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About OrionAnderson

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  1. Hey all, really simple question. Normally, I like to add expansions to a game in the order they were released, since they tend to build on each other, or the first one seems like the most valuable. With Arkham Horror, however, I find the later expansions much more interesting. Innsmouth as a setting is way more appealing to me than kingsport -- I haven't read much Lovecraft, but everybody knows about the Deep Ones and the Innsmouth Look. Both of those seems more appealing than Dunwich, just because they come with new investigators. On the small expansion front, King in Yellow and Lurker are the coolest thematically, while Black Goat looks like the best bang for my buck when it comes to adding more challenge. So, the question is: Is there anything lost by buying Innsmouth->Kingsport->Dunwich? Or Goat->Lurker->Yellow->Pharaoh?
  2. Any advice on introducing some challenge to solo games, using the base set only? So far I don't see how there's any challenge unless I choose to go up against Azathoth every time. The other Old Ones in the base game are just so incredibly easy to fight, in many cases. Azathoth forces you to play for a victory by seals, which is interesting. I think I would have had it, except that The Terrible Experiment came up while I was in another world and insta-killed me. Hastur is interesting and a little weird -- the trick is to awaken him without letting the terror rise, so you repeatedly close-not-seal the Woods and the Unvisited Isle and street sweepwhen possible. The rest are jokes. One player hording clues will never, ever die to Nyarlathotep. Yig and Ithaqua actually die to a lot fo starting investigators with no power-ups at all. My Amanda started play with Fight, Marksman, and Wither, and killed Yig with just that, not even a gun. She didn't take a single scratch, although she would have taken one or two hits were it not for Eric Colt and a pile of clues. Ithaqua just requires you to hoard weapons. If you have 5 or 6 guns when he awakens, you win. Cthulhu is probably the hardest. You have to deal 19 damage to him on 7 attacks, which requires putting out 15 combat dice turn after turn. That's out of reach for beginning investigators, but it's incredibly deterministic. As soon as you find two .45s, you're good to go. Shub-Niggurath requires that you kill 3 or 4 monsters and buy 2 hands worth of enchanted weapons. Yog-Sothoth requires that you close a couple of gates and find a decent gun. It's all so easy and so deterministic I don't know what to do. If the answer is "buy an expansion," what would be the best one to add some challegne to 1-investigator play? Black Goat of the Woods looks troubling.
  3. subochre said: Now I'm trying to imagine which combination of investigators would lead to the most out-of-character optimal rearrangement of roles and equipment. I'm thinking Mark the Gate-Diver, Flamethrower-wielding Dexter (although I guess he did fight in WWI), and Trish the Sorceress. Mark + Sister Mary. Nun with a flamethrower on turn one.
  4. Richard Upton Pickman is hot. Another fun thing about Nun/Gangster is that you can give Michael the Cross right away to help ameliorate his Will problem. Mark, the Soldier, seems designed to patrol the unstable locations. Immunity to delay doesn't really come up while streetsweeping, and he doesn't have the will/sanity for it. But a high Fight and Sneak score serves him well in the Woods, the Graveyard, and IIRC the Cave? A lot of encounters in the red zones delay you, and if he's lucky enough to have a gate open on him, he gets back in half the time.
  5. I'm going to run a 2-player teaching game soon, and I'm leaning toward using only 2 investigators, just to cut down on the sheer volume of little cards to keep track of. I don't really want to go into final battle mechanics, and in any event want to preserve some fear of the ancient ones. Do you think two investigators would have a decent chance to win against Azathoth? Does it matter if they're pre-selected to both be good gate divers?
  6. @Eitertom: Agreed. Now that I know spells are a kind of item, it's almost certainly not worth the trouble of trying to scam the bank. Edit: It would actually be a 75% chance of having to pay up before your buy the second spell, since you can only buy them one at a time. @Julia: Yeah, I know his special ability doesn't apply. I was referring to his extra Lore die.
  7. Thanks! I actually found that answer later last night. I appreciate having the community here, for sure.
  8. It seems clear to me that the last answer, about environments, was meant to be talking about Ithaqua and Ctugha. That is, if you draw a Mythos card as your normal Mythos card for the turn, you resolve the Act on it even if it's a Weather card and thus get discarded without effect. It's just clarifying that the Act is part of the stat line with the gate and the clue, not part of the text of the special ability.
