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Lack of Unity


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#1 Dr.Faust

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 10:11 PM

This is something that I was wondering about, and it may have come up at another time, I don't know, but there is a lack of cohesive group dynamic in Arkham Horror. Mostly in terms of actions and characters. For instance, I don't think there is a way to 'combine' characters to have them work together. Take, for example, combat. The only time characters actively work together to fight anything is in the end against the AO. That's all well and good, to be sure, but in some instances, speaking in terms of thematically at least, what in the Sam Hill are these people doing essentially running around in circles by themselves against these alien forces for?

 

If it were me, really, and I was working with a group of three other people, you better be sure I'd do more than just poke my head in to throw them an item, take one from them and just keep on trucking alone. But there's nothing, that I see, that allows you to actively work as a team.

 

Another instance:

 

Michael McGlen has to make a Lore check that he obviously can't hope to pass. Harvey Walters is one 'Location' away or in the same Location. Why can't they combine their lores to attempt the skill check? They're both right there, conceivably, right? Shouldn't that be possible? Rules-wise, it's not, but in terms of common sense, it should.

 

Is there a house rule on this? Maybe someone's made a variation? I suppose I'm falling into the act of 'This game isn't like this other game when it should be' but there it is. Even in Elder Signs, it's possible to 'Focus' with multiple people in the same room to complete a task. Did I miss something in the rules?



#2 Julia

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 02:45 AM

Nope, you didn't miss anything in the rules :) Point is that you can't join forces, but neither can the monsters. Otherwise you could have a three monster stack in a street area with a total toughness of ten: good luck with that (please, Avi, don't pop in saying it's totally "feasible").

 

Plus, the game is structured about Phases. If you have people doing things in other people's phases, you'll totally mess up everything.

 

Additionally, for your Lore question, let me go in a different direction. You have a calculus problem to solve, in order to put a satellite on the Pluto orbit. Your math is not high enough to solve this (if this is your occupation, sorry, I'll try another example :P ). Do you ask your high school buddy some help because if the problem has difficulty ten, and the both of you has math 6, you can get in with 12? Nope, simply because you don't have the tools to solve it (otherwise one billion people with an elementary school diploma can solve the cold fusion). So, you decide to ask Tibs (who's an actual astrophysicist in real life, or is about to become one). Do you think he'll ask for you help to solve the problem easier? I believe he'll say: "ok, got it. Gimme an hour to sketch some equations", so even in this case you don't combine anything. So, if Joe's not good enough with his Lore, Harvey could supply, during Harvey's turn, without asking Joe. I believe this to be very realistic and fair.

 

The way people work together is by planning a common strategy: passing items, killing monsters to clean the streets to the sealers, and all the bloody rest. But actually it's ok (for me, at least) they can't actually join forces to cumulate points (additionally, I'd say the game is a strategic game about sealing gates, if you want a tag team game with hoards of monsters, go for Descent :) )


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#3 Dr.Faust

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 05:30 AM

Thanks for the reply, and, truth be told, if I was a rocket scientist, I don't think I'd be on here nearly as much as I am! XD

 

But I suppose my thought was this: in Call of Cthulhu, if you've got a group together that includes people of various skills and knowledge, everyone rolls at once and sees what they get, right?

 

So, my point is, to use your event idea, let's take something straight from the Arkham Events cards:

 

You see someone in the library reading a book. As you peek over his shoulder, you notice he is reading a book written in a language that almost no one could understand. Make a Lore -2 Check to see if you understand it. If you pass, gain a Spell, if you fail, the man catches you and gets up, leaving and taking the book with him.

 

Now, let's say that Harvey and Michael are in the Library when Michael draws this card. In the instance of, say, CoC, the Keeper would say 'Those who see the man, make the Lore check now'. Everyone checks. Michael fails but Harvey passes. Boom, they win.

 

In Arkham Horror, even if both Harvey and Michael are in the same Location, it only applies to Michael. Now, we can assume, using game logic, that the characters are close enough to actually give each other items/spells/money, so why aren't they close enough to assist in tasks/checks?

 

I suppose what frustrates me is that the same line of logic that thematically could say 'Oh, Harvey is in a different part of the library' is the same logic that says 'No he's not, he's walking with Michael because he wanted to give him an item (and didn't have enough movement points to LEAVE the library afterwards).

 

I know what the 'Right' answer is. The right answer is 'Faust, those are the rules'. Still doesn't change the fact that, for a team based game about investigation and stopping the monsters and cultists, there isn't much actual teamwork.

 

Maybe I should try and make a scenario for this, I dunno. I suppose my RP-favoring brain wants to have more to it then what's presented. Unfortunately, there is no Descent with a Call of Cthulhu flavor that is a good game. (I'm looking at you, Mansions of Madness).



#4 The Professor

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 06:28 AM

Dr. Faust,

 

     I would say there's a 'Lack of Similarity" instead of a "Lack of Unity" ~ I play AH like an RPG, though it's NOT an RPG.  I completely understand where you're coming from but the game mechanics would be thrown off by the possibility of two or more Investigators assisting each other in the way you describe in the post...I like it from an RPG perspective, unfortunately, not from this game's perspective.

 

Julia,

 

     Schoolchildren and cold fusion...now that's great!

 

 

Cheers,

Joe


The Professor

http://crafthulhu.squarespace.com

 

 


#5 Julia

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 07:02 AM

Thanks for the reply, and, truth be told, if I was a rocket scientist, I don't think I'd be on here nearly as much as I am! XD

 

Actually, that's a damn(n) good point... :D

 

I know what the 'Right' answer is. The right answer is 'Faust, those are the rules'. Still doesn't change the fact that, for a team based game about investigation and stopping the monsters and cultists, there isn't much actual teamwork.

 

Maybe I should try and make a scenario for this, I dunno. I suppose my RP-favoring brain wants to have more to it then what's presented. Unfortunately, there is no Descent with a Call of Cthulhu flavor that is a good game. (I'm looking at you, Mansions of Madness).

 

Besides rules allows you to trade item only during the Movement Phase, so there is no way that Harvey and Joe can do anything together during encounters.

 

Mansions... ah, Mansions... could be an option, if you're ready to invest both on the core game AND Call of the Wild.. (but then you need at least one buddy to play with)


We have dragged Reason from her Throne and set in her place the Empress of Dreams [liber Endvra]
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#6 jackman51

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 09:24 AM

Well course it's not to the scale you want Dr. Faust but there is some limited co-op among players. The doctor for example being able to heal others in his location or even Neighborhood once his PS is passed. I think there's probably a few more examples like this but yeah I always hate that two investigators in the same locale can't somehow combine their firepower. But I guess as has been pointed out then the monsters should too.



#7 Julia

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 10:04 AM

There are some other twists allowing some greater interactions. First of all, Relationship cards from the Lurker at the Threshold allow that. Then investigators like Leo Anderson, or Patrice, or, in a certain way Jim after passing his PS, and so on


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#8 Schwaig

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 10:40 AM

Not to forget Minh, the secretary ...



#9 Julia

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 10:46 AM

Correct. She's also a good team worker :)


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




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