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Just curious if anyone has any fun house rules to make the game more challenging, easier, or even more fun.  Let em rip!

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The only house rules we play is during The Night's Usurper. We reset the strength of the abyss to 2 instead of carrying it over from the Eternal Slumber. TNU is hard enough without the extra strength. 

There are a couple other scenarios we have come close to house ruling (mostly things to do with The Forgotten Age and supplies), but haven't actually done that yet. 

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Depending on our mood, we’ll sometimes only allow the Auto Fail to be drawn once per round, setting it aside and putting it back in the bag at the start of the Mythos. But if we do, we also do the same with the Elder Sign. 
 

Sometimes we just can’t do three Auto Fails in a row. 🤷‍♂️

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Posted (edited)

We have a similar house rule with auto fail. If it’s drawn by the same investigator more than 6 or more times times in the same scenario, we cut them some slack and give them a re-draw after the 7th one on. 
We also have a house rule about drawing random weaknesses. You can have a mulligan and draw a different one, at your own risk. Or if we have it automatically drawn and get the same one, one of us can change it. We’ve also taken Doomed out of our pool. 

The only other thing we have kind of house ruled is the first scenario in TFA. We build the chaos bag a level easier than what we’ll run for the rest of the campaign, because that is a beastly 0 level scenario. I mean, what’s  the point if everyone dies before they even have a chance to befriend Yaotl, and hang out with him while he gives you archery tips and makes snide comments about Alejandro? 

Edited by Mimi61

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We have some houserules we use, and others we're considering. I'll put them in a spoiler, since they contain spoilers for (Return to) the Path to Carcosa, the Forgotten Age, and various weaknesses and player cards.

For The Forgotten Age:

Supplies are chosen as for a single investigator, but apply across all investigators. This reduces some of the interesting play for multiple investigators, like prioritising actions depending on who has what, but that's a small price to pay to avoid the poor scaling of the Supplies mechanic. So if an effect provides an investigator with additional exp or additional trauma if they do or do not have a certain supply, that effect applies to all investigators at once. Crossing off provisions or medicine removes one of those supplies and applies the relevant effect to all investigators at once. This does make the campaign somewhat easier, especially with larger player counts, so not recommended for difficulties of Standard or Easy.

For the first two scenarios of the campaign (The Untamed Wilds and Doom of Eztli), the "Easy/Standard" side of the scenario card is used even on Hard or Expert. Really, the problem is just the effects of the Elder Thing token, so you could just rule that you're using the Easy/Standard Elder Thing effects, but it's easier to just have the Easy/Standard side up than flipping back and forth. This is because the Elder Thing effects for Hard/Expert for these two scenarios are, frankly, stupid - hitting you with unavoidable effects or arbitrarily poisoning you - they don't really enable interesting counter-play or risk/reward analyses, they just screw you over by pure happenstance and reduce interaction with the game.

One thing I'm tempted to try is to reduce the number of treacheries in the Exploration Deck for lower player counts, to help reduce the poor scaling of the action economy by player count, but haven't tried it yet. I'd probably randomly remove one of the treacheries for each player count below 4 (removing 3 treacheries at random on true solo).

For Return to the Path to Carcosa:

The Agents of Hastur set is used rather than replaced with Hastur's Envoys in The Unspeakable Oath, and used in addition to Hastur's Envoys in A Phantom of Truth, in order to not reduce the amount of experience available in those scenarios (this is particularly important for The Unspeakable Oath, because part of the fun of that scenario is working out whether you want to push your luck by shuffling additional Monsters into the deck and waiting to see if they spawn rather than escape, in order to get more experience points, but if there's only one VP enemy in the Monster deck, it's just not worth trying at all).

In Return to the Last King, the Forced effect of Dianne Devine (Hiding an Oath Unspoken) is changed to: "At the beginning of the enemy phase: Find the Bystander asset with the fewest clues on it (among Bystander assets not at Dianne Devine's location and with at least one clue, if able). Move Dianne Devine to that asset's location, if able." This is so that she always moves every turn unless there's no bystanders left, in order to prevent a possible situation where there is one Bystander with lots of clues left on it, and neither Dianne nor that Bystander are drawn as Sickening Reality cards, so the party is stuck twiddling their thumbs, unable to make progress but not having completed the scenario.

For weaknesses:

You are allowed to request a redraw of your basic weakness if it is a card you've seen many times before, or if it's a card that's substantially less or more problematic for your specific investigator. This is intended to avoid un-fun situations, whether due to disproportionate difficulty like Patrice Hathaway being stuck with The Tower XVI or Leo Anderson with Unspeakable Oath (Cowardice), or disproportionate ease like Paranoia for Dark Horse builds or Kleptomania for Peter Sylvestre Carolyn Fern, and not simply to get rid of Overzealous because it's harsh or Paranoia because you want to play a rich rogue.

Indebted and Doomed are removed from the pool of basic weaknesses, Indebted because it's not challenging enough and Doomed because it's badly designed. We're considering returning Indebted to the pool because we've re-evaluated its overall harshness.

I am considering reworking To Fight The Black Wind to be a little less brutal, but having recently played Foolishness Carolyn in a few campaigns I feel like it's less horrible than many people think - still way too strong for the benefits of having Foolishness and Carolyn Fern, but not so potent as to necessarily require revision.

Disallowed cards:

By gentlepersons' agreement, we do not use any of the following cards: Strange Solution (Acidic Ichor), Drawing Thin, Double or Nothing, Delve Too Deep, Charon's Obol, Archaic Glyphs (Guiding Stones), Key of Ys and Ancient Stone (Knowledge of the Elders), either because they are too strong or because they otherwise don't make for an enjoyable game for us.

