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How many people use optional rules?

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Such as but not limited to the ones provided by Richard Launius? Some of them have been incorporated into the game design as the expansions have come out but I was wondering which (if any) that you use. Our group almost always deals out multiple investigators (except for the league play), leaves the gate tokens face down (until something reveals it), and chooses whether or not we travel through gates that are on locations (unless a gate opens on us, then we are sucked in and delayed as normal).  Do you use any alternate rules for your games?

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Investigators:  Random selection of two ~ pick one (we usally play with four Investigators)

GOO:  Selected by my 10-year old daughter who loves Amanda Sharpe (they're both Honors students)

Gate Markers:  Face down until someone travels into the Outer World

The Professor

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I'm always experimenting with optional rules but most fall by the wayside after a few games. 

These have lasted: 

1)  We meld the Movement and Encounters phases.

2) I keep the Mythos decks separate and roll a die to determine the deck from which I draw.

3) I've also separated the Other Worlds so that most of the encounters are in a named encounter.

4) I've edited most of the injury and madness cards thanks to Strange Eons

5) I've also made up some additional investigators that I think we will continue to use thanks to strange eons.

6) I have dozens of heralds and Old Ones again thanks to strange eons but most usually only get one showing.  Most are based around an unknown Old One theme.

 

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- Pick investigator out of 3 or 4
- Stop reading encounters just before you have to make a decision and/or until you know what check to make. Consequenses are red after the check.
- Always take Injury / Madness cards when Unconscious / Insane
- Always Epic battle when AO awakes
- Oh and 6's two successes with shotgun only if you use the shotgun happy.gif

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Jake yet again said:

An Investigator may pay one movement point to move from the Woods, Blasted Heath, Causeway or Falcon Point to the Outskirts or vice versa is a pretty popular one round here.

 

 Interesting. How does that benefit a player?...

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Julia said:

DoctorDR said:

 

 Interesting. How does that benefit a player?...

 

 

You can clean the Outskirts from monsters, decreasing the chance that the Terror level increases.

Of course... stupid question... well, that sounds cool... I am going to try it.

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Nephilim said:

- Oh and 6's two successes with shotgun only if you use the shotgun happy.gif

Though that's not a house/optional rule to begin with as only Cross and Bullwhip have been clarified as having their special ability usable even when not actually allocating a hand to them.

 

For me:

Shotgun does NOTHING vs Physical Immunity or Weapon Immunity

I mulligan any investigator that was in the previous game, because even using 4 investigators solo, having the even one same investigator two games in a row is boring. Single random investigators always, no picking (when solo, I pick #7, #13, #21 and #33).

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Dam said:

I mulligan any investigator that was in the previous game, because even using 4 investigators solo, having the even one same investigator two games in a row is boring.

We use a similar method to avoid repeated games with the same investigators, and we do the same for the Ancient Ones when we choose them randomly (sometimes we just pick one).

We always use the Epic Battle cards and sometimes mix in other optional components from different expansions, but other than that we always try to play by the book.

-Villain

 

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We always do completely random investigators.

Epic battle cards always.

Always use the injury/madness cards when an investigator is reduced to 0 stamina or 0 sanity.

We do not use the rule that allows you to spend a clue token to automatically get a die even if your modifier is negative.

For example if a check requires you to make a Sneak -2 and you only  have a Sneak of 1 we play where you would have to spend TWO clue tokens to get one die for the check.We dont like the idea that you can have a negative modifier and ALWAYS spend one clue token to get a die.It is just a rule that we really enjoy.

We always use all of the allies so when the terror level increases we discard three allies.

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We're trying out a rule where you spend only one turn in an Other World, but during the encounters phase you have three encounters in a row.  You get back to Arkham quicker, but you're a lot more likely to end up in LiTaS.  Also, people are much more scared of R'lyeh now.

