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Eldritch Horror: Mountains of Madness» Forums » Variants

Subject: A house rule for RP/Party building rule variant. rss

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Lawrence Wang
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So I had a couple of friends over for eldritch horror over the weekends and Eldritch became our sort of gateway game into RPG. (I didn't really want to try RPG - since I'm rubbish at improvising while preparations for DM seemed too full on). We always have a group of 4 - which worked well with almost all of our games.

They haven't played Eldritch before so they asked me what characters would make a good party. We didn't feel like doing random investigators.

So I suggested that we have 1 combat specialist, 1 spellcaster, 1 influencer, and 1 flexible. So we ended up dealing 5 characters to each player and we each picked an investigator out of the 5.

For combat choices:
- Mark (Soldier)
- Lily (Martial Artist)
- Silas (Sailor)
- Tommy (Rookie Cop)
- Wilson (Handyman)

For spellcaster choices:
- Jacqueline (Psychic)
- Norman (Astronomer)
- Daisy (Librarian)
- Patrice (Violinist)
- Agnes (Waitress)

For influencer choices:
- Trish (Spy)
- Lola (Actress)
- Charlie (Politician)
- George (Lawyer)
- Finn (Bootlegger)

For flexible choices:
- Leon (Expedition Leader)
- Jim (Musician)
- Akachi (Shaman)
- Diana (Redeemed Cultist)
- Ursula (Explorer)

For role playing:
Players use the backstory of the characters as a starting point to introduce themselves. They can read it out, change it or add to it however they like.

Players do the action phase as normal and they select their encounter as normal, however the lead investigator picks up the cards and reads out the narrative. They stop reading at "do a XYZ check/test" and they don't read out the success/fail results until the player have rolled. So in a way, they act like DM. This way we were able to get everyone to have a small taste of what RPing is like.
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Paul Leigh
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We have done this also, but one thing worth considering is that it dramatically increases difficulty! Some encounters require you to make a choice as to whether or not you will attempt a test. What will not be obvious in your variant is that a fail might cause some terrible effect (like being devoured). Normally players would be able to consider the options fully and determine the best course of action having seen what is necessary and what outcomes may occur.

I like having the encounters read by another player and have them dress up the scene a little, but if you have played the game quite a few times, you'll start to recognise the encounters and the roleplaying can get a tad tedious. Still, it is well worth doing until the cards get familiar.

Another thing to try (not for RPG effect though) is have each player read his own card but not aloud (provided you have no cheaters!) and carry out any tests and receive any rewards, without describing the event to the other players. This will keep the events fresher in the deck (as you will only ever meet your own events) and the game will move a bit quicker. Obviously, any important encounters such as mysteries and epic combats should ideally be attended by all players.

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M.C.Crispy
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Good to see people fiddling with the rules and contributing to the community, thanks! I've flagged this as "wrong forum" hopefully it'll get moved to Eldritch Horror/Variants.
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Mike Pelletier
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I can see how this can be fun with the right people in the room, but how long did it take? A standard game of EH with four players who know what they are doing takes about 2-3 hours, depending on how quickly you solve mysteries or die trying. Generally, we are kinda sorta reading them out loud do ourselves (and when I'm playing with my sons, they like to say, "Dad, Dad! Look at this one!"), but we are still doing some things simultaneously to speed things up a bit. We do always try for the most part to keep the flavor in the game by reading all of the text to ourselves (or murmuring out loud!) so we are not just reducing it to Roll For This Test/Get This Result/Move To The Next Phase. But it's still a very big time commitment, even if it is still my favorite game to play.
 
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Lawrence Wang
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About 3-4 hours and we didn't win.
 
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Lawrence Wang
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Another variant is to have a dedicated DM who's not playing any investigators at all.

However, they have the choice of choosing which cards goes into the mythos deck and in what order. You still have the restriction of the ancient one - e.g. 1 green, 2 yellow, 1 blue in round one, so no 4x rumors in first round, however you have greater control of how the story is going to turn out.

In addition, you can also control other aspects of the game such as choice of monsters, encounters, gate spawns and clues. I haven't tested this yet and it seems overly involved, but it could be interesting if you're experienced with the game.
 
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For nearly every instance of playing the game, I've played it here as described. The stopping of the reading at the test adds much more atmosphere. The player actually performing the test is also generally not allowed to ask questions to the reader unless they don't understand. Occasionally, like for a new player, a hint might be given toward a better solution.

Straddllw wrote:
Another variant is to have a dedicated DM who's not playing any investigators at all.

However, they have the choice of choosing which cards goes into the mythos deck and in what order. You still have the restriction of the ancient one - e.g. 1 green, 2 yellow, 1 blue in round one, so no 4x rumors in first round, however you have greater control of how the story is going to turn out.

In addition, you can also control other aspects of the game such as choice of monsters, encounters, gate spawns and clues. I haven't tested this yet and it seems overly involved, but it could be interesting if you're experienced with the game.


While we have not done this explicitly, I might be interested in trying this out once.
 
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