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Subject: About what you'd expect from an expansion rss

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Erik C
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Final verdict: if you play this game at least occasionally its worthwhile to pick up Strange Remnants. Don't expect it to revolutionize your game, but it will invigorate it without adding clutter.

The best part is that Eldritch keeps its streamlined and elegant design. Everything blends with the basic rules. The new Mystic Ruins deck is only used with the new ancient one or one of the new prelude cards. I think we can expect this design philosophy to continue with future Eldritch expansions. It's a welcome change from the mess of piled on mechanics that Arkham expansions brought.

The worst part is a lack of difficulty, since I found the first few expansions to make the investigators more powerful and the game easier (anything other than fighting Yig we seem to get an 80% win rate). Definitely recommend taking out the easy mythos cards for experienced players. The game also recommends using only tentacle mythos cards if you want a real fight.

My favorite part is Zoey Samaras. She's got a badass servant-of-the-lord warrior complex and gets to farm for tasks early on. She's on a mission from god and you don't want to be in her way. She's fun to play.

The new ancient one lacked in difficulty on our first play. The idea is that the AO has 2 hard mysteries instead of 3 regular ones. When you solve them he wakes up and you have to seal him away for good. If you don't solve 2 mysteries in time he wakes up anyways but is tougher. It's a cool mechanic, and I'll have to play more to see if it can be a challenge.
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Jonan Jello
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It is a solid expansion with strong investigators.
eriktheguy wrote:

My favorite part is Zoey Samaras. She's got a badass servant-of-the-lord warrior complex and gets to farm for tasks early on. She's on a mission from god and you don't want to be in her way. She's fun to play.
My too.
She is indeed very cool both in combat and backstory and high on my list of favorite investigators in the game.
It's almost humorous her dual role of chef-by-day and vicious, knife-wielding, cross-bearing nightstalker by dusk.

Her back story of God sending her to Rome to strike down wickedness and dispense His righteous fury if epic.
Why Rome? Is she there hunting the Pope?
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eriktheguy wrote:
Don't expect it to revolutionize your game, but it will invigorate it without adding clutter.

I think we can expect this design philosophy to continue with future Eldritch expansions. It's a welcome change from the mess of piled on mechanics that Arkham expansions brought.

Well, the mess was something that players created in their need to incorporate everything into one huge monstrosity. The biggest problem AH had was mechanism dilution, and that was quite bad. Everything else players could control by choosing what to use and what not to use. Of course, it was/is a lot fiddlier, and has other problems, aswell.

Now, I am not trying to vigorously defend AH here against EH, or saying one is better than the other. The thing that I am dissatisfied with is exactly what Eric stated - we can expect this design philosophy, the philosophy of "new parts only included in game when playing with GOO and/or Prelude", to continue with future expansions. And while this might mitigate messiness, it also brings forth exactly what Eric stated in the first sentence quoted - the expansions will not revolutionize your game.

Looking back at Mountains of Madness, the board is somewhat disappointing. What it provides is simply "more and remote locations". What it does NOT provide is: an interesting, inherent mechanism. Okay, you can now spend Focus there, but Focus is the little brother of the Clue. While the Focus action is doubtlessly an addition of merit, spending Focus could have easily been done in another way. And it really is not an interesting part of this mechanism that Focus presents.

So what can we expect?
I'd say more of the same, with tiny variations. Whether it is the Mystic Ruins deck or the MoM board, both are only minor additions that could have been done without the additional "new" stuff. Granted, thematically this all is really great! But from a pure mechanism-oriented point of view, they do not add anything new. There is no Rift, and there are no Vortices in which monsters vanish, to unleash harsh consequences, there is not even a Blight deck - no reason to use these small changes above and beyond the few new and necessary encounters connected with them and the new Mysteries (or adventures).

Now, I am not saying these old mechanisms were great. But if I look into the future of EH, I see endless repetitions of what we have, with minor mechanical and major thematical variation. Which means the game fundamentally stays the same.

