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Novellas? Done?

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Posted (edited)

They are very hard to get and probably not worth massively inflated prices. The books are fine, bite sized reads. Each is finished in an hour, tops. I wouldnt pay this price for such short books so the player cards make or break them in my opinion. Dont buy without cards. 

Speaking off, which cards make enough impact to be worth the price? Here's my opinions.

Hour of the Huntress: Skip. The new weakness is rather horrific, mostly for her teammates to deal with, and the new strength is of questionable usefulness.  Can be funny when youre sitting on 30+ XP in scenario 4 or 5.

Dirge of reason: Get. The alternate weakness is annoying in its own right but much safer in the long run, the strength helps shift Roland into much clue-heavier territory.  

Fight the black wind: Skip, these alternatives kinda just suck. The weakness single handedly ruins scenarios while the strength isnt much help at all. The books is really fun though, a shame. 

Deep gate: Get. The strength and weakness cards are really cool, this is one of those weaknesses that is actually a lot of fun to work around and get wrid of, but can still kill you if youre doing badly. The strength is also super thematic and makes full use of Silas's skillset. Not to mention that Silas hasnt been released yet, he's a tonn of fun.

Ire of the Void: Get until Norman is released, then skip. The weakness is really mild, it'll eat an action or two to kill, ammo from a spell or a friendly gun. The strength is one of the most useless i've seen, the card is just bad and doesnt mitigate or accentuate Norman as a character (for comparison, Skidds's strength is a real MEH but is still more useful than Norman's). Norman is really cool though so if you see this book on a shelf somewhere before he's released officially then grab it.

 

 

Edited by tsuruki

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Posted (edited)
On 5/16/2019 at 11:44 AM, phillos said:

Three so far didn't appear because they were introduced after the fact.  Calvin, Sefina and Daniela.

I started this thread with a full head of long luxurious hair.  Now I'm bald.  My only solace is that you don't actually have doubles of the book I'm looking for currently.

I just ordered my copy of The Deep Gate, so I now have dups of all and my collection of the investigators  is up to date. By the by, Miniature Market has Ire of the Void, The Deep Gate, and To Fight the Black Wind in stock as of my posting!

Edited by Captain Mayhem
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Posted (edited)

I wouldn't mind getting the Silas one... but does anyone know how the actual novella was? Was it any good? I don't plan on getting every one, so I'm picking and choosing based on my favorites. What I'm looking for is something that is interesting with a bit of mystery and a plot that unwinds over the course of the book. It doesn't have to be deep (pun intended).

I'm not really into the pulp action where things go bump in the night, and then the hero kills them, and then that's it. I'm not really sure what to expect out of a Silas novella.

Edited by Soakman

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27 minutes ago, Soakman said:

I wouldn't mind getting the Silas one... but does anyone know how the actual novella was? Was it any good? I don't plan on getting every one, so I'm picking and choosing based on my favorites. What I'm looking for is something that is interesting with a bit of mystery and a plot that unwinds over the course of the book. It doesn't have to be deep (pun intended).

I'm not really into the pulp action where things go bump in the night, and then the hero kills them, and then that's it. I'm not really sure what to expect out of a Silas novella.

Silas starts in Arkham but centers around Innsmouth and Devil's Reef. I think it might fit what you're looking for.

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1 hour ago, Soakman said:

I wouldn't mind getting the Silas one... but does anyone know how the actual novella was? Was it any good? I don't plan on getting every one, so I'm picking and choosing based on my favorites. What I'm looking for is something that is interesting with a bit of mystery and a plot that unwinds over the course of the book. It doesn't have to be deep (pun intended).

I'm not really into the pulp action where things go bump in the night, and then the hero kills them, and then that's it. I'm not really sure what to expect out of a Silas novella.

