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Subject: IMPORTANT : Easy ways to make the game harder rss

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Olivier Prevot
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Hello,

I would like to know if anyone has a simple idea to make the game harder. This variant will be proposed on the French forum.

Any serious ideas are appreciated.Yes I read the different propositions in this forum and they are good.

Thanks!
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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Still waiting for my copy to arrive, so this is theoretical for now...

I'm wondering if the way monsters are involved could be different, in a way that makes the game harder. Since much of this game is modeled after Arkham Horror, I think of the way that monsters often block your paths and prevent you from getting to the gates you need to close. Perhaps if, instead of monsters being added to adventure cards, they could be added between adventure cards, so in order to move from one to another you have to take a separate turn to first kill the monster. And presumably, the extra turn or action it takes to do that will delay attention needed for other things, thus making the game harder.

I have no idea if that's really viable with the system as it is, but perhaps it could work combined with (or instead of) this variant: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/691020/through-the-museu...
 
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Olivier Prevot
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Thank you Grundunza!
I have a week to choose the best idea so please pitch in! laugh
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Doug Click
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I am thinking place (# players + 1) doom tokens to random cards (using d6) at the start of the game and add one doom token to a card each Mythos Phase.

Players can clear the tokens by completing the Adventure Card. If any Doom Tokens remain on a card after all players have taken a turn, they are placed on the Old One.

This will force players to play adventure cards that they might not want to and they will constantly be striving to get those doom tokens removed.

Of course, I don’t yet have the game, so this might not work.
 
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aaron belmer
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I think everyone who hasn't played should get at least a few plays in with current rules. I think the game is hard enough to not let hype dissuade you from following current rules.

If this is deemed too easy, you could easily spread the monsters out to each location, as this indeed makes the game harder, and feels a little closer to AH and what was 'intended' with the rules (never 100% spelled out in rules).

Also, every time the clock strikes midnight, you could add an hour to the clock. This gives the clock a little nudge, increasing the difficulty level.

Great game, can't wait to hear everyone's thoughts.
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Olivier Prevot
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EDITED.
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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Have you contacted Richard Launius about this? I imagine he would probably have about 50 ideas.

I'd be happy to help more and suggest a few things... if only the game would be available, already, so I could play it!
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Olivier Prevot
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Grudunza wrote:
Have you contacted Richard Launius about this? I imagine he would probably have about 50 ideas.

I'd be happy to help more and suggest a few things... if only the game would be available, already, so I could play it!
I dare not contact him... and how would I do it? blush
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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grouik wrote:
Grudunza wrote:
Have you contacted Richard Launius about this? I imagine he would probably have about 50 ideas.

I'd be happy to help more and suggest a few things... if only the game would be available, already, so I could play it!
I dare not contact him... and how would I do it? blush


He's a BGG user, frequently spotted over at the Defenders of the Realm forums...
Richard Launius
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Sam London
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The best one I saw on the forums was simply to resolve the failure effects of an adventure any roll in which a task is not completed. That certainly ups the difficulty a little more.

I also had the idea to place the non-other world adventures in a sequence such that any adventure can be attempted at any time, but you don't refill the board to six adventures until after the adventure in "position 1" is completed. Then all adventures are advanced towards "position 1" before more are put into play. I figured this would minimally affect game balance while forcing players to eventually complete the more difficult adventures, and simultaneously remove the temptation to pile monsters on adventures no one wants to attempt.

My two cents...
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Dan Dedeaux
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I had a chance to demo/play this with Kevin helping us at Strategicon last weekend. Great game, by the way! When I sat down to start playing ES at 7pm, the Epic AH game going on at the table next to us (they must have had every expansion going!!!) was just finishing. And they started their game when I arrived at the con just before noon! :o

Anyways, Kevin offered up a simple idea to increase the games difficulty...that is, instead of increasing the clock by 3 hours per player turn, you could increase it by 4 hours per player turn (or 6 if you're crazy).

Personally, while our group of 4 (newbies, I might add) were getting our butts kicked in the beginning (my character died on his second turn! lol), we did manage to win the game before the Elder woke. The table next to us (with 4 other newbies) managed to win the game as well before the Elder woke. This isn't to say things were easy...in both games, we started having monsters appears like crazy, almost getting out of hand! We just managed to win still.

