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Geert Vinaskov
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In my language there's a saying that goes: "Cursing in the Church".

And I'm going to do just that here.

"I don't like Arkham Horror The Board Game. I think it's random event after random event instead of a story. And to top it off, making the grand finale of the game punching Cthulu or R'lyeh in the face is just ridicilous."

As an avid Science Fiction reader, I've read Mountains, and while the verbose prose of Lovecraft didn't appeal to me personally, I like the plot, mythos and setting.

Mansions of Madness, however, is a game I'm very fond of. In contrast to Arkham Horror it features a good structured story, and it doesn't involve boxing matches with interdimensional beings.

So, after this overly long introduction and usage of unnecessary words (just like our buddy Purple Prose Phillips would've wanted), it is time to come to my questions:

First. Does Arkham Horror The Card Game have a "structured story" like Mansion of Madness?

Second. Is there ever the option to physically punch Cthulu in the face? If so, I'm out.
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Justin Robben
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Re: Are you punching Cthulu in the face?
I can answer the first of your questions.

It does have a storyline, a natural narrative that is set up by the campaign mode.
It feels almost RPG-like, in some ways.

As for punching Great Old Ones in the belly...
I have not reached a point where I've seen that. I don't want things spoiled for me, nor will I spoil them, as the game is dependant on the 'surprise' element of each scenario.

I doubt this will happen, but cannot say from certain experience.

Brilliant post, btw. It was a fun read, hehe
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Re: Are you punching Cthulu in the face?
If you like MoM for the story aspect, you will definitely like the campaign structure of this game. Your decisions and outcomes affect later scenarios in different ways. I've played the first scenario 5 times now and still enjoy it because there are 3 different possible outcomes for each scenario (at least so far).

Are you punching otherworldly things in the face? Uh, you are definitely combating them. It's too early to tell if you will be crushing Cthulhu's noggin with your fists though. Right now, the core game feels a little more grounded than that but anything is possible with a bazillion expansions coming out over the next few years.
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Matthew McFarland
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Re: Are you punching Cthulu in the face?
Don't think I've thought about it before, but aside from ancillary effects and themed monsters, there's not any GOOs even in the game.
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Matt Steski
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Re: Are you punching Cthulu in the face?
Geert Vinaskov wrote:
First. Does Arkham Horror The Card Game has a "structured story" like Mansion of Madness?


Yes. Each scenario in a campaign has an "Act" deck which is a series of objectives the investigators need to accomplish, and an "Agenda" deck which is a serious of nefarious things the bad guys want to accomplish. They both progress in a set order.

In the larger meta-structure of a campaign there is also a narrative order. For example the first scenario might have you investigating Innsmouth townsfolk, then the second scenario would involve escaping from their attack on your hotel, the third convincing the government to raid Y'ha-nthlei, etc.

Geert Vinaskov wrote:

Second. Is there ever the option to physically punch Cthulu in the face? If so, I'm out.


How about the option to hit him with a steamboat?

The core set campaign doesn't involve Cthulhu. However... (core campaign spoilers ahead):
Spoiler (click to reveal)
It is possible to get in a confrontation with an Ancient One summoned by cultists. It seems much more of a minor entity than Cthulhu or any of the GOOs. I guess it's possible to defeat it physically, but I've played the scenario 5 times now and never come close.

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oldschoolgamr
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Re: Are you punching Cthulu in the face?
Have you read "Call of Cthulhu"?

Might be a good read before you call "Punching Cthulhu in the face" ridiculous. Just Saying - there is face punching.

Also, FFG's Arkham Files IP is NOT a direct adaptation of Lovecraft's mythos. It is inspired by it - but not a full implementation of it (which wouldn't be nearly as fun or entertaining IMO).

Also, there is a Mansions scenario (#2 - I think), that is in fact a big monster face off.

So I think in most of the FFG Arkham Files games you are going to see a spectrum of story - the extent of which depends on the replayability and structured design of the game... I would rate from structured story to random story:

Mansions | The Card Game | Eldritch | The Board Game | Elder Sign

Also - ALL of the games have instances of physical/mental bouts versus Elder Gods. They are the protagonists and the weapons you have are earthly (shotgun/dynamite) and spiritual (spells/artifacts).

