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    , Canterbury, New Zealand
  1. There are various ways to break down the condition decks into smaller groups for easier shuffling, as long as you know what the game tends to ask you to look for. Different people use different things, but personally I have one deck for all Madness/Illness/Injury, one for all the Deals/Boons/Banes, and one for all the others. As long as you know what cards are in which deck, it's easy enough to go and find the appropriate smaller deck. By the same logic, for unique assets I have a Task deck, a Relic deck, and a Misc deck. This doesn't easily work for the spells as you are often asked to just get a "Spell" with no further distinction (whereas you're never asked to just draw a "Condition" or "Unique Asset", so I keep them all together, although if it's getting cumbersome (and I'm sure it's well shuffled), there's no harm in only actually taking out say half of the monstrous combined spell deck for a given game.
  2. Subscribed too, really enjoying this blog!
  3. Warning: Spoilers about the "Masks of Nyarlathotep" Chaosium RPG follow! “…the Other Gods have many agents moving among men; and all these agents, whether wholly human or slightly less than human, are eager to work the will of those blind and mindless things in return for the favour of their hideous soul and messenger, the crawling chaos Nyarlathotep…” -H.P. Lovecraft, The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath. Masks of Nyarlathotep is an Ancient One only expansion written by Michael Hunter (Adelphophage), designed for advanced players. It is based on the classic Chaosium RPG of the same name, and pits the investigators against four horrific cults, and each worshipping a different manifestation of Nyarlathotep. In 1919, the Carlyle expedition set forth for Egypt. Lead by a group of highly skilled but morally flawed principals, these individuals were corrupted by Nyarlathotep and sent forth to guide his cults in the Great Ritual, an apocalyptic spell that will tear a hole in the sky and bring the true gods to earth. Nyarlathotep is served on earth by his cults, and the four most powerful of these are your enemies here. They are the murderous Cult of the Bloody Tongue, the sorcerous Brotherhood of the Black Pharaoh, the depraved Children of the Sand Bat and the corrupt Order of the Bloated Woman. Defeating the Masks of Nyarlathotep means facing and defeating each of these four. To beat a cult you will have to fight your way past its cultists, struggle through the cult’s research encounters, survive its reckoning effect and solve one of its four mysteries. If you manage to defeat all four cults, you will have defeated the vast conspiracy and saved the world – at least for the moment! Cult of the Bloody Tongue The Cult of the Bloody Tongue are death worshippers, obsessed with the power of blood and the glory of slaughter. Their brutal assassins hunt down the investigators wherever they may be, killing their targets or dying in the attempt. Like each of the four cults, the Bloody Tongue has four possible mysteries. One mystery of the Bloody Tongue involves killing their leader M’weru, the charismatic blood priestess and member of the Carlyle expedition. Tracking her down to the Mountain of the Black Wind will require you to scour the world for clues, but once she has been located the job is far from over. M’weru is a brutal combatant, and is guarded by a cadre of elite murder-cultists. Such is her command of blood magic that she can turn the enemies own wounds against them. The cult might manage to summon their horrific god to the world itself. The Bloody Tongue is an incredibly powerful entity, the size of a small mountain. Although practically impossible to beat in straight combat, the Bloody Tongue is only held to our world by the tenuous thread of the cult’s blood magic. The investigators will have to combine their strongest weapon with their greatest magic to banish the god. Brotherhood of the Black Pharaoh In contrast to the bloodthirsty followers of M’weru stands the Brotherhood of the Black Pharaoh. While no less ruthless than the Cult, they are far more subtle. These masters of dark sorcery attack by calling down ancient Plagues of Egypt upon their foes. These ten forbidden spells can blot out the sun, rain fire, turn rivers to blood or even summon the Angel of Death itself. The Brotherhood, acting through the once noble Penhew foundation, also has an interest in ancient relics they can use to increase their power. As a result their agents are often found in the darkest corners of the earth. Just as the Bloody Tongue has M’weru, the Brotherhood has Aubrey Penhew, a corrupt Egyptologist. While the Mystery is structured similarly to M’weru’s (and the matching mysteries for the leaders of Children of the Bat and the Order of the Bloated Woman), each leader is a very different combatant. Penhew is a dark sorcerer, capable of cursing any who challenge him. Evading this curse will require you to find ancient Pharaonic magic, and even then only a magically gifted investigator will dare to face