I can imagine a group of experienced players might want to up the difficulty, though. And Kevin's idea seemed very easy to implement.
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Dan Dedeaux
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AnotherHorrorFan wrote:
and simultaneously remove the temptation to pile monsters on adventures no one wants to attempt.


Just to be sure (the way we were taught):

If there are no open white squares on adventures to place monsters, the monsters must be distributed evenly among all adventures (players choose which adventures get monsters first). These monsters are placed at the bottom of adventures.

In our game, this wasn't an issue, as monsters started appearing like crazy near the end of the game anyways (and we had all sorts of adventures with down arrows that forced the adventures to be overcome in order).

Nothing looked easy at that point! Especially since our yellow die was locked at the bottom of an adventure all of us were afraid to attempt!! laugh
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Sam London
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As per page 11 of the rule book, "if there are no monster tasks in play not already covered by a Monster marker, the active player chooses any 1 Adventure card and places the Monster marker under the bottom task of the card, adding an additional task to the Adventure card." That is all that is said on the matter. So unfortunately, by the original rules, it is okay to pile monsters onto an adventure the players already have no intention of ever attempting.
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Olivier Prevot
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AnotherHorrorFan wrote:
As per page 11 of the rule book, "if there are no monster tasks in play not already covered by a Monster marker, the active player chooses any 1 Adventure card and places the Monster marker under the bottom task of the card, adding an additional task to the Adventure card." That is all that is said on the matter. So unfortunately, by the original rules, it is okay to pile monsters onto an adventure the players already have no intention of ever attempting.
You are right and that should be changed at least for gamers.
 
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Olivier Prevot
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Here is a house rule from Richard Launius :
Quote:
Each time it is Midnight the player that took the last turn advancing the clock rolls 1 Green Die and if they get a Terror, Peril or Lore result add 1 Token to the Doom Track. Then any lingering effects take place, and finally a new Mythos card is revealed.


With this one and the one from Kevin Wilson (Clock faster) it should satisfy most hardened players no? blush Maybe adding the one with no more then one monster per adventure until at least every adventure has one (exception being adventures who already have two monster places).

I loe the museum map (museum board) variant but I know this will be refused.
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Olivier Prevot
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Another house rule from Richard.
Richard Launius wrote:
As far as placing monsters. I also play that you cannot place a monster on a card that already has a monster until all cards have 1 monster, then you can add a second monster, but now each must have 2 before any can have a 3rd. This is also a simple rule and one that significantly impacts play for more tension.
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Dan Dedeaux
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AnotherHorrorFan wrote:
As per page 11 of the rule book, "if there are no monster tasks in play not already covered by a Monster marker, the active player chooses any 1 Adventure card and places the Monster marker under the bottom task of the card, adding an additional task to the Adventure card." That is all that is said on the matter. So unfortunately, by the original rules, it is okay to pile monsters onto an adventure the players already have no intention of ever attempting.


I suppose Kevin told us the monsters must be distributed evenly because he realized the problem as well. It definitely sounds like it needs to be house ruled.
 
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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Richard Launius wrote:
As far as placing monsters. I also play that you cannot place a monster on a card that already has a monster until all cards have 1 monster, then you can add a second monster, but now each must have 2 before any can have a 3rd. This is also a simple rule and one that significantly impacts play for more tension.


I think that makes sense, and was possibly a rules oversight... (There is already one clear rules error, where the rules are in conflict with the Museum Entrance sheet as far as whether you gain Sanity OR Stamina or both as the free option.) Or maybe they just wanted to default to an easier game, but I like that as a variant, at least, if it seems too easy to beat. And that also satisfies my suggestion above about making the monsters get in your way more, like they do in Arkham Horror. This accomplishes that very well, though in a more abstract sense (which is like the way the rest of the game models AH).

I also like Kevin's suggestion about adding an extra hour with each clock move, so you'll get to midnight after every 3 turns instead of 4.

I'm not as crazy about Richard's other suggestion, though, where you roll the die and possibly add a doom token. Much as I love dice-chucking, it seems like there's already enough of it in this game, and that adds another step to do and also adds a significant luck factor (you could roll several terror/peril/lore results in a row and get completely hosed).
 
