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SEARCH THE MUSEUM (variant rules, to add mystery and difficulty)


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#1 riddle

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 05:45 PM

This variant allows for more of a sense of exploration. I think it adds some flavor, and mystery, as well as making the game a little harder in a good way. After a few plays, I really enjoy playing it this way. Try it and let me know what you think.

SEARCH THE MUSEUM
During setup, arrange the six Adventure cards in 2 columns of 3 rows height FACEDOWN with the Entrance on the bottom adjacent to both of the bottom 2 Adventure cards. Investigators start at the entrance.

At the start of a player's turn, they may move their Investigator 1 adjacent space for free. Each adventure card is considered 1 space. A player may not move diagonally. The Entrance is considered to be adjacent to BOTH of the bottom 2 Adventure cards. If a facedown adventure card is moved onto, it is turned faceup and any Terror effects happen once immediately (but not At Midnight effects, even if it's midnght).

After a player has used their free move, they may spend 1 Clue token ONCE to move 1 more space.

After a player has used their free move (and possibly a Clue move), or declined to move, they may do one (only one) of the following 4 things:
1) end their turn (moving to the Advance the Clock step).
2) attempt to Resolve the Adventure they are on.
3) "Receive First Aid" following the same menu as on the Entrance card. (They rest or take medicine.)
4) "Search the Lost and Found" following the same menu as on the Entrance card. (They loot the room)
NOTE: Options 3 and 4 are NOT available if there are any monsters present on the Adventure card that the Active player's Investigator is currently on.
NOTE: Options 3 and 4 are still always available at the Entrance along with the ability to "Buy a Souvenir."

When an Adventure card is successfully resolved, any Investigators currently on it are moved to an adjacent space of the players' choice (multiple Investigators can be moved to the same or separate spaces). If facedown Adventure cards are moved onto this way, they ARE turned faceup. Then, the resolved Adventure is removed and a new Adventure card is placed FACEDOWN in its place.

When an Other World adventure appears, set it FACEDOWN adjacent to the space which the Active player is currently on. If there is already an Other World adventure adjacent to that space or the Active player is at the Entrance, set the new Other World adventure adjacent to any other regular adventure card. (In the rare case that there are already Other World adventures adjacent to all 6 regular Adventure cards, new Other World adventures cannot appear.)

When a monster appears, it must be added to a faceup Adventure card. If there are none, the monster doesn't appear.



#2 riddle

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 05:56 PM

I also had an idea for an expansion die called the "Danger Die." It would be a purple die that you can freely add it to any adventure's rolling ONLY IF one or more of the other dice is locked (not focused or by a spell). Instead of a 1 investigation, the die has a -1 Stamina side; and instead of a 2 investigation, it has a -1 Sanity side. Since, it would still have a Terror side as well, it truly is a dangerous die to roll.
New cards could lock it or even force you to use it. You could have a GOO that, once awake, could only be hit by a Terror/Skull result on the purple die! (the other dice would be locked when it awoke.) You could also have an Ally that protects you from the danger die's damage. Items that force you to roll the danger die when they're used as a downside. Again, let me know what you think!



#3 Richard U. Pickman

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 03:28 AM

 Great ideas!

I'll definetly try them out on my next play!



#4 Walk

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 04:23 AM

Fascinating indeed.  I like the feel and, although I'm not normally one for house rules, I might give it a try sometime.  However, I would urge you to seriously reconsider the bit about triggering terror effects when you move onto adventures for the first time.  The rule only matters on one-fourth of the adventures, but if you get the wrong adventure, it can be extremely punishing.  What's more, it doesn't really add to the strategy in any way.  Since there's no way to look at adventures before moving onto them, all you can do is hope that you don't stumble onto the wrong adventure.



#5 riddle

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 04:48 AM

Thanks for the comments guys!

@Walk: The danger of stumbling around the museum is EXACTLY why I prefer this variant. It makes you think twice about whether to walk into the unknown, or try at a known, but difficult adventure/room. Triggering the terror effects helps to make the game feel dangerous, but I suppose you could drop that aspect from your own playthrough if it doesn't appeal to you.



#6 Walk

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 08:12 AM

Here's an idea to replace the automatic terror effect rule: when you end your move on an adventure that you just revealed, you must attempt to resolve that adventure (no healing or searching).  This probably actually makes it more difficult, but I find the terror idea too automatic.



#7 Phiveball

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 02:11 PM

I must say that I am very intregued by this. Like Walk I usually don't pay much attention to player created alternate rules, but this does sound very promising, and I will give it a try. Maybe for the terror effect you have to roll a die on entering the room. If you roll a terror side the effect takes place for the remainder of your rolls.



