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Cycle VI: The Innsmouth Conspiracy

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38 minutes ago, CSerpent said:

I'm not fluent in Arkham Files lore, but I've become aware that Innsmouth = Dagon in FFG's properties.  Does that preclude Cthulhu?

I doubt it precludes Cthulhu... But I severely doubt he'll be front and center.  When we get a Cthulhu cycle he'll be front and center.

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3 hours ago, Hyperjayman said:

So this is where Silas March officially shows up. Also Dagon.

Edit: Maybe Abigail Foreman as a Seeker investigator. She is mentioned on the story side of his card. 

I still want to see Minnie Klein before they add Abigail, haha. But bringing new investigators in would be fun either way. There's so many left that I want to see though.

I predict some kind of weird betrayal mechanic in these. With all the connection to Deep Ones, maybe there will be conflicting acts depending on whether you discover you're a Deep One or not? Or perhaps a late cycle scenario that has a race to advance either the Act or Agenda depending on whether you are Human or Deep One (There would be some way for the Agenda to advance in solo presumably as well).

Edited by Soakman

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3 minutes ago, rsdockery said:

I imagine the Seeker would be Amanda Sharpe.

It's a toss up. Amanda would be a good fit thematically, but we've got seeker cards in this cycle with Kate and camera references which could be Darrel (or Minnie Klein, lol).

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That art though! Isn't that a really nice colour scheme? I'm really pleased with the colour scheme, not just being "everything is green" for Innsmouth/Cthulhu.

The way I see it, there's 4 different ways the campaign could go, story-wise.

1: It's basically the Escape from Innsmouth RPG campaign, which more or less expands on the original story - you start out investigating in Innsmouth, possibly after an initial Arkham scenario, and end up having to run for your lives then helping the Government take down the Deep Ones.

2: It's basically a side-investigation, where you look around Innsmouth and solve A Problem without directly involving the events of the Lovecraft story, like the Mansions of Madness Innsmouth scenarios, or the first cycle of the Call of Cthulhu LCG.

3: It's basically like The Dunwich Legacy, starting with the aftermath of the Shadow over Innsmouth and dealing with a new evil plot taking place in the ruins of Innsmouth

4: Despite the name, it's more of a Cthulhu campaign, where you start out investigating a conspiracy in Innsmouth but it eventually takes you to the Pacific and a climactic confrontation on R'lyeh.

As much as I am a fan of Innsmouth in tabletop gaming, I would quite like something broader, like how Carcosa starts out in Arkham but halfway through you end up exploring 1920s France.

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1 hour ago, Allonym said:

3: It's basically like The Dunwich Legacy, starting with the aftermath of the Shadow over Innsmouth and dealing with a new evil plot taking place in the ruins of Innsmouth

I would LOVE this. I really enjoyed the idea of the sequel to The Dunwich Horror. And I'm excited to see if they do something similar with The Shadow Over Innsmouth.

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I'm assuming a combination of 3 and 4.  A Cthulhu campaign, reaching a post-Shadow Innsmouth in scenario three or four.  Some snooping there, then one or two set at sea, and the finale in R'lyeh.

The eclipse in the art smacks of the stars being right.

Of course, Newman et al always manage to surprise.

Edited by CSerpent

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I watched the livestream and they were terrible teases, mentioning that Innsmouth is going to change everything.

Very cruel.

About the only consistent thing with the cycles is that every cycle other than Dunwich has been really surprising and innovative, so about the only thing I'm sure of is that it's not going to be boring.

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I feel like Jeremy’s competitive gaming background plus deep ones plus ‘changing everything’ is adding a non 100% coop mechanic to the game or at least the cycle.  It’s a big leap but I’ve got nothing to lose by throwing out a speculation haha.

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We watched the livestream a few hours later and there is no reason for them to wait anymore for the official announcement, so hopefully we will be seeing it soon.  
I love the art and the use of foreshadowing with the approaching eclipse. 

I do hope it won’t steer away from cooperative play, and have no idea how Deep Ones will “change everything” (We’d better not all start yearning for the sea!)
I can see the possibility of playing the “conspiracy” angle of Innsmouth from different perspectives though. Maybe investigators can choose to decide individually instead of as a group who they side with and play separate acts and agendas simultaneously in a couple of scenarios. 

