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Subject: Monsters and the Arrow rss

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Keith Collins
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What is the general consensus on monsters added to the bottom of a card with an arrow. Do we feel these must be completed after the effects on the card or may they be done whenever? If it is a full card, a monster at the bottom could make it literally impossible to complete if the monster has to be done in arrow order. (I fully understand that if the card has a monster slot on it, that must be done in order).
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jflartner
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Yes, I usually place monsters on them last if I can because I play that the arrow means the monster has to be defeated after all the other tasks on the card have been completed from top to bottom.

I also play with this variant, which takes care of that issue, and, IMO, makes the game more fun. =P
 
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Matthew B
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As for Arrow cards and Monsters, I have mixed feelings on this. On one hand I understand the rule of placing the extra monster at the bottom, which to me means it must be the last task to solve the adventure. But I have had some cases where this made solving cards impossible because the number of physically required dice to complete the adventure went above 8. I have thought of fixing this by using 1 of 2 variants. Either changing the rule for extra monsters to add them to the top of the card instead of the bottom, thus making the monster the first task on an arrow card. This would allow for investigators to successfully remove a monster and fail the adventure. They would claim the monster reward, take the failed adventure penalty. And it would make the adventure easier to complete the next time around with the removed monster gone.

The other variant I thought of using for arrow cards and extra monsters was to say the monster is not part of the main arrow task list and can be completed with any die roll. This seemed more flexible and allowed for the same removal of a monster and failure on the adventure to reduce the difficulty for next time.
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Tiger Wiccan
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blackomatic wrote:
in the case when the monster comes first (on a regular monster card) after the monster is defeated do the dice return to the pool?


No, the monster and the dice stay on the card until you either defeat or fail that adventure for the turn.
 
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Tiger Wiccan
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blackomatic wrote:
Shouldn't the monster always be first? How can you solve tasks when there is a monster at large?


The rules technically state to put the monster at the bottom of the adventure card, thus the confusion regarding cards that have the forced order arrow on them. I would agree with those that say even though the monster token is at the bottom of the card, it is separate from the other tasks. That makes more thematic and game balance sense.
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Bill Foley
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tigerwiccan wrote:
blackomatic wrote:
Shouldn't the monster always be first? How can you solve tasks when there is a monster at large?


The rules technically state to put the monster at the bottom of the adventure card, thus the confusion regarding cards that have the forced order arrow on them. I would agree with those that say even though the monster token is at the bottom of the card, it is separate from the other tasks. That makes more thematic and game balance sense.


Yeah, if placing the monster last would make the adventure card literally impossible to complete (more than 8 dice required), it doesn't make sense for the monster to have to go last. I don't think the design was for any of the adventures to become impossible.
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Dane Barrett
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It makes more sense to allow monsters to be tackled first no matter whether it is an arrow card or not, as this allows an investigator the chance of going in, clearing the monster out, failing the adventure (because it needed more than 8 dice), and then another investigator has the chance of going in and doing the adventure without the monster.

This is also how things work in Arkham Horror as a rule (monsters usually have to be killed or evaded before a location can be investigated).
 
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Mark Biggar
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Another point to consider is that if you always place the monster of the bottom of an arrow card and have to do the monster last resulting in an impossible to solve adventure that could result in permanently locking dice out of the game if that monster has a die lock icon.
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T W
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There's no way a monster placed at the bottom of an adventure with an arrow should be considered the last task in the required sequence. That would seriously mess up playability - the probabilities go south (to zero in many cases) quick.
So I'm in violent agreement with others who have stated the same! Assume the arrow sequences are crafted to be a certain achievable challenge, and treat any added monsters as a tasks separate from the arrow sequence.
 
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Dane Barrett
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malgr3 wrote:
So I'm in violent agreement with others who have stated the same!


I agree with you, so please don't punch me
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Bill Foley
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db-one wrote:
malgr3 wrote:
So I'm in violent agreement with others who have stated the same!


