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BenEggler

Fighting Heralds

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Under every other circumstance, I'd agree with you, DJ. You know me--I'm a stickler for theme. Everything for Lovecraft. It got to the point where I don't like August Derleth or what he did to the mythos--he turned unknown horror in pulp horror, something Lovecraft barely did, if ever (the closest being The Color out of Space and /maybe/ The Whisperer in Darkness). These are terrors that like you said, cannot be understood by the human mind, and victories in Lovecraft were achieved usually by accident if ever there was a victory at all. Its why I don't like the idea of out-of-theme Investigators, Heralds or AOs in the fan-mod stuff because it is simply too far removed from the theme.

 

Curse you, August Derleth.

 

To the point, though, this is a boardgame. And while 'fighting' the Heralds may be out of theme, the concept of combatting their effects is not. Actively seeking out solutions to stop the evil, like Armitage did with the Dunwich Horror, is something that Lovecraft allowed, though, like Armitage stated, sometimes the cure was almost as bad as the disease. But people DID fight off these horror. In Dreams of the Witch House, the narrator choked the witch to death on her own 'realm', despite all her powers. He managed to refuse Nyalarthotep's call. People CAN resist the mythos so maybe, yeah, the idea of the Tokens moving from their given spot is a bad idea but the notion of the Investigators outright denying the heralds and ancient ones is absolutely not out of the question, even to a purist. Despite all his morbid stories and the ideas of how tiny man is in the universe, Lovecraft was, in his own odd and nutty way, a optimist when it came to what humans were capable of doing.

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DJ, I totally, totally, totally appreciate what you just said. I understand how incredible Lovecraft's universe is and how awe-inspiring the sheer magnitude of these beings is. I think that Dr. Faust really hit the nail on the head and pretty much said what I wanted to say.

 

Just to add a couple things:

 

As Dr. Faust said, this is a boardgame. Lovecraft's Mythos has been simplified and altered to allow for a fun time structured as a game, while still holding onto a great amount of his beautiful storytelling and creations.

 

I don't think it's a fair point to say that the Heralds can't be in Arkham, while every single AO wakes up in Arkham. I seriously doubt that Lovecraft intended for these horrifying creatures to all wake up in Massachusetts and have to make their way past 1-8 mortal investigators armed with tomes and shotguns. Cthulhu would rip his way through them in an instant and not worry about fighting them blow by blow as they use dynamite and tommy guns against him.

 

So, if every AO wakes up in Arkham and is potentially able to be destroyed by our investigators, then it would make sense for Heralds to follow a similar fate. Maybe getting rid of Heralds isn't simply physical combat (even though every AO fight is), but there could easily be some ways to eliminate Heralds from the game, make the game safer, and reap some benefit for eliminating them. That would make it an even more fun game where you can say, "Man, we couldn't kill Yig (yeah right), but at least we banished the Black Goat of the Woods."

 

It is so, so, so satisfying to play the game and say "WE KILLED CTHULHU!!! YES!!" It makes me want to tell my friends who don't know about Arkham Horror all about the game just so they can appreciate that feat. Being able to kill/banish/de-summon/destroy the Heralds is like fighting a mini-boss. Who doesn't love mini-bosses? 

 

I understand that maybe thematically, maybe they shouldn't literally be IN Arkham. But then neither should the AO's. And I seriously doubted that Lovecraft intended for his creations to be looked at as fodder to fight and combat, as all the monsters and AO's are able to be fought and the game can turn very gun/combat heavy with the right investigators.

 

All in all, the game is called ARKHAM Horror, not Earth Horror. I think that point alone makes it fair enough to say that all of these creatures have a place in Arkham and could be assumed to be present for the sake of a boardgame.

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Pretty much what I was about to type Ben. Yeah if we're gonna put up with AO physical appearance and combat in Arkham why not Heralds too. I'm sure you can imagine some way to justify the way the Herald or AO is manifesting itself even if you don't like the idea for example of a Creature from the Black Lagoon Dagon standing on the Reef. I too get where Dj is coming from but others wanted something more than the current system of dealing with them in game and so we're talking about it.

 

Dr. Faust I can't yet argue with your example as frankly I don't yet have the expansions required to know exactly what you're talking about. I only have Base and Innsmouth. This I am hopeful will be changing shortly if I have any luck on Ebay.

I was just saying that I'm not going to spend time and resources dealing with a Herald unless I am forced to do so. As I am repeatedly threatened by the DOR track with both Innsmouth Heralds in play and don't yet have access to other expansion investigators, spells, PS, madness cards, and more that might help I find that I might indeed be inclined to deal with Julia's Dagon particularly since he might be sitting on an opened Gate on the Reef with all the game ending consequences that has.

If your example doesn't cause me to needlessly deflect from the overall Gate seal win then I'm all for it too. Apologies for perhaps speaking where I'm not yet fully qualified.

