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Opinions on "The Black Goat of the Woods" expansion


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#1 Solan

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 01:39 PM

I'm curious as to the general opinion about this expansion, hence this thread.  Please contribute your own impressions and thoughts regarding TBGOTW. 

Personally, I must admit that I myself was not impressed.  Aside from the fantastic "funnel-shaped cloud" weather environment, the Mythos cards  are bland and boring.  I found all of the new "monsters appearing" in the streets cards to be completely unecessary.  The Other World cards are also unexciting, and while there are a few good Common Items and Unique Items, none of them really jump out at you.

I have not yet played with the Black Goat of the Woods Herald, so I will have to leave that evaluation to others.  After looking at his effects, I figured he would virtually guarantee the AO's awakening if I used him.  True or false?  

I did like the Children of the Goat and I thought the Dark Druid was especially nice, a worthy equal to the Wizard Whately, the High Priest, and the Tcho-tcho Priest.  Unlike many others who have posted here, I found joining the "One of the Thousand" cult to be quite beneficial!  Jacqueline became a member and she ended up with a grand total of seventeen Clues, the majority of which were attributable to her membership in the cult.  A Historical Society encounter gave her three Clues for being a member, while the Corruption card she received, Nightmarish Visions (Very approrpriate for a psyhic, eh?) gave her most of the rest.  

     I was extremely  pleased with the Corruption cards!  I found them to be imaginative and interesting, and I liked how many of them had a sizeable benefit to accompany their detriment.  Discarding them when a gate matching their symbol was closed also seemed a fine way to get rid of them.  

I think that's everything, aside from the Spells and Arkham location encounters.  I'm of mixed feelings about the big one, Summoning the Ancient One, and don't particularly like the rest of the Spells.  The Arkham encounters I can't remember well enough to comment on.  

So overall, despite the excellent Cult memberships and Corruption cards, my opinion of this one has to be thumbs down.  What do the rest of you think?              



#2 thorgrim

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 03:09 PM

I thought Black Goat was decent, but of the 3 small expansions I think it is the weakest.

There could have been a deeper level of interaction to the cult encounter cards, like something I suggested elsewhere where a couple of encounters allowed you to do things like make a roll to help one of the potential sacrifices, if you succeed they get away and you could draw an ally, if you fail, you lose your cult membership and take some damage, or one where you can attempt to assassinate the cult leader, if you succeed remove a Doom Token, if you fail you are knocked unconscious and lose your membership. Potentially even a trust level within the cult that can be upgraded through encounters that allows you to draw from alternative cult encounter decks would up the level of interaction with the cult. The more the cult trusts you, the greater the benefits encounters grant you, but the more you lose if you do fail the encounters.

 

The Black Goat herald adds quite a large difficulty factor to the game, since it nearly doubles the number of monsters that are coming out at you, but at least you can guarantee the Terror Level is going to do something while the herald is around. I think the herald is probably one of the most interesting additions to the game from this expansion.

 

 

While the idea behind Black Goat is great, I think the final product could have done with a little more depth. I already have a few cards in Strange Eons made up to bring this depth, and I have ideas for more, but we'll see whether I ever get them far enough developed to bother releasing it here, considering how much other stuff I have started with Strange Eons but am still in developmental limbo regarding them. I am working on a Brian Lumley map expansion, a Ramsey Campbell map expansion, a series of expansions that bring more interaction between two official expansions (Ie. one for Dark Pharaoh and Black Goat, one for Dark Pharaoh and King in Yellow etc.), a couple of Strange Eons extensions plus some other random stuff, all while I'm desperately looking for a job, so the eventuality of actually getting these things finished may or may not happen, just have to wait and see.



#3 Criswell

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 12:10 AM

thorgrim said:

I thought Black Goat was decent, but of the 3 small expansions I think it is the weakest.

There could have been a deeper level of interaction to the cult encounter cards, like something I suggested elsewhere where a couple of encounters allowed you to do things like make a roll to help one of the potential sacrifices, if you succeed they get away and you could draw an ally, if you fail, you lose your cult membership and take some damage, or one where you can attempt to assassinate the cult leader, if you succeed remove a Doom Token, if you fail you are knocked unconscious and lose your membership. Potentially even a trust level within the cult that can be upgraded through encounters that allows you to draw from alternative cult encounter decks would up the level of interaction with the cult. The more the cult trusts you, the greater the benefits encounters grant you, but the more you lose if you do fail the encounters.

 

Seconded. The descriptions and blurbs from the expansion seemed to indicate some sort of narrative to the cult: that it needs to be infiltrated before their evil, Arkham-destroying scheme is hatched. But this exigency just isn't present in the gameplay. In fact, the investigators joining the cult seems if anything to expedite AO awakening via depletion of the limited number of corruption cards, which by and large make the investigators weaker and represent a large risk of resource loss and devourment. Only by modifying the rules slightly (hexagon monsters become Elusive to investigators who join the cult, providing a small tactical benefit) have we been able to make joining the cult seem at all in line with player self-interest.

