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Subject: A Casual variant rss

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Fadhli Suib
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Hi,

After discussing some ideas about clue tokens on this post i think i want to document it and place it in this thread where it should belong. Feel free to comment and maybe we can find a better solution.

Also note that i only own the base game. So this variant may not be compatible with the expansions mechanics.

The aim of this variant is to reduce the stress of playing this game and add more usefulness and flavors on some of the aspects of the game that can't be covered due to the 'horror' of the the original rules (i have to say the original rule has served it purpose). Thus i name this as casual variant. I hope it could reach it's objective to make the game more fun rather than stressful.

Some of the ideas may have been brought up and could be the same as as this. If that the case, please know that i'm not intending to copy your ideas, my intention is to compile some ideas with casual play in mind. PM me and i'll put your name as credits.


So here's some that i think casually acceptable.

Clues

Everytime a clue token appears from the mythos card, put it on all neighborhood locations of the same colour instead.

Reason:
This can add some incentives for players to visit unpopular locations and have an encounter there. This will make the location more active and players can have encounters they might never had time to have before. From my experience, i always feel disappointed because i rolled badly and had to use CT to reroll. It's like if i save the CT i still die and lose half of it. If i use it, i would waste it and cannot seal the gate. So more CT should satisfy the need for casual playing.

Pros:

-Players be able to experience more encounters (good or bad). Risk and reward will be higher.
- Players may gear up from location encounters.
- More CT is fun. Can reroll more often and more investigators have chance to seal gate.

Cons:
- Some of the areas like in Northside (Orange neighborhood) can't spawn CT.
- Expansions like in Kingsport may have a lower interest to players to visit because no clues appears there. For me stable locations has a higher rate of good encounters. So it should not be a problem.
- More encounter CT collecting means more turn is needed. Should be used in conjunction with mythos draw variant (see below).
- More encounters means longer game time and risk of bad encounters (cursed, lose items and etc).

Comments:

Mageith suggest to not place CTs on unstable locations at the early of the game and can only pickup clues after resolving an encounter.
mageith wrote:
To reiterate my suggestion which was inspired by your suggestion. Go ahead and place clues in the neighborhoods as you suggest, but don't put out any clues to begin with. In the base game this takes out 11 Clues but will eventually add, in an average game about 16-20 clues (16 turns). An average game normally might add 6-10 clues. So still the game is slightly easier, but not at the beginning. Not everyone will be able to get a clue for the first few turns, so they'll need to do something else, ie, explore.

In addition, you can only pick up clues if you resolve an encounter card and not the location's special ability.



Mythos Draw Phase

Mythos draw is based on the current terror level. The markers mechanic (i would use sanity token as marker) is intended to ease the player so that they doesn't have to remember when to draw the mythos card.

1-3 players

1-3 terror level : after the first draw place two markers on top the deck. remove one marker on the next mythos phase. If there is no marker draw mythos card instead. (same as skip draw 2 turn)

4-6 terror level : after the first draw place one marker on top the deck. remove one marker on the next mythos phase. If there is no marker draw mythos card instead. (Skip draw 1 turn)

7-10 terror level : draw mythos as normal.

for 4-6 players

1-5 terror level : after the first draw place one marker on top the deck. remove one marker on the next mythos phase. If there is no marker draw mythos card instead. (Skip draw 1 turn)

6-10 terror level : draw mythos as normal.

for 7-8 Players

Draw mythos as normal.

Reason:

With some delays to the mythos card draw phase this should give players some time to explore the board and make some preparations with clues and items. At the mid game if some of the unstable locations managed to be sealed, it should be less chaotic. By the end of the game players should be able to handle some monsters and hopefully have enough firepower to face GOO.

For more than 4 players i cannot estimate whether that rule is sufficient or not. I think for 7 to 8 players they should be able to cover more locations. So i assume no delay in card drawing is necessary.

Pros:
- New players may have some breathing time to explore the board in the early turns.
- Strategies such as shop camping may be avoided and can be controlled by using Shop variant (see below).
- Less monsters surge and low gate openings on early turns

Cons:
- Would seemed easy for hardcore players
- May need to learn some additional mechanics on managing the counters.
- Less Mythos means longer games. May add a couple more hours to game time.


