Jump to content



Photo

Rules giltch: Carolyn Fern vs. Hastur


  • Please log in to reply
22 replies to this topic

#1 Nagred

Nagred

    Member

  • Members
  • 1 posts

Posted 11 September 2011 - 05:47 AM

 

"In this corner, weighing in at a svelte 3,765 pounds, from Another Dimension, the King in Yellow - it's Hastur the Ancient One!  And in this corner, weighing 118 pounds, from Arkham, Massachusetts, psychologist Carolyn Fern!  It's a fight to the finish, and only one of them will come out alive!"

Oh, forget the hype.  Carolyn wins, every time. 

Why?  Because Elder Sign dispenses with the idea of an Upkeep, referring instead to the "start of turn" without designating "Start of Turn" to be an official phase of a player's turn.  That means Dr. Fern can heal herself one Sanity (assuming she isn't already maxed) at the beginning of each of her turns, before she does anything else on her turn.  So even if she's the only investigator left once Hastur's awake, she has to win... eventually, as follows:

Midnight - Hastur attacks for 2 Sanity.  Fern now heals herself for 1 Sanity and attacks.  Maybe she removes a Doom token, maybe not.  Sooner or later, she'll hit for the twelfth time and win the game for the investigators.  End of turn, advance the Clock to 3:00.  Fern gains 1 Sanity (she is now back to the same Sanity level as before Hastur's attack) and attacks, and advances the Clock to 6:00.  Fern gains another Sanity (now irrelevant) and attacks, and advances the Clock to 9:00.  Fern gains another Sanity and attacks, and advances the Clock to Midnight.  Repeat until Hastur is dead   Sure, Fern isn't 100% accurate, but when your opponent can't kill you, you don't have to be.  Sooner or later, you will win.

I'm sure there are other examples of an investigator defeating a particular Ancient One in this same fashion, because of the lapse in the rules.  Suggestion:  Change Fern's and Lee's abilities to read "Once per day... ".  We were a bit disappointed to invest two hours in a six-player game only to find this problem at the end.  The game's great otherwise; please fix the rules?  Thanks for taking the time to read this.

 


 

   

 



#2 Kawarazu

Kawarazu

    Member

  • Members
  • 14 posts

Posted 11 September 2011 - 07:05 PM

Oh, I never noticed that.  Errata it to "or lose 2 Sanity permanently." and it'll be solved.  

Same deal as Ithaqua and Vincent Lee (The Doctor).  Errata it to "permanently" and it'll be fine.  



#3 SexyMike44

SexyMike44

    Member

  • Members
  • 55 posts

Posted 12 September 2011 - 07:09 AM

both of the investigators that heal on their card it says they can only do this on THEIR turn.  Now i havn't fought an ancient one yet so not sure how often they attack, but she can only heal 1 sanity on HER turn.



#4 Walk

Walk

    Member

  • Members
  • 461 posts

Posted 12 September 2011 - 08:53 AM

Yes, but if she's the only investigator, all of the turns are her turns, and the Ancient One will only attack every four turns, allowing her to heal 4 sanity between attacks.



#5 Kisada

Kisada

    Member

  • Members
  • 1 posts

Posted 15 September 2011 - 10:54 AM

The rulebook does make it clear that the player's turns are very different when battling an ancient one. In particular, investigators may neither focus nor assist, and thematically, it could be argued that using special abilities during such a battle should fall into the same category.

Prohibiting the use of special abilities when battling an ancient one would certainly fix the problem with Carolyn Fern. Furthermore, it wouldn't otherwise affect game balance too much as many other investigators have special abilities that can't be used during task completion anyway. Also, the ability to complete the combat task multiple times in the same turn would surely compensate for the loss of special abilities during these battles.

 



#6 Kawarazu

Kawarazu

    Member

  • Members
  • 14 posts

Posted 15 September 2011 - 10:54 AM

Like I said.  Errata to permanently, and it's done.  Simple, clean fix.  Also allows a distinction but a little flavor difference from Cthulu.



#7 Jenkins

Jenkins

    Member

  • Members
  • 32 posts

Posted 15 September 2011 - 05:38 PM

Some of those abilities were meant to function only once per day like Mandy Thompson.  By the book, Mandy can use her special abilities each turn, which is very powerful.  Those healing powers should be, "Once per day, on your turn...".  The play testing was obviously done with mostly 4 or more people because when you only have 1 or 2 players the game plays differently and is easier because of the "At Midnight..." mechanic.

Another house rule to make the game harder is to advance the clock faster when you have fewer players.



