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Posts posted by Soakman

  1. wow that is a neat herald. Whispering in Darkness is pretty hardcore! Still I like it.


    There needs to be some database of all the cool stuff people  have made that can be easily browsed.

    Wow, Julia, he's not kidding. That Herald looks fantastic.  I may have to give it a try this weekend. I've always wanted the cult memberships and corruptions to have more of an impact on the game. If you have tried it out yet, how difficult do you think this herald makes a game? Is it significant? Or just a different flavor?


    EDIT: I didn't realize it was an Institution. Miskatonic Horror is the only expansion I do not have yet. But I'm excited to try this out. :o

  2. I'll get back to this Corpus, but so far just giving the main sheet a quick once-over, I'd say that I quite enjoy the idea of Dorothy. And the balance is quite good for all of her items/stats/personal story. KUDOS!


    But, even though I like the creativity used to make the Dirigible, I have some concerns.


    My biggest balancing concern is that she can take people with her on her dirigible. This is for two reasons: (1) you can trade during movement so theoretically the majority of advantages another investigator has can be acquired that same turn without taking them with you, (2) being able to do this every turn for free almost completely negates her one poor trait (spd) making her otherwise balanced stats pretty imablanced, and (3) being able to take others with you also negates their potentially poor speed or nullifies the speed advantages on some faster characers.

    This means that many of the investigators could actually just use Dorothy to get from gate to gate and clue to clue without adjusting their speed slider often essentially getting free Evade/Sneak points for the entire game. 

    I would resolve to do the following: Dorothy must end her movement in the sky regardless of whether there are monsters there or not (fighting or evading them if they are), and she cannot take other investigators with her. If Dorothy is in the sky, she may return to Arkham wherever she wishes and continue her movement.


    Issues Regarding 'sky-hopping': I'm not entirely sure that you intended for Dorothy to be able to "sky-hop" from one place in Arkham to another in a single turn, but that is how the abilities read if there is no monster in the sky (or even if there is so long as she encounters them all first). It is also unclear to me why Dorothy would be able to "sky-hop" if she chose to fight some monsters and evade the others. In regular combat, if you fight ANY monsters, your movement ends. You cannot fight and defeat two monsters, evade one, and then continue on your way.


    I just feel like altering the combat rules this significantly is unwise. I find it slightly confusing because combat is supposed to occur at the end of the movement phase (if there is a monster on your space), but in this circumstance it sounds like Dorothy could start in Downtown, fight everything in the sky, pop down to French Hills, prepare to enter a gate at the Witch House, and also kill the monster guarding the gate all in one movement action. This seems too good (imo) and disregards a few normal combat rules while also potentially circumnavigating the cost of a train ticket (if you're using multiple boards) and also possibly bringing multiple characters with her.


    Additionally with 4 speed via help from an ally or item, if you CAN sky-hop, Dorothy can effectively give any item that anyone has to any other investigator at any time. Actually, if I'm reading this right, moving FROM the sky to the "landing zone" does not take a movement point. You spend ONE movement to move to the sky and declare a landing spot to which you will land all as one movement point. This means that even with a low 2 speed, so long as the investigators are in street areas, Dorothy could still trade anything to anyone. It would only require 4 if one of the parties was in a location since the dirigible can only land in the street. But wait, it seems it can take off from a location? So I'm not sure how much movement these transactions would take, but it is much too little.


    Questions: What would happen to the OTHER investigators on her sheet if Dorothy died in the Sky? I strongly suggest dropping her ability to carry others with her. 


    But as a matter of fact... what happens to Dorothy if she goes unconscious or insane in the sky? It does not read to me as if the Dirigible would return to land. Should we presume Dorothy is knocked off of or transported away from her Dirigible? In order to return to the sky (per her ability), she must be in a space with the Dirigible.  This will present issues if she is ever incapacitated by a monster in the Sky. Or maybe it is intended for her to lose the Dirigible in this way?

  3. Norman Withers seems Lovecraftian for much the same reasons as Harvey Walters- he's an elderly scholar. 


    Silas Marsh (of course, he's a Marsh)


    Darrell Simmons and Rex Murphy seem like the sort of news people who'd get mixed up in all this.


