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Everything posted by Soakman

  1. Thanks for the link here Jake Yet Again. I, for some reason, don't have it bookmarked and I really ought to since I have fabric maps for 2 of the expansion but haven't finished printing the rest of the components. Looks like I have a plan for next weekend.
  2. This is MUCH MUCH better. Great adjustments. I have to bop off to work, but this allows Elaine room to get better as the game progresses as well. A game where you start at the top is a lot less fun in my opinion. Also thanks for the input on Isabelle. My thought was that if the going gets tooo rough, you can abandon her PS and just use her as a gate sealer. You might be right though as all 3 places are unstable and if gates pop up in them, there is really no easy way to have encounters at them. I don't have a problem with losing 3 turns to events (good things could happen to you there as well), but losing 5+ not only prevents the PS pass from occuring, but allows the fail to persist through the entire game. Some people might want to pass JUST to avoid the fail, since having her fail could disrupt the game pretty badly.
  3. In a way, I agree with Corpus. But the way that the small box expansions force you to deal with a spontaneous challenge (like the Patrol mechanism in CotDP and the Corruptions in BGotW), IMO forces new players to react to these small inconveniences rather than focus on a completely new "game-changing mechanic" (and multiple new locations and special encounter options) often found on board expansions. The latter, if left unchecked, can completely unhinge a victory. I do agree that some of the small boxes are much much better when you avoid dilution issues caused by adding too many expansions, but there are many bits and pieces you can tack onto a game to alter the difficulty and subtly enhance a game without overly extending the play-time. I find new players really dislike micromanaging the fiddly-bits that are involved in large board expansions until the have a better sense of the basics. Kingsport's Rifts are particularly annoying (to me) to deal with as you have to remember to check them every mythos. Don't get we wrong, I love all of the expansions, but I find adding the board expansions can make the game overly cumbersome for new players while adding an entire (or even just bits of) small boxes forces new players to think more strategically, but on a more occasional basis. This is good if they are still uncertain about things such as phase-order or simply keeping track of their upkeep etc. One less board track on the board to remember helps my players to focus more on the gameplay and adapting to unexpected mechanics.
  4. @ Agent Elman: I will review your characters one at a time in separate posts. This one will focus on: Elaine Downs, the Day Dreamer Ok, so I like the concept here thematically and I like her ability and her Sanity/Health breakdown. The ability makes her great at shuffling around the board and avoiding (more often than not) the more dangerous Other World encounters. It is a fitting ability and not overly powerful by itself. The only thing to be aware of is that she, obviously, will end up with a lot of non-specific flavor text when traveling through Other Worlds, and a completely unpredicatable encounter. The "colors" of the encouter reflect the outcome to some extent and The Dreamlands have all of them, the ability is only "good" when comparing to an otherworld without Green encounters. From this point, however, we move into some areas that I see as troubling. You have a lot of good ideas when it comes to how to make Elaine a great gate-closer. This, however, needs balanced. Keep one or two of them and discard the rest. She is too powerful. The following are the reasons why Elain just has too much going on that stacks in her favor: 1. Fixed Possessions - Library Use - A fixed skill on Elaine. This is both boring and too powerful. With few exception, investigators have only 1 starting skill, and this is nearly alwasy randomly chosen. I understand you want her to have a "role" but by giving her a fixed skill AND a random skill, she is almost doubly powerful than other investigators at set-up. Additionally, Library Use essentially makes Elaine's lore checks "blessed." This in combination with her gate-warping makes closing and sealing VERY easy. Old Journal - Again, this would be fine to start with alone, BUT because of Elaine's Library Use, Teleportation Ability, High Lore Score, and starting 2 clues, it becomes far too powerful. Elaine, in the first turn, can read the journal and have enough clue token to seal. She could even possibly make it to a gate, Find Gate on her next turn, and have 1/6th of the game complete on turn 2. This is too strong. Lower her starting clues (to zero), ditch the Journal for a random Common Item, lower her Lore, or remove Library Use. Nightmares - This is probably where some of your points for those very powerful starting Fixed Possession come from. Thematically, this is a cool idea, but in reality with Elaine's teleporting ability it becomes pretty easy to circumvent. Also, the other problem here is that Elain is so powerful at the start of the game, you could seal a gate in turn 2 or 3, intentionally sustain an injury in any combat after that, retire her since she already has a madness, and move on with a new investigator. I know the same thing can be said for Wendy Adams (since she starts with an Elder Sign), but Wendy is 4/4 and fails her personal story if you don't wait to seal that gate. Either way, you don't need the extra points from this because you SHOULD be getting rid of some of the items listed above. 