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    Wellesley, Massachusetts, United States
  1. I have to agree with Tibs. Dance is perhaps a bit overdone, yes, but that was clearly what the author was going for, and anyway, it's impossible not to see Lovecraft himself as overdone from a modern sensibility. I can't speak to any of the others, since I haven't read them, but Dance is a fun read. As I said, it's slightly overdone, and there are some less-than-interesting sections, but the writing is generally good, the mystery is engaging, the atmosphere is conveyed well, the beasties are suitably disturbing, and it contains one of the most improbably awesome characters I've ever encountered.
  2. LiTaS is one of the great hidden boons of the game (that is, being LiTaS as a result of an encounter, not being driven insane or knocked unconscious in an Other World). I mean, yeah, it's a real pain when an Other World Encounter boots you back home, but in Arkham (etc.), it can be exceedingly useful in the right circumstances (like when you absolutely need to get to another town but can't seem to find any cash, or when a Dhole is parked in the streets next to you; heck, with a slow investigator, it's often more expedient than normal movement, assuming you don't care about encounters along the way).
  3. I agree that Yig makes things go a bit too fast. Thus, I would agree with Julia and suggest Azathoth or Nyarlathotep (since Azathoth is so simple, I would suggest Nyarlathotep provided that you are willing to give him a chance and try for a seal victory; he's too easy otherwise). You should definitely stay away from the old Hastur, but the new one can be fun (although probably too hard for a new player). I'm actually not a huge fan of Ithaqua, but that's mostly because I find his ability annoying. You can give him a try if you want, assuming neither of you are terribly interested in monster slaying. And this probably goes without saying, but if you do end up going with Yig, don't use the new one.
  4. And so the day has come at last! I've been away from the forums for a while, what with finals and holiday festivities. Little did I know that I was missing history in the making. I'm mostly satisfied with the answers given, with a few exceptions. For one, I'm irritated by the lack of an answer regarding Falcon Point. I mean, was giving an extra encounter really the intent? Or has no one at FFG noticed that yet? In terms of answers actually given, I'm rather surprised by the ruling on the Dark Druid. Not only is it somewhat unintuitive, but it can lead to some nasty situations. (Imagine a Dark Young perpetually parked in the streets.) Although I'm troubled by the Find Gate/nightgaunt ruling (as detailed by others in another thread), the most frustrating for me is the ruling on the Acts. I mean…WHY? What is gained by having ancillary draws trigger them? Why would the creation of a Servant of Glaaki speed the play along? It just seems pointless, both thematically and mechanically.
  5. My preferred explanation for base Fight bypassing Physical Resistance and Immunity is that, during what research on the Mythos the investigators conducted before the game, they happened upon a basic offensive spell which is channelled through the body and thus can be made more powerful if the body is able to endure more strain (Fight here being taken to represent strength, as is often the case in-game). This spell can also be used to add to the power of other combat spells or used at the same time as normal weapons. It's not all that strong, however, so using it alone is no more effective than using your bare hands, and, though it doesn't actually take any hands to use, it still requires a certain amount of concentration and prevents you from putting your all into your physical attacks (thus, you cannot both use the spell and enhance your physical attacks with your Fight as normal). A similar explanation can account for the use of Fight to close Gates.
  6. I have a system that I use for monster tokens which requires polyhedral dice: line the monsters up in rows of ten. Then, whenever you need to draw a monster, count the number of rows and roll the die with the fewest sides that still has a number of sides equal to or greater than the number of rows. If you roll higher than the number of rolls, reroll. Otherwise, roll a ten-sided die to determine the specific monster. If you roll higher than the number of monsters in the row, reroll both dice. I tend to shift the monster back (or just relocate the last monster in the last row) to plug any empty spaces that appear. I made this system because I'm a real stickler for randomness, and yes, I'm aware that I have issues. It works surprisingly well, the only issue being that monster surges take a while to work out. But then, monster surges aren't all that common when you play with all expansions…. Of course, now that I think of it, you would need a lot of space to use this method with the figures, since some of them are so large.