...and if an expansion does not alter the game significantly, do I really need the third one that just provides "more of the same"?

I really hope future expansions shake things up, and break free from this "only when XY is used" constrictions. Then they can make a real impact on gameplay.
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Enon Sci
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FFG has never been inclined to add crazy new mechanism to small box expansions. Not to my (admittedly poor) memory, anyhow.

... but, I agree. Minor variations are likely what we'll be seeing, at least until next year. I feel like they're filling out the base game still, focus - preludes - more encounters and items - etc. In some ways, it might even be in the service of keeping an expansion optional.

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You are, of course, right, regarding small expansions. But I see more of the same even in the big one, Mountains of Madness, hence my referencing it.

This was different with Dunwich already. You needed to battle the mechanism of the board when the board was "in play", or face the consequences. This is not the case with the Antarktica board. Fingers crossed that the Egypt board will have more impact. However, I doubt it.
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Ryan M
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I bought this expansion as soon as I could specifically because it just adds more of what I aleady greatly enjoy. More variety without bringing a bunch of new rules and boards and other content. I've been trying to play Eldritch more lately and as a result, more mythos cards, more GOOs, more items and conditions, etc, are great It means the game stays varied from play to play without forcing me to reteach new rules. MoM is still a bit of a sticking point for me because I bought it, paid full-game price and will likely only ever play the new board extremely rarely. I just typically don't have the space for it.

So honestly, the idea of more big box expansions don't appeal to me at the moment. It just means more money for something that I may not play enough to be worth the costs. More preludes, GOOS with their own adventures, etc, are a win for me for sure because it adds story and variety without changing the game a lot.

Now, if there is a big box or new board that really add something big to the game and adds a whole new twist to the story/narrative or gameply, then I may consider getting it. But for the most part I'm very happy with the smaller expansions and what those add because that is what I want from the game.
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Mools wrote:
I bought this expansion as soon as I could specifically because it just adds more of what I aleady greatly enjoy. More variety without bringing a bunch of new rules and boards and other content. I've been trying to play Eldritch more lately and as a result, more mythos cards, more GOOs, more items and conditions, etc, are great It means the game stays varied from play to play without forcing me to reteach new rules. MoM is still a bit of a sticking point for me because I bought it, paid full-game price and will likely only ever play the new board extremely rarely. I just typically don't have the space for it.

So honestly, the idea of more big box expansions don't appeal to me at the moment. It just means more money for something that I may not play enough to be worth the costs. More preludes, GOOS with their own adventures, etc, are a win for me for sure because it adds story and variety without changing the game a lot.

Now, if there is a big box or new board that really add something big to the game and adds a whole new twist to the story/narrative or gameply, then I may consider getting it. But for the most part I'm very happy with the smaller expansions and what those add because that is what I want from the game.


I agree. I bought both Forsaken Lore and Strange Remnants, and skipped Mountains of Madness because I've got no interest in adding a sideboard.

In fact, I'd love to see an expansion that concentrates solely on adding new GOOs and investigators. Ok, maybe throw in more other world encounters and mythos cards as well. But other then that, I think I'm good.
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Joel Carson
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Dumon wrote:
You are, of course, right, regarding small expansions. But I see more of the same even in the big one, Mountains of Madness, hence my referencing it.

This was different with Dunwich already. You needed to battle the mechanism of the board when the board was "in play", or face the consequences. This is not the case with the Antarktica board. Fingers crossed that the Egypt board will have more impact. However, I doubt it.
But in the end many of the new mechanics can best be resolved by simply focusing on the main goal and possibly sending one person to manage the side board. I haven't seen the Dunwich Horror cause much destruction once he awakens, and unless all the tough monsters spawn in Dunwich odds are that can be prevented. Kingsport can be controlled by one investigator. KiY seems best dealt with by avoiding Blights and taking the deal on Act I each time. Lurker? Don't take the pacts until late in the game and there's not enough time for it to punish you.

