Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
BenEggler

My Solution to Mythos Deck Dilution

47 posts in this topic

jackman51,

 

     Oh no, I won't 'cut off my nose to spite my face' as the saying goes, but instead truly enjoy the experience with each of the wonderfully-written encounters.

 

Cheers,

Joe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhh I get it now...you dress up as one of the investigators...kinda like Comic Con. Man I've been itching to get to San Diego for years but never get a ticket. This must be your answer. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone gone through every Mythos card from every expansion and separated them by "Gate Opens At" locations? Is it an even spread? If there is a link to this please provide. Whatever the spread it would be nice to know from the designers stand point their reasoning for it being so. Then developing a dice rolling/card drawing mechanic that maintains the integrity of the spread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All the information is available at arkhamwiki.com: just choose the way you like to see the Mythos being sorted, and it's done. The common pattern is quite easily identifiable (Headline / Environments and Environments/Rumors ratio; number of bursts for different frequencies locations and so on)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah! Thanks.  

 

It will take me some time but based on this one can determine the percentage of particular gate opening within its own category (base or expansion).

 

Then it's just a matter of creating a die rolling mechanism that honors those percentages and adjusting it for multiple variations of base and expansion combinations.

 

I do prefer die rolling to shuffling. I've played enough now where we've played with an expansion and maybe once during the entire game drew a card that corresponded to the expansion.  A Dunwich game where no gates open in Dunwich for example. Lame.  I'm curious to play test this with the actual percentages while using a die - in the end it may come down to needing to  unsaturate the base game Mythos out of the mix to ensure a fully enriched expansion experience.  We'll see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that too. Very helpful!

 

It seems the overall problem is that FF jammed too many mechanics into one card.

 

If you're not drawing the same "gate opens at location" over and over, you are drawing the same type (Environment, Rumor, Headline types) over and over, or the "clue appears at" keeps appearing at the same location, or the same monster symbols keep getting drawn.  With 4 mechanics going on it's impossible to keep them all randomized.

 

My suggestion to FF would be to separate these (i know, i know - i hate to say it) into 4 separate decks.

 

Another reason to redesign the Mythos Deck...have you ever taught this game to someone? The mythos card design does not reflect the rule order. The person who draws the card reads it from top to bottom and you have to stop them and ask, "Where is the gate opening? The Gate? It's the bottom left corner..." and they're like, "Oh a clue appears at..." and you have to interrupt again, "No the gate - where is the gate opening ....bottom left..." 

 

I mean it's almost comical. So my suggestion:

A Gate Appears at deck

A Clue Appears at deck

Monsters Move Deck

And then the thematic Mythos deck describing the Headline or Rumor or Environment.

 

Until then, I'll see what I can figure out with some kind of die randomizer as the initial poster of this thread suggested.

 

Thanks again to Julia for finding those great posts on percentages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, my pleasure helping :)

 

Allow me to disagree on one point: you cannot really have two different decks for gates and clues. Point is that clues are specifically spawn at certain locations considering the gate that opens there. For example most of the Mythos opening a gate at the Woods have the clue appearing at the Historical Society. And this is done because the Woods are a high frequency location, so many times in the game a gate could open there, and the Historical is a low freq location (only 2 gates open there if we look at the core game only). This means one place is dangerous, and the other one hosts the resources to seal the dangerous one. If the Clue distribution woulnd't respect the gates opening, you risk ending up with resources allocated not in the way they should be (drawing from two piles introduces an additional random factor that is not present in the actual composition of the deck).

 

So, if you want to develop a sort of randomizer for this one, you should consider linking these two variables, since they are already linked in the original game design

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good point! I'm sure there are reasons they tied specific monster movement and thematic events together with the gates and clues as well. But having 4 mechanics on one card can and does become a problem when 1 or 2 of those mechanics keep showing up consecutively.  There has to be an answer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After putting in much, much, much, much more time with Arkham Horror since I originally made this thread, I think the answer is really quite simple:

 

Shuffle the deck better.