We're thinking about soft-banning or modifying Segment of Onyx/Pendant of the Queen, Studious, Another Day Another Dollar, Stick to the Plan/Astounding Revelation, Mr Rook, Mandy Thompson and maybe Flamethrower. However, we're going to wait and see what the next Taboo list brings.

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We don't play with many house rules; we try to keep it as close to what's printed as possible. We do use the Taboo list though.

The one thing I do sometimes is take out the basic weaknesses from the core set - ones that we've seen a million times already - and we will occasionally allow mulligans on weaknesses, but so far only for Doomed and Overzealous.

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Posted (edited)

The only house rule I use is I place tokens on swarming enemies instead of player cards because I find it less clunky.

Edited by Villefere

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On 5/12/2020 at 7:23 AM, Joshuarleonard said:

Sometimes we just can’t do three Auto Fails in a row. 🤷‍♂️

I feel that. It always leaves my completely dumbfounded when that happens. For some weird reason consecutive tentacle pulls happen way more often than consecutive elder sign pulls. Curse that chaos bag.

On 5/10/2020 at 8:48 PM, Phaed said:

Just curious if anyone has any fun house rules to make the game more challenging, easier, or even more fun.  Let em rip!

Sometimes in my group when we make a clutch escape out of a dire situation and when some actions later i realize that we made a mistake i keep my mouth shut. I know this is technically cheating but it does only happen once a campaign and i don't want to spoil the great moment we shared.

One house rule we have is whenever a player uses the card "I've got a plan!", they have to tell the group what their plan actually is. With totally hilarious effect.

Also when starting a campaign we come up with backstories on how and why we met at the very first scenario. Then we determine a lead investigator for the rest of the campaign.

 

 

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I use house rules just to make it easier.  The game is quite funny and challenging enough.

the only one I use is to allow a player to choose a weakness. that way it can become something useful instead of harmful.

I found a lot of people having problems with difficulty and suggesting some interesting house rules, like extra actions and others.

I tried some of them but don't want to alter to much the game.

the difficulty of this game gives me the chance to keep playing and being really (really, really) happy when I get even the smallest achievement.

 

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We allow to repurchase cards reimbursing the xp if a deck did not work “as it was thought”, a new card comes on a new mythos pack, or the player is just bored of his/her deck.

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I just remembered one we tried out: You get 2 XP discount total during a campaign when upgrading from a lvl 0 card. This makes players use more of some basic cards that normally wouldn't see play.

On 5/16/2020 at 11:36 AM, guatoman said:

the only one I use is to allow a player to choose a weakness

This is actually a great idea for finetuning difficulty because sometimes a weakness can cripple the whole concept you had for the deck.

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For Basic Weaknesses, a variant I've seen suggested is deal 3, pick 1 to remove, then you randomly get 1 of the other 2.  In this way you don't necessarily get to choose, but you can usually avoid something that totally shuts down your entire deck.

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Posted (edited)

When selecting a random basic weakness to include in a deck, we will sometimes draw 2 and choose 1 to include.

A new player may debate on whether or not to commit an extra card to a skill test and ultimately choose to keep their card, then draw a token and fail the test by the amount the uncommitted card would have covered.  I will offer to let them walk it back, add the card, and draw again to promote a positive play experience.  It usually becomes a teachable moment about committing cards to improve odds of beating a test.

With Forgotten Age we chose our supplies as a team and applied benefits across the team.  So if we had to cross off Medicine, we would apply that medicine for the whole team.  If an investigator needs to have a torch to investigate a particular area, we allowed any investigator to investigate as long as one investigator at that location had the torch.

On ‎5‎/‎12‎/‎2020 at 12:23 AM, Joshuarleonard said:

Depending on our mood, we’ll sometimes only allow the Auto Fail to be drawn once per round, setting it aside and putting it back in the bag at the start of the Mythos. But if we do, we also do the same with the Elder Sign. 
 

Sometimes we just can’t do three Auto Fails in a row. 🤷‍♂️

I like the idea of pulling the Tentacle and Elder Sign tokens after repeated pulls in the same turn...I may have to try that.  It is amazing how many times I can pull that Tentacle token multiple times in a row or in the same scenario.  My record is 9 times in a scenario and 3 times in a row.

Edited by mwoodring72

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Interesting to see other people's house rules, especially those about the auto fail.

As for our house rules:

- Basic weaknesses are randomized every scenario, but we don't includ doomed, amnesia or paranoia. Compared to other weaknesses, they're very punishing and often mean game over for the effected player (or he's a dead weight for the team for a long while). I use a weakness deck and draw the top card, whenever i draw my weakness proxy, but keep the drawn weakness for thr rest of the scenario. Some seekers go through their deck 2-x times so your worst ngihtmare or narcolepsy can be pretty annoying.

- Arcane Research grants 1 XP instead of it's normal effect, but all players must either add another random weakness or 2 trauma. We often play with 2 of them, so all have 3 weaknesses. Only some seekers tend towards trauma cause they go through their decks quicker.

- Charons Obol grants 2 xp to everyone, but if we repeat a scenario it's reduced by 1 each time. We usually repeat if one person dies or too many negative random things happen like auto fails that make success basically impossible.

- We can rebuilt our decks between scenarios without spending XP. Giving up XP cards also refunds it's XP. When one realizes their deck has a critical flaw, they're not screwed, doesnt need another character and we dont have to start over. This also promotes experimenting with situational cards.

- For prior rule,  Adaptable gives the owner 1 card to their starting hand after mulligan.

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