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Subject: Mandy, Joe, and the Ancient One Gang, among other questions rss

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Darian Tucker
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Mandy Thompson: works on every player's turn or only on her own turn? I ask because then the tag of "active player" seems pointless if it's only on her turn, since she will always be the active player.

Joe Diamond: Joe can reroll the die a second time without spending an additional Clue Token. But Clue Tokens allow you to reroll any or all of the dice in your Dice Pool. So what is correct: Joe can reroll one die twice every time he spends a Clue Token, or Joe can reroll some or all of the dice twice every time he spends a Clue Token?

Ancient One Attacks: So you get multiple rolls to complete the task on an Ancient One, and you just keep setting aside the dice you completed it with as you go along? In other words, if fighting Yig, I roll all 6 dice and get 2 skulls, set those aside and roll 4 dice to get 2 skulls, and if I'm successful again I roll the remaining two dice and hope to get 2 skulls for a total of 3 Doom Tokens removed in one turn? That seems insanely powerful. Some Ancient Ones could be dead before they ever got an attack if you rolled extremely well. Seems completely contrary to the theme of the Ancient One battle being as hard as the rules purport. The way I originally read it made it sound like you got one shot (roll) to either complete the Ancient One task or not, meaning you could only effectively do one damage per turn every 4 turns before the AO attacked. Although it would most likely be hard as hell to do most AOs tasks twice or three times in one turn anyway, the fact that it is possible seems to make buffing up to fight the AO even more viable in this game than it was in AH.

Adding Monsters to a Card: After all monster tasks are used up on cards, the monsters can be added to any card. This might include a card with a monster already on it. Effectively, you could just stack all the monsters on one card if you wanted to, right? I see nothing in the rules preventing this.

Spells: Spells seem extremely dumb to me. You have to cast them before you roll the dice. Then, once they are cast, you MUST set a die on them, even if you don't particularly feel like it. I just want to make sure there is nothing wrong with immediately using the chosen die to complete a task. For example, I am facing a card with two tasks, an 8 Investigations task and a Peril task. I cast a 1 die-locking spell. I then roll the dice and get just barely enough Investigations to complete the one task on 5 of the dice. The die left over is a Terror result. I don't want to put the Terror die on my spell because then I will obviously fail the adventure, whereas if I can keep it I still have a shot. Is it legal to put one of the dice showing an Investigation result on the spell card, then immediately use it to complete the current task, thereby discarding the spell? I don't see why not, but it's always good to ask.

Focusing and Assisting: The rules are just written poorly here, so I want to make sure I have it right. Two other investigators and I are on a card. I roll to complete a 3-Terror task. I roll the dice and get two Terrors plus 4 other miscellaneous results. I can only focus one of the Terror dice, so I put it on my character. Then I set another die aside and roll the 4 leftover dice. I get one Terror result, so I add this to another of the investigators at the adventure and set another die aside, leaving me with two dice. That's all right? So I guess my question is is it really worth having more than one other investigator at an adventure with you, since by the time you get down to two dice, it's basically do or die, anyway? In other words, without the yellow or red die in the pool, there seems to be no benefit from having more than one investigator to assist.

Final, most IMPORTANT question: This is going to come off a bit vindictive, so I'm sorry in advance, but is this game just fucked beyond belief as far as the rules are concerned? I tried reading through a few of the other rules threads and I got more confused by what people were posting there. The unofficial FAQ here had to be locked because people were casting insults back and forth. Is there any real consensus on the rules? I'm getting horrible flashbacks to my days in the Cosmic Encounter Rules forum where every thread turned into a multipage effort of casting out the RAW and going with "whoever has the coolest houserule". It made me stop playing that game, and the same thing might damn well happen here if this game is the same way.
 
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Bob Jonas
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Mandy Thompson: We let Mandy use her power once per round to assist any of the other players or herself. The rule is definitely unclear so house rules will have to do. Another way to resolve this would be to see how it plays out in Omens.