 

Now, I don't mean to say that you don't shuffle properly or well enough, but I genuinely believe that the real trick is to just shuffle the Hell out of the Mythos deck.

 

I think the whole point to Arkham Horror is its ability to be completely random. Sometimes a gate is constantly drawn at the same location. Sometimes clues keep appearing at the same location. Sometimes every single Mythos card is unique in those regards throughout the entire game. If every time you play the game you are drawing several Mythos cards with the same gate location, then you're doing something wrong. Here is a solution for when playing with an expansion:

 

For example, if playing with the base game and Dunwich, do this:

 

There are 67 Mythos cards in the base game. There are 36 Mythos cards in Dunwich. Lay out ALL the Dunwich cards and make 36 single-card piles. Then, lay 2 base game Mythos cards on top of each pile, except for 5 of them since there aren't enough cards to do so. Stack every pile on top of one another to make your deck. Now the expansion cards are distributed evenly throughout the Mythos deck. Now that you know there aren't massive clumps of base game Mythos cards in the deck, begin shuffling and do so for a solid 5 minutes. The deck should keep fairly evenly spread and make for a much more well-rounded game.

 

This is what I do every time I play now with an expansion and I think it works wonderfully. I genuinely think that the only real "answer" or "Solution" to the Mythos deck is to shuffle it more than you want to and then some more. :)

 

 

Edit: If my numbers are wrong on the Mythos cards, I apologize. :)

Edited by BenEggler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the whole point to Arkham Horror is its ability to be completely random. Sometimes a gate is constantly drawn at the same location. Sometimes clues keep appearing at the same location. Sometimes every single Mythos card is unique in those regards throughout the entire game. 

 

No need for apologies.  

 

If I played this game every week, I would totally get behind this. I do appreciate the "you get what you get" approach. Very Lovecraft. Horror is perfected by imperfections. But because I can only get a good group together 3 or 4 times a year at best, I want to make the most out of the game especially when incorporating the expansions.  

 

I played and introduced a new player last week, we added Dunwich, and nothing happened there. This person was, rightfully so, like, "What was the point of that extra board?"

 

Shuffle like mad is good in theory but as I noted, there are 4 mechanics at play on each card.  Also, shuffling more doesn't mean more randomness, but rather more opportunity to shuffle back into some kind of order.  If you want some mind blowing math on card shuffling check out this 40 page math presentation where at the bottom of page 18 finally gets to 7 being the number of times to shuffle a deck of 52 cards:

 

https://www.dartmouth.edu/~chance/teaching_aids/books_articles/Mann.pdf

 

Of course it will be more than 7 shuffles with 103 cards. I'd be more inclined to do the 36 pile thing, put them together and leave it at that... however, I'm more intrigued by your original die rolling mechanism.  I just have to figure out how to best tip the percentages to ensure a fully immersed playing experience.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been using a variation of avec's method.  Playing with all expansions, rather than preconstructing the deck, I use different colored beads drawn from a bag to determine which Mythos deck to draw from: Arkham gate, Innsmouth gate, Dunwich gate, or other.  One bead is for "Old Debts Come Due" and one is for the reshuffle card which will reset all of the beads into the bag.  This gives you a similar effect to the dice rolling method while keeping up with the odds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I pointed this out before:

 

Dice rolling can never achieve the same results as card drawing. Even if you had somehow projected the card distribution onto your dice rolling system perfectly, the percentages would still change with every card drawn. A dice rolling system that can handle these changing probabilities would be absurdly complex I guess and not practicable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to mention that in order for a sampler to be representative of a population, it requires rather a huge array of elements, which means: if you roll 10K times 2 dice, you can see 7 as being the most representative results and the distribution being simmetric, while if you roll 10 times 2 dice, they rarely align with the expected values.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to mention that in order for a sampler to be representative of a population, it requires rather a huge array of elements, which means: if you roll 10K times 2 dice, you can see 7 as being the most representative results and the distribution being simmetric, while if you roll 10 times 2 dice, they rarely align with the expected values.

I can apply that to card drawing though too. Except here is why you are better leaving your luck to the roll of the die:

 

If playing with all expansions 295 cards (according to avec), only 6 of those have gate openings at Hibb's Roadhouse....as an example. 6 in 295.