I'm looking forward to new mechanics too, but I want them to have more interesting features. I love AH, but I feel it has lots of elements that are cool ideas with poor execution.
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I figure that EH is one of those thematic games which does best with new stories -- if you've played against Cthulhu, Azathoth, and Yog-Sothoth several times, it's time for an expansion. I don't necessarily look for new mechanics, because I've seen too many expansions add mechanics that make the game more complicated without making the game that much more entertaining. Rarely do they make the game more streamlined or faster to play. Focus is a good exception, and should have been included in the base game (the rule is easy enough that this can be done!).

I think that EH doesn't pile on the revolutionary mechanics, so no expansion is a "must have", is better for the game. If you don't have much time to play EH, you can pick up the base game and not feel like you're missing anything because you haven't spent another $25 on an expansion. If you're a fan of a particular mythos story, you can pick up an expansion centered around it (eg. the Mountains of Madness) without having to buy a "must have" expansion first.
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Michael Williams
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I was disappointed with MoM also, and we rarely use the sideboard.

However, I think the game is modular enough that new mechanics can be introduced without clutter. For example, new mechanics could be tied to game elements that are only used one (or a few) at a time already:

- GOOs and mysteries
- rumors and ongoing mythos cards
- investigators
- epic monsters (hard to write a mechanic on the back of a monster token though)
- preludes
- adventures

There's nothing that prevents one of these items from introducing a major mechanic if desired.
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Jan Probst
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Having a thing for primary casters, I should be all over Marie (or over the various new options for mai waifu Daisy .. new tome bloat in Asset deck is a bit of a nerf in watering down Arcane Tome access, but numerous tome encounters in Shanghai, Glamors, Righteous may make it a net buff), and I am, but Zoey is just amazing.

Hits way many niches that weren't that well covered before:
- Viable fighter straight out of setup? Check, but not that uncommon.
- Fighter specifically good against high end enemies? Check, pretty uncommon.
- Fighter with a Lore secondary? Check, almost unheard of - could build Lily or Lola that way but that required nontrivial setup.
- Therefore, semi-primary Gatecrasher whose monster bypass mechanic is to just smash their face in the name of the LORD? Check.
- Almost as an afterthought after all that, allows regular and reliable access to the very fun but normally too rare/unreliable mechanic of Tasks? Check. (Spoiler: tasks can and very much should be traded)
- Therefore, a Fighter who inherently has helpful filler activity to do when no monsters are out or near? Check.

Bonus awesome story moment: She finished the first test game (last progress token) by literally ascending to heaven (or what she perceived as such) and imploring the LORD (or what she perceived as such) to intervene and fix this. (Sealing the Portal 8)(Edit: Yes, she succeeded at that Observation roll. )
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Øivind Karlsrud
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intently wrote:
I was disappointed with MoM also, and we rarely use the sideboard.

However, I think the game is modular enough that new mechanics can be introduced without clutter. For example, new mechanics could be tied to game elements that are only used one (or a few) at a time already:

- GOOs and mysteries
- rumors and ongoing mythos cards
- investigators
- epic monsters (hard to write a mechanic on the back of a monster token though)
- preludes
- adventures

There's nothing that prevents one of these items from introducing a major mechanic if desired.

This is the same thing I was thinking. I like that new mechanisms only come in play through certain preludes or GOOs. But there is no limit to what kind of mechanisms they can introduce this way. It means that you will never combine everything, like you can do in Arkham Horror, but I don't care. I would never combine everything in Arkham Horror anyway.
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Ryan M
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Honestly, I would insta-buy an expansion that simply adds adventure type cards but for the characters themselves. It may not be realistic given the number of characters now in the game, but it would be pretty cool to have character specific adventures which tell a story of that character and then reward you with a special item/spell.
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Jan Probst
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Mools wrote:
Honestly, I would insta-buy an expansion that simply adds adventure type cards but for the characters themselves. It may not be realistic given the number of characters now in the game, but it would be pretty cool to have character specific adventures which tell a story of that character and then reward you with a special item/spell.
They apparently had those in Arkham via some sort of personal preulde/mission.
I'm convinced that something like that, as well as more effect-type skill cards (to take instead of an improvement token maybe) like later Arkham skills (core cards apparently were mostly roll boosts of various sort) are a design space we can have in Eldritch eventually.
 