him. Another of the Brotherhood’s four Mysteries involves unravelling the secrets of the Carlyle expedition. The investigators will have to follow the trail from city to city, tracking down leads on each of the principals. When their researches are complete they will have to follow in the doomed expedition’s footsteps, to the secret chamber of Nyarlathotep inside the Bent Pyramid. Here the expedition was corrupted, and here the investigators will finally learn the truth. Children of the Sand Bat The psychologist Robert Huston has revived worship of the ancient Sand Bat in Australia. He recruits from the dregs of society; the mad, the destitute and the alienated, moulding them into his perfect soldiers through magic and surgery. Every battle against the Children is a gamble, for you never know what tricks or modifications they will have. Unlike the aggressive cultists of his colleagues, Huston uses his Children to guard the desert home of the Bat, making each of their four mysteries more difficult to solve. In the deserted outback of Australia, the Children of the Bat have unearthed Pnakotus, the ruined City of the Great Race. The cultists loot this place for ancient technologies, as well as holding their terrible rituals there. To defeat them, you must enter this antediluvian ruin and destroy their operations – but worse horrors wait in the depths of the city than even Huston’s degenerate children. The Children worship the Father of All Bats, the darkest of the Dreamtime spirits. This god is an entity of living shadow and is virtually undefeatable, far outstripping even legendary horrors like The Beast or Mother Hydra. However, ancient aboriginal legions speak that they were once able to defeat it. To find the same secrets, the investigators will have to enter the home of the Children of the Bat… Order of the Bloated Woman The Order of the Bloated Woman are as old as China itself, and have been corrupting and profaning that great country since time immemorial. The Order are not warriors, they are manipulators and spies, pulling strings from behind the scenes, in order to destroy their enemies. This is represented by flipping debt conditions, with the investigators being attacked by hitmen, having their food poisoned, being arrested and the like, all carried out by the criminal and political minions of the Order. The degenerate Ho Fong, leader of the Order, has been searching for the Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan. These ancient scrolls contain incredible magic the investigators must find before the Order does. Merely finding such a book is not enough however, Hsan worked magic safeguards into his scrolls. The investigators can bypass these safeguards, or if things are desperate open the scrolls regardless… at their own peril! However, once the scrolls are opened not only will they help foil Ho Fong, but will also grant the investigators unique magics. The Order worships the Bloated Woman, also known as the Goddess of the Black Fan. This horrific avatar of Nyarlathotep is a leviathan mound of tendrils, maws and blades, but uses a magic fan to appear as beautiful young maid. To track down this cunning foe, the investigators will have to discover the Secrets of the Black Fan, before gaining the ability to resolve a Goddess of the Black Fan encounter and hopefully defeat the foul demon once and for all. Occult Research As well as its own four Mysteries, cultists and reckoning effects, each cult has its own twelve research encounters that shed light on its members, its mythology, its history, and its ruinous plans. The backs of each card are marked with a cult icon in the top right for easy identification. Some also have a special symbol in the bottom left, showing the card is used in the “Fate of the Carlyle expedition” or “Rocket of Babel” Mysteries. The Masks of Nyarlathotep expansion is an Ancient One only expansion, containing an Ancient One, 7 epic monsters, 4 cults, 16 mysteries, 23 conditions, 9 unique assets, 48 research encounters, 41 special encounters and a rules/FAQ sheet. It is available as a pdf or a publisher file from the links below. Pdf files http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/127140/masks-nyarlathotep-expansion Publisher files https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByiShKnxkMCuQ2hWSlRsb0tPOU0/view?usp=sharing
  4. Hi folks! After finishing the Mi-go expansion, I had some creative energy still to go, so for the last few months I've been working on an Ancient One for the Masks of Nyarlathotep (based off the Chaosium RPG of the same name). All my work thus far is on the Boardgamegeek forums (http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1476236/masks-nyarlathotep-ao-under-construction/) and I'm looking at releasing a playable version late January. Posting images in the clunky way Fantasy Flight forums force you to do makes me sad, so if you're interested then I suggest you look at the BGG forum, but to whet your appetite here are some samples - for more information and some context check out BGG! (Note above picture is of a fairly out of date playtesting version)
