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Arkham Horror» Forums » Variants

Subject: Solo Investigator - "Gate Rip" variant rss

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Josh Martin
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So, I know there are quite a few solo variants out there but, for various reasons, none of them really fixed the problem for me without causing other problems. So, I tried to create my own, with a few goals in mind:
- solve the problem of "Too Many Gates" opening before I've actually had a chance to DO anything
- work as much as possible within the current rules, so as not to introduce too many complications
- avoid adding additional randomness with the variant, since there's already plenty in the base game
- as much as possible, make the variant usable regardless of what expansions or heralds are used

To that end, here's what I've come up with...

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Gate Rips - Gate Rips are a kind of state between an empty location and a location with an Open Gate. The rules for playing gate rips are as follows:

1. When an Mythos card is drawn that reveals an Empty Location, draw a Gate Token at random and place it face down on the location to indicate a rip in the fabric of space-time has begun to occur. A monster appears and a doom token is added to the doom track as per the normal rules. This location is counted as an Open Gate when resolving Monster Surges. For all other rules purposes, this location is still considered to be Empty - i.e., it doesn't count toward the "Too Many Gates" rule, clue tokens may stay in the location, and any investigator at the location cannot enter the gate.

2. When a Mythos card is drawn that reveals a location with a Gate Rip, turn the Gate token over and draw another monster token to place at the location, but no doom token is added. It is now considered to be an Open Gate as per the original rules.

When playing with Gate Bursts while using the Gate Rip variant:
1. When a Gate Burst occurs at an empty location, a gate immediately opens - resolve as per the Open Gate rules in the instruction manual.

2. When a Gate Burst occurs at a location with an elder sign, remove the elder sign from the location and resolve as per the Gate Rip variant rules; however, no doom token is added.

A couple extra notes:
1. For purposes of monster and gate limits when playing with Gate Rips, refer to the limits for 2 players. All other rules apply normally for 1 investigator.

2. When resolving the Mythos card that starts the game, resolve it as per the normal rules (so, you still start the game with an Open Gate, rather than a Gate Rip).

3. As an optional rule - during the Movement Phase, any investigator who ends their move on a location with a Gate Rip may force the gate to open in order to enter it. To do so, make a Fight or Lore check with the modifier printed on the front side of the gate. If a gate is opened in this way, a doom token is added to the doom track.

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I've played a few games using this variant, and so far it seems to work well. I've tried with various mixes of all the small box expansions (though I have used some of the cards from Dunwich Horror). There are a bunch of little tweaks to this variant that I've played around with that make the game a little bit harder or a little bit easier, so if anyone's interested, I can post those. But, as posted above, this is what seems to work best for me, so feel free to try it out and make any suggestions.

This might work for a 2-player, 2-investigator game, but I've only tried it out with one.
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Rich Dodgin
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Looks good - will definitely have to try this !
 
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Tristan Hall
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Have you already tried just taking two investigator turns before every mythos phase?
 
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Josh Martin
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ninjadorg wrote:
Have you already tried just taking two investigator turns before every mythos phase?


Yeah, I've tried spacing out the mythos phases, and doing the "die roll to determine if a gate opens" thing. But I felt like those took away the frantic pace that Mythos cards introduce.

And, just to clarify, most of my solo plays up until recently were with 3 or 4 investigators. But when controlling multiple characters, I felt like it was harder to get into the theme and enjoy the character you're controlling since I spent most of my time just making sure everything was done correctly and in order. I wanted a way to play as one investigator that still had a similar pace as playing with three.
 
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Brian Mc Cabe
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I've found the seven-gate rule to be probematical at times, too. Just went through a streak of eight games (my first eight with Dunwich Horror) in which the seventh gate opened in fourteen, fourteen, seven, eight and ten phases. In the ten-phase game, it was actually eight gates, because one of the characters had the unique item that increased it by one.

Although, I like this idea, I'm always reluctant to tinker with the rules.

In this case, it's a little more difficult to make the call. You don't want to make the game too easy. On the other hand, there's no game if sixty percent of them are ending on open gates in under fifteen mythos phases.

I had that happen with BGofW when I first got it, and I think it's an anomaly. The players aren't actually shuffling the deck at all. The AO's are directly influencing the location of each card, sometimes trying to smash your will and sometimes giving you a sense of controlling your own destiny, depending on their whim at the time.

Brian



Brian
 
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Josh Martin
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Nick Warcholak wrote:
This looks very good Josh.


Thanks!
If you try it out, let me know how it goes.
With all the variables in the game, it's sometimes hard to gauge how much small changes affect things between plays--even when you play two games with the same GOO and investigator.

apatheticexecutioner wrote:

Although, I like this idea, I'm always reluctant to tinker with the rules.


I usually don't like to mess with rules either, but so far I'm enjoying solo investigator play a lot more using this variant, which is why I figured I'd share it.

apatheticexecutioner wrote:
In this case, it's a little more difficult to make the call. You don't want to make the game too easy. On the other hand, there's no game if sixty percent of them are ending on open gates in under fifteen mythos phases.


Yeah, that's essentially what I wanted to try and tweak without messing too much with all the other rules that I actually enjoy. Without an open gate limit you'd only have to worry about the doom track, but with the gate limit as printed it seemed like any game I tried with one investigator was a lesson in futility--almost every game ended with a battle with the GOO, which is the least fun part of AH, imo.

