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Morgaln

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Hi! I don't usually comment on Investigators, but this captured my attention and needs to be fixed:

 

"Once per turn, Hosea may re-roll any failed skill or Horror check while in The Abyss or The Underworld"

 

Horror checks are skill checks, so technically when you say "any failed skill check" it's enough, it already covers Horror checks, so you can cut out "Horror" from that sentence :)

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Hey, you're welcome :) You can check this in the rules, pag. 14 "A Horror check is a skill check using the investigator’s
Will value." And don't worry, Arkham has countless nuances and subtilities, it's absolutely normal losing something here and there :)

Good luck with your next creations (keep'em coming!) :) And lovely picture for Hosea :)

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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?

 

Thanks!
Astrid_zpsdc13bb37.jpgAstrid-Lee_zps8db84dc2.jpgAstrid-Lee-Front-Face_zps67e2775a.jpgAstrid-Lee-Back-Face_zps49df92b3.jpgAstrid-Lee-Marker_zpsc46f817c.jpg

Edited by Soakman

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I do like her--the problem is that her stats are very low to give me a reason to play as her. Her ability to remove Rumors is great but just once a game means that, if you get that one rumor. I would almost say, swap the ability with the Personal Story BUT, change the ability to this:

 

Astrid may Trade Clues as if they were regular items on a 2 to 1 basis.

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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.

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Patrice is over powered by far. Your girl here would be Patrice if she was done 'Normal' in my mind.

 

Her stats, the ones that are high, are ones that are sort of--vague. Like, the will happens frequently, yeah, but Luck checks don't seem nearly as common. Her ability isn't so powerful that it would warrant nerfing her stats since it's a one-time ability. I mean, let's say, hypothetically, you use her ability in a game. Suddenly, she has no special ability beyond her Personal Story. Now, let's say she FAILS her personal story. Suddenly, she is simply a character that hurts the Doom track or gets rid of every Ally but then also has completely average or below stats.

 

I didn't want to compare it to my own slight variation on this idea using 'The Skeptic' (I made one a while back but didn't publish him since I wasn't fond of the art I used) but basically, I gave him this ability:

 

Mythos Phase: Once per game, Donald may return a single Rumor Mythos card to the box. The Pass effect for the Rumor is immediately resolved.

Short-Sighted: If a Gate opens in Donald's location, he may move to an adjacent Street, rather than be drawn through.

 

His stats were 4,3,4,6,4,4 (in their respective lines). I spent some money buying him an extra Skill point and he STILL started off with 3 Common Items and some cash.

 

My point is, her one single ability is not strong enough to warrant nerfing her because it is a one-shot, very simple thing. She could definitely stand to have at least an extra Skill point or Stamina/Sanity or something to make her more mechanically feasible to play. That way, you don't have to give her an extra point in Fight, but at least having a raised Focus would be something in her favor.

 

Now, in terms of theme, as usual, I love her. I love the notion of gossip coming true--I remember imaging the same sort of thing happening to me when I was a kid and I told a lie. It usually kept me from lying--usually. XD

Edited by Dr.Faust

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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.

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Well, I try to think thematically about something like this--and I would say either Sneak or Lore. Being a gossip, especially in Arkham, you are bound to here a LOT of stuff that is mythos in some way or another. Queen Bee is a comfort, but I do think that it's usefulness is limited and therefore, she needs something else to stand her out--otherwise, she might just as well by an Ally card.

 

As for freeing up cash, consider, maybe, two  Common items and one spell? Or three common items? If you did three Commons and ditch the Make Up kit, that would leave you with $16 to do what you pleased.

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Regarding Astrid, I have actually seen and played with her ability before, and can provide some quips of feedback.  Here's proof:

 

7hPgT8n.jpg

 

Just regarding "Gospel", here's what I noticed:

  1. Most people really like the ability, or at least they like having it available and knowing that if a truly sickening Rumor comes up they can brush it away as...well,  nothing more than a rumor.
  2. I really like the ability...on not an Investigator.  The ability falls in this weird groove where it's extremely powerful, but also kinda not?  Every game I've played with Gospel the impact was always very binary, in that it was either incredibly powerful to the point of being almost unfair, or it really didn't matter at all.  In fact, most of the time the ability doesn't do anything, and every once in a while it just EXPLODES like a cannon, which is a little jarring from a balance perspective, and most notably because it will spend most games doing nothing I'd rather not spend an ENTIRE investigator's worth of abilities on something that is both too much and too little.  Ultimately the effect falls prey to a large crutch which is...
  3. ...Rumors don't really come up that often, and most of them aren't actually bad.  Rumors tend to come up a couple different ways: They can be really easy to pass and offer free rewards, or they aren't really passable but are also kind of ignorable, and a few require some major sacrifices from the team but are usually fair in that they make the donation of time and effort worthwhile.  Only a couple rumors are especially terrible, and it's only on those rumors that effects like Gospel tend to come up, suddenly turning terrible games into fairly nice games.

So, that's how I view the ability as a whole, but how does it fall on Astrid?

 

The proper way to look as Astrid in her current state is a character with no abilities, which is weird since she has a really powerful ability.  Now, Queen Bee is not quite as strong as Gospel, which is honestly a good thing since Guardian effects are usually more powerful than Investigator effects, but it still operates in the same binary fashion: ON or OFF.  At the best of times you have a character that nukes one of the worst Rumors in the game, potentially saving a lost cause.  At the worst of times you have a character with okay stats, an item of subpar value and no unique contributions to the game.  Unfortunately, there's no middle ground here, which is a sign of binary design.

 

What about her story?