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I'd like to stick up for the Antarctica board as I'm a huge fan. I think it has an awful lot going on for just a small board, and it does add a lot to the game IMO. Firstly you can get Artifacts there which makes certain mysteries much easier. Then there is the snowy mountains which turns Lily into the ultimate ninja. Let's not even mention the brutal encounters that can, amongst other things, advance the mystery. And of course, the flavour is off the peak for those who are into that.
The adventure mechanic is solid. I don't see why you couldn't have this and the mystic ruins on at the same time. They wouldn't get in each other's way. Remember in Arkham the boards and extras like Blights were all trying to kill you as well. You had to remember to activate all their little mechanics and none really worked with each other. Well in Eldritch this does not happen. The board is there to help you solve the mystery, not kill you.
If you look at the new Pyramid board, it looks like it is mainly providing a shortcut across Africa and adding depth rather than cluttering the game with bloated nonsense. Same with mystic ruins, it adds options for the players rather than limiting them. (How many times in Arkham did the deep ones rising kill you when you'd played otherwise perfectly?)
Well, I really like the side board and felt I just needed to give it some love.

However I am in agreement when I say they've done enough that are the same now and would be ready for future expansions that radically changed the game. I don't expect it, but I can hope. After all, they went and made it so that the ancient ones could behave completely differently from one another leading to totally different game experiences, but I am sad to see it looks like this just isn't going to happen.
Ideas such as an ancient one who chases you around while you visit certain locations in order and hide from him, mysteries where you solve multi part encounters in different locations, find clues to guess a traitor from a range of cultists like Cluedo, I don't know, and yes, personal stories could be a thing. (Although we're meant to be moving away from the bazillion tokens style of game...)
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Ryan M
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lordocean wrote:
I'd like to stick up for the Antarctica board as I'm a huge fan.

I think my main issue with the side board is I still haven't had a chance to use it yet because the game already takes up so much space it is difficult to make it even bigger with a whole secondary board.

My second issue is just the ever-increasing cost of boardgames, especially here in Canada with the crap dollar lately. It can be very difficult to find games at a US-style discount, especially after shipping. So for me it is just much easier and more practical to buy smaller expansions that are cheaper and still add the exact same level of variety and diversity without adding a whole bunch of bulk and cost.

However, as per usual, now that I'm aware of the new expansion (already...seems quick on the heels of SR) I am already looking into it but chances are I will be passing it up. I love the adventures and preludes and the range of characters and GOOs, but the side-boards just don't add enough for me at this point. Maybe in the future is I can find it at a discount i will pick it up.

I think what they SHOULD do is consider a board that covers and alters the current map rather than an actual side-board that makes the map bigger. Not sure how possible that is, but it would be more practical for me space-wise.
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Doc Corvid
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Dumon wrote:


This was different with Dunwich already. You needed to battle the mechanism of the board when the board was "in play", or face the consequences. This is not the case with the Antarktica board. Fingers crossed that the Egypt board will have more impact. However, I doubt it.

Wait, are you just speculating on the Egypt board or has there been more information released that I'm not aware of?

Personally, my money is in Dreamlands (and Nyarlathotep) for the next sideboard.
 
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We have one of the Masks of Nyarlathotep with the Pyramids board, so I would bet against an overall Nyarlathotep emergence in any expansion. Rather, I would think they concentrate on different and prominent Masks, to focus on them and provide others as Epic Monsters.

I would also bet against a Dreamlands board - to depict the Dreamlands with simply six locations would do a huge disservice to such a diversified world. But that is just me.

And no, I was not talking about the Pyramids board - I am not privy to insider information...