2. Focus - This is probably where you got the rest of your points to uber-supe up Elaine. Unless you have a VERY good reason to give an investigator 1 Focus, you should avoid it. It usually presents balancing issues. Especially with Investigators that are pigeon-holed into one role anyway. I mean, honestly, how often are you going to be moving Elain's Lore? Probably never. And since Nightmares does a sanity damage to her regardless of whether or not she passes her horror check, there is virtually NO reason not to have your Fight maxed. 3. Stat Distribution - The way you have things distributed leaves Elaine with virtually no weaknesses. The only thing she isn't that great at is fighting... but when you are zipping around the map closing/sealing gates and avoiding mosters anyway because you have Nightmares, this is HARDLY a weakness. If you want to make Elaine a min/max character specific to sealing/closing gates, you are going to have to give her large weaknesses in order to make her balanced and/or fun. Drop her speed, her lore, or her sneak (raise her focus back to 2). 4. Personal Story - Her Pass & Fail conditions completely revolve around encountering monsters...which is something that you will avoid at all costs with her (as she currently is) if you are smart. I would consider adjusting this to some other goal. Perhaps sealing a gate to the dreamlands (not one affected by her ability but and actual dreamlands gate). Where this might seem easy for her, the balance is that Dreamlands gates are almost always VERY easy to close. By forcing Elain to focus on these gates rather than other gates, you are forcing the player to either seal a more difficult gate with Elaine or spend her clues on an "easy seal" that someone else is likely to be able to handle. In Conclusion - Elaine is a very interesting character, but she is just too powerful. All of her weakness are stacked on top of each other (low fight, Nightmares, no weapons), and her "cool things" stack as well. The problem is that Monsters are fairly easy to avoid (without even having to evade them..imagine if she got ahold of the Mi-Go Braincase), and her positives compound her ability to seal/close gates... 5 lore, but 4+'s are successes, she can teleport to bypass monsters, and explore any gate from any other open gate, plus she essentially starts with 5 clues. But you see... you can win if Elaine dies. But closing/sealing gates is a win condition. Her weakness to combat does not really balance her strengths because gates are so vital to your win condition. Tone her down.
  5. Any time Chicago friend! You can indeed play the game solo as was kindly mentioned (it is much faster this way and probably easier to concentrate on mechanics). That being said, I love it roughly twice as much when I play it with friends. Also, Julia, you are completely right about Tibs and Avi.. but compared to you, I'm certain I have maybe a quarter of the experience and a nothing-to-laugh-at three-ish years under my belt. Wrapping my head around the sheer amount of hours and experience that Tibs & Avi have is pretty much a Lovecraftian Horror story in itself.
  6. Listent to Julia, she has more experience with AH than anyone I have ever heard of, haha.
  7. Indeed, welcome! Arkham Horror DOES, undeniably, take a lot of time and over the 3ish years I've been playing it, I will still learn things about the game that I did not fully understand. Often times I do this just by reading forums during my lunch or 15 minute break at work. It really does take a good dozen or so plays to really get all of the mechanics and quirks of turn-order etched into your memory, but without those foundations the expansion will be much more difficult to grasp. In a way, Arkham Horror is a bit like math in that the base set is arithmatic, components of expansions are like algebra, and the board expansions are like Geometry, Physics, and Calculus. What I mean by this is that the base game gives you the building blocks, the non-board expansions give you more complex understanding of those building blocks, and the boards often have new mechanics that can quickly overwhelm you if you don't understand them, don't understand the building blocks, or just forget about them because you are still puzzling over algebra. I know, it's probably a confusing metaphor, but that's the best I can explain it. Start with the basics as The Professor suggested, and add in the small expansions as you start to memorize mechanics. The best thing about Arkham Horror is that you can tailor your own game in very nuanced ways once you have a good understanding of the expansion mechanics. You can use, for instance, the Blights and King in Yellow Herald from KIY, the Exhibit Token from CotDP, and Personal Stories and/or relationships without actually using any of the Big Boards... or you can use One Big board, no herald (to tone the difficulty down), with just the exhibit token for a little additional help. It takes a LONG time to master AH... much longer than Eldritch Horror, but I feel the experience is a lot more rewarding and offers the most replayablity in a game I have ever seen. Good luck, and if you have any questions, you can try the forums at Board Game Geek as well. There are some excellent pros around that field a variety of questions and offer strategies if you're finding the game difficult. There are also player-made reference sheets for rules on "the Geek" as well. I haven't used them or looked at them, but they might be of use to you. Happy Gaming!