What I like about all of these is the possibility of so many things happening, playing out, and making a narrative. The extent of the sensibility of that narrative depends on which way to a one-shot the game leans. The less it does, the more imagination is required to fill in the gaps on a "full" story. My mind does this well, which is how I have racked up 40 plays of Eldritch and counting... 16 of the card game... and 6 of Mansions (just two scenarios - so the app does allow for replayability despite its structure - amazing).

OSG
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Jonatan Rueløkke
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Re: Are you punching Cthulu in the face?
As the others mentions.

Question 1: Yes there is a good story and compared to Mansions, each investigator also has their own little story going with cards that actually fits that characters background story.

Question 2: This is a bit harder to answer, my best bet is an answer that i am happy about but you might not be.

In the core its a short introductory campaign. Therefore none of the real Ancient Ones are used.

However from some things in the box so far that i wont spoil here, i would guess that each 8 part campaign can end with you going up against an Ancient one. However this will not be the optimal way of completing the campaign and if you end up going up against an Ancient One you will lose 99,9% of the time and even if you somehow manage to win, it will be worse than if you stopped the Ancient One from awakening in the first place.

I totally agree with you that it is a bit silly that we can beat an ancient one, but at the same time i am happy if we get to try However futile the attempts might be.
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Greg Purcell
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Geert Vinaskov wrote:
In my language there's a saying that goes: "Cursing in the Church".

And I'm going to do just that here.

"I don't like Arkham Horror The Board Game. I think it's random event after random event instead of a story. And to top it off, making the grand finale of the game punching Cthulu or R'lyeh in the face is just ridicilous."

As an avid Science Fiction reader, I've read Mountains, and while the verbose prose of Lovecraft didn't appeal to me personally, I like the plot, mythos and setting.

Mansions of Madness, however, is a game I'm very fond of. In contrast to Arkham Horror it features a good structured story, and it doesn't involve boxing matches with interdimensional beings.

So, after this overly long introduction and usage of unnecessary words (just like our buddy Purple Prose Phillips would've wanted), it is time to come to my questions:

First. Does Arkham Horror The Card Game have a "structured story" like Mansion of Madness?

Second. Is there ever the option to physically punch Chthulu in the face? If so, I'm out.


This is a great question.

What I hear you saying is, "how recombinatory is this game?" I think there's a lot of disconnect between gamers who get their stories from games and gamers who get their stories from books.

The more recombinations you can make, the more you get massive howlers like "punching Chthulu in the face in the parlor with the candlestick," which would never work within the curated atmosphere of a written work.

I agree with you. I get thrown right out of a game when the recombinatory aspects take over, though I can see why some people would find it hilarious.

This game is an LCG, which means there will be a massive amount of recombination.
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David Jensen
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The game gives a satisfactory (Chtulu) experience of fighting. It's not easy! You'll need weapons and luck or you get eaten.

Yes one time we fought a monster without a weapon. Did we punch him? No. storyline (our imaginations) suggested we pulled down a book case and smashed the rats.

You could argue you never kill a monster he simply retreats because he expected an easier fight. Unaware of his own powers (or conscience of his laziness) he retreated to fight another day.

In any game you have something abstract and if that is not satisfying. Use your imagination to bridge the gap.

I think you'll like the game a lot of story is important to you. I felt this was an RPG more so than most other games I've played.

Good luck. After you play please share your thoughts.
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Scott Dockery
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Drakthalos wrote:
However from some things in the box so far that i wont spoil here, i would guess that each 8 part campaign can end with you going up against an Ancient one. However this will not be the optimal way of completing the campaign and if you end up going up against an Ancient One you will lose 99,9% of the time and even if you somehow manage to win, it will be worse than if you stopped the Ancient One from awakening in the first place.


Well, from the spoiled French titles of the future scenarios,
Spoiler (click to reveal)
It appears that the Dunwich Legacy will ultimately lead you to Yog-Sothoth's domain. Obviously, it makes no sense to "punch Yog-Sothoth in the face" since Yog-Sothoth doesn't even have a face to punch. Note also that in Eldritch Horror, which generally cares more about the individual AO's lore than Arkham did, you cannot defeat Yog-Sothoth in direct combat. When he awakens in Eldritch, you're forced to perform various non-combat rituals to repair the boundaries.

