of every other enemy Unit in the same area by 1 for each White Worm present.


Arcane Parasite (Ongoing):
During the Gather Power phase, for each White Worm in an area with an enemy controlled Gate, that controlled Gate grants you 1 Power instead of its owner. You cannot gain more Power than a controlled Gate would normally give.


Bloodsucker (Ongoing):
Enemy Monsters in the same area as White Worms are eliminated on a Pain result in addition to Kill results.


Dead Zone (Action: Cost 1)
Move a White Worm to your faction card and flip over the Tile it was located on. All Units in the Area are pained out of the Area and no Units may travel through that Area until after the next Doom phase, at which point it is flipped back and the White Worm is returned. Gates remain on the area.




Quicksilver Wraith spellbook:

Fade (Ongoing):
When in combat with an enemy Great Old One, Quicksilver Wraiths treat all Kill results instead as Pains (other Units are unaffected).


Flicker (Post-Battle):
After Combat results are resolved, you may immediately take one Action in the Area, for normal Power cost.

note: It's the opposite of Sleeper's Energy Nexus, but I think it changes up how this ability plays out when it comes after combat and you have a better idea of where things stand and how to act, provided the Quicksilver Wraith is still alive.


Insidious Ichor (Post-Battle):
If a Quicksilver Wraith is pained, you may immediately spawn another Quicksilver Wraith into the Area where the Combat took place.


Liquiform (Ongoing):
Quicksilver Wraiths that are in adjacent areas to each other may add their combat values as if they were in each other's area, but may not be assigned combat results if they are not in the area where combat takes place.


Replicate (Action: Cost 1):
Summon a Quicksilver Wraith to the same Area as another Quicksilver Wraith. Does not require a Gate.




Fenrir spellbook:

Eldritch Blood Lust (Ongoing):
Roll Combat dice for the Fenrir separately, these combat dice must be applied to any Great Old Ones in the Area first before being applied to any other Units (including your own Great Old Ones).


Carnage (Battle):
Roll Combat dice for the Fenrir separately, each Pain or Kill die result from the Fenrir counts as two individual Pains or Kills.


Lethal Strike (Pre-Battle):
Roll and resolve Combat dice for the Fenrir separately and before any other Units roll dice. After results have been applied, then roll Combat dice for other Units involved in combat.


Picking Up the Scent (Post-Battle):
After a battle, you may move any or all Fenrir on the map to a location where an enemy Unit has been pained into.




Additional optional spell book (to replace Stellar Abyss?):

Stellar Abyss (Once-Per-Action-Round: Cost 2):
If no enemy GOOs are present, place all enemy Units in the same area as Krakynth on your faction sheet. As an Unlimited Action for the rest of the turn, any faction may return one of their units (their choice) to a space adjacent to Krakynth by rolling a d6 below the number of units on your faction sheet (one attempt per action). Return all affected Units during the next Gather Power phase to an adjacent area (your choice).


The Great Dying (Ongoing):
Great Old Ones treat Pain results as Kills when in the same Area as your Units (including your own Great Old One, even if alone).

note: This just makes everything more dangerous for everyone involved, kind of the opposite of how Gobogeg turns it into a GOO free-for-all, this makes it especially deadly for them. Too similar now to "Bloodsucker" though?


Anomalous Energies (Ongoing):
Enemy Cultists and Monsters that pass through the Space-time Rift are instead eliminated and replaced with an equal-cost Unit from your pool.


Adaptive Organisms (Ongoing):
In an area with a Ͻ glyph, you may move any or all of your units as a group for 1 Power.
In an area with a װץװ glyph, your units may travel 2 areas.
In an area with a Ʌ glyph, your Monsters may control Gates.
On Aether tiles your units can accept two combat results, as long as one of those results is a Kill, the unit dies.
 
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Adam Starks
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For White Worm, I think Leech is too powerful against certain factions (like Black Goat), and ambiguous with others (such as Yellow Sign), so I wouldn't go with that. Maybe go with this alternative to Arcane Parasite: Gain 1 power during gather power for each white worm in the same areas as an enemy GOO?

For Quicksilver Wraith, I like Flicker.

For Fenrir, I like Lethal Strike. The fact that it can neutralize other pre-battle abilities (like Howl and Invisibility and Absorb) when you attack makes it particularly useful at eating your way to the juicy GOO at the center of the crunchy army.

I'd also keep Stellar Abyss, as The Great Dying seems a bit ridiculous as far as abilities go (thought it might be great for an Indie GOO or as part of the rules for an expansion map).
 
