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Subject: EH Ultra Short Variant rss

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Julian Baltuttis
Germany
Leipzig
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This is an attempt to make a shorter version of Eldritch Horror. If I can reduce the playtime to roughly 2 hours, then maybe, just maybe my girlfriend will consider playing this with me. Feel free to test this yourself, make changes or tell me how stupid awesome this variant is.

Version 3. Currently being tested. Proceed with caution. The following is a jumble of mad ideas that may or may not work.

New Win Condition
You need to solve 2 mysteries to win the game. If the Doom track reaches 0, the Ancient One awakens as usual and will add a third mystery.

Relentless March of Doom
1. During the mythos phase, before a mythos card is drawn, advance doom by 1.
2. Whenever a Spawn Gates symbol is resolved during the mythos phase, spawn 1 additional gate.

Finders Keepers
Whenever a player defeats a monster OR closes a gate, he may keep that token. There is no limit as to how many monster and gate tokens a player may have. These tokens may be used to gain Eldritch tokens and advance the current mystery.

More Actions

1. All investigators have 3 actions per turn. They are still limited to 3 different actions per turn.
2. When a player is delayed, he must use his first 2 actions to stand his investigator token up. He is then no longer delayed.

Failed Research Encounter
When you fail to pick up the clue token after a research encounter, discard that clue token and spawn 1 new clue token.

The Truth is Out There
As an action an investigator my either discard 2 gate tokens OR discard 1 Epic Monster token to advance the active mystery.

NEW RESOURCE: Mythos Knowledge
Players may gain and spend Eldritch Tokens. They represent the investigator's accumulated knowledge of the Mythos. While this knowledge may push them closer to the brink of insanity, it may also help them solve the mysteries that threaten to destroy the world.

Mythos Knowledge Applied
During an encounter if an investigator is asked to make a skill check, he may spend an Eldritch Token. If he does, he automatically passes the skill check without making a roll. This happens before a skill check. You cannot spent an Eldritch Token on a skill check that you have already failed. You may spend multiple Eldritch Tokens if an encounter has more than one skill check.

The More You Know...
Gaining eldritch tokens lowers maximum sanity. Investigators may never have more sanity and eldritch tokens combined than their maximum sanity as defined on their character sheets. When a player gains an eldritch token he may choose to lose sanity in order to fulfill this requirement.

Gaining Mythos Knowledge
The following new actions are available to all players. Note that as per usual rules, no action may be taken twice per round.

Monster autopsy: Discard monster cards equal to toughness 3 or higher . Gain 1 Eldritch token for each 3 toughness discarded.

Mythos Research: Discard 2 clue tokens to gain 1 Eldritch Token.

Delegate Resources: Discard 2 cards to gain 1 eldritch token. These cards may be any combination of spells and assets (e.g. 2 spells or 1 spell and 1 asset)
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Le Roux Van Der Vyver
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robertgibson wrote:
players may spend an amount of Eldritch tokens


In the rest of your text you refer to Mythos tokens, did you mean to use Mythos tokens here as well?

This is an interesting variant on changing the game pace and length a bit. I will add that after playing about 10 games I have gotten my game time down to about 2 hours for a 4 investigator game. That includes reading full text on card and imagining what happens to them based on die roll.

So if you want a 2 hour game, it is possible with the unmodified game, you just need to get the basics down so that they don't take too long. Reckoning on Mythos took me a year at first, but now its a piece of cake.

Mmmmm cake.
 
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Julian Baltuttis
Germany
Leipzig
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mmmh, cake is good.
Yes, Mythos tokens are supposed to be Eldritch Tokens. Fixed the mistake.
 
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Alexander Hristov
Bulgaria
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Sounds interesting, but what do you do with Syzygy and Rise of the elder things?
 
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Julian Baltuttis
Germany
Leipzig
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I'd say stick to solving 2 mysteries. Testing will tell whether this approach is a good solution.

To be honest my initial idea was to reduce the win condition to 1 mystery for all ancient ones. I am not sure if that wouldn't be too drastic of a change and possibly lead to unexciting games where your only task is to kill an epic monster.
 
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Krzysiek Domański
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Wrocław
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[offtopic]When I saw the "EH Ultra Short Variant" title, I immediately thought "One Night Ultimate Eldritch".[/offtopic]
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Sebastian Roehrig
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Leipzig
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weerax wrote:
Sounds interesting, but what do you do with Syzygy and Rise of the elder things?