Joe Diamond: I believe that to be a sloppy typo (should be dice), meaning he can reroll some or all dice a second time when spending a clue token.

Ancient One Attacks: Good luck getting 6 skulls in three rolls, stripping two dice from each roll. If you're interpreting the rules that way, that may be possible (though astronomically unlikely). I have played that you can only strip one doom token per turn.

Adding Monsters to a Card: You've just spotted this game's most infamous exploit, commonly referred to as the "Monster Party". White borders always take precedence but if there're none available you can place them wherever you want. Houserule it up to prevent this.

Spells: That's part of the gamble with using a spell. It could be a wise decision, or it could screw you over. It depends on luck. This prevents spells from being abusable.

Focusing and Assists: You are spot on. At least that's how it works in Omens, and that's how I've been playing it with friends as well. I think the Focusing and Assist system is great so long as you know how to do it. My first game I used focusing just like I would use a spell that locked down some dice. That was too easy. This adds some calculating at least.

Final, most IMPORTANT question: FFG has dropped the ball on a few different occasions in writing clear and concise rules to their Arkham games. Elder Signs is the most memorable of those because it has only just happened. The job done playtesting this game must have been very lousy and within the company. There must've been a lot of teaching going on instead of trying to get random people to learn the game with only the rules sheet. Still, the game itself is good and of good quality.

Take care.
 
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Chris Lawson
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SparkingConduit wrote:
Ancient One Attacks: So you get multiple rolls to complete the task on an Ancient One, and you just keep setting aside the dice you completed it with as you go along? In other words, if fighting Yig, I roll all 6 dice and get 2 skulls, set those aside and roll 4 dice to get 2 skulls, and if I'm successful again I roll the remaining two dice and hope to get 2 skulls for a total of 3 Doom Tokens removed in one turn? That seems insanely powerful. Some Ancient Ones could be dead before they ever got an attack if you rolled extremely well. Seems completely contrary to the theme of the Ancient One battle being as hard as the rules purport. The way I originally read it made it sound like you got one shot (roll) to either complete the Ancient One task or not, meaning you could only effectively do one damage per turn every 4 turns before the AO attacked. Although it would most likely be hard as hell to do most AOs tasks twice or three times in one turn anyway, the fact that it is possible seems to make buffing up to fight the AO even more viable in this game than it was in AH.

dashgalaxy86 wrote:
Ancient One Attacks: Good luck getting 6 skulls in three rolls, stripping two dice from each roll. If you're interpreting the rules that way, that may be possible (though astronomically unlikely). I have played that you can only strip one doom token per turn.

I would disagree with you here, I think the rules are clear on this point. During the Investigator's turn it is possible (but unlikely) to remove several Doom tokens.

Have a read of the rules on page 12.
Quote:
During the Attack the Ancient One step, players roll dice as they
did during the Resolve an Adventure Card step. Each Ancient
One has a Combat Task printed on its card. Each time the active
investigator completes this task, remove a Doom token from the
Doom track. Investigators may complete the task any number of
times during the Attack the Ancient One step (but only once for
each time they roll the dice).

Emphasise mine.

Why else would the rules include that sentence if you are not allowed to remove more than one Doom token per Investigator?

The issue of defeating the GOO (Nyarlathotep) has just recently come up, Nyarlathotep broken, and the same applies to Yig.

With 6 green dice, there is about a 26% chance of obtaining two Peril results.

With 4 green dice, there is about a 13% chance of obtaining two Peril results.

With 2 green dice, there is about a 3% chance of obtaining two Peril results.

Difficult but not impossible. More so when you can also use the red and yellow dice, spells and clues. Don't forget the "Strong Body" special ability of Michael McGlen or Thomas F. Malone as an Ally!
 
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Chris Lawson
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SparkingConduit wrote:
Mandy Thompson: works on every player's turn or only on her own turn? I ask because then the tag of "active player" seems pointless if it's only on her turn, since she will always be the active player.

I would suggest there are three possible cases. I'm sure there are other cases that can be put forward but let's just stick with these three for now.

