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CTHULHU, that "friend"


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#1 Isildróin

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 12:22 PM

  From quite far from Arkham, New England: Spain.

  Hey pals!

  Don't you think that combat Cthulhu isn't so hard as this Ancient One deserves?

  I mean, it doesn't matter how many "points" of stamina or sanity, It atacks the maximun level; so, if you have an standard 5-5 investigator, 4-4 resolving the permanent effect of Cthulhu, you have 6 times receiving Cthulhu's atacks before you die… I find it a bit dissappointing, and you?

  One doubt: An investigator can try to complete the task any time he/she wants, but I assume that if you can complete one time those dice are fixed each one in the part of the task, I mean: you haven't all the dice to try to complete the task again, have you? (is it my English enough clear?)

  Lovecraft's lovers: a hug from this side of the ocean

 

 



#2 MaddockKrug

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 05:13 AM

Hi there,

 

well, it depends.

Besides the task on Shub-Niggurath the one on Cthulhu ist the toughest one. And with the exception of Azathoth and Hastur Cthulhu has the longest doom-track with 13 doom tokens.

Just as an example: I assume that during an average game-session Cthulhu would have about at least six to eight doom tokens on his track. Bringing those down will be quite challenging considering the task to hit him.

If you play with four characters, and all of them are fully healed and have the "best" spreading of values (i.e four each on health and sanity, which would be Mandy Thompson, Vincent Lee, Dexter Drake, and Amanda Sharp), then all of them would die at at the fourth attack of Cthulhu - and by that adding four tokens to his doom-track. As soon as you have different and/ or already wounded characters, death and doom occurs more likely, since any other character has one attribute with a lower score.

Also you should not forget: Since Cthulhu's ability to reduce the characters' attribute by 1 each as a general game effect, you may face some more trouble in dealing with adventures, monsters and especially midnight effects. You need to heal more often or more likely, and with characters having very low scores on sanity or health, death is always a real threat - and by that the risk of adding freebie-doom tokens to the track. The game may take a little longer, therefore you run the risk of Cthulhu earning more doom tokens …

 

Thinking of all this I would like to imagine that Cthulhu is a "tough nut" in the end. But I only had him twice so far during gaming. The first time it was an epic fail on my side, the other time we had plenty of luck and literally no trouble at all winning the game. To make Cthulhu "harder" or "tougher", how about just changing the task to beat him by changing the lore into a terror result (this would render the yellow and red die nearly useless) - or by simply adding any fourth task symbol (and by that making it nearly impossible to get to hits during a single attack) …

 

All the best!

Mad


For GM: Mad's Adventure, Adventure Hooks, NPCs, and Locations - same at RPGGEEK

 

SW, to me, is a Spaghetti Western with space ships for horses. No matter what you do it causes a problem.  You just might save the day.  Crazy heroics and adventure!

 


#3 xris

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 09:07 AM

Just a quick reply to Mad, I will address the OP post a bit later when I have more time.

Sorry Mad, you are incorrect on how to handle the Final Battle against Cthulhu

Please have a read of the post I made on BGG that gives more detail on how the Final Battle is intended to work.
Unfair devouring against Cthulhu? 
The point to note is that you use your maximum Sanity / Stamina, not your actual Sanity / Stamina. Isildróin is correct, the investigators will typically have only 6 Midnights before they are devoured on the 7th (you should have somewhere between 25 to 28 turns to dispose of Cthulhu).

 



#4 xris

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 09:41 AM

Isildróin said:

  From quite far from Arkham, New England: Spain.

  Hey pals!

  Don't you think that combat Cthulhu isn't so hard as this Ancient One deserves?

  I mean, it doesn't matter how many "points" of stamina or sanity, It atacks the maximun level; so, if you have an standard 5-5 investigator, 4-4 resolving the permanent effect of Cthulhu, you have 6 times receiving Cthulhu's atacks before you die… I find it a bit dissappointing, and you?

  One doubt: An investigator can try to complete the task any time he/she wants, but I assume that if you can complete one time those dice are fixed each one in the part of the task, I mean: you haven't all the dice to try to complete the task again, have you? (is it my English enough clear?)

  Lovecraft's lovers: a hug from this side of the ocean

Welcome from England, Mad is in Germany if I remember correctly

First, let's address your question concerning how many times you can complete the task during your turn.

If you roll the 6 green dice and manage to roll Law, Peril and Terror on three of them, then those three dice are set aside (i.e.placed on the task on the AO card). You now have three green dice left which you can roll again, so in theory it is possible to succeed twice during your turn (as a matter of interest, you only have a 1 in 36 chance of rolling Law, Peril and Terror with three green dice).

Even if you add the Yellow and Red dice to your dice pool, you can never manage to succeed more than twice during one turn (because to succeed a third time would require a total of 9 dice). Of course it will be easier to succeed once or twice using 8 dice than just using 6 dice but the point is that each time you manage to roll the requirement (i.e. Law, Peril and Terror), then those dice are set aside (just as when you attempt a normal task on an Adventure card).

Cthulhu is easy but only if you have Items, Spells and / or Clues (plus any Special Abilities the Investigator may have)..

