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Posts posted by Soakman

  1. Thanks Amikezor! I knew about these scenarios, but I haven't played many as I hadn't had a printer to make the set-up rules and additional component. I also tend to avoid scenarios with additional components outside of Keeper Action Cards, Events, and Clues, as I never want to throw them out afterwards, but holding onto them gets a little burdomesome on my storage (not to mention chaotic).


    I will likely give those three you mentioned a try though. My other problem is that, unlike Arkham, when it comes top play-testing these scenarios I prefer to have 3-4 players minimum. And it seems like an entirely new scenario is much easier to botch and ruin the "fun" of the play-test than individual custom additions to AH.


    I started my custom Investigators for Arkham in August and am mid-game wth my final playtests atm. So about 3 months to completely playtest and re-evaluate 8 investigators, haha. You can see that I am very slow when it comes to playtests.


    Thanks, and I can't wait for the new PoD (and to try these other fan-made scenarios as well).

  2. Hey thanks Julia.  I had seen it and it looked quite interesting. But I LOVE the short story it is based on. Good to know that you enjoyed it. My interest is sufficiently piqued, and (since I am planning on a MoM scenario as my next custom adventure), I'll probably check it out. It's been quite a long time since I've even played MoM, so building a scenario from the ground up is going to take some refreshing and more than a little research.


    This seems like a great place to start. And, if it's as good as you say, I hope you're right about new beginnings.

  3. That's fair. But it is rather hard to do a non-linear "clue chain" while providing a straight-forward and well-told narrative. That is sort of the trade-off in most cases: Story for Replayabilty.


    You could easily make a very balanced scenario for MoM if it had not keeper choice options for the clue chain, and if there were less open room/board tiles.


    Ultimately, this is the delicate balance that I think they need to work on for the next big box expansion (if there is one).


    But, honestly, sometimes the vague narrative speaks to the Lovecraftian nature of the game. Not many of the protagonists actually understand all of the events that are occurring around them in his stories.

  4. I'm a big fan of both, but for different reasons. I find AH to be a wonderful team effort to save the world from some slumbering ancient evil, but MoM is all about the obstacle course and a different sense of victory. Definitely agree that you need to approach MoM as a RPG, too - in fact I always play the Keeper because I'm the one who is more concerned with theme and storytelling than with winning. Not to brag or anything, but our first game of MoM was two thousand times better than any game of AH I've ever played, and even though the investigators lost, it ended with one of those rare and wonderful moments when everyone sat back and said just how much they'd enjoyed it. I lobe AH, don't get me wrong, but I've never had quite the same experience as that.

    Not that it's all rosy of course. CotW was a bit of a let down to be honest. But generally, I feel there is more opportunity for immersion in MoM than the basic loop of AH mentioned earlier, but you really need the right group to make the game work.


    I find it really interesting that you say CotW was a letdown. I find that the consensus is that MoM was doing many things poorly until CotW.  I tend to agree with that sentiment, though I like the entire package as a whole. To me, CotW made playing an investigator more attractive because you weren't all just following the first player through hallways. Everyone had a variety of places to go and ways to help out with the objective (or getting to the objective).


    Although I tend to enjoy linear plots because they are usually more solidly written, my experience with the base game + FA tend toward the keeper having waaaaaay more fun than the investigators (and the people I play with also love the thematic elements and I play a relatively merciful keeper).


    BUT one of the things I really really love about MoM and also appreciate from the developers is that especially in the Base Set + FA, the timing of the entire chain is very accurately done.  I've had dozens of games that could turn one way or the other in the last turn. And that is very exciting. The only true problem with this is that generally when that last turn comes around, everyone knows what is going to happen. Either the keeper doesn't have enough threat to stop the investigators or the keeper plays panic or some other "locked doors" mythos card and the investigators don't even have a chance to win. No die roll, no counter-mythos abilities, no nothing.  It's just like... annnnd I was saving this card because I knew this was going to happen from turn 1.


    I dunno. That's the crutch of the problem to me. When you finish a game and everyone around the table thinks "Man, that card is cheap," or "Man, at least give me a chance to fight back."

  5. So, I want you to know that all of Julia's comments are extremely valid.


    That being said, (I don't know what I'm doing differently than you guys, hahah) my AH games often go to 6 or 7 hours of playtime. And while I enjoy every minute of them, MoM takes maybe a third of that time.

