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jcook119

BGOTW: Why join the One of a Thousand cult?

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Good afternoon,

I just picked up the BGOTW expansion, and looked through the cards. After reviewing the Cult Encounter cards, I have a serious question. Why would anyone choose to join the Cult? It seems to me that the few beneficial cult encounter results (at the cost of Corruption cards) in no way equals the drawback of introducing corruption cards into the game. Am I missing something?

Thanks,

James

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Corruptions aren't that bad. For a corruption or two you can get spells (even any spell you want in one encounter), unique items, common items, money... all of these are well worth the corruptions. Also, if you really fear the corruptions you can almost always choose to move to the street. I even find the "bad" encounters to be fun. Raise the terror level by 1? cool. It almost never raises. Gain 1 corruption just like that? Meh. Remove an ally from the game? Sounds like fun! Pay your fee? Who needs Duke anyways, right? Cult Encounters is one of the best things in this game IMHO. Too bad that cult memberships are so rare :( lol it seems I have been corrupted by the the Black Goat of the Woods! Ia! Ia! The Goat with a thousand Young!

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jcook119 said:

I have a serious question. Why would anyone choose to join the Cult? It seems to me that the few beneficial cult encounter results (at the cost of Corruption cards) in no way equals the drawback of introducing corruption cards into the game. Am I missing something?

 

Not really. It's a mystery to me as well.

Kroen's right about corruption cards not being all bad - some of them produce brilliant effects that there's no other way to get. However, generally speaking, if you haven't got any corruptions, it's not worth trying to get them, because they're impossible to get rid of, and once you've got them they rapidly multiply and suddenly you're getting eaten alive and the Old One is waking up. On the other hand I do quite enjoy the way that they look harmless at first, and then spiral out of control. It adds a very pleasing element of panic and despair to the game.

The Goat Cult encounters deck is indeed lousy though. There are a few good ones, but obviously it should have been like the Silver Twilight Lodge: a few crap encounters, and a handful of good encounters that are so powerful you explode with glee. Instead, it's a whole lot of crap encounters and a few mediocre things whcih are usually not worth the price.

The really perplexing thing is that there are almost no ways of getting Goat membership. It's something like seven Arkham encounter cards scattered across four or five different locations. Your best chance of getting one is camping at the Woods for about half the game, and even then, the odds aren't good.

The Black Goat expansion is all about the herald. Play with the herald and ignore the cult memberships/encounters complete. The herald will give you all the corruptions, which is the "fun" part. And by fun, I of course mean "aaaargh."

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Actually Cult Memberships are quite easy to accomplish if playing the Goat. Once someone gets Speak Your Friend everyone are cult members.

And I'm really saddened by your blasphemy, theo. Cult Encounters are brilliant. They're my favorite component of the game.

Also, if you want coult memberships and corruptions without playing with the Goat you can check my latest entry in the Custom Items, Allies and Skills thread :)

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The 1000 cult was a bizzare idea for that reason. There are really no encounters there that youo wouldn't be better off going somewhere else to have an encounter

 

The BGotW is all about the Herad but I feel pagin rites completly ruins the game. Today we played with the BG herald minus pagan rites. It was amazing considereing we had about 8 monster surges in a 6 player game. at the end we had 3 coruption cards left in the deck. One player got hit with downward spiral like 3 times and just was collecting them. We won by closing all gates.

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Here, here.

Pagan Rites is an absurd ability, particularly for a herald and not an AO.

Cult encounters suck, but eh. If it didn't cost more stamina to join than to refuse and fail the check, that would be different. So far it seems the penalty for joining is a bit larger than for refusing.

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Tibs said:

Here, here.

Pagan Rites is an absurd ability, particularly for a herald and not an AO.

Cult encounters suck, but eh. If it didn't cost more stamina to join than to refuse and fail the check, that would be different. So far it seems the penalty for joining is a bit larger than for refusing.

You people are all insane! Regradless that cult encounters are awesome and fun and flavorful you seem to be forgetting that unless you're having a cult encounter at the woods, black cave or unvisited isle there's a serious risk you will draw "a gate and a monster appears"! Just for that cult encounters are miles better than normal encounters. The worst of the worst cult encounters aren't even half as bad as a gate appearing.