1) Her ability can be applied once during each players turn.
2) Her ability can be applied once during her turn.
3) Her ability can be applied once each round. A "round" being defined as from the start of her turn, ending at the start of her next turn.

I prefer option 3. She can apply her ability once for each turn she has but it can be applied during any player's turn. Once used it cannot be re-used until the start of her next turn.
SparkingConduit wrote:
Joe Diamond: Joe can reroll the die a second time without spending an additional Clue Token. But Clue Tokens allow you to reroll any or all of the dice in your Dice Pool. So what is correct: Joe can reroll one die twice every time he spends a Clue Token, or Joe can reroll some or all of the dice twice every time he spends a Clue Token?

I think is means dice, as in Joe can reroll some or all of the dice twice every time he spends a Clue Token.
SparkingConduit wrote:
Ancient One Attacks: So you get multiple rolls to complete the task on an Ancient One, and you just keep setting aside the dice you completed it with as you go along? In other words, if fighting Yig, I roll all 6 dice and get 2 skulls, set those aside and roll 4 dice to get 2 skulls, and if I'm successful again I roll the remaining two dice and hope to get 2 skulls for a total of 3 Doom Tokens removed in one turn? That seems insanely powerful. Some Ancient Ones could be dead before they ever got an attack if you rolled extremely well. Seems completely contrary to the theme of the Ancient One battle being as hard as the rules purport. The way I originally read it made it sound like you got one shot (roll) to either complete the Ancient One task or not, meaning you could only effectively do one damage per turn every 4 turns before the AO attacked. Although it would most likely be hard as hell to do most AOs tasks twice or three times in one turn anyway, the fact that it is possible seems to make buffing up to fight the AO even more viable in this game than it was in AH.

Reply above. Same applies to Nyarlathotep. I don't see it as an issue if the GOO is "easy" to kill during the final battle. I find most of the GOOs easy to beat without going to the final battle.
SparkingConduit wrote:
Adding Monsters to a Card: After all monster tasks are used up on cards, the monsters can be added to any card. This might include a card with a monster already on it. Effectively, you could just stack all the monsters on one card if you wanted to, right? I see nothing in the rules preventing this.

The rules as written allow this. It has been a much discussed topic and it seems it is a strategy that wasn't noticed during any of the playtesting. The designers have commented that they would not allow it and expect it to be fixed when the FAQ is released.
SparkingConduit wrote:
Spells: Spells seem extremely dumb to me. You have to cast them before you roll the dice. Then, once they are cast, you MUST set a die on them, even if you don't particularly feel like it. I just want to make sure there is nothing wrong with immediately using the chosen die to complete a task. For example, I am facing a card with two tasks, an 8 Investigations task and a Peril task. I cast a 1 die-locking spell. I then roll the dice and get just barely enough Investigations to complete the one task on 5 of the dice. The die left over is a Terror result. I don't want to put the Terror die on my spell because then I will obviously fail the adventure, whereas if I can keep it I still have a shot. Is it legal to put one of the dice showing an Investigation result on the spell card, then immediately use it to complete the current task, thereby discarding the spell? I don't see why not, but it's always good to ask.

A case where the rules as written don't agree with the way the designers play the game. I now play it that Spells are spent after the dice are rolled. It should be noted that this is now Elder Signs: Omens works.
SparkingConduit wrote:
Focusing and Assisting: The rules are just written poorly here, so I want to make sure I have it right. Two other investigators and I are on a card. I roll to complete a 3-Terror task. I roll the dice and get two Terrors plus 4 other miscellaneous results. I can only focus one of the Terror dice, so I put it on my character. Then I set another die aside and roll the 4 leftover dice. I get one Terror result, so I add this to another of the investigators at the adventure and set another die aside, leaving me with two dice. That's all right? So I guess my question is is it really worth having more than one other investigator at an adventure with you, since by the time you get down to two dice, it's basically do or die, anyway? In other words, without the yellow or red die in the pool, there seems to be no benefit from having more than one investigator to assist.

