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About agarrett

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  1. Just for the counterpoint, I very much am hoping for a coup (or equivalent...) On the game/story side, I don't want things to become too static. The Imperial Cycle was clearly setup, still introducing the setting, so I don't hold that up on either side. But especially as AEG's time went on, we had a very static Empire, where we were assured nothing would ever change except who held which seat at the table (and even that would only be temporary.) We would periodically be threatened by a big-bad from outside, because nothing on the inside could ever threaten to turn things over. It made for a repetitive story, and one that got boring after a while. The promise of the coup (actually of the Second Day of Thunder, since that's where the story started in AEG's day) was a shakeup, a change in the Empire. Of course, when they made that story, they didn't really think things would continue, so had limited planning beyond that point. Nevertheless, there was a real shakeup then. And that's the other side. The original story was good - solid, with strong mythic elements. Admittedly, I like Wick's writing, so it's no surprise that all appealed to me. But at the story's start, we had a decaying Empire - there had been a solid core once, but it had long since rotted out. The clans all paid lip service to their various virtues, but that was all. They put up a front, a pretense, while ignoring and real virtue. This was true for all the clans back in the Clan War days - it's why the Crab could make common cause with the Shadowlands, and why the Lion turned hard against the ronin Toturi. That the Emperor was possessed by Fu Leng was less the cause of this decay than it was a symptom, an outward sign that could happen because of all the rot. And yet there was a core of that old strength, the original virtues, that we fans could see and appreciate, and like. The struggle was whether Toturi could string together a rag-tag band who held to a core of honor, whether the Thunders could overcome their persona feuds and vendettas to do something noble and important. And it was never clear that they'd succeed, and in some cases (including my much-loved Hitomi) they were at best marginally successful. FFG's version, thus far, shows much less rot in the Empire, the samurai are nobler and hold truer to bushido. I suspect that will lead to a more static story, as we saw later in AEG's day. It's one reason I hope for a coup - it doesn't have to be the Scorpion this time, if they want to shake things up, I can see some reasons for any clan to overthrow the Emperor. But I did like that story of a fallen Empire trying to rise against itself as well as an external foe, and hope we see some more of that. Mind you, I hope they plan out better than AEG did for what comes after, but I'd like to see that big shake up too.
  2. Just curious here - Silverfox13 suggested 3 cards. Do you think none of them will happen, or just the last? Specifically: - A card that switches the duel stat. As written, probably not - but I could see a more restricted one, like if your courtier is targeted by a military duel, switch the stat to political (or the other way around if a bushi is challenged as a separate card.) - A card that allows redirection of the duel. I think this is highly likely, it's practically the role of a yojimbo. - A Kharmic Strike equivalent. This one, I agree, is unlikely as written, discarding both targets. A post-duel reaction, however, that mitigates a duel, or in some way penalizes the winner, I can see (of course, I'm so incredibly vague in my description there that I'll easily be able to claim vindication in future sets ) Anyway, more just curious what you were thinking about the individual proposals. I like duels to have big effects, so I recognize that there has to be some risk to the initiator. These seem rational approaches.
  3. XP when eliminated (spoilers U.Oath)

    We hit the same resolution you did, and had the same question. We recorded the XP on our now-insane investigators, so we could see how much we'd earned over the campaign, and started our new ones at 0. So in effect, we treated it as your cruel taunt It made the next scenario, Phantom of Truth, harder (and we failed it too), but it's looking like we're coming back for Pallid Mask, though we haven't actually finished it yet. That one is looking good...
  4. Story Changes

    I'm with you on expecting a coup - but I think the big 'twist' is going to be a different clan setting it off. Breaking it down... Why a coup? First off, it's dramatic. The Imperial arc helped set the stage, but in Act 2 it's time to tip the stage over. They'll establish that the situation is dynamic, and allow for meaningful inter-clan conflict. Of course, the fact that it calls back to the original story will also please long-time fans, and the original story was good (with flaws, but still a very good story) and not something to throw out casually. Why have another clan stage the coup? Again, the drama. They will show that they're not just retelling the original story - it has echoes, but doesn't repeat. It can throw up surprises for the old and new players. The leading candidates right now? Phoenix, in order to right the imbalance in the spirit world. Crane, if they discover Imperial involvement in Satsume's death. Finally, maybe Crab, in order to secure the resources to defend against the Shadowlands from an uncaring and thus unworthy Emperor. Anyway, those would be my current lead 3 candidates.
  5. Adding my 2 cents in favor of current provinces (though also noting that I'm pretty far from being a competitive player...) One thing I note is that it tends to slow the game down a bit, adding 1 or even 2 turns while we feel each other out / scout provinces with scrubs. The players who try to rush/win still can, but it is a higher risk. Personally I find it a good trade off.
  6. SPOILERS A question came up in the House Always Wins scenario last night. Jenny Barnes was in the party, and drew her weakness, Searching for Izzie, while we were still in Agenda 1. So we attached that weakness to the location furthest from any of us, which was La Bella Luna. So far so good. We'd already played Extracurricular Activities, so when the agenda ticked over we wound up going all the way to agenda 3. As part of that (agenda 2b specifically in case people need to check things) the La Bella Luna location was destroyed. The instructions tell us to "Move all investigators and unengaged enemies from La Bella Luna to the Clover Club Lounge." Searching for Izzie was still in play, but it's neither an investigator nor an unengaged enemy, so what happens to it? We thought it should be destroyed along with the location, but had enough doubt that we went with the Dark Rule - pick the option that's worse for the investigators, and moved it to the Lounge. Anyway, figured I'd check in here and see if anyone had other ideas or better rules references to help out with that in case something similar comes up in the future. Thanks for any help.
  7. New to Arkham

