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Subject: Starting to make a Custom Playmat. rss

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Des T.
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I recently noticed my board is on the verge of falling apart. Since I'm somewhat creatively talented, and I love what Caoba did with his custom board, I decided to make my own custom playmat to replace the current one. I've already gathered a few ideas on graphics and layout, but I thought I'd turn to other veterans to see what they think an Arkham Horror board should and (shouldn't) include.

Ideas I'm currently throwing around:
1.) "un-abstract" the board in a similiar manner as Caoba did, to bring the design closer to an actual town map
2.) Reduce time spent counting things on board by adding monster and gate counters
3.) use an "outskirts" bar to reduce time spent counting
4.) downscale OWs and locations slightly
5.) replace most of the text on the board spaces by pictograms
6.) add explanations/pictograms for the most commonly asked symbols/rules: Lurker gates, consequences of Zero Health/Sanity/LITAS, (anything else?)
7.) display playercount based numbers in the appropiate area, and only up to six players
8.) german and english names for locations and regions to a lessen confusion?
9.) mark unstable locations by a red border instead of the diamonds?

Feedback me!
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M.C.Crispy
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Aren't 2 and 7 the same things? Where are the "appropriate location"(s) for the Gate and Monster Limits? (You could have Gate draw pile on the board, but a monster cup on the board?...)

I quite like the idea of an Outskirts Track: you could have squares big enough for the monster tokens and indicate the Outskirts limit for each player count with a number in the appropriate square. Might work

I suspect that the "time counting" that you save will be countered by the time looking up your pictograms trying to remember the text that they replaced. You could end up with a whole mess of pictograms on the board.

Conversely, adding a player aid to the board is only going to help the people that can read it. Useful for solo play, less so for multiplayer. It might more usefully go on a player mat (though I don't think that these are useful in AH)

Changing the unstable location indicator is purely a matter of taste, not functionality.
 
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Des T.
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Update: Figured out a layout that should work. Now I'm upsizing it to the mat size to see how it would look.



mccrispy wrote:
Aren't 2 and 7 the same things? Where are the "appropriate location"(s) for the Gate and Monster Limits? (You could have Gate draw pile on the board, but a monster cup on the board?...)


Not exactly. 2 is about adding tracks that don't exist, while 7 refers to all tracks.

Quote:
I quite like the idea of an Outskirts Track: you could have squares big enough for the monster tokens and indicate the Outskirts limit for each player count with a number in the appropriate square. Might work


Those were exactly my plans

Quote:
I suspect that the "time counting" that you save will be countered by the time looking up your pictograms trying to remember the text that they replaced. You could end up with a whole mess of pictograms on the board. Conversely, adding a player aid to the board is only going to help the people that can read it. Useful for solo play, less so for multiplayer. It might more usefully go on a player mat (though I don't think that these are useful in AH)


If you look at the pictograms Caoba uses, you'll see that they're easily understandable for people who have played AH. They're mostly supposed to work as a reminder for numbers ("How many gate tokens do I need for blessings?") and so on. That reasoning is the same as for stuff we always seem to look up: KO, Insanity, LITAS and Lurker Gates. There's enough room around the edges to add the aids, since the mat is a huge 60x70cm

Thanks for the feedback
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Des T.
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Update: Today I noticed I made an oops: The missus and I do play with two investigators quite often, so I can't plan the tracks for 4-6 players. I'll have to fix the layout, since the gate and outskirts tracks will be longer.

TL;DR version:


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Des T.
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Update: Figured out the new layout and transferred it. After realizing it wouldn't take up much playmat space, I decided to make all tracks able to support 1-8 players, after all.

I'll keep posting updates for as long as interest remains.
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Des T.
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Woohoo! Another Update!



The layout is finally coming together. Streets (and Miskatonic River) seperate the various city areas. It was surprisingly easy to map the locations once the streets were in place.

The next step will be mathcrafting various sizes to scale. Have you ever wondered how wide Miskatonic River is? Or how long the South Church is? What about the size of Independant Square?

Yeah... I'll have to google a ton of stuff.
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Des T.
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Only a tiny update this week. I didn't get around to much, but I did manage to grab some building layouts off google maps and transfer them to the map.

If you look close enough, you can see the train station, the asylum and the graveyard are detailed, now.



I'll be working my way from location to location, I'm expecting it to actually look like a map, at some point.

I'm also considering leaving out the closeup images of the individual locations and replacing them with a map highlight. Alternately, I could go with a small picture in the style of a 1920s photograph. Currently undecided, but I've still got time to meditate on it.
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Des T.
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Oh, look!
Arkham now has a hospital, docks, a church and the university.



I'm not fully happy with the size of the university, though. It's about 50% larger than it should be. I think I made a math whoopsie when scaling it.

Speaking of whoopsies... Have you ever noticed that Merchant District doesn't have any shops, and Rivertown doesn't have anything water related? Seems someone accidentally swapped the names around while layouting the board.

Probably old news to most veteran's though.
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Fernando Santos
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Keep doing that good work, i will wait goo
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Jeff Hoffman
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DeS_Tructive wrote:

Speaking of whoopsies... Have you ever noticed that Merchant District doesn't have any shops, and Rivertown doesn't have anything water related? Seems someone accidentally swapped the names around while layouting the board.

Probably old news to most veteran's though.


According to this threadhttps://boardgamegeek.com/thread/553690/rivertown-and-mercha..., others have researched this and the board is correct.
 
