The new official FAQ has finally been released and everything is all sealed up like a button. Or is it? For the most part, many of the clarifications that have been posted by the designers and FFG in the past are transposed in the FAQ as an official release.
However, there are a few rulings that I disagree with. Officially, any variation from the rules or the FAQ is considered a house rule. So, without further ado, here are my official houserules:
FAQ: The spell, Call Ancient One, adds “to a maximum of 7” in regards to the X modifier for trophies discarded and Sanity cost.
Houserule: I am not limiting X to seven. Even though the highest base Sanity score is 7, an investigator can increase it to 8. If an investigator wants to discard 8 trophies, spend all 8 of their Sanity points and go insane and be devoured to awaken the Ancient One and remove 8 doom tokens and not draw another investigator, then so be it. It actually could make defeating the Ancient One just as difficult; you are short one investigator, yet must still deliver the same amount of successes equal to all players.
FAQ: A doom token is NOT added to the doom track when a gate opens using the Naacal Key.
Houserule: Why not? Unless specifically stated that a doom token is not added, every time a gate opens a doom token is added to the doom track. When a gate opens during an Arkham Encounter (“A gate and a monster appear” for example), a doom token is added. When a gate opens during the Mythos Phase, a doom token is added.
FAQ: “Closest Investigator” for monsters moving from Devil Reef or Y’ha-Nthlei when no Investigators are there is now “Lowest Sneak Investigator.” Same applies for the Hound of Tindalos if no Investigators are on the same board as the Hound.
Houserule: This is a classic case of theme getting in the way of a game mechanic because it does not make sense. Thematically, I know a monster is not going to Charter a Boat to move from Devil Reef to Falcon Point. I also know that the Hound of Tindalos will not ride a train to travel from Dunwich to Arkham. But let me ask you this: If the Hound is at Hibb’s Roadhouse and there is an investigator at Independence Square and at Velma’s Diner, which Investigator would the Hound move to? The correct answer, in determining Closest Investigator, is Velma’s Diner even though, physically, both locations are about equidistant. Thematically, the Hound is not going for a lovely stroll through the Downtown and Easttown streets to get to Independence Square nor the latter to get to the Diner. The Hound will jump from one location to the next. You are simply using the streets and the yellow lines to determine distance only, not because it makes thematic sense. So, why change that rule? I will continue to use the Boat Charter and the Train Depot to determine distance and keep the “lowest sneak” to break equidistant ties.
FAQ: Martial Law checks are rolled BEFORE you encounter any monsters present.
Houserule: Not only does the Innsmouth rules state that you check for Martial Law at the end of your movement, but encountering monsters DURING movement could end your movement. Then, you are checking for Martial Law after that encounter. I keep it simple that all Martial Law checks are done at the END of your Movement Phase. Investigators must pass this check before picking up any Clue tokens or Items though.
FAQ: Ursula Downs cannot start the game at Y’ha-nthlei or any of the Kingsport Head locations.
Houserule: Why not? Not only would it be disadvantageous for her to start there, it is also risky. Your first opening gate could be a Devouring Gate! If a player wants to take a gamble at the start of the game, I allow it.
FAQ: Investigators cannot start their turn in Devil Reef after being Lost In Time And Space.
Houserule: Why not? Innsmouth rules specifically disallows Y’ha-nthlei upon return (because of its ability) but not Devil Reef. It is risky for an investigator to go to Devil Reef alone without someone at Falcon Point due to limited movement and potentially being trapped there for awhile. It is Arkham; if a player wants to make life more difficult for their investigator, I allow it.
FAQ: If a monster surge is cancelled due to Kate Winthrop’s Science ability, a token is added to the Deep Ones Rising Track.
Houserule: The Deep Ones Rising Track receives a token when a GATE is prevented from opening. Monster surges are not preventing a gate from opening and are not applicable to the Deep Ones Rising Track. Not only that, canceling a monster surge itself is not preventing a gate from opening.
FAQ: If you successfully cast Wrack, you may continue moving.
Houserule: Once you enter combat, your movement ends. Wrack is cast before a Combat Check (after a Horror Check (whether you made one or not)) which is during combat.
FAQ: Failing an Evade check and the Horror check against The Beast, you are devoured.
Houserule: I am leaving the Beast’s printed rule as is with failing the Horror and COMBAT checks will you be devoured. Since The Beast delivers combat damage, that is what will be delivered to an investigator for a failed Evade check. It’s also possible for an investigator to pass the Horror check and continue to fail his Evade checks round after round while suffering the combat damage.
FAQ: If an Elusive monster surprises you, nothing happens. You do not encounter the monster.
Houserule: Anytime an Elusive monster is drawn as part of an encounter, return it to the cup and draw another.