I`d say, that you wont be able to make a short variant that can satisfy the needs of these "special rules" AOs
 
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Julian Baltuttis
Germany
Leipzig
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While we're at it, let's do some more premature (=untested) thinking.
Here is a different approach to the secondary Mythos draw:

Mythos Strike Two (Revised)
During the Mythos Phase after the first Mythos card has been resolved, draw another Mythos card and resolve any Advance Omen, Spawn Gates and Monster Surge, ignoring everything else on the card. Do not spawn additional clues or resolve Reckoning effects.
If no effect has been triggered by the second Mythos Card, move that card to the bottom of the mythos deck.

Combating the Mythos (Revised)
Players may use their combined Mythos knowledge to combat Mythos Effects. Whenever a second Mythos card is drawn players may spend an amount of Eldritch tokens equal to the number of investigators to move that card to the bottom of the Mythos deck. In that case no secondary effects are triggered.

This would allow a bit more player agency without allowing players to deliberately cycle out difficult Mythos cards (e.g. Rumors with Tentacles). Rumors would automatically go to the bottom of the deck. Since the mythos deck expires faster (in theory) the bottom cards should re-appear faster too.
 
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Julian Baltuttis
Germany
Leipzig
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And I have one more for flavor, because why not?

Mythos Eating Away Your Sanity

Gaining eldtrich tokens lowers maximum sanity. Investigators may never have more sanity and eldritch tokens combined than their maximum sanity as defined on their character sheets. When a player gains an eldritch token he may choose to lose sanity in order to fulfill this requirement.

Obviously, this could cause all sorts of balancing issues. I do like this idea very much, though as it reminds me of how Sanity was handled in the original 80s pen n' paper RPG "Call of Cthulhu". Iirc your mythos knowledge would also subtract from your maximum sanity in that game.
 
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Julian Baltuttis
Germany
Leipzig
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Here is a copy of version 1 of this variant. This way I can update my first post to show the newest rules.

Version 1. No testing so far. Proceed with caution. The following is just a jumble of ideas at this point.

New Win Condition
You need to solve 2 mysteries to win the game. If the Doom track reaches 0, the Ancient One awakens as usual and will add a third mystery to be solved.

Additional Setup

During game setup place the second mystery face down next to the first revealed mystery.
Place 2 Eldritch token on the face down mystery.
Whenever a reckoning occurs remove 1 Eldritch token from the face down mystery.
If there are no more Eldritch tokens on the face down mystery reveal it, even if the first one hasn’t been solved yet.
Players must now resolve both mysteries simultaneously.

Monster Panic
Whenever a monster is placed on a location that already has at least 2 monsters, advance the doom track. Place that monster in an adjacent space.

Mythos Strike Two

During the Mythos Phase after the first mythos card has been resolved, draw another Mythos card and resolve any Advance Omen, Spawn Gates and Monster Surge, ignoring everything else on the card. Do not spawn additional clues or resolve Reckoning effects.

Combating the Mythos

Players may use their combined Mythos knowledge to combat Mythos Effects. Whenever a second Mythos card is about to be drawn players may spend an amount of Eldritch tokens equal to the number of investigators to prevent that effect. In that case no second card is drawn and the Mythos phase ends as usual.

Gaining Mythos Knowledge
Whenever a player closes a gate he gains 2 Eldritch tokens.
Whenever a player defeats a monster in combat he gains 1 Eldritch token.
Whenever a player defeats an epic monster in combat he gains 2 Eldritch tokens.
Whenever a player successfully solves an expedition he gains 1 Eldritch token.

Mythos Research
An investigator may spend an Action to discard either 1 spell or 1 asset in order to gain 1 eldritch token.
 
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Julian Baltuttis
Germany
Leipzig
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We had our first play test playing with 3 investigators against Ithaqua.
We finished after about 1:45 hrs, winning the game with the doom track at 4. There were about five gates open, monsters everywhere and things were escalating quickly at that point.

Things worked out pretty well considering this was the first test run. Few things noted: Monster panic never occurred once, the Mythos deck wasn't running low on cards as I was expecting and the Sanity loss from gaining Mythos Knowledge forced us into taking rest actions quite often.

I will update the rules to version 2 with some new ideas and adjustments.
 
