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Arkham Horror: The Card Game» Forums » General

Subject: Table Talk - roleplaying v winning rss

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Danny Frahm
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I'm torn by the "table talk" suggestion on page 12 that this game seeks to establish a roleplaying experience. We should stay in character. On one hand you can be more immersed, which is great. On the other hand you'll probably fail more. I'd also need to resist my urge to strategically approach the game and that kind of discussion.

Who is playing this game by the "table talk" suggestion? And who is using math to win? What do you think is more fun?
 
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Kelly B
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FinalAttack wrote:
I'm torn by the "table talk" suggestion on page 12 that this game seeks to establish a roleplaying experience. We should stay in character. On one hand you can be more immersed, which is great. On the other hand you'll probably fail more. I'd also need to resist my urge to strategically approach the game and that kind of discussion.

Who is playing this game by the "table talk" suggestion? And who is using math to win? What do you think is more fun?


I'd be hard pressed to consider role playing a way that makes it more able to lose. Of course you can ignore this suggestion in the rulebook. Role playing doesn't inhibit a win if you are skilled at it. Just think of a way of saying things in your character's voice that represents strategy. It is great for immersion as you say.
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Richard
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No offense to the game designers, but role play? Hogwash. This is a card game. A wonderfully thematic and story-telling game, but not a role-play game. I do have fun trying to come up with thematic reasons for what's going on and enjoying the unfolding story, but this is a far cry from role-play.

Unless you remove all the cards and I can tell you exactly what I want my character to do in the game at every move, then it's not a role-play game.

I really wish we could define story-rich or adventure genres so they don't get blurred with role-play, especially these days when there seems to be confusion between "speaking in character" and RPGs.

In short, I'm not limiting my talk based upon some weird role-play guidelines.
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Danny Frahm
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happycatmachine wrote:

I'd be hard pressed to consider role playing a way that makes it more able to lose. Of course you can ignore this suggestion in the rulebook. Role playing doesn't inhibit a win if you are skilled at it. Just think of a way of saying things in your character's voice that represents strategy. It is great for immersion as you say.


The suggestion on page 12 says you should avoid discussing cards names, modifiers on your card. Knowing more precise information greatly increase the chance of the games overall success.

So for example, if I'm considering either investigating or fighting a monster, understanding whats available based on specific available modifiers would greatly inform this decision. If we can get the combat modifier to +4 it's a 50% chance of success but if we can only get it to +3 it only a 25% chance.

In these terms it's super hard to code everything rather than just talk about target modifier thresholds.
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Bobby Marino
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This rule simply exists so that one alpha player doesn't control the other 1-3 players and tell them everything to do. It exists to remind us that this may be a co-op game, but each player is their own investigator. Which to me is fair. I don't need to roleplay my character, but I also don't need to wait several minutes between actions so players can share everything they have and everything they can do, determine what is the best move, and finally playing it.
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Kelly B
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FinalAttack wrote:
happycatmachine wrote:

I'd be hard pressed to consider role playing a way that makes it more able to lose. Of course you can ignore this suggestion in the rulebook. Role playing doesn't inhibit a win if you are skilled at it. Just think of a way of saying things in your character's voice that represents strategy. It is great for immersion as you say.


The suggestion on page 12 says you should avoid discussing cards names, modifiers on your card. Knowing more precise information greatly increase the chance of the games overall success.

So for example, if my friend is considering either investigating or fighting a monster, understanding whats available based on specific available modifiers would greatly inform this decision. If we can get the combat modifier to +4 it's a 50% chance of success but if we can only get it to +3 it only a 25% chance.

In these terms it's super hard to code everything rather than just talk about target modifier thresholds.


"Quick, I can help you out here bit, do you need it?!"

"Oh crap, I do. It looks like I might be in danger, can you distract it somehow? I need a 'hand'!"

Or, I need you to 'think' of a way out of this."

and so on. I just role play it and you don't have to use terminology in the game and can word things well.

This is one of the reasons I love FFG's Arkham fiction. They really display what is going on in the minds of the designers there. The Investigators book coming out soon should clarify some of these things as well.

Enjoy!

Playing CoC RPG helps but is not required.
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mathew rynich
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It is primarily to combat alpha gaming. That is the truth. All Co-Op card games have this rule (at least all the ones I've played). I recommend you do stick to the rule otherwise some players may feel bullied.

