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.
Since I think this path is the most promising on making this idea happen, I'm going to expand on this and try to write an example for the King in Yellow.
First, AOs have anything from 10 to 14 doom tracks. To avoid having yet another component with which to measure time or to keep track of (I first thought about the number of turns, but who wants to make it even more complex?), we're going to use the Doom Track to keep track of the actions of the King in Yellow. Three steps, or plots, will be the arc of the King's "heralding". The first resolves at 3 Doom, second at 6 Doom, third at 9 Doom.
First Plot - The Coming of the Madness: the King tries to get people interested in the play "The King in Yellow", which is currently performing at the theater. Posters have started appearing all over town, advertising the play. Investigators can spend money or clues (each clue counts for $1) during Upkeep, that go into a common pool. If by the time the 3rd doom token is added the pool is worth $(number of investigators x 5), they've had success in sabotaging the advertising operations, by covering up or destroying the existing posters. They choose one investigator who draws a random ally. If they didn't manage to pool the $20, raise by 2 the terror level as people start to go mad from seeing or hearing about the play.
Second Plot A - His Will Be Done: if the investigators passed the First Plot, the play is moved out of the theater and into the streets and plazas of the city. The investigators pass if, by doom token 6, there are at least 2 Elder Signs on the board, the reasoning being that the sealed locations are immune to the influence of the King's minions. No other reward. They fail if they don't put the 2 seals down, and in that case the terror level increases by 3 as the crowds are exposed to the play.
Second Plot B - Between a Rock and a Mad Place: If the investigators failed the First Plot, townsfolk crowd the theaters. To pass, the investigators have to convince the mob (the authorities are in disarray, having being exposed to the play) to scare people away from the theaters, by each being Cursed and pooling at least $(number of investigators x 5, clues can still be used on a 1-1 basis). The mob attacks the theaters, some folks are hurt in the process, but the plays are disrupted. Close and seal 1 open gate (no trophy) but the terror level increases by 1 as the town is shocked by the violence. If they don't manage to strike a deal with the mob, the criminals rampage through town, having being exposed themselves to the play. Close all 3 shops and the bank for the remainder of the game and raise the terror level by 2.
Ok, recapping, so far we have:
Plot 1: Pass (draw 1 Ally), Plot 2: Pass (no reward)
Costs: $(number of investigators x 5, clues count for $1)+having sealed 2 gates
Plot 1: Pass (draw 1 Ally), Plot 2: Fail (terror level increases by 3)
Costs: $(number of investigators x 5, clues count for $1)
Plot 1: Fail (terror level increases by 2), Plot 2: Pass (seal 1 gate, terror level increases by 1)
Costs: All investigators Cursed+$(number of investigators x 5, clues count for $1)
Plot 1: Fail (terror level increases by 2), Plot 2: Fail (close shops and bank and increase terror level by 2)
Ok, since this isn't an easy or fast process, I'll write the remainder tomorrow. At least I won't be wasting time if you people don't like the idea or you think it's flawed or unbalanced. I do have some neat ideas for the 3rd Plot Let me know what you think
Edited by Tox, 13 October 2013 - 10:55 AM.