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House rules to make Arkham Horror more challenging


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#1 solidearth

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 12:46 AM

Hey there fellow investigators! I have played around 10 games of Arkham Horror with the base game and another 5 with 'The King in Yellow' expansion. I haven't really lost as often as I expected. As the topic stated; what are your favourite house rules to amp up the difficultly of the game? I must stress that I only have the base game and king in yellow. 

thanks!



#2 Jake yet again

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 01:42 AM

1) Buy Dunwich or Innsmouth. These boards add extra unstable locations, increasing the number of times you will draw a Mythos card which increases the Doom Track. If you can't afford (or can't find) either of these expansions, try printing out the Arkham Nightmare or Lovecraft Country Horror fan-made expansions instead, both of which provide plenty of other threats to concern yourself with.

 

2) For a cheaper alternative, dig through some of the heralds in the fan creations section of this forum. Not only will these cards increase the difficulty of your game, they'll also make each game play differently, increasing the variety in your games.


Lovecraft Country Horror - A completely FREE Big Box expansion for Arkham Horror, exploring the minor locations of the Cthulhu Mythos. Contains: Lovecraft Country Board, 16 Investigators, 4 Ancient Ones, 16 Skills, 32 Common Items, 24 Unique Items, 10 Spells, 16 Music of Erich Zann cards, 76 Leads, 4 Allies, 32 Monsters, 24 Injuries and Madnesses, 54 Mythos Cards, 41 Outer World Encounters, 52 Location Encounters for each Neighbourhood.


#3 solidearth

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 01:37 PM

Thanks I think I'll get Dunwich eventually, all the LGS in town are sold out. 

 

What I really want to know is if anyone has made any house rules which make the game harder without adding new components. 

cheers



#4 Julia

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 02:17 PM

There's a variant for the base game with some serious boosts to the AOs developed by Avi_dreader some time ago. It's buried somewhere in this forum (and in my old PC, and I cannot recover the data right now); maybe it's easier if you PM Avi and ask him about the variant.


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#5 Avi_dreader

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 11:58 AM

It's the second post in this thread.  (Aaaah google).

http://community.fan...showtopic=49922


Edited by Avi_dreader, 09 September 2013 - 11:59 AM.


#6 Avi_dreader

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 12:16 PM

It occurred to me that that Demi-Gods variant may not be up to date...  Anyway, here's a repost so you don't have to go to another thread.  Sorry about the background colors.  Just put it in a word processor and fix everything back to normal:

It occurred to me that that Demi-Gods variant may not be up to date...  Anyway, here's a repost so you don't have to go to another thread.  Sorry about the background colors.  Just put it in a word processor and fix everything back to normal:
 
 
Increasing the difficulty of the Base Game's Ancient Ones
Ancient One fixes for only playing the base board (this will make it *quite* difficult)  They can also be played as variants for the normal game, but the Starting Doom Tokens should then be ignored in all cases except Azathoth:
 
Starting Doom Tokens:
Yig: 0
Ithaqua: 2
Azathoth: 5
Cthulhu: 3
Nyarlathotep: 2
Hastur: 3
Yog Sothoth: 2
Shub Niggurath: 3
 
 
Doom tokens can not be removed from the doom track by any means (that means no South Church exploit, and no Elder Sign hunting). This makes it so you can't just play out the clock for a guaranteed win.  If you are only playing the base board, mythos cards that would open two gates simultaneously DO add two doom tokens.
 
Another basic difficulty raising rule along with the above would be banning the use of clues with the fight skill or the shotgun in final combat (I'd strongly suggest this against Ancient Ones without combat resistances, since otherwise it's too easy to stockpile clues and kill them in one or two turns).
 
 ----------------
 
Yig: Make it so that investigators can not be blessed during games against him (possibly make an exception for Sister Mary). Twice as many successes as normal should be required to remove a doom token from his doom track.   
Cultists are fast.
 
Ithaqua: give both physical and magical resistance.
Each round of combat with a Cultist, roll a die for each weapon or spell you are using, on a failure, it is lost.
 
Azathoth: Starts with five doom tokens.  
Cultists and Maniacs deal four damage to an investigator who defeats them and are Stalkers.  They are not counted against the monster limit, if one appears in the Outskirts, place it directly on The First Player instead (unless the first player is in an Other World, in which case, place it on an investigator in Arkham with the lowest sneak, first player's choice if a tie).
 