All that's to say that I doubt you'll be directly fighting an Ancient One in this campaign. We'll probably have at least one major boss (Dunwich Horror 2.0?), but it won't be Yog-Sothoth. The final confrontation will be something else entirely.


As for the Core scenario,
Spoiler (click to reveal)
the Ancient One is an FFG original that seems to be loosely based off Clark Ashton Smith's Mordiggian (from "The Charnel God"). You spend most of the scenario trying to prevent its summoning; if you fail, you can defeat it, but it's extremely difficult to do so, and the campaign guide treats your battle as more of a banishment than anything else (and slaps you with some major trauma for simply being in such an entity's presence).
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mathew rynich
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question 1 has been answered pretty well.

question 2 has been answered but more generically I think based on the currently released material (core set + Rougarou) we can safely say that the design team seems to always want to give you a combat solution and one or more non-combat solutions and some downer endings (everybody dies etc).

That's good because some investigators can be built such that they are good at combat and not good at other stuff and vice versa (and everywhere in between judging by the spoilers).

Most of the time it seems like you want to walk somewhere in the middle to get the more desirable branches within reasonable difficulty.

Now for a bit of a safety spoiler tag, but it's still in generic terms

Spoiler (click to reveal)
We don't see an actual GOO. We do see cards that reference GOO's but not them appearing on the board as monsters you can fight. We do see one Ancient One if you fail to stop a summoning, but the combat option against it is horrendously hard and I've never killed it. I've seen focused Roland builds for taking it down though.

I would expect that in the larger campaign cycles it will be possible (just like in Chaosium's RPG). that we might eventually see the possibility of a GOO walking the earth and confronting us, but I don't think it will become common placed if that is what you are worried about. The Arkham Files games are pulpy, but not cartoonishly so.
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Evan Sparks
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Sassycat wrote:

How about the option to hit him with a steamboat?


People always seem to forget this bit. And the raid, and ending, of Charles Dexter Ward. And the barrels of sulphuric acid in The Shunned House. And the gunfights with the Mi-Go in The Whisperer in the Darkness. OP should probably read some more Lovecraft before making such statements, particularly since I doubt any game is going to end with someone punching a city in the face. No offence OP

Question though, having not played Arkham Horror only Eldritch, does it always end like that in AH? In EH defeating the GOO through combat is, from memory, only possible for a small number of them (off the top of my head I can only name Cthulhu, which is as mentioned, lore-friendly*)

*Of course it's only a temporary defeat of a physical form, which will renew in time.
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Jean-Philippe Garcia Ballester
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mr_appleby wrote:
Question though, having not played Arkham Horror only Eldritch, does it always end like that in AH?


No, the general winning outcome is sealing portals. Fighting the GOO almost always results in investigators' death.
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Evan Sparks
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Thanks, I thought that sounded a bit odd.
 
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Michael D. Kelley
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If the OP is asking specifically about PUNCHING a big bad to death, it's basically impossible in this game. Unlike in Arkham or Eldritch, weapons add bonuses AND increase the damage an attack deals.

Without a weapon, you are stuck dealing 1 damage per attack, except for a small number of allies or skill cards.

So not only is it almost impossible to hit big nasties without a weapon, but even if you do hit you'll achieve next to nothing damage-wise.

Now, if the OP is asking about killing GOOs in general, with dynamite and shotguns and the like, I'm sure later scenarios will feature this possibility, but make it very tough.
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Jeremie Miller
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There is also a pretty epic battle at the end Dunwich Horror. Not narrated like fancy fight scenes in today's books/movies, but there is a direct confrontation in that story.

I don't have the knowledge of Lovecraft to know if the fight at the end is with an Great Old One, Elder God, Ancient one, or just a monster....maybe it is just a monster, but a big one?
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Rosen Crantz
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Geert Vinaskov wrote:

First. Does Arkham Horror The Card Game have a "structured story" like Mansion of Madness?


Yes, absolutely. The board games (arkham and eldritch) give you an overall objective to complete and then fill the space inbetween with random events. The card game, feels more like choose-your-own-adventure books I used to read as a kid. Instead of a very linear progression from start to finish, the game does offer some options you can take as you complete objectives. Each scenario even has different resolutions depending on the choices you made. And here, unlike the board games, losing doesn't necessarily mean the campaign ends.