What “new products” do you want think they were alluding to? It’s almost like they were about to let the cat out of the bag, and stopped themselves. 

Edited by Mimi61

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14 minutes ago, Allonym said:

If there is a "traitor" mechanic where you're secretly a deep one, it had better be completely optional or I'm out.

I prefer coop for sure. And Im game for anything once but I’m not hoping for traitor mechanics. I could see it for a single cycle or scenario or two.

I love the coop experience so I wouldn’t want it shaken up too much. Maybe there’s a way to do it without making it feel antagonistic. For instance the race to complete the act or agenda.

Anyway while speculation is fun I don’t want to sidetrack the convo from the actual details or other thoughts.

Maybe with conspiracy in the title, we’ll be seeing Trish.

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1 hour ago, Mimi61 said:


What “new products” do you want think they were alluding to? It’s almost like they were about to let the cat out of the bag, and stopped themselves. 

The boring, practical answers are things like deluxe tokens, investigator minicard holders, chaos bags, that sort of thing. Products for the game, wanting their official slice of the game bling pie.

But I would be surprised if that's what they were alluding to, since the interviewees were the designers of the game mechanics. So an obvious possibility would be a "second core" set, with new or updated investigators, a new mini-campaign, and some new encounter sets designed for use in multiple campaigns, but that seems very unlikely, both because it would be confusing and prohibitive for new players (what core set do you need for this campaign), and because Matt was rather explicitly hinting that there will be new products, plural. 

I don't think it would be changes to existing investigators and their signature cards since they were rather chilly towards the idea of creating levelled versions of signature cards. It's not going to be as simple as more scenarios since that's not really "new".

Perhaps it's a saga-style mega-campaign? But I'd kind of assumed that would be Nyarlathotep-based and they were rather clear that they aren't yet working on Masks of Nyarlathotep stuff.

Perhaps investigator-specific side scenarios, or boss type enemies or extra challenges you can slot into other campaigns (like side missions in Imperial Assault, or the modular encounter sets of the Marvel Champions LCG)?

If we're throwing really off-the-wall ideas around, what about cards, scenarios or conversion kits designed for a different era or setting? They mentioned watching more modern conspiracy dramas and that immediately made me think of modern day or later 20th Century settings for Call of Cthulhu. 

But even if it's just a set of posters, I'll probably be buying whatever it is. 

50 minutes ago, Soakman said:

I prefer coop for sure. And Im game for anything once but I’m not hoping for traitor mechanics. I could see it for a single cycle or scenario or two.

I love the coop experience so I wouldn’t want it shaken up too much. Maybe there’s a way to do it without making it feel antagonistic. For instance the race to complete the act or agenda.

Anyway while speculation is fun I don’t want to sidetrack the convo from the actual details or other thoughts.

Maybe with conspiracy in the title, we’ll be seeing Trish.

Every previous attempt to add PvP/traitor mechanics to Arkham games has been a dismal failure, like the "who's a deep one" scenario of Mansions of Madness, or the Join The Winning Team card in Arkham 2e. Even in games specifically designed for hidden role mechanics it doesn't always work - BSG was pretty great but the traitor mechanic in Shadows Over Camelot is atrocious...

But anyway, speculations. Amanda the Student seems pretty likely, initial thought is she'd be a seeker but I kind of like the idea of Survivor 0, Seeker 1-5, like Norman Withers - starts out as a teen in a horror movie and becomes an academic as she studies. Unlikely to happen sadly, since Silas is already a survivor. Mystic could be Gloria or Jacqueline, since Cthulhu has a strong artist/psychic pull. I'm hoping for Daniela as another tough Rogue, though I seem to remember Michael McGlen the Gangster having a backstory involving a deep one maybe? 

40 minutes ago, Mimi61 said:

Hmmm. Do we have anymore government agents that haven’t been released? 

 

Aside from Trish Scarborough, as mentioned by @Soakman, not really. Charlie Kane would make a lot of sense, as the Politician, but that's not really an agent...

Edited by Allonym

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OK here's my hot takes with minimal reasoning:

Seeker: Amanda the Student. Pretty obvious. Maybe even only has 3 intellect to shake things up. 

Mystic: Jacqueline the Psychic. Cthulhu, psychic emanations, you know.