Cthulhu: when he reaches 7 doom tokens, have his ability reduce all investigators maximum stamina and sanity by 2 instead.
Star Spawn have their toughness increased by two. If they are adjacent to an Elder Sign, they will move onto it if their movement is shown during the mythos phase, ignoring investigators and arrows. If they are still on the Elder Sign during the next mythos phase, remove it from the board. If they defeat an investigator in combat and are on the board, they immediately move one space closer to the nearest Elder Sign (player's choice if there is a tie), following an arrow, or directly (if they are directly adjacent). They can not be taken as monster trophies. If they are defeated, return them to the cup. If they are placed in the outskirts, substitute them with any non-Star Spawn monster on the board that is not in the Sky— if there is a Cultist on the board, a Cultist must be chosen.
 
Nyarlathotep: make him magical and physically immune and require twice as many successes as normal to remove doom tokens from his doom track.
If you defeat a Cultist, immediately search the monster cup for a random Mask, and fight or evade it as well. If the Cultist was on the board, the Mask remains on the board if undefeated, if not, return it to the cup.
 
Hastur: raise the terror track to four in the start of games against him.
If a Cultist is in the sky, moves, and is unable to leave the sky (due to lack of investigators in the street), raise the terror level by one. When a Cultist is defeated, all investigators lose one clue.
 
Yog Sothoth: flip all gates against him upside down until investigators enter them, increase their modifiers by -1, give him physical resistance.
Before investigators in an Other World draw their first encounter they must fight or evade a random monster from the monster cup. If this causes them to be devoured, add a doom token to the doom track.
 
Shub Niggurath: Give him magical resistance. Have the final combat attack require investigators to lose 3 monster trophies.
 
Dark Young have their toughness increased an additional one and are not counted against the monster limit. Dhole moves like a Hound of Tindalos, is not counted against the monster limit, and is Endless. Every time a Cultist is defeated, roll a die, on a 1-3 search the cup and place it on the open gate with the least number of monsters on it (players choice if a tie). If a Dholes or Dark Young would be taken as a trophy, return it to the cup instead.
 
------------------------
 
 
Here's a Nyarlathotep variant that you can combine with the above.  Although it's quite tough just by itself.
 
 
 
A Nyarlathotep Variant:
 
The Demi-Gods
 
Drawing a mask will trigger various game effects, keep at least one copy of this sheet for reference during the game. You may want to mark on the sheet which masks are currently active for easier reference of their abilities and effects.
 
Masks can not be gained as trophies, if a game effect would have them be gained as trophies, return them to the cup instead. They can be returned to the cup as normal by the closing of gates.
 
Whenever an investigator is knocked unconscious, search the cup and place the first mask drawn on the location the investigator was (the Black Cave if in Another World), masks don’t count against the monster limit, and if they are placed in the outskirts they go to the Black Cave instead).
For the masks, “in play” means being permanently in play (not just temporarily appearing as the result of an encounter and not in the outskirts).
 
My True Glory: When Nyarlathotep awakens, he has weapon immunity instead of magical resistance, and rather than losing a clue, the penalty for failing a lore check against him is being devoured. With new Curse of the Dark Pharaoh, for investigators without an exhibit item, his combat rating is raised to -8. With old Curse of the Dark Pharaoh, unless investigators have two exhibit items between them, his combat rating is raised to -8.
 
Investigators not on gates carrying an exhibit item must roll a die during their Arkham Encounter or Other World Encounter phase and a random monster appears on him or her on a roll of 1-3. All monsters adjacent to investigators with exhibit items move as stalkers, and flying monsters consider unstable locations they are in as stable as well.
 
Suggested rule: If Curse of the Dark Pharoah is being used and the investigators do not collectively have two Exhibit Items when the doom track reaches nine, add two doom tokens to the doom track.
 
The 6th doom token causes you to search for a random mask and place it at the Miskatonic University streets).
11th Doom token (on a 13 doom Nyarlathotep) summons The Dark pharoah at Miskatonic University Streets (for that good old fashioned feeling of apocalyptic terror).
 
With Dual Gates, only the top symbol can remove masks from the board (unless there are three or more masks on the board, and God of the Bloody Tongue is not in play).
 
