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Subject: Adding Expansion Components to Base Game Components rss

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Lance Jones
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I want to ask about adding expansion components to base game components while using only the rules from the base game (with minor exceptions). I want to confirm that I have done so correctly, but I also want advice on what to use from a thematic perspective, irrespective of correctness. Due to this post's length, feel free to focus only on the questions in red. I have divided my comments and questions by expansion. I would appreciate any other feedback on expansion integration and thematic choices. Thanks in advance.


General

Unless stated otherwise, I added all Ancient Ones, Investigators, Arkham Location Cards, Common Items, Unique Items, Spells, Skills, Allies, and Monsters from all expansions to the base game. I also added components specific to an Ancient One (such as Shudde M'ell's Rubble Markers).

Unless stated otherwise, I did not add Mythos Cards, Gate Cards, Gate Markers, Mask Monsters and Spawn monsters (these are set aside), and anything that added new rules (except I did add monsters with new movement rules).

With respect to Gate Cards from Dunwich and Kingsport, there doesn't appear to be anything stopping me from adding them to the base cards. But these cards reference an Other World that cannot be traveled to from Arkham. If using only the Arkham board, drawing a Dunwich or Kingsport Gate Card would result in more "Other" encounters. Should I continue to keep these separate for thematic reasons?

With respect to monsters, are there any I should remove from a thematic standpoint and keep them associated only with the expansion they came with? Some possibilities are Wizard Whateley (Dunwich), aquatic monsters (Innsmouth and Kingsport), and Goat Spawn and Child of the Goat (The Black Goat of the Woods). Are there others? As for Wizard Whateley, it seems he could still be placed in Arkham (or elsewhere) even if I save him for playing with the Dunwich board. I recall a long ago reference to someone with a house rule that I believe put him in play in Dunwich from the start. Does anyone remember this?


Dunwich Horror

I did not add:

* Common Items that are Tasks (new rules).
* Unique Items that are Missions (new rules).
* Gate Markers. The rules say to add them but I assume that means only when playing with the Dunwich board.

I am unclear on:

* Sheldon Gang Memberships and Rail Passes. I know these are acquired at the Woods and at the Train Station, respectively. How? Through encounters? If so, have these cards been diluted too much by adding Arkham Location cards from all expansions? How much should I care? Neither of these are really adding new rules, so it seems I could call them "base", even though the Rail Passes would not be useful/applicable when playing only with the Arkham board.


Innsmouth Horror

I added:

* One Mythos Card that does not add new rules and does not reference anything specific to Innsmouth. (I did not add the others.)
* Gate Cards. There are no gates on the Innsmouth board, so all of these cards reference Other Worlds that can be traveled to from Arkham.


Kingsport Horror

I added:

* Six Mythos cards that do not add new rules and do not reference anything specific to Kingsport. (I did not add the others.)


The Black Goat of the Woods

I'm unclear on:

* Mythos Cards and Gate Cards. I have already mixed these with the base game's cards. I must've done so presuming they were generic to the game and not associated with this expansion. If I run across any that reference something from this expansion, I will remove them.


Curse of the Dark Pharaoh (Revised Edition)

I added:

* Benefit Cards and Detriment Cards. These seem to come into play through cards I have added to the base game's cards and don't add too many new rules.

I'm unclear on:

* Mythos Cards and Gate Cards. I have already mixed these with the base game's cards. I must've done so presuming they were generic to the game and not associated with this expansion. If I run across any that reference something from this expansion, I will remove them.


The King in Yellow

I added:

* Magical Effects cards. These seem to come into play through cards I have added to the base game's cards and don't add too many new rules.

I am undecided on:

* Common Items, Unique Items, Spells, Location Cards, Mythos Cards, and Gate Cards. I have already mixed these with the base game's cards, but I may remove or ignore them as I come across them until I play with the Act cards.


The Lurker at the Threshold

I'm unclear on:

* Mythos Cards and Gate Cards. I have already mixed these with the base game's cards. I must've done so presuming they were generic to the game and not associated with this expansion. If I run across any that reference something from this expansion, I will remove them.


Miskatonic Horror

I did not add:

* Skills (these are expansion specific).

For Location Cards and Gate Cards, I assume I can add those with a single expansion icon to the cards from that expansion. For example, Dunwich Location Cards from Miskatonic that have a Dunwich Horror icon only can be added to the Dunwich Location Cards from Location. So that if I play the Dunwich board, the Location cards will be a mix of cards from Dunwich and Miskatonic. Is this correct? For the cards that have more than one expansion icon, I should add only when playing with both of the referenced expansions. Is that correct?
 
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Des T.
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Quick Answer: It's your game, you can play it however you want. One of the beautiful things of AH is that it allows so much customization that anyone owning multiple expansions will run a slightly different game, especially if they also delve in to the huge amount of variants.

Long Answer:

A lot of your questions about whether to include AE/OW/mythos cards can be resolved simply by reading the cards and deciding if you want them in your standard setup or not. You're already on the "right" path with your approach.
My current setup runs
-custom mixes of encounter and OW cards
-five mythos decks with different "difficulty levels"
-relationships, injury/madness, ancient whispers, personal stories
-modified item, spell and unique selections
-epic battle
-other random changes I don't remember off the top of my head
There isn't any right and wrong. Fool around with one rule kit or the other, until you find a setup that you enjoy most.