I agree with you, so please don't punch me


You can punch me, because I don't agree! No adventure becomes impossible, even playing the monster at the bottom with the arrows, unless there is more than one monster on it. In some cases (the 'Lights Out' card and 1 or 2 of the OWs, I think) you would need all 8 dice to complete it if you are unlucky enough to get a 3-item monster on it. I can't remember if there are any 3-item monsters other than Nyarly's- maybe 1 or 2 at most- but the only impossibility would be the cards above with a 3-item monster playing Shub. Without a doubt it makes completion extremely unlikely, but that is part of the challenge! Having played 8 games, I never double-monstered a single card (playing that you spread monsters evenly), even in cases where I lost.
 
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Keith Collins
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Thank you all for the opinions. I agree with the majority opinion here. I wanted to be sure I was not alone in that opinion.
 
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Bill Foley
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blackomatic wrote:
What I wonder about is monsters who lock dice. if we are playing that you can do the monster first do the dice become unlocked when you kill the monster and are they returned to the pool immediately? or after the the adventure is finished, completed or not.


I have been playing that you get the monster immediately if it's not a monster that has become a task, or part of a task, on the adventure card itself- if it's an extra addition at the bottom, I claim it right away if it has a locked die icon (unless there's an arrow). My thinking is that monster tasks that are part of an adventure are intended to be just that, and extra monsters are, well, 'extra'. That, and it's kind of a compromise between playing it on easy and very hard.

I think a strict reading of the rules would indicate that you don't get to claim any monsters until you complete or fail the adventure, though. Although I'm fairly certain it's not the intention of the creators, if you get to remove the monster immediately, wouldn't that add the task underneath the monster, in the case of partial monster tasks, back into the task?
 
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Bill Foley
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blackomatic wrote:
so do you add the locked dice back into the pool for the completion of the adventure? what about the dice it took to kill the monster?

But what to do about placing monsters when all the adventure cards have a monster. A second monster does, in fact, make certain adventures impossible to complete and I can't believe that is the intention of the designers. I read somewhere that someone is creating a monster pool like the outkirts in Arkham Horror. What about just adding a doom token for every monster that is unable to be placed?


To the first question, I would say yes, the dice are freed up after you complete the adventure, although you wouldn't be able to use them until your next turn (or the next player could use them on his turn). You don't add the dice used to kill the monster back into the pool on the same turn- they remain on the monster until the end of your turn.

With 2 or more monsters, it still doesn't make the Adv permanently impossible, unless you're playing with the 'monsters go last on the arrow cards' variant. You can go in and try to take out the monsters even if you know you can't complete the Adv, and once you're removed enough of them, the next player (or yourself on another turn, if playing solo) can then go in to do the Adv. You would, of course, suffer the penalties on the Adv for not completing it.
 
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T W
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xfoley8 wrote:
db-one wrote:
malgr3 wrote:
So I'm in violent agreement with others who have stated the same!


I agree with you, so please don't punch me


You can punch me, because I don't agree! No adventure becomes impossible, even playing the monster at the bottom with the arrows, unless there is more than one monster on it. In some cases (the 'Lights Out' card and 1 or 2 of the OWs, I think) you would need all 8 dice to complete it if you are unlucky enough to get a 3-item monster on it. I can't remember if there are any 3-item monsters other than Nyarly's- maybe 1 or 2 at most- but the only impossibility would be the cards above with a 3-item monster playing Shub. Without a doubt it makes completion extremely unlikely, but that is part of the challenge! Having played 8 games, I never double-monstered a single card (playing that you spread monsters evenly), even in cases where I lost.


No worries, I'm restraining myself ! But I maintain that the designers absolutely did not intend for monsters appended to sequenced task adventures to become the last part of the sequence.