    But yes, since MoM is not Co-Op, you often end up with one side or the other feeling disappointed in the game.  Sometimes the keeper walks away feeling like he abused and violated his players...Sometimes the players walk away feeling good, but guilty of depriving the keeper of a win just by standing in a fire before the objective is revealed (If you die before the objective is revealed, you miss a turn but get a BRAND NEW investigator).


    It is very fun though imo. But you have to have a group that can shrug off the baggage and replay the same scenarios without being overwhelmed by that "but last time...." feeling. 

    The game has a lot of potential and seldom maximizes it. But thematically it is great, and if you like having a tool box to create and build your own custom games, this game (with its expansions) is amazing.

    The appeal to me lays with the heavy theme, imbalanced scenarios (and trying to overcome them), the tool-box nature of the components, and seeing the original AH redefined in the space of a single location on the AH board.


    Investigator Agency is an issue for me as it seems like often you are simply running down a hall waiting for something horrible to happen to you. But playing the keeper is very very wickedly fun.

  6. Okay.. I think I've got it all straightened out for these last 3. Just some ability adjustments (additions) and PS tweaking in Anton's case.


    The final (hopefully) playtesting of my 8 custom investigators commences this weekend. :) Thanks for all your help guys. I will likely be moving on to a custom MoM scenario next. But I'll try to make visits to the board to leave feedback for you guys too.



  7. A thought just occured to me regarding Astrid (the gossipgirl I posted a bit ago). We were having the dilemma that while good, her ability doesn't always play into the game, making her a bit of a all-or-nothing investigator.


    I don't know how to explain in thematically, but do you think giving her the ability to remove Mystic Environments at the cost of taking a corruption would enhance her allure?  I really love corruptions, but they so seldom come into play.  Again, it is a situational ability, but a investigator that can deal with both Rumors AND Mystic Environments might be very desirable even if neither end up coming into play. You will feel MUCH safer, just having Astrid around.


    Or do you think this would be too strong? (I'm not sure it would be as mystic environments cycle anyway, and the only one that REALLY bothers me is the one that prevents sealing gates)

  8. Thanks Aquas. Insightful, as always.  And I will likely add my rambling response/thoughts when I get home from work. I do think there're some great points here, and the fail condition on Anton was something I was already thinking about changing. As far as the pass, yeah, it could be easy (if Anna is even available) but it will still likely be a minor distraction if you want to pass. And the boon isn't particularly great, although it's a nice option to have. I did, however, NOT see that the fail could be avoided re-actively. That obviously means the fail is going to have to change.


    And I actually was considering making Anton a 3/7 character, but the possibility that Cthulhu might be the AO made this a very terrible choice in conjunction with the Scales. Nobody wants to play a 2/2. And yes, Anton would be able to move again if his movement was interrupted due to combat. But since it does end the movement phase, he would only be able to fight two spaces worth of monsters at max. And personally, if he CAN kill them all, more power to him. Usually you walk away with a few wounds (if not grievous ones). 


    As for Obi, those are thoughts that I had as well. Although, I'm not 100% sold that his ability wouldn't be used. A +1 on all R'yleh gates, for instance, is much more useful that a +1 on Dreamlands. I'm trying to think of a way to "power-up" the ability without completely changing it. But I also don't want a player to automatically choose to make a Gris-Gris, as I'm trying to encourage essentically two ways to play Obi. One being a gate-sealing spell-caster, the other being a spell-caster with strong utility (via spells) and co-op player. 


    And yes, the Gruesome Talisman is quite good, but if you do want to create a gris-gris right off the bat, the option is available at a considerable price.


    Perhaps his "pass" could also give him a clue for each OW that has a token on it. this would give him additional incentive to complete it. Or maybe when he creates a gris-gris investigators with a corresponding gate trophy gain a clue (or two).


    Also Aquas, is Obi a good flavor? Or is he a flavor that you think players will be confused by or ambiguous towards? I think I gather that you both think he's a good flavor, but I don't want to assume. People have different tastes. :D

  9. Thanks Dr. Faust. That's exactly what I was going for. And you can get the best of his ability and lore (for sealing) if you have patience. But it's hard to have patience when an AO is waking up. Either way, I like to provide more choices for players to play their characters (though I probably don't always succeed).

