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Subject: Campaign mode where investigators are unchanged between games? rss

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Geoff Fortytwo
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Has anyone tried a campaign mode where investigators are left unchanged in between games? That means they'd keep all items and stat bonuses and conditions and everything else. Every campaign description I've read has rules about restricting the number of items kept. I really dislike that. If it's a campaign then there should be as much continuity as possible

If keeping all items makes it too easy (I assume it would) then just bump up the difficulty in each subsequent game. There are lots of ways to make Eldritch Horror more difficult.

My first thought was to simply use the rules for an increasing number of players for each game in the campaign. So if you are 3 players, in the first game you'd use the 3 player rules, but with each game you'd increase that by 0 or 1 until the 7th final game you'd use the rules for 6 players even though you still only had 3 investigators.

Another difficulty increase is that later games in the campaign could also use the harder versions of the ancient horrors.

Of course, the doom track would be kept unchanged between games (continuity!). That by itself is plenty of added difficulty.

There are other ways to make it harder too. You could always play with two ancient ones simultaneously in the 6th game.

Anyone have thoughts as to how to balance this? With an eye towards keeping as much continuity as possible, what are the proper ways to make each subsequent game more difficult to balance the increasingly godlike investigators?

And how do you deal with being devoured in later games? I'm thinking that half the tradable items from the devoured investigator should be made available to the replacement investigator. Either leave them where the investigator was devoured, or put them in the mail and have them arrive at the new investigator's starting location after a few turns (perhaps 1 turn for each turn it would take to get from the devouring location to the destination).

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Saif Al-Azzawi
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Very interesting. I would like to hear the feedback if any one have tired this. A huge part of the enjoyment of playing this game for me is how my characters become stronger: my skills get's leveled up. Inquiring those amazing assets, spells and artifacts and how my character grows in power over the course of the game.

I'm in mid campaign right now. I've beat 3 AOs already (which I can't believe I've gone that far without losing. Usually my win rate is terrible ).
And so far I'm enjoying the personal stories and the power that comes with it every match and sounds about right to me. I don't think I'll play the game that way. That's jut me though. I'm definitely very interested and curious about people's experiences using the suggestions above.
 
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Xelto G
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The problem is that the game is too chaotic for a gradual uptick in power. Yes, you usually end the game with a backpack full of stuff. But sometimes you get a mythos card that wipes out all your items just before the end of the game. Then what? You've ramped up the difficulty for the next game, nothing to take to it. Or you don't ramp up the difficulty, and you walk in with the Chainsword Sword of St. Jerome, the Silver Key, a Treasure Hunter, an Urban Guide...

There has to be some sort of reset. Maybe not a full one, but there's no consistent way to increase the difficulty with this game.
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Matthew Soto
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The doom track staying at the current level would make a game much harder, especially if one is playing against Azathoth or Syzgy in an upcoming game (or outright impossible if the last game went to 0 Doom and thus solving the final mystery). I mean, yeah, play better, but that's way more punishing if you have to win by the skin of your teeth (many rolls not going your way, for instance).

Also, RAW for the basic campaign states that you MUST choose the investigators that were active at the end of the previous winning game, so, if Lola Hayes has her consequence and wins a game, she is obligated to join the next game with that consequence active. Though, yeah, many consequences do add to the doom at the start of the game.

And I think being devoured is rare enough that the current penalty (all items are discarded instead of becoming a token encounter) is fair enough.

I take the current setup of most things resetting to be a bit more thematic, like weeks or months pass between each game. Yes, some Health depleted encounters state that the investigator 'gets better', but I still take it as them not having the same ability as before or the horror of the last case they took before getting crippled (like, for instance, they got offed by a monster) makes them unwilling to want to do that again. And during their off time they put up all of the assets back into the 'agency store' and put up the artifacts into a museum because even heroes can be fools at times. As for the conditions, they seeked aid in overcoming the 'negative' ones while they lose the 'positive' ones for lack of keeping them up (Also goes for Improvement/Impairment). The tasks eventually end during the down time and the messenger is briefly jailed for stalking. Granted, this is coming from someone that used to love his saturday morning cartoons, which had a LOT of reset between episodes unless if it was something like Beast Wars.

You can increase it by changing up the Mythos Deck make up between each game, Xelto, though, not all cards of that difficulty are not made equal either. There is a normal level card where ALL investigators impair one stat and during the next reckoning the lead investigator must impair THREE stats.
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Stan Matz
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How about keeping 2 items/stats and advancing doom for each additional random item/stat? Thematically items can break, get lost or stolen, etc. and skills/abilities are degraded, forgotten, injured, etc. during time passing between episodes.
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Chris B.
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Daddiodaddio wrote:
How about keeping 2 items/stats and advancing doom for each additional random item/stat? Thematically items can break, get lost or stolen, etc. and skills/abilities are degraded, forgotten, injured, etc. during time passing between episodes.