#8 SexyMike44

SexyMike44

    Member

  • Members
  • 55 posts

Posted 16 September 2011 - 06:31 AM

I agree with you jenkins.

 

on some other posts Kawarazu I agree with you, but on the permenantly loose sanity i disagree.  That would mean you could never heal an investigor with some of the item cards.  And since when an investigator dies while an ancient one has awoken they can't get a new investigator this would kill everyone REALLY fast.



#9 Kawarazu

Kawarazu

    Member

  • Members
  • 14 posts

Posted 16 September 2011 - 07:08 AM

That would be the point.  I think that if you don't feel a terrible impending sense of dread from not having the necessary items to avoid the permanent 2 sanity loss, I don't think the Great Old One is doing it right.



#10 ALLular13

ALLular13

    Member

  • Members
  • 10 posts

Posted 17 September 2011 - 03:24 AM

Jenkins said:

Some of those abilities were meant to function only once per day like Mandy Thompson.  By the book, Mandy can use her special abilities each turn, which is very powerful.  Those healing powers should be, "Once per day, on your turn...".  The play testing was obviously done with mostly 4 or more people because when you only have 1 or 2 players the game plays differently and is easier because of the "At Midnight..." mechanic.

Another house rule to make the game harder is to advance the clock faster when you have fewer players.

 

I think that is brilliant! I can see fantasy flight implementing either of those balances in a rules supplement. 

It does seem that Carolyn's and Vincent's special abilities were initialy balanced considering 4 players, and playing with less players definitely gives those 2 investigators an advantage, but only on the 4 ancient ones( Cthulhu,  Yig, Ithaqua, Hastur)  who do sanity or stamina damage during their attack. I haven't played a situation where both those investigators were in play during the last battle, is success always guaranteed?

perhaps the clock should be disregarded completely after the ancient one awakens, and then he simply takes his turn in sequence with the remaining players... don't understand thematically why he has to wait until midnight to make an attack.

 

 



#11 Phantom287

Phantom287

    Member

  • Members
  • 89 posts

Posted 17 September 2011 - 02:46 PM

ALLular13 said:

Jenkins said:

 

Some of those abilities were meant to function only once per day like Mandy Thompson.  By the book, Mandy can use her special abilities each turn, which is very powerful.  Those healing powers should be, "Once per day, on your turn...".  The play testing was obviously done with mostly 4 or more people because when you only have 1 or 2 players the game plays differently and is easier because of the "At Midnight..." mechanic.

Another house rule to make the game harder is to advance the clock faster when you have fewer players.

 

 

 

I think that is brilliant! I can see fantasy flight implementing either of those balances in a rules supplement. 

It does seem that Carolyn's and Vincent's special abilities were initialy balanced considering 4 players, and playing with less players definitely gives those 2 investigators an advantage, but only on the 4 ancient ones( Cthulhu,  Yig, Ithaqua, Hastur)  who do sanity or stamina damage during their attack. I haven't played a situation where both those investigators were in play during the last battle, is success always guaranteed?

perhaps the clock should be disregarded completely after the ancient one awakens, and then he simply takes his turn in sequence with the remaining players... don't understand thematically why he has to wait until midnight to make an attack.

 

 

 

Actually, since Yig damages both sanity and stamina if your just using Carolyn or Robert, then that won't help them since they can't replensih both their stamina and sanity and Cthulhu lowers his opponents maximum sanity or stamina each turn, that's not the same thing as damaging them, once one of those attributes hits 0, it's game over for either of them.

However, it is true that this game was balanced with four or more investigators in mind. Any fewer tends to break the game. For instance, Kate Winthrop's ability allows her to keep monsters from spawning on her turn. If she's the only investigator then all the turns are her turn and thus, no monsters can spawn (perhaps with the possible exception of mythos events and the public laboratory).



#12 Jenkins

Jenkins

    Member

  • Members
  • 32 posts

Posted 18 September 2011 - 05:57 PM

Adding "Once per day," investigator so-and-so can... would solve several issues with investigator powers that are strong when there are less than 4 players.



#13 tiborvadovan

tiborvadovan

    Member

  • Members
  • 33 posts

Posted 24 September 2011 - 10:11 PM

Jenkins said:

Adding "Once per day," investigator so-and-so can... would solve several issues with investigator powers that are strong when there are less than 4 players.

Unfortunely, this fix does little to fix Kate Winthrop's broken ability, since in that case you can always chose to use it on the last turn of every day, avoiding monsters placed by midnight cards and doom track advances....

