"Every Board Game I Reach Is Dead"
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So I got IH for my birthday on the weekend and we've played through all the new GOOs, all the new Investigators and tried the Innsmouth board.

One of the biggest things in this expansion for me was the personal story cards. Everyone now has their own sub-mission in exchange for reward or penalty depending upon whether they complete it or not. However, upon trying several and reading through the rest it is becoming obvious that this is just one more rule that often stacks more crap onto the investigators collective plate.

After all, surely running around for the first few turns completing your story means you are technically a few turns behind the Mythos in terms of game time. Not all of the stories have a benefit that makes up for the loss of these precious few turns and resources.

A couple of examples-

My girlfriend has taken a liking to the farmer and his thick headed monster beating. This is fine except we are finding a 5 clue drain early on every game as she scrambles for precious clues in order to complete his story for a frankly mudane reward (+1 Lore, +1 Will on a non-spell casting character that almost always has his Will on it's lowest setting) that will cost him a much more serious -1 Maximum sanity if he fails. She's more afraid of the loss then bothered by about the reward, and we don't want 5 clues taken from the board and spent on a pretty pointless stat' increase instead of a seal. There are several other investigators that need to potentially spoil the chances of the team winning by sapping clue tokens at the beginning of the game in this way too (assuming you are in for the sealing-to-win tactic).

Then there's the poor saps that need cultists as one of their X monster trophies to pass their story. Randomly draw Aboth or Rhan-Tagoth (whatever his name is!) and suddenly you're looking at an instant or delayed fail with no chance of success as all cultists are removed before they even get on the board!

So I'm asking has anyone else felt this way about one or more of the stories?
Which ones and why?
And the most important question- do you think they could be optional for each player (rather then all in or all out as the rules suggest)?
Would this make it too easy or still ok (I mean each investigator that does take a story is also facing a penalty for failing at their own risk)? goo

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Rauli Kettunen
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I don't take out anything, so they're compulsory now and forever. Pass/Fail is a choice, harder in some cases. Personally, I'll just fail Wilson, Vincent, Kate and probably Hank as well without even trying to pass them. Or if possible (esp. Vincent), hope they stay in Limbo of doing neither. Haven't yet drawn Jenny, but don't see myself ever giving her story a go as far as Pass clause goes.
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brian
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Some stories are better than others but there is a certain balance in "all or nothing." I wouldn't allow letting players decide to keep them or not (or if they don't want them, then call it an auto-fail). Or ditch them all.
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Peter Putnam
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New Players: Skip the Personal Stories

Experienced Players: Compulsory

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Brian Mc Cabe
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I agree with Brian. Picking and choosing because you either do or don't like the reward shouldn't be an option.

Auto-fail and take your medicine.

The whole point, IMO, for the stories is that they're supposed to be hard decisions. You aren't really letting Jenny's sister get chopped up -- depending on how sentient you think the game is -- but it does still have a negative effect on her character. That or lose the clues and gain an ally? Decisions, decisions.

Brian
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Rauli Kettunen
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apatheticexecutioner wrote:
You aren't really letting Jenny's sister get chopped up -- depending on how sentient you think the game is -- but it does still have a negative effect on her character. That or lose the clues and gain an ally? Decisions, decisions.

Brian


Chop, chop, chop !

IMO both Jenny and Hank get pretty useless boosts if they Pass. +1 Speed for Jenny is nice, but I would've preferred +1 Focus > +1 Lore. For Hank, +1 Lore is just pathetic. Even if you fail his PS, it only drops him down to the level all others (bar Wendy) are i.e. 10 points of Sta/San. He still doesn't lose Sanity from Horror checks unless he fails a combat check (or Evade). In fact that ability makes the +1 Will from passing his PS kinda moot as well (works for encounters though).
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Ondrej Kocnar
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Dam the Man wrote:
apatheticexecutioner wrote:
You aren't really letting Jenny's sister get chopped up -- depending on how sentient you think the game is -- but it does still have a negative effect on her character. That or lose the clues and gain an ally? Decisions, decisions.

Brian


Chop, chop, chop :D !

IMO both Jenny and Hank get pretty useless boosts if they Pass. +1 Speed for Jenny is nice, but I would've preferred +1 Focus > +1 Lore. For Hank, +1 Lore is just pathetic. Even if you fail his PS, it only drops him down to the level all others (bar Wendy) are i.e. 10 points of Sta/San. He still doesn't lose Sanity from Horror checks unless he fails a combat check (or Evade). In fact that ability makes the +1 Will from passing his PS kinda moot as well (works for encounters though).


Oh sorry, sis! Saving you from gruesome death is not actually worth it.
I guess I will rather go shopping...
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Brian Mc Cabe
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Jenny had already received a finger and a toe. There was no way she was going to look in the hat-shaped box, which, according to the shipping tag, weighed seven pounds. (Jerry McGuire) :-) Great visual.

Brian
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IIRC, the Personal Stories are there so that "weak" characters become balanced. Sister Kate's Personal Story is a good example. (Well, unless you're smart and arm her with a Tommy Gun and Sword of Whatzis in the first turn...)

Me, I like 'em. I actually wished they were a little more complex to justify yet another deck of components I have to deal out and clean up for the game...
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Rauli Kettunen
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Sam and Max wrote:
IIRC, the Personal Stories are there so that "weak" characters become balanced. Sister Kate's Personal Story is a good example. (Well, unless you're smart and arm her with a Tommy Gun and Sword of Whatzis in the first turn...)


If you mean Sister Mary, she always rocked for me, even before her PS (which I've never passed so far, not failed either though...). It is a nice boost though. Kate Winthrop on the other hand got double-shafted (no, not like that ) with IH. First her ability generates DOR tokens whenever she bounces a gate and her PS is very hard to pass (at least if you're not packing 1 Elder Sign and hopefully Find Gate as well). Good thing the penalty isn't that harsh (though neither is the Pass reward of any real value).
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