 
The Dark Pharoah- He has two extra toughness and weapon immunity. While he is in play, the monster limit is ignored (this will not cause the Ancient One to potentially awaken unless the terror track is at 10). When he enters play, all investigators’ monster trophies are reanimated and placed on their locations. If he leaves play, the monster limit is restored (remove excess non-mask monsters of your choice from the board to get as close as possible to the normal monster limit).
 
The Black Man- Whenever he moves, the first player must draw two madness cards or add a doom token to the doom track. Investigators who draw these madness cards can not be retired. He must move when he comes into play, even if his movement symbol is not shown. He moves like a Fast Stalker. When he leaves play, replace him with a random mask (an investigator in the new mask’s location, must immediately evade or enter combat with it).
 
The Bloated Woman- When she enters play each investigator loses two stamina and two sanity. While she is in play will checks have an additional -1 penalty (this includes horror checks) and all sanity damage is increased by 1. An investigator who defeats her in combat is Cursed.
 
Haunter of the Dark- It has +1 toughness and physical and magical immunity. While in play, flying monsters treat unstable locations as adjacent to the sky, are not counted against the monster limit, and if they are in or are placed in the outskirts, they go directly to the Sky instead. When it leaves play, all flying monsters in play are returned to the monster cup.
 
God of the Bloody Tongue- It has weapon immunity. While it is in play monsters can not be returned to the cup by closing gates with their dimensional symbol and red, black, and purple bordered monsters move toward the nearest investigator (following yellow lines like an investigator could) with the lowest Sneak (first player’s choice when nearness and sneak are tied).
 
Wailing Writher- It has +2 toughness. While it is in play, investigators must fight or evade an unmodified copy of Wailing Writher before attempting to seal a gate by means of clue or power tokens. If you declare you are intending to attempt to seal a gate, fight or evade a Wailing Writher copy before rolling against the gate modifier. Unmodified copies of Wailing Writher can not be modified by any game effects and defeating or evading them has no effect beyond ending or avoiding combat.
 
Shugeron- He has +2 toughness. While he is in play, all streets are treated as aquatic locations and black bordered and yellow bordered monsters move as orange bordered monsters instead.
 
Skinless One- He has +1 toughness. While he is in play, whenever an investigator is devoured, raise the terror level by one. Also, all monsters move twice, and yellow bordered monsters are treated as black bordered monsters.
 
The Beast- It has +1 toughness. While it is in play, all other monsters gain +2 toughness, except as monster trophies.
 
The Shadowy Figure- When he comes into play, remove one Elder Sign token from the board, and investigators in Arkham lose all their clues.

Edited by Avi_dreader, 10 September 2013 - 10:39 AM.


#7 Julia

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 06:24 PM

Thanks Avi for this!

A couple of points: if you copy & paste the text in a text editor like Notepad, you lose the format and then you can paste it here without having black backgrounds and stuff

Second thing: have you considered adding my Coming Chaos Herald to the EG version of Scenario 16? (self-promotion moment)


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#8 solidearth

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 09:33 PM

Wow Avi! thanks for taking the time to post all of that. I really appreciate it! Arkham really is an amazing game and I am glad there is so much opportunity for customization.

cheers



#9 Avi_dreader

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 10:35 AM

Wow Avi! thanks for taking the time to post all of that. I really appreciate it! Arkham really is an amazing game and I am glad there is so much opportunity for customization.

cheers

You're welcome, enjoy, and if you'd like to let us know how your games go, we'd be glad to read about it :'D

I am speaking in plural for some presumable others on the forums, not because I am a crazy person who talks in plural.

I am a different kind of crazy person :'D


Edited by Avi_dreader, 10 September 2013 - 10:36 AM.


#10 Avi_dreader

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 10:40 AM

Thanks Avi for this!

A couple of points: if you copy & paste the text in a text editor like Notepad, you lose the format and then you can paste it here without having black backgrounds and stuff

Second thing: have you considered adding my Coming Chaos Herald to the EG version of Scenario 16? (self-promotion moment)

re: first point, done, second point, looked at it, nope :') (did you *read* the EG version?  It is already insane.  Demigods is a hard variant by itself, with all that mask generation, well...  It's going to require some massive skill.  I don't want to add more mask generation). Plus I'm done with EG design.  Dooooone.  I spent a few days of free time on it. I don't want to do more work :'P  Not even all the tentacles of Cthulhu could pry me away from my laziness ::cough:: I mean slumber, to work on this league more.

Also, it would cause problems if the demi-Gods variants had elusive masks.


