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Fighting Heralds


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#21 Dr.Faust

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 02:49 PM

The idea of group-based missions falls into line with my other thread about disjointed 'Investigations'. At the moment, Investigators have no reason to do anything with each other but swap items. With something like this, i would feel cohesive like they HAVE to acknowledge each other as more than packmules.



#22 BenEggler

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 03:03 PM

The idea of group-based missions falls into line with my other thread about disjointed 'Investigations'. At the moment, Investigators have no reason to do anything with each other but swap items. With something like this, i would feel cohesive like they HAVE to acknowledge each other as more than packmules.

 

I can understand thinking that investigators really don't work together and only act as means to help each other get new items and money, but I really do think that there is a LOT of cooperative work going into playing the game. A lot of decisions to be made, advice to be given, etc. Patrice is a great example of an investigator that can help others to the point of being essential to the game. I think the cooperative elements between players makes up for the fact that there isn't a ton of interaction between investigators. Although, group-based missions sound like an extraordinary idea that could really benefit the game to some extent.



#23 jackman51

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 03:53 PM

Though I instinctively like the idea of a plot based and conditional fulfilling of a task or tasks to defeat a Herald the problem is that it's going to have to be carefully woven into the game such that it's actually time functional versus "simply" trying to win the game the standard seal or close gates method. If you actually spent more resources in clues and turns then it would have taken you to win regardless of the Herald's effects it likely would  have to be called a waste. You don't want neutralizing the Herald to win you the game--just make it possibly much easier to do so. But I'm fearful this would have just been easier to do under the old rules--that is of course unless you want to make even more changes to game flow or victory conditions.

 

I like Julia's  Dagon add monsters to certain areas of Innsmouth and Dagon at the Devil Reef guarded by some allies that keep coming if you don't defeat them all with one investigator for example. Game mechanics need not be changed, you get the thrill of fighting the Herald ( and of course he's not dead--just driven away for a time ) , and still face the possibility of crushing defeat at the hands of a more thoroughly enraged and powerful AO. Further I can see this as needing to be done in harmony with other game goals.

 

I'm not saying the other methods won't work but probably will require a fair amount of play

testing to see if they really get done much. Course we're certainly not lacking in volunteers for that.


Edited by jackman51, 11 October 2013 - 07:57 PM.

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#24 Dr.Faust

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 03:39 AM

I don't see what the 'time' issue would be. There are lots of ways to measure time in the game.

 

For instance, let's say we are playing with the Lurker at the Gate.

 

Plot 1: There has been an increase in people suddenly coming in wealth and power within the town under mysterious circumstances. If Investigators discard, as a group, X number of Clue tokens, then they all gain X Reward and place Plot #2 in Play. If the Doom Track reaches 3 before this happens X Penalty occurs and place Plot #2 in play.

 

If, by the time all the Plot cards have been cycled through, there are more Completions then Failures, or if no Failures, or whatever has occurred, then the Players have defeated the Herald. Or, the Herald actually enters into Arkham to see why none of it's plots are working and to fight or face the Investigators.


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#25 dj2.0

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 04:15 AM

BenEggler, you misunderstood me a little. I was thinking much less in terms of surface level things like the rules of the game and was considering them from the Mythos angle, not the game angle, and in a purist sense, the beings of the stories of Lovecraft are not just giant Godzillas, they are much more interesting and complex than that. A Hound is far more than just a dog like creature with a long tongue and covered in blue pus capable of tracking you across aeons of time, as cool as that is, its something else, perhaps the collapse of a waveform as the perceptual bridge between curved time and linear time breaks down. For us, the world looks full of straight lines that are actually curves when you look close, but for the Hound the universe iis all curved looking but everything where they exist is actually made of straight lines. So its more than just a bloodthirsty dog, its a mind blasting immutable fact of a reality we cannot comprehend, and thats just a Hound, Cthulhu is even more impregnable to our understanding. In this light, the horror in the idea of Dagon wading down a street is ludicrous child's play, a more pulpy presentation of the Mythos that suits AH very well but is not really how I view things when I play the game. My point was that the game mechanics for heralds actually reflect this reality, a more purist view of the Mythos and not the pulp view that is more in line with the rest of AH.

it saddens me a little that the creatures and entities Lovecraft imagined so spectacularly as an alternative to the traditional supernatural antagonists - vampires, werewolves, ghosts - have become as familiar and recognizable when with a little imagination they can be so much more than that and should be.