  5. No Strange Eons, unfortunately. These are just made using a scanner and some limited photoshop skills!
  6. …And it has come to pass that the Lord of the Woods, being... seven and nine, down the onyx steps.... tributes to Him in the Gulf, Azathoth, He of Whom Thou hast taught us marvels... on the wings of night out beyond space, out beyond th... to That whereof Yuggoth is the youngest child, rolling alone in black aether at the rim… -H.P. Lovecraft, The Whisperer in Darkness. Download link https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/123661/children-yuggoth Children of Yuggoth is an Ancient One only expansion written by Michael Hunter, featuring 24 Research Encounters, 7 Mysteries, 10 special encounters, 12 adventures, 16 Abducted conditions, 4 Epic Monsters and Rules/FAQ sheet. The expansion allows you to match your wits against the Mi-go, powerful but secretive aliens that have lived on earth for centuries. They avoid humans not because they lack the power to defeat mankind in open warfare, but simply because it is less effort to keep their existence from us. However, ignorance is no longer an option. The Mi-go came to Earth to mine arcane metals as well as more abstract qualities of space-time, resources only the most learned scholars even know exist. Their dark industries are beginning to destroy the fabric of our planet, threatening to suck the entire globe into the void if the Mi-go are not stopped. Here the Investigators come in, ready to solve the Mysteries of the Mi-go and save the world. The investigators may have to match wits with The Messenger, To Who All Things Must Be Told. This shadowy aspect of Nyarlathotep does not wait idly for the investigators, It lurks behind a veil of shadows and silence, and even finding such a being will test the cunning of investigators as well as their strength. The investigators might have to close the Wells of Night, fonts of power that the Mi-go use to appease their eldritch allies. To do this will require the investigators to form a magical conjunction at specific points around the world, in order to cast a ritual that will seal the wells. The boldest investigators may even have to travel to Yuggoth itself, a black orb at the far edges of the solar system where the Mi-go make their home, but reaching to this cursed place will require an artifact of great power. Another mystery sends investigators into the steep hills and brooding forests of Vermont to seek the knowledge of Henry Akeley, a recluse who was studying Mi-go for the months before his mysterious disappearance. In these encounters investigators might have to track down the vanished man’s estate, search the trackless heights of Round hill, or even withstand the horror that now wears Akeley’s skin. In their struggles against the Mi-go, the luckless investigators may become abducted, victims of the aliens and their obscene science. An Abducted condition both costs the investigator their next action and subjects them to the Mi-go’s surgical curiosity. The effects of this can range from a simple interview to the extraction of the helpless victims brain! Sometimes the Mi-go’s science can even lead to an improvement to the weak human physiology, but at great cost to the patient. Note that several of the components in this expansion also tie in with other expansions, using conditions and assets from them. These cards can be removed if the players do not have access to that particular expansion. Unlike other Ancient Ones, the Mi-go cannot be defeated by solving Mysteries alone. Upon completing the second mystery, the investigators will be sent on an Adventure to find and destroy the Hole in the World, the spiraling, insanely angled mine of the Mi-go that digs into the earth and into the fabric of reality itself. The Hole in the World adventure is divided into three stages, as the investigators come closer and closer to the heart of the Mi-go’s industries. In the first stage the investigators search for the location itself. They may have to track down an escapee, or perhaps use their magical knowledge to track the dimension twisting magic that flows from it. The second stage sees the investigators descend far beneath the earth. This stage is designed to slow but also to weaken the luckless investigators who dare intrude. They may be forced to battle their way past Mi-go sentinels in the pitch dark, or to sacrifice their very mind to navigate their way through the labyrinth. When the exhausted investigators finally reach the belly of the beast, they have one last task to defeat the Mi-go and save the world. They could be confronted with the mocking grin of Nyarlathotep himself, or have to scour the earth for magics to control the screaming void they find. The Mi-go have kept themselves secret for centuries, working through agents and keeping their bases far from places humans care to go. Finding clues about the Mi-go will send the investigators to the darkest corners of the globe, expose them to great risk, and enlighten them on the darkest mysteries of their world and the void above it. The expansion is available for download as a pdf from the link at the top of the page.
