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#1 Quizoid

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 02:15 AM

On the old board, I remember posting a poll where asking about tasks and missions.  If my memory serves me, I'm pretty sure the results came out that few tasks have ever been completed and zero or close to zero missions by everyone who took it (including, seeing it happen in a game you weren't playing (O:)  

 

To me, it just seems like it's better to, you know, collect clues and seal gates, or fight off monsters, than puts around doing Tasks and Missions (especially in a game with a smaller number of players).  I tend to only even consider them if it's "on the way," or there's just nothing else to do.  

 

So, what are some ideas for the developers to fix these cards?  (or maybe you think they're fine as is, if so, you're welcome to explain)

 

Here's a couple I had (both together would be too easy, I'm thinking one or the other):

1) Allow all investigators to complete steps in Tasks and Missions (like in Rumors).  Though, if it's completed, the reward goes to the person holding it.  It can be traded without resetting it.

2) New Common Item: 

Newspaper Clippings

Cost: (appropriate cost, would need to look through the deck for comparison, but probably fairly cheap)

Encounters: Discard Newspaper Clippings to put a Clue Token on a Task (in your posession or another investigator's possession) as if you've just spent an encounter in the next location on that Task. 

Any Phase: Discard Newspaper Clippings instead of spending a Clue Token. You can not use this towards sealing a gate, or if any Task is in play.

 

New Unique Item:

Alien Runes

Cost: ($1 more than Newspaper Clippings) 

Encounters: Discard Alien Runes instead of a Mission's (in your possession or another investigator's possession) required cost to complete a step and put a Clue token on that mission.  You must still be in the next location.  

Any Phase: Discard Alien Runes instead of spending a Clue Token.  You can not use this if any Mission is in play.  



#2 Villain

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 04:22 AM

I dislike the idea of allowing everyone to participate in the completion of Tasks and Missions outright, but I really like both Newspaper Clippings and Alien Runes. In the same vein, here are some new abilities I'd suggest for Investigators in the next big expansion: (the names are just bad puns, please don't mind them)

"Taskmaster": May complete steps in Tasks possessed by other Investigators by fulfilling the requirements as written on the card (the reward for a completed Task still goes to the Investigator possessing the card). Also, for every Task completed in the game by any Investigator, gain 2 Clue tokens.

"Missionary": May complete steps in Missions possessed by other Investigators by fulfilling the requirements as written on the card (the reward for a completed Mission still goes to the Investigator possessing the card). Also, for every Mission completed in the game by any Investigator, choose a gate in Arkham: that gate is closed and you may claim it as a trophy.

Of course, there'd need to be lots of new Tasks and Missions included for such Investigators to be of much use. The thing is, I do like the way they make Investigators spend time in unusual places, but the rewards just seem too weak for all that trouble.

There could also be a new Guardian that would give additional benefits for each Investigator that completes a Task or a Mission.

-Villain

 



#3 Ophryon

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 05:03 AM

I completely agree: in my experience, the published tasks got completed practically "by acccident" if they were already on the way, and the missions, hardly ever.  I very much had this in mind as I developed the new tasks I mentioned in the other thread.

I was hoping some of the new payoffs would be encouraging, and some of the tasks lead directly into missions - allowing you to draw a specific mission from the deck, and also giving a slight "nudge" to finishing it.

I like the item ideas, although they may defeat what I see as a major point of tasks: getting people to go to the less-visited locations.  As long as there aren't too many of them in the deck, though, I can see them working just fine. Great ideas about the task-character, too.



#4 Quizoid

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 06:33 AM

Ophryon said:

I like the item ideas, although they may defeat what I see as a major point of tasks: getting people to go to the less-visited locations.  As long as there aren't too many of them in the deck, though, I can see them working just fine. Great ideas about the task-character, too.

 

That's a good point.  But like you said, it might be fine if they aren't too many.  Actually, it might get them to go more, because it will get them to go to at least two (as opposed to passing on the whole thing altogether.) 