    Thanks for the feedback and the encouragement about my writing. :)

    Any thoughts on Anton? He's the one I felt might be a little imbalanced, but I don't know if it's a bad thing as he is also pretty risky imo (but has a great ability). One note, I need to add that Anton cannot trade or lose the Scales of Thoth (or maybe just can't trade). If he is still able to lose it (other than trading), that would obviously be another possible fail condition. It might even be a good idea to get rid of his current fail condition and replace it with losing the scales (via death, rat-thing, or whatever). I like the idea of trying to keep Anton from getting "out of balance" but I'm not sure the player would enjoy trying to keep track of it.

    Thanks again for the feedback, and let me know about Anton when you have a chance. ;)


    EDIT: 1:12pm 11-12-13:  I'm also thinking that Anton's pass condition should say if ANY investigator gains Anna Kaslow as an ally. It would be quite upsetting if someone randomly received her as an ally and it wasn't Anton so he couldn't pass.  Besides, I made his personal story have a little less impact on the game than some of my othere Investigators. His ability is strong, and I imagine will be used often. If he can't sell common items, it's no big deal. And if you're careful, he will never become "imbalanced." The allure of the pass here (in my opinion) is that you will no longer have to be as careful with his Sanity and Stamina.


    He is a bit of an extra challenge as you have to take extra precautions when healing at the Hospital/Asylum. Healing to full might not always be the best choice. Particularly if you just lost all of your sanity. Staying there for one turn if you have full health might be better in the long run...if you survive. *mwahahahaha* :P

  10. This is the last investigator for my custom pack (note: Anton Pavel was created an uploaded about the same time, so please take a look at him as well). I greatly appreciate any feedback from you guys, as always.


    Let me know what you think! (Also, I know his title is spelled incorrectly. It is Voudoo Bokor. Additionally in the personal story, it says that the Rada are considering uniting with the AO. I meant the Petro. Only saw it after I uploaded the images.)


  11. I wouldn't say player's choice is too strong, personally. Most of the initial phases of the game pretty much require you to run to clue locations anyway. But then again, I'm not sure if player's choice just hands over the clue if you pick an unstable location. That might tip the balance a bit.

    Also, I like that you encouraged a bit of control with the pendent, but once per turn still prevents you from using her power in clutch moments if necessary. I don't want to add rules on top of rules, but it'd be neat to see the possibility of advancing the cycle via some sort of sacrifice in case Carolina is the player's last hope at accomplishing something vital. Maybe a sacrifice of a health/sanity per cycle (or maybe even just allowing her to choose one, but becoming delayed afterwards as an effect of overextending her powers). 

    Again, I like struggling with control and mastering an investigator, so I would use her as she is, but it's something to think about to make her more accessible to a wider variety of players. 

  12. I just want to say that I love the Runaways, and thematically I think you did an excellent job with Carolina.


    She seems like a very interesting character to play as, but perhaps a bit of a pain to micro-manage. That being said, I would play her, but she may not be everyone's cup of tea. And as Dr. Faustus has brought up, the rainbow cycle excludes certain neighborhoods and many players will likely feel that instead of having additional bonuses and options in certain areas, they will be forced to play Carolina in such a way as to make sure they utilize her in specific locations.


    Feeling forced into choosing specific encounters takes away a little bit of the control an player has over how to make use of his character. To off-set this, you may want to give Carolina some sort of ability outside of Living Aurora that may be used in place of it. Maybe due to her shifting nature, she could be able to shift her stats mid-turn if she did not during upkeep (and if she does not use Living Aura that turn). Or something similar to this. It's not well though-out because I am at work and writing a quick response.


    But overall I really like her. But her ability feels a bit like it controls you instead of you controlling it. Even with the pendant. Why does she start at the Newspaper?

  13. I just had an idea for a possible 2nd ability for Astrid that may make her more appealing at investigator selection.  I know Shining Aquas is not a fan of her ability as it can potentially be too powerful (but compared to Patrice, I really think Astrid is tame), or too irrelevent. So, to give her an additionl function that isn't abusable, what if:


    Sworn to Secrecy

    UPKEEP: Before investigators adjust their stat sliders, Astrid may choose one investigator to test their Willpower. If successful, that investigator receives +1 Focus for this turn.


    This would give her a way to buff other players (or herself?) and make them slightly more adaptable to unexpected circumstances.


    My only concern is that maybe people do not adjust their sliders as often as I like to.  I've heard of people choosing max Speed, Fight, Luck and never adjusting at all so long as their sanity can take the 1 damage from an encounter.