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Davy Ashleydale
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Play the first hour of the game by yourself, then bring her in.
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Julian Baltuttis
Germany
Leipzig
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Version 2

New Win Condition
You need to solve 2 mysteries to win the game. If the Doom track reaches 0, the Ancient One awakens as usual and will add a third mystery.

Additional Setup
During game setup draw 2 mysteries to be solved. Place one face-up as the active mystery and the second one face-down next to it. Place 2 Eldritch token on the face down mystery.
Whenever a reckoning occurs remove 1 Eldritch token from the face-down mystery.
If there are no more Eldritch tokens on the second mystery, reveal it, even if the first one hasn’t been solved yet. Players must now resolve both mysteries simultaneously.
If the first mystery is solved and the second mystery is still face-down, remove all Eldritch tokens and reveal the second mystery as usual.

Monster Panic

The maximum limit for monsters on the board is equal to the number of players.
Whenever an effect would place a monster that would exceed that limit, advance the doom track by one instead. If this happens during a monster surge, the doom track will only advance once.

Mythos Strike Two
During the Mythos Phase after the first Mythos card has been resolved, draw another Mythos card and resolve any Advance Omen, Spawn Gates and Monster Surge, ignoring everything else on the card. Do not spawn additional clues or resolve Reckoning effects.
Afterwards, discard the second Mythos card and end the Mythos phase.

Combating the Mythos
Players may use their combined Mythos knowledge to combat Mythos Effects. Whenever a second Mythos card is about to be drawn, players may spend an amount of Eldritch tokens equal to the number of investigators to move that card to the bottom of the Mythos deck. The card is not revealed and and no secondary effects are triggered.

Gaining Mythos Knowledge
Whenever a player closes a gate he may gain up to 2 Eldritch tokens.
Whenever a player defeats an epic monster in combat he may gain up to 2 Eldritch tokens.
Whenever a player successfully solves an expedition he may gain up to 2 Eldritch tokens.
After a player has resolved (=flipped) a Lost in Space and Time condition he may gain 1 Eldritch token.
Whenever a player defeats a monster he may gain 1 Eldritch token.

Mythos Research

An investigator may spend an Action to discard either 1 spell or 1 asset in order to gain 1 eldritch token.

Mythos Corruption
Gaining eldtrich tokens lowers maximum sanity. Investigators may never have more sanity and eldritch tokens combined than their maximum sanity as defined on their character sheets. When a player gains an eldritch token he may choose to lose sanity in order to fulfill this requirement.

Difficulty Adjustments

These rules are meant to counterbalance the increased rate at which the doom track advances.
1. All investigators have 3 actions per turn. They are still limited to 3 different actions per turn.
2. When a player is delayed, he must use his first 2 actions to stand his investigator token up. He is then no longer delayed.
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Julian Baltuttis
Germany
Leipzig
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Our last run with version 2 turned out to be an unmitigated disaster that lasted almost five hours until we called it a night. We ended up with a game where we couldn't find the time to solve mysteries because we were too busy closing gates and killing monsters, while at the same time we had such stupid luck with our draws on encounters and mythos cards that the doom track never reached zero.

Ultra short this was not, but it did give me a lot of food for thought. Version 3 is an attempt to reduce dependency on dice rolls during encounters and hopefully gain some consistency on the number of rounds a single game should last.

Let's see if this is a step in the right direction.
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PXR5
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I like the idea Julian and I appreciate the effort you are putting in. Some good ideas.
 
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Steven Dos Santos
United States
Hallandale
Florida
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robertgibson wrote:
To be honest my initial idea was to reduce the win condition to 1 mystery for all ancient ones. I am not sure if that wouldn't be too drastic of a change and possibly lead to unexciting games where your only task is to kill an epic monster.


Going to be playing my first game of this with 5 who have also never played. Was thinking of starting with the solve just 1 mystery win condition (without altering anything else) so everyone can get their feet wet and it won't take 8 hours to play.
 
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Julian Baltuttis
Germany
Leipzig
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When playing vanilla we often took a dynamic approach to handling the amount of mysteries. If the first mystery took us over two hours to solve, we sometimes decided to just play one more final mystery.

This isn't ideal, but better than forcing yourselves to play 5 hours of a game you stop enjoying at the three hour mark.
 
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Davy Ashleydale
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robertgibson wrote:
This isn't ideal, but better than forcing yourselves to play 5 hours of a game you stop enjoying at the three hour mark.


What is this "stop enjoying" thing you speak of?
 
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