Also, I don't see the heralds as being in Arkham at all and see very little evidence for that in the game itself. Ghroth is *singing*  in outer space, The King is more present as the effects of a performance, the Dark Pharaoh explicitly informs us of a curse and buries the actual Pharaoh in the cup, the Black Goat talks about praise and chanting to the abundance of the Black Goat and describes effects which cause more monsters to arrive, and as Julia said the Dunwich Horror herald does not disappear even when its monster token bites it.


Edited by dj2.0, 12 October 2013 - 04:17 AM.

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#26 Dr.Faust

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 06:46 AM

Under every other circumstance, I'd agree with you, DJ. You know me--I'm a stickler for theme. Everything for Lovecraft. It got to the point where I don't like August Derleth or what he did to the mythos--he turned unknown horror in pulp horror, something Lovecraft barely did, if ever (the closest being The Color out of Space and /maybe/ The Whisperer in Darkness). These are terrors that like you said, cannot be understood by the human mind, and victories in Lovecraft were achieved usually by accident if ever there was a victory at all. Its why I don't like the idea of out-of-theme Investigators, Heralds or AOs in the fan-mod stuff because it is simply too far removed from the theme.

 

Curse you, August Derleth.

 

To the point, though, this is a boardgame. And while 'fighting' the Heralds may be out of theme, the concept of combatting their effects is not. Actively seeking out solutions to stop the evil, like Armitage did with the Dunwich Horror, is something that Lovecraft allowed, though, like Armitage stated, sometimes the cure was almost as bad as the disease. But people DID fight off these horror. In Dreams of the Witch House, the narrator choked the witch to death on her own 'realm', despite all her powers. He managed to refuse Nyalarthotep's call. People CAN resist the mythos so maybe, yeah, the idea of the Tokens moving from their given spot is a bad idea but the notion of the Investigators outright denying the heralds and ancient ones is absolutely not out of the question, even to a purist. Despite all his morbid stories and the ideas of how tiny man is in the universe, Lovecraft was, in his own odd and nutty way, a optimist when it came to what humans were capable of doing.


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#27 BenEggler

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 08:47 AM

DJ, I totally, totally, totally appreciate what you just said. I understand how incredible Lovecraft's universe is and how awe-inspiring the sheer magnitude of these beings is. I think that Dr. Faust really hit the nail on the head and pretty much said what I wanted to say.

 

Just to add a couple things:

 

As Dr. Faust said, this is a boardgame. Lovecraft's Mythos has been simplified and altered to allow for a fun time structured as a game, while still holding onto a great amount of his beautiful storytelling and creations.

 

I don't think it's a fair point to say that the Heralds can't be in Arkham, while every single AO wakes up in Arkham. I seriously doubt that Lovecraft intended for these horrifying creatures to all wake up in Massachusetts and have to make their way past 1-8 mortal investigators armed with tomes and shotguns. Cthulhu would rip his way through them in an instant and not worry about fighting them blow by blow as they use dynamite and tommy guns against him.

 

So, if every AO wakes up in Arkham and is potentially able to be destroyed by our investigators, then it would make sense for Heralds to follow a similar fate. Maybe getting rid of Heralds isn't simply physical combat (even though every AO fight is), but there could easily be some ways to eliminate Heralds from the game, make the game safer, and reap some benefit for eliminating them. That would make it an even more fun game where you can say, "Man, we couldn't kill Yig (yeah right), but at least we banished the Black Goat of the Woods."