 

That was only an issue for the Newspaper Clippings.  But here's an alternative that can help with both:

Unique Item: 

Dream Stone

Cost: :cheapish:

Encounters: If you have a mission or task and are in Arkham, you may have an encounter at the next location on your mission or task instead of at your current location and advance the mission or task.  You cannot do this for a mission unless you pay the cost to advance the mission first.  



#5 Argonel

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 07:28 AM

I think I've seen someone complete a mission once.  I know I have see nthem in progress 2-3 times.  I know I have seen a task completed a couple times, and have even worked on tasks a couple times myself.  Of course the group I play with almost always uses the house rule that gates are placed face down, so you don't know where the gates lead until someone investiges them.  This makes it a little harder to complete missions since you are never quite sure which outer world you will be heading to.



#6 Dam

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 08:48 AM

Man, who are you people  ? "Sealing the Beast's Power", "Sacrifices to Make" and "Purifying the Town" often see completion in my games (4 investigators) as far as Missions go. Tasks less often, but occasionally they get done as well. Of course, I shouldn't forget my "Join the Winning Team" game  ! I've drawn and been tempted by "For the Greater Good", but so far haven't gotten the right order of gates.


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#7 mageith

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 10:11 AM

We had one player who attempted every task and mission he ever received.  He had OCD.  Other than that, one mission and maybe 4 tasks.

So, what are some ideas for the developers to fix these cards?  (or maybe you think they're fine as is, if so, you're welcome to explain)

I am just beginning my third campaign (All Old Ones must be sealed or closed before all 32 investigators are devoured. We use semi-random investigators.).  This new campaign is  called Destiny.  All of the seldom accomplished possiblities are listed on a card and each one has to be completed one time before the end of the campaign (One and no more than one per game).  One of the destinies is to complete a task and another is to complete a mission.

My first idea was to reward the team with a Doom Token removal in addition, but now its just that we need to complete one destiny.

Other Destinies:  Changed, Captain of White Ship, Accomplished each of the benefits, each of the memberships, Deputy, task, mission, Beloved of Bast*, Fight an Ancient One in an Other World,* Defeat Dunwich Horror, Defeat Dark Pharoah Since some are next to impossible, so I've added be Devoured and Retire.  So far we completed Deputy, Defeated the Dark Pharaoh and turned up Coded Messages.

Here's a couple I had (both together would be too easy, I'm thinking one or the other):

1) Allow all investigators to complete steps in Tasks and Missions (like in Rumors).  Though, if it's completed, the reward goes to the person holding it.  It can be traded without resetting it.

I like this.  As long as everything is still done in order.

2) New Common Item: Newspaper Clippings; Cost: (appropriate cost, would need to look through the deck for comparison, but probably fairly cheap). Encounters: Discard Newspaper Clippings to put a Clue Token on a Task (in your posession or another investigator's possession) as if you've just spent an encounter in the next location on that Task. Any Phase: Discard Newspaper Clippings instead of spending a Clue Token. You can not use this towards sealing a gate, or if any Task is in play.

 New Unique Item: Alien Runes Cost: ($1 more than Newspaper Clippings) Encounters: Discard Alien Runes instead of a Mission's (in your possession or another investigator's possession) required cost to complete a step and put a Clue token on that mission.  You must still be in the next location.  Any Phase: Discard Alien Runes instead of spending a Clue Token.  You can not use this if any Mission is in play.  

These are OK. I just don't know how you can add these easily to the Common/Unique Decks and then they change the odds of getting weapons and other good stuff.  I guess your post is the future development.

The problem with Tasks missions and other neat but unused things is that for the most part they aren't worth the effort, though the Tasks come close if you can get 5 clue tokens in four turns, for example.  If I were to just concentrate on tasks and missions, I'd require that completing them was necessary for victory and so they'd be looked upon as rumors--bad things for the most part.  Or give negative game points for uncompleted tasks and missions.

"Completing tasks and missions are part of the secret it takes to defeat the Ancient One. Unless all tasks and missions are completed, the last gate cannot be sealed nor closed and the wakening of the Old One results in certain defeat."