While it does still feature random events via the encounter deck draws each round, that encounter deck is tailor made for that specific scenario. So it won't be a massive pool of every monster or card you've collected through the expansions, like the board games.

The narrative progression is also very objective. You'll have multiple Acts (i.e. objectives) to complete in sequence (think quest lines in RPG's) that make sense. For example, in the first scenario, your first Act is to escape the room. Once you do that, you flip to the second Act which is a completely different objective, then the third Act is yet another different objective. And you continue like this until you win or lose. Likewise, instead of a straight doom tracker, the enemy follows an Agenda which is like a quest line you DON'T want the doom to progress. Like the Act deck for investigators, the Agenda deck for enemies follows a narrative storyline for the baddies. Each usually having a negative impact or introducing something to hamper your progress. The game continues until either the Act deck is completed, the Agenda deck is completed, or the investigators are defeated/resign.



Geert Vinaskov wrote:

Second. Is there ever the option to physically punch Cthulu in the face? If so, I'm out.


Not really. There is a possibility of a GOO being summoned, but you'll generally be focusing on trying to complete your Act deck before that happens! And even if it does happen, you still have options on how to fight it or not.
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GFWD wrote:
There is also a pretty epic battle at the end Dunwich Horror. Not narrated like fancy fight scenes in today's books/movies, but there is a direct confrontation in that story.

I don't have the knowledge of Lovecraft to know if the fight at the end is with an Great Old One, Elder God, Ancient one, or just a monster....maybe it is just a monster, but a big one?


So what was it indeed?

H.P Lovecraft wrote:
Armitage chose his words very carefully.
“It was—well, it was mostly a kind of force that doesn’t belong in our part of space; a kind of force that acts and grows and shapes itself by other laws than those of our sort of Nature."


How did they punch it in the face?

H.P Lovecraft wrote:
Earl Sawyer now took the telescope and reported the three figures as standing on the topmost ridge, virtually level with the altar-stone but at a considerable distance from it. One figure, he said, seemed to be raising its hands above its head at rhythmic intervals; and as Sawyer mentioned the circumstance the crowd seemed to hear a faint, half-musical sound from the distance, as if a loud chant were accompanying the gestures.


After which.
H.P Lovecraft wrote:
Armitage said. “It has been split up into what it was originally made of, and can never exist again. It was an impossibility in a normal world. Only the least fraction was really matter in any sense we know.


And then...
H.P Lovecraft wrote:
"I’m going to burn his accursed diary, and if you men are wise you’ll dynamite that altar-stone up there, and pull down all the rings of standing stones on the other hills."




Phoenix
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GFWD wrote:
I don't have the knowledge of Lovecraft to know if the fight at the end is with an Great Old One, Elder God, Ancient one, or just a monster....maybe it is just a monster, but a big one?


Lovecraft himself wouldn't have been able to answer you (Derleth's the one who sorted Lovecraft's monsters into categories). The whole point is that his creatures defy classification.

That said, beings like the Dunwich Horror and Cthulhu are on an entirely separate tier from Yog-Sothoth and Nyarlathotep and the like. The former come from a part of our world beyond our understanding; the latter are beyond our world altogether.

For instance, imagine that humanity is an ant colony. Wilbur's twin brother would be something like a voracious centipede. It's unfathomably powerful compared to the ants, it can do a great deal of harm to them, but (with a great deal of effort and sacrifice) the ants can ultimately kill it. Cthulhu is more like a careless child. The ants can potentially drive the child away, but barring a ludicrous amount of luck on their behalf (such as a rare allergic reaction), they have little hope of dealing serious harm (relative to the lifetime of a human being, of course!).

Yog-Sothoth, on the other hand, is more like human society. The ants have no chance of effecting any meaningful change on it. One day, some person could hire an exterminator, or the city could pave over the lot to build a strip mall, and that would be it for the ants. Society, for its part, hardly registers the existence of a single ant colony, and so the ants continue to live.

And then we have Azathoth. Azathoth is you, the person reading this post. Everything, from the smallest ant in the colony to the planet that supports humanity, exists only in your imagination, and only so long as you entertain the thought. After you finish this post and these hypothetical constructs have no more value to you, your mind will move on to other matters, and this entire imaginary world will be no more.
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oldschoolgamr
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rsdockery wrote:
GFWD wrote:
I don't have the knowledge of Lovecraft to know if the fight at the end is with an Great Old One, Elder God, Ancient one, or just a monster....maybe it is just a monster, but a big one?