#8 riddle

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 06:49 PM

It's funny. I tried to change as little as possible about the core game with my variant. But the one little change I made is, of course, the one thing that gets comments here!

So, I think I definitely wouldn't want to force people to play adventures they land on. that's just way too brutal. My idea was to add fun, not frustrate the player.

Triggering the Terror effect just seemed like an obvious thing, that made sense and wouldn't have to have a whole process to it. As I said, if you think it's too much, don't use that rule. But, honestly, I think both suggestions here end up being way more brutal than my simple one.



#9 xris

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 12:35 AM

riddle said:

So, I think I definitely wouldn't want to force people to play adventures they land on. that's just way too brutal. My idea was to add fun, not frustrate the player.

I would have to agree with you here. One of the few decision points there are in this game is choosing which Adventure to attempt next. Take away that choice takes away so much and turns the game into a real crap-shoot.

You need to be able to plan how to approach the available Adventure cards, for me at least, forcing me to attempt an Adventure would be just frustrating and would mean I wouldn't even attempt to play such a variant.

At least with the Terror effect, there are only 12 of 36 Adventures that apply so the odds are not that bad. My question would be is the reward (knowing what the card is) enough to offset the penalty (the Terror effect).

riddle said:

Triggering the Terror effect just seemed like an obvious thing, that made sense and wouldn't have to have a whole process to it. As I said, if you think it's too much, don't use that rule. But, honestly, I think both suggestions here end up being way more brutal than my simple one.

So far, I would say your suggestion is the better of those suggested. Of course that only applies to my viewpoint, how others what to apply the variant is their choice but I would say continue with your ideas. Elder Sign needs something more than the existing structure, exploration is a good way to introduce something new to the mix. Getting the balance right is the tricky thing.

Keeping with the Terror effect as the trigger point, you could say that the Investigator has to apply one of the Adventure card Penalty symbols to themselves. This results in 16 of 32 cards that would be triggered for negative effect. The 16 cards that do not have a Terror effect would allow the Investigator to pick up 1 Clue token. This gives a penalty / reward for each card. I would suggest neither apply to Other World Adventure cards.

This would need actual playtesting still, I can still see it may be considered a bit dull. 2 of the 12 Terror effects would mean a Doom token, it would also mean you should never explore if you have either only 1 Stamina or 1 Sanity but since you can heal anywhere now you can recover before exploring.



#10 xris

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 01:27 AM

Sorry, there should be 48 Adventure cards, not 36.

xris said:

At least with the Terror effect, there are only 12 of 36 Adventures that apply so the odds are not that bad. My question would be is the reward (knowing what the card is) enough to offset the penalty (the Terror effect).

At least with the Terror effect, there are only 12 of 48 Adventures that apply so the odds are not that bad. My question would be is the reward (knowing what the card is) enough to offset the penalty (the Terror effect).

xris said:

Keeping with the Terror effect as the trigger point, you could say that the Investigator has to apply one of the Adventure card Penalty symbols to themselves. This results in 16 of 32 cards that would be triggered for negative effect. The 16 cards that do not have a Terror effect would allow the Investigator to pick up 1 Clue token. This gives a penalty / reward for each card. I would suggest neither apply to Other World Adventure cards.

Keeping with the Terror effect as the trigger point, you could say that the Investigator has to apply one of the Adventure card Penalty symbols to themselves. This results in 16 of 48 cards that would be triggered for negative effect. The 32 cards that do not have a Terror effect would allow the Investigator to pick up 1 Clue token. This gives a penalty / reward for each card. I would suggest neither apply to Other World Adventure cards.

Given that this might be "too easy", it might be best to include the 6 Adventure cards that have "At Midnight" effects as well.

Keeping with the Terror/At Midnight effect as the trigger point, you could say that the Investigator has to apply one of the Adventure card Penalty symbols to themselves. This results in 22 of 48 cards that would be triggered for negative effect. The 26 cards that do not have a Terror or At Midnight effect would allow the Investigator to pick up 1 Clue token. This gives a penalty / reward for each card. I would suggest neither apply to Other World Adventure cards.

BTW, dice locks and "monster appears" effects occur when an Adventure card is revealed as usual.



#11 Walk

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 04:39 AM

Hmm...perhaps you guys are right.  My reasoning was that attempting the adventure at least gives you a shot.  How about this: when you reveal an adventure with a Terror effect, you must attempt it that turn (unless you move off it with a Clue).  To up the difficulty, you could also include adventures with At Midnight effects or some other category.



#12 riddle

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 01:35 PM

ok, Walk, I'll go with you this far: forcing the attempt at adventure when the revealed adventure has a terror effect IS in line flavor-wise with my original intent.