 



#14 MajMalfunction

MajMalfunction

    Member

  • Members
  • 17 posts

Posted 25 September 2011 - 02:11 AM

tiborvadovan said:

Jenkins said:

 

Adding "Once per day," investigator so-and-so can... would solve several issues with investigator powers that are strong when there are less than 4 players.

 

 

Unfortunely, this fix does little to fix Kate Winthrop's broken ability, since in that case you can always chose to use it on the last turn of every day, avoiding monsters placed by midnight cards and doom track advances....

 

 

I would interpret that her ability will only prevent monsters from appearing due to terror effects or adventure card rewards or penalties.  I don't think "at midnight" effects occur during any players turn, but are their own phase, so monsters can still appear at midnight when she is the investigator.



#15 Jaroy

Jaroy

    Member

  • Members
  • 8 posts

Posted 25 September 2011 - 04:53 AM

Jenkins said:

Adding "Once per day," investigator so-and-so can... would solve several issues with investigator powers that are strong when there are less than 4 players.

 

Once per day would be such a hassle to keep track without some out of box markers. I haven't tried either Vincent or Carolyn out yet, but i was thinking about fixing them by requiring them to be "at entrance on start of their turn". this way they might heal at start of their turn after they've spent a turn on entrance, or just won an adventure. This would also prevent them from trying 1 sanity/health adventure "non-stop". (i don't know if that's even a real issue with these two.)



#16 tiborvadovan

tiborvadovan

    Member

  • Members
  • 33 posts

Posted 26 September 2011 - 01:49 AM

MajMalfunction said:

tiborvadovan said:

 

Jenkins said:

 

Adding "Once per day," investigator so-and-so can... would solve several issues with investigator powers that are strong when there are less than 4 players.

 

 

Unfortunely, this fix does little to fix Kate Winthrop's broken ability, since in that case you can always chose to use it on the last turn of every day, avoiding monsters placed by midnight cards and doom track advances....

 

 

 

 

I would interpret that her ability will only prevent monsters from appearing due to terror effects or adventure card rewards or penalties.  I don't think "at midnight" effects occur during any players turn, but are their own phase, so monsters can still appear at midnight when she is the investigator.

While that is one possibility and could work, the rules do clearly state that advancing the clock and drawing mythos cards at midnight is Step 3 of the player's turn. (see page 5). So a FAQ/Errata or clarification is badly needed...



#17 Sdrolion

Sdrolion

    Member

  • Members
  • 304 posts

Posted 29 September 2011 - 07:39 AM

Jenkins said:

Adding "Once per day," investigator so-and-so can... would solve several issues with investigator powers that are strong when there are less than 4 players.

I have to disagree, in general. I don't feel that investigator abilities are overpowered, with the possible exception of Mandy (and even with her, she's just basically a free clue token, and those aren't that hard to get anyway).

Kate: Preventing monsters makes things easier in one way, but also removes a trophy source, and we want trophies.

Carolyn: The less investigators you have, the more pressure is put on each person and the more likely they are to need healing. If you have a single player Carolyn game, she's going to be taking a beating Sanity-wise, and if she can only restore 1 Sanity to herself once every 4 turns, I think you've turned things around to make her massively underpowered. The problem is with Hastur, not Carolyn.

Vincent: See Carolyn, remove Hastur comment.

Mandy: She's just a free clue token, and she's not even as good as those are. They let you reroll any of the dice or even all of them, where she only lets you reroll two. She is certainly one of the more powerful investigators, ability-wise (just as she was in Arkham Horror), but I think that's the intent. Comparing her to her AH version, incidentally...her ability is more often usable, but less actually useful. In AH, she let you reroll every die that had failed, and you usually had a 33.33% chance on each die of rolling what you needed (a 5 or a 6). Especially considering that in AH, you could end up with massive die pools, that was very strong. In Elder Sign, she lets you reroll two dice, and you frequently will have only a 16.67% chance on each die of rolling what you need (if you're going for a Lore, Terror, or Peril result, since they only show up on 1 out of 6 sides). In each of the above, of course, the assumption is that you only needed one particular instance of a result to succeed...if you need both dice to come up as particular results, you're still pretty screwed. Very frequently in Elder Sign, you'll be missing more than one proper result. And, for some Investigation results she wouldn't be able to help at all (if you rolled 0 investigations and need 8, two dice won't help unless they're the yellow and red). Mandy is strong, but honestly even with her ability to use her power on each investigator's turn, I think she's less powerful than her AH version.