    George Barnaby, Vincent Lee, and Tony Morgan all strike me as Lovecraft characters- maybe because they're such weak Investigators. They're the type of protagonists who end up as raving lunatics or otherwise torn to shreds...


    Leo Anderson should have been in Mountains of Madness!


    Roland Banks (the Feds play a part in some of the stories)


    Zoey Samaras- because she's crazy!



    There aren't too many typical Lovecraft protagonists among the Investigators. No half-mad students of the arcane with weird family histories, unless that's what led Luke Robinson to the Dreamlands- and only two scholarly old antiquarians. 

    Daisy Walker and Amanda Sharpe sort of fit the profile of the "half-mad student of the arcane with weird family histories" trope (as does Agnes Baker and Marie Lambeau).


    But yes, Lilly's "role" seems very out of place. If a protagonist comes to see him/herself as the only person standing between the GOO's (or whatever monstrous subject of an H.P. story), it is usually an acceptance of that role for himself as a heavy and difficult ethical choice. Lilly had the role thrusted upon her by others, and I'm not sure how often (if ever) they are featured in Lovecraft, but propecies and destinies sort of seem out of place to me.


    Isn't this the definition of a Mary-Sue?


    Not necessarily, Mary Sue's are characters that are unreasonably talented and somehow always win despite any qualities they might be lacking (which is usually few). Most do not have much in the way of character traits or personality as their actions are the prime characterization for them..however, the skill set they have would not match their presumed abilities. 


    For example, at the last second, the 15 year-old babysitter applies advanced particle physics and saves the day from the mad scientist (insert back-pedaled reference to how babysitter's mother is a quantum mechanic professor). The next day Mary met with parliament to discuss political repercussions of a British mad scientist vaporizing young children.

    NOTE: the term stems from trekkie lore - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Sue

  5. Haha, Jake that is pretty amazing. I don't play with custom scenarios so I'm not sure what they typically entail. My only qualm with Jake's suggestion is that the atlternate victory condition might thwart the learning of typical AO/Gate/Doom mechanics.

    Otherwise it is pretty brilliant. :)


    Similar in concept, perhaps you could have the couple honey-mooning in Arkham, and they refuse to let anyone (and I mean anyone Ithaqua!) snow all over it. The only one's that could put Mean ol' Snowmeister in his place is a tag-team of experienced boardgamers with just enough tactical know-how and suspension of disbelief to thwart the evil one once and for all!

    I would also maybe suggest incorporating two other custom investigators that are close friends or (as suggested) the maid of honor and best man so they can play the game with a set of 4 investigators (two eac). Mechanically, the game is at its most fogiving then.

  6. I haven't ready much of H.P.'s "disciples," and I think our views somewhat conincide. I'm not huge on the pulpy action-adventures either (while I can enjoy them, they are just not as satisfying). And Dunwich DOES stand out as a story where there are victors. This outlier really stands out for that reason, and I think it's pretty great. I can't say I prefer victories over utter failures in this "genre," but I find it very difficult to get lost in the story if I know the inevitable conclusion before it even begins.


    I have this problem with Laird Barron. I really enjoyed a few of his works at first reading, and then I slowly realized the stories were very formulaic and after mutliple reading begin to feel like weak retellings of the same content.

    This general feeling is why I like Agnes Baker's story so much. It's really up to the player and/or game session (depending on your perspective) to fill in the gaps. Futile unending cycle? Only hope for humanity? Or maybe she's just plain crazy... haha.


    But yes, Lilly's "role" seems very out of place. If a protagonist comes to see him/herself as the only person standing between the GOO's (or whatever monstrous subject of an H.P. story), it is usually an acceptance of that role for himself as a heavy and difficult ethical choice. Lilly had the role thrusted upon her by others, and I'm not sure how often (if ever) they are featured in Lovecraft, but propecies and destinies sort of seem out of place to me.