If you are playing to win only, I find that might not be the way this game was meant to be played. This game feels like it's trying to be a storytelling game. One where you and a couple friends recreate a Lovecraft short story. Most of the time those stories end with madness, death or the heroes running away in terror. Rarely do they end with the heroes coming out on top. If you aren't prepared to fail in thrilling ways I think you might not like this game all that much. That's me. I'm sure people will disagree.
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Ryan Messick
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I'm sorry, imo, this game is way too mechanics heavy and fiddly to allow this rpg table talk to work.
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mathew rynich
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That's your opinion so I can't really say you are wrong. I can say I do not agree at all. For a point of comparison SotM is the fiddliest game in existence and it relies on it's table talk rule as one of it's core concepts. I can't see playing that game any other way. Also I don't think game is really fiddly at all. It's actually pretty breezy to play, and everyone I've taught it to so far seems to feel the same way. I'm not saying the game is easy. It was easy to teach and people were up and playing after a I do the setup and give a quick rules explanation giving them an overview of the game and the structure of a turn.
 
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Scott Hill
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My group seem to have found a comfortable middle ground with this.

We will say stuff like "I can give you a +1", when considering committing cards to skill checks, but are more 'in character' when discussing broader strategy - "if you can handle that enemy, I'll go explore this other location, or do you need me to come help?", for example.
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Hey Danny,

I find role-playing to increase the enjoyment of my overall experience with games. I think a lot of people have missed on what role-playing aspects you may have been referring to. Role-playing is not exclusive to games where your character has absolute free will. I enjoy adding role-playing elements to my games, which does increase the difficulty of the game itself. However, I prefer playing at a slightly easier difficulty and fully role-play. The best is the character development and sometimes you get really nice surprises!

As an example, whilst playing Eldritch Horror, the best move for a particular investigator in a given turn is to close a gate that will advance doom the next turn. However, that investigator has a phobia of those gates after what happened to him last time... In Lost Carcossa... the memory still Haunts him. (Insert tiny monologue for character here) He is not feeling it at all and would rather go to Tokyo to see if they can't help him out - he knows a guy.
Same goes for Arkham Horror - should I keep clues to seal or not? Stop asking YOURSELF, instead ask yourself what would Jim Culver, the smooth jazz player from down South do in a sticky situation. Would Jim calculate the perfect note to play... Naw man... He just let the tunes flow (Uses clues for reroll - Jim dies horribly) - Ultimately Jim's carefree lifestyle cost him... etc etc.

Same goes for other tactical/strategy based co-op games I play. Only works with the right people though. If anyone is too interested in "Winning" your not gonna have a good time. Since this game is more about resolutions and story through campaign I think it would be a great addition. As you say it really helps with immersion and prevents a game from becoming a bunch of logic calculations that are re-evaluated as new information arises. You become someone!

The really great thing IMO is when you are doing something in character, which is clearly not the BEST move available, and a series of random events trigger as a result of your character based decision that progresses the game forward far better than the obvious BEST move could have.

Just my 2c
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Scott Hill
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I think that one thing a lot of people seem to miss about this game, and which ties in to the role-playing aspect, is:

There is no win or lose, in this game, only different resolutions!
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MC Shudde M'ell
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Scorpion0x17 wrote:
I think that one thing a lot of people seem to miss about this game, and which ties in to the role-playing aspect, is:

There is no win or lose, in this game, only different resolutions!


Technically true, but we're playing cards optimally and upgrading decks with certain outcomes in mind. Even if it's not being scored with points, I'm going to think about losing an Investigator to Madness as a defeat, and saving the world as a victory.
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B.D. Flory
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Scorpion0x17 wrote:
I think that one thing a lot of people seem to miss about this game, and which ties in to the role-playing aspect, is:

There is no win or lose, in this game, only different resolutions!


You're mistaken. Some resolutions actually say the investigators win. Others do not.

You may not care, but no one is "missing" what is, essentially, your house rule.
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Scott Hill
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bd flory wrote:
Scorpion0x17 wrote:
I think that one thing a lot of people seem to miss about this game, and which ties in to the role-playing aspect, is:

There is no win or lose, in this game, only different resolutions!