This seems the simplest way to do it. Also don't take starting items. We just won the first game in our campaign and we are doing it this way.
Don't think we'll do 1 doom per item.
I could see adding or subtracting starting doom for AO based on wins losses previous game though. Could be a way to stay in the campaign after losing a game. Get a losing streak and you can't beat the final showdown. You'd run into thematic issues with this too though.
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Zen Shrugs
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On a purely practical level, given the bucketload of possessions we often end games with nowadays (all expansions), the thought of what that might look like after two or three games terrifies me.

Before Masks was released, we played through an impromptu unofficial campaign of sorts. Basically, when we won a game, we simply decided to choose the same investigators for the next game (resetting everything as normal for one-off games). To our surprise we won that game too, and all of our investigators survived again. So Jenny, Ursula and Diana made it all the way to a third game before Shudde M'ell diastered them to death.

Thanks to Jenny, we had a LOT of cards every time... and that was without carrying anything over to subsequent games. If we had, things would have quickly become unmanageable.


On the other hand... for actual campaign games, I've wondered if you might be able to carry over your possessions as a 'cache'. Instead of starting with them, you place a Resource token somewhere on the board to represent the space where you've stashed the items for safekeeping in case they're needed someday. (Meanwhile you've gone back to your everyday lives, as lomdr suggests above.) You or another investigator could then encounter that token during a game to get a cache of possessions back.

In practice this might be fiddly and overcomplicated, though. Just a vague thought bubble I had. Maybe keep one card only, like a valuable Artifact? Or everyone pools their favourite cards so there's only one cache on the board?

lomdr wrote:
Granted, this is coming from someone that used to love his saturday morning cartoons, which had a LOT of reset between episodes unless if it was something like Beast Wars.


"Last time, on Eldritch Horror..."


"Mi-go-tron's found out something. Something that's got him so worried he doesn't want to think about us."

"The elder things... the ones who seeded this planet with life... the ones who created that flying eye-monster that almost destroyed us... they're coming. And I don't think they're very happy."

"We're all going to die."

"Shut up, Rat-Thing."


...sorry, couldn't resist
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John McCarthy

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There is a definite issue with carrying forward all of your assets in each game. I've tried a couple fan-based campaign modes that have been posted on BGG over the last couple years. The problem is that your investigators become extremely powerful after the first game, and mysteries in subsequent games become extremely easy to solve (ex: go to a space and spend two clues- you already have a character with several extra clues and a pumped up lore, this is suddenly super easy). Or an epic monster- you may have a character who is kitted out to butcher monsters, and the epic monster is now pretty easy to defeat.)

There definitely needs to be a limit to how much you can carry over. I've considered some rules, with the assumption that about a year passes between fighting ancient ones:

You keep one item, one spell, one trinket, and one talent. Since a year goes by, we assume allies have moved on, conditions have been healed (or expired), with the exception of Dark Pacts and Promise of Power. Focuses, clues, resources and tickets are wiped out. Tasks have now expired, and artifacts have lost their power or been donated to museums. I would say gates remain open, and spawn new monsters at the beginning of the game. Each investigator keeps improvements and impairments up to a maximum of +/- one. (this way you can toss all the investigators stuff into a bag and not have to keep notes).

I haven't playtested this version, but I can say it would definitely be an improvement over the "keep everything" rules. The problem is that your characters will still be significantly more powerful than usual starting characters, so it will need to be balanced in some way- either less doom, extra rumors or mysteries to solve, or some other way to scale up the challenge. It's a tough nut to crack, which is why there isn't yet a go-to solution on BGG for an awesome campaign mode. Personally, I think a good campaign mode would have to carry some of the benefits investigators have earned forward, and also consequences of not handling things (not finishing rumors or closing gates). Xelto is working on an interesting idea that carries over positive and negative consequences of defeating or losing to the Ancient Ones.
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Michael Daumen
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What about a system of buying off Doom for adjustments between chapters? You can heal bad status cards, or keep gear, by advancing the Doom Track before the next GOO is revealed (I could also see getting a favorable adjustment depending on where the track is when the previous chapter ends).

If characters are wounded at the end of a chapter, they could carry some of those deficits forward in exchange for keeping stuff.

Alternatively, you could require a number of Mythos cards be dealt and take effect (probably just the written part) per kept item/spell.
 
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