Survivor: Silas Marsh obviously.

Guardian: George Barnaby the Lawyer. It just feels right. Like Carolyn, he's a guardian but not a fighter. 

Rogue: Daniela Reyes, with a Carolyn-style weird deckbuilding, like Rogue 0-3, up to 15 0-1 Survivor and/or Guardian, Upgrade cards 0-5.

Bonus Survivor: Darrell Simmons the Photographer, as our first 4-intellect Survivor to leverage Newspaper, Lantern, Fortuitous Discovery, etc. 

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1 hour ago, Allonym said:

If we're throwing really off-the-wall ideas around, what about cards, scenarios or conversion kits designed for a different era or setting? They mentioned watching more modern conspiracy dramas and that immediately made me think of modern day or later 20th Century settings for Call of Cthulhu. 

 

That could be very interesting. The Blob is based on later cinematic themes. I was wondering if they’d do something something online, though that seems unlikely. A core box expansion was also a thought I had, but that sort of already happened with RtNotZ. And like you said, they were pretty clear that they weren’t going to be printing updated versions of taboo cards or upgraded Investigators. Although they did say there may be more original Investigators like Sefina. 

 

Edited by Mimi61

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7 hours ago, Soakman said:

I feel like Jeremy’s competitive gaming background plus deep ones plus ‘changing everything’ is adding a non 100% coop mechanic to the game or at least the cycle.  It’s a big leap but I’ve got nothing to lose by throwing out a speculation haha.

I don't think it would make sense to add it into a cycle because I suspect that a non-negligible fraction of the player base are either primarily solo players or, like me, got into the game because it was pure co-op. Given how inventive Matt has been I wouldn't rule out him managing to make this work for solo players, maybe they could push the Hidden keyword further, but I'd still be very surprised if they devoted an entire cycle to it.

6 hours ago, Soakman said:

I prefer coop for sure. And Im game for anything once but I’m not hoping for traitor mechanics. I could see it for a single cycle or scenario or two.

I think single scenarios are more likely and I wondered if this is the new product type they referenced at the end of the stream. Standalone scenarios that add either a traitor or keeper role could be cool thing to have available for big events.

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10 hours ago, Allonym said:

If there is a "traitor" mechanic where you're secretly a deep one, it had better be completely optional or I'm out.

I mean, Carcosa kind of had that, and it worked pretty well.

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So, at first, I was pretty flabbergasted by this. The Arctic hints were so strong. How do you even tie Ikiaq and Dendromorphosis into Cthulhu. Then... I remembered, that shadow tome of antediluvian lore, which... okay, I'll just quote it:

 

Quote

This person was the late William Channing Webb, Professor of Anthropology in Princeton University, and an explorer of no slight note. Professor Webb had been engaged, forty-eight years before, in a tour of Greenland and Iceland in search of some Runic inscriptions which he failed to unearth; and whilst high up on the West Greenland coast had encountered a singular tribe or cult of degenerate Esquimaux whose religion, a curious form of devil-worship, chilled him with its deliberate bloodthirstiness and repulsiveness. It was a faith of which other Esquimaux knew little, and which they mentioned only with shudders, saying that it had come down from horribly ancient aeons before ever the world was made. Besides nameless rites and human sacrifices there were certain ***** hereditary rituals addressed to a supreme elder devil or tornasuk; and of this Professor Webb had taken a careful phonetic copy from an aged angekok or wizard-priest, expressing the sounds in Roman letters as best he knew how. But just now of prime significance was the fetish which this cult had cherished, and around which they danced when the aurora leaped high over the ice cliffs. It was, the professor stated, a very crude bas-relief of stone, comprising a hideous picture and some cryptic writing. And so far as he could tell, it was a rough parallel in all essential features of the bestial thing now lying before the meeting.

 

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21 minutes ago, Eldan985 said:

I mean, Carcosa kind of had that, and it worked pretty well.

It didn't, though. There were Hidden cards, which forced you to play suboptimally and counterintuitively and reduced the ability to communicate with the team; there was a scenario resolution where it was possible to leave players behind and have them permanently eliminated; and the Epilogue has a story element where an investigator turns bad. But none of that has any relation to (for instance) the possibility of becoming a secret antagonist where you win when the players lose.

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