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Sdrolion

Elder Sign Newbie questions

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(Note: I've sent most of these to FF as well to see if I can get some official answers, but wanted to see if anyone here had any insight.)

I just got Elder Sign, and for the most part I think I understood how to play. Found the game very fun and quite a bit quicker than Arkham Horror, though as others have said it won't replace AH in my library...just supplement it. ^_^

I did have quite a few questions arise during play, most of which were fairly minor and things that I was pretty comfortable just house ruling until an official FAQ is released. However, there were a few major questions I had that I'm not entirely comfortable just calling without getting input. I did check over the forums first but didn't see these...I apologize if they have been answered before.

  • It is unclear, on some of the investigator abilities, if they can use them to affect the rolls of other investigators. Mandy pretty explicitly can, but other abilities such as Darrell's, Harvey's, and Michael's all (to my recollection) also say "once per roll" or some such. I am not sure if that means any of their own rolls, or any roll at all.  For example, Harvey Walters: "Once per roll, Harvey may change a die showing a terror result to a lore result." Does that work only on his own rolls, or on everyone's rolls?
  • I am unclear on the precise rules for spending items/spells: "A player may spend 1 or more Common Items, Unique Items, or Spells before any roll while his Investigator marker is on an Adventure card." Does this mean that you can spend items/spells even while it is not your turn if you are on an Adventure card--for instance, to aid another investigator? If so, do you have to be on the same card as them, or can you be on any adventure card (the former would make sense). And what about items/spells that don't affect adventures, such as the spell that recovers someone's sanity? Do you have to be on an adventure card to use that at all, even on your turn?

Can anyone provide some input on these?

Thanks.

 

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Mandy's ability can affect anyone, the others only themselves.  

Items can only be used to affect your own rolls.  For spells/items that heal it depends what it says: Some say "restore YOUR Sanity/Stamina" and others say "restore ANY INVESTIGATOR'S Sanity/Stamina."  My understanding is that Items and Spells can only be played on your turn, though, so even though a Spell may say that you can restore any investigator's Sanity/Stamina, you can only enact that if it is your turn.  You don't have to be on an Adventure or with the person you're affecting, though, to do that.

Spells that hold dice are played on your turn, but the die can be used by other players on later turns, if it is still there.

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Are you sure about Mandy's ability, Grudunza?  I mean, I realize that it looks that way, but she would be quite overpowered if that were the case.  Of course, I suppose she's somewhat overpowered in Arkham, but...

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Thanks. (Is there any particular place in the rules I'm missing here that you've spotted, or is this just how you've figured it?)

I'm pretty sure on Mandy...her ability actually states, if I recall correctly, that she can use it to help "the active player." There's no reason at all to include that kind of language if she's only able to assist herself.

If you think about it, Mandy's ability is actually fairly equivalent in usage amount, anyway, to the other dice-based ones. Mandy's can help each player, but only once per player's turn (that is, if they screw up one roll she can save them, but if they screw up the next roll on the same turn she can't). Whereas Harvey et al. can only help themselves, but are able to do so over and over for each time they roll (and unless you are searching the lost and found, you're going to be rolling more than once per turn). The amount of use it sees is probably roughly equivalent unless you happen to be playing with a really big player group. Now, as to the ability's power, rerolling two dice is indeed probably better than just being able to change a certain result, but rerolling the dice isn't a guarantee that you'll get the result you want...and, really, Mandy's power is basically a free but less powerful clue token in this one, since clue tokens allow you to reroll any or all of the dice, while Mandy only lets you reroll up to two (if I'm remembering properly). I think that's quite different from her Arkham Horror version, where she let you do something you couldn't otherwise do pretty much at all (reroll all dice that had failed), and clue tokens only added an extra die.

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Just realized that Michael and Harvey's abilities have another use, too: if you only got one terror result and are going to fail the roll and suffer the terror effect on a card, you can use their abilities to change that result and avoid the terror penalty even if you still fail. (You could do that kind of with Mandy too, of course, though there's the risk that the terror result comes up again with her.)

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Walk said:

Are you sure about Mandy's ability, Grudunza?  I mean, I realize that it looks that way, but she would be quite overpowered if that were the case.  Of course, I suppose she's somewhat overpowered in Arkham, but...

