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Kate Winthrop's ability


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#1 fireduck

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 12:58 PM

 "Monsters cannot appear during Kate's turn"

Does this mean, if I'm playing a solo game with only Kate, I'll never see a monster?  Seems like she might be a bit unbalanced in solo play if this is the case.



#2 fireduck

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 01:15 PM

Thinking a bit on this, monsters would appear during setup for those certain Adventures that auto spawn monsters (the lavatory comes to mind), but after step 4 of setup, that's it for monster spawning with Kate.



#3 Walk

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 02:59 PM

I don't think this should apply with Mythos cards, my reasoning being the following: in addition to the extreme power of the ability, in two-player and frou-player games, the clock will always strike midnight on the same person's turn.  Thus, the usefulness of Kat'e ability will vary massively based on where she stands in the turn order.  And that just seems ridiculous.  If you discount Mythos card monster appearance, she's still pretty well balanced.  Her terror-negating ability is very useful, and bit about monsters still applies to adventures she wins that spawn monsters as part of success (of which there are a fair number).  Admittedly, this isn't exactly borne out by the rules, and I've never been the type to go out on a limb in the interest of balance, but in this case, it's just too much.  I really enjoy this game, but the number of unclear rules and effects is really quite astounding.



#4 signoftheserpent

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 08:21 PM

Walk said:

I don't think this should apply with Mythos cards, my reasoning being the following: in addition to the extreme power of the ability, in two-player and frou-player games, the clock will always strike midnight on the same person's turn.  Thus, the usefulness of Kat'e ability will vary massively based on where she stands in the turn order.  And that just seems ridiculous.  If you discount Mythos card monster appearance, she's still pretty well balanced.  Her terror-negating ability is very useful, and bit about monsters still applies to adventures she wins that spawn monsters as part of success (of which there are a fair number).  Admittedly, this isn't exactly borne out by the rules, and I've never been the type to go out on a limb in the interest of balance, but in this case, it's just too much.  I really enjoy this game, but the number of unclear rules and effects is really quite astounding.

Surely tbe bit about monsters is fairly clear with regards to solo play: monsters will not appear after setup. From the start of the first turn the player is guaranteed never to see one because it will never not be her turn when such trigger points occur. This is massively broken.

 

It is fairly evident, now, that playtesting was not adequate on this game. I am starting to feel downhearted. solo playability was an important consideration to my choice of purchase and the designers clearly didn't take that into account when playtesting. As to FFG's priorities or those fo the developers in having license to issue official errata it may be a long time before this game is rendered playable.



#5 Felonius

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 05:31 AM

Walk said:

I don't think this should apply with Mythos cards, my reasoning being the following: in addition to the extreme power of the ability, in two-player and frou-player games, the clock will always strike midnight on the same person's turn.  Thus, the usefulness of Kat'e ability will vary massively based on where she stands in the turn order.  And that just seems ridiculous.

There are a number of effects that advance the clock outside of the end of the player's turn.  Her ability will come into and out of play during Mythos resolving more often than you'd expect, even with 2, 4, or 8 players (yes, the advances are mostly on monsters, but monster can come out on other player's turns, as the result of terror results, or if she isn't the player making it strike midnight).

As for "overpowered in single player", I doubt this would come to be the case.  Keep in mind that she's giving up other abilities, some of which could be even more useful (Sister Mary's ability, in particular, since it means that no dice would be locked for the entire game...). Monsters, at most, make things only slightly more difficult, while providing their own rewards (clue tokens, trophies, whatever).

All of the abilities are rather powerful.  Some of them (extra items when taking items) are less powerful in a single player game, but are still good.  When you have one power, you don't have the others, which might have been more useful.

And, if you think one power is too powerful, just don't use that character in solo play.  Or at all.

I don't get the impression of lack of playtesting.  It's a solid game.  There's variables that come up in play, but those are largely a part of the game.  There are some sections in the instructions that could have been written a little better, but there's nothing major.



#6 Walk

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 08:48 AM

signoftheserpent: I agree with you that the rules state that her ability does apply during the Mythos phase.  I am merely saying that, in the interest of balance, it should not.

felonius: You're right, I had forgotten the other effects that advance the clock.  But they're not that common, and I still maintain that the power of an ability should not vary enormously based on who takes the first turn.  And certainly, monsters aren't that big of a deal, but the standard result of a mythos card is either a monster or a doom token, so significant quantities of Mythos cards will be nulled by this.  Nothing major wrong is, of course, subjective, but...do you seriously believe that having absolutely no chance of losing a solo game if you choose your investigator and Ancient One is not a major issue?  (If you don't know what I'm talking about, see the Carolyn Fern v. Hastur thread.)