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I've never played with the Black Goat Herald because Pagan Rites seemed so absurdly unbalancing.  I very much hope that neither Dagon nor Hydra are ridiculous like that.   

As for the Cult enounters, yes, many of them are bad, but I think you guys are seriously underestimating the potential benefits of the Cult.  Jaqueline Fine joined the Cult and primarily as a result of that choice ended up with SEVENTEEN clue tokens and numerous good items.  The Nightmarish Visions corruption card gave her a lot (pretty appropriate for a psychic, eh?) and her membership in the Cult won her three more Clue tokens as a result of a BGOTW encounter card at the Historical Society.  Joining is definitely a gamble, but what in Arkham isn't?   

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Solan said:

I've never played with the Black Goat Herald because Pagan Rites seemed so absurdly unbalancing.

 

I forget - is 'Pagan Rites' the ability which adds Doom tokens when there's a monster surge? If that's the one you mean, then yes, it is fairly twattish, I don't know why it's on there. All it does is shorten the game and remove one of your strategic options. Luckily, I recently realized that the words 'Pagan Rites' are an anagram of the words "Ignore this **** stupid ability completely and just use the Herald anyway."

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thecorinthian said:

I forget - is 'Pagan Rites' the ability which adds Doom tokens when there's a monster surge? If that's the one you mean, then yes, it is fairly twattish, I don't know why it's on there. All it does is shorten the game and remove one of your strategic options.

What strategic option are you referring to here? Hopefully not "Leave gates open, who cares if they surge, at least the GOO won't get any doom tokens for them".

As to shortening the game, it's been a while since I played, but I don't recall those BGotW Herald games taking any less than the 2-2.5h that games without it take.

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thecorinthian said:

jcook119 said:

 

I have a serious question. Why would anyone choose to join the Cult? It seems to me that the few beneficial cult encounter results (at the cost of Corruption cards) in no way equals the drawback of introducing corruption cards into the game. Am I missing something?

 

 

 

Not really. It's a mystery to me as well.

Kroen's right about corruption cards not being all bad - some of them produce brilliant effects that there's no other way to get. However, generally speaking, if you haven't got any corruptions, it's not worth trying to get them, because they're impossible to get rid of...

Actually, you can get rid of them bu closing a gate with the same symbol, and there is an encounter at the Science Building where you can pa $3 to get rid of each corruption.

I like to join the cult when I can. I don't often get good stuff from them, but one game one of our players went hog wild with the cult, and was collecting corruptions left and right. At one point he had 5 or 6 corruptions, including NIghtmarish Visions and Endless Greed. He was raking in the stuff.

I do wish they had some better Cult Encounters, or more reasons for wanting to join other than theme flavor. But being a cult member does occasionally offer a benefit.

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Dam said:

thecorinthian said:

 

 

 

What strategic option are you referring to here? Hopefully not "Leave gates open, who cares if they surge, at least the GOO won't get any doom tokens for them".

 

...yes, that was what I meant. Don't you ever get into a situation where a monster surge is preferable to a doom token? It happens to me all the time. If my group are trying to close gates, but won't be able to seal them and can't close them all, we're faced with a choice of which ones to leave open, and usually it makes more sense to leave the gates at high-frequency locations open, so that you'll prevent a few doom tokens. If you've got a good enough monster-hunter investigator on the team, the monster surge is actually helpful because you can use the trophies.

Seriously, this is a pretty basic element of strategy, isn't it? Most of the time you can't seal or even close all the gates, so you need to make a determination about whether you want more doom tokens or monster surges. The Black Goat makes the decision less interesting, because you're getting a Doom token either way, so it's seldom worth leaving gates open.

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Yeah, I think thats pretty valid.

Most things in Arkham will let you chose between two horrible, horrible things.

The King In Yellow comes to mind, which lets you either add a Doom Token or take a Blight. There's Eihort who gives you his Token when you seal a gate. And the Act Cards which either come into play, or require you to add a massive amount of tokens.