    Would this make her more enticing? Or does it still leave her with sad-looking stats.  At the moment they are sitting on my computer at:




    Fight: 3

    Will: 5


    Luck: 5


    With Focus of 2


    The alternative (with the original backstory)

    4/5, 3/4, 4/5 with Focus of 2, rumor removal, and +1 to will when there is no rumor in play (giving her 3 stats with 5's AND 2 focus the majority of the game)


    And I do understand what Aquas was saying regarding her PS pass requiring her to not use queen bee even though it would, in theory, remove a rumor. But I don't want her personal story to be able to be passed just by using her once per game ability. Obviously, then, you would just use Queen Bee on the first one you came across. I like to encourage characters that promote player options and tactial decisions.

    Sorry if this post is badly explained or layed out; this character is really causing me to double and triple think everything.

  14. I do too. The gossip bit is REALLY good. Lovecraft himself made no qualms in pointed out morality he deemed as being bad and then punishing it (usually people that drank since he was a teetotaler himself).

    Thanks Dr. Faust. That was really pretty much what I was going for.  I did not know that he was a teetotaler, but that makes it all the better.

  15. Hmm. Thanks for that. More thoughts to come as I am off to work. She does feel "off" to me, so you're most likely right about a lot of things. And having gone to undergrad for writing, I really have no qualms with massive re-editing (though I do like the fact that she doesn't understand what she has done until it is too late).


    EDIT: Just a theme note about the PS cards: The Cover-Up was meant to be, yes, a cover-up of a rumor that came true. That being said, the people she would be sharing her clues with (other investigators) would be people who knew the truth of the rumor (and possibly how it began) as they are working with Astrid to thwart the AO that is awakening. The idea is that she has become a reliable source of information for the team about the occurences to come.

    The way that I'm thinking about it now, I have two backstory options:


    1) Keep Astrid very much the same with maybe some deeper understanding of her power or the mythos that the rumors are based upon. I may even consider keeping her the same and adding an additional ability that is in effect only when a rumor is NOT active.  As far as what this would be, I am not sure. Since she's a gossip, it feels appropriate to be Willpower related. Maybe even just +1 Will as long as no rumors are active (or maybe will skill check rerolls). In the case of the +1 Will, that extra point would probably be deducted from her natural willl and put into another category to broaden her strengths (sneak,speed,fight are likely...lore seems like a lost point as her sanity is only 4 so she will not make a great caster).


    2) Re-imagine Astrid as a reporter/gossip rag producer who is working to undercover the deep-seeded rumors that lurk in Arkham's shadows. This will give her a more viable reason to have 4 fight at minimum and lessen her combat flaws. I would have to give her an even stronger backstory in order to make a fight of 5 plausible (but it's possible). Whereas the gameplay mechanics seem to fall more in-line with this concept, I am really, personally, more interested in an average Jane who happens to be dragged into the unnatural than someone who is sussing it out for herself. This is my personal preference, however, and may be biased.


    I want to settle on a solid concept before I go about fiddling with abilities because I like to build my characters from the story/theme up. Or, in many cases, the base ability concept (which in this case revolves around rumors).

  16. Thanks. I think you're right about the stats, but I'm not sure where the extra cash will come from. Likely, I'll drop the make-up kit as I'm not sold on it for her anyway. It is true that if her ability IS used, she becomes a mediocre character... the likelihood of her both using her ability AND passing her story doesn't seem very common as it would have to be a game that finds two rumors on the board. 


    But the safety guarantee from Queen Bee is very comforting, haha.

    Good call. I am wondering if I should push luck down to a 4 and give her another sneak (she is quite sneaky in her own way).


    Thanks again.

  17. Hmm. I'll consider that. The problem is that in order to pass her personal story you would need to complete a rumor and once you've completed it, you're not likely to have to use the rumor-remover. It's not often you get multiple rumors in one game (at least not my games).


    And yes, her stats are intentionally low in the combat areas to make up for what I saw as a powerful ability. The bonus being that even if she gets a weapon and goes into combat, her higher-than-average will will make the horror checks more manageable.

    I have no problem upping her fight, I just am not sure thematically if it makes sense.  If I gave her a max 4 fight, would you feel better about her ability? And I didn't want to make the clue trade ability her main one as it would essentially make her an underpowered Patrice.


    Convince me if you think I'm mis-thinking this.

  18. Investigator number 6, first draft:

    Everyone meet Astrid Lee!


    NOTE: I'm not entirely comfortable with the fail condition. It seems too easy? But the consequences are pretty nasty. Additionally, the story is going to have a few edits (mostly typographical things) but let me know if you have and story suggestions as well. I like the concept but maybe it is a little lacking in emotion/theme/creativity?



