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Tried searching this topic but I got over 11k results from all over the forum site. 
 

anyone using house rules in the game?

for example: a test to avoid an enemy attack (I may not hit but the enemy always hits?), damage based on how much you beat the enemy attack value, using your resource pool to reload a weapon, spending points to decrease deck size or heal trauma?

I'm sure most of the responses will be “no” and “it will ruin the game”, but I had to ask. 

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I wouldn't say "ruin the game", but they would all make the game tons easier. That said, if you think the game is too hard, by all means, do some or all of these.

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Basically, the only person who agreed to play it with me is getting super frustrated. The last game he wasn’t able to get a single clue: drew the federal agents weakness card that eats up clues, had 3 monsters on him he had to burn all his turns taking care of while failing half his draws, and by the time we advanced the act he had 1 health and 1 Horror left. We are playing on standard difficulty. I am worried if I don’t make a change, I will be playing solo, which I don’t enjoy. 

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Our main house rules are:

You can redraw your basic weakness once (mainly if the weakness would be too easy or too terrible for a specific investigator, or it's one you've seen a dozen times before)

You can retire your investigator and pick a new one after scenario 1, and still get the exp for the new investigator. This is for times when a build just doesn't work (or taking Roland to TFA turned out to be a mistake).

In TFA specifically, supplies are chosen as if playing 1 investigator and shared throughout the group. Additionally, in the first 2 scenarios, the easy/standard scenario card is used, despite playing on Hard. 

Fundamental changes to the rules don't work very well - if you want enemy attacks to miss, take any of the several cards that let you avoid enemy attacks, or simply evade them. 

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Our group also plays with a deckbuilding Variant that essentially gives everyone Adaptable (can swap out 0XP cards between scenarios for no cost).  This is usually because it takes a few scenarios to learn an investigator and which cards are good/bad for their build.

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Thanks for the suggestions. I just don’t want to lose my game partner. It’s tough enough with people in my age range that have family/kids that make game nights sparse to say the least. 
 

I’ll get his thoughts on it and see if we can come to a compromise. 

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2 minutes ago, Jurcccy said:

Any house rules on how to skip the prologue in TCU while still having the appropriate info - how the NPCs perished and the status of clues?

Yes, we have one that has worked well, based on the relative likelihood and benefits/drawbacks of achieving each outcome. 

For each prologue investigator not crossed off, roll 1d6. If you get "1", record that "(Name) disappeared into the mist"; if you get 2-4, record that "(Name) was pulled into the spectral realm"; if you get 5, record that "(Name) was taken by the watcher"; if you get 6, record that "(Name) was claimed by spectres". Then, record that "X pieces of evidence were left behind", where "x" is the total rolled on all dice. So if you get a better outcome, you have fewer pieces of evidence left behind, and vice versa.

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This is a great conversation. I am glad you asked the question. It is really helpful hearing what others are doing. Besides not using the Taboo lists, we don't really have any house rules, although we have done some temporary ones, like relaxing the deck restrictions for a campaign, etc. 

Although not a rule, one thing I have really enjoyed has been creating Permanent Asset cards for our use. I have a card, I call it Meticulous Preparation, which allows you to draw 10 cards to create your opening hand, choosing 5 and shuffling the rest back. No mulligan is allowed. It costs 3 XP. Another one I just made and haven't tried yet is "Favored Tool" which costs 2 XP (but is Exceptional, so really 4), and allows you to name a favored tool (an Item Asset in your deck) and write it in the campaign log. Then, each scenario after that, you may begin with one copy of that Asset under your investigator card, and treat it as though it is in your hand. "Never leave home without it." ;)

This game is great fun and lends itself to customization very well.

 

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The one that I have seen several people use, but not tried myself, is the "Gloomhaven Chaos Bag": when one or more tokens are drawn from the chaos bag and resolved during a skill test they are set aside and not returned to the bag. When either the Elder Sign or the Auto-fail is resolved (or the chaos bag is empty if you've sealed both tokens) all set aside tokens are returned to the chaos bag.

This tilts things in the investigators' favour somewhat, but I think its main purpose is to mitigate against the frustration of drawing the -4 multiple times in a row.

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The only thing we use "officially" is splitting the difficulty between the bag and effects, so we sometimes play with the standard bag but use the hard effects.  It gives a more fine-grained control over difficulty, and lets us increase it in a more interesting way (we find the token effects more interesting than just throwing more negative into the bag).

