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'Approved' Original Investigators


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#1 Dr.Faust

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 08:06 PM

This is more or less a sort of toss-up question. I understand that in the long run, most original content is up to the user but are there actual Investigators on the site that are generally marked as being 'Balanced' for use in any game? Like, ones that are literally marked with a general seal of approval?



#2 Soakman

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 08:17 PM

I don't know the answer to this question, since I'm new to the forums.  I do know that many people use the investigators from the custom expansion Lovecraft Country available on boardgamegeeks. There is ALSO a set of 16 other investigators in a pack there as well.

 

Out of these, I still find some of them imbalanced, or their stories a bit lacking. But that is my personal opinion. Out of that pack, I picked out Alexander Thorne, Angelina Everett, Freightcar Frankie, Henrietta Brooks, Josh Labotnik, Julia O'Brien, Molly Babbe, and Tara Campbell.  

That being said, so far, I find Tara lacking. Her ability doesn't come into play often enough (though it is fun thematically), and she is awful at pretty much everything that matters until she finishes her personal story. Frankie has a pretty vague and lame story imo, while being fairly decent otherwise.

Henrietta, Molly Babbe, and Alexander Thorne seem to work well. I haven't used the rest. Angelina looks REALLY fun, but you must have the Black Goat in the Woods expansion to even be able to use her (which I don't).

Other than these, I haven't really found many that people consider to be standard. And these are only 'faux' standard because the passion and hard work behind them is notable. Along with the expansions found on boardgamegeek.

 

My own personal preference suggests that nobody from other mediums (IE books, comics, tv, pop-culture) should make the list. Usually their own home will always allow them to shine in their best light, and throwing them into Arkham just seems like a waste of opportunity.


Edited by Soakman, 16 September 2013 - 04:30 PM.

Gallery of Thematic Custom Investigators

 

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


#3 Dr.Faust

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 08:20 PM


Other than these 16, I haven't really found many that people consider to be standard. But my own personal preference suggests that nobody from other mediums (IE books, comics, tv, pop-culture) should make the list. Usually their own home will always allow them to shine in their best light, and throwing them into Arkham just seems like a waste of opportunity.

 

You just became my most favorite person ever the moment you said that.



#4 Shining Aquas

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 01:24 AM

This is more or less a sort of toss-up question. I understand that in the long run, most original content is up to the user but are there actual Investigators on the site that are generally marked as being 'Balanced' for use in any game? Like, ones that are literally marked with a general seal of approval?

 

No.

 

But, does it matter?  I think since everyone has a different opinion of what is and isn't balanced, and since everyone has a different opinion of what it means to even BE balanced, there can't ever be a definitive list of "balanced characters".  The best you can do is ask other people's opinions.

 

Not to mention, everybody has different goals in mind when creating content, and rarely is the goal to make something "balanced" before aiming to make it "fun" or "worth playing".


Edited by Shining Aquas, 14 September 2013 - 01:25 AM.

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#5 Dr.Faust

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 01:47 AM

I asked mostly because I was going to be bulk-printing Investigator sheets so I figured getting a plethora beyond just my own would be good. But even so, I think for the most part the community in general has a fairly good idea of balancing. Just because something's balanced doesn't mean it's not fun either

 

For instance, when I play with friends and they ask me 'Who is Best' I say 'Pick who you want to play'. I know they could pick Patrice or they could pick Vincent (thought why in heaven's name they would do THAT I don't know) but they could pick anyone in between. There are good, balanced characters that are a blast to play, like Yorick, who I think is a great deal of fun. He's a fairly balanced character.

 

As for goals in creation, that's somewhat the case, maybe, but shouldn't the goal be 'Fun to play' in the sense of 'Adds to the experience without breaking the game'? Sure, you could set out with the intention of making a godly character but honestly, that isn't any fun since you wouldn't lose with said character. You couldn't lose, not without trying.

 

That's why I ask if there are characters and investigators that have been created that the actual Arkham gaming community has marked as being 'balanced'. Are they balanced enough to use in any general game for any general situation.



#6 Shining Aquas

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 12:26 PM

I probably wouldn't worry about it too much.  Most of the things people make here are meant to be played with, and while the initial designs aren't always balanced the revisions usually are.  Since there's no official designation, I'm afraid you're stuck with the better half of your ability to judge.  And, you could just choose what not to print, so it's not like there's a huge amount of pressure there.

 

If it's worth anything, everything I've created has gone through a couple teams worth of critique and a solid number of games worth of observation, so I would like to believe that almost all of it is "balanced".  Of course, the biggest complaint I've received is that none of it "fits" in Arkham (which is fair, most of it doesn't), but if that doesn't bother you than there's a lot to work with there.


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#7 Dr.Faust

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 10:41 PM

 Of course, the biggest complaint I've received is that none of it "fits" in Arkham (which is fair, most of it doesn't), but if that doesn't bother you than there's a lot to work with there.

 

Actually, it's this and one other thing that are my sticking points in using yours. I really enjoy the abilities you have created in some respects, even if I would never use the characters--some of them might make good Guardians, but yeah, not Investigators. My other huge issue and this is more about mechanics, is the fact that a large number of your Investigators come with 'extra parts'. Tokens, cards, things that need to be printed out and used alongside the Investigator. I really just don't have the ability to print a large portion of these, which is why you'll notice in my created Investigators (or any of my content) I don't make things that need parts that aren't found in the actual FF released content.