  8. Thanks for the post, there will be more response to follow (but it is my bedtime now, so I just wanted to throw this quick response at you). That was a typo, it's PPI not DPI and stands for Pixels per Inch. When you export, you have the option to set the PPI of the JPG and the lower the PPI the smaller the JPG ends up. I think I usually leave my investigators at 300 PPI and the personal stories at 150 PPI. I know it's a pain to reupload everything, but it makes the thread a lot more manageable. There may be an alternate way to downscale your images, but this is how I do it (and I think quite a few of the other members here too). If you've played the base AH, Isabelle is Jenny Barnes sister, who she received a letter from while in Paris suggesting that she is involved with or possibly hunted by the Black Goat. Since she has been involved with Arkham prior to the rest of the Investigators, she begins the game with pretty powerful early game clue access and equipment at the cost of a riskier end-game. The idea behind Isabelle is that it is your choice as a player how she will be used during the game and how much risk you are willing to take with her. The cases with the corruptions give her a rather large advantage over the case with the cult membership. The corruptions (or, in the case of the 3rd option, the Madness) create a counter-balance to her powerful early game. This is because in one case, she begins the game with an additional spell (over the balancing limits that Strange Eons suggests) and she is a pretty competent caster. If you pass her story in this case, her high lore and spell utility can provide a competant way to turn the tables on an Ancient One who wakes up...so long as Isabelle has been closing gates and is still alive. The 2nd case provides a way for Isabelle to effectively produce clues without taking actions as every time "Nightmarish Visions" activates, she receives 2 clues at the cost of 2 sanity. This is dangeous, but as she begins the game with 3 clues if her corruption triggers early or often enough, she will be able to seal gates relatively swiftly and wihout making too many pit stops. Since the corruption in this case is to be used as a tool, the counter to it is a random Madness caused by the visions. And if you can manage this route while succeeding her personal story, you deserve a cookie, since if she goes insane after the personal story is completed she is devoured instead. The 3rd scenario, the membership and the added clue, get you one clue away from having a very early game seal. The membership is meant as a balance for this early start as the cult membership almost always penalizes you for having it. It will make completing her personal story a bit more risky, but otherwise this is Isabelle's safest path. The reason why she has no innate abilities is because her personal story is very powerful and effectively acts as her ability. The risk is that the failure can be harsh and it is more likely to occur if you focus on sealing before completing Isabelle's story. This is the risk you take for choosing an easy set-up option for her and just ignoring her personal story. It is a playstyle option you can choose, but it will set her up as a liability for the sake of a character that offers a lot to the team's early-game. I am not sure these mechanics are working as intended and if you see balance issues, please point them out. Thematically, the idea is that the Black Goat chose Isabelle to torment and bring to Arkham. Showing her things that she will have the inability to express and condemning her to know enough to dread the end of everything. It is effectively like telling a man how he will die but not when. By doing so, there is a good chance that man will live the rest of his life in fear because he knows he is on a course set for his own destruction. It is Isabelle's innocence and knowlege that can be used to derail the Ancient One so long as she doesn't have a mental break. I love having roles for my custom characters as well, but it's hard to have "roles" and still allow for exciting replayability with the same character. If you pigeon-hole a character into one role, there is a possiblity you may just end up playing the same game over and over with that character. This is why I made Isabelle the way I have. In an attempt to provide multiple "roles" for the player to choose from. All that being said, I will give your input thought. There's some good observations in there. I think the story needs a little more precision to allow for the mechanical choices to makes sense to the player. ***My lunch break is almost over, I will review your investigators in detail shortly ***
  9. @ Agent Elman - Just a couple quick tips and suggestions about posting in this thread. 1. If someone else has a custom character that has not been discussed yet, you should take the time to review theirs before posting your own so if it gets buried, they at least have one review to consider. 2. When using strange eons, when you are exporting the personal story cards, please try to use a smaller (TYPO EDIT) PPI to cut the size of them. It warps and stretches out the thread when they are so huge and makes it difficult to look at everything as a whole. 