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We split the Ally deck into two decks: Ma's Deck (11 cards) and the Citizen Deck (23 cards).  Ma's Deck is the "official" deck, 11 Allies randomly dealt and available for selection at Ma's (or retrieval from the box by Charlie).  If you are told to draw a random Ally, you draw from this deck.  The Citizen Deck is everyone else: they're still "in town", just not boarding at Ma's.  If you gain a specific Ally (from an Encounter), you may search for it in the Citizen Deck.  If a card is put into play from the Citizen Deck, it must be replaced by a random card from Ma's deck: the number of cards in Ma's Deck + the number of Allies in play + the current Terror Track number must always equal 11.  When Allies are discarded due to a rise in the Terror Track, discard 1 from Ma's Deck and 2 (3 if you just closed a store) from the Citizen Deck.  (Basically, my cult got fed up with drawing a rare Ally Encounter (and actually having the cost to acquire it), and then finding out that particular Ally wasn't in the game.  I've always been fine with the "consolation prizes", but they were getting peeved.)

Sister Mary can make a Will (-1) Check to reroll her Blessing Upkeep roll.  No Clues may be used for this roll.

If playing with the Innsmouth or Kingsport Board, sometimes we use the "extra" two Aquatic Tokens to "flood" the Merchant District and Rivertown Streets.  If playing with Dunwich, we sometimes "flood" Bishop's Brook Bridge and Cold Spring Glen.

If not playing with the town itself, we will tuck the Dunwich and Kingsport boards under the Arkham Board (so that just the Other Worlds stick out) and play with all Gates.

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Really, it's practically impossible to play this game without house rules, no matter how much some people try.  If my group were to play with any of yours, I bet we would find a number of things that were odd about the way in which you want to play, or the rules you want to use, or the interpretation you have of Flute of the Outer Gods or whatever. 

Off the top of my head, and leaving ambiguous rule interpretations aside, here are some of the things we do.

We try to have some flexibility in character selection, if playing in a group.  Usually, we pick from 2 or 3.  Alone, I will usually just play who I deal, unless I really want a particular character for some odd reason.  Always characters before Ancient One and Herald are revealed. 

I like playing with all of the allies, too, and I do the Ma's/Citizen deck split even though my group never seems to understand what I am doing with their allies, and why they can't just take the one they want all of the time. 

I'm quite fond of "Draw a Corruption Card if you defeat a Hex monster" as a blanket rule (as opposed to just using it with the Black Goat Herald).    Whether we play with it in my group is directly related to whether I remember, and how much the person fighting the Hex monster fusses about it. 

In a group, I definitely try to enforce the "make a choice, then see the results" method of having encounters.  It's much more interesting, if you don't know what all of the encounters do already. 

 

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DoctorDR said:

Julia said:

 

DoctorDR said:

 

 Interesting. How does that benefit a player?...

 

 

You can clean the Outskirts from monsters, decreasing the chance that the Terror level increases.

 

 

Of course... stupid question... well, that sounds cool... I am going to try it.

::Blink blink:: I would froth at the mouth (more) if someone tried to do that in one of my games.

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avec said:

 

We're trying out a rule where you spend only one turn in an Other World, but during the encounters phase you have three encounters in a row.  You get back to Arkham quicker, but you're a lot more likely to end up in LiTaS.  Also, people are much more scared of R'lyeh now.

 

 

Heh...  That actually sounds pretty cool.  It would make for an interesting herald :')  So Find Gate is useless now?  Closing victories must be quite a bit easier, Dreamlands a fun vacation spot, and Gloria considerably more powerful.

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flamethrower49 said:

Really, it's practically impossible to play this game without house rules, no matter how much some people try.  If my group were to play with any of yours, I bet we would find a number of things that were odd about the way in which you want to play, or the rules you want to use, or the interpretation you have of Flute of the Outer Gods or whatever. 

Off the top of my head, and leaving ambiguous rule interpretations aside, here are some of the things we do.

We try to have some flexibility in character selection, if playing in a group.  Usually, we pick from 2 or 3.  Alone, I will usually just play who I deal, unless I really want a particular character for some odd reason.  Always characters before Ancient One and Herald are revealed. 

I like playing with all of the allies, too, and I do the Ma's/Citizen deck split even though my group never seems to understand what I am doing with their allies, and why they can't just take the one they want all of the time. 