Edited by Avi_dreader, 10 September 2013 - 12:17 PM.


#11 Avi_dreader

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 10:46 AM

Also, I was just thinking about another interesting mod for base game only.  Basically, Innsmouth introduced a rules mechanic to penalize seals protecting you.  The base game is so easy if you understand how to use seals to protect you on high frequency gates.  You can add in some kind of significant game detriment for whenever a seal bounces a surge.  Perhaps raising the monster limit by one and having a monster appear on that location.  Or raising the terror level by one.

Granted, you may not want to do that *too* if you are using all of my base board mods ;'D



#12 Julia

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 02:29 AM

 

Thanks Avi for this!

A couple of points: if you copy & paste the text in a text editor like Notepad, you lose the format and then you can paste it here without having black backgrounds and stuff

Second thing: have you considered adding my Coming Chaos Herald to the EG version of Scenario 16? (self-promotion moment)

re: first point, done, second point, looked at it, nope :') (did you *read* the EG version?  It is already insane.  Demigods is a hard variant by itself, with all that mask generation, well...  It's going to require some massive skill.  I don't want to add more mask generation). Plus I'm done with EG design.  Dooooone.  I spent a few days of free time on it. I don't want to do more work :'P  Not even all the tentacles of Cthulhu could pry me away from my laziness ::cough:: I mean slumber, to work on this league more.

Also, it would cause problems if the demi-Gods variants had elusive masks.

 

You can introduce a line in the scenario rules sayin' to ignore the elusiveness of the Masks (like you did for Seth starting ability, IIRC, or something similar in another normal mode Scenario)

Yes, I read the EG version. It's crazy enough part of me want it to be crazier.

Anyway, don't worry. In case I feel in a supermasochistic way, I'll find a way to snake in another Herald for my solitary enjoyment :)


We have dragged Reason from her Throne and set in her place the Empress of Dreams [liber Endvra]
Custom Arkham Horror material / Arkham Horror Advanced Players League

#13 Avi_dreader

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 02:54 PM

 

 

Thanks Avi for this!

A couple of points: if you copy & paste the text in a text editor like Notepad, you lose the format and then you can paste it here without having black backgrounds and stuff

Second thing: have you considered adding my Coming Chaos Herald to the EG version of Scenario 16? (self-promotion moment)

re: first point, done, second point, looked at it, nope :') (did you *read* the EG version?  It is already insane.  Demigods is a hard variant by itself, with all that mask generation, well...  It's going to require some massive skill.  I don't want to add more mask generation). Plus I'm done with EG design.  Dooooone.  I spent a few days of free time on it. I don't want to do more work :'P  Not even all the tentacles of Cthulhu could pry me away from my laziness ::cough:: I mean slumber, to work on this league more.

Also, it would cause problems if the demi-Gods variants had elusive masks.

 

You can introduce a line in the scenario rules sayin' to ignore the elusiveness of the Masks (like you did for Seth starting ability, IIRC, or something similar in another normal mode Scenario)

Yes, I read the EG version. It's crazy enough part of me want it to be crazier.

Anyway, don't worry. In case I feel in a supermasochistic way, I'll find a way to snake in another Herald for my solitary enjoyment :)

 

::Laughter:: I actually did think of adding in another line to ignore that part, after making the post, you know what my ten part letters are like, but, the other points still stand ;'D I'm looking forward to hearing your tale of Arkhamasochism :'D


Edited by Avi_dreader, 11 September 2013 - 02:55 PM.

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#14 Soakman

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 11:22 AM

I have a suggestion which isn't an entire variant, but rather a few house rules:

 

1. If there are particular investigators that seem to be making the game easier than you want, try removing them from the selection.  Alternately, try playing a game with all 7/3 characters or 3/7 characters.

 

2. Allow one of EACH subtype of Environment to remain in play. The environment subtype can only be removed if another of the same subtype replaces it. The stacking of multiple stat nerfs can hit you pretty hard, but it's still pretty random. This is actually how I play all of my games, as I wasn't aware that there was only supposed to be one Envrionment card in play at all times.

The other option is just choosing and Ancient One that is harder than the ones that you normally deal with. I have a few AO's that really get under my skin.


Gallery of Thematic Custom Investigators

 

You can find the .EON File Page @ Board Game Geek! Just follow this link: http://boardgamegeek...#comment4314881





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