#8 Ophryon

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 01:52 PM

mageith said:

The problem with Tasks missions and other neat but unused things is that for the most part they aren't worth the effort...I'd require that completing them was necessary for victory

 

Bingo.  You've zeroed in on exactly how I feel about them.  They're like all the neat location encounters that never get seen because investigators are too busy to go there.

The Destiny stuff sounds cool, and I included most of those as Payoffs in my Task Deck.  I'm still playtesting and tinkering with the rules, but I think I'll steal your brilliant idea about making them less-than-voluntary. Then it would become just as urgent a job as closing gates.

One idea I've been developing is that Unique Items need to be "researched" before they can be used.  When an investigator acquires a Unique Item, they can look at it, but must keep it face down and cannot use its effects.  Completing a task would be one way to turn an item face up.



#9 jhaelen

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 10:59 PM

I hope I don't have OCD but I almost always try to complete tasks and sometimes try missions (depending on the mission and the kind of sacrifice/reward involved).

Quizoid said:

1) Allow all investigators to complete steps in Tasks and Missions (like in Rumors).  Though, if it's completed, the reward goes to the person holding it.  It can be traded without resetting it.
 
 
Oops, I've always played it that way, i.e. they don't reset if you trade them. This makes it slightly less inconvenient to complete them.

Missions still have the problem that they're rarely worth the sacrifice.

 

Quizoid said:

2) New Common Item: 

 

Newspaper Clippings

[...]

New Unique Item:

Alien Runes

 

I'm unsure about the Newspaper Clippings but I really like the Alien Rune. I'm just not sure if it's balanced since the sacrifices vary wildly in their 'cost', i.e. sacrficing allies is a lot more painful than sacrificing almost anything else.

 

Since completing tasks/missions requires time that would be better spent trying to close gates, maybe completing them should always result in some standard reward in addition to the specific reward. I could imagine something like skipping (part of) the next mythos phase or drawing two or more mythos cards and choosing which to use.

This would represent the insight you gain from completing the task/mission or causing it to delay the plans of the AO.

 

 

Edit: I hate this editor!

The preview option doesn't show how quotes will be displayed.

How do I split quotes, so they don't show up nested?!

And since after editing they're no longer visible the results are effectively random - you got to love it!



#10 junebug41

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 05:03 PM

It's always seemed to me that the simplest way to make tasks more palatable would be to remove the requirement that movement end at the next spot to be visited. Since many task "stops" are in the street, it's not like you'd be missing out on encounters at seldom-visited places. This way, you could just "touch", say, the Easttown streets to complete a step of your task, and could still hop into a nearby location to grab a clue token and have an encounter.

With the doom counter moving so fast after all the expansions, and every player-turn at an absolute premium, I think this change would make it possible for players to complete tasks much more often.

As for missions, I can't think of a comparable idea.



#11 Quizoid

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 05:56 AM

 The campaign idea is interesting.  

 

I also thought that adding rewards, like the removal of a doom token or the like, might make them more worth it.  

 

Making them more worth it is something I didn't think of, and could be done instead of making them easier.  



#12 Quizoid

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 05:56 AM

Dam said:

Man, who are you people  ? "Sealing the Beast's Power", "Sacrifices to Make" and "Purifying the Town" often see completion in my games (4 investigators) as far as Missions go. Tasks less often, but occasionally they get done as well. Of course, I shouldn't forget my "Join the Winning Team" game  ! I've drawn and been tempted by "For the Greater Good", but so far haven't gotten the right order of gates.

 

Wow, I find this really interesting.  Do you still manage to win often after spending all that time doing those tasks?  Do you think the time investment pays off?



#13 Bravo McWilley

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 06:16 AM

Tasks and missions do two thing, which is what I believe they were truely intended for.

One: they thin out thier respective decks, so you dont always draw that sweet weapon or elder sign. Gotta have some junk in there to make things tougher and to have for throwing away when you go insane/injured.

