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Arkham Horror» Forums » Variants

Subject: Help with custom characters rss

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Salvatore Schillaci
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Hey all,

I've created two custom investigators loosely based on some friends. I'm fairly new to AH and this is my first try at custom characters. I would appreciate any feedback. The characters are within SE's guidelines, but I'm sure there's more tweaking that can make them better.

Character #1: the baker, based on a friend who bakes a lot, and is also quite the thrifty person, as you can see from her "Frugal" ability

Sanity: 6
Stamina: 4
Home: Velma's Diner
Fixed Possessions: $6, 3 clue tokens, 2 common items (food and old journal) Old journal is given to her because in her back-story she finds a mysterious old tome in the library
Random possessions: 2 common items, 1 unique item, 1 skill
Focus: 2

Abilities:
Frugal: Any phase, when purchasing an item this investigator pays $1 less than the listed price, to a minimum of $1.
Bake sale: Arkham Encounter: Investigator may gain $1 and the Food Common Item instead of having an encounter at Velma's Diner.

Speed 0-3
Sneak 4-1
Fight 1-4
Will 5-2
Lore 1-4
Luck 5-2


Character #2: the chemist, based on a friend who works as an environmental chemist

Sanity: 5
Stamina: 5
Home: Science Building
Fixed Possessions: $5, 3 clue tokens, 1 ally (Prof. Armitage)
Random possessions: 2 common items, 1 skill
Focus: 1

Abilities:
Science!: Same as Kate Winthrop. Basically gates and monsters don't appear in the investigator's location.

Speed 1-4
Sneak 3-0
Fight 1-4
Will 5-2
Lore 2-5
Luck 4-1

Can't wait to hear some feedback. Thanks!
 
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Kenneth H
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Well, your first character looks pretty interesting. The frugal ability is fine. The Bake Sale ability is mostly unexplored territory with regards to character abilities, and has potential. I probably wouldn't use this ability too much, but it's interesting.

I would caution against giving a character the Old Journal as a fixed item, because it is so good for its cost. Other than that, the rest of her is just fine.

The second character I have a little more of an issue with. Simply, you gave him Kate's ability, starting location, and (almost) stats. How is this character going to be different than Kate? Change it up a bit, don't just make a Kate that you'd rather play. Unless that's what you want to do, in which case, tell us that.

I don't really see how Professor Armitage would throw in his lot with a chemist, as he is an occult professor. You'd have to justify it really well in the backstory. Finally, if you're set on starting somebody with Professor Armitage, might you give them spells or unique items so that his secondary ability (ignore magical resistance) has the potential to do something to start? Characters with such high lore (7 max!) generally start with a spell or two.
 
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Salvatore Schillaci
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Thanks for the feedback. I'll consider taking away the old journal and maybe replacing it with another tome that isn't so powerful. I figured that it would help offset her somewhat low stamina, but then again, I don't want to take away from the challenge of it. Especially since she already has food and can access more food whenever she wants.

The second character is indeed very close to Kate. I just haven't had as much time to try to develop any unique abilities for him. The "Science!" ability seemed ready-made for a character that's a scientist, but I may have to look into the game mechanics and come up with an ability that would be more specific to a chemist. Since I've only played a few games so far I still have to focus a lot of energy on getting the base rules right, let alone coming up with ways to tweak the game via unique abilities.

As far as having Prof. Armitage as an ally, I kind of tie it together with the back-story. I've based this character on events from "The Colour Out of Space". If you're unfamiliar with the story, a meteorite crashes into a farmstead near Arkham, and an alien "colour" slowly blights the area, driving the family mad and then killing them, and rendering the whole area infertile. My chemist has been tasked with analyzing some samples from the area. When he gets some weird results, he remembers the stories he's heard about the meteorite and sets off for the library to try to learn more about what happened. Thus the link between him and Prof. Armitage, who is a librarian at the University.

For now, I did just kind of make him as a character to use as an alternative to Kate, just for the fun of being able to have my friend play himself as an investigator. But I think I do need to come up with a new special ability eventually. A flux stabilizer doesn"t seem like something a chemist would work with anyway, seems like more of a physicist or engineer's device. Any ideas on a special ability that might work more along the lines of chemistry? Maybe I can create some sort of unique item for him, like a potion or something? Or maybe I can have him concoct something which ends up making him a Jekyll-and-Hyde type of character, where a roll of the die will determine what action he takes in any given scenario? Or, as the terror track advances, the Hyde side of him gets stronger, reducing max sanity but increasing max stamina?

Anyway, sorry for the long post, just throwing some ideas out. Thanks again for the feedback!
 
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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I was thinking the same thing, that Kate's type of scientist doesn't seem to fit with a chemist. I'm not sure if there's a way to represent a chemist well with the existing items available, but you could always create a custom item that represents a powerful chemical agent.

What I think might be cool, though, is if it could be represented to function as an experiment over time. So it might take several turns to find the right chemical balance, but once you get it, then it's more of a minimal function to make more of it once you've used it. And there could be several different "chemical agents" that do different things. Hmmm... How about something like this for his abilities:

Chemist
Any Phase:
May use Chemical Agents.

