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Subject: A 4-Character Solo Adventure in Arkham. rss

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Alan DeHaan
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To combat some of my gaming withdrawal symptoms that I'm suffering from due to a move to a new area, I decided to play a solo session of Arkham Horror.

I decided 4 characters, chosen randomly, would be ideal. Along with a Ancient One chosen randomly.

The Characters Were:

Jenny Barnes, The Unlucky Dilettante.
Vincent Lee, The Doctor With a Penchant of Boring Encounters.
"Ashcan" Pete, The Drifter Who Spent More Time In Other Lands Than On The Streets of Arkham.
Dexter Drake, The Reclusive, But Powerful, Magician.
Yig, The Serpent God Worshipped By Serpentine Cultists.

There was little challenge, unfortunately. Every character, except Jenny, got lucky and got some very nice starting items (Including an Elder Sign that Pete randomly had. ... Hobos have the best toys)

"I do wonder what that man in that turban is doing here in this train station. It is most disappointing that such people are allowed to wander about so publically. I should have followed daddy's advice about coming here on something as pedestrian as a train."

At the start of a game, the characters don't travel too far, all staying in their original location, except for Dexter who travelled to The Silver Twilight Lodge and became a member of it. Pete quickly ended up with John LeGrasse as an ally, and Jenny got stabbed in the train station, taking her to near death. Though given her thoughts about the guy, and life in general, she perhaps deserved it.

"Come with us, Mister Drake. We have something to show you." Dexter was quite thrilled at being offered a membership in the Silver Twilight Lodge, that he blindly followed the men into the inner sanctum. "Just touch this mirror, good sir, and your initiation will be complete." Despite the stereotype of Wise Mystics, in truth most magicians tend to be curious more than cautious. Perhaps Dexter will learn to be more cautious in the future.

Pete quickly went from the River Docks to the Graveyard, entering the Plateau of Leng. A Gate opened up beneath Dexter and sent him to Yuggoth before I was ready for him to go anywhere. (I could not remember if a gate opening sent someone straight to the Other Lands or not. I decided Yes, since it seemed more cruel)

STRANGLINGS IN THE SOUTHSIDE the headlines on the paper struck out at Vincent. He knew what had to be done. These stranglings could not just be mere serial killers, oh no. The Cultists of Yig were on the loose. Vincent dashed out of his home, heading to the southside to take care of this problem.

On Round 3, I made what could have been a monumental error. Vincent, using a couple spells he had, killed two cultists. After he did that, I glanced at Yig's sheet and saw...His doom track rises per cultist killed. ... Oops! Luckily, shortly after this, Pete ends up out of Leng and drops down an Elder Sign, sealing the Graveyard. Dexter quickly follows and just closes the gate at the Lodge.

Jenny spent several rounds trying to get to the hospital to gain her Stamina back. When she was almost there, she was sent to the Asylum by security staff at Miskatonic University.

"Hey, uh, Pete? Where are we going?" Pete smiled to himself, keeping his back towards John. "Just downtown. Got some business."

Pete, continuing to be VIP, sacrificed his ally, John LeGrasse, to stop The Stars Are Right from screwing over the world. If unchecked by the murder of his ally, it was very possible Yig would have awoken very quickly. Pete follows that up by going into the City of the Great Race, so he could use clue tokens to seal another gate, this one based in Independence Square.

Clues came about fast and furious in this game. Two characters got their hands on Old Journals, letting them have an opportunity to gain 3 Clue Tokens. Which let Vince and Dex both head into a gate.

Towards the end of the game, Yig had 9 out of 10 Doom Counters, causing a lot of tension within me as to whether I could make it. Jenny, luckily, got a Elder Sign at an Estate Sale, which after sealing the Woods, helped knock the doom tokens to 8. This ended up being the 5th seal in the game, but only one character had a lot of Clue tokens on him...

Pete went to Yuggoth, while the other characters went to the Church to get blessed, fully expecting Yig to awaken before Pete could be successful. And given that Pete ended up stuck in Yuggoth for a couple of turns, this seemed likely. Instead, however, gates kept trying to open at sealed locations. Thus giving Pete enough time to come out of Yuggoth, closing the gate and sealing it, securing all of reality.

Overall I learned two things playing this game. The First is that I make decisions really quickly, the game flew by, whereas every multiplayer game I ever played the game went slowly. The second thing I learned is that despite appearances to the contrary, my table is rather small for Arkham Horror...which means it's small for a couple of my other games as well. This is disappointing...
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Tony Llama
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I'd be intrigued by trying to run a solo game of Arkham Horror. Do you have any advice or tips on running a solo game??

EDIT: Stab my eyes! Where are my manners? Congrats on sealing Yig! I've never been able to keep the cold-blooded bugger contained.
 
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Alan DeHaan
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Thanks for the congrats. I was surprised to seal Yig, and it was just due to the luck regarding very few bad encounters and lots of luck with Clues and die rolls.

Advice or tips? I gained some from here and from FFG's forums. Two trains of thought seem to be either "One character, choose someone good." or "Handle as many characters as you can."

One character is a challenge, of course. Probably often ending in a fight with an Ancient One. I've heard of someone doing a One person seal, but they were lucky to get an elder sign their first turn, and they were fighting Azathoth.

Handle as many characters as you can makes it far more like a normal game, except the game probably goes much quicker, especially if you can think up your moves pretty quickly. It's still a couple hour investment. Plus the time to set up and take down. That's the part that can kill me there. After set up I wonder "Do I want to play still?" for solo. I love FFGs games but Oy, the setup already.

For me, 4 characters seems to be about the limit at handling. I might have to scale back to 3. As the reason Jenny was so unlucky was I was forgetting she had an item that'd let me change location cards if she wished it. Oh well, I maintain she deserved to be stabbed by that man in turban.

maskedllama wrote:
I'd be intrigued by trying to run a solo game of Arkham Horror. Do you have any advice or tips on running a solo game??

EDIT: Stab my eyes! Where are my manners? Congrats on sealing Yig! I've never been able to keep the cold-blooded bugger contained.
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