  7. Jake yet again: Father Iwanicki isn't necessarily going to appear in a game, particularly if you have a large number of expansions with Allies (or, you know, don't have CotDP). Ditto Sister Mary; what's more, she passes her story if two investigators are Blessed (which will take a while unless you're lucky and get an encuonter that Blesses someone or some such) and fails her Story if she gains a Curse card, which, as you might imagine, is rather easy with the new Yig. Skids can only use his ability on skill checks. Incidentally, I've just thought of a combo for the masochists out there: new Yig plus Dark Pharaoh. Any takers?
  8. The real question for me is the encounters that say "pay $X for X effect," some of which say "if you can't or won't pay, X happens". Does this second clause imply that not paying is always an option in such encounters.
  9. Tibs: Yes, is is rather strange…wait…isn't he from… FFG, you sick, sick people….
  10. Just weighing on Bind Monster: keep in mind that the check for Bind Monster is not actually the Combat check, it's a Spell check that grants you an auto-pass on the Combat check (sort of like how Mists of Releh gives you an auto-pass on an Evade check). Of course, that raises the question of whether things cast just to affect a check take place at the same time as the check. My ruling, honestly, would be no. I don't see that there's a fundamental difference between a bonus-granting Spell like Shrivelling and an auto-pass granting spell like Bind Monster. jgt: I'm going to get a bit wacky here and do not just a thematic interpretation, but a thematic comparison, utilizing an entirely different kind of game. Bear with me here: I haven't read any stories in which the Elder Sign (the Derleth version) features, so I'm going to go with the Call of Cthulhu RPG version. In the RPG (on which, after all, Arkham is based), the Elder Sign, just drawn on something, does nothing. You need to activate with a sacrifice of life energy (in Arkham represented by 1 Sanity and 1 Stamina), and this process of activation is a spell, no different from any other (I think that here we must assume that the Elder Sign Unique Item represents both the knowledge of the spell and a previously-drawn sign large enough to plug a Gate). I'd also say it's a safe bet to assume that the wackier effects caused by reading Unique Tomes (Naacal Key, De Vermiis Mysteriis [sic], Eltdown Shards) are also caused by Spells, yet they are losses and so activate even if you go insane (by my interpretation, at least).
  11. GREAT SCREAMING SPAWN OF AZATHOTH! That is a nasty update. In an all-expansions game, investigators are virtually guaranteed to be Cursed permanently after a certain point in the game, which further means that the Final Battle will almost certainly end immediately with everyone dying. I…wow. Anyone want to speculate on how strong he is now? I would now place him on the "I feel like losing today" list with Atlach and Rhan, but I might be overreacting. Certainly, he's significantly less dangerous with fewer boards.
  12. jgt: If you want, you can designate Darrell an Innsmouth-only investigator (that is, one you only use when Innsmouth is in play). That way, he can hit the First National Grocery for some Research Materials. Sure, it's still kind of dangerous because you might get a clue from an Other World encounter, but that should take off some of the sting.
  13. Yeah, there's no good explanation of the trophy thing. Even with the "reputation" idea, it still doesn't quite explain how everyone manages to coordinate their gratitude. (Gossip would have to be near-instantaneous and very far-reaching.) Also, there are a number of indications that trophies are physical, or, at least, sometimes are. Take, for instance, the Science Building's Dissection ability, which is clearly supposed to represent the scientists dissecting the corpse and giving you information they gleaned from it, the various Graveyard encounters which give you a trophy for finding a corpse, and this encounter from Miskatonic: "Harney tells you that the critters have tried to break into our world before. He shows you a strange object of wood and stone, tied together by iron bands. Draw a gate marker from the stack of gate markers and keep it as a trophy, even if it is an Endless gate."
  14. jgt7771: You took the words out of my mouth on the Feds, although I would like to point out that the suggested house rule actually makes the Patrols more effective than the Feds (how those knucleheads ever manage to take on the Deep Ones, I have no idea….). Also, since it's the latest print of Dunwich we're dealing with, Jacqueline is technically a phychic, not a psychic.
  15. This is is a nitpick, but: the thematic explanation is actually that Nyogtha is largely undergound. The first player is always pulled underground at the start of the round (or, well, after Upkeep); this means that the investigator has a good chance of being eaten, but it also means that he is able to attack Nyogtha directly, whereas the others aboveground can only attack its tendrils. This why Nyogtha's The Creature Surfaces card, which (surprisingly enough) entails Nyogtha surfacing, gives everyone the bonus to attack.
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