  19. Shining Aquas, you inspired my newest investigator. Let me know what you guys think, as always. He's got pretty conditional abilities so I think they shouldn't be "imbalanced."  The biggest issue with my custom characters is that the flavor text is a little wordy and shrinks the text to difficult to read sizes. But I really enjoy theme, so players may want to whip out a magnifying glass, haha.


    Also, I do realize that in the image, he appears to have "horns" but this is the best painterly miner image I could find.



  20. Great then! I like her. I would say just adjust the wording to be more other-player friendly, and she seems pretty useful without being overly handy (her gate closing isn't particularly good).


    EDIT:  Unrelated note for those who are wondering, during my playtest of Anna Anderson, a gate popped both at the graveyard AND histrorical society.  She never passed her PS as it soon became obvious that the gates there would need closed and nobody had enough clues to seal them. Actions were instead used to find clues, which then lead to having to deal with other looming threats.  Her PS was moved to the back-burner.  This experience leads me to believe that passing her PS is not too easy. Also, when she finally got the graveyard part of her task done, the gate that opened there delayed her.  Bad timing.

  21. I will think about this and maybe add more (is this character an OC or is it "from" something?).


    I like the idea of this ability a lot, but I'm uncertain about the wording on the ability description. Does the ability activate EVERY turn after one mystic environment comes into play? Or once per mystic environment that activates?


    I'm not sure how often this ability is intended to play as, imo, it is very strong. Some location encounters lead to easy allies/unique items/seals (inner sanctum), and being able to shift through them until you encounter ally encounters is pretty dang good.


    It also sounds like Journey may even be able to select addtional stacks PER mystic environment that occurs during the course of the game (IE if 2 were ever put into play during a game, every upkeep she would be able to check six encounter decks).


    Not to mention the easily squashible rumors/doom addtions on the mythos deck.  All you have to do is pick any path that is less harmful than the rumor...which is any encounter to be honest.

    I feel like she has waaaay too much control over the board. Especially if this happens consistently after a mystic environment occurs.


    I feel like she needs gimped in either how often her ability activates, or just in raw stats. Lower her maxes, and maybe make a less useful stat higher (luck/speed) and lower her lore/sneak/willpower.


    EDIT: Also, I know this is a house-rule sort of issue, but it seems like a decent amount of people play with one of each sub-type of environment in play at all times.  If the intent is to only allow her to do this whenever a mystic environment is in play, the environment will be in play much longer in these games than one sub-type games.  I would suggest changing the activation to something like "whenever and environment is drawn." This prevents it from activating too often, imo. I don't know this character's back-story, but if there's no specific reason for the trigger to the ability, I would highly suggest changing it to tone down the ability.  Or, like I suggested, severely gimp Journey. Or create a very harsh fail PS that activates if she uses the ability too often.  Or some such thing.


    EDIT: 10/16 - I was thinking, if you don't want to handicap her via lowering her total stat values, I would at least make her a 7/3 character.  We all know these characters have a difficult time compared to more evenly distributed characters, and she looks pretty fragile. I don't know here backstory, so this may not make sense for the character, but if you made her a 7/3 I think that with a few minor adjustments to the frequency of her ability, she would become suddenly useable. 


    Overly powerful characters often are banned from my games (I'm look at you Patrice). And as she seems so original and cool, I'd hate to have to put someone like her in that pile.

  22. I've only just recently started experimenting with custom content; most of the help here is more use than I will be.


    However, I have recently taken on the undertaking of manifesting the entire Lovecraft Country set. This undertaking is still a work in progress, BUT I did come up with the idea to print out the boards via photoshop onto fabric transfer paper and then ironing them onto a sturdy fabric to create "fabric maps/boards" that fit sort of the old-timey feel of the game, and also are much easier to store than traditional boards.


    I personally think that this might be the best method for boards.  The only significant issue is that it's risky as the transfer paper can be pricey and, if the ironing process doesn't take or the print doesn't come out crisp enough, you may have a tough time reading the alternate encounter text for each location.

    Other than these things (or if you just like the idea of fabric boards enough to keep trying), this method is pretty great.  I'm not a "perfectionist" so the first try worked out just fine for me (even though there are a few missing letters/mismatches along the seams).

  23. Yeah, I thought of this Dr. Faust, but the lowest I can make it is 3, where she will only have one die to roll. Might be worth it though. I feel like that will be plenty of time for her to possibly fail. Moons move a lot.

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