Quote:
With respect to Gate Cards from Dunwich and Kingsport, there doesn't appear to be anything stopping me from adding them to the base cards. But these cards reference an Other World that cannot be traveled to from Arkham. If using only the Arkham board, drawing a Dunwich or Kingsport Gate Card would result in more "Other" encounters. Should I continue to keep these separate for thematic reasons?

It's your decision. We personally keep the offboard OW cards in a seperate deck, and use it only for the OW encounters regarding that board. It reduces the amount of "other" counters and also saves you setup/teardown time.

Quote:
* Sheldon Gang Memberships and Rail Passes. I know these are acquired at the Woods and at the Train Station, respectively. How? Through encounters? If so, have these cards been diluted too much by adding Arkham Location cards from all expansions? How much should I care? Neither of these are really adding new rules, so it seems I could call them "base", even though the Rail Passes would not be useful/applicable when playing only with the Arkham board.

Both are initiated through encounters, yes. (iirc, there's also an investigator and/or skill that lets you gain SGM) SGM is also referred to in some encounters. If you want to use SGM, you should add all cards that refer to them, and consider dropping some vanilla cards to increase the likelyhood of them popping up.
You can add all "rail ticket" encounters, if you want. In my groups, the players only had encounters at the train station when playing with an expansion board. In all other situations, the train station was ignored for the newspaper or curiosity shoppe.

Quote:
The Black Goat of the Woods

Black goat is a lot of fluff, but little substance. It's usually trigered by encounters in woods, unvisited isle and black cave coercing an investigator in to the cult. That activates the "subgame" of cult encounters and corruption. Which are additional rules.
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Bart Rachemoss
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I like your idea of not adding tasks or missions.

There is a house rule that says to draw a 2nd OW encounter card with the right color if the first one with the right color would resolve as "Other". I use this even when only using OW encounter cards from the base set.

I like to add in personal stories and injury/madness conditions. I realize this violates your "no new rules" policy. IMO these make the game better and more fun. For me they are more like bug fixes than new features. The relationships seem too fiddly (too easy to forget).

Have you seen KungFro's Introductory and Expansion Scenarios? The aim is slightly different from yours but it contains other answers to the question of what to include and what not to.
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Lance Jones
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Thanks for the responses. To be clear, I will eventually experiment with everything from the expansions. And I will discover what I like and don't like and I may end up with custom decks and so forth as well. But I do not have a lot of games under my belt yet, so I'm starting simple. My plan is to play with all investigators and/or against all Ancient Ones before incorporating other elements. I mentioned some minor exceptions, and in actuality, I do plan to play with injuries and madnesses from the beginning and probably personal stories as well.
 
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Des T.
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Sungrazer wrote:
...My plan is to play with all investigators and/or against all Ancient Ones before incorporating other elements...


I'm gonna go out on a limb and say you'll start modding the game much sooner than that Either way, you're in for a lot of fun exploring "the world of AH".
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Wolfie
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Hi Lance -- welcome to Arkham!

Quote:
Should I continue to keep these (Gates) separate for thematic reasons?

Some will advise you to keep them separate to keep too many Other encounters from appearing back to back. Another way to handle too many "Other" encounters is to skip the first "Other" card. This increases the chance you'll get to a matching world. We combine all the gates and use this houserule, but do what you feel works best.

Quote:
With respect to monsters, are there any I should remove from a thematic standpoint and keep them associated only with the expansion they came with?

It's kind of up to you. We try to associate gates and particular monsters with a particular Ancient One and the expansion boards in play and use a specific houserule to skew monsters, but also ensure we keep other gates and monster in (in fewer numbers) for game balance. You may want to take a look at the intro to our thematic scenarios to see how we do this, but take it all with a grain of salt, and do what feels right for your group.

Quote:
Sheldon Gang Memberships and Rail Passes. I know these are acquired at the Woods and at the Train Station, respectively. How? Through encounters? If so, have these cards been diluted too much by adding Arkham Location cards from all expansions? How much should I care?


I believe most of these memberships come up through encounters. I do believe they might be diluted if you mixed all your encounter cards, so you might want to consider ways to make them more frequent. Some of the scenarios I created have mechanics for the particular scenario that greatly play up memberships. I think we use a houserule that allows you to buy a rail ticket at train depots for an increased price. $3 I think?

Quote:
For Location Cards and Gate Cards, I assume I can add those with a single expansion icon to the cards from that expansion. For example, Dunwich Location Cards from Miskatonic that have a Dunwich Horror icon only can be added to the Dunwich Location Cards from Location. So that if I play the Dunwich board, the Location cards will be a mix of cards from Dunwich and Miskatonic. Is this correct? For the cards that have more than one expansion icon, I should add only when playing with both of the referenced expansions. Is that correct?


Yes and yes. We have played enough games that we prefer the variety of all the location cards being mixed in (we've seen some encounters quite a few times), but we do hold off on adding in the dual expansion cards from Miskatonic unless both expansion boards are in play. Again, you'll know after you've got a feel for things.
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Lance Jones
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Wolfpack48 wrote:
You may want to take a look at the intro to our thematic scenarios to see how we do this, but take it all with a grain of salt, and do what feels right for your group.


I had long ago ran across the scenarios Tibs put together but I had not seen these. It seems like at least part of its purpose is aligned with part of what I am trying to do. I will play some standard games and then explore the scenarios available.

DeS_Tructive wrote:
I'm gonna go out on a limb and say you'll start modding the game much sooner than that Either way, you're in for a lot of fun exploring "the world of AH".


I think you will be proven correct!
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