 

Astrid needs to bury a Rumor, preventing misinformation from spreading, in order to succeed. For preventing a lie from breaking out you are rewarded by being able to trade clue tokens like items, making her an information courier.  The implication here is that she has proven herself trustworthy to others by...hiding a secret that no one knows about?

 

Um......okay?

 

BUT, she will fail her story if the terror level reaches 6, at which point she spreads her mad ravings with the town, who will either take it to heart and get outta dodge, or accept it knowing that the town is in danger.  But, what about how this affects Astrid, the person that has clearly fallen into despair?

 

She's unaffected.

 

Wait, go back to her pass condition.  I thought the whole point of this character was to stop Rumors from happening in the first place, but in order to pass you need to...not do that?

 

Hmm.  It might just be me, but I'm feeling some disconnect here between story and execution.  I understand the theme you are trying to employ, namely a character that lives by word of mouth to the point that it becomes detrimental.  You wanted to enforce that theme by bringing in a connection to rumors, and that's definitely the RIGHT the direction but it just doesn't seem to work like this.

 

It's not usually the case, but for Astrid I think the first step to reworking the design into something more reasonable might start with reworking her story.  And no, I don't mean her personal story CARDS.

 

I mean the person.  The actual lore of this character might need to change to better inspire design.

 

Maybe the right way is to make her a smarter, more intellectual character that is fascinated with the nature of rumors and their ability to spread, thus leading her to rumors regarding this so called "Ancient One", but ultimately her curiosity puts her in bad situations.  Or, perhaps you can better attack this angle you have now with a character that thrives off of rumors to the point that it's unhealthy, and goes on a maddening quest to prove to others that what she has to say matters.

 

All I want to say is that while there may to be ways to run through this boulder and get all the effects nice and tight, I believe you'd be better served walking around the border and looking at it from a different angle altogether.

Edited by Shining Aquas

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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).

Edited by Soakman

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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.

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That he was. Some of his more obscure work showed it, with 'Old Bugs' being about as blatant as I have ever seen him--basically, he, the narrator, mentions that he told his friend (the main character) that drinking was a wicked habit and led to corruption of the most reprehensible kind when the main character expressed a desire to try alcohol just once.

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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:

 

Speed:4

Sneak:4

Fight: 3

Will: 5

Lore:4

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.

Edited by Soakman

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Here's a repost from my thread, a character I just released (though she's been sitting on my hard drive for about 3 months now).

 

d9b5KZ7.jpg

 

As an investigator, Karolina functions very oddly.  While her skills are mostly average, her main ability "Living Aurora" bestows some situational power spikes.  Not a single color of the spectrum is ever useless, since there are not only Arkham Encounters for each of its colors (not to mention most encounters on Expansion Boards), but there are also monsters representing every color (Red=Fast, Orange=Aquatic, Yellow=Stationary, Green=Special, Blue=Flying, and Purple=Stalker).  Even Other World Encounters operate under most of these colors (the only missing colors are Orange and Purple).  Since you know for sure which color you will be imbued with each turn, it's highly recommended that you take the most advantage you can by planning your next couple turns out in advance.  Use your Elder Sign Pendant to manipulate your boons and take control of the early-mid game, after which you can simply opt to toss it to prevent a game-crashing monster surge.

 

Karolina is a little bit random, but that's part of the fun to the character, and she is capable of being surprisingly strong if fully utilized.

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Well, she is interesting, definitely. I'll ignore the thematics of it and stick to the mechanics here but the way I see it, she would be great for certain areas of the board and monster hunting. Of course, even her powers are limited to certain Locations (since Brown, White and Black are in there too) but yeah, I could see this working in a manner.

 

I do think the second ability is a bit redundant. I would say, maybe use it as a Pass effect on her Personal story, since it's just so oddly specific it may never come up.

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The second ability is really more fluff than anything balance related.  It's mostly there to help reinforce the theme, and I hardly expect it to come up.  BUT, it is one of those abilities that makes the player excited when it does come up, which I think is a good since it gives the player a little something to look forward to.

Edited by Shining Aquas

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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?

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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?

 

That's fair, it does definitely encourage you to have almost "predestined" pathing when playing the game, but that's also why I wanted to use the pendant as a way to manually cycle it, so the player can take some control back.

 

As for the Newspaper, it's mostly because I couldn't find a better place.  She lives in a family of actors and actresses, so there isn't a great home to represent that.  Other than that, she always seemed like a character that was in the process of trying to "discover herself", so in terms of places where she might look for information on her origins it was this or Historical Society and I chose a location that could at least trigger with her ability so that the player can experience it ASAP.  Originally she started in Player's Choice, but with her ability on top of that it seemed too strong.

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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. 

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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.)

Obi_zpsd142dc68.jpg
Obi-Laveau_zpsd7a58dd3.jpgObi-Laveau-Front-Face_zpsd8a9e606.jpgObi-Laveau-Back-Face_zps0379f6d3.jpg

Edited by Soakman

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I like Obi. A lot. Thematically, he's brilliant, fitting in with Lovecraft's image perfectly, and is a great reference in general since most of the time, Voddou gets such a bad wrap in most any form of horror.

 

His ability is great. I absolutely love the idea of being a team player and buffing up people after he's finished going through a gate on his own. What's more, it really makes you stop and ask yourself if sealing gates are worth the risk of losing his powerful ability to help in the future--his reward for passing his personal story is good, to be sure, but it's fine that it's not so powerful since his regular ability is just so darn useful. I cannot tell you how excited this particular investigator has made me. You're an excellent writer, by the way.

 

I would change the wording for his Pass condition:

 

If there are 2 Sanity Tokens on two different Otherworld Locations...etc"

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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

Edited by Soakman

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