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Sdrolion

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Everything posted by Sdrolion

  1. Consider me another voice in favor. I'd love to see the excellent ES:Omens released on Kindle Fire (and let me also once again encourage FFG to keep up the conversions)!
  2. I adore Amanda...it's really irritating sometimes with other investigators to roll multiple successes and end up only able to use one, but with Amanda you can potentially clear a whole adventure with a single roll, which is just really cool when it happens.
  3. Sdrolion

    Trading?

    I know there's been a lot of discussion on making Elder Sign harder, but one thing I was wondering if I'd missed was if there are any item-trading rules. Are those in there at all? I haven't seen them. (Maybe I'm just missing where it's stated? O_O) I know it would probably make the game easier to be able to trade, but it seems like kind of an odd exclusion in a co-op game, especially since there doesn't appear to be any way to use most items/spells to aid one another.
  4. 3 games so far. 1 solo loss vs. Yig, 1 solo victory vs. Yig via beating him in final combat, and one four-player victory vs. Azathoth by just barely getting enough Elder Signs before the doom track filled (lucky Other World Adventure draws and some very lucky dice rolls). I feel the game's at an acceptable level of difficulty so far, but I also never complained about Arkham Horror being too easy. I'm pretty bad at predicting probabilities, so I tend to have some more trouble in games like this than some others might. I would probably give the same advice as has been given for Arkham Horror, though. If you're finding the game spectacularly easy, probably take a look and make sure that you're doing everything right. (In particular, in every game I've had, doom tokens have popped up pretty frequently, and with Azathoth we only had two doom tokens left before we would have lost, but maybe that's just poor luck on the draw.) Don't forget to add a doom token when an investigator is devoured, for one thing!
  5. Walk said: Well, think of it this way: with one player, each day, you get to re-roll eight dice. With four or more players, each day, you get to re-roll eight dice AND you get to use the abilities of all the other investigators. The normal system seems to be that you get to use one investigator's ability each turn (the ability of the investigator whose turn it is), but playing with Mandy, you get to use one investigator's ability plus Mandy's ability (unless you're Mandy). This makes no difference with one player (you have two abilities to play with 0 out of 4 turns) and a huge difference with four players (you have two abilities to play with 3 out of 4 turns), which is why it doesn't scale properly with different numbers of players. You could argue that a larger game is harder and thus investigators' abilities are supposed to be better, but Mandy is the only one whose ability scales this way. Again, this completely fixes that while still allowing Mandy to help out other investigators: "On any player's turn, Mandy can allow the active player to reroll two dice before the active player determines whether they have succeeded at any tasks. Once this power is used, Mandy cannot use it again until after the start of her next turn."
  6. Walk said: The problem with Mandy (if indeed she can use her abilities on others' turns) is that the utility of her ability varies greatly with the number of players. Very other investigator's ability is usable only on their turn, and the abilities that allow changing of dice are fairly comparable in power. For instance, Harvey's allows the changing of one specific result into another specific result and can be used every roll; Mandy's allows the changing of any two results into a random result and can be used only once per turn. Now, here's the problem; in a one-player game, Harvey's can be used four out of four turns and Mandy's can be used four out of four turns. In a four-player game, Harvey's can be used one out of four turns and Mandy's can be used four out of four turns. The strength of her ability is based entirely on the number of players, even though the game's difficulty is presumably supposed to scale with the number of players. Really, this is the game's biggest problem: effectively scaling difficulty based on number of players. Of course, this also means that Mandy's ability is pretty easy to fix; just make it useable on her turn only. That doesn't fix the ability...that changes it entirely. It makes it something only she can benefit from, where Mandy is clearly intended to be of aid to other investigators. That said, here is one effective fix that could be how they meant to write things, and is suggested by the text of the ability in some light though not nearly clear enough if it was their intent: "On any player's turn, Mandy can allow the active player to reroll two dice before the active player determines whether they have succeeded at any tasks. Once this power is used, Mandy cannot use it again until after the start of her next turn." This could easily be what they meant by "once per turn," though if that is the case, that just isn't clear enough at all (in fact, the way I wrote it would seem to actually clear that up). However, you'll note that it entirely solves the above problem: Mandy becomes able to use her power exactly as often as Harvey, 1 turn out of every X turns (where X = the number of active investigators), but still fits the spirit of her ability, which is clearly (given the "active player" statement that is in her ability and wouldn't be there if she could only aid herself) to be able to aid anyone. This is effectively how Mandy's ability worked in Arkham Horror: she could use it once per full turn sequence, to aid anyone. Once it was used, she didn't get it again until the next Upkeep.