Shops

Whenever a player use the shop ability and buy something from it, place a supply counter there to indicate that the supply is depleting.

for 1-4 player :

When the counter reached two put a closed marker on that location. On the next upkeep, with a closed marker on it remove one supply marker. When there is no marker open the location again. If there is no closed marker but with supply marker remove one supply marker instead.

for 5-8 player :

When the counter reached three (maybe four?) put a closed marker on that location. On the next upkeep, with a closed marker on it remove one supply marker. When there is no marker open the location again. If there is no closed marker but with supply marker remove one supply marker instead.

Close the particular location and remove all supply markers on the location if the terror levels says so.

Reason:

Some game groups may have the tendency to camp at the same location such as Curiosity Shoppe. This rule could manage to cater the need to control this kind of situation. Still i assume casual players won't need this. But if it does happen this could add some depth to shopping in Arkham.

With this rule, investigators can't camp there all the time. They have to let the supply replenish first. At most only one or two items can be bought at one time and if more are bought the investigator will have to risk being kicked out of the street and could be attacked by monsters. If the shop is closed the investigators will have to wait a couple of turns for it to open again, hence giving some reason to do other things and not be too greedy to buy items.

Pros:
- Adds more strategy and depth into the game.
- Less feeling like cheating

Cons:
- Unlucky draw may hinder the elder sign draw.
- The supply counter mechanic maybe confusing at first.
- Can be tedious to manage those counters on every upkeep.



Spells

Whenever a player gain a spell put a sanity token on that spell. Spells with sanity token is not learned yet and has to be learned first on the upkeep phase before it can be used.

On the upkeep phase use the spell check with cast modifier and sanity cost to learn the spell (lose sanity based on the cost). If successful remove the sanity token and the player can cast the spell (with cast modifier) next time without paying the sanity cost. If unsuccessful, player has to pay the sanity cost and may learn the spell again (pay the sanity cost again).

* special cast modifiers are considered 0 for learning purpose.
** anything other than spells which has "cast modifier" and "sanity cost" cannot be learned. (not sure if other items has cast modifier or not)

Trading:

When trading spells, the player receiving the spell will have to learn the spell while the previous player will have to forget the spell and have to relearn again if he received the same spell.

Reason:


This is one of the aspect of the game that i would like some improvement. Most spells cost sanity. This could hinder spellcasters to really make full use of it. Most of them has low stamina and high sanity. Cost of sanity for me is not supposed to be like this. So i come out with this concept to make spells more useful and fun to use. It was inspired by somebody on the spells discussion thread about memorizing spells. I just polish out the idea.

With this concept, spells does have it's sanity penalty where, non-spellcasters may not be able to easily learn the spell due to it's sanity cost for difficult spells. Whereas spellcasters can easily learn it with their high lore and sanity and are more suitable to use spells. This should reduce the run to Arkham Asylum and utilize more spells.

Pros:
- Spellcasters can reign again in Arkham
- No more sanity cost for casting spells other than when learning it.

Cons:
- This might not be intended by the designer and could reduce the difficulty
- Players cannot cast the spells immediately after they obtained it.
- May have problems with expansions. Not sure about that yet.


Location Special Ability

In Arkham encounter phase players may activate the location special ability and after that players have to have an encounter there.

Reason:

This variant is also supposed to give players the experience of encounters in Arkham. Most of the time, i don't find the need to have encounters at places such as Curiosity Shoppe, the hospital, church or asylum. For me it's such a waste to not have the opportunity to have encounters there. So why not allow players to have both encounters. I think it's still thematically probable.

Regarding the balance, i don't see any problem with it because, location special abilities has some cost to it, location encounters has risk and rewards in it. For me encounters are one of the essence of the game that makes the game fun and unique. And should be brought out more.

