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Custom Institutions

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Julia said:

Sorry, it is not. It's treated like a Cultist, but it's a Hexagon monster. This means it can be removed from the board by gate closing. Besides, it has the additional effect of delaying you on a failed combat check. But anyway, I was just wondering why you cannot have female cultists as well. There is a living proof of female cultist in the Dunwich Horror expansion: one of the investigator (Diana Stanley) is a "redeemed cultist". Just saying.

Besides, I read all the rest of the Institution. Honestly, have you playtested it? For me, it's broken. You should be able to push a little on some rules to win any game pretty easily

Let say all investigators start with a cult membership. They also have a +1 clue. Initiation rite makes them start in locations where they can have cult encounters, and they are delayed! So they can get a Cult encounter, thus they have starting clue tokens +2. Giving every investigator on average of two clue tokens as starting possession, you can have all your investigators ready to seal pretty soon.

We're talking about cult of the Black Goat here, she's an obvious member of this cult. I separated male and female transformation just for the theme, nothing sexist here. I know there is female cultists, Diana Stanley was one of first investigators from Arkham Horror I found out about(before buying a game I spent alot of time at the AH wiki, researching).

Im going to playtest it tomorrow, but many cult encounters are dangerous and corruptions begin to hurt you bad as soon as first layer of greens goess off and the reds begin.

And, if you feel this institution really easy to abuse, maybe you should try to combine it with Black Goat of the Woods herald.

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MyNeighbourTrololo said:


We're talking about cult of the Black Goat here, she's an obvious member of this cult. I separated male and female transformation just for the theme, nothing sexist here. I know there is female cultists, Diana Stanley was one of first investigators from Arkham Horror I found out about(before buying a game I spent alot of time at the AH wiki, researching).


 


Im going to playtest it tomorrow, but many cult encounters are dangerous and corruptions begin to hurt you bad as soon as first layer of greens goess off and the reds begin.


And, if you feel this institution really easy to abuse, maybe you should try to combine it with Black Goat of the Woods herald.



First interesting point: it's not said that you have to use an Institution with a certain Herald. Whenever you create custom stuff, you should try to make something universal, so that it's the most enjoyable for everyone, under any circumstances. So, when I give feedback on something, I try to focus only on that "something", unless it's specified you have to use it with something else. Most of the people playing Arkham don't like playing with the Black Goat Herald, because it's too brutal (the only two people I know who are happy about it are me and Dam), so it's likely that your Insitution can be used by other people without the Herald. And it'd be nice too having something enhancing the Cult without necessarily play with the Herald. It'd add a lot of theme to the game (that's what I tried to do with my custom Institution devoted to this, and what I'm trying to do with the next one I'm working on, an Innsmouth-related classified project). As a side point, I'd say that the two clues allowing you not to deal with Hex monsters is a good way to limit the Black Goat Herald powers, since he's most terrifying ability is filling your characters with Corruptions after killing Hex monsters.


Second interesting point: are you playtesting it with or without the Cult Encounters from MH? They change the balance of the Cult Encounters deck.


Third point: how are you playtesting it? If you want to see how the Insitution works, you should go for an Azathoth game (no influence on the game). And try both configuration: none taking the Cult membership at the start of the game (which is still the most logic thing to do for me if you don't change the Start of the game condition), and everyone taking it. Which is the condition for having a character able to ignore all Hex monsters already at the Start of the game.


And, Trololo, as a personal note, remember, none is attacking your knowledge of the game or the way you play. It seems like you're a little upset for my critiques, and I'm sorry if I gave you the wrong impression. What I can say, is that knowing the game and playing the game are different things. At the moment I've more or less 130 AH games under my belt. This year I played 37 games, losing only 3 of them (8 defeats out of 88 games played in the last two years). And I still feel I have to learn a lot of things, on balance, strategy and so on. It was only yestarday that I found out a good strategy to beat Dagon. So, my suggestion is: work on the little things. Step by step. You've created something interesting, but changing a lot the balance of the game. If you feel it's good, go ahead, but try to work on it in order it works properly :-)


And post a report of your playtesting sessions, if you want! The community is always eager to read stories, and we can see how the Institution works

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I didn't said you must plau with the Black Goat of the Woods, I just thought that it would fix the easiness of institutution until I do.