#8 Shining Aquas

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 12:53 AM

My other huge issue and this is more about mechanics, is the fact that a large number of your Investigators come with 'extra parts'. Tokens, cards, things that need to be printed out and used alongside the Investigator. I really just don't have the ability to print a large portion of these, which is why you'll notice in my created Investigators (or any of my content) I don't make things that need parts that aren't found in the actual FF released content.

 

I dunno, wouldn't most people run into that problem when printing stuff anyways because of Personal Stories?  I don't think the extra parts are really that much of a problem if printed in bulk, and by bulk I mean literally 1-2 pages.

 

Like, you can easily fit 2 investigators/AO's on 1 page, and you can also fit a bare minimum of 9 smaller cards (front and back) on 1 page.  1 page can also fit a bare minimum of 14 investigator markers (front and back) assuming you squeeze them a little tight, but still not touching.  So if you are bulk printing anyway, just separate the main parts from the small parts and you'll find the small parts will only take a couple pages comparatively.

 

I honestly feel the only nightmare print jobs I've created are Isaac (3.5 pages) and Jumanji (You'll be lucky if this only takes 7 pages).


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#9 Jake yet again

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 01:05 PM

In response to the original question, I don't think any Investigators have a seal of approval from FFG, aside from the ones that come in the various expansions. Vox Populei holds its own counsel. I'm sure we can agree that there are some Investigators in the core sets that are too strong or too weak, let alone considering fan expansions.

 

Aside from Lovecraft Country Horror (which Soakman so kindly praised), you might also enjoy the ones found in the 16 Custom Investigator pack ( http://www.boardgame...m-investigators ) and/or Curse of the Golden Scarab ( http://www.boardgame...arab-fan-expans See also:

http://www.boardgame...questions-begin )

 

@Soakman: I'm really glad you're enjoying the characters from Lovecraft Country.

 

Although some of the Stories So Far were written "straight", others took risks and played with the form... something which can be done in a fan expansion, but would probably be cut in the editorial process in a professional expansion. There are fairy tales (Ramona), pastiches (Gieves), quotations (Father Ryan), even an after-the-facts radio show (Labotnik). With regards to Frankie, his story is a prose poem. Arguably the piece might work better in a graphic novel, where the artwork could be juxtaposed against the text. Basically, he was a down-on-his-luck boxer who was meant to take a dive and didn't. After taking a beating from the Mafia he escapes by jumping onto a freight train, and winds up in Arkham, just in time for the apocalypse. Can he triumph over the latest blow that life has thrown him, or will he be overcome in the end?

 

Playing advice: Tara is your archetypal damsel in distress. To get the most from her you need to throw her into peril, just like Faye Wray in King Kong. It's a trope that's a staple in pulp fiction, but was never really exploited in Arkham. As you've noted in another post Angelina is a careful balance between fighting the forces of evil and trying to make a quick buck. Father Ryan shines when you start praying and showing concern for others (just like a priest should) whereas Gieves does an excellent job of staying out of trouble and being the power behind the curtain (much like a butler should) Isabella was my take on a "special focus" character, as every other expansion had one (Wilson Richards, Lily Chen and Trish Scarborough)


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.


#10 Soakman

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 01:54 PM

It's good to hear from the creator himself! :)  My only issue with Tara was that the way her special reads makes it seem like the allies only come into play when an encounter causes her to take sanity or stamina losses (not combat). And even then, the benefit (at most) allows one or maybe 2 extra dice for the encounter to be added after the result fails (not a complete reroll) and only if the encounter is related to the stats that the randomly drawn ally enhances.

Just seems a tad too situational, though I love the concept. And I love that you made use of the trope.

And while I love poetry (and prose poetry), I couldn't find the connection to the bizzarro occurences at the heart of the game. Instead of wrong-time-wrong-place, it read to me, because of the form, that Frankie had just lost his mind.

Either way, I really enjoyed the additions. And you inspired me to begin a set of my own. So thank you.

 

(PS I have not actually printed out all of the components or tested a game with them as of yet, but I've made fabric maps of both Lovecraft Country and another custom Expansion board. I found it to be a very easily storable solution to the issue of storing custom boards.)


Edited by Soakman, 16 September 2013 - 04:27 PM.

Gallery of Thematic Custom Investigators

 

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


#11 Jake yet again

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 05:36 AM

It's good to hear from the creator himself! :)  My only issue with Tara was that the way her special reads makes it seem like the allies only come into play when an encounter causes her to take sanity or stamina losses (not combat). And even then, the benefit (at most) allows one or maybe 2 extra dice for the encounter to be added after the result fails (not a complete reroll) and only if the encounter is related to the stats that the randomly drawn ally enhances.

 

Evade, Combat and Horror are subset of skill checks, so her ability will trigger if she engages a monster and something goes wrong. The chances of drawing an applicable ally are slightly less than 1-in-3 (Most allies help with two attributes, but there are a few that only help with one) You can improve these odds by intentionally aiming to fail the Horror check, as even if you don't draw a Will modifier, you might draw a Fight, Sneak, or Lore modifier which can help with Combat, Evasion or spell-casting. In addition, you still get the benefits (Common Items, Retainers, Skills, etc) should an Ally come to your rescue and end up diving head-first down the throat of the nearest Cthonian.

 

Originally she was written once per turn when any skill check was failed, but in play-testing this was found to be too powerful, so her trigger was restricted back to require the potential loss of Stamina or Sanity.


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.


#12 Soakman

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 06:40 AM

Thanks, that makes more sense. I did notice that the ally stays in effect for the remainder of the turn, so it seemed really odd to only really be able to draw one during the arkham or otherworld phase.

 

That makes her much more usable. 


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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