My point being...aside from the Hastur thing, which is indeed a problem, I think the investigators are likely working just as intended. If you think they're too strong, that's fine and you can feel free to house rule them, but I don't think that these are examples of effects the designers didn't plan for, aside from the Carolyn vs. Hastur thing (and possibly Kate vs. Hastur...I can't recall if Hastur's the one that has the X = monsters thing on his card). Again, in those cases, I think the problem is with Hastur, not the investigators.

I'd be more inclined to lean towards Hastur hitting Max Sanity like Cthulhu does, for now, but it seems like FFG needs to rework his card.



#18 Walk

Walk

    Member

  • Members
  • 461 posts

Posted 29 September 2011 - 07:49 AM

The problem with Mandy (if indeed she can use her abilities on others' turns) is that the utility of her ability varies greatly with the number of players.  Very other investigator's ability is usable only on their turn, and the abilities that allow changing of dice are fairly comparable in power.  For instance, Harvey's allows the changing of one specific result into another specific result and can be used every roll; Mandy's allows the changing of any two results into a random result and can be used only once per turn.  Now, here's the problem; in a one-player game, Harvey's can be used four out of four turns and Mandy's can be used four out of four turns.  In a four-player game, Harvey's can be used one out of four turns and Mandy's can be used four out of four turns.  The strength of her ability is based entirely on the number of players, even though the game's difficulty is presumably supposed to scale with the number of players.  Really, this is the game's biggest problem: effectively scaling difficulty based on number of players.  Of course, this also means that Mandy's ability is pretty easy to fix; just make it useable on her turn only.



#19 Sdrolion

Sdrolion

    Member

  • Members
  • 304 posts

Posted 30 September 2011 - 01:24 AM

Walk said:

The problem with Mandy (if indeed she can use her abilities on others' turns) is that the utility of her ability varies greatly with the number of players.  Very other investigator's ability is usable only on their turn, and the abilities that allow changing of dice are fairly comparable in power.  For instance, Harvey's allows the changing of one specific result into another specific result and can be used every roll; Mandy's allows the changing of any two results into a random result and can be used only once per turn.  Now, here's the problem; in a one-player game, Harvey's can be used four out of four turns and Mandy's can be used four out of four turns.  In a four-player game, Harvey's can be used one out of four turns and Mandy's can be used four out of four turns.  The strength of her ability is based entirely on the number of players, even though the game's difficulty is presumably supposed to scale with the number of players.  Really, this is the game's biggest problem: effectively scaling difficulty based on number of players.  Of course, this also means that Mandy's ability is pretty easy to fix; just make it useable on her turn only.

That doesn't fix the ability...that changes it entirely. It makes it something only she can benefit from, where Mandy is clearly intended to be of aid to other investigators.

That said, here is one effective fix that could be how they meant to write things, and is suggested by the text of the ability in some light though not nearly clear enough if it was their intent:

"On any player's turn, Mandy can allow the active player to reroll two dice before the active player determines whether they have succeeded at any tasks. Once this power is used, Mandy cannot use it again until after the start of her next turn."

This could easily be what they meant by "once per turn," though if that is the case, that just isn't clear enough at all (in fact, the way I wrote it would seem to actually clear that up). However, you'll note that it entirely solves the above problem: Mandy becomes able to use her power exactly as often as Harvey, 1 turn out of every X turns (where X = the number of active investigators), but still fits the spirit of her ability, which is clearly (given the "active player" statement that is in her ability and wouldn't be there if she could only aid herself) to be able to aid anyone. This is effectively how Mandy's ability worked in Arkham Horror: she could use it once per full turn sequence, to aid anyone. Once it was used, she didn't get it again until the next Upkeep.



#20 SexyMike44

SexyMike44

    Member

  • Members
  • 55 posts

Posted 03 October 2011 - 07:05 PM

to address the issue Walk has with Mandy's ability "not scaling with the number of players". Look at it in terms of the clock, not the amount of players.  ES in terms of bad things happening is pretty much every 4 turns (varies ofcourse), but every 4 turns of the clock, something bad usually happens.  So Mandy gets to change 4 rolls once per day (or less, but never more).  1 player, or 8 players, mandy will never change more then 8 dice( 4x2)n in one day.  to me, that sounds pretty balanced in terms of how the game scales up with more players.

 

So far to me some of the abilities of the investigators are clearly better then others, but those investigators tend to not start out with as nice gear.  This game has an avalanche aspect to it in that winning and getting more rewards increases your chances of winning.  And the fewer items/clues you have teh harder to beat adventures.  I havn't played a character yet I hated, but there are definately some I like to see other people at the table playing...=)






© 2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Fantasy Flight Games and the FFG logo are ® of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.  All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact | User Support | Rules Questions | Help | RSS