 

It is so, so, so satisfying to play the game and say "WE KILLED CTHULHU!!! YES!!" It makes me want to tell my friends who don't know about Arkham Horror all about the game just so they can appreciate that feat. Being able to kill/banish/de-summon/destroy the Heralds is like fighting a mini-boss. Who doesn't love mini-bosses? 

 

I understand that maybe thematically, maybe they shouldn't literally be IN Arkham. But then neither should the AO's. And I seriously doubted that Lovecraft intended for his creations to be looked at as fodder to fight and combat, as all the monsters and AO's are able to be fought and the game can turn very gun/combat heavy with the right investigators.

 

All in all, the game is called ARKHAM Horror, not Earth Horror. I think that point alone makes it fair enough to say that all of these creatures have a place in Arkham and could be assumed to be present for the sake of a boardgame.


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#28 jackman51

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 09:20 AM

Pretty much what I was about to type Ben. Yeah if we're gonna put up with AO physical appearance and combat in Arkham why not Heralds too. I'm sure you can imagine some way to justify the way the Herald or AO is manifesting itself even if you don't like the idea for example of a Creature from the Black Lagoon Dagon standing on the Reef. I too get where Dj is coming from but others wanted something more than the current system of dealing with them in game and so we're talking about it.

 

Dr. Faust I can't yet argue with your example as frankly I don't yet have the expansions required to know exactly what you're talking about. I only have Base and Innsmouth. This I am hopeful will be changing shortly if I have any luck on Ebay.

I was just saying that I'm not going to spend time and resources dealing with a Herald unless I am forced to do so. As I am repeatedly threatened by the DOR track with both Innsmouth Heralds in play and don't yet have access to other expansion investigators, spells, PS, madness cards, and more that might help I find that I might indeed be inclined to deal with Julia's Dagon particularly since he might be sitting on an opened Gate on the Reef with all the game ending consequences that has.

If your example doesn't cause me to needlessly deflect from the overall Gate seal win then I'm all for it too. Apologies for perhaps speaking where I'm not yet fully qualified.



#29 dj2.0

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 10:20 AM

Soooo much to field in response, but I will just urge you to stretch your interpretation of things in the game a bit more, you might be surprised to learn, for example, that by posts made here by Kevin Wilson, Final Battle is *not* conceived as a fight at all but as a crunched down simulation of a desperate last attempt to stop It from happening, a Very Bad Thing. So, for example, rolling Fight against it in this context using a Tommy gun is akin to spending a day desperately mowing down cultists, while the shrinking Luck check that follows entails the narrowing chance of avoiding the Yellow Sign of Hastur in the process. Its a simulation of a battle but not necessarily a toe to toe battle with an Elder God.
This is really my only point, I am well aware that the game is more pulp than being a true Lovecraftan game...I said so plainly. It plainly needs to be that way to be the game it is and I keep my game reports mostly comical for this reason. But there are ways to look at it that don't involve giant monsters attacking a town.

Edited by dj2.0, 12 October 2013 - 10:24 AM.

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#30 BenEggler

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 10:22 AM

Jackman, there's absolutely no need to apologize. This is, hopefully (as I am new), a community where everyone can speak and chime in. Thanks for contributing! I'm really happy you like my idea.

 

Going off what you said, Jackman, fighting the Herald wouldn't be something you have to do. Like you said, it should be something you do when in dire need of trying to give your team a saving grace! Or perhaps if you're feeling very daring. =P

 

I was just reading a bit about The King in Yellow and how he is an actual physical entity that is an avatar of Hastur. That, to me, makes it even more possible to fight TKiY. Perhaps getting rid of the Herald would knock 1-2 doom tokens off of Hastur's track, if he were the AO for that game.

 

There is so much potential for this idea that can add a lot of flair and fun to the game, without sacrificing on quality/timing and staying within the realm of established game mechanics.


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#31 Julia

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 10:34 AM

Last note about Dj: and the King in Yellow is nothing but the rising Madness striking the town, making people lose their mind in an apocalyptic crescendo of terror and psychosys that ends when the King in Yellow finally arrives, and takes all the grim soul to dance at his court in Carcosa. It's not a coincidence that triggering Act III means end of the game, and not Final Battle...