3. When making investigators, try to limit the number of fixed items. The random factor in their possessions creates more replayability for the character as they may be able to take a different role the next time they are used. 4. Just briefly looking over your characters they seem too powerful. Elaine is too strong at closing and sealing portals, especially with a high lore, Find Gate, and her abilities. The Plow Driver on the other hand, is really, imo, too powerful in combat. His ability effectively gives him +2 to all combats in the street without taking any hands at all so long as he has a card that he begins the game with. You will probably never lose it, and the card itself allows you to ignore small creatures that may chip away your health and sanity over time or small creatures that may be guarding a gate. Additionally, his high fight plus his ability essentially gives him +8 to all combats in street areas without using any weapons or skills at all. And again, with his best stat also being able to close/seal portals, he becomes pretty beastly at almost everything. His worst stats are his sneak and his lore, both of which he will seldom ever have to use (sneak, because of the sedanette and his great combat rating, and lore because he does NOT have enough sanity to bother with spells anyway). I will be back to review in more deatail with suggestions when I have some more time, but please see #1 as I have no feedback on Isabelle Barnes yet and would like to hear what you think (even if you are new to balancing and custom content). Also, I don't mean any of this to come off harshly, I'm just trying to cover some general bases since you are new here. And I don't want to send mixed messages haha. Welcome to Strange Eons and custom AH!
  10. Hahaha, for some reason I always assumed the Black Goat was one of Shub's little kiddies. Good to know! EDIT: First Draft is Complete and displayed below: EDIT: Just wanted to point out that the writing is close to a first draft. There are some clarity issues and redundancies, but I'd still like to hear your feelings on Isabelle thematically as well as mechanically. Thanks!
  11. Just in case you guys are still lurking around here... I'm working on Isabelle Barnes as an investigator and have a few interesting ideas. That being said, she's really quite different and possibly unbalanced at them moment. I'm having difficulty expressing my intent through her character and am looking forward to feedback. I'm just trying to pin down an appropriate backstory for her and then she will make her way here. Does anyone know where the official lore on the Black Goat can be found? I'm not even entirely certain where in Lovecraft I can find a reference to it.
  12. Thanks! It took me a long time to balance them, and I'm certain there are a few areas that could be adjusted. Edmund always looks so powerful on paper, but when I play him he never "feels" that way, so I've just left him alone. Feel free to nitpick if you wish. Any new AH content I make will be edited into the first post, so no worries with "overtaking" the gallery thread. Also, I like creating new content for AH, but I also enjoy MoM (possibly working on a scenario in the near future), and these investigators will be adapted for EH when Strange Eons has an investigator template available. But, as I have a full-time job and write poetry on the side, I will probably be slow to update new content. So fair warning there. I can also leave a link to the BGG download that includes the .EON files if you want to print these or tweak them for personal use: http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/98384/8-new-thematic-investigators-w-personal-stories
  13. This is a simple gallery for my custom creations. The format may change as I create more types of content. EDIT: 9/11 - The host for the preview gallery has removed the images, so for now, this page will simply hold a link to the available download page on Board Game Geek. I hope you all enjoy these; they were a labor of love. I hope to create more quality content like these in the future. Also, here is a link to the BGG download page for the .EON files. Feel free to customize them or tweak them as you see fit for your variant of the game. That being said, it'd be great if you could leave a comment on either board and refer friends to the gallery/download who might be interested in them as well. I'm secretly hoping for the day I read a session review and hear about the adventures of Eunice Goulding as she takes on Yig in one-on-one combat to save all that ever was or will be. LINK: http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/98384/8-new-thematic-investigators-w-personal-stories#comment4314881 A German translation as provided by Sebastian H.: https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/152137/8-thematische-ermittler-mit-personlichen-hintergru
  14. Just for further reference since I don't see him here much: 1. Lola 2. Norman 3. Mark
  15. I personally believe Lola is. She gets free bonuses to rolls and she also can adapt her stat improvements if you need to seal a gate vs combat. But that's just my opinion. I don't solo myself. Mark might be a solid choice against Shub. *shrug*
  16. Man, Lola is amazing. She's my go-to. Mark is very stable and makes for a great fighter. Silas has the best "base stats" of the game (he has 3 in everything but lore), and I imagine he's invaluable when facing Cthulhu. I personally don't like Diana, and Charlie Kane is too boring. Trish and Jacqie are a bit on the OP side (so I tend to avoid them). I like Jim but he doesn't get much play from me. Also, Lily seems VERY weak compared to her Arkham Horror counter-part. And for this reason I find it hard to pick her, even though overall she's not a bad character.