The Silas novella is one of the better ones, but it suffers heavily from being a novella. Or, to put it another way, the plot of the story is huge in scale and feels like something that would be the focus of a full-length novel or a campaign in a game, but the ultimate solution and climax are very underwhelming because they have to wrap it all up in the space of a novella. It's like a good TV show that has a plot planned for 7 seasons, but the writers find out during the first season that it's going to be cancelled so they hurry to wrap up as best they can. It has some decent action scenes, a lot of fun interactions, some nice secondary characters, and pleasing nautical content. Chances are, given what you've said, you'll probably enjoy The Deep Gate but it'll leave you feeling a bit unsatisfied.

I'd say that Ire of the Void novella suffers in much the same way, though to a slightly lesser extent. To Fight The Black Wind is probably the best of the novellas, since it not only has pretty solid writing and good pacing, but also has an excellent sense of the right scale for a novella; it doesn't feel particularly rushed. I didn't care for Hour of the Huntress at all, it felt very vapid and uninspiring, with annoying, creepy secondary characters and a mystery better suited to the Scooby Gang. And I haven't read Dirge of Reason at all, since the alternative art for Roland Banks is really bad!

 

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5 hours ago, Allonym said:

I haven't read Dirge of Reason at all, since the alternative art for Roland Banks is really bad!

 

Don't buy it for the art. Buy it for the signatures.

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Posted (edited)

If I had to rank them I'd say Jenny's was my second favorite looking back after Carolyn's.  Hour and Black Wind both felt like they told a good novella length tale.  To Fight The Black Wind was my favorite and I believe it was exactly because the story was scoped properly.  Also I think all the characters in that one felt like they had enough time to become engaging.  Hour was entertaining in a very pulp way.  Jenny's book is way more playful and adventurous than the others.  She has a pretty colorful cast of supporting characters in the book that have yet to receive cards in any of the games I believe.  I look forward to seeing some of them show up eventually.

Then Ire and Deep Gate sit below at roughly the same level.  I agree that Deep Gate and Ire were a bit too ambitious for a novella and therefore feel like they wrap up too soon.  I enjoyed them both (they were very entertaining topics), but I was left wanting more from them.  Ire has a more interesting plot, but I think Deep Gate's Silas was a better realized character.  He was pretty entertaining, and as pointed out the nautical setting felt well considered and was fun to read.  Ire has Norman doing some stuff that I found odd for the character.  Not a big deal, but they wouldn't have been my choices if I was writing Norman. 

Dirge is last for me.  Dirge was fine, but kind of unimpressive compared to the other stories.  I had to think hard to recall the conclusion of that one.  I feel like they could have gone a bit farther with the plot, and Roland comes off a bit bland in my opinion as a main protagonist for a novella.  I think that could be balanced by giving him interesting supporting characters to bounce off of, and he does have one memorable supporting character.  Though I feel like that character isn't present enough in the novella to lift Roland up throughout the book.  It feels like that character could have been explored more.  He sort of comes and goes with minimal impact.  Roland needed a real "buddy cop" partner I feel.  A Sheriff Truman, a Scully, a Reggie Hammond ...

I did finally get a physical copy of Deep Gate so now my collection is complete.  So my anxiety over the subject has subsided.  Hopefully in their next round of novellas they've managed to work out their demand/production issues.

Edited by phillos

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20 hours ago, Moon-beast King said:

just was wondering if there was any new novels that were going to be published. Already know the past ones are in a cycle of being reprinted.  Just wanna see Rex in his own novel.

There's nothing announced at the moment, @Moon-beast King - they've certainly not said there won't ever be further novellas, but they've also never given even a sniff that there will be.... so we watch and wait.

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I would be very curious what the future is of these Novella products.  I'm also enjoying the L5R novellas and I'm hoping they continue past the point where they hit one for each of the clans.

The Arkham books feel like they were wildy successful so you'd think they would commission more now that they can more accurately gauge the demand.  That said I don't know what the lead time would be for the books if they were waiting to see the success of the first round of books before commissioning the second round.  Novellas are shorter than a novel but they still take time to write.