I'm quite fond of "Draw a Corruption Card if you defeat a Hex monster" as a blanket rule (as opposed to just using it with the Black Goat Herald).    Whether we play with it in my group is directly related to whether I remember, and how much the person fighting the Hex monster fusses about it. 

In a group, I definitely try to enforce the "make a choice, then see the results" method of having encounters.  It's much more interesting, if you don't know what all of the encounters do already. 

 

I think the Draw a Corruption Card when defeating Hex monsters is a good rule...  I'm not going to use it just because I like standard rules most of the time :') but I guess if I have some friends around I might throw it in to spice up the game a bit.

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I have a few tried-but-true house rules. Note that I have stopped using other good house rules, but only because they conflict or break down with expansions and the expansions do a better job.

  • If you go unconscious or insane and don't take an injury or madness card, the penalty is different. For unconscious, you lose (round up): half your total trophies, half your money, half your non-spell items. For insane, you lose half your total trophies, half your total spells+allies, half your clues.
  • Kevin Wilson's clues-per-seals rule: During final battle, each investigator may not spend more clues in an entire round than there are elder signs on the board.
  • A variation on KW's epic battle variant: when I set up the epic battle deck, I always put End of Everything as the last red card, and Sinister Plot as the last green card. I then randomly remove one other green card for each elder sign fewer than 6 on the board. Finally, at the start of a final combat round, I roll a d6 and take that card off the top. If the roll is higher than the remaining cards, of course, it's End of Everything. This variant mixes up green and red a bit, and makes sealing more important.
  • Investigators may not receive clues during final combat. (Important with Nyarlathotep and Roland Banks or Rex + Personal Story; easier as a blanket rule).
  • When reading an encounter, I only read to the end of a choice, or to the end of a sentence that has a skill check in it. This has vastly improved the tension and RPG feel of the game.
  • Each investigator may only have one vehicle other than the Patrol Wagon and White Ship. If they ever own more, they must immediately leave all but one on their current space. Investigators may freely take these vehicles (leaving any extras they have), but at the start of Upkeep, you must roll a die for each such abandoned vehicle, discarding it from the board on a 1.
  • Daisy Walker may, once per turn, lower the sanity cost of a spell by 1 (instead of all spells being cheaper always). She has one fewer focus (1).
  • Patrice Hathaway may only allow other investigators to spend her clues to add to skill checks. She also has one fewer focus (1).
  • Wendy Adams cannot become the deputy.
  • A Bast token costs only $1, and she checks every investigator, clockwise, to see if any qualify to become Beloved (rather than just the First Player).
  • I leave Cultists in the cup with Tulzscha and Abhoth.
  • With Tulzscha and Rhan-Tegoth, Cultists still cause R-T's effects (including drawing a new monster) but they remain on the board. R-T's ability is tracked with Brood tokens instead.
  • The yellow-blue dual-color Other World card now only initiates battle in Lost Carcosa, and instead you fight Hastur.
  • I use two very simple and effective anti-dilution rules to make sure that the Dunwich Horror, Deep One Rising, and Three Acts stay dangerous when adding expansions.
  • All 34 allies are used each game, but are divided up randomly: Young Zoog may only be obtained via his specific OW encounter. 11 are "Ma's" allies, and can only be obtained when an encounter or effect allows you to take "an ally of your choice" (including Ma's Recruit). The other 22 are only obtained when you take a random ally, or a specifically-named ally (including setup). Allies are always discarded to the 22 pile. When the terror level increases, I take one off the Ma's deck and 2 off the not-Ma's deck, but it only counts as one lost ally for certain effects (i.e. Glaaki).
  • When selecting a random AO, herald, or location encounter (or DH stats card), I roll a d6 and take that card off the top. That way I won't see the same one twice in a row.
  • I have 16 custom made investigators, to add a little variety (and balance) to the investigator pool.