 

Yes, absolutely.  The only distinction, which is not clear, is that the intention is that it is supposed to be limited to once per day.  So she can't use that ability on every player's turn, each time.  Once per day, she can use that ability, either on her turn or someone else's.

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Grudunza said:

Mandy's ability can affect anyone, the others only themselves.  

The rules state differently. For example, Michael's ability says it can be used "once per roll", and I have scoured the rulebook for anything that restricts this to Michael's turn, and found nothing.  When you read what the rules actually say, it is quite clear.  The main flaw with the rulebook is that while it is mechanically clear, the intentions of how the rules should work are not well elaborated upon.  So you have to decide, do you play according to what the rules say, or do you play according to what you speculate the intentions of the rules are.

For this particular instance, I have been playing according to what the rules actually say, as it seems thematic that the characters are struggling together, using their unique skills to help each other out.

If I were to house rule something, it would be how spells work.  It seems counter to the theme that a spell can harm you by forcing you to lock a die that no one can use until a task that needs it becomes available.  Spells should be an advantage, not a disadvantage.  As written, they are not worth the risk.

 

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Evil Mushroom: I don't know about your analysis of the theme; spells stem from the eldritch energies of the Mythos, and when people who use ancient dark powers that they don't understand in Lovecraft stories (or anywhere else, really), it tends not to end well for them.  And spells are most certainly dangerous in Arkham.  They cost Sanity, and if you fail the check on a combat spell, you've prevented yourself from using the casting hand(s) for anything.

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Walk said:

Evil Mushroom: I don't know about your analysis of the theme; spells stem from the eldritch energies of the Mythos, and when people who use ancient dark powers that they don't understand in Lovecraft stories (or anywhere else, really), it tends not to end well for them.

 

Good point.  Thinking about it this way makes me realize it was not the theme of spells I had a problem with, it was their uselessness.  Sure game, reward me with the opportunity to lock yet another one of my dice.

 

 

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Since this thread concerns newbie questions, I 'll post mine here:

1. When an AO's attack forces you to discard a trophy, you discard a monster marker or an adventure card, no matter what the number printed on them is with all excesses lost, much like when you buy a souvenir at the entrance. Correct?

2. Concerning Amanda's ability, it refers to tasks in that specific adventure card she's currently in and not the others. Correct?

Thanks.

 

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Serazu said:

Since this thread concerns newbie questions, I 'll post mine here:

1. When an AO's attack forces you to discard a trophy, you discard a monster marker or an adventure card, no matter what the number printed on them is with all excesses lost, much like when you buy a souvenir at the entrance. Correct?

2. Concerning Amanda's ability, it refers to tasks in that specific adventure card she's currently in and not the others. Correct?

Thanks.

 

 

1. Yes

2. Yes

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Sdrolion said:

 

  • I am unclear on the precise rules for spending items/spells: "A player may spend 1 or more Common Items, Unique Items, or Spells before any roll while his Investigator marker is on an Adventure card."

 

 

I think that the only reason why they specified that you must use a Item/Spell on an Adventure card is to prevent players from adding the red die (the yellow would be negative here with 4 investigation sides and no terror side) while searching for the Lost&Found at the Entrance. For the same reason it is specified that spell-stored results or clue tokens reroll can only be used to complete a task...

Instead there's no specification on where investigator's skills can be used so this mean that Michael and Harvey can always get at least a Common Item or a Clue Token, but I think this is something which the developers just forgot to prevent. Until otherwise stated in future by them, the rules allow it.

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Evil Mushroom said:

as a

 

The rules state differently. For example, Michael's ability says it can be used "once per roll", and I have scoured the rulebook for anything that restricts this to Michael's turn, and found nothing.  When you read what the rules actually say, it is quite clear.  The main flaw with the rulebook is that while it is mechanically clear, the intentions of how the rules should work are not well elaborated upon.  So you have to decide, do you play according to what the rules say, or do you play according to what you speculate the intentions of the rules are.

For this particular instance, I have been playing according to what the rules actually say, as it seems thematic that the characters are struggling together, using their unique skills to help each other out.

If

In effect the rules here are wide open for interpretation. As Evil Mushrrom said the rules as written allows any investigator to benefit form Michael, Harvey and Darrel skills on every roll they do. Also there's no explicit limit on the location of the investigators (that they must be on the same adventure card as an example), to use skill to help others.

This also means that with Michael or Harvey in play the Lost&Found is always a gain...