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I went and obsessively got the books, I enjoyed them and the cards but as a general rule I dont play with the secondary cards.

Roland's are cool, but the basic ones are no better or worse, the gun in particular can be clutch!

Jenny, I hate Jennie's replacements with a passion. At least the  book was nice.

Silas actually has nice replacements, the weakness and strength offer cool abilities and challenges.

Norman has very flat strength and weakness cards, the strength is useless but the weakness also goes down like a real chump.

Carolyn has a cat. Cats rule but that weakness.... MAN.

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11 hours ago, tsuruki said:

I went and obsessively got the books, I enjoyed them and the cards but as a general rule I dont play with the secondary cards.

Jenny, I hate Jennie's replacements with a passion. 

 

Jenny's secondary cards are the only ones that I have used, and yeah they mostly aren't all that great.

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Posted (edited)

I remembered seeing an announcement about this so I did some digging.  Apparently in April 2019 Asmodee announced that they were forming Aconyte to publish their books.  The first books published by Aconyte will be published in late spring 2020. And on their website you can clearly see art from Arkham Horror. So I think it's safe to say that we might see some books next year.

https://aconytebooks.com/press-releases/press-release-aconyte-books-and-simon-schuster-enter-sales-and-distribution-agreement/

There's even a countdown for when their first books will come out.

https://aconytebooks.com/books-coming-soon/

Edited by Antimarkovnikov

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Posted (edited)

Yes, I assume that the reason there has been such a prolonged delay between books is that Asmodee has taken over the IP to produce the novella tie-ins through Aconyte publishing via Simon and Schuster distribution.

It would still be nice to have a confirmation that there are no other ones coming out from FFG directly before then. I'm impatiently waiting for some solid news one way or the other. I'm a reader and obviously love the game, so I'm in for the novellas about my fave investigators.

Just finished the Silas one and while some elements (notably the horror elements) were done well and the theme was spot on, I was really not a fan of the author's plodding pacing, repetitious use of some details, and frequent italics used for emphasis during dialog. 

(If you're reading this, please forgive my critique, I know that good writing is not easy and often taken for granted! It's not meant as a jab, I still enjoyed the book! It's a shorter story so my personal preferences did not stand in the way of the fun and adventure that your story provided!)

Edited by Soakman

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3 minutes ago, Soakman said:

Yes, I assume that the reason there has been such a prolonged delay between books is that Asmodee has taken over the IP to produce the novella tie-ins through Aconyte publishing via Simon and Schuster distribution.

It would still be nice to have a confirmation that there are no other ones coming out from FFG directly before then. I'm impatiently waiting for some solid news one way or the other. I'm a reader and obviously love the game, so I'm in for the novellas about my fave investigators.

I'm sure we'll get some news articles announcing new books as Spring of next year draws closer.  If we do get any news before then it'll probably just be a confirmation that they are working on books but without any details about which books they're working on.

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1 hour ago, Soakman said:

Yes, I assume that the reason there has been such a prolonged delay between books is that Asmodee has taken over the IP to produce the novella tie-ins through Aconyte publishing via Simon and Schuster distribution.

It would still be nice to have a confirmation that there are no other ones coming out from FFG directly before then. I'm impatiently waiting for some solid news one way or the other. I'm a reader and obviously love the game, so I'm in for the novellas about my fave investigators.

Just finished the Silas one and while some elements (notably the horror elements) were done well and the theme was spot on, I was really not a fan of the author's plodding pacing, repetitious use of some details, and frequent italics used for emphasis during dialog. 

(If you're reading this, please forgive my critique, I know that good writing is not easy and often taken for granted! It's not meant as a jab, I still enjoyed the book! It's a shorter story so my personal preferences did not stand in the way of the fun and adventure that your story provided!)

That's a fair critique.  I like the characters in that book and the setting description was fantastic.  all the nautical description was great and felt well informed.  The book though was paced too slow for a novella.  It should have moved faster.

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