Pros:
- Give more feel into the location story
- More rewards! (if you're lucky)

Cons:

- Can reduce the difficulty
- Lengthen the game with reading the of the text and roll
- More risk of bad encounters (if you're unlucky)

Comments:

Mageith had raised up some of the issues the he had faced with this kind of rule.

according to mageith:
mageith wrote:
I agree and we've tried it from time to time.
1) Lengthens the game. (Essentially add a minute to read and resolve card for each player. Doesn't seem like much but could easily add a half an hour.)
2) Disagreement on when the most thematic time was to draw. When do you draw before or after or your choice? (We gave choice but many thought that was too easy). If you draw before, there's a chance you won't get to use the special ability. You'll be gone. If you draw after, there's a chance that you already reaped the world by using the special ability. Seems silly, I know, but to save arguments we just dropped it.




I'm still playtesting this casual variant to see how it goes. So far so good. Still in early game. Don't have much time to play. More input is better though.

I guess that's all for now. I think this is sufficient enough to make AH more fun and more appealing to casual players. Some of the wording might be confusing. I'll try to change it later. Comments would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance
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Gijs Bouwman
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It seems like you have put a lot of work into this.

Still I wouldn't use these variants. For several reasons.

- The Clues and Mythos Draw Phase variants make the game way to easy. What makes this game exciting is the time pressure and there is almost none with these variants.

- Shops: I never camp out at a shop. Players who use this "strategy" will probably never use this variant else the could just say: Let's not camp out at a shop.

- I like spells, Some are very good. It makes great thematic sense (Lovecraft style) that you have to pay with your sanity for some of the spells. Sanity and Stamina are there to be lost and can be gained thru several things (encounters, locations, investigators). This variant also makes the game to easy in my perspective.

- Location special ability: I have no pros or cons against this one.

If you want to use the stable locations more:

A. Just do it. Maybe use more investigators so you have more time to do it.
B. Use expansions with Gate Bursts. These Mythos Cards provide clues on stabile locations.


Good luck!
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Damien
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I Like some of the ideas like drawing an encounter after using special location ability and the spell learning but about this one :
Quote:
Mythos Draw Phase
Mythos draw is based on the current terror level. The markers mechanic (i would use sanity token as marker) is intended to ease the player so that they doesn't have to remember when to draw the mythos card.
1-3 players
1-3 terror level : after the first draw place two markers on top the deck. remove one marker on the next mythos phase. If there is no marker draw mythos card instead. (same as skip draw 2 turn)
4-6 terror level : after the first draw place one marker on top the deck. remove one marker on the next mythos phase. If there is no marker draw mythos card instead. (Skip draw 1 turn)
7-10 terror level : draw mythos as normal.
for 4-6 players
1-5 terror level : after the first draw place one marker on top the deck. remove one marker on the next mythos phase. If there is no marker draw mythos card instead. (Skip draw 1 turn)
6-10 terror level : draw mythos as normal

I think it's making the game very easy. You should draw a mythos card each turn and resolve it except for the gate opening when there is a marker on the mythos deck IMO.
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Jim Kiefer
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urakei wrote:

Clues

Everytime a clue token appears from the mythos card, put it on all neighborhood locations of the same colour instead.

Cons:
- Expansions like in Kingsport may have a lower interest to players to visit because no clues appears there. For me stable locations has a higher rate of good encounters. So it should not be a problem.
Kingsport is already a problem. So this makes its problems worse.

Quote:
- More encounters means longer game time and risk of bad encounters (cursed, lose items and etc).
The stable locations have a higher rate of beneficial encounters. Plus the clues will never get destroyed by gates.

Quote:
Mythos Draw Phase

Mythos draw is based on the current terror level. The markers mechanic (i would use sanity token as marker) is intended to ease the player so that they doesn't have to remember when to draw the mythos card.

1-3 players

1-3 terror level : after the first draw place two markers on top the deck. remove one marker on the next mythos phase. If there is no marker draw mythos card instead. (same as skip draw 2 turn)

4-6 terror level : after the first draw place one marker on top the deck. remove one marker on the next mythos phase. If there is no marker draw mythos card instead. (Skip draw 1 turn)

7-10 terror level : draw mythos as normal.