All here revolves around this: "An Investigator can use his skill(s) (unless otherwise stated in the skill itself)  only on his own turn". Yes or No?

The intention of the developers here needs to be clarified because either answer makes a completely different game from the other.

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It seems that when I wrote the two posts above my mind was lost in time&space.

What I wrote about Micheal and Harvey skills while searching the Lost & Found was obviously wrong... I made a mix in my mind between their skills and the analog Items (shotgun and blue watcher of the pyramid I think) and I considered them able to change any result (one die per roll) in a skull or scroll (depending on the character) while they can affect only terror results.

So in the L&F they don't have always a success, they can simply have a common item or clue instead of a spell (but always with a 50% of losing 1 stamina or sanity).

My apologies for the mess I made...

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1. When the curator forces you to discard 2 trophies, does this mean I can (among others) discard a single adventure card, as long as that specific adventure is worth 2 trophies?

2. I do not remenber the exact wording, but there is a Mythos card that, as a lingering effect, raises the "claim" (sorry for the inappropriate word - I am not too familiar with the game terminology yet) on Investigation tasks by 1. Does it mean for instance that, if a card has a task of Investigation 8, it's raised to 9?

3. If I defeat a monster on an card, but I do not succeed in resolving the adventure, do I at least get the monster as a trophy or does it stay on the card till I successfully resolve it? If it stays, do I have to defeat it again when I retry or does it stay on the card, occupying the space it used to, though it's considered defeated and waiting for me to successfully resolve the adventure and claim it as a trophy along with the adventure card?

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Serazu said:

 

1. When the curator forces you to discard 2 trophies, does this mean I can (among others) discard a single adventure card, as long as that specific adventure is worth 2 trophies?

2. I do not remenber the exact wording, but there is a Mythos card that, as a lingering effect, raises the "claim" (sorry for the inappropriate word - I am not too familiar with the game terminology yet) on Investigation tasks by 1. Does it mean for instance that, if a card has a task of Investigation 8, it's raised to 9?

3. If I defeat a monster on an card, but I do not succeed in resolving the adventure, do I at least get the monster as a trophy or does it stay on the card till I successfully resolve it? If it stays, do I have to defeat it again when I retry or does it stay on the card, occupying the space it used to, though it's considered defeated and waiting for me to successfully resolve the adventure and claim it as a trophy along with the adventure card?

 

 

1) Yes you can.

This is covered in the English Rules page 8.
"The amount of trophies an Adventure card or Monster marker is worth is printed on the individual card or marker."

It then gives and example of discarding the Koi Pond Adventure card worth 2 trophies.

2) Mythos card "A Warning... Of a Conspiracy" "All tasks that require at least 1 investigation result require an additional investigation result."

Yes, a task that would normally require 8 Investigation now requires 9 Investigation.

For more on this, see my reply here.

3) You obtain defeated monster tasks as trophies even if you fail the Adventure.

This is covered in the English Rules page 11.
"If a player successfully completed one or more tasks on a Monster marker (or a task which includes a Monster marker, as in the case of a partial monster task) before failing to resolve the Adventure card it is on, he still gains the Monster marker, removing all dice from the marker, taking it, and gaining any reward mentioned on the back of the marker. He does this before suffering the penalties for failing to resolve the Adventure card."

The designer suggests that when you defeat a monster task you should flip the task over. At the end of your turn (before suffering the penalties for failing to resolve the Adventure card) you take the monster marker as a trophy, even if you failed the Adventure.

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Serazu,

     Good questions...I'll answer the way I play them below:

1.)   You will discard two separate trophies (Monster or Adventure Card) regardless of their respective value.

2.)  For each instance of Investigations required, you need to increase them by 1.  For instance, if a Task requires 1 Lore, 2 Investigations, and 3 Investigations, you will need to roll 1 Lore, 3 Investigations, and 4 Investigations to complete the Task.

3.)  If you defeat the Monster, you take the Trophy whether or not you complete all of the Tasks and "win" the Adventure Card.  In addition, by defeating the Monster, you also "release" any "locked" dice.  

The Professor

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The Professor said:

I'll answer the way I play them below:

 

1.)   You will discard two separate trophies (Monster or Adventure Card) regardless of their respective value.

 

That might be the way you play but that is not what the rules say :)

The rulebook even gives an example of this, you can discard a single Adventure card / Monster worth 2 trophies.

