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Eldritch Horror: Forsaken Lore» Forums » General

Subject: Best Old Ones to minimise Lost in Time and Space? rss

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Ian O'Toole
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I played a five player game over the weekend using the new cards and Yog Sothoth. It was Ok but I really HATE the Lost in Time and Space cards. One player was stuck there at least twice during the game which ruined it for him as turns in a five player game can take a while and his character can't contribute to anything meaningful.

I'm not even a fan of the "delayed" condition as players essentially losing turns/actions seems like lazy design to me, and it's one of the things I severely disliked about Arkham Horror.

I've thought about going through the decks and simply removing every card that relates to the LiTaS condition, but thought maybe it would be far more rare if another Old One was used.

So is it a case were I just shouldn't play Yog anymore?
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Nicola Zee
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Ianotoole wrote:
...I'm not even a fan of the "delayed" condition as players essentially losing turns/actions seems like lazy design...

Yes, it is lazy design but the main issue is there is no rule mechanism to mitigate the impact. You could try the following house rule I found useful.

If you are Delayed, you may spend a Clue token to take one Action. You may do this at most once per turn.

Often investigators have a Clue, so this rule at least gives them a choice.

In regards to LiTaS, for me the main issue is it should be something unusual and unexpected that happens occasionally. For me, I'll probably mod the cards to reduce it's occurrence.

[Added]
The issue is not the research cards for the Great Old One. Yog-Sothoth does have research cards that can result in LiTaS but this is OK because he is associated with bending space and time and is the weakest Great Old One. The real issue is the Yig expansion adds a LiTaS card to every one of the named city encounter decks. Now the odds are 1 in 16 but most encounters in a typical game are at named city location. Take a typical 4 players 16 turn game with named cities occurring at least once a turn. Combined with several -1 and -2 modifiers to the test for failure and LiTaS for at least one investigator is very likely to occur.

[Added for clarity]
Short answer -

1. Yog-Sothoth does have a couple of LiTaS cards but the other Great Old Ones don't. If you play the other Great Old Ones it won't occur as often.
2. This is not that bad for Yog-Sothoth because he's relatively weak and it fits with his theme.
3. There are too many LiTaS effects in the named city location encounter decks.
 
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(ɹnʎʞ)
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►I agree and hoped that the delayed and detained effects would be the only ones cutting off players' turns and fun, but sadly, they added this old relict of Arkham Horror and bad game design also back in. thumbsdown

In case of not clicking the link above to my previous statement: I love this game and I don't criticise the effects "delayed"/"detained"/"lost in time and space" as being too tough for the players, it's just a free fall drop of fun.

A real shame.
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Jon Bryan
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I'm going to have to disagree with you folks on this one. I understand the objections to the "lose a turn mechanic" in general. It's not fun, it takes you out of the game, and makes things especially boring for you if turns take a long time.

For the most part, I agree that the "lose a turn mechanic" is bad, though I don't get as upset about it as some people (Talisman is one of my favorite games, and in that game you lose turns out the wazoo).

But in the case of EH, I'm not sure it's fair to say that there really is a "lose a turn mechanic" in the game. I suppose you can lose your "action turn," but you never miss out on having an encounter (even if it's not the one you want). And it's the encounters that are the heart and fun of EH.

To make things clearer: the objection to the "lose a turn mechanic" is that it takes you out of the game. However, because I always get to have some encounter or other, I never really feel like I'm taken out of the game in EH. I might be taken out of the action phase, but the action phase is quick (or it is for my group, and I've played with 4 and 5 players), and not where the real fun is anyway. Obviously, I get frustrated when I'm detained or lost in time and space, but there's lots of things in EH that make me frustrated (failing die rolls, getting slapped with horrible mythos effects, etc.). Frustration is part of the fun in EH. The important thing is that I don't feel that I'm taken out of the game, which is the only real objection to the mechanic.

Far from lazy design, I think the way they did "missing a turn" (again, if you can call it that, which, as a Talisman player, I really can't) was rather brilliant. Look, in a globe-trotting adventure/horror game, it just makes sense thematically. How many times does Indiana Jones get delayed or detained? Lazy design would be to say "we know it's thematic for players to run into things that interrupt what they're doing, but we'll just have to leave it out because it's not fun." Instead, they found a way to include it without taking people out of the game.

"Fun" of course, is subjective. But I, anyhow, think it's fun to flip the detained or LiTaS card to see what happens. I might not be happy about it, but I'm having fun.
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Ian O'Toole
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Couldn't disagree more Jon. What it does it removes your ability to make meaningful decisions and be involved in the greater game for a turn. You get to read a card and roll a die, that's pretty much it. The decisions of where you go, what you prioritise, what current crisis you're trying to address and how you're going to move towards winning the game are all taken away from you, and that's where the meat of the game is.

Encounters are a fun result of the decisions you make in the game, but LiTaS removes your ability to make those decisions.

In a five player game this feels like you're out of the game for a long time. And to have it happen twice in the one game stops it being much fun at all.

I'd much rather some negative effect like Cursed be used instead of taking you off the board and telling you what to do for your turn.
 
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Jon Bryan
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You have a valid point there. It's true that delayed/LiTaS/detained conditions do remove your ability to make decisions for a turn (except sometimes you do get to decide where to put your character on the board during the LiTaS encounter). And if the strategy/choices were the main thing that made the game fun for me, I would agree that those conditions stink. But for me the strategy is secondary to the story in this game. Certainly I would hate the game if there were no choices, and it was all just drawing cards and reading them, but for me the heart of EH is the story. The detained etc. conditions just make so much sense thematically, and are such a natural part of any adventure story, that I don't mind the loss of decision making for a turn or too. Sometimes your hands are tied and you have to wait and see what happens. I like that in a story driven game, it makes sense.

Changing subjects: I just had an idea for a house rule that you might consider. Since you are after all lost in time and space, it makes sense that you could return before you left, so to speak. So you could house rule that after you encounter the LiTaS card, you still get to take two actions after the encounter, because time is messed up for you or something. Just an idea.
 
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