How high does your terrol level get? Usually it remains low for me and most players that I know. However I like the concept but your numbers are too big.
I'd use for 4-5 investigators:

0 Terror Level: Draw every other turn
1 Terror level: Draw normally
2+ Resolve an additional Mythos for each terror level above 1.

Adjust the terror level down (favorably) by 1 for each investigator under 4, but use normal Mythos for investigators +5 until terror level reaches 2. (unfavorable).

With the game starting out with 50% mythos there should be no problem with the terror level except for those Mythos cards that raise terror with no chance of stopping it.

Quote:
With some delays to the mythos card draw phase this should give players some time to explore the board and make some preparations with clues and items. At the mid game if some of the unstable locations managed to be sealed, it should be less chaotic. By the end of the game players should be able to handle some monsters and hopefully have enough firepower to face GOO.

For more than 4 players i cannot estimate whether that rule is sufficient or not. I think for 7 to 8 players they should be able to cover more locations. So i assume no delay in card drawing is necessary.

If you use all this extra time, camping will probably become a problem so you'll need your rules.

Quote:

Spells
Whenever a player gain a spell put a sanity token on that spell. Spells with sanity token is not learned yet and has to be learned first on the upkeep phase before it can be used.

On the upkeep phase use the spell check with cast modifier and sanity cost to learn the spell (lose sanity based on the cost). If successful remove the sanity token and the player can cast the spell (with cast modifier) next time without paying the sanity cost. If unsuccessful, player has to pay the sanity cost and may learn the spell again (pay the sanity cost again).
Very interesting. AH is based on the role playing game where (based on my reading of its rules) Sanity is lost when a spell is actually successfully cast. In addition, most spells are for cultists and Old Ones and not for investigators.

So your rules are the opposite of that. Again, spell casting is made much more functional in the expansions.

Quote:

Reason:


This is one of the aspect of the game that i would like some improvement. Most spells cost sanity. This could hinder spellcasters to really make full use of it. Most of them has low stamina and high sanity. Cost of sanity for me is not supposed to be like this. So i come out with this concept to make spells more useful and fun to use. It was inspired by somebody on the spells discussion thread about memorizing spells. I just polish out the idea.
Magic in lovecraft is what the investigators are, for the most part, fighting against. A few are dabbling in some of the weaker spells. It could and should drive them insane.devil

So I mostly agree that even though spell casting in the base game is pretty true to the stories and the RPG, that's not much comfort if your stuck with Dexter or even Harvey.

Quote:
Pros:
- Spellcasters can reign again in Arkham
One day you'll meet Daisy and the personal stories for Dexter and Harvey and you'll be happy.


Quote:
Location Special Ability

In Arkham encounter phase players may activate the location special ability and after that players have to have an encounter there.
May? I'd go for mandatory.

Quote:
Regarding the balance, i don't see any problem with it because, location special abilities has some cost to it, location encounters has risk and rewards in it. For me encounters are one of the essence of the game that makes the game fun and unique. And should be brought out more.
Its probably not a balance issue so much as a time constraint issue. However, there will probably be a slight tilt to easier because the stable locations tend to have kinder encounters.

Out of our previous discussions I made a set of cards in Strange Eons similar to Hypnos but for each expansion. There's a card for each stable location and 2 total cards for each unstable location. We draw them when a clue leads to that expansion instead of the location listed on the card. We placed clues normally at the beginning. We allowed special location abilities to be used instead of resolving encounter cards. I don't think it changed difficulty much and did lead to some new encounters.

In short the Hypnos herald will probably solve most of your concerns. Or you can just make up a deck listing each location and putting out an additional clue at each Mythos. In addition, Hypnos lets players draw 2 location cards and choose the most beneficial One. Obviously an extra clue nearly every turn and your choice of encounters will make the game easier but not as easier as one might expect.

You can download the herald from ArkhamHorrorWiki.com but I think you'll have to make up your own clue cards. Strange eons: http://cgjennings.ca/eons/index.html

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John H
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Fadhli,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas here. I too tried the 'slowing down' of the game this weekend, by drawing a mythos card every other turn. This allowed us to explore the new (to us) Dunwich board, teach a new player (not hard core) and really enjoy the expereience as a whole.