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Sam London
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Although I do like forcing people to spread out monster placement that still does not get around people avoiding attempting certain harder adventures. The players still would get one or two free monster placements they never have any intention of fighting. If there was to be a semi-official variant to increase difficulty I do think it is important that it forces players to not ignore more difficult adventures they do not feel have adequate rewards.
 
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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AnotherHorrorFan wrote:
Although I do like forcing people to spread out monster placement that still does not get around people avoiding attempting certain harder adventures. The players still would get one or two free monster placements they never have any intention of fighting. If there was to be a semi-official variant to increase difficulty I do think it is important that it forces players to not ignore more difficult adventures they do not feel have adequate rewards.


I would agree, except that forcing the monsters to be spread out should add some difficulty... you probably can't avoid a whole stack of them like you might as the rules seem to allow. And also, inasmuch as this is meant to mimic AH, that seems consistent. There are many games of AH where I completely avoid certain monsters, gates, etc. It's part of the tactical choice to decide what is worth dealing with and what isn't, based on the difficulty, necessity and rewards involved.
 
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Two quick ideas to those already mentioned:

1) When placing two or more doom tokens, add 1 more.

2) Where the monsters will go should be decided before they are drawn.
 
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Olivier Prevot
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vonkohlmann wrote:
Two quick ideas to those already mentioned:

1) When placing two or more doom tokens, add 1 more.

2) Where the monsters will go should be decided before they are drawn.
Again thank you all I will do a compilation and propose.
 
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Jerry Hsu
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Another idea for monster placement:

If there are no open monster slots, roll a 1d6 to determine the adventure the monster goes to. I don't know that I feel any exception particularly needs to be made for Other world adventures as those are relatively rare anyways.


A separate idea that I haven't really worked out yet:

I feel that one difference between Elder Sign and AH is the monster explosion aspect of AH. This is the situation where a gate opens, and a bunch of monsters can appear and those monsters potentially cause a chain that causes extra doom tokens to be added. I think some aspect like this could help to make managing and controlling the monster population a bigger part of the game.

To borrow from AH, something like.. There is a limit on the number of monsters that can be placed outside of the allocated monster slots. After that limit is reached, monsters go to the "outskirts". After the outskirts limit is reached, the monsters in the outskirts are put back in the cup and a doom token is added.

I'll make a rough initial guess of a 4 monster limit in the museum and a 2 monster limit in the outskirts.

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I suggested this elsewhere: at midnight, add a doom token to each adventure card with a doom token. When you resolve an adventure, take that adventure card as normal and remove the doom token. When you place a new adventure, do nto place a new adventure token (only do this at midnight). When midnight rolls back around, if any adventure cards are in play with a doom symbol on them, add a single doom token to the doom track.

I like this monster explosion idea mentioned elsewhere, and I like the chap above mes suggestion even more I think. Though, what if the limit is not 4 and then outskirt 2. Make the limit equal to the number of cards with monster tasks on them (full or partial or whatever) and the outskirts could be equal to the number WITHOUT monster tasks/slots. Or the reverse?
 
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Eric Hansen
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confucious wrote:
Another idea for monster placement:

If there are no open monster slots, roll a 1d6 to determine the adventure the monster goes to. I don't know that I feel any exception particularly needs to be made for Other world adventures as those are relatively rare anyways.


A separate idea that I haven't really worked out yet:

I feel that one difference between Elder Sign and AH is the monster explosion aspect of AH. This is the situation where a gate opens, and a bunch of monsters can appear and those monsters potentially cause a chain that causes extra doom tokens to be added. I think some aspect like this could help to make managing and controlling the monster population a bigger part of the game.

To borrow from AH, something like.. There is a limit on the number of monsters that can be placed outside of the allocated monster slots. After that limit is reached, monsters go to the "outskirts". After the outskirts limit is reached, the monsters in the outskirts are put back in the cup and a doom token is added.

I'll make a rough initial guess of a 4 monster limit in the museum and a 2 monster limit in the outskirts.


I have an idea like this, but I don't have limits. It's a monster surge similar to the AH rule, minus the outskirts/terror level aspects of AH.

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/701141/monster-surge-option
 
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