When you return to Arkham from OW, you place an explored token and are ready to close the gate. But is the explored token removed if you move away from the gate without closing it (if you don't have enough clue tokens to use for an Elder Sign)? So that you have to do another OW encounter at the same gate when you return?
I have read different answers in different threads, which makes me confused.
The marker is removed as soon as the investigator leaves the location.
The rules say exactly that, so I do not know with what reason people would suggest otherwise.
Rulebook, pg. 8. Other World Movement [...] Then he places an "explored" marker underneath his investigator to show that he has explored the gate. This marker remains in play as long as the investigator remains at the location.
If you leave the Location of the Gate you lose the Explored token. End of. No discussion.
on page 9 of the AH rulebook it is wrote:
If the investigator leaves the location before the gate is closed or sealed, discard the explored marker.
'd but my quote is explicit. Of course this highlights the challenge of the rulebook as the quote is from an "exception" note in the "Gate" section of the Arkham Encounter phase description. Kinda hard to find when flicking through the rules. Which is why I have pdf copies of the rules to hand and use the Search function of my pdf reader
So the best is to gather enough clue tokens to close the gate with an Elder Sign before entering it, right?
My strong preference is to never intentionally go through a Gate unless I'm carrying 6 Clues: five to Seal the Gate and one in reserve to try to make sure that I don't waste my time going through the Gate in the first place.
Of course, if you know that somebody is going to be able to get an Elder Sign or a Tome to you when you Return to Arkham then timing your "Gate run" is important as time is of the essence in a game of AH. In these circumstances it may be sufficient to have one or two Clues to (hopefully) prevent delays in your passage through the Other World.
This conversation is confusing because it uses the term "Elder Sign" to refer both to a Unique Item (a card) as well as the flip side of a Doom Token.
When people are talking about using 5 clues, they are talking about closing a Gate with a successful dice roll against Lore or Fight, and then spending 5 clues to seal the gate by placing an Elder Sign Token, which is the flip side of a Doom Token. In this case the token is taken from the supply of unused tokens.
When people are talking about someone "handing you an Elder Sign" they are talking about a card found in the Unique Items deck which has unique powers for closing and sealing Gates. If an Elder Sign item is used (which destroys it, assuming the investigator pays the cost of using it) the Gate is sealed automatically and an Elder Sign Token is placed - in this case the token is taken from one of the Doom Tokens that is on the Great Old One's Doom track, effectively buying more time for the investigators.