Without  the MH, I'm yet to gather enough money to finish my AH collection(Im missing DH, KH and MH).

How does it change balance of the cult? Adds more positive moments?

As for the test itself, I'm gathering my regular gaming group and we'll play with the random AO and everyone will decide about the cult membership on their own. Yea, it's bad for the playetest. I'll research it with the Azathoth later on. Or maybe before the tommorow game.

 

I'm not upset, I'm just a passionate discusser. I'm sorry you got bad feeling about me.

 

Ah, almost gorget. The benefit of ignoring the hexagon monsters starts from the 2 markers at the cult card. But joining the cult grants you only one. First encounter doesn't necessarily brings you the second corruptions. How did you calculated that?

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Herald: Got it. I'll wait your feedback on the playtesting sessions, then. Just remember, I'm not saying it's easy, but I'm afraid it can be spoiled. And I'm not so sure what's your intent. Custom material can:

a) add theme to the game
b) boost the difficulty of the game
c) make the game easier

to me at the moment is not completely clear what you had in mind with this. Generally speaking, existing Institutions are similar to Guardians, mixing a) and c). When reading through your Institution, it seems that it's a strange mixture of b) and c), and this makes the influence of the Institution on the game completely unpredictable

Expansions and Encounters: I thought you had all but DH. MH changes quite a bit everything, adding some encounters able to justify your reason to join the Cult. You do something bad for a certain reward what will benefit everyone. But I'm adding very slowly MH elements to my games, so I haven't playtested the new encounters by myself yet, I'm just referring some notes read here and there

Passionate debates: very welcome. I'm glad we cleared this. I'm a passionate debater too, so I will interpret your words in this way. Thanks for clarifying

Second clue: start of the game, all players become Cult members. According to your Institution, this should grand the second corruption to the first player. The second corruption brings you the second clue on the membership. Thus Hex monsters can be ignored by the first player (who can now become the main sealer). Am I correct?

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Julia said:

Herald: Got it. I'll wait your feedback on the playtesting sessions, then. Just remember, I'm not saying it's easy, but I'm afraid it can be spoiled. And I'm not so sure what's your intent. Custom material can:

 

a) add theme to the game
b) boost the difficulty of the game
c) make the game easier

to me at the moment is not completely clear what you had in mind with this. Generally speaking, existing Institutions are similar to Guardians, mixing a) and c). When reading through your Institution, it seems that it's a strange mixture of b) and c), and this makes the influence of the Institution on the game completely unpredictable

Well, I tried to add theme to the game. Them of the cult. Something that would make people want to join the cult despite all of it dangers and perils. This is sort of neutral institution, which brings it's bonuses and penalties, free to use by anybody.

 

 

Julia said:

Expansions and Encounters: I thought you had all but DH. MH changes quite a bit everything, adding some encounters able to justify your reason to join the Cult. You do something bad for a certain reward what will benefit everyone. But I'm adding very slowly MH elements to my games, so I haven't playtested the new encounters by myself yet, I'm just referring some notes read here and there

I wish I hadgran_risa.gif

 

Julia said:

Second clue: start of the game, all players become Cult members. According to your Institution, this should grand the second corruption to the first player. The second corruption brings you the second clue on the membership. Thus Hex monsters can be ignored by the first player (who can now become the main sealer). Am I correct?

Oh, yes, I just misunderstood you. I was thinking you said that ALL Investigators start with 2 corruptions.

 

 

I'm going through solo playtest of this institution right now, playing 4 investigators and Chtuga as AO.

Took 2 cult memberships at the start according to character aligment. Downward spiral is brutal, One almost got turned into cultist.

Already have some tweaks in mind.

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MyNeighbourTrololo said:

This has no effect on those who has no starting clues obviously. 

Not so obvious, generally speaking is not rare in Arkham a bigger penalty falls on the head of those who cannot do something! Maybe you should introduce the "if able" clause before the discarding clues stuff

How did the playtesting session go?

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Julia said:

How did the playtesting session go?

Session was great.

Darrell(me), Pete, Monterey and Hank vs Yog-Sothoth.

I intentionally refused to be involved with a cult to be sort of independed spectator but starting clue and $ reward was very tempting for others.