If you use just the 6 green dice, then you have a 43.2% of rolling the required Law, Peril and Terror during your turn. You do have a chance of succeeding twice but as mentioned, you would be rather lucky if you did. Given that you have a 43.2% of succeeding, then on average you will take something like 25 to 26 turns to succeed 11 times (11 because you are required to remove 11 Doom tokens to defeat Cthulhu).

Trouble is, Cthulhu adds a Doom token every 4 turns (i.e. every time he attacks a Doom token is added to the Doom track). So during those 25 turns it takes to remove the original 11 Doom tokens, Cthulhu would have added a further 6 Doom tokens! To remove these additional 6 Doom tokens will take a further 14 or so turns! This means we are already at 40 turns and we have established that at best you only have 28 turns maximum to defeat Cthulhu (if you are wondering why 28 turns max, then please have a read of my post on BGG, Unfair devouring against Cthulhu?).

So in summary, if you are only using the 6 green dice, there is little hope in defeating Cthulhu. If you can add an Item or two each turn then it becomes much easier.

Of course there are only 18 Item cards that allow you to add the Yellow and / or Red dice but given that the investigators have a fair number of these along with Clue tokens and Spells, it does become easier to defeat Cthulhu. The more you have the easier it becomes. Going into Final Battle with only a few of these will most likely end in defeat.



#5 MaddockKrug

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 09:48 PM

Hi there,

 

thank you very much for pointing me to the mistake I did. Yeah, I was horribly wrong!

xris: Your maths are incredible. Thank you very much.

And yes: I am from Germany … Makes me a lesser creature of darkness … ;)

 

All the best!

Mad


For GM: Mad's Adventure, Adventure Hooks, NPCs, and Locations - same at RPGGEEK

 

SW, to me, is a Spaghetti Western with space ships for horses. No matter what you do it causes a problem.  You just might save the day.  Crazy heroics and adventure!

 


#6 Isildróin

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 09:38 AM

    Thank you both very much, Mad and Xris. Much more clear for me now

    And…, since this moment… Cthulhu doesn't disappoint me so much, now I have the probabilistic mathematical analysis that Xris made: Great! (Have you thoght to create a fan made investigator based on you? "Xris, the mathematician"…) Seriously, thanks a lot for the help.

    Well, it's clear that the point to defeat Cthulhu, if you can't avoid the final confrontation is to get enough items to assure the "luck-probability" plays on your side…

    Now I must leave you… I have an Ancient One waiting for me in the living room…

 



#7 xris

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 02:14 AM

Isildróin said:

Thank you both very much, Mad and Xris. Much more clear for me now

    And…, since this moment… Cthulhu doesn't disappoint me so much, now I have the probabilistic mathematical analysis that Xris made: Great! (Have you thoght to create a fan made investigator based on you? "Xris, the mathematician"…) Seriously, thanks a lot for the help.

    Well, it's clear that the point to defeat Cthulhu, if you can't avoid the final confrontation is to get enough items to assure the "luck-probability" plays on your side…

    Now I must leave you… I have an Ancient One waiting for me in the living room…

I'm glad that Cthulhu may now seem more of a threat to you  I think he is one of the "better" AO designs for Elder Sign in as much that without preparation you are toast.

If you are wondering how much the Yellow and / or Red dice will help then here are the figures.

6 Green dice
43.2% chance per turn of removing one Doom token.
Number of turns to remove 11 Doom tokens = 60

Yellow + 6 Green dice
56.4% chance per turn of removing one Doom token.
Number of turns to remove 11 Doom tokens = 35*

Red + 6 Green dice
71.6% chance per turn of removing one Doom token.
Number of turns to remove 11 Doom tokens = 24**

Red + Yellow + 6 Green dice
80.5% per turn of removing one Doom token.
Number of turns to remove 11 Doom tokens = 20***

* Please note that there are only 9 Items that add the Yellow dice! The figure of 35 turns assumes you are playing an Item every one of those 35 turns (which of course is not possible)
** Please note that there are only 11 Items that add the Red dice! The figure of 24 turns assumes you are playing an Item every one of those 24 turns (which of course is not possible)
*** Please note that there are only a total of 18 Items that add the Red and Yellow dice! So, 9 turns at the most, not 20!
BTW, these figures do take into account that if you fail with 6 dice, then you try again with 5 dice, and 4 dice, and 3 dice.

Of course these figures do not take into account for Clue tokens or Spells, either of which will improve your chances of defeating Cthulhu, as will Allies and Investigator's Special Abilities. And no, I am not going to release figures for those as well

So, going into Final Battle armed with all the 11 Red dice cards means you most likely will still fail! While you might be able to remove 2 Doom tokens in one turn when rolling 8 dice (6 Green plus Red plus Yellow), it is still not clear that with all 18 Yellow / Red Items you can defeat Cthulhu armed with just those 18 Items.

Isildróin said:

(Have you thoght to create a fan made investigator based on you? "Xris, the mathematician"…)

 

Heh. No, not yet but I have made new Elder Sign Investigator cards for all the other 32 Investigator featured from the Arkham Horror expansions. You can find them here.

Unofficial Investigator cards (converted from all AH expansions)

I also play Elder Sign with at minimum the Great Old One Herald, which makes the game more interesting for me (otherwise it is far too easy). I've created a whole bunch of new features for Elder sign, most of which don't actually add any new rules so it is very easy to introduce them to new players without having to explain exceptions to the rules or mixing old and new components.

Elder Sign: Abominations - Game Expansion






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