  9. Necro-ing for two timing questions about devouring. I've looked through several FAQs and not seen anything. I'm wondering how exactly the replacement investigator gets introduced to the game. The rulebook does say to bring in the new investigator "immediately," but doesn't clarify how this interacts with the normal turn order. The first question is: does the new investigator play later phases of the turn normally? It seems clear to me that they do. For instance, if I am devoured by a Shan during my movement, will my new character receive an encounter from his home location during the Arkham Encounter phase? If I were somehow devoured during upkeep, would my new character be able to move normally? The rulebook's wording strongly suggests yes, but my playgroup objected on the grounds that it intuitively feels like the new character should start next turn, and that they didn't want to delay everyone else's encounters while the new character was being set up. Second question: When my investigator gets devoured, it's still my turn during the relevant phase. Does the new investigator act normally in the same Phase? That is, if I fight a Shan during movement and get devoured, does my new character get to move immediately? If an Arkham Encounter devours me, does my new character draw an encounter at their home location? My intuition says "no" but I'm not sure.
  10. One of the things I love about Arkham is that if you think about role-playing your character, you very often stumble on some good tactics. In the case of Dexter Drake, I think he works a little bit more effectively if you remember that he's The Magician, not the Wizard. He doesn't have huge reserves of sanity and giant lore bonuses because he's not actually a dedicated spellcaster. He's a showman who happens, by way of his professions to have a lot of connections in the occult underground, and it's those contacts that make him valuable. Also: he's an artist. Like all artists, hecan do great things with enough cash, but he really benefits from having a patron. Okay, enough flavor talk. What does that mean in gameplay terms? Well, here's how I approached Dexter the one or two times I've been dealt him. Magical Gift doesn't actually reward you for using spells, it rewards you for collecting them, so that's what I focus on. You start the game with Shrivelling, which is a good spell that Dexter can't use that effectively. With 3 Will and 5 Sanity, he just can't afford to use it that often. He doesn't cast it as reliably as the Professor would, or the Student if you build her for casting. He also starts with 3-choose-2 spells, but so few spells are worth using for Dexter that it's really not better than anyone else who starts with 2 randoms. As others have noted, he just doesn't start in a good place to accomplish much with magic. However, he does start in the Magick Shoppe, with $5. That means he can immediately buy another spell (choice of 3). So at the end of the first turn, he will have taken a wither, and then looked at a total of 6 other spell cards. (If you're *really lucky*, he'll also start with a Tome he can get another spell from.) In the basic game, that means he will have drawn 7 cards from a 40-card deck. As others have mentioned, combat spells in this game are not that great. Plus, you tend to find way mroe than you can sue anyway. So skip the combat spells. The utility spells in the deck come in 3 or 4 copies each. That means Heal and Voice of Ra each have about a 50% chance to show up, while Find Gate and Mists of Releh are better than even. Finding Wither is a near certainty. Now, sadly, most of these spells aren't that great. He can't afford to use Heal and doesn't really need to, he's mediocre at sealing gates, and with 5 Speed 4 Stealth 2 Focus, he can usually get where he wants to without using Mists. We still haven't actually done anything worthwhile. The solution I found is that Drake works best as the assistant to a more powerful caster. He's so fast that on his second turn, he should be able to meet up with any other investigator in the city and give them his spells. Imagine setting up the Professor with Find Gate and Mists of Releh. Or the Psychologist with Heal and Shrivelling. Either way you have a powerhouse of a character. Unfortunately, you also have an even-more-useless Magician sitting around. What to do with him? Well, you have a few options. The first is to have another investigator give him money and send him right back to the shop. With his ability and his speed, he's better at spending money efficiently than most other characters. You also want to give him all of your Tomes. Not only can he choose what spell to learn from them, but he has enoug Speed that he has time read while still running around. If one of Harvey's 2 unique items is a spellbook, Dexter can actualy meet him in the admin building, read his book for him, and hand off the resulting spell on turn 1, freeing Harvey to amble into battle with his full 3 movement. Other cute tricks include giving all his possessions away, then taking out a bank loan and spending it on more magic. (I assume the bank doesn't repossess your spells when you default) I think people underestimate the value of trading equipment, and I think having a team "courier" is a viable role; I played a Photographer in a similar way recently. But in the long run, you do need all of your investigators to actually contribute something. I suggest giving Dexter 2 Wither spells and a sword, and making him a "troubleshooter." He can't handle the big monsters or the scary gates on his own. What he can do is use his 5 speed to run all over town, killing weak monsters as needed to to clear the path for the real heroes to get where they're going. TL;DR: Dexter isn't great at personally completing major objectives, so he suffers in 2-investigator matches. But I think he can pull his weight with 4, as long as you have another spellcaster and ideally a wealthy character on the team.
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