The idea is: any element of choice in Arkham is, in my opinion, Strategy. Its weighing in the Pros and Cons of a situation. Think You can handle monster surges better then gate tokens? leave the gate. Think that Your too Ill-equipped to kill monsters, but have some room left on the track for some tokens? Close those gates. I have friends who chose not to seal to conserve clue tokens to seal other areas or kill particularly powerful monsters. (and mostly due to the fact that we have had bad experiences in sealing. I remember a game where all three gates we sealed ended up bursting one after the other. And one of them was in Dunwhich. They didnt even block a single gate. They just burst :P)

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thecorinthian said:

Dam said:

 

thecorinthian said:

 

 

 

What strategic option are you referring to here? Hopefully not "Leave gates open, who cares if they surge, at least the GOO won't get any doom tokens for them".

 

 

 

...yes, that was what I meant. Don't you ever get into a situation where a monster surge is preferable to a doom token? It happens to me all the time. If my group are trying to close gates, but won't be able to seal them and can't close them all, we're faced with a choice of which ones to leave open, and usually it makes more sense to leave the gates at high-frequency locations open, so that you'll prevent a few doom tokens. If you've got a good enough monster-hunter investigator on the team, the monster surge is actually helpful because you can use the trophies.

Seriously, this is a pretty basic element of strategy, isn't it? Most of the time you can't seal or even close all the gates, so you need to make a determination about whether you want more doom tokens or monster surges. The Black Goat makes the decision less interesting, because you're getting a Doom token either way, so it's seldom worth leaving gates open.

I do, but doesn't mean I like (which is why I like BGotW Herald). Monster surges should be something you don't want, not something you wish, because "well, actually, that surge added a few monsters, but otherwise, nothing; we're not any closer to losing in terms of doom tokens". You have to tackle gates more actively, can't wander around the town, shopping, camping at Newspaper, that sorta stuff (with BGotW).

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Dam said:

 

You have to tackle gates more actively, can't wander around the town, shopping, camping at Newspaper, that sorta stuff (with BGotW).

 

Well, that's fair enough, I guess. I suppose that no matter how annoying an AH card is, there is some merit in lots of cards existing which just make the game more difficult in interesting ways. At least there are varied challenges available, even if some of them make the gameplay itself a bit more frustrating.

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Thanks for the replies so far. The main reason that I was asking is due to the flavor text on the rules and on the game box. It implies that the Investigators should try to infiltrate the cult so that they can discover info to fight it. Since there obviously isn't any requirement to do so, then I would expect that joining the cult would give you access to some sort of power or ability that would be tempting to players. The moral choices involved and the potential tragic outcomes are what make things like this worth having in the game. If there is no need to use it, and no special power or benefit to tempt players, who's going to do it other than for purely RP reasons?

As for the "I'll get beat up and lose some Stamina if I dont join" replies, I guess you guys don't do much monster-slaying eh? :)

Thanks,

James

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The best house rule I've seen is that when you're a member of the Cult you get to draw the location encounter and the Cult encounter and then decide which one you want. Because yeah, there's some cool stuff at the Black Cave, the Cult Encounters aren't usually worth chasing after. Joinging the cult usually has a cost, and having the cult membership is by itself neutral.

 

-Frank

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It's a nice idea Frank but still strange that you have to houserule one of the core-mechanics of the expansion.

I have raised this topic before and also find no real purpose why to join the cult, but then again havn't played this expansion yet as most of my players still are rookies.

For those people that think it's a nice thematic expansion I would also like to get some kind of reward to crush the cult. It would make a great feature as a longer mission available to any investigator (un)lucky enough to have the opportunity to join them. If some of the cards were collectable proof of what the cult did and you then brought it to the newspaper or police station. When I have the time and motivation I might make a houseruled campaign how to improve the expansion because it's not bad, only a little strangely developed.

Perhaps the people at FFG was far to busy to develop Inssmouth instead so they produced Black Goat simply to keep interrest long enough until Innsmouth hit the shelves?

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Svavelvinter said:

Perhaps the people at FFG was far to busy to develop Inssmouth instead so they produced Black Goat simply to keep interrest long enough until Innsmouth hit the shelves?

God I hope so. I've noticed an accelerating downward trend in how clean and neat the game's components and mechanics are (this is aside from inter-expansion interaction). The last thing I want is for Innsmouth to be the worst one. But I remain positive—big box expansions are still kickass in their own ways.

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