Regarding what you all said about "anything is possible in expansions" - I highly doubt that. See, the main mechanism of a game needs to be preserved. The main mechanism in this game is the Mystery part, and I bet there will be nothing that can change this. The investigators MUST always be able to solve Mysteries, so nothing can be included that would distract too much from this aspect.
Now, HOW Mysteries are solved, that can be varied, of course. But there are only so many variations of the same theme. You need clues, need to close portals, need to fight monsters, need to have encounters. And that is basically it, because the game does not provide much more. The variation, here, is limited.

With Arkham Horror, the situation was completely different. Yes, you needed to close gates. But this mechanism was so unobtrusive, so basic, and in that so flexible, that you could change the surroundings quite heavily.

Also, as each Ancient One brings his own flavor to EH, in providing his own Mysteries and Research and probably Encounter cards, this is not only an opportunity, but also a duty, now. Flavor, in AH, was a single special effect (okay, and a variation of the Cultists), and this was so variable that it simply left the door wide open for other things that added additional foci to gameplay (like the vortices, or the Feds track, or the Rifts, or the Blight cards, etc.).



It IS, of course, possible that one or more future Ancient Ones will throw the usual mechanism of Mystery hunting out the window, or tone it done so much (i.e. make it so easy or inconsequential) that another, greater mechanism variation can take place. The game certainly has this potential.
However, I highly doubt that this will ever happen. Rare are the games where FFG really took gameplay in an expansion and changed it completely, to be something else, or greatly impacted by new aspects...
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Jonathan A
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Dumon wrote:
Regarding what you all said about "anything is possible in expansions" - I highly doubt that. See, the main mechanism of a game needs to be preserved. The main mechanism in this game is the Mystery part, and I bet there will be nothing that can change this. The investigators MUST always be able to solve Mysteries, so nothing can be included that would distract too much from this aspect.
Now, HOW Mysteries are solved, that can be varied, of course. But there are only so many variations of the same theme. You need clues, need to close portals, need to fight monsters, need to have encounters. And that is basically it, because the game does not provide much more. The variation, here, is limited.

I'm going to disagree with this.

Breaking out of the current mystery model would be quite simple.

There could be an AO with a single mystery. And to solve that mystery you have to complete an associated Adventure, for example. Once that adventure is complete, the mystery is solved, and flip the AO sheet.

Funneling it all through a single mystery is the key to breaking free of the mystery framework, I think.
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Ninja_Bob wrote:
Dumon wrote:
Regarding what you all said about "anything is possible in expansions" - I highly doubt that. See, the main mechanism of a game needs to be preserved. The main mechanism in this game is the Mystery part, and I bet there will be nothing that can change this. The investigators MUST always be able to solve Mysteries, so nothing can be included that would distract too much from this aspect.
Now, HOW Mysteries are solved, that can be varied, of course. But there are only so many variations of the same theme. You need clues, need to close portals, need to fight monsters, need to have encounters. And that is basically it, because the game does not provide much more. The variation, here, is limited.

I'm going to disagree with this.

Breaking out of the current mystery model would be quite simple.

There could be an AO with a single mystery. And to solve that mystery you have to complete an associated Adventure, for example. Once that adventure is complete, the mystery is solved, and flip the AO sheet.

Funneling it all through a single mystery is the key to breaking free of the mystery framework, I think.
I agree. FFG has already started to move away from the 3 mystery AO ones from the base game with the 2 mystery AO in SR. For me the 3 mystery structure (some with 4 if the AO Sheet is flipped) is the weakest part of an overall excellent design. After solving two, having to solve yet another can sometimes feel a bit stale and then having to solve yet another after that even more so.

For Yig, I modified the AO sheet so it became a 2 mystery AO but Yig always has to be encountered after the 2 are solved to win. That way the climax to me becomes more climatic.

There's no reason why a single mystery AO could not work - with an additional kind of mystery or face off required after the AO sheet is flipped.
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Just as an aside - I didn't say that it would not be possible. There are many possible ways the game could go. I for one would be very much intrigued if an expansion threw most of the game mechanism overboard and did something drastically different.
I just think it unlikely this will happen.