I don't have the mythos additions memorised, but I don't think there's enough cult-centric events in the mythos deck - environment effects or special activities that cult members can make particular use of. It shouldn't be possible to completely ignore the cult during the game, just as you can't ignore the Dark Pharoah content or the King in Yellow. 

Also: the trust level thing as quoted above, to provide some narrative drive and reason to join the cult (and actually have cult encounters!) An escalating risk/reward path for those who choose it would add a lot of tantalising thrills to what is at present a pretty flat and unengaging expansion. 

 



#4 Acebob

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 04:32 AM

I think that the best part of BGoTW was the new items/spells. They provide new weapons, which my group always seems to have a dearth of, so creative new items, and some interesting new utility spells.

The mythos cards are decent, but not particularly bad. I like the cards that split the spawning of monsters to two different locations. The aforementioned Funnel Clouds is a good new lethal card.

The corruptions are mostly boring I've found, with the exception of a few. The Greed one is flavorful I thought. But I was generally not impressed with them. I think these could have been particularly good, but didn't live up to their full potential.

The new monsters aren't anything too special. The Dark Druid is nice and interesting. The Children of the Goat are more interesting, as it often turns out that my investigators would rather loose 1 stamina than be delayed. The one thing I don't like about the new monsters is that during games without BGoTW or Shubb as the GOO, there is an irregular amount of Dark Young showing up. 

The Herald is the second best part I feel. Its a tough, but beatable, herald and thats what I like. The first game we played with it, it trounched up (but then again, we were only playing with 8 corruptions (and not all 16). The second time was much more manageable and we were able to soundly defeat her. 

I like it more than Dark Pharoah, but its not as good as The King in Yellow.



#5 Tibs

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 04:56 AM

Acebob said:

The new monsters aren't anything too special. The Dark Druid is nice and interesting. The Children of the Goat are more interesting, as it often turns out that my investigators would rather loose 1 stamina than be delayed.

Is there something I'm missing? I thought failing a combat check or evade check delays you. Where does the 1 stamina come in, and why is it mutually exclusive with being delayed?



#6 Frank

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 08:19 AM

Losing a combat check, or indeed entering combat to begin with ends your movement this turn. Being delayed causes you to skip your movement next turn.

 

S against the druid, you move into the street, fail to evade (end movement), fight, miss the first check - get delayed - then you keep fighting. Assming you win on the next roll (or escape), you now sit here during encounters and then next turn you stand p during movement and then you have to sit there for another set of encounters.

 

-Frank



#7 Tibs

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 09:23 AM

I already know all that. But when dealing with the Child of the Goat, Colts said his players would rather take 1 stamina than be delayed.

What is the scenario behind this choice?



#8 Frank

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 09:49 AM

Tibs said:

I already know all that. But when dealing with the Child of the Goat, Colts said his players would rather take 1 stamina than be delayed.

What is the scenario behind this choice?

 

Just that the Child of the Goat is a cultist who inflicts a delay instead of a Stamina loss. So most people would rather face a normal cultist. Except for the fact that you get to look at a hot got woman.

 

-Frank



#9 Tibs

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 11:37 AM

Frank said:

 

Just that the Child of the Goat is a cultist who inflicts a delay instead of a Stamina loss. So most people would rather face a normal cultist. Except for the fact that you get to look at a

hot

goat woman.

 

 

Something about these two notions strikes me as being mutually exclusive.



#10 Hand of Osiris

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 12:10 PM

I have yet to play, but have read every card.

 

I am dissapointed because there isn't a new way to win the game by defeating the cult.

I thought perhaps by adding a single card to the Cult Encounters deck that basically says "You have defeated the Cult, you WIN"

Or at least replace "you WIN" with Remove half the tokens from the Doom Track or something.

As of right now the COST to join the Cult is too high, for what seems really is at best a WASH for player benefit.

 

I would rather spend those trophies etc. on being blessed for instance, or anything else (white ship, changed, police chief)

 

I like the idea of making cult members automatically evade hexagon creatures.  I also like the idea that one (or all) random player starts the game as a cult member.



#11 Morgaln

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 11:52 PM

I very much like the Corruption cards; however I don't like the Herald much for the exact reason the original poster stated: it's almost a guarantee that the AO will wake and for me, winning the Final Battle is not the preferred method at all.

However I like that the encounters continue what was started in Kingsport: breaking from the typical "make a check, gain reward/suffer consequences" mold and introducing interesting effects depending on how well the investigators are doing.






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