This seemed a good way to give a little bit more breathing room for a single investigator, while at the same time keeping the impact of both the doom track and the steadily increasing monsters.
I do have some slight tweaks to this variant that make it either a little bit harder or a little bit easier, but as I said this was the version that's worked best for me.
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Seems like a good idea. On solo I have been playing with the idea that at the begining of the mythos phase you roll a dice. On a 5-6 you skip that mythose phase.

It seemed to fit the feel of the game. Kind of like the world is making a check every turn to see if it can resist portals from opening.
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Tomas Riha
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I really like this.

I wonder if this does (it should) help the situation where the surges just move monsters to outskirts because you just dont have time to take care of all monsters in town? I think it could because I guess you go from somewhere around 6-7 gates open to more 3-4.

The last part "A Mythos card drawn with a sealed gate location creates a monster surge on a d6 roll of 1 or 2." just makes this issue worse. I also find this rule unnecessary if you play with Gate Bursts. If you play without gate bursts I would rather see a dice roll for gate burst then dice roll for surge. I think 1d6 and gate burst on 1 would be ok.

Only one problem with this. It excludes the house rule of having "blind gates" where you always have them face down.

Tex
 
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chris ward
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Sounds like a good solution, although i usually prefer to just play multiple inesvtigators myself. I might give it a try.

On the Rumour issue that Frank raised, how about allowing rumour to be bought off at the cost of a doom token? Obviously only in single investigator games.

- Chris
 
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Tomas Riha
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cw67q wrote:
Sounds like a good solution, although i usually prefer to just play multiple inesvtigators myself.


Its actually interesting to notice the difference between 1 investigator game which feels like a RPG and a 2-4 investigator game that feels like a tactical squad manager.
 
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Tomas Riha
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Yeah Im aware of that.

But once the gate really does open its destination is visible.

I really like the face down gates when they are open because it does add immersion. Sure you could say that the gate shouts out "Come to me, go to dreamlands" but imho its more mystical if you dont know where it leads. So hence I like to play em face down.

The way I would play the ripple is.

A Mythos card drawn with an empty location creates a "gate rip". Draw a random gate token and place it face down at the location. Place a clue token on the gate token. A monster also appears at this location.
--a "gate rip" does not count as an open gate for "Too Many Gates" or monster surges
--Clue tokens will remain at the location until the gate opens.
--Investigators can avoid the "gate rip" and have an encounter as if it were an empty location.
--Investigators may attempt to open a "gate rip" with a successful fight or lore check modified by the gate’s difficulty.
-----If successful, the gate is opened, the clue token on top of the gate token is collected and the investigator is pulled through . A doom token is then added to the doom track.
-----If failed nothing happens and the player‘s turn proceeds to the Mythos phase..

A Mythos card drawn with a "gate rip" location creates an open gate and a monster surge occurs. Remove the clue token placed on the "gate rip" and place a doom token on the doom track.


This way you get the gate rip and the face down gates. Also getting a clue for manually opening a gate is quite within context of the game. Further I "removed" fight check from the gate opening as I truely belive that this should be a lore only thing. Its one thing to "destroy" a gate but to make it open by just using physical force doesnt feel right to me.

Also I would consider 1 sanity damage on opening gates. Afterall you open gates to another dimension and its from these the monsters come, the monsters you shit your self fighting. Ofcourse you get a bit mental from opening gates.

Tex
 
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Josh Martin
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MrSkeletor wrote:
This is a nice idea, but it doesn't address the big problem with 1 player games - rumor cards.
1 investigator normally has no chance against these, and since you are drawing cards at the regular rate there is a good chance of them comming up and bang - game over.


Sorry, haven't come back to this thread in a while.

In my game plays, I haven't had a huge problem with the Mythos ending the game, aside from the really difficult rumors that pop up. In that case, it's more a symptom of the luck of the draw--which rumor you happen to draw first.
so, yeah, I agree this doesn't address the continual mythos problem. Off the top of my head, the simplest solution using this variant would be to only use read the "rumor" off the top of the card in a situation where a gate rip occurs.

I haven't tested this, but from what I have tested when I was playing where a doom token was only added when a gate actually opens (vs. during the gate rip phase), it caused for a very slow, very easy opening phase. So if you try this, you might want to start with doing it only in the case of a gate rip event.

TexMurphy wrote:

Only one problem with this. It excludes the house rule of having "blind gates" where you always have them face down.


and, I had actually included rules for this situation, but figured there weren't enough people to justify complicating the base variant for it.

In such a situation where you play "blind gates," I played where you were able to just put a "doom token" marker on top of a gate rip to indicate that it was a gate rip. Once the gate was fully open, you move the doom token to the doom track. Any gate symbol with no doom token on it is an "open gate."
Of course, this means that you have to remember the count the doom tokens on the board as well as the ones on the GOO card in order to know whether the GOO wakes.
 
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Josh Martin
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Forgot to add:
If a gate burst occurs when playing with hidden gates, leave the elder sign token on the Gate Rip to indicate that the seal has burst, but no doom token will be added once the gate fully opens.
 
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te3b0r
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Hey Josh thanks a TON for this!!! It made it easy to play a solo game as a true solo game and not a solo game with 4 investigators!
 
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