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#32 dj2.0

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 10:38 AM

Yes, no personal issues happening here, just a good discussion. And since obviously given my earlier post I'm all for the idea of heralds being confronted more directly, they are somewhat understated and in the background, I'm just suggesting they not be turned into simple monsters that you beat the ichor out of.
Edit - and there are plenty of other 'explanations' for the King in Yellow that aren't physical or just physica... there's no objective truth in Lovecraft at all, he himself uses phrases such as 'like and not like' to describe things repeatedly, there's not even a common agreement on what magic is in this setting.

Edited by dj2.0, 12 October 2013 - 10:44 AM.

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#33 BenEggler

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 10:43 AM

Then instead of actually fighting the King, the struggle could be against stopping the play from being performed to its conclusion, thus eliminating the Herald and bringing some hope to the struggle inside Arkham! This is still fighting the Herald and bringing some possible favor to the investigators that would also be a great challenge with serious consequences/rewards.


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#34 dj2.0

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 10:45 AM

Yes, thats more how i would perceive it, yeah. :-) Its just more interesting, isn't it?

Edited by dj2.0, 12 October 2013 - 10:46 AM.

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#35 BenEggler

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 10:46 AM

Yes, no personal issues happening here, just a good discussion. And since obviously given my earlier post I'm all for the idea of heralds being confronted more directly, they are somewhat understated and in the background, I'm just suggesting they not be turned into simple monsters that you beat the ichor out of.

 

I can totally respect that, DJ, and I do understand that. They are grandiose and should be treated as such. However, I don't think that treating them as monsters would be bad for all of them: i.e. Dunwich Horror, Father Dagon, Mother Hydra. It already obviously works well for DH and I think it would work great for those other two. I definitely agree that pure combat wouldn't work for all of the Heralds.


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#36 jackman51

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 10:46 AM

Sure Dj I agree we don't really kill an AO or maybe even really face him at all. If we're really gonna try an alternate way of dealing with Heralds I just want it to be worth the time and effort and not just for funsie. If you have an idea that's fleshed out or if you don't want to I'm more than pleased to hear it as from what I can tell your flowery prose alone on this site makes you a lot of fun to read.


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#37 dj2.0

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 10:48 AM

I really dont have that many ideas beyond what's been shared atm, maybe later...its a cool idea for a project.

#38 BenEggler

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 10:49 AM

Yes, thats more how i would perceive it, yeah. :-) Its just more interesting, isn't it?

 

Yes, it's a lot more interesting! I hope you know that I never disagreed with you. I don't know a ton about the Lovecraft Mythos (I am trying to learn more and start reading his stories). It's absolutely fascinating material and I would only want to pay respect and really add something to the game that feels like it belongs, both literally in the game and with the type of storytelling the game provides.


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#39 Dr.Faust

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 10:50 AM

I think in response to the notion of wasting materials/precious time etc to fight the horrors unless forced to (i.e. Dagon sitting on a Gate), I really only have to say that in the end, this is what makes AH so very great. This is an option. You don't HAVE to use it and with this being, as suggested before, a fan-made and community based project, possibly, I think in the end that particular kind of argument is a bit moot. You don't have to use the "expansion" if you don't want to, just like I have all expansions (sans Miskatonic) and I use all the extra stuff but not the boards (so far). If you don't want to fight the Heralds, you don't have to use that portion of the expansion. Easy-peezy, Yoggoth-Squeezy.


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#40 BenEggler

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 10:54 AM

Great point, Dr. Faust. Options are what make Arkham Horror so great. It's a truly customizable game with a lot of fantastic ideas that sometimes feel good to use on one day, while maybe not on another.

 

Again, I'd really love to hammer out this fan-made idea of mine as a community and try to make it something we could actually playtest! Even if it never becomes something FFG does, maybe it would be so much fun that it really would be worth implementing into our games (permanently, on occasion, or not at all).






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