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Subject: A gate? Aren't we supposed to close those? rss

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Dave Wilson
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Pleasanton
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After Saboteur we wanted a longer game. Rich and I had played Arkham Horror before, but not with such a big group. There were six of us, total, and four were new to the game. But it promised to be a fairly long game, so we got it out and gave it a try.

An icy chill descended upon Arkham. Ithaqua was stirring in the Outer Realms. But we started the game with a plan: Carrie (Gloria Goldberg) and Rich (Darrell Simmons) pursued clues; Jim (Kate Winthrop) and Jeff (Jenny Barnes) went shopping at the Curiosity Shoppe, Danielle (Sister Mary) went to explore the woods, and Dave (Harvey Walters) stayed where he was at the Administration Building, and used his books to get spells and clues. Dave was successful, earning a spell and four clue tokens in two rounds. Carrie was much less successful, losing sanity and stamina in successive encounters. In the Shoppe, Jim hit the jackpot, buying an Elder Sign. He immediately dove into a gate to R'lyeh, to try to close it.

The monsters were never much of an issue in Arkham at first. A Ghoul and a Mi-Go were wandering early, but they were easily dispatched. A Hound of Tindalos surprised Danielle, but she was able to evade, and Jeff brought his rifle in and took it out. The battle was costly, though, seriously messing with Jenny's mind, leaving her with the thinnest of sanity. She needed to get to the Asylum.

In the outer worlds, though, things were much more difficult. Jim hit upon hard times, and ended up losing all his stamina, becoming Lost Time and Space. That hurt our abilities to close and seals gates. And the gates kept opening. The graveyard. The Black Cave. The Historical Society. The Unnameable. We quickly had to go close some gates. Rich, Carrie, and Danielle decide to dive in and try to close some. Carrie was first, into the Abyss, and she found a building with a glowing light, that might be a quick trip back to Arkham. But no, it was a trap, and she was attacked by a warlock! Now, Gloria Goldberg is no fighter, so she tried to evade, and failed. She had absolutely no chance to defeat the warlock, so she had to resort to using her clue tokens to evade the warlock. Eventually she succeeded, and she survived, but she no longer had the clue tokens to seal the gate when (if?) she finally made it out. Things didn't look good.

And sure enough, the sixth gate opened, and Ithaqua, the Great Old One, awakened and entered Arkham. There was nothing left for the investigators but to try to defeat it in combat. Six investigators and 11 doom tokens meant we needed 66 hits to destroy it. But right off the bat it destroyed Jeff's rifle, leaving us weaponless. But we still had our spells, and we used them to pretty good effect.

For four rounds we fought Ithaqua. Dave and Danielle were effective early, using their spells to deal out damage to the great old one. Jim and Jeff also contributed, but didn't have the spells to augment their abilities. But slowly the Great Old One grew in strength, and the investigators weakened. At the end of the third round Dave's luck ran out, and Harvey Walters was devoured. His sanity was so weakened by his spellcasting up to that point that his usefulness was probably gone anyway. Each round thereafter, an investigator succumbed. Darrell Simmons was next, and then Gloria, Kate and Sister Mary. Throughout it all we fought bravely, and pecked away at Ithaqua's strength, but finally it was just Jenny standing against it. It had taken 37 hits, but was still a force, and Jenny couldn't withstand it, and finally she, too, was devoured.

As mentioned, this was the first time I've played this with such a large group, and with most of us new to the game. I think we kind of sputtered during the game (Carrie's luck with encounters was just awful!) and there was a fair amount off "what should I do now? where should we go?" and the game wasn't as smooth as it's been before for me. I'm not entirely sure that the others liked it as much as I do, though, so it's unclear to me whether it'll come out another game night.
 
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Franco
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That would be a shame, because from your write-up it seemed an exciting affair (albeit a losing one).
 
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Dave Wilson
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Pleasanton
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This last Friday was our first game night since this session, and one of the players, Jim, watched as I unpacked my game bag. When he saw I didn't bring Arkham Horror, he breathed a sigh of relief.

Ah well.
 
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