The problem is that: You don't just move onto facedown adventures with your move at the beginning of your turn. You also might move onto them as the effect of yourself or another player completing the adventure you're currently at. Having Terror effects trigger forced adventure-attempts would cause turn-disrupting chains. And to fix this, you'd have to add another bunch of rules.

Please take no offense. I'm truly flattered by your interest in my variant. But it's strength is in its simplicity. Try playing with it and I think you'll see its elegance and feeling of "just-right."

I'm glad to that it was pointed out that at 1 Sanity or Stamina, you might not want to step onto a facedown adventure, since a Terror effect, though unlikely, could kill you. I love this tension. The clock's ticking, do I go for it, or rest here and heal?



#13 riddle

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 01:44 PM

@xris: Most of what I said to Walk applies to your ideas too. I don't think they gain enough fun for their added complexity. As you point out, most of the cards do not have Terror effects, so giving clues when a player steps on an adventure without them would mean players have TONS of Clue tokens, which I personally think are the most valuable resource in the game.

The advantage gained by stepping on adventure is simply revealing more of the museum and having another adventure to possibly complete. This is enough of  a reward unto itself. I felt the base game too easy when all is revealed and you could easily pick and choose what adventure to attempt. My variant is INTENDED to add danger, and thus add excitement to the play. A 1 in 4 chance at a Terror effect just doesn't seem that harsh to me. And when it does get you, well slap me if that doesn't feel just like the Dark Gods of Arkham Horror chuckling at us puny mortals.



#14 Walk

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 04:44 PM

riddle: Really, I'm just speculating here, and anything I suggest is ultimately just my personal preferences in terms of play-style.  That said, for anyone (including yourself) interested in my ramblings, I did not quite word my last post correctly (I simplified it because it was a variation on my original idea).  The more precise wording would be: If, when you get to the second phase of your turn (I'm sorry, I can't remember what you call it and you can't look at the first post of a thread while you're posting; it's the phase where you choose to resolve an adventure, heal, or search), you are on an adventure that you revealed this turn and that has a terror effect, you must attempt to resolve it.  This way, if anyone steps on an adventure with a Terror effect and they don't want to resolve it, they can spend a Clue to retreat (or try their luck on another face-down one).  It also eliminates the situations you mentioned.

Also: I take your point about the tension; my problem is with the nasty effects that don't have anything to do with hurting the investigator, like adding Doom tokens or monsters or getting rid of your trophies.  These are bad regardless of the state of your investigator, and some are VERY bad.  Granted, they are a minority, but I think forcing you to resolve it is still preferable in that you stand a chance



#15 Phiveball

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 03:15 PM

I gave it a try this evening and found that it really adds some much needed atmosphere to the game.  Thanks for posting.  I'm fiddling with the rules still to make it work for my style of play.  I'm not sure I like ignoring monster appearances if there is no place to add them.  I began playing by the rule that if a monster appears and there is not place on a flipped card to put them, they must go on the back of an adjacent card to where your player is standing, and must be defeated prior to revealing the front of that card. Stand-alone monster battles do not advance the clock.  This way you have incentive to fight them because you don't know what they are hiding underneath the card. As for the terror effect; if I entered a room with a terror effect i rolled a die. if it landed on the terror side the effect took place. If not it didn't. This would happen each time you pass through a room, so if you don't complete the card and decide to move on, passing back through that room later would result in you rolling for the terror effect again.  This caused some interesting decision making in moving to where I wanted to go. Overall, the game is essentually unchanged, but adding the mystery really helps.



#16 riddle

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Posted 01 November 2011 - 10:59 PM

Thanks for the report, Phiveball!

I like your idea for putting the monsters on the back of a card, if need be. But I want to be clear: the only reason I put in that rule about moonsters not appearing if there's no place for them is for the beginning of the game when the Mythos card is pulled, it sometimes puts a monster into play. Also, occassionally, it could happen that an investigator resolves the only revealed Adventure and moves back onto the Entrance. At all other times, there's always a place to put monsters, and another thing I like about this variant is that it forces monsters into revealed rooms, which makes them harder to avoid. It's so rare there's not a place for them, I didn't want to complicate things. But I like your solution.

And rolling the die to see if the Terror effect happens when an Adventure is moved onto and revealed seems like an elegant solution to Walk's concern about their danger. I still prefer to have it just happen, but, hopefully, this option will encourage others to give my variant a whirl!



#17 riddle

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 08:50 PM

has anybody tried this variant?

it's the only way i play now. but i'm curious to hear reports from others who've tried it out....






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