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Dave Mendiola
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paddirn wrote:
While developing the idea for the Hex map variant, I realized that a new gameplay element was being opened that could also be manipulated by a variant faction. So I wrote up a draft of the Shifting Blade faction, as far as I know, an original Great Old One with spells and monsters that are able to manipulate the board itself to its benefit. In addition, all of its creatures specifically have advantages against Great Old Ones, which also negatively impact its own GOO, creating an odd dynamic where this faction's GOO can't keep too many of its monsters around itself.

So the idea is that the faction uses its abilities of board control to position monsters and GOOs in such a way that it's able to either separate GOOs from their bodyguards or at the very least put them at a disadvantage. Great Old Ones are the heavy hitters of the game, the tanks and artillery. So this faction specializes in neutralizing that artillery. It doesn't make terribly much sense in the Lovecraft Mythos and this was more a thought experiment in writing up a faction that manipulated the use of Hex tiles, just to see what was possible. Critiques/feedback welcome.

This faction can only be used with Hex tiles, as most of its abilities and spellbooks don't make much sense on any other map.



The Shifting Blade faction



Starting Location
The Corbitthal Nebula (Æther tile)


Faction Ability
Warp Space (Action: Cost 2):
Choose a tile containing at least one of your units, exchange this tile's position with another tile of equal size. Any Units, Gates, or tokens also move with the tiles.

Units
Cultists (6)
Cost 1 / Combat 0

White Worm (3)
Ravenous beasts that are drawn to arcane energies. Ordinarily harmless creatures except when in the presence of extreme magical power sources.
Cost 1 / Combat 0

Quicksilver Wraith (4)
Spectral beings that flit in and out of existence in search of prey. They excel at evading the glare of higher beings, instead preferring to skulk about in the shadows, striking when the time is right and the elder beings are distracted.
Cost 2 / Combat 1

Fenrir (3)
Supernatural creatures that hunt in packs, forever in search of the blood of unknown things. They are beyond control when they've picked up the scent.
Cost 3 / Combat 2


Krakynth
Krakynth, the Shifting Blade, the Cosmic Hound, the Cannibal God, while not a benevolent being itself, Krakynth hunts and feeds off of other Great Old Ones to stave off its own inevitable demise. Dimensional forces within itself constantly threaten to tear the Great Old One apart, even as it harnesses these same energies to manipulate the space-time continuum.

Space-time Rift (Ongoing):
Whenever Krakynth moves or is moved by some other effect, you must move the Rift token to a new border in the area he moves to. As a Cost 1 Action, you may move the Space-time Rift to a new border in Krakynth's current area. Remove the Space-time Rift token whenever Krakynth leaves play.

Special rule (Rift token):
Non-GOO Units moving through the Space-time Rift do not enter the area they are moving into, they immediately stop and instead move into an adjacent area (Krakynth's choice). If there are no other adjacent areas, they move into the area as normal.

Awaken (Cost 5): Must be summoned from one of your controlled Gates, eliminate the tile and all Gates/Units there and place Krakynth in an adjacent area. Place the Rift token on one of the borders in that area. May not be summoned there if it will create a disconnected area.

Combat: Equal to 1 plus the number of adjacent areas.


Spellbook requirements
• Control a Gate in an area with the Ͻ glyph
• Control a Gate in an area with the װץװ glyph
• Control a Gate in an area with the Ʌ glyph
• Three areas with each glyph (Ͻ, װץװ, Ʌ) are all adjacent to each other
• One of your Units kills an enemy Great Old One
• Awaken Krakynth


Spellbooks
Parasitic Leech (Ongoing):
White Worms decrease the Combat value of Great Old Ones in the same area by 2 for each White Worm present.

Fade (Ongoing):
When in combat with an enemy Great Old One, Quicksilver Wraiths treat all Kill results instead as Pains (other Units are unaffected).

Eldritch Blood Lust (Ongoing):
Roll Combat dice for the Fenrir separately, these combat dice must be applied to any Great Old Ones in the area first before being applied to any other Units (including your own Great Old Ones).

Pocket Dimension (Action: Cost 1):
Remove a tile and any Units or Gates on that tile from the map and set it aside. This tile is still part of the game, but is adjacent to no other tiles until the next Gather Power phase, when it is returned to its original position. This cannot be performed if it would create a disconnected area on the original map.

Even Death May Die (Ongoing):
Any enemy faction may cancel a Kill result against one of their Great Old Ones. Each time a Kill result is cancelled in this manner, you gain an Elder Sign token.

Stellar Abyss (Once-Per-Action-Round: Cost 2):
If no enemy GOOs are present, place all enemy Units in the same area as Krakynth on your faction sheet. As an Unlimited Action for the rest of the turn, any faction may return one of their units (their choice) to a space adjacent to Krakynth by rolling a d6 below the number of units on your faction sheet (one attempt per action). Return all affected Units during the next Gather Power phase to an adjacent area (your choice).