You're mistaken. Some resolutions actually say the investigators win. Others do not.

You may not care, but no one is "missing" what is, essentially, your house rule.

Well, none of the resolutions I've seen say that.

If I've just not seen the resolutions that do say that then I stand corrected.

But, good job making assumptions there.
 
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B.D. Flory
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On the topic, there are legit game reasons for hidden information that have nothing to do with roleplaying. I wish they had made that sidebar a firm rule rather than a fuzzy suggestion.

"Players are encouraged," isn't much of a standard when you sit down to play a card game with strangers. You could still house rule anything you want, but imagine if they had said, "players are encouraged to use only level 0 cards at the beginning of a campaign, to reflect their investigators inexperience."
 
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B.D. Flory
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Scorpion0x17 wrote:
bd flory wrote:

You may not care, but no one is "missing" what is, essentially, your house rule.

Well, none of the resolutions I've seen say that.

If I've just not seen the resolutions that do say that then I stand corrected.

But, good job making assumptions there.


It's also in the rules under winning and losing, in the rrg. I guess I did assume you read the rules before declaring that other people were missing things. My bad.

I also said you "may not care," not that you definitely don't. Because I didn't know whether you don't care, or didn't see the rule. The difference is pretty immaterial, though, once you're telling other people they have it wrong.
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Scott Hill
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bd flory wrote:
Scorpion0x17 wrote:
bd flory wrote:

You may not care, but no one is "missing" what is, essentially, your house rule.

Well, none of the resolutions I've seen say that.

If I've just not seen the resolutions that do say that then I stand corrected.

But, good job making assumptions there.


It's also in the rules under winning and losing, in the rrg. I guess I did assume you read the rules before declaring that other people were missing things. My bad.

You mean the section in which they put win and lose in inverted commas, thus indicating that they are not to be read literally?

Oh, beside when your playing a one-off standalone scenario, which is itself a variant play mode.

Yeah, I read that.
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Scott Hill
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bd flory wrote:

I also said you "may not care," not that you definitely don't. Because I didn't know whether you don't care, or didn't see the rule. The difference is pretty immaterial, though, once you're telling other people they have it wrong.

In the same vein I said "seem to miss".
 
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B.D. Flory
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Scorpion0x17 wrote:

You mean the section in which they put win and lose in inverted commas, thus indicating that they are not to be read literally?


"Won" is in quotes because it's referring to sections of the campaign guide that literally say "The investigators win!" (Without the quotes.)

I promise the rules aren't being sarcastic. The rrg frequently uses double quotes when referring to game text, and should absolutely be read literally. Just as you would read it literally when it quotes phrases on cards to explain game effects.
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Scott Hill
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Like I said already:

If I've just not seen the resolutions that do say that then I stand corrected.
 
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B.D. Flory
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Scorpion0x17 wrote:

In the same vein I said "seem to miss".


Look, we could snipe all day. You posted bad information, I corrected it. I really don't care how you reached your conclusion, and I didn't assume anything. You were demonstrably mistaken when you said, "there is no win or lose."

Whether that's intentional or an oversight doesn't matter. If that's the way you play, it's functionally a house rule. How you choose to play is, of course, up to you.
 
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Christian Kløve
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Move to the Quiet Glade and heal some of the horror, will ya?


On topic: I was certainly told, in no uncertain terms that I lost the game

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... what with all the investigators being killed and what not


Don't know if you can win, but you can lose.
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MC Shudde M'ell
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Kløve wrote:
Don't know if you can win, but you can lose.


The key difference between losing in AHLCG and losing in most other solo/co-operative games is that you have a canonical path forward. It's not like a video game where you must go back and try again until you get it right. It's certainly not like LotRLCG in which there is one "true" story, the story in which Bilbo and Aragorn and everyone else triumphs and lives to fight another day. Picking up new Investigators for the next scenario is a disadvantage, but a totally thematic one, with ample precedent in Arkham Horror The Board Game and most especially Eldritch Horror - an EH game without an Investigator grave site is much less satisfying.
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B.D. Flory
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It'll be interesting to see how often investigators have to be replaced in the longer campaigns, and if running out is a real concern, or if the bigger problem is just coming in fresh with no xp (or trauma) in a late scenario.
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