We will not be doing this all the time and it really did make the game easy, but making a game your own and enjoying it in different ways is a good thing in my book.

To all the nay sayers out there: I hope this forum can become a little more open minded, tolerant and supportive of new ideas. It may not be your cup of tea, but if someone takes the time to write down new, well thought out ideas, don't list your reasons why that person is 'wrong'. The idea is to promote and share experiences, not knock people around to the point they ask themselves, "why did I share in the first place?".

I cheer the people that have the nerve and care enough to share ideas, not the critics. Well done Fadhli. Well done!





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Gijs Bouwman
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RollD6 wrote:
Fadhli,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas here. I too tried the 'slowing down' of the game this weekend, by drawing a mythos card every other turn. This allowed us to explore the new (to us) Dunwich board, teach a new player (not hard core) and really enjoy the expereience as a whole.

We will not be doing this all the time and it really did make the game easy, but making a game your own and enjoying it in different ways is a good thing in my book.

To all the nay sayers out there: I hope this forum can become a little more open minded, tolerant and supportive of new ideas. It may not be your cup of tea, but if someone takes the time to write down new, well thought out ideas, don't list your reasons why that person is 'wrong'. The idea is to promote and share experiences, not knock people around to the point they ask themselves, "why did I share in the first place?".

I cheer the people that have the nerve and care enough to share ideas, not the critics. Well done Fadhli. Well done!


It's all constructive criticism. Everybody may post his opinion here.
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Fadhli Suib
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Thanks guys for the your valuable input.. .. There's a lot in mind to be discussed but i'd rather move on and report some progress.

I've tested some of the variants (3 investigator, solo),
Investigators
Carolyn Fern
Michael Mcglenn
Gloria Goldberg

Ancient One
Azathoth

i liked the spell, clues and location special ability variant. The mythos draw for (skip 2 turn) seemed easy. What mageith proposed seems more realistic. But the draw more than one mythos per turn seems too difficult for me, i'll tweak it again later.

My aim is to tune the difficulty down a bit but not too easy. Just the sweet spot that casuals would like. I don't understand how you guys manage to maintain a low terror level until the end of the game. For me i got monster surge a lot. Maybe i seal the gate late. But what can i do? The god of dice is not on my side all the time . Only 3 investigators and if one screws up it took some turns to recover and by that time another gate is drawn lol. Luckily this time i drew azathoth. It's not that difficult in a sense but some mistakes had lead us to our demise. It's difficult to manage 3 investigators alone.


I didn't use the shop variant. We have a limited amount of money, so camping is non-issue for me. Gloria lost her retainer. Only Carolyn still has it, also blessed while she was in science building. Michael was on monster duty. Gloria bought most of the items, but she was injured 2 times and lost a lot. One of the culprit was hound of thalos. Her mist spell failed the other one was a monster with physical immunity if forgot which one.

After some shopping on ye old magick shoppe, Carolyn managed to draw curse of azathoth. It's no problem for her to learn the spell with her special ability and high lore. But gloria was stuck with her Find Gate spell that she obtained. She got only 2 sanity left and had to face witches and maniacs to go back to asylum. Carolyn managed to restore her one sanity but time is precious. Gates were at 5 at that time.


After beating down the maniacs (Carolyn) and Witch (Gloria) the road to asylum is cleared. In the meantime, Michael returned to the Hospital from LiTaS. Michael made a mistake by not staying at the hospital for recovering and going straight to the vampire to face it with 2 stamina. He lost the fight and was hospitalized.

Gloria had arrived at the asylum and planned to recover but she only bring $1 with her. Carolyn forgot to give her some money. *Sigh*. Carolyn Gloria tried to learn the Find Gate spell but failed. Sanity was down to 1. With 6 gates had opened the investigators cannot waste more time. Carolyn decided to go to the science building to close the gate there. Luckily she returned to arkham from the first otherworld encounter. Carolyn need one more turn to close the gate (at this time the mythos the mystic environment prevents the gate from sealed). Michael was Recovering in the Hospital after being bitten by a vampire . Gloria was on one sanity and figuring out a way to earn some money. The mythos draw after that was the 7th gate.... The environment had changed...