Here are some old house-rules that I used at one time or another:

  • StormKnight's variant (obsoleted by Dunwich Horror and on)
  • Face-down gates until entered (displaced by some Mission and Mythos cards)
  • You do not have to enter gates or purchase drawn items at shops unless you want to (dropped due to potential for abuse)
  • Sister Mary starts with 3 clue tokens (displaced by her personal story cards)
  • The AO requires one extra success to remove a doom token during final combat (obsoleted by Epic Battle and my other rules)
  • After shopping you have a random encounter (obsoleted by Ursula Downs)
  • Custom-made heralds were displaced by the large variety in official ones. Kingsport really was the tipping point there
  • I also used to use a much clunkier anti-dilution rule that involved making two Mythos decks and custom dice. Also, it didn't account for every possible expansion combination like the newer one I've developed. No thanks; the revised version is much better.

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Avi_dreader said:

avec said:

 

We're trying out a rule where you spend only one turn in an Other World, but during the encounters phase you have three encounters in a row.  You get back to Arkham quicker, but you're a lot more likely to end up in LiTaS.  Also, people are much more scared of R'lyeh now.

 

 

Heh...  That actually sounds pretty cool.  It would make for an interesting herald :')  So Find Gate is useless now?  Closing victories must be quite a bit easier, Dreamlands a fun vacation spot, and Gloria considerably more powerful.

Thanks!  We ruled that Find Gate gets you back the same turn that you leave (assuming you survive).  So far, all the other worlds are noticeably harder except Celeano.  We haven't tried it with Gloria yet, though I have no problem with making her more powerful.  We did try it with Norman.  That was fun, even though we lost.  

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I don't like the face-down gates because it takes away a tactical choice from the game... given a choice between different gates within your reach, you might opt to go into a certain gate that can remove some nasty monsters from the board.   The game is already quite random... why add more randomness?

I draw 2-3 investigators and choose, usually opting for any one that I haven't played yet, or recently.  I draw a GOO randomly but give myself the option to make one redraw...  Azathoth, in particular, will usually be redrawn, as I like the possibility of there being a final battle.

I've used a few custom investigators and enjoyed that.  It's pretty easy to tell when you see a custom character or GOO whether it'd be something that would work alright, so why not?  I've also played with a custom expansion board I've been working on.

I had already used the idea of a custom investigator having the ability to move from the Woods into the Outskirts to fight monsters there, but I like the idea of making it a general rule for everyone, so I may have to try that.

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avec said:

 

Avi_dreader said:

 

avec said:

 

We're trying out a rule where you spend only one turn in an Other World, but during the encounters phase you have three encounters in a row.  You get back to Arkham quicker, but you're a lot more likely to end up in LiTaS.  Also, people are much more scared of R'lyeh now.

 

 

Heh...  That actually sounds pretty cool.  It would make for an interesting herald :')  So Find Gate is useless now?  Closing victories must be quite a bit easier, Dreamlands a fun vacation spot, and Gloria considerably more powerful.

 

 

Thanks!  We ruled that Find Gate gets you back the same turn that you leave (assuming you survive).  So far, all the other worlds are noticeably harder except Celeano.  We haven't tried it with Gloria yet, though I have no problem with making her more powerful.  We did try it with Norman.  That was fun, even though we lost.  

 

 

Heh... even cooler :') I may try and make this into a herald later.

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I take Tasks and Missions out of their respective decks and set them aside. 

If an investigator finishes an encounter at a location final location listed last on the Task, he may take the task. For example, you can pick up the task "Patrolling the Streets" at the Police Station, visit the streets, and then end the task again at the Police Station. It makes them more thematic.

The same is true for missions, except the investigator must have the sacrifice on him (ex. a gate trophy or ally) when he wants to pick up the mission.

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Partizan said:

 I take Tasks and Missions out of their respective decks and set them aside. 

If an investigator finishes an encounter at a location final location listed last on the Task, he may take the task. For example, you can pick up the task "Patrolling the Streets" at the Police Station, visit the streets, and then end the task again at the Police Station. It makes them more thematic.

The same is true for missions, except the investigator must have the sacrifice on him (ex. a gate trophy or ally) when he wants to pick up the mission.

Interesting variant! I think I'm going to try this.

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