  7. Jenkins said: Adding "Once per day," investigator so-and-so can... would solve several issues with investigator powers that are strong when there are less than 4 players. I have to disagree, in general. I don't feel that investigator abilities are overpowered, with the possible exception of Mandy (and even with her, she's just basically a free clue token, and those aren't that hard to get anyway). Kate: Preventing monsters makes things easier in one way, but also removes a trophy source, and we want trophies. Carolyn: The less investigators you have, the more pressure is put on each person and the more likely they are to need healing. If you have a single player Carolyn game, she's going to be taking a beating Sanity-wise, and if she can only restore 1 Sanity to herself once every 4 turns, I think you've turned things around to make her massively underpowered. The problem is with Hastur, not Carolyn. Vincent: See Carolyn, remove Hastur comment. Mandy: She's just a free clue token, and she's not even as good as those are. They let you reroll any of the dice or even all of them, where she only lets you reroll two. She is certainly one of the more powerful investigators, ability-wise (just as she was in Arkham Horror), but I think that's the intent. Comparing her to her AH version, incidentally...her ability is more often usable, but less actually useful. In AH, she let you reroll every die that had failed, and you usually had a 33.33% chance on each die of rolling what you needed (a 5 or a 6). Especially considering that in AH, you could end up with massive die pools, that was very strong. In Elder Sign, she lets you reroll two dice, and you frequently will have only a 16.67% chance on each die of rolling what you need (if you're going for a Lore, Terror, or Peril result, since they only show up on 1 out of 6 sides). In each of the above, of course, the assumption is that you only needed one particular instance of a result to succeed...if you need both dice to come up as particular results, you're still pretty screwed. Very frequently in Elder Sign, you'll be missing more than one proper result. And, for some Investigation results she wouldn't be able to help at all (if you rolled 0 investigations and need 8, two dice won't help unless they're the yellow and red). Mandy is strong, but honestly even with her ability to use her power on each investigator's turn, I think she's less powerful than her AH version. My point being...aside from the Hastur thing, which is indeed a problem, I think the investigators are likely working just as intended. If you think they're too strong, that's fine and you can feel free to house rule them, but I don't think that these are examples of effects the designers didn't plan for, aside from the Carolyn vs. Hastur thing (and possibly Kate vs. Hastur...I can't recall if Hastur's the one that has the X = monsters thing on his card). Again, in those cases, I think the problem is with Hastur, not the investigators. I'd be more inclined to lean towards Hastur hitting Max Sanity like Cthulhu does, for now, but it seems like FFG needs to rework his card.
  8. peterstepon said: Having had my first spin of the game today. I would also like to know, why is a monster considered a reward? That seems kinda strange to me. Rewards aren't always positive, which does make the language a bit awkward (maybe just something like "Clear Results" would have been better?), but monsters can actually be good. Killing off a monster gets you a trophy, and trophies are what you need to buy things, so having monsters out there can ultimately let you get more items and such, faster. Especially if you draw a weaker monster or have a special item (like Bind Monster) that lets you beat the monster fast, monsters can be a pretty good thing to have out there.
  9. Just realized that Michael and Harvey's abilities have another use, too: if you only got one terror result and are going to fail the roll and suffer the terror effect on a card, you can use their abilities to change that result and avoid the terror penalty even if you still fail. (You could do that kind of with Mandy too, of course, though there's the risk that the terror result comes up again with her.)
  10. 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.