I changed the mythos draw rule a bit and draw as normal at terror level 3 (current level but at outskirt monster limit 5). It's still difficult on normal draw. Gates starts popping out very quickly. At this time woods and historical society were sealed. Doom token were at 9. Clue tokens were abundant at this time. But the rush and mistakes seems to prevent the investigators from going with their pace.

Carolyn manage to collect a lot of clues, she's currently has the most items and the most lucky among them. Encounters were good. I'm happy with having a lot of encounters especially at the shops. Spells has become useful but it still has a risk of failing. 50% percent of the time the spell had failed. And the difficulty to learn it is challenging too. Still figuring out whether learning spell should be done once per turn or no limits because if no limits spells with 0 sanity cost is considered learned. One solution to make spell learning harder is to add a Lore(-1) to the learning spell check. Or much harder Lore(-1)[2] or maybe Lore(-2). That should add some difficulty to learn spells. Fighters may not be able to easily exploit powerful spell due to the difficulty. But if they got the Lore, why not?

TBH we had lost bcuz the 7th gate opens and azathoth should have won. But for the sake of testing i let that gate open and see what happens next.

To be continued...

*there's one thing that i noticed. Can one investigator hold 2 retainers?

I think i should reorganize the paragraph better. But need to sleep. Thanks for reading.

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Jim Kiefer
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urakei wrote:
My aim is to tune the difficulty down a bit but not too easy. Just the sweet spot that casuals would like. I don't understand how you guys manage to maintain a low terror level until the end of the game. For me i got monster surge a lot. Maybe i seal the gate late. But what can i do? The god of dice is not on my side all the time . Only 3 investigators and if one screws up it took some turns to recover and by that time another gate is drawn lol. Luckily this time i drew azathoth. It's not that difficult in a sense but some mistakes had lead us to our demise. It's difficult to manage 3 investigators alone.
I usually play with 4 invetigators. That means there would be 15-20 addition turns to deal with monsters and the terror level.

Quote:
...time is precious.

And there you have it!

Quote:
...The mythos draw after that was the 7th gate.... The environment had changed...

Still figuring out whether learning spell should be done once per turn or no limits because if no limits spells with 0 sanity cost is considered learned.
Why? It still should have to be learned, otherwise its just like an exhaustable weapon.

Quote:
One solution to make spell learning harder is to add a Lore(-1) to the learning spell check. Or much harder Lore(-1)[2] or maybe Lore(-2). That should add some difficulty to learn spells. Fighters may not be able to easily exploit powerful spell due to the difficulty. But if they got the Lore, why not?
Spells get better with expansion spells and magical investigators. You won't need as many adjustments.

Quote:
TBH we had lost bcuz the 7th gate opens and azathoth should have won. But for the sake of testing i let that gate open and see what happens next.
I've done that.

Quote:
To be continued...

*there's one thing that i noticed. Can one investigator hold 2 retainers?

no. Only 1 of most special cards at a time.
 
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Fadhli Suib
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Quote:
I usually play with 4 invetigators. That means there would be 15-20 addition turns to deal with monsters and the terror level.


I suppose 4 investigators would give some space to recover... Gonna try that later after i got used to AH... Been forgetting to activate things a lot.


Quote:
Quote:
...time is precious.


And there you have it!


I don't understand what do you mean. At that time i have no other options to recover but only to close the gate and hoping that the next draw won't open another gate. No matter what it is, it's an interesting experience indeed. If only i could have one more turn... devil

Quote:
Why? It still should have to be learned, otherwise its just like an exhaustable weapon.


It is an exhaustible weapon with a chance to fail. It's different, mechanic wise. With the learning concept, the penalty of casting magical spell is one (casting modifier) instead of two (with sanity cost).

Quote:
Spells get better with expansion spells and magical investigators. You won't need as many adjustments.


I have mentioned earlier that these variants may not be compatible with expansions. No doubt spells get better, guardians, difficulty mode etc. I am aware of that thank you.