But they didn't risked at it too much. Hank was lucky to gain Endless Greed and Retainer on the following turn at the Newspaper, discarding this corruption a bit later before it was even triggered. Others discarded their starting corruptions pretty fast too, without taking much harm from them.

We all are new, that's why Yog still awakened with 4 Elder Signs on the board(2 of which were from me, one from Elder Sign unqiue item from the random possessions, and one from the exhibit item deck I randomly got ruing one Arkham event).

Monterey tried to get additional gate trophy before the awakening but got LiTaS instead and was devoured.

On next turn Yog awakened and the fight begin. In the end, one left undevoured rolled two sixes with shotgun, when there was 3 remaining successes to inflict. To say, it's was Hank, he survived whole fight with 1 gate trophy and maximum Fight. He's a hero.

To say, it was poor institution test, but a great game overall. I asked 2 my friend to come to me tommorow to test specifically this institution.

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I am always excited when a new herald/institution/guardian/scenario is added to the list. So thank you for posting a new one, I can only encourage you to post some more. ^^

To my personal taste, this card is way too crowded. The game has already too many rules (to my taste, even after that many games I have played :-), adding so much more for one session seems overwhelming (at least to me). If you could get rid of half of them and compact the remaining 3 (maybe 4) to very simple, yet efficient, mechanics, you would gained so much in clarity, efficiency and not the least aesthethism. Again, this only a matter of personal taste. So take it or leave it, there is "best" solution. I am just trying to help. gui%C3%B1o.gif

 

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One rule on the sheet is considered only at the beginning, one rule is for the encounter at the church. There isn't actually that much to remember. 

Just keep track of your corruptions and amount of markers at your cult membership.

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Julia said:

Herald, because it's too brutal (the only two people I know who are happy about it are me and Dam), 

Hey Julia,

You can count me in too. I liked it when it is really brutal :-). Though, I'd say the nastiest part of It is the monster surge one, I never had experienced a feeling of "corruptions fear" with that herald (actually not even with any others). I only feared once about emptying the corruption pile with a specific scenario (farenheit 451), but that is another story ;)

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amikezor said:


Hey Julia,


You can count me in too. I liked it when it is really brutal :-). Though, I'd say the nastiest part of It is the monster surge one, I never had experienced a feeling of "corruptions fear" with that herald (actually not even with any others). I only feared once about emptying the corruption pile with a specific scenario (farenheit 451), but that is another story ;)



Glad to hear it! I've just finished a Black Goat Herald game against the new Hastur, it rocked :-)


If you want to see something nasty happening with corruptions, try to play a 5+ investigators, so you have to draw 2 Hex + 1 Normal monster from the cup. Even if the only time I was really about to lose due to the lack of corruptions in the deck was because of your Sheldon Gang Herald in Avi's League Scenario, boosted by my incapacity of reading, making me start with one corruption token / investigator. I won only thanks to Funnel Clouds who killed my most corrupted character!

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Here's something I came up with for a Mayor of Arkham election.  I'm not sure if it's really an institution, per se, but I wasn't sure what else to call it...  The idea is to create a little side game where you have to spend some time and attention (and money) supporting your nominee's campaign, otherwise you'll run into some big trouble if the Mayor wins re-election.

I still have to make the Campaign Cards and Mayor of Arkham cards.  The Campaign Cards will have different effects, with many adding red Support Cubes for Mayor Atkinson, or giving you corruption, or allowing you to spend money to do things like drawing 3 cubes at random and removing any red ones.  But by and large, those cards will be the engine for Mayor Atkinson's "campaign."  And the Mayor of Arkham cards will be similar to the Deputy cards.

Mayoral-Race-Front-Face.jpg

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Grudunza said:

Here's something I came up with for a Mayor of Arkham election.  I'm not sure if it's really an institution, per se, but I wasn't sure what else to call it...  The idea is to create a little side game where you have to spend some time and attention (and money) supporting your nominee's campaign, otherwise you'll run into some big trouble if the Mayor wins re-election.