Lovecraft himself wouldn't have been able to answer you (Derleth's the one who sorted Lovecraft's monsters into categories). The whole point is that his creatures defy classification.

That said, beings like the Dunwich Horror and Cthulhu are on an entirely separate tier from Yog-Sothoth and Nyarlathotep and the like. The former come from a part of our world beyond our understanding; the latter are beyond our world altogether.

For instance, imagine that humanity is an ant colony. Wilbur's twin brother would be something like a voracious centipede. It's unfathomably powerful compared to the ants, it can do a great deal of harm to them, but (with a great deal of effort and sacrifice) the ants can ultimately kill it. Cthulhu is more like a careless child. The ants can potentially drive the child away, but barring a ludicrous amount of luck on their behalf (such as a rare allergic reaction), they have little hope of dealing serious harm (relative to the lifetime of a human being, of course!).

Yog-Sothoth, on the other hand, is more like human society. The ants have no chance of effecting any meaningful change on it. One day, some person could hire an exterminator, or the city could pave over the lot to build a strip mall, and that would be it for the ants. Society, for its part, hardly registers the existence of a single ant colony, and so the ants continue to live.

And then we have Azathoth. Azathoth is you, the person reading this post. Everything, from the smallest ant in the colony to the planet that supports humanity, exists only in your imagination, and only so long as you entertain the thought. After you finish this post and these hypothetical constructs have no more value to you, your mind will move on to other matters, and this entire imaginary world will be no more.


This is the best ever. GG Achieved. Nice. Love it. I have listened to a lot of people weigh in on Lovecraft and try to describe his world building - this is the best response I have ever seen to date. Kudos.

OSG
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It was my life, like all lives, mysterious and irrevocable and sacred. So very close, so very present, so very belonging to me. How wild it was to let it be.
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oldschoolgamr wrote:
rsdockery wrote:
GFWD wrote:
I don't have the knowledge of Lovecraft to know if the fight at the end is with an Great Old One, Elder God, Ancient one, or just a monster....maybe it is just a monster, but a big one?


Lovecraft himself wouldn't have been able to answer you (Derleth's the one who sorted Lovecraft's monsters into categories). The whole point is that his creatures defy classification.

That said, beings like the Dunwich Horror and Cthulhu are on an entirely separate tier from Yog-Sothoth and Nyarlathotep and the like. The former come from a part of our world beyond our understanding; the latter are beyond our world altogether.

For instance, imagine that humanity is an ant colony. Wilbur's twin brother would be something like a voracious centipede. It's unfathomably powerful compared to the ants, it can do a great deal of harm to them, but (with a great deal of effort and sacrifice) the ants can ultimately kill it. Cthulhu is more like a careless child. The ants can potentially drive the child away, but barring a ludicrous amount of luck on their behalf (such as a rare allergic reaction), they have little hope of dealing serious harm (relative to the lifetime of a human being, of course!).

Yog-Sothoth, on the other hand, is more like human society. The ants have no chance of effecting any meaningful change on it. One day, some person could hire an exterminator, or the city could pave over the lot to build a strip mall, and that would be it for the ants. Society, for its part, hardly registers the existence of a single ant colony, and so the ants continue to live.

And then we have Azathoth. Azathoth is you, the person reading this post. Everything, from the smallest ant in the colony to the planet that supports humanity, exists only in your imagination, and only so long as you entertain the thought. After you finish this post and these hypothetical constructs have no more value to you, your mind will move on to other matters, and this entire imaginary world will be no more.


This is the best ever. GG Achieved. Nice. Love it. I have listened to a lot of people weigh in on Lovecraft and try to describe his world building - this is the best response I have ever seen to date. Kudos.

OSG

F'ing brilliant! Thank you very much. I've never heard it explained like that before. Wonderful. Keep dropping knowledge like that. I'm so motivated to go read more HPL now.
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Jeremie Miller
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Thanks, that is a greatly helpful post.

And considering how many times I have seen people attack others for trying to explain Lovecraft, a very brave post as well

I figured Wilbur's brother, in the overall scheme of things, was a pretty minor entity, but because my knowledge is limited I didn't want to try and classify him/it.

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