Two: they are just distractions to players, keeping them from accomplishing the real goals of the game. Barring completing these thing "by accident" then players are spending time doing fairly usless things instead of winning (mostly....mostly...). Time is the enemy of the investigators and not every card need to be useful.



#14 mageith

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 07:27 AM

Tasks and missions do two thing, which is what I believe they were truely intended for.

Intended? Why that would be insane.

One: they thin out thier respective decks, so you dont always draw that sweet weapon or elder sign. Gotta have some junk in there to make things tougher and to have for throwing away when you go insane/injured.

Perhaps sweet weapons are the distractions?

It's hard to say which came first the chicken or the egg.  I have yet to read ALL of Lovecraft let alone the other writers but I think lots of things are added as the designers are inspired by their reading.  I know when I add stuff, that's where it comes from. Then as things get added, then other things need to be added for what they think is balance.

Two: they are just distractions to players, keeping them from accomplishing the real goals of the game. Barring completing these thing "by accident" then players are spending time doing fairly usless things instead of winning (mostly....mostly...). Time is the enemy of the investigators and not every card need to be useful.

Why I truly do believe that a lot of the game is distraction, I don't believe they are added to be just distractions.  Nor do I believe they are added there for that purpose. I think they are added as alternate routes to victory.  For example, to do a tasks that requires three stops to get five clue tokens is probably worth while.  But if it takes four stops or five stops, less worthwhile.  If the task is only 2/3rds completely, its truly a waste of time.

If I were designers and were to add deliberate distractions, I'd have made them much better--on the level of the Deputy.  You get a gun.  You get money and you get a helicopter. Little Emily always goes for the deputy and it holds her in good stead. (Sometimes she forgets to roll when she uses the Patrol Wagon, I think.)  Whenever I get it, it seems to go way in a turn or two.  I just spent two points of Gate trophies to get it and all I have is a gun I don't probably need and money I can't seem to find the time to spend.  But if the patrol wagon saves me two or three turns (or more), it's clearly worth it in my mind.

Another great one is the Black Man's offer.

The game can be played on so many levels.  There's a scoring for the game.  There's a scoring for first citizen.  There's player made campaigns.  There's three different kinds of victories.  There's dozens, maybe hundreds of ways of constructing the game (mixing and matching expansions and heralds, not to mention player created expansions and heralds).

not every card need to be useful.

I think nearly every card is intended to be useful in the correct situation, though even after dozens and hundreds of games, some cards and situations have yet to prove their usefulness.



#15 Dam

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 08:02 AM

Quizoid said:

Wow, I find this really interesting.  Do you still manage to win often after spending all that time doing those tasks?  Do you think the time investment pays off?

First off, if you find time, check this thread:

http://new.fantasyfl...d=1&efidt=19414 

But just to reiterate my record, after 72 games

39-19-14 (win-draw-loss); draw being victory by final combat

On a side note, 4 of those 14 losses came with just the base game  .


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#16 Quizoid

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 04:31 AM

Bravo McWilley said:

Tasks and missions do two thing, which is what I believe they were truely intended for.

One: they thin out thier respective decks, so you dont always draw that sweet weapon or elder sign. Gotta have some junk in there to make things tougher and to have for throwing away when you go insane/injured.

Two: they are just distractions to players, keeping them from accomplishing the real goals of the game. Barring completing these thing "by accident" then players are spending time doing fairly usless things instead of winning (mostly....mostly...). Time is the enemy of the investigators and not every card need to be useful.

 

Personally, I'd just call that bad game design if that was their intention.  Might as well put in an item called "rock," that does nothing and makes you loose a turn.  Though, the idea of "You have to do some good things to win, but not too many, don't dilly-dally, because then you'll loose," is sound design.  My issue with the tasks and missions is that most find them to be worth the time "never," or "hardly ever."

I'm pretty sure the intention was to give some extra rewards and encourage players to go to often unvisited areas (including the flyer-attracting streets, which are seldom stopped in).  



#17 mageith

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 07:06 AM

" My issue with the tasks and missions is that most find them to be worth the time "never," or "hardly ever."