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Des T.
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Gamemaster wrote:
...others have researched this and the board is correct.


I looked that sourcebook up. I couldn't find any verification for the "...Rivertown is the old trade district of Arkham...The merchant district is the "new" rivertown..." claim.

Also, that sourcebook lists police station and jail in Downtown, the curiosity shop in the Merchant District and St. Mary's on the university campus. The information should be taken with a grain of salt.
 
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Lewis Karl
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The terms Rivertown and Merchant District never appear in Lovecraft fiction so it's all embellishment anyway.
 
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Des T.
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I'm still alive!

Between taking up bouldering with the wife, Gloomhaven arriving on my doorstep, attempting to figure out some sort of sensible storage solution for GH, learning how to foamcore by creating inserts for AH so I can create a sensible storage solution for GH, sculpting a shrine to display the GOO, the playmat project was even further on the "low priority" tier.

Got around to working on it today, though, and managed to clean it up a bit, removing unnecessary layout aids. Slow and steady, blablabla

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Jon Simpson
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interesting thread, i had my own design for this back when I still had a copy of the game. It’s fair to say the original design could be improved quite a bit...loved the game but disliked the board.
 
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Des T.
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redeye wrote:
interesting thread, i had my own design for this back when I still had a copy of the game. It’s fair to say the original design could be improved quite a bit...loved the game but disliked the board.


Thanks!
Arkham got me hooked on "pimp my game" projects. It gives players a ton of room for optimisation, customisation and personalisation. It's also extremely gratifying to actually achieve that five minute setup/teardown mark while still playing a "funnest" personal variant.
 
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Des T.
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Cleanup is done. The port and train station look a lot better now.

I decided to route the train tracks further through Arkham and started working on the streets. It's starting to look like an actual map!

I also added Indy Square (and even made some markings for the gypsy camp).



I'm moderately certain the project will be done before 2019

Notes to self:
- Add an act track to layout
- Notes "to Dunwich", "Kingsport 20 miles", etc.
 
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Des T.
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Aaaand I've got the streets at a point I'm happy with.



Next time will be focused on "landscaping", i.e.: adding buildings trees, etc. I might also be able to start on finalizing the setup with permanent marker.
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Des T.
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Not really an update, but a request for help.

Once I'm done finalizing the layout, I'll be needing names. Lots of names. Names for streets, schools, landmarks, and so on.

While some names are obvious: Main Street, Dunwich Road, Pickman Avenue, and the likes, it'll be a hassle to look through Arkham Horror and lovecraftian tales for names.

So I've decided to outsource.

I'll reward GG for names (with brief explanations why they were suggested). How does one for every ten sound?

Here's some ideas to get you started:

Lovecraft and Family
Howard Phillips Lovecraft
Lewis Theobald (Lovecraft alias)
Humphrey Littlewit (Lovecraft alias)
Ward Phillips (Lovecraft alias)
Edward Softly (Lovecraft alias)
Sonia Green (his wife)

Mythos Authors
Clark Ashton Smith (member of the Lovecraft Circle)
Robert E. Howard (member of the Lovecraft Circle)
Robert Bloch (member of the Lovecraft Circle)
Frank Belknap Long (member of the Lovecraft Circle)
Henry Kuttner (member of the Lovecraft Circle)
Henry S. Whitehead (member of the Lovecraft Circle)
Fritz Leiber (member of the Lovecraft Circle)
August Derleth (defined the Mythos)

AH/CoC Canon Locations
Dunwich (obvious)
Innsmouth (obvious)
Kingsport (obvious)
The Museum (Pharaoh reference)
The Corbitt House (CoC classical adventure)
Water Street (from original map of Arkham)
River Street (from original map of Arkham)
Main Street (from original map of Arkham)
Church Street (from original map of Arkham)
Lich Street (from original map of Arkham)
College Street (from original map of Arkham)
Pickman Street (from original map of Arkham)
High Street (from original map of Arkham)
Saltonstall Street (from original map of Arkham)
Miskatonic Avenue (from original map of Arkham)
Garrison Street (from original map of Arkham)
Parsonage Street (from original map of Arkham)
Walnut Street (from original map of Arkham)
Peabody Avenue (from original map of Arkham)
Powder Mill Street (from original map of Arkham)
French Hill Street (from original map of Arkham)
Sentinel Street (from original map of Arkham)
East Street (from original map of Arkham)
Hill Street Street (from original map of Arkham)
Christchurch Cemetary (from original map of Arkham)
East Church (from original map of Arkham)
West Church (from original map of Arkham)
East Church (from original map of Arkham)
Baptist Church (from original map of Arkham)
Crane Street (from original map of Arkham)
French Doctor's House (from original map of Arkham)

Tributes and shout-outs
Richard Launius (AH Game Designer)
Kevin Wilson (AH Game Designer)
Sandy Petersen (also wrote the Call of Cthuhlu RPG)
Daniel Clark (another Game Designer)
Michael Hurley (more Game Designers)
Tim Uren (more Game Designers)
Charlie Krank (so)
Robert Vaughn (many)
Lynn Willis (Game Designers)
Ragnar Tørnquist (worked on The Secret World)
Anne Lise Waal (worked on The Secret World)
Martin Bruusgaard (worked on The Secret World)
Joel Bylos (worked on The Secret World)
Øystein Eftevaag (worked on The Secret World)
Christer Sveen (worked on The Secret World)
Dag Scheve (worked on The Secret World)
 
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