  7. If you're curious (and now that I have the cards handy) this is how my group has broken it up. Azathoth A: Voice of Azathoth, Omen of Devastation, The Green Flame B: Occult Research, Seed of the Daemon Sultan, The True Name Shub-Niggurath A: Spawn of the Black Goat, Blasphemy of the Black Goat, Rituals in the Wild B: Hunting the Thousand, Nature of the All Mother, Hour of the Moon Lens Yog-Sothoth A: Where the Old Ones Broke Through, Void Between Worlds, Spawn of Yog Sothoth B: Arcane Understanding, The Beyond One, The Stone CIrcles Cthulhu A: Watching the Stars, Queen of the Deep Ones, R'lyeh Risen B: The Deep Ones Attack! The Stars are Right! Threatening Seas. Yig A: Crown of the Serpent, Descendents of Yig, Kn'yan unearthed B: Migration of Serpents, The Winged Serpent, Rise of the Serpent People Ithaqua A: The Gnoph-Keh attack, Hyperborean Aurora, Exploring Hyperborea B: A Spreading Storm, Supply the North, Growing Hunger Rise of the Elder things (Note, the 2nd and 3rd mysteries are drawn from the leftover A&Bs A: The Dark God's prison crumbles, Binding the Dark God, Invasion of the Elder Things, An Alien Ritual B: Mysterious Disappearances, At the Mountains of Madness, An Expedition Compromised, Discovery of an Ancient Civilization Note that for the Syzygy and the Mi-go, we don't use the A/B system, as both of these GOOs have own special, climactic third mystery-equivalent.
  8. We've found something similar to Ricedwit, some mysteries seem cool and climactic, others (particularly the do X research encounters) ones to be a little dull and not fitting for a final task. To control this, we have a seeded system to make the Mysteries. What we do is divide the mysteries for each GOO into two sets of three, A (more dramatic) and B (less so). For example, Azathoth's A mysteries are Tzulcha, the Close-gates-that-match-the-omen one, and the Get-the-Requiem-for-Shaggai-and-a-big-sack-of-clues ones (as you can probably guess, I don't have the cards handy). The B mysteries are the Do-X-research encounters and the two Spend-two-clues-X/2-times ones. So, we have our A mysteries and our B mysteries. We draw the Mystery 3 (i.e the last one we will do) from the A deck, and Mystery 1 from the B deck. Then we shuffle together the remaining mystery cards (four at this point, 2 A's and 2 B's) and draw Mystery 2 from the mixed pile. This gives us the stack of three Mysteries we will use during the game. This way, the first mystery we will do is always from the B set, the second is A or B, we can't tell going in, and the last is always from the A set. Upshot is, that we always end on something cool/hard!
  9. Hi all. I'd like to share with you something I've been working on at the Boardgamegeek forums (https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1419211/mi-go-goo-under-construction). It's pretty close to finished, just with a little polishing and final rounds of playtesting, and I thought I'd see if there was any feedback from this community. It is a new Great Old One for the Mi-go, as below. Few things to note here: The cultists are not particularly tough in a straight fight, but you must outmanouver them (the Obs check) or get abduced (a new condition a little further down). The reckoning ability of the GOO (inspired by Yigs) makes you ocassionally chase down a cultist who appears randomly on the board, and also increases clue flow by spawning extra clues (this GOO is quite clue centric). Also note that unlike Yig, the peril of this reckoning effect scales with the number of investigators. At zero doom, the mining of the Mi-go causes the planet to start breaking apart. Gates begin doing damage to investigators (which gives a kill condition), and unclosable gates start spawning (which makes the end unavoidable, although possibly delayable). Finally, note that the Mi-Go only have two normal mysteries to solve, instead of the third mystery there is a three stage adventure, which I talk about just below. Overall, the GOO is quite hard, with only 12 doom and the adventures being collectively about 1.5 mysteries worth of difficulty. Note also however, that there is only one rumour to solve AND that unlike most other GOO's, you don't get a new FInal Mystery to solve if you get to zero doom - in my opinon, and for my playgroup, it is quite well balanced. The adventures are divided into three stages, like MoM (imaginatively labelled I, II and III). The first stage is fairly easy, just blowing a few clues and doing some fairly easy test to find the location of the base. The second stage is not very demanding in time or resources, but is designed to weaken the investigators by piling on conditions, sapping their sanity/stamina, or some combination of the two. The third stage is the real meat and is supposed to be about on par with a normal mystery. I am particular proud of His Final Face and the Dark Pact evilness. There are seven normal mysteries (bearing in mind you only need two for a game, so a lot of variety!). Note that Epic Monsters are up above, by the GOO sheet. Note that the flavour text are all from "Whisperer in Darkness", hence the good writing! Most of the mysteries are clue heavy, the idea being that the Mi-Go are somewhat clue-themed, in the same way that Yog-Sothoth is spell heavy and Shub-Niggurath monster heavy. The Wells of Night is quite fun, as it adds a team coordination aspect as well as resource usage, and chasing down the Harvester for Interrogations is interestingly challenging too! The Whisperer in Darkness involves special encounters of which there are ten, the bulk of which follow. Note that some of these encounters cause you to become abducted. This a special condition (which only come up through Mi-Go cards, so no need to shuffle them in with the rest of the deck!). Abductions also happen via failing the test against cultists, a fair few research encounters, and some of the Epic Monsters. Abduction is sort of a half-detained, causing you to lose an action and take some unpleasant surgical effect. The idea is that it slows you down a little, but isn't the fun sapping miss a turn of Lost in time and space. And finally there are 24 Research Encounters, some of which are represented below. Note that this is not a random sample, the full set of encounters has each stat being tested about the same amount for each type of encounter (except observation, which is about 40% of the cards, as it is for the other GOOs). Also note that some of the encounters also require Mountains of Madness or Forsaken Lore. As I said up top, the GOO is mostly done, save for some last minute polishing, proof reading and final playtesting, but I'd welcome any comments or criticisms!