  7. I would say the investigators I could see Lovecraft writing are many, but the ones that stick out to me are:

    Silas Marsh

    Norman Withers

    Agnes Baker

    Bob Jenkins

    Sister Mary

    Patrice Hathaway

    and of course Harvey Walters

    The main reason why I chose these investigators is precisely because of the the way that they "stumble" onto something much larger than they even knew existed. All (possibly rewritten with an extended and detailed "story so far") really very much feel as if they begin to see how insignificant they are in the grand scheme of things. 

    Silas, Norman, Bob, Patrice, and Sister Mary catch glimpses into the unknown. Norman suffers from the Cassandra Complex and thereby reinforces the microcosm of humanity that exists in a bubble oblivious to reality in an attempt to escape the recognition that we, as a species, could be annihilated by something we fail to be able to comprehend.

    Agnes is doomed to repeatedly attempt to stave off the higher powers only to fail over and over, living various iterations of the same story of human failing until the end of time. It is unsurprising that she fails, and if you play as her and win, there is even then a sense that one day, in this life or the next, another Great Old One will siege the universe again. The fight is endless and incomprehensible to those outside the bounds of a certain esoteric knowledge. How many times has Agnes repelled the GOO's?  How many times has she failed?  Does it really matter? The best humanity can hope for is for their return to slumber.

    These are the themes that make Lovecraft Lovecraft for me: the sense that winning is simply a better alternative to losing; the feeling that we are small--and will always be small--and that we do not want to accept that as truth; the concept that our bodies censor our perceptions to reality in such a way that we can continue to function, because knowlege is a heavy burden; the moral question of responsibility for that burden--do we bear it because it is too threatening to ignore? Or do we turn our backs, question our sanity, and leave it to be rediscovered by another and with the hopes that it won't be?

  8. I agree with Dr. Faust on this. I'm not sure what Lilly is doing in the game. But to be fair, investigators of color feel very strange in this game. They are either stereotypes or anachronistic. Jim fits in historically, but would Rita Young really be on a scholarship at this point in history?  I'm not a history buff, but it seems odd (also, of COURSE she's a track runner :rolleyes: ...). Same thing goes with Lilly and to a degree Mihn. Asian istantly equals Kung-fu and Personal Assistant. Black equals Jazz musician, African Shamanism, and Track Star. I can forgive stereotyping if it is historically accurate, but some of these seem tasteless (even if I like the characters).


    Not that they CAN'T have these professions or stories, but they do seem oddly pigeon-holed. And maybe not historically accurate. To be honest, if he had written them, I'm not really sure how Lovecraft done it. Early in his career he was pretty racist (like the majority of people then).


    SIDE NOTE: Did anyone notice the pre-painted figurine of Rita Young is, in fact, white (http://store.fantasyflightgames.com/productdetails.cfm?sku=ah24)? What does this say about the way people see their world? Add a little color to a grey figurine and it's automatically white (unless the person applying the color happens to be a person of color).

    I would say the investigators I could see Lovecraft writing are many, but the ones that stick out to me are:

    Silas Marsh

    Norman Withers

    Agnes Baker

    Bob Jenkins

    Sister Mary

    Patrice Hathaway

    and of course Harvey Walters


    EDIT: Sorry if any of that was off-topic, I thought it belonged as part of the conversation considering the time period. Also, @ Jake yet again:  Kate is supposed to be German?

  9. @Soakman


    Do you have a site where you have all your custom investigators uploaded? Thanks!

    I have a thread here for browsing them, but you can find the link to the .EON files in the thread. The actual .EON files are listed in the "FILES" section of the Arkham Horror page on Board Game Geek.

    Thanks for the input! I have some thinking to do (in addition to reviewing Isabelle), but I may post here once I have a clearer idea about where I want her to end up. Blood of the Innocent was intended to be unconscious/insane, but I used "defeated" as a term to differentiate between those and Devoured. I can't remember if "defeated" is official in AH or if it is Eldritch Horror language. They're starting to seep into each other...  :unsure:


    You can find my "Gallery" thread here: http://community.fantasyflightgames.com/index.php?/topic/97796-soakmans-gallery-of-finished-investigators/  

  10. For me, having more than one skill (particularly when at least one is tailored to the investigator's strengths) is a problem. Because you never know what the 2nd skill might be, and it may wildly imbalance the character.