If they prove me wrong, all the better!
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Dumon wrote:
Just as an aside - I didn't say that it would not be possible. There are many possible ways the game could go. I for one would be very much intrigued if an expansion threw most of the game mechanism overboard and did something drastically different.
I just think it unlikely this will happen.

If they prove me wrong, all the better!
I have this dream of some sort of King in Yellow expansion where the cities gets Eldritch tokens during the game to denote plays starting up (maybe this replaces the doom track for this AO). In addition to solving a main mystery/mysteries, influence tests would be needed to keep any play from officially opening and causing widespread panic. Or whenever a "play" opens the encounter that can happen there is a riot ambush.
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I would love to see some Dreamland mechanism and board, but one that would do it justice!

My ideas:
- A second board, depicting the dreamlands, similar of size to the original game board, or smaller, but with location distribution being more dense. Maybe even three boards, for both Upworld and Underworld Dreamlands, or both as parts of the same board.
- A dream-self character for each character in the Waking World, totally separate, but both influencing each other. Not one dream-self to each character, but a whole new set of dream-self characters, so that each character in the waking world could be paired with each dream-self.
- Possibilities for the characters in the Waking World to enter the Dreamlands physically, but not for the dream-selves to do the opposite.
- Specific encounters and mechanisms pertaining to the Dreamlands (and dream-selves) only.
- Maybe switching between daytime turns (in the Waking World) and nighttime turns (in the Dreamlands). Not totally fitting, but easier to distinguish.
- Composite Mysteries, which you can only solve partially in the real world, and the rest you need to solve in the Dreamlands.

That would shake things up completely, but it also is a component nightmare, as it would need to rival in size and scope that of the base game. On the other hand, once the Dreamlands would be established, it would definitely be possible to create expansions using both parts, with new Antagonists (or Ancient Ones) and new sorts of mysteries...
 
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Dean L
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Dumon wrote:

Now, HOW Mysteries are solved, that can be varied, of course. But there are only so many variations of the same theme. You need clues, need to close portals, need to fight monsters, need to have encounters. And that is basically it, because the game does not provide much more. The variation, here, is limited.

I follow the argument up to that point, but that variation is what could b introduced. "When X track reaches Y, advance/solve the current mystery" is a simple enough mechanic. Or the mysteries themselves could relate directly to a new mechanic. eg. a light/dark track is introduced, the mysteries say "you may only solve this mystery when the track is light/dark"... there's a few ways to do it.
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Erik C
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I think the point of mysteries is that you can use them to define basically any victory conditions.

Mysteries allow
- multiple objectives
- simultaneous and/or in order
- varied by game

Arkham is basically a game with 2 simultaneous mysteries, and you win when you solve one (no open gates and gate trophies = number of investigators OR 6 sealed locations on board)

Eldritch also has simultaneous mysteries in the form of things like tasks. If anything, mysteries are just a framework for elegantly tying victory conditions together by defining them well.

So it's a mistake to say that we need to move away from mysteries if we want variety, we can simply modify how mysteries work to build scenarios. Syzygy is a great example of this, as are the adventure decks from the expansions, tasks, old journals, etc.

The result is that any victory/loss condition you add plays nicely with other mechanics, including those from future expansions.

If you wanted to, you could take the victory condition for Arkham and turn it into a mystery:

Quote:
Sealing the Gates, Yog-Sothoth mystery

At the beginning of a game against Yog-sothoth, the players may choose this mystery instead of using Yog-sothoth's mystery deck.

Whenever a player closes a gate, they may pay 2 clues and discard a spell to put that gate marker on the mystery.

If an effect would solve the current mystery, advance it a a number of times equal to half the number of investigators instead.

At the end of the mythos phase, if there are gates on this mystery equal to twice the number of investigators, this mystery is solved and the investigators win the game.

Yog-sothoth already has a mystery that is basically a small version of this.
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