  17. Also, someone has brought to the attention of the designer the desire for investigator templates for EH. And there's a third party who says he is working on one (but it's his first) and would like help pulling the images. That is on BGG under the variants sub-forum as well. This is what I'm personally interested in as I would like to see my set of investigators in a globe-trotting situation. I've really grown to love them through the creation process and would like to extend them to EH. That's the only part I've heard feedback on for Strange Eons though.
  18. I just wanted to chip in that I really like the idea of these. It never struck me that group rituals should thematically be a part of the game, but you're totally right that they should. As far as effects go, I'm a little less sure as I'm not sure how often you'd convince me that performing them (the effort involved) would be worth the turns lost. Either way, great post. I may return with ideas later at some point (and critiques).
  19. Thanks Aquas! I had a chat with a couple of the file admins, and my investigators are now up on BGG's file section! Here's a link: http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/98384/8-new-thematic-investigators-w-personal-stories#comment4314881 They are fully playtested, but a few may have things that need tweaked possibly. If you're interested in the end-product, here it is.
  20. Ah, my bad on Jinx. I missed the phase portion when I was thinking of scenarios in my head. Glad I could be of some help with Yuzu. And I love the idea of high risk/high reward characters, but I'm always a little worried about things that can provide multiple clues in a single action. It's something I'd probably like to playtest myself before committing. But I think the abilities in and of themselves are pretty cool. I'm sure I would appreciate them even more if I was familiar with the source material. Good job.
  21. Aquas: Reagarding Jinx, I think her abilities are pretty interesting, but I'm curious if this can activate mutiple times in one turn, or if she has a fight during her second movement phase, etc. The closing of locations is thematically interesting, and helps to prevent jinx from steamrolling everything in the way of a lesser investigator. My only real problem with this ability is on the off-chance that an encouter moves her to a location with another investigator and it ends up closing, thus throwing the other player into the street. This could be (rarely) a trainwreck for a coop game. Potentially punishing other players with another investigator's ability is sort of risky in terms of in-fighting. I try to avoid this myself, but sometimes I get caught up in how cool the ability would be and I have to fight myself while deciding what to do. As far as Yuzuriha goes, I personally feel that the exhibitionist ability is a little too powerful as Horror Checks are technically skill checks. This means that (at some risk), Yuzu could encounter a stack of enemies and choose to only roll 1 die on each, quickly amassing a large pile of clues. This become an even larger problem if he/she (?) become blessed. Additionally, the first ability brings up the question of what occurs when a gate opens on Yuzu. Does he/she still move directly to the 2nd phase? Or is it supposed to be at the risk of charging a monster on the turn it appears? It's not a huge deal, but could be pretty abusable if you have the patrol wagon and high sneak or an easy way to pass evade checks.
  22. I'll get to the characters during the course of the week, but your art looks great Dr. Faust! I wish I was artsy enough to manage my own. :/
  23. I have a question: The custom investigators that I have created all use images that I found while doing various image searches, and for this reason Boardgamegeeks will not approve the file upload. Is there a way to get around this? I am not an artist and cannot create convincing artwork in the same style as the game. I want to share them with people as I have worked very hard on them. I included a disclaimer with my files stating that all images could and would be replaced upon request and that the files were to be used for personal private use only. I could remove the images, but to be honest, they really reinforce all of the hard work that I put into each character's background. And as far as a I know, the other sets of investigators hosted there do not have original artwork. If they do, I am sorry to assume. Is anyone artsy enough to make original art for these 8 characters that look like the ones that I am using now? Or do you guys have any other alternative suggestions?
  24. I don't have my game out in front of me, but what does the card say? Instead of having and encounter, as an action, etc....?
  25. Looks much better Dr. Faust and seriously fun to play. I may even use add him to my own collection. But one more thing: in the 2nd paragraph of his "story so far," there is a typo/missing word. I think it should be "If he had been,.," Also, just found a 2nd typo in the ability. You have the word "must" twice in a row. Kudos!
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