  10. Am I right in saying that if Martins Beach is sealed and the track reaches zero, nothing happens, right? No gate can appear, no monster can appear?
  11. Black means you have a guaranteed way to get the thing in question by using the location ability - so common items at the general store, allies at the boarding house, sanity at the asylum, white just means you have a decent chance of getting them by drawing a location card.
  12. Looks very interesting! I like the way the Black Infestation forces you to chose between picking up brood tokens early or letting them grow and grow… With the Black Infestation, the roll to see if they spread, is that before or after the Mythos card is drawn? If the Mythos card is a monster surge that places a new brood token, it could matter.
  13. Looks very interesting! 48 clues in the game, thirty to seal six gates… Which leaves 18 to play with for not getting killed and dealing with Elder Signs, will make the game very tense and really limit your ability to blow clues on things. The only problem I could see is that if you *do* run out the game might become a bit stagnant - say we have eight clues left and one gate to seal, and we get a burst. We *know* we can't possible win by sealing now (bar a flukey Elder Sign draw), so we just have to wait for the GOO to awaken, which might take quite a few turns of relative boredom, but it's a minor criticism, and I guess we could probably use the time to gear up. For the combat ability, how about just upping the stakes. Each investigator must make a Fight (+2) check, with the modifier decreasing by 1 every turn. If they fail, they are devoured.
  14. As part of my Dreamlands expansion, I've been fiddling with having a dreamlands specific monster cup, with only appropriate monsters (so no Mi-go, for example, finding their way there to flitter about being confused). The first draft of which is below. If you haven't read the rules for the expansion (and they are rather long), the Nightmare is basically like a Vortex, when monsters walk into it, bad stuff happens. Some notes… How many copies of each monster will be in the cup is still being worked out, although there will definitely only be one of the bottom five unique monsters. I'm thinking something like a 30 monster cup, I want a spread of monster power roughly equivalent to the normal cup, which works out to be an average toughness of 2ish, so they can't all be super giant killing machines, there has to be some cannon fodder cultists and ghouls. Firstly, many of them are copies of existing monsters, which I have tried to keep identical, although I have used different pictures so that they are less easily confused with normal ones when putting them in the wrong cup. Ghouls I gave a bonus in the underworld, which is new but thematically appropriate for their home turf. Nightgaunts now take you to the Vale rather than Gates (which would have been impossible in the Dreamlands) and Moonbeasts take you to the moon, and are stalkers rather than aquatic (which, as they are no aquatic locations in the Dreamlands, would have been pointless). I've tried to keep the dimensional symbols spread out, rather than having them all be Dreamlands. The idea is that a reasonable proportion should activate on each of the three types of movement cards. Mostly Moons for the Moon/cross card, Dashes for the Hex/Dash/Triangle/Star card and Diamond (Which is Leng, after all) for the Diamond/Circle/Square ones. I don't know a great deal about what Haon-Dur and the Eidolon Lathi are supposed to be (a dark wizard and some wierd Spirit respectively?), so the versions above are kind of stabs in the dark, so anyone who knows more about the actual characters feel free to correct me. I welcome any comments or balancing ideas for the creatures I've done, or suggestions for new monsters!
  15. If anyone is interested, I've uploaded a session report to Boardgamegeek. boardgamegeek.com/thread/796568/arkham-nightmare-dreamlands-expansion/page/2 Also, to Elder One, it seems like a bit of a pain in the bum to do every turn (and remember to do every turn), but it's a very good idea for a Nightmare card one off event type thing, or a location card (probably for the Forbidden lands). Thanks for the idea, I suspect it'll go in when I do version 2.0!
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