  11. Zarrack said: If the players win the game, the investigators have defeated the mythos threat and saved Arkham. The player with the most Other World Adventure Card trophies is awarded the honorary title of First Citizen of Arkham. In the case of a tie, the title goes to the player with the most trophies. You can rate your victory by using the following scoring system. Start with the number of spaces on the doom track of the Ancient One. Apply the following modifiers: +1 for every three unspent trophies held at the end of the game +1 per sane, surviving investigator at the end of the game -1 per devoured investigator during the game. I thought of just counting the empty spaces on the doom track, however that would benefit battling the ancient one since all spaces would be empty. Reducing the score for every "played elder signs during the game" would be silly since the needed elder signs are always two more than the number of spaces on the doom track. That reduction would also benefit battling the ancient one. Any ideas on other scoring modifiers? You could make the empty spaces on the doom track count only if the Ancient One does not awaken. Other than that, no idea. :-P
  12. Have to agree in general. Aside from some of the usual FFG issues with unclear rules, Elder Sign is quite a nice game. It plays quickly and provides a wonderful risk vs. reward mechanic. I feel it actually will scale better than Arkham Horror does, to a degree (the Carolyn Fern vs. Hastur issue aside), as it doesn't feel overwhelming even with 1 investigator (whereas AH basically makes certain victory types utterly impossible with too small a group). It's actually kind of interesting--theoretically, the more investigators you have, the wider spread of abilities and the more items you start with, but each player will end up with less trophies in the same amount of clock time, so getting more equipment and items will become more difficult. I enjoy it quite a bit. I just hope that FFG gets the FAQ out quickly. O_O
  13. Thanks. (Is there any particular place in the rules I'm missing here that you've spotted, or is this just how you've figured it?) I'm pretty sure on Mandy...her ability actually states, if I recall correctly, that she can use it to help "the active player." There's no reason at all to include that kind of language if she's only able to assist herself. If you think about it, Mandy's ability is actually fairly equivalent in usage amount, anyway, to the other dice-based ones. Mandy's can help each player, but only once per player's turn (that is, if they screw up one roll she can save them, but if they screw up the next roll on the same turn she can't). Whereas Harvey et al. can only help themselves, but are able to do so over and over for each time they roll (and unless you are searching the lost and found, you're going to be rolling more than once per turn). The amount of use it sees is probably roughly equivalent unless you happen to be playing with a really big player group. Now, as to the ability's power, rerolling two dice is indeed probably better than just being able to change a certain result, but rerolling the dice isn't a guarantee that you'll get the result you want...and, really, Mandy's power is basically a free but less powerful clue token in this one, since clue tokens allow you to reroll any or all of the dice, while Mandy only lets you reroll up to two (if I'm remembering properly). I think that's quite different from her Arkham Horror version, where she let you do something you couldn't otherwise do pretty much at all (reroll all dice that had failed), and clue tokens only added an extra die.
  14. (Note: I've sent most of these to FF as well to see if I can get some official answers, but wanted to see if anyone here had any insight.) I just got Elder Sign, and for the most part I think I understood how to play. Found the game very fun and quite a bit quicker than Arkham Horror, though as others have said it won't replace AH in my library...just supplement it. I did have quite a few questions arise during play, most of which were fairly minor and things that I was pretty comfortable just house ruling until an official FAQ is released. However, there were a few major questions I had that I'm not entirely comfortable just calling without getting input. I did check over the forums first but didn't see these...I apologize if they have been answered before. It is unclear, on some of the investigator abilities, if they can use them to affect the rolls of other investigators. Mandy pretty explicitly can, but other abilities such as Darrell's, Harvey's, and Michael's all (to my recollection) also say "once per roll" or some such. I am not sure if that means any of their own rolls, or any roll at all. For example, Harvey Walters: "Once per roll, Harvey may change a die showing a terror result to a lore result." Does that work only on his own rolls, or on everyone's rolls? I am unclear on the precise rules for spending items/spells: "A player may spend 1 or more Common Items, Unique Items, or Spells before any roll while his Investigator marker is on an Adventure card." Does this mean that you can spend items/spells even while it is not your turn if you are on an Adventure card--for instance, to aid another investigator? If so, do you have to be on the same card as them, or can you be on any adventure card (the former would make sense). And what about items/spells that don't affect adventures, such as the spell that recovers someone's sanity? Do you have to be on an adventure card to use that at all, even on your turn? Can anyone provide some input on these? Thanks.
  15. Just got Elder Sign, and this was one of the rules questions I had too. It does seem logical to treat the AO exactly as you did the Adventure Cards, but the statement in the book seems kind of awkward then. I do think the locking of successful dice was their intent, as the book does say "as they did during the Resolve an Adventure Card" step, which suggests that all rules from that step apply to this one...but it would have been much better to spell it out (along with a fair number of other things). I've sent FF a pretty big list of questions re: Elder Sign that I couldn't find definitive answers to in the forums, so if I get any official answers I'll let folks know. (Hopefully we'll get a FAQ soon--I do recall that the one for Mansions of Madness actually came pretty quickly...but then there's the long, long, long-awaited FAQ update for Arkham Horror that still hasn't been released. O_O)
  16. As an addendum: when an investigator is delayed (not LiTaS, obviously, as you actually lose your turn there), am I right in reading the rules as saying they do not move, and do not get movement points, but they do still have their movement phase? That would presumably mean they could still (and would have to, in some cases) perform any action on the movement phase that does not require movement (so no Patrol Car) or movement points. For instance, if monsters were on their location they'd still have to fight them, and if they wanted to cast Plumb the Void to help another investigator out, they could. On that note, then: could an investigator who was delayed in an Other World still cast Find Gate to move back to Arkham? Additionally, could an investigator with an item that grants movement points, such as the motorcycle or the ruby, use that item to get some movement points and use them for tomes or such? They're still restricted from movement, but if they have movement points presumably they could use them for other movement point-requiring things.