Catch phrase!

Other Cthulhu Wars projects/variants:
Cthulhu Wars Compendium
Cthulhu Wars: HEX (map variant)
Cthulhu Wars: Singularity (Single-player)
The Destroying Eye faction
The Shifting Blade faction
Neutral Spellbooks
Asenath Waite/Cthulhu Dice variant
Location cards


I'm flattered you liked my faction so much. http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1159759/unstable-abomination
 
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Sid Rain
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There's some similarities with Reality Adjustment and the Synergy spellbooks, but I didn't see anything else between the two. The GOO was called Yibb-Tstll in my notes for a minute because the description of him from Wikipedia seemed to fit, I honestly hadn't remembered the Unstable Mutation GOO until after I changed names. There is the board control "theme", but that's more an exploration of using Hexes as a mechanic than anything.
 
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Dave Mendiola
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paddirn wrote:
There's some similarities with Reality Adjustment and the Synergy spellbooks, but I didn't see anything else between the two. The GOO was called Yibb-Tstll in my notes for a minute because the description of him from Wikipedia seemed to fit, I honestly hadn't remembered the Unstable Mutation GOO until after I changed names. There is the board control "theme", but that's more an exploration of using Hexes as a mechanic than anything.


Fade and Parasitic Attachment are identical, while Leech and The Black are pretty similar.

I'm honestly not insulted or anything. I'll just take it to mean my ideas were so great, they tickled your subconscious.
 
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Adam Starks
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I noticed some similarities too, but to be fair there're 7 official factions, 11 independent GOOs, 10 independent monsters, Azathoth's neutral spellbooks, something like 10 fan-made factions, plus a handful of other fan-made things (a couple Human factions, some Event Deck variants, etc).

Things are getting cramped
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Sid Rain
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Not even counting variant factions, it's hard to even write something up that doesn't in some way resemble what the official factions already do. Even crafting some new special rules and/or tokens we're still bound to hit upon similar ideas given a finite ruleset: there's only so many mechanics we can manipulate in so many ways.

In deference of pre-existing art, I'll strike out the similar spellbooks and go with one of the other variants, which hopefully themselves aren't already pre-existing.
 
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Dave Mendiola
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paddirn wrote:
Not even counting variant factions, it's hard to even write something up that doesn't in some way resemble what the official factions already do. Even crafting some new special rules and/or tokens we're still bound to hit upon similar ideas given a finite ruleset: there's only so many mechanics we can manipulate in so many ways.

In deference of pre-existing art, I'll strike out the similar spellbooks and go with one of the other variants, which hopefully themselves aren't already pre-existing.


I was just having some fun with you. After all the awesome work you've done, I really couldn't care less if you your faction has similarities to mine.
 
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It's fine, after Sandy's critique I'm still going over spellbook ideas and have a list of possible spellbooks to use for this (see above) and need any excuse I can to trim spellbooks. Now i'm just trying to whittle the list down more.
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Update: changed up the spellbooks with some alternates. Refocused the faction towards dealing directly with tiles or positioning. The Great Old One killing schtick has been mostly removed as it was feeling tacked on and competed with the tile-shifting experiment I was wanting to go for with this group.

Spellbooks:

Dead Zone (Action: Cost 1)
Move a White Worm to your faction card and flip over the Tile it was located on. All Units in the Area are pained out of the Area and no Units may travel through that Area until after the next Doom phase, at which point it is flipped back and the White Worm is returned. Gates remain on the area.

Insidious Ichor (Post-Battle):
If a Quicksilver Wraith is pained, you may immediately spawn another Quicksilver Wraith into the Area where the Combat took place.

Carnage (Battle):
Roll Combat dice for the Fenrir separately, each Pain or Kill die result from the Fenrir counts as two individual Pains or Kills.

Pocket Dimension (Action: Cost 1):
Remove a tile and any Units or Gates on that tile from the map and set it aside. This tile is still part of the game, but is adjacent to no other tiles until the next Gather Power phase, when it is returned to its original position. This cannot be performed if it would create a disconnected area on the original map.

Even Death May Die (Ongoing):
Great Old Ones treat Pain results as Kills. Any enemy faction may cancel a Pain/Kill result against one of their Great Old Ones, but each time a Pain/Kill result is cancelled in this manner, you gain an Elder Sign token.

Adaptive Organisms (Ongoing):
In an area with a Ͻ glyph, you may move any or all of your units as a group for 1 Power.
In an area with a װץװ glyph, your units may travel 2 areas.
In an area with a Ʌ glyph, your Monsters may control Gates.
On Aether tiles your units can accept two combat results, as long as one of those results is a Kill, the unit dies.
 
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