The thread here discuss at length about spells in Arkham. Credit to Shiro1981 and rek075 for their concept.

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/287293/magic-in-arkham/page/...

Quote:
Quote:
TBH we had lost bcuz the 7th gate opens and azathoth should have won. But for the sake of testing i let that gate open and see what happens next.

I've done that.


What's your point?

Quote:
Quote:
*there's one thing that i noticed. Can one investigator hold 2 retainers?

no. Only 1 of most special cards at a time.


Thanks for pointing that out . It was tempting though to hold two retainers. devil Now i can relax.
 
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Anders Troberg
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Interesting variants, though I wouldn't use them as I think the difficulty level is good as it is. I like that you have made an analysis from a game theory viewpoint rather than a theme viewpoint, although I think that taking that analysis even deeper (and then work your way back to a framwork that fits the theme) would make it even better.

There is one exception, though, which I find interesting, and that's the Location Special Ability variant.

I don't know if it's balanced or not, I suspect it will make the game slightly easier as the encounters, on the average, are good. That could easily be fixed, though, by simply increasing the cost of the special abilities a little, say 12 points of trophies instead of 10, 6 points of trophies instead of 5, $3 instead of $2 and so on. Some statistics by checking the encounters would quickly give a reasonable level for this.

Encounters are fun, and if that can be increased, I'm all for it.

Also, one could have the encounter first, then the special effect. That way, chances are that you don't get a chance to use the special effect, thus keeping it more in balance.
 
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Awesome casual rules! Recommended for beginner players, esp. those new to boardgames, as we found that Arkham Horror's difficulty and lack of payoff (we played 5 hours only to die?! WTF?!) turned off quite a few people before they could really got a real taste for it.

urakei wrote:

Spells

Whenever a player gain a spell put a sanity token on that spell. Spells with sanity token is not learned yet and has to be learned first on the upkeep phase before it can be used.

On the upkeep phase use the spell check with cast modifier and sanity cost to learn the spell (lose sanity based on the cost). If successful remove the sanity token and the player can cast the spell (with cast modifier) next time without paying the sanity cost. If unsuccessful, player has to pay the sanity cost and may learn the spell again (pay the sanity cost again).

* special cast modifiers are considered 0 for learning purpose.
** anything other than spells which has "cast modifier" and "sanity cost" cannot be learned. (not sure if other items has cast modifier or not)

Trading:

When trading spells, the player receiving the spell will have to learn the spell while the previous player will have to forget the spell and have to relearn again if he received the same spell.

Reason:


This is one of the aspect of the game that i would like some improvement. Most spells cost sanity. This could hinder spellcasters to really make full use of it. Most of them has low stamina and high sanity. Cost of sanity for me is not supposed to be like this. So i come out with this concept to make spells more useful and fun to use. It was inspired by somebody on the spells discussion thread about memorizing spells. I just polish out the idea.

With this concept, spells does have it's sanity penalty where, non-spellcasters may not be able to easily learn the spell due to it's sanity cost for difficult spells. Whereas spellcasters can easily learn it with their high lore and sanity and are more suitable to use spells. This should reduce the run to Arkham Asylum and utilize more spells.

Pros:
- Spellcasters can reign again in Arkham
- No more sanity cost for casting spells other than when learning it.

Cons:
- This might not be intended by the designer and could reduce the difficulty
- Players cannot cast the spells immediately after they obtained it.
- May have problems with expansions. Not sure about that yet.


We used the rule that Investigators who begin the Upkeep phase in the same location (including same sides of Other Worlds) can teach each other spells as follows:

1) the teacher has to successfully cast the spell, making the roll and paying the sanity as normal (as well as exhausting the card)
2) the student then has to do the same. If he or she succeeds, search the spell deck for the same spell and add it. If he or she fails, then they can try again on a different upkeep phase.

There was a problem with this - eventually you run out of copies of the spell card. Sometimes we used this as a 'natural limit', and sometimes we added paper copies of the spell card.

We stopped using this rule because it was turning everyone in the game into an archmage; however lately we've brought back the rule with a simple limitation: you can only teach someone else a spell once in the game
 
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