Chemical Experiments
Movement Phase:
Once per turn, (name) may spend 2 movement points to attempt a chemical experiment and make a Lore (+0) check and a Luck (-1) check. If both succeed, (name) may place 1 of his Clue tokens on any Chemical Agent. If either check fails, lose 1 Sanity or 1 Stamina.

And here are two examples of chemical agents, though there could be several more...

Chemical Agent: Salve
Cost: 2 Clue tokens
Exhaust to roll a die when taking Stamina damage. On a success, ignore all Stamina damage.
This may only be refreshed by spending $1 and 1 movement point during the Movement Phase.

Chemical Agent: Toxin
Cost: 3 Clue tokens
Exhaust to reduce the toughness of all monsters in your location by 1, to a minimum of 1.
This may only be refreshed by spending $1 and 2 movement points during the Movement Phase.

So it sort of functions like a Spell, but you don't get to use it until it's completed, and then you have to take the time to create more to use it again (but you've already discovered it, so you don't need to spend the Clues again for that). And you could have a variety of effects for the different chemical agents, with different costs to refresh.

That might be a lot more than you're looking for, but anyway... I may use the idea myself for a character just to try out.
 
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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Something like this...



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Salvatore Schillaci
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Wow. That is awesome. Way beyond what I would have thought of with my current grasp of the game. I had a notion to create some kind of chemical agent for him to use, but I never would have come up with the creation mechanic. It totally makes sense the way you have it laid out. I like the initial cost of clues during the "R&D" phase, if you will, and then the continuing cost to refresh the cards later. So would you have the chemical agents available to the investigator at the outset, and then decide which ones you want to dedicate clues to? Or would you have to wait to draw them from the item deck? If drawing them from the deck you would want to have several to increase the likelihood of drawing one during the game. If not, you would probably not want to create too many. You'd probably end up using the same one or two most of the time, unless the GOO conditions favor one over another.

Personally, I think I'll use the two you suggested for now and make them available at the start of the game. I can then choose which to use based on the game conditions. As I better grasp the mechanics of the game I may come up with some more based on areas where I feel the character is weak. This way the chemist can customize his chemical agent inventory based on his needs in that specific game.

What's the rationale behind the fixed and random possessions, as well as the focus of 3? I mean this as compared to the original that I posted. Not being critical at all, just trying to get some insight as to why your version may be more balanced than mine, since you seem to have a much better grasp than I do of what traits this investigator should have.

Now I need to develop some monsters with chemical resistance and chemical immunity!
 
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Salvatore Schillaci
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Also, not to be lazy, but could you post a link to the .eon files if possible? I have my investigator, but would like the chemical agent cards. Only if you don't mind. I'm not that great with SE, it would probably take me a while to get them looking as good as yours.

Already thinking of a new chemical agent: "Botox". Costs 5 clues, and does absolutely nothing of value, but you'll look ten years younger as you get devoured.
 
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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Quote:
Wow. That is awesome. Way beyond what I would have thought of with my current grasp of the game. I had a notion to create some kind of chemical agent for him to use, but I never would have come up with the creation mechanic. It totally makes sense the way you have it laid out. I like the initial cost of clues during the "R&D" phase, if you will, and then the continuing cost to refresh the cards later. So would you have the chemical agents available to the investigator at the outset, and then decide which ones you want to dedicate clues to? Or would you have to wait to draw them from the item deck? If drawing them from the deck you would want to have several to increase the likelihood of drawing one during the game. If not, you would probably not want to create too many. You'd probably end up using the same one or two most of the time, unless the GOO conditions favor one over another.


I haven't worked it all out yet, but here's what I have in mind so far... The Chemical Agents are a deck unto themselves (and I'd like there to be at least 10 of them), and during Setup you shuffle them and draw 2 or 3 to place face-up. Those are the possible Chemical Agents that can be developed at the moment. Once one of those is fully researched and taken by an investigator, then draw another one face-up. So there is some randomness game-to-game as far as what will be available, but you also have some choice as far as what to develop. I'm also working on some means for other investigators (not just the Chemist) to be able to use these...

Quote:
What's the rationale behind the fixed and random possessions, as well as the focus of 3? I mean this as compared to the original that I posted. Not being critical at all, just trying to get some insight as to why your version may be more balanced than mine, since you seem to have a much better grasp than I do of what traits this investigator should have


Yours is probably great as it is in that respect. I wasn't even looking at that when I made Orville. I just found that picture and had those abilities and built everything from scratch. I guess, considering his age from the picture, and the potential strength of the Chemical Agents he can use, that I felt he should have only 3 Speed and 3 Fight. But that is a pretty harsh stat mix to give someone, so I offset it with 3 Focus. I also skewed his Sanity to 4 because of the picture... should have been 3, maybe.

gravekeeper wrote:
Also, not to be lazy, but could you post a link to the .eon files if possible? I have my investigator, but would like the chemical agent cards. Only if you don't mind. I'm not that great with SE, it would probably take me a while to get them looking as good as yours.


Yeah, sure. Just GM me with your e-mail address and I'll forward them.

Quote:
Already thinking of a new chemical agent: "Botox". Costs 5 clues, and does absolutely nothing of value, but you'll look ten years younger as you get devoured.


Ha, that's hilarious.

Here's the back, btw...

 
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