This is all correct. And what you say is correct, in most cases there is little benefit from having more than one investigator to assist.

While this is a "co-operative" game, I see little or no real co-operative activity beyond the discussion of what Adventure to try next. Assisting is hardly co-operative since the other player has no say in the matter!
SparkingConduit wrote:
Final, most IMPORTANT question: This is going to come off a bit vindictive, so I'm sorry in advance, but is this game just fucked beyond belief as far as the rules are concerned? I tried reading through a few of the other rules threads and I got more confused by what people were posting there. The unofficial FAQ here had to be locked because people were casting insults back and forth. Is there any real consensus on the rules? I'm getting horrible flashbacks to my days in the Cosmic Encounter Rules forum where every thread turned into a multipage effort of casting out the RAW and going with "whoever has the coolest houserule". It made me stop playing that game, and the same thing might damn well happen here if this game is the same way.

I would agree the rules are unclear in many areas, it seems like the person who wrote the rules didn't play the game at all or not enough (this also applies to the Rules Editor). It also seems the designers didn't even read any of the rule drafts.

A poor job all round but that is what FFG are so well know for, poor rules. I would suggest to email FFG directly and give them your own opinion of the rules. Unless people complain directly then they will just sweep the issues under the carpet and ignore the problem.

If you have not already, I would suggest you have a read of the From the Arkham Nights Event ~ Many Questions Answered thread as a number of your questions have been resolved there.

Despite the poor rules, I personally think the rules are now mostly clear, or at least clear enough that the game is playable. The only possible issue is that the game it too easy but there are a number of ways it can be adjusted to make it more difficult (adjusting the Mythos card in use is the easiest way to make it harder / easier I think)
 
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Darian Tucker
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Thanks for the detailed response. See, it's great that people love to use house rules for games, but it really bothers me when I buy a game that has to have several house rules thrown in to balance it. Partially, it's because the game then feels like an incomplete or flawed product. If the balance issues weren't intended by the designer, but they can be very easily fixed by a simple house rule, then it indicates to me that the designer didn't do a very good job putting the game together. If it's supposed to be unbalanced to begin with, then there's no issue.

Another part of the problem for me is most house rules suck or are ill thought out. Some people might make the game more fun for them, but it ruins it for others who don't like that type of house rule. I find it hard to believe that most people are still stupid enough to think injecting money into the game via Free Parking in Monopoly is a viable rule, and yet they still do it. This is why I try to avoid house rules at all costs unless I like something that is broken enough to want to try to fix it.

The final part of the house rule problem is when they are necessary because the designer/publisher just don't care enough to give rules support for the game. This is pretty much the case for this game. The designer says that he did not intend investigators to stack monsters all on one card if they begin to get overrun, but then what is the proper solution? Surely, evening out the monsters among the cards is not a good idea, as it may make some difficult cards nigh impossible to beat. Also, what is an "even" spread? Are you still allowed to add a monster as the bottom task to a card if it already has a monster on a monster task, or must you add it to a different card? These are important questions that need answers, which is why it is so irritating to me when the designer simply says the RAW are wrong, but why don't you just figure it out while I deal with the publisher for a year to try to get an errata published? At the very least, tell us how you play it or give us an answer while we wait for the official answer. Just leaving us hanging seems like extremely poor form.

To conclude, I liken my playing of board games to a puzzle. All the rules are the pieces and the puzzle only fits together a certain way, which is the correct way of interpreting the rules. House rules are like puzzle pieces that have been cut up or brought in from another puzzle to fit in an area where someone was too lazy to look for the right piece. Sure, someone might like the way their puzzle came out even more, but I want the puzzle to look just like the picture on the box and I will spend a good deal of time getting the puzzle right so I can reap the reward at the end. If the puzzle is missing a few pieces (think the designer incorporating terrible rules), I tend to get upset and not want to bother completing what there is of the puzzle and fixing the holes myself. Hopefully that little analogy helps you understand my disdain for how the rules support for this game is being handled.
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