So... due to my geeky personality, I'm trying to develop some sort of guidelines for my group in the use of the Difficulty Cards. Here's what I'm thinking so far.
I'm not really into using them with new players. I don't think new players need an easier game with vets around to coach them, I think they need a less complex game (so I take out the special GOO cards, the herald, and the guardian).
Method #1: Tier it up
What I plan on doing with Ghost Stories. Start with Discomforting and move towards Ultimate Cosmic Evil. If we win a game, move towards harder, if we loose, move towards easier (or stay put). Keep track separately for each different number of players (I can just make a quick Numbers [mac Excel] spreadsheet for this).
Method #2: Offset the # of Players Thing
I think it's fairly decided that having Mythos phases more often is not offset by monster limits and the like, and the game is directly easier with more players and harder with fewer. Well, I was thinking I could use these cards as a golden opportunity to even those odds a bit. Here's an idea:
(number of players is unmodified)
6 Ye Liveliest Awfulness
7-8 Ultimate Cosmic Evil
My logic for grouping them the way I did: 1 & 2 are clumped, because it's not exactly twice as easy to kill the GOO with 2 than 1. I think it's only slightly easier, because with one you have the advantage of a very easy to plow through Doom track.
4 & 5 Up to five, and you're already over the monster burst hump. That's enough of a bump of difficulty.
6-8 I did this kind of arbitrarily. Not sure if there's big jumps in easiness here. I'm not sure if I've ever even played with more than five.
So, tell me what you think!