To pry into the probabilities a bit further, there are definitely a few impossible scenarios, but even if you are not playing against S-N, and don't stack more than one monster at the end of a sequence, the odds still get unacceptably bad. There are 6 '3-item-equivalent' monsters (a couple lock dice, which is worse than just having 3 items) if playing against Nyarlathotep. Put any of those on 'Lights Out' and it may not be 'impossible' but neither is winning the lottery.

Just to illustrate with one example on 'Lights Out', imagine you place the Dark Pharaoh on there. Out of the '3-task-equivalent' monsters, it's not the worst choice, and the math is a little simpler. You need all 8 dice to complete this sequence, and you can't fail any task. By the time you reach the DP, you have 3 dice to roll 3 scrolls. That's a base 1 in 200 chance. Say you made it that far with the red, ok now you are at 1 in 100, or 1%. But you had to complete the whole prior sequence and the base chance on 'Lights Out' is 5%. So the base odds of completing the whole sequence (card and monster) are 1 in 2000. 0.05%. Sure there are modifiers - I'm already throwing the red and yellow in - rerolls, spells, etc. And that's what makes the 'Lights Out' sequence tough but doable. Add a 1 in 100 chance on the end of that, and some might call that a challenge, but it's not really playable. I don't think the intent was to make it that way.

 
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Bill Foley
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malgr3 wrote:
No worries, I'm restraining myself ! But I maintain that the designers absolutely did not intend for monsters appended to sequenced task adventures to become the last part of the sequence.

To pry into the probabilities a bit further, there are definitely a few impossible scenarios, but even if you are not playing against S-N, and don't stack more than one monster at the end of a sequence, the odds still get unacceptably bad. There are 6 3-item equivalent monsters (a couple lock dice, which is worse than just having 3 items) if playing against Nyarlathotep. Put any of those on 'Lights Out' and it may not be 'impossible' but neither is winning the lottery.

Just to illustrate with one example on 'Lights Out', imagine you place the Dark Pharaoh on there. Out of the 3 task equivalent monsters, it's not the worst choice, and the math is a little simpler. You need all 8 dice to complete this sequence, and you can't fail any task. By the time you reach the DP, you have 3 dice to roll 3 scrolls. That's a base 1 in 200 chance. Say you made it that far with the red, ok now you are at 1 in 100, or 1%. But you had to complete the whole prior sequence and the base chance on 'Lights Out' is 5%. So the base odds of completing the whole sequence (card and monster) are 1 in 2000. 0.05%. Sure there are modifiers - I'm already throwing the red and yellow in - rerolls, spells, etc. And that's what makes the 'Lights Out' sequence tough but doable. Add a 1 in 100 chance on the end of that, and some might call that a challenge, but it's not really playable. I don't think the intent was to make it that way.


I agree, in principle, but the odds of this card/monster combination happening at all are really not very likely (calculate the odds on that one for me- I'm genuinely curious), and you do have the option of at least 5 other adventures to go after. To me, it would be the most satisfying roll ever to complete Lights Out requiring all of your dice, especially with no clues!

I completely agree that making an adventure literally impossible was not the designer's intent, and would avoid a situation like that if at all possible. How likely is it that you would aver be forced to play 2 monsters on an arrow card, because all your non-arrow cards already had 2? (Not really looking for the stats on that one.)
 
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Bill Foley
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blackomatic wrote:
So we are playing that all Adventures have one monster placed before we add a second monster to an Adv? (is that in the rules?) otherwise of course you could dump all the monsters on a nasty Adv. and just leave them there and ignore it


This is how I play, and I suspect when the FAQ comes out, they will make this a general rule. Obviously I can't be certain of that, but I think even when the game was first released for conventions, folks playing it there were told this was a way to exploit the game mechanics/rules as written. It feels like a cheat to me to be able to avoid monsters completely in this way, and not nearly as fun or challenging, so I will always play it that you have to spread the monsters out (placing them on monster task icons on Adv cards first, of course).
 
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