Less formalized as a rule but I will sometimes redraw weaknesses.  Partially this will be for good/bad ones as Allonym suggests, but more often it's just when I draw Amnesia for the hundredth time and look at all the fun new ones in more recent releases.

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This is super specific, but when playing the Guardians of the Abyss side story, we house ruled that the Strength of the Abyss doesn't carry over to the second scenario like its supposed to. It resets to 2 (number of people playing the game). 

By the end of scenario 1, it is usually pretty high and considering the Skull token is equal to it, it makes the bag rediculously hard in what is already a brutal scenario. 

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Before we played the last mission of the starter set, we agreed on always starting with your unique item. Player specific items like the tote bag, amulet, .38 special, etc...

We subsequently forgot to set them aside, but both of us ended up drawing our unique item at the start of the game. I also drew amnesia on my fist draw and the mulligan. So, FML on that mission. Starting with 1 card was brutal. 

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23 minutes ago, Creedmoor65 said:

I also drew amnesia on my fist draw and the mulligan. So, FML on that mission. Starting with 1 card was brutal. 

I’m not sure if I’ve interpreted your post correctly, but you never start the game with a weakness (unless the weakness card specifically says so). If they appear in your opening hand, before or after you mulligan, you set them to one side and draw a replacement card. After the mulligan they get shuffled back into your deck.

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Posted (edited)

We have a couple...

1) Draw 2 pick one for weaknesses (and I strip out some of the ones that make the game just not fun)

2) Universal adaptive (we swap out level 0 cards for 0 xp) - this isn't to optimize the deck for the next scenario, it's to tweak the deck overall while learning how it plays.

3 (not really a house rule) We almost always play on easy, basically "story mode" - in that case being at +2 above the target basically passes any test except the auto fail (and some scenario effects).  It's just more fun for us.  You can ramp up the difficulty later if you like to optimize deck building.

 

But that's about it.  The game isn't really that punishing for failing, in fact it's part of what makes it cool.  You just have to get out of the mindset that you can "win" or "loose" the game.  In most cases you fail forward as opposed to just being killed outright.  Oh, that might be one more house rule.  If we do get killed outright, we just reset that scenario and go at it again.

Edited by CSteele

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I think I might try dropping from standard to easy, a starting unique item in hand or equipped, and maybe some way to allow a weapon to be reloaded without waiting for one specific card for more ammo, even if it is super minimal like 1 resource as an action to add 1 Ammo to the gun. I don’t think that would be game breaking especially since you’re usually doing 1 damage an action and that’s only if you pass your test.

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There are specifically weapons that can be reloaded in later packs. It's not game breaking. That said, I don't think 1 ammo for one action and one resource is pretty much never worth it. That seems super expensive.

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Carthoris:  man,  thank you!    I can't believe it took 14 responses for somebody to suggest they should play on easy.    That's what it's for.   Why invent a half dozen dubious house rules when you havent tried the FFG approved mode to make the game less punishing?  

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Well, I’ve made the change to easy in the token bag. Now to see if I can get my fellow player back. I hope so since I’ve already bought all of Dunwich and it’s expansion packs and all stand alone packs (minus Rogarou since it can’t be found except a single copy on eBay for $50+). 

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Creedmoor65 said:

Well, I’ve made the change to easy in the token bag. Now to see if I can get my fellow player back. I hope so since I’ve already bought all of Dunwich and it’s expansion packs and all stand alone packs (minus Rogarou since it can’t be found except a single copy on eBay for $50+). 

I hope you succeed! It’s the most addictive fun. Since this game is collaborative, your investigator pals matter. Maybe some Cuthulu cream pie, or frozen Yogurt-Sothoth as bait.  If they are beginners, the right investigator can help too. Agnes, Rex, (though we no longer play him, he can be fun for beginners) and  Zoey are really good straight up investigators, not hard to play that are very good at what they do. They can be very satisfying to play. For sure start on easy and if/when it starts to feel too simple, ramp it up. We just finished Return to Dunwich on Standard, sailed through the final scenario and decided it’s time to move up to Hard. (Except for TFA!) But a year and a half ago when we started, it was all about Easy! 

Edited by Mimi61

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