Like way too much is in this wonderful game. 

"I'm pretty sure the intention was to give some extra rewards and encourage players to go to often unvisited areas (including the flyer-attracting streets, which are seldom stopped in)."

Sometimes in a 5+ player game there isn't enough for everyone to do.  Especially toward the late middle game, when 3 or 4 gates are sealed, no clues on the board and a couple of bumps in a row.  Of course, at that point the tasks (probably too late for missions) still really don't give enough to make it worthwhile.  This is the point at which we start dissecting at the science building or just visit some hopefully clueful places that aren't dangerous.



#18 Avi_dreader

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 07:33 AM

mageith said:

" My issue with the tasks and missions is that most find them to be worth the time "never," or "hardly ever."

Like way too much is in this wonderful game. 

"I'm pretty sure the intention was to give some extra rewards and encourage players to go to often unvisited areas (including the flyer-attracting streets, which are seldom stopped in)."

Sometimes in a 5+ player game there isn't enough for everyone to do.  Especially toward the late middle game, when 3 or 4 gates are sealed, no clues on the board and a couple of bumps in a row.  Of course, at that point the tasks (probably too late for missions) still really don't give enough to make it worthwhile.  This is the point at which we start dissecting at the science building or just visit some hopefully clueful places that aren't dangerous.

::Snort:: 5+ player game?  Ugh.  Time to add in some expansions and the Black Goat herald.



#19 mageith

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 09:34 AM

::Snort:: 5+ player game?  Ugh.  Time to add in some expansions and the Black Goat herald.

Snort back at ya!

Black Goat wasn't around when missions and tasks were created. 

I think the real question is why Oh why are there so many interesting things in Arkham horror that never or hardly ever get utilized?  Is it an insane or neferious plan of the designers as was alledged or is it more that the designers are attempting to remain true to the stories (my opinion).

I teach lots of people how to play that game at conventions and usually the games are 5-7 players.  I don't want to make it too hard for them, but since these are folks I don't know, I don't know how quickly they'll catch on or figure out the patterns.  As the game closes to a usually victorious finish, there is sometimes a lull. 

My experience is that the neat stuff is of wildly variant quality.  For example, I'd be interested to know if anyone has purposefully attempted to turn up the Rare Book Collection or garner Velma's gratitude?

In the calculations for the values in tasks and missions I note there's been two references to the River Docks to determine values of monster trophies and gate trophies, yet I wonder how many have actually ever gone there with their trophies and traded them for filthy lucre?  I've traded them in for clues and early on for blessings and often for the deputy, but never for cold cash.



#20 Dam

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 07:54 PM

mageith said:

My experience is that the neat stuff is of wildly variant quality.  For example, I'd be interested to know if anyone has purposefully attempted to turn up the Rare Book Collection or garner Velma's gratitude?
 
Velma's is of course doable every game, esp if you got Darrell Simmons. RBC requires Necronomicon, so you need to first find that. I've done both I think once, though never on purpose. Coded Messages gets done on semi-purposefully, because Newspaper sees a lot of visits (most of the stable locations) and late in the game chances of having all 3 things needed for it are pretty good.

mageith said:

In the calculations for the values in tasks and missions I note there's been two references to the River Docks to determine values of monster trophies and gate trophies, yet I wonder how many have actually ever gone there with their trophies and traded them for filthy lucre?  I've traded them in for clues and early on for blessings and often for the deputy, but never for cold cash.

Early on Docks used to see quite a bit of action. Getting $5 meant you had enough money for an Elder Sign. Never thought about how lucky you'd need to be to draw one though. Since those early games, RD doesn't really see a lot of action, mainly as refuge if Unnamable and Unvisited Isle are infested with monsters and an investigator just closed/sealed a gate at one of those locations and doesn't have a fighting chance, I'll crank Sneak up and hope for the best. I've used RD once to get money against "Mad Bomber" but that's about it.

We trade trophies for clues, clues and clues. Deputy gets some burn, allies and blessings, meh.


"A dirty mind is its own reward."





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