  17. I'm pretty sure we've got this right, and also pretty sure that it's somewhere on the forums already, but I'm just not seeing it. Sorry. :-P If an investigator is in an Other World and gets an encounter that tells him to "Return to Arkham," but there is no gate leading to that Other World at present, is he Lost in Time and Space just as if he moved to the end of the Other World normally? This came up in the most recent game. Investigator 1 (I1) had an Elder Sign, the other (I2) had an explored token. I1 moved to the I2 and gave him the sign. However, I1's Arkham Encounter came first, so he was sucked through the gate (he hadn't had enough move to get back off the gate after trading). I2 used the Elder Sign to seal the gate, and I1 was left without a way back. (Heroic sacrifice!) On his second turn in the gate, he got an encounter that said to "Return to Arkham" if he succeeded. (He failed, so it didn't end up mattering in that game, but the question still came up.) If he had succeeded, would he have been LiTaS, or would that have given him a way out? Second question: We were playing against Yibb, and multiple times when we had 5 clue tokens already, we got encounters that would give us clue tokens. Do those tokens vanish, or are they placed on the board at that location for later retrieval? (We played that they just vanish.)
  18. Avi_dreader said: Sdrolion said: Optional House Rule: This is something one of my AH buddies came up with while we were testing that might serve as an interesting option if you want to make the Blessed One a bit harder: rather than you getting to choose the neighborhood that closes, you close the neighborhood in which a cultist most recently killed a monster. If that neighborhood is already closed, then you get to choose. We did not test using this rule, but it seems like it would rationally make things a bit tougher since you might not have any choice about losing the hospital or the curiosity shop or something like that. You might want to actually post an alternate version of the AO with this on it, or modify the original. Whichever you prefer. It'd look a bit nicer instead of having to tell players "Oh yeah, but." I don't consider that the "official" Blessed One setup and I prefer the "players choose a neighborhood" way myself. Not going to make an alternate version of the AO again as that frankly seemed to confuse the heck out of people with the Barganon one. At the moment, it is a house rule, and house rules don't get noted "officially." If it does ever get actually put somewhere it'll probably be part of the herald (as it does fit the herald concept).
  19. Avi, maybe this was your intent, but are you aware that your "fan creation link" in your sig goes to the March 28, 2010 post and not to the most current one?
  20. Hey, everyone. Long time no see. O_O Sorry about my absence...I had a lot of other projects going on recently. I finally got the chance to actually test the Blessed One. It works...pretty much exactly as I was hoping, so I'm leaving it as is. I may create a herald or a guardian for further difficulty options down the line, but with just the AO it works pretty much fine. The Blessed One basically functions as a shorter-doom Azathoth that encourages you to pursue monster hunting more than you otherwise would. As long as you're actually handling the monsters or the cultists (which one you choose to go after depends on your characters and items), in most cases you shouldn't end up with many neighborhoods closed, from my analysis. The only place where you might have trouble no matter what your strategy has been is when a monster spawns on a cultist or vice-versa, usually due to either a monster surge or one of the "two monsters appear in..." Mythos cards. When this happens you don't get the chance to eliminate the monster or cultist, and if that's a high-toughness monster, there goes a neighborhood. The monster movement will only sometimes result in a cultist landing on a monster, so you generally can have several rounds with cultists and monsters on the board without a cultist slaying a monster...it's all dependent on the luck of the draw, there. It is important to analyze where cultists/monsters can move, though, to check if there's an immediate threat. And, of course, if you happen to draw all powerful monsters and don't have anyone set up as a monster hunter, you could find yourself in trouble, but...that's true in any case. As has been pointed out in previous discussions regarding this AO, there are a few neighborhoods in Arkham which can be pretty safely closed, so unless you're doing particularly badly (or just have extremely poor luck, or totally left monster management to the cultists), you probably won't see something critical closed in most games. Your mileage may vary, however, and again, a lot of this AO's power depends on just what Mythos cards come up and how many monster surges happen. If you do find the cultists are killing a lot of monsters, just remember that because of the way the neighborhood-closing mechanic works, the Blessed One will never close more than one neighborhood per Mythos phase. I highly doubt that the Blessed One will ever awaken from all neighborhoods being closed, but if that ever happens to someone please post about it! The handcuffs are a powerful tool in this case, but we actually had a character with both handcuffs and the Disguise skill in our game and even that didn't feel overpowering. If you end up with that combination you'll certainly have an easier time with things and can