    And I get that the PS is supposed to be punishing, but I prefer a balance that punishes without frustrating the player whenever possible. I really like the idea of him possibly being arrested, but additional delays would suck the fun out of the character for me. The thing of it is that his pass isn't that hard, and if you aim for an early pass the PS fail isn't really a counter-check to his ability anyway. Once a story is either passed or failed,  you cannot get the other effect for the remainder of the game. Sometimes passing the story is a good idea just so you can lock out the possibility of failing it.

    Anyway, those are my 2 cents. Like I said, I like the character, I just wouldn't want him in a game I was playing because controlling him would annoy the crap out of me. Especially if I failed his PS from one bad roll and then was missing turns forever afterwards due to it.

  11. @ Agent Elman - I am reviewing Phillip since Sven has been temporarily removed.


    All in all, I really enjoy the mechanics and options given to Phillip. I have 2 main problems with him, and one of them isn't that much of a problem so much as a doubt.


    1. With the help of Camouflage, the lowest his sneak can be is 3. This would maybe be alright since he takes a hit in his other stats, but I feel like, again, the additional random starting skill is going to push his capabilities up too much.  I really dislike characters that start with more than one skill unless they are both random and there is a story-related reason for starting with two.


    2. His fail effect for his PS is too harsh. Nobody likes being delayed. If you can't pay the money, you are delayed. But if you try to make 1$ to pay for the addiction and fail, you are arrested.  And then probably delayed over and over again. I like the idea behind this, but in reality, it would probably be really frustrating and not at all fun for the player. Especially if Phillip was that player's ONLY investigator. I would consider permanantly lowering Phillip's sneak instead of the current effect. That way, there is a greater risk of being arrested again, but you wouldn't feel trapped into having the constand supply of money. You could choose to simply play with 0 focus. Maybe consider the fail effect being: "Criminal Record" -  2 Sneak.  Or something similar.


    Something else to consider: There are a few events in the Asylum and St. Mary's that allow you to discard a madness or injury. In these cases, your characters lose a lot of their flavor and balancing.  You may want to consider giving them additional "abilities" such as: Genetic Predisposition - The Daniels have long been a family of drinkers. Phillip cannot lose his addiction Madness due to Arkham or Otherworld Enounters.


    General Tips for your Investigators: I would try to find images that fit the style of the other Investigators that come with the game. It will make them feel more professional to new players. Also, I would polish up your Story so Far and Personal Story flavor text. Try to avoid repetition in words. You have great imagination, but I feel like the stories could be polished up a little bit.


    Also, in Phillip's backstory, it starts "The Daniel's Family..." (In case you don't follow, this reads awkwardly; it should be Phillip's family or The Daniels) Go back and edit your story, and while you're there you can try to polish it up. It may not be "fun" to do edits, but it will make your characters way more believable and exciting to play.

  12. 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.  :lol: 


    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.

  13. 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.

  14. @ 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.

  15. 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. :P

  16. 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.

    :D  Happy Gaming!


    what is DPI and how do I change it?


    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).



    I take it the theme of Isabelle is that she is experienced with the horror. I can't tell of each ability is supposed to be good or just the ability to choose between them is what makes her special.


    She can be a cult member or not, but her personal story is going to the cult places.

    She seems interesting for the setup but then to lose flavor. In two cases she gets a corruption which will randomly occur but doesn't change how you play her. I want my characters to have a role or thing to do. She seems to just have things happen to her.


    The Blood of the Innocent is a cool ability. I don't understand how it is supposed to fit her character.


    I would probably just give her cult membership always and a random corruption if you want her to have paid a price for membership. Then in her story say that she infiltrated the cult to learn their rituals of blood sacrifice which ties to The Blood of the Innocent.


    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 ^_^ ***  

  18. @ 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! 

  19. Look for Shub Niggurath on Wikipedia.

    (I was going to paste the link, but for some reason cut and paste doesn't seem to be working on my computer at the mo) 

     Hahaha, for some reason I always assumed the Black Goat was one of Shub's little kiddies. Good to know!   :P


    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!

  20. 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.

  21. 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

  22. 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.  :D


    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

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