#7 SexyMike44

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 03:49 PM

I got play a game of AH today.

i really enjoyed it, and I got to see some of the similiarities and differences between these two games.  On this note, when battling an ancient one the ancient one just went after all the players went.  I think with 1-3 players in elder signs that might be the way to go too.  There are definately some things that i think need tweeking, but overall ES is still a good game and I enjoy it.  And as for solo play, I think one of the poeple earlier put it best, if you think some characters make the game too easy, don't use them when you are going solo, there are a lot of characters to choose from.



#8 Jenkins

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 06:02 PM

For Kate you could house rule that she can only use her ability to stop a monster from spawning once per day on her turn. In a 4 or more player game it functions the same and with less players it means you have to decide when to use it.



#9 MajMalfunction

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 02:17 AM

 

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.
 



#10 Jaroy

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 04:28 AM

MajMalfunction said:

 

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.
 

 

This is pretty much how i interpreted it as well. (though she's immune to terror effects anyways). I try to think it as "If Kate Winthrop directly affects spawning of a monster, monster won't appear".

 

This way it limits to monsters that spawn from rewards & penalties. (including doom token rewards & penalties if they apply.)



#11 Sdrolion

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Posted 29 September 2011 - 07:04 AM

I honestly feel like, for solo games, preventing monsters entirely works fine for me. It's a positive, but it is also a negative. Monsters make adventures harder, but also provide another trophy source that can really bolster your supplies. If you beat an adventure that's worth 2 trophies and you also beat a monster that's worth 2, you just got 4 trophies there. And, since you get to choose where they go (within certain rules), you can often prevent monsters from being any harm to you even when they do show up.

So, certain monsters that cause dice-locking and such aside, I think you're honestly mostly balancing out the effects by utterly preventing monsters from showing. You're ensuring that nothing will make adventures more difficult, but you're also ensuring that you'll never have an opportunity to gain more trophies on an adventure (or to gain trophies while failing the actual adventure: if you succeed at a monster task but fail the adventure, you still get the monster marker, which could also be handy). You get an easier time on some level, but a harder time on another.

That said, she does have an easy time (probably) with whichever AO it is that sets his task requirement to the number of monsters currently in play. If that's Hastur, then he has a design issue with two investigators, and I'd say that it's Hastur who needs a redesign, not the investigators.

For multiplayer games, of course, it's already been pointed out that her turn will not always be up when a monster emerges. Many things can change the advancement of the clock, and monsters can also spawn as a result of other things...so I can't see any real issue with her ability there.



#12 Yemson

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 08:40 AM

 True, I too don't see character abilities to be overpowered. Perhaps the major issue in this game is Hastur. Otherwise I see ES to be well balanced. 



#13 bdm

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 05:58 PM

The rules are poorly worded/organized - they imply that the mythos card phase is part of the player's turn.  This is not how it is treated in Elder Sign: Omens; it is a different phase.  The Mythos Phase is also not part of the player's turn in Arkham Horror - it is merely conducted by the first player.  With a little common sense, you can simply treat the Mythos Phase as not being part of the player's turn and thus, not part of Kate's turn, whether she's the last player in a 4 player game, or the only player in a solo game. 



#14 Ocracoke

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 12:05 PM

fireduck said:

 "Monsters cannot appear during Kate's turn"

Does this mean, if I'm playing a solo game with only Kate, I'll never see a monster?  Seems like she might be a bit unbalanced in solo play if this is the case.

There have been so many post here and especially on BGG that I can't remember them all. I think, not sure, someone said Richard, the guy who designed the game, told him that the game should be played with a minimum of two investigators, i.e. for solo play, pick two investigators. I think this was because of the problem of assisting not being available with just one.  The comment was along the lines as..... this fixed...other...problems "with the card's" text/rules.

Think about it, you really would enter this museum by yourself? :)

 



#15 MrPetkus

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Posted 31 December 2011 - 06:07 PM

bdm said:

The Mythos Phase is also not part of the player's turn in Arkham Horror - it is merely conducted by the first player.  With a little common sense, you can simply treat the Mythos Phase as not being part of the player's turn and thus, not part of Kate's turn, whether she's the last player in a 4 player game, or the only player in a solo game. 

This is not accurate - the manual clearly states that the Mythos Phase is a component of each player's turn.  As a prelude to the 4-phase cycles per player (phases III and IV are either/or), the first player initiates mythos to pollinate Arkham with a monster and portal.

There is nothing in the manual stating that Kate's ability is suppressed during the mythos phase.  Fidelity to the investigator description means if A) Kate draws a mythos card for her current location and B) there are no elder signs or gates there then, 1) doom track advances by one, 2) no gate opens, and 3) no monster appears.



#16 Walk

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 02:26 PM

But there is something in the FAQ; look at the "Midnight" section.



#17 xris

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Posted 01 January 2012 - 11:50 PM

Walk said:

But there is something in the FAQ; look at the "Midnight" section.

Yes, but it appears the discussion has crossed over to Arkham Horror, not Elder Sign.

Due to the Elder Sign FAQ it is now clear that Kate Winthope's ability does not extend into the Advance the Clock step.






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