I still have to make the Campaign Cards and Mayor of Arkham cards.  The Campaign Cards will have different effects, with many adding red Support Cubes for Mayor Atkinson, or giving you corruption, or allowing you to spend money to do things like drawing 3 cubes at random and removing any red ones.  But by and large, those cards will be the engine for Mayor Atkinson's "campaign."  And the Mayor of Arkham cards will be similar to the Deputy cards.

I really like this one :))

Do you plan to create the campaign cards soon ? Can't you tweak existing cards ? (e.g. use corruptions which are green and red)

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There is note of the game designer that terror level never goes down. Maybe you should change terror level reduction with terror level raising prevention?

Well, to that I would say "never say never."  That's what variant things are for, to break the rules.  And I'm not sure why that could never happen, thematically...  if there is less terror prevalent in town, the level should go down and someone (an Ally) could even move back into town.  But I suppose I could instead have it so that one of the "Mayor Cards" is something where you would discard it instead of raising the terror level (perhaps even twice).  I wasn't exactly sure of what the Mayor Cards would entail and that's probably a good use for one of them.  Some of the things on the rules sheet will no doubt be adjusted a little once the Campaign Cards and Mayor Cards are done.  

Speaking of which, to answer amikezor... I'll be working on the rest of the cards this week, and you're right, I was going to use a variation of Corruption Cards for the Campaign Cards.

 

 

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Another test failed because one of testers had drawn Amadna Sharpe and he hates her so much that he did his best to get devoured and draw a new investigator.

The second tester, on the other hand, used cult to his best, gaining clues and stuff, but downward spiral forced him to leave cult at the church in the end.

AO was Ithaqua. Won by sealing gates(1 elder sign at the starting equipment, another one at the 1st turn shopping).

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Here's the first stab at the Mayor Cards...  Not sure about the one with the Stamina token and the +2 for skill checks.  I want to have something that reflects the Mayor's influence around town, but I think there might be something that works better than that, although maybe that's alright as it is.  Anyway, this is what I've got for now...

MayorCards.jpg

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Cranked these out pretty quickly...  Not sure if it's a good balance.  May need to have more red tokens added in general.  But anyway, I'll have to playtest a bit to see how it goes.  I realize also that this may not balance well per the number of investigators (more investigators should be able to add more green support tokens), but I did change the rules sheet above somewhat, and one of the things was to have the setup begin with red support tokens in the Election Cup equal to the number of investigators.  Not too much of a difference, and maybe not enough, but something, at least.

CampaignCards1.jpg

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First look: great. Although you may want to think of cards of the types: If investigators have this and that, add 1 green token, otherwise add 1 red. What I meant is really the way they handle the game should influence the issue of the election (and not just being a random draw).

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Grudunza said:

 Btw, I could use thematic titles for the Campaign Cards, if you have any ideas...

Yeah that was my first reaction too.

The Mayor of Arkham Stamina token effect could be represented by using Agent Markers from Miskatonic Horror.

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amikezor said:

First look: great. Although you may want to think of cards of the types: If investigators have this and that, add 1 green token, otherwise add 1 red. What I meant is really the way they handle the game should influence the issue of the election (and not just being a random draw).

I think there are a few in there like that, but actually I think these do need to be random for the most part in terms of adding some red support tokens, because where the players handle the game most in terms of the election is in the "Grass Roots Support" part of the rules sheet.  If they are able to do that enough, they should be able to win, and the red support tokens need to come out with some regularity to make that a challenge.  I don't know if the balance is reasonable at all or not, though.  And certainly I could add a few more cards like that.

Another thought I had is that maybe there needs to be a random unknown element to this, so that you never know exactly how well you're doing.  As it is, you should be able to count the difference of tokens pretty easy as they go into the Election Cup.  Perhaps there could be a "Swing Vote Bag" or something, where a certain number of tokens are put at the start of the game (e.g., 12 red, 8 green), and then some of the Campaign Cards have you draw a certain number of those tokens, without looking at them, and add them to the Election Cup.  I like the idea that you should still have some idea of how you're doing in general, good or bad, but that the swing votes might tip one way or the other so you're never 100% sure.

amikezor said:

The Mayor of Arkham Stamina token effect could be represented by using Agent Markers from Miskatonic Horror.

Yeah, good idea.  Because if this is the Institution, then those wouldn't be needed otherwise.

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