I'm not sure if AH is the best game for this variation, maybe Eldritch Horror would be better suited, but I've only played it once so I'm not that familiar with the rules.
Arkham Horror is already a pretty complex game, not to mention playing with several expansion. So adding a betrayer ruleset on top might either clash too much with current mechanics or just add to much stuff to keep track of.
Regardless, the thought is entertaining, and I wonder why no mythos Boardgame so far has involved betrayer mechanics, it would fit really well with the theme.
Anyways, I started this thread to get ideas and criticism.
But I'm not promising that this will lead anywhere, it depends on if the idea works or not and how much time and balancing would be required.
What I'm thinking, is adding a 8-10 Hidden Roles cards. That adds secret goals to each player, one of these will be the betrayer.
Somehow the goals also need to reward each player at some point in the game. Possibly allowing you to reveal your role and removing yourself as a suspect or gaining a special ability for the rest of the game.
Roles - Goals
Weird Collectibles - Have more than 5 unique items.
Gold Fever - Have more than 20 dollar.
Devout - Become blessed and have the holy water item.
Undercover - Collect 8 clues.
Morbid Fascination - Collect 6 monster tokens.
Strange Adventures - Go through 5 gates.
The Fool - Become lost in time and space.
Betrayer - Cause the GOO to spawn.
Hidden Agenda Cards
In addition to these roles, there would be a deck of Hidden Agenda Cards where most of the cards would literally 'do nothing', while some of them have positive effects, others have severely negative effects.
Most of them would have to 'do nothing' to keep players from being overwhelmed before the mythos phase and upsetting the balance too much.
- Each player would get a certain amount of Hidden Agenda cards, 10 or so, to use during the entire game.
- The betrayer would have his own set of Hidden Agenda cards which have mostly negative effects and a few 'do nothing' cards for misdirection.
One problem here is how the betrayer would pick these without everyone knowing?
- Players have to play the cards before each Mythos phase, but only if they are alone (not sharing a space on the board with another investigator).
This way players can hinder the betrayer if they know who it is, but having to stay in the same spot as them might be too much of a penalty
During each mythos phase, each player selects a hidden agenda card in secret, places it in a pile and before each one is read it is shuffled.
(?) There needs to be a way for the players to force the betrayer to reveal his role, but this needs to have a cost so it's not done lightly.
(?) The betrayer also need to have something to do even if his role is revealed, like increasing the doom track and spawning cultists, somehow.
(?) Maybe these rules could be implemented by a GOO which would support the betrayer through his abilities and rules. The betrayer would either be the GOO or an extension of him.
So far these are just rough ideas. I'd love some criticism though, as I'm sure these rules would open up a can of worms.
- Last edited Fri Jul 3, 2015 12:38 pm (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Fri Jul 3, 2015 12:36 pm
Thematically, it is not obvious to me which HPL story involved betrayal. I guess the closest would be the human agents of the Mi Go in the Whisper in the Darkness. In general most of the stories involved a small human actor attempting to thwart a greater cosmic evil, which was indifferent to their insignificant resistance.
With regards to the game mechanics, the notion of a personalized quest seems a lot like the personal stories mechanic contained in the Innsmouth expansion. Compared to the PS cards, the goals you have outlined might be a bit tough. I am guessing you would then replace the PS cards with the Hidden Goals cards, which players would not read out to each other.
Does the player have the option of dumping the betrayer card? If you got it, it seems like it would make the game experience a bit one dimensional. Once you have it, it defines you entire game experience.
I am not very clear on how you intend to implement Hidden Agenda cards ... can you provide some examples.
Matěj Jan Morávek
It sounds intriguing, however it adds a lot of ruling to already complicated game. But hey, we are not playing AH for the simplicity of rules.
My thoughts are, that it roughly copies the personal stories from Innsmouth Horror, as mentioned above. With this said, those are public AFAIK, so no mystery there. I don't have IH yet, so cannot compare more.
The goals you proposed are fairly hard and some are boring for me (Gold fever, Morbid fascination) - they will need to be wrapped in some kind of backstory, which will also justify the reward when reached. But e.g. Devout or Fool are perfect and original.
I am not sure about the Hidden agenda cards. It would create a mess of each players place, as keeping another pile of hidden cards, then always search through them... Maybe it will be better to make one common deck, that will work similarly to the Reckoning deck from the Lurker at the Threshold - one card flipped before each mythos card. They will make the investigators to complete some simple task during next turn - travel somewhere, sacrifice some number of clues/sanity/stamina etc. When they fail, doom token is added, so it should not be too hard, but it should make possible for the betrayer to thwart it, when the time is ready. Some of them may even have (additional?) text saying something like "Betrayer may reveal himself. If he does, Monster surge happens." Betrayer wins, if everybody else loses, obviously.
I will think about a way to force the betrayer to reveal himself. Maybe when investigators fulfils five Agenda cards in a row? It is a bit clumsy, but might work.
As for GOO, I think this would be perfect variation for Nyarlathotep, even thematical (one of his Sinister plots from an Epic final battle variant lets one investigator to choose to side with him and win, if the rest loses). I disagree, that there is not a betrayer trope in Lovecrafts novels - e.g. Case of Charles Dexter Ward works with a possession of a man with Great evil. There is not a clear "betrayal", but it can be a way to explain the existence of such individuum amongst investigators. Another example may be the head of the Silver Twilight Loge, who can help you or the GOO, however he finds suiting him better...
As mentioned, the Innsmouth Personal objectives do this pretty well already without turning the game from a co-op to a semi co-op.
Essentially, you're trying to turn AH into Dead of Winter and disregarding all of the elements of AH in the process. AH doesn't really have many ways for an investigator to intentionally assist the AO I don't recommend going down this road.
For starters, if you use expansions, there's two cards that will make the betrayer's objective crazy easy.
You could start with either and make a quick game. The other objectives will have characters that will be built for passing an objective (e.g. Sister Mary passes Devout at the start of the game. Considering Blessing can randomly be lost, the Blessing element of that seems a bit rough cause you can lose it on your last turn upkeep and have no time to fix the issue). In AH, characters are much more focused on having a "role" than DoW, which gives characters perks but ignoring them really doesn't cripple the group.
Second, if you really want to allow the betrayer option, get the Dunwich Horror expansion.
Huge fan of Arkham with an insane number of games played. But Betrayer? This game is supposed to be tough, with a high rate of failure. I don't see how you can bring the DoW rules into play.
You are running one character, not a team, and you can't attack other players, never mind exile them.
Not a huge fan of DoW yet, but I can see the appeal. But everything should be in some sort of balance.
I'm the betrayer, and you can't count my sealed gates to prevent the coming of the Cthulu... what?
Simply too big of a shift for me.
I would suggest you simply take all the elements of Arkham Horror and use them as props for Arkham : A Crossroads Game - you would probably enjoy it more.
- Last edited Thu Aug 6, 2015 2:28 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Thu Aug 6, 2015 2:27 am