 

A typical game (in my experience) uses 25 Mythos Cards or less.  So before the game even starts, the outcome has been determined.

 

The odds that Hibbs Roadhouse gate opening is going to even be in the first spread of 25 cards is very very low.

 

Yes, in 25 die rolls there is the chance I'm always going to roll double 1's....but that is also very very low.

 

You are better off with die rolling as a randomizing factor in a situation where you are only using 25 cards out of a pool of 295 or 103 or whatever.

 

Just my 2 cents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This isn't taking into account that most dreaded of all things, in my mind, the Gate Burst. There is simply no way to prin down a particular area effectively anyway and then BAM! Gate Burst in those high volume areas. And I get a LOT of Gate Bursts. -shudders-

 

I still use my dice pool for Mythos decks. Separate a mythos deck with just the expansion board being used and roll a die. Even, take from the main dec (which also has Miskatonic mythos cards) and Odds pull from the expansion deck. 50/50 shot of getting the expansion board gate, always, even if I wasn't using Miskatonic.

 

Now, I understand the notion of making high volume areas--Woods, Independence Square, Black Cave etc. These are spots that have Gate openings out the wazoo. However, we get into that ugly territory of Gate Bursts. I bring it up because these, too, effect the actual numbers if you think about it. Gates being sealed help adjust the numbers and trends. If you seal a gate in the Cave early on, you're safe for the most part--this would, in turn, mean that to balance the game's Gate opening ratio, you would need to make it so Gates open more frequently elsewhere in CASE you seal a high-level area.

 

It's late so I'm probably not being as articulate as I can be, but my point being that essentially, when the cards were made, they were made with the intention of Gate bursts happening frequent enough that your focus will eve be on the gates already sealed. You needn't concern yourself with Hibbs thus, 'we don't need to make more Hibbs. That's why we made Gate Bursts'.

 

Essentially, they extended their money's worth without actually spending anything--except the cost of orange ink. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Faust, you know there are no gate bursts on low freq locations, right? (unless you play with Atlach, but that's another story) Just asking since your point on Hibbs' isn't completely clear to me (apologies if I misread)

 

Zarach, fair enough, even cards will suffer from a similar problem; the only real difference I can see is that while results for dice rolls are completely random (and thus you can score '6' 14 times on a 25-dice roll series), you cannot have more than X gate opening at a certain location, with X the number of Mythos depicting that location in the game. This somehow preserves the balance, I think. Additionally, the length of games is extremely variable according to the team size and the skill of the players; I won games in 6 Mythos and on average one of my games lasts 11 to 13 Mythos, depending on whether gate bursts are a real threat or not, so that, as you can imagine, the randomness of drawing cards is more or less the same as rolling dice: too small the samples to have an actual statistical significance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way, I have a question to all folks, who use alternative methods than drawing mythoscards from one mythospile:

 

How do you deal with Arcane Insight?

 

I found it an incredible useful spell if you have the right Investigators for it in play and I would not want to miss it entirely in my games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Faust, you know there are no gate bursts on low freq locations, right? (unless you play with Atlach, but that's another story) Just asking since your point on Hibbs' isn't completely clear to me (apologies if I misread)

 

Lol like I said, it was late, I was punch drunk from lack of sleep.

Julia likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way, I have a question to all folks, who use alternative methods than drawing mythoscards from one mythospile:

 

How do you deal with Arcane Insight?

Since participating in this discussion, my group has constantly been using the 2d10 (1 percentile and 1 regular - although you can use two regular) method and I have to say it's been fantastic.

 

In answer to your question, what we would do in this instance is roll/draw 3 times. Then we'd make a separate pile for those cards and the next three mythos drawn we wouldn't roll for. Instead we'd draw from that newly made 3 card pile.

 

In our last game we used the base game, Lurker, Pharaoh. Base pile was drawn on a roll of 01-60, Lurker was drawn on a roll of 61-82, and Pharaoh on a roll of 83-100

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0