The Curator. "At Midnight: Each Investigator must spend 2 trophies or lose 1 Sanity and 1 Stamina"

Unless you are going to claim that "must spend 2 trophies" doesn't mean "discard trophies worth a total of 2".

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Continuing my above question, what happens if a monster is on a partial task, I resolve the monster task, but not the rest of the partial task. Do I get the monster as a trophy? I guess so.

And another question: The latest trend is that Kate Winthrop does not prevent the appearance of monsters granted by Mythos cards. Does it also extend to monsters appearing when a doom token is placed on an AO's card?

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Serazu said:

Continuing my above question, what happens if a monster is on a partial task, I resolve the monster task, but not the rest of the partial task. Do I get the monster as a trophy? I guess so.

This question is a bit more difficult. My understanding, based on what the designer has stated, is that you MAY NOT complete just part of a partial monster task! If there is a partial monster task that has a monster then you must be able to complete the entire task before you may claim the monster.

Here is an example.

Adventure card: R'lyeh

The first task (a partial monster task) has a monster on it, a Vampire (Terror + Scroll or Terror + Scroll).
Therefore, a 1 Investigation result, a Terror result, a Scroll or Terror result and a Scroll result is required to defeat the monster.

You roll the dice but are unable to complete the task, you decide to play Bind Monster (discard to defeat 1 monster).

You may only do this if you are have rolled a 1 Investigation! You may not "defeat a monster" if the monster is part of a partial monster task unless you are able to complete the rest of the partial monster task (in this case, the 1 Investigation result).

Another example using R'lyeh and a Vampire on the partial monster task.

You roll a roll only Terror, Scrolls and Peril on 6 green dice (say, two of each).

You may not complete the Vampire monster task since you did not roll any Investigation results. You may not use this roll to complete just the "monster" part of the partial monster task, you need to complete all of the partial monster task to be able to defeat the Vampire.
In this example, you could complete the second task on R'lyeh but then you would have to set aside those 4 green dice, leaving just two green dice left. Unless you had either a Bind Monster spell or Flute of the Outer Gods, it would not be possible to complete this Adventure so it makes little sense to complete the second part.

Note: If you are wondering why in the world you are attempting R'lyeh with just 6 green dice, then maybe it is because you hope to be able to just defeat the Vampire. You would of course fail the Adventure and take damage but this might help the another player complete the Adventure card once the Vampire has been removed.

Also note that I play that Spells are played after you roll the dice. This isn't what the rulebook states but it is the way the designer plays (and the way Elder Sign: Omens plays). I use the way the designer intended Spells to be used :)

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Serazu said:

And another question: The latest trend is that Kate Winthrop does not prevent the appearance of monsters granted by Mythos cards. Does it also extend to monsters appearing when a doom token is placed on an AO's card?

And a new question appears happy.gif

I agree that it's gives a better game if Kate's ability doesn't trigger for Mythos cards.

I would suggest that Kate's ability triggers only during Step 2 of a players turn, not during Step 3.

See page 5 of the rules.
Step 1. Move:
Step 2. Either Resolve an Adventure or Wait at the Entrance:
Step 3. Advance the Clock:

I think that Kate's ability only applies during Step 2. So back to your question, I would say it depends when the Doom token was applied, during Step 2 or Step 3.

If it was due to the result of a Mythos card Immediate or Lingering Effect (i.e. Step 3) then the monster does appear.
If it was due to the result of an Adventure card Reward or Penalty, Terror effect, Being Devoured (i.e. Step 2) then the monster does not appear.

Actually, being devoured could occur during Step 2 or 3 so it rather depends when it actually happens.

 

 

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Some allies require that stamina or sanity tokens be placed on them for their effect to occur.  From where do these tokens come?  From the character who is allied or from the general pool. 

Since specific attributes are described I would assume they come from the allied character.

 

   ...ef

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EmirFassad said:

Some allies require that stamina or sanity tokens be placed on them for their effect to occur.  From where do these tokens come?  From the character who is allied or from the general pool. 

Since specific attributes are described I would assume they come from the allied character.

While the rules or Ally cards do not directly tell you the tokens come from general stock, I think it would be a big, big stretch to assume they come from anywhere else.

 

I can't see any indication or hint that they would be removed from your Investigator. I think it can be safe to say such tokens come from the general stock.

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