    That was how I understood it. I agree with the 3 scenarios you presented, yes.
  8. New to Arkham

    You very well might be correct, but could you point me to the rules that clarify this? Here was my reasoning. Spawn "=If an enemy has no spawn instruction, it spawns engaged with the investigator who drew it." Prey "If an enemy that is about to automatically engage an investigator at its location has multiple options of whom to engage, that enemy engages the investigator who best meets its “prey” instructions (if multiple investigators are tied in meeting these instructions, the lead investigator may decide among them) (see “Enemy Engagement” on page 10)." and, Enemy Cards "When an enemy card is drawn by an investigator, that investigator must spawn it following any spawn direction the card bears (see “Spawn” on page 19). If the encountered enemy has no spawn direction, the enemy spawns engaged with the investigator encountering the card and is placed in that investigator’s threat area."
  9. New to Arkham

    1. If you pull an enemy during the mythos phase, it will engage an investigator if possible (unless it has the aloof keyword.) If it has a Spawn instruction, follow it, put it in that location and it engages an investigator at that location - if there are none, it doesn't engage anyone. If there's no Spawn instruction, it spawns at your location engaged with you. (See "Enemy Cards" in the rulebook.) The enemy engages, but does not attack until the enemy phase. 2. You may move as your first action, no problem. However, if you are engaged with an enemy and take any action other than Fight or Evade, the enemy gets a free attack on you. Moving is such an action that draws an attack of opportunity. Note that instant or fast actions do not draw an attack of opportunity because they don't use actions. This can allow you, for instance, to use Physical Training to buff up your combat value as needed for a fight. 3. If you're in the cellar, and an enemy spawns there, it is automatically engaged with you. Note a partial exception: if there are multiple investigators in the Cellar, and the enemy also has a Prey instruction, it follows the Prey instruction to determine who it engages with. Hope that helps.
  10. Lovecraft is a sometimes difficult writer, because his writing is so different from the modern style. He is excellent at setting a mood, and that's really what most of his stories try to do. In most cases, he even starts with his character telling a story that happened in the past, so he eliminates the 'does he survive' suspense from the get-go. Instead we're usually presented with someone telling us that something horrible, or incomprehensible, happened, and then we hear what it is. It's a fantastic mechanism to set a mood, while a poor one for telling a traditional story. I know Lovecraft can tell a more traditional story - At the Mountains of Madness, and Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath show that clearly enough, but they're in a minority of his stories. I think his work benefited enormously from August Derleth following it up. Derleth was not as good a writer, but a far better publicist. Tying Lovecraft's stories together into a mythos created a type of overarching narrative that helped bridge Lovecraft's moody writing with the modern style of strong story. Anyway, I think this is why you can get pretty widely varying views of Lovecraft's ability as a writer.
  11. Assuming the next cycle is Shub-Niggurath, we might get a few exotic locations. The Black Goat built a city in a cavern below southern Arabia, so we might get our trip out there followed by finding the cavern. And Shub Niggurath herself might be on another planet or dimension, leading to another off-world conclusion. However, as that's very similar to what they're doing in Carcosa, I'd actually expect a different pattern. The simplest would be to go off-world early, maybe at the halfway point, to find but not defeat Shub-Niggurath, and then the finale consists of finding/defeating the Black Goat...
  12. Starting carcosa

    That's how my wife and I are playing, but that's not just to make it harder, it's because we didn't start this game until recently and decided to jump in with the current campaign (we also only have 1 core.) Looking through the Dunwich cards, there are some awfully good cards in there that help expand the pool. We had a pretty hard time in the first couple of scenarios, but now that we're up to Phantom of Truth, we have at least acceptable decks. If you want to limit yourself to core + Carcosa packs in order, I wouldn't recommend playing higher than Standard difficulty. If you'll go with all Carcosa cards, you might be able to go up to Hard. Skipping Dunwich hurts the mystic more than any other class, in my opinion.
  13. That swings it the other way. Dueling at that point becomes a useless tool for the initiator, who probably won't bother putting duel cards in his deck because he knows they won't get him the effects he wants. It's a tough balance to walk, and it's not like I have a great answer. Putting in a really powerful duel where your opponent chooses who accepts would be cool, but as a general rule, I think it would make duels too weak.
  14. Night of the Zealot Redux

    Slightly off topic, but I thought of this due to the mention of sleeving cards. How do people play with sleeved cards? Sleeving the player cards is obvious and easy, and similarly for the encounter cards. What about act and agenda, or locations, or cards with story cards on the back? I've been playing with those unsleeved, but didn't know how everyone else does it. Is it worth sleeving them, and pulling them out when you need to turn them over? Or maybe look for sleeves that are clear on both sides? Just wondering what others do, thanks.