go after cultists instead of having to risk monster battles, but the cultists will still claim a few monsters (esp. from monster surges or "two monsters appear..." cards) depending on luck. And, if you don't have the Disguise skill (or something else that gives you a high chance of succeeding on evade checks) you may not always catch a cultist to pop the cuffs on (and even in that case you'll still only generally be able to handle one cultist per turn, tops, so if multiple cultists spawn there could still be trouble). Thus, I feel no need to make cultists immune to handcuffs. Obviously this does leave the Blessed One open to defeat by certain character choice strategies if you specifically choose investigators and Ancient Ones, but if you tend to do that then in my opinion you don't have a right to complain about things being too easy since you can tailor your investigator choices to the AO you're fighting. If you feel you would like to house rule the handcuff advantage away, however, you certainly could (explanation is that the experienced assassin picks the lock). Optional House Rule: This is something one of my AH buddies came up with while we were testing that might serve as an interesting option if you want to make the Blessed One a bit harder: rather than you getting to choose the neighborhood that closes, you close the neighborhood in which a cultist most recently killed a monster. If that neighborhood is already closed, then you get to choose. We did not test using this rule, but it seems like it would rationally make things a bit tougher since you might not have any choice about losing the hospital or the curiosity shop or something like that. You can get the Blessed One here. (Or, as always, from the links in my signature.) It'll probably be a little while before I create another thing for Arkham Horror as I don't tend to have a lot of time to test these days and I don't like letting my creations go this long before I put them through testing to check if they work like I expect. O_O
  21. Yeah, looked at ami's Keeper rules and liked them...haven't used them yet myself but may eventually. I do agree with most that Arkham is really intended more as a co-op game, so honestly I'd try to just find something else that everyone would enjoy for the most part (or politely note to your friend that sometimes we do have to do things that we don't enjoy as much if the overall group wants to do them, and make some nights for doing the games he prefers and some nights for doing the game the group prefers ). Mansions of Madness seems like a possibility for an Arkham-themed game with a competitive mechanic but still strong cooperation, and I've also heard good things about "Betrayal at House on the Hill" for similar horror themes (though a bit more B-movie in flavor). I wonder if someone could come up with a way to make AH into some sort of cooperative-yet-competitive game, maybe with competing character goals but ones that still require the overall success of the group. That might be a way to satisfy a person who prefers competition without removing the "everybody cooperating" aspect of the game as much as a keeper might. Maybe there's an artifact the Mythos is using, and different characters all want to get that, but also need to stop the AO to, y'know, live. Or the characters belong to two different secret societies, neither of which likes the other, and they want to work together to a point but end with "control of Arkham" and banishment/death of the other society. No idea how to balance something like that myself, though...so count this as another random "person suggests an idea that he has no intention of working on himself" thing and feel free to be quietly annoyed or prick voodoo dolls of me as desired. But overall...Arkham was created as a co-op game, so it will probably still feel best most times if it is kept as such.
  22. Tibs said: FAQsport Horror. Each location encounter is simply a FAQ question and its answer. If you have a rules question during the game, you have to send someone to FAQsport and hope he gets the encounter that answers your question. Horror! I think the long delay in the FAQ honestly shows just how well Fantasy Flight gets Lovecraftian horror...there are no true answers, and a search for them is an exercise in futility and reveals only madness. As for what I think is coming next...uh...don't know. As for what I kinda hope is coming next, but know probably isn't...um...computer version? I've mentioned this before, but I think it'd be cool to have an official computer version of the game to play online with folks.
  23. Wow, that's strange. >_> 2x Hypnos for a morale-boosting game? (Unlike Dam, I totally don't mind stuff that makes the game easier. )
  24. Tibs said: 3. I believe the rule is that the first mythos card of the game has to open a gate. Even still, this is just a good way to play. Though it is possible, later in the game, that you can get a Mythos card that says "monster surge!" but there are no open gates. I believe that if this happens, there is no surge, so you lucked out. Besides—where are you going to put the monsters? Although, there is no answer to this, so you could put them all in the Outskirts. The one problem with this is that Abhoth's Child probably can't be put there. What to do...? Yeah, I'd read a monster surge card with no gates open as not spawning any monsters. You just got lucky. Sometimes it happens, even in Arkham Horror. Breathe a sigh of relief, and move on.
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