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Soooo much to field in response, but I will just urge you to stretch your interpretation of things in the game a bit more, you might be surprised to learn, for example, that by posts made here by Kevin Wilson, Final Battle is *not* conceived as a fight at all but as a crunched down simulation of a desperate last attempt to stop It from happening, a Very Bad Thing. So, for example, rolling Fight against it in this context using a Tommy gun is akin to spending a day desperately mowing down cultists, while the shrinking Luck check that follows entails the narrowing chance of avoiding the Yellow Sign of Hastur in the process. Its a simulation of a battle but not necessarily a toe to toe battle with an Elder God.

This is really my only point, I am well aware that the game is more pulp than being a true Lovecraftan game...I said so plainly. It plainly needs to be that way to be the game it is and I keep my game reports mostly comical for this reason. But there are ways to look at it that don't involve giant monsters attacking a town.

Edited by dj2.0
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Jackman, there's absolutely no need to apologize. This is, hopefully (as I am new), a community where everyone can speak and chime in. Thanks for contributing! I'm really happy you like my idea.

 

Going off what you said, Jackman, fighting the Herald wouldn't be something you have to do. Like you said, it should be something you do when in dire need of trying to give your team a saving grace! Or perhaps if you're feeling very daring. =P

 

I was just reading a bit about The King in Yellow and how he is an actual physical entity that is an avatar of Hastur. That, to me, makes it even more possible to fight TKiY. Perhaps getting rid of the Herald would knock 1-2 doom tokens off of Hastur's track, if he were the AO for that game.

 

There is so much potential for this idea that can add a lot of flair and fun to the game, without sacrificing on quality/timing and staying within the realm of established game mechanics.

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Last note about Dj: and the King in Yellow is nothing but the rising Madness striking the town, making people lose their mind in an apocalyptic crescendo of terror and psychosys that ends when the King in Yellow finally arrives, and takes all the grim soul to dance at his court in Carcosa. It's not a coincidence that triggering Act III means end of the game, and not Final Battle...

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Yes, no personal issues happening here, just a good discussion. And since obviously given my earlier post I'm all for the idea of heralds being confronted more directly, they are somewhat understated and in the background, I'm just suggesting they not be turned into simple monsters that you beat the ichor out of.

Edit - and there are plenty of other 'explanations' for the King in Yellow that aren't physical or just physica... there's no objective truth in Lovecraft at all, he himself uses phrases such as 'like and not like' to describe things repeatedly, there's not even a common agreement on what magic is in this setting.

Edited by dj2.0
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Then instead of actually fighting the King, the struggle could be against stopping the play from being performed to its conclusion, thus eliminating the Herald and bringing some hope to the struggle inside Arkham! This is still fighting the Herald and bringing some possible favor to the investigators that would also be a great challenge with serious consequences/rewards.

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Yes, no personal issues happening here, just a good discussion. And since obviously given my earlier post I'm all for the idea of heralds being confronted more directly, they are somewhat understated and in the background, I'm just suggesting they not be turned into simple monsters that you beat the ichor out of.

 

I can totally respect that, DJ, and I do understand that. They are grandiose and should be treated as such. However, I don't think that treating them as monsters would be bad for all of them: i.e. Dunwich Horror, Father Dagon, Mother Hydra. It already obviously works well for DH and I think it would work great for those other two. I definitely agree that pure combat wouldn't work for all of the Heralds.

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Sure Dj I agree we don't really kill an AO or maybe even really face him at all. If we're really gonna try an alternate way of dealing with Heralds I just want it to be worth the time and effort and not just for funsie. If you have an idea that's fleshed out or if you don't want to I'm more than pleased to hear it as from what I can tell your flowery prose alone on this site makes you a lot of fun to read.

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Yes, thats more how i would perceive it, yeah. :-) Its just more interesting, isn't it?

 

Yes, it's a lot more interesting! I hope you know that I never disagreed with you. I don't know a ton about the Lovecraft Mythos (I am trying to learn more and start reading his stories). It's absolutely fascinating material and I would only want to pay respect and really add something to the game that feels like it belongs, both literally in the game and with the type of storytelling the game provides.

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I think in response to the notion of wasting materials/precious time etc to fight the horrors unless forced to (i.e. Dagon sitting on a Gate), I really only have to say that in the end, this is what makes AH so very great. This is an option. You don't HAVE to use it and with this being, as suggested before, a fan-made and community based project, possibly, I think in the end that particular kind of argument is a bit moot. You don't have to use the "expansion" if you don't want to, just like I have all expansions (sans Miskatonic) and I use all the extra stuff but not the boards (so far). If you don't want to fight the Heralds, you don't have to use that portion of the expansion. Easy-peezy, Yoggoth-Squeezy.

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Great point, Dr. Faust. Options are what make Arkham Horror so great. It's a truly customizable game with a lot of fantastic ideas that sometimes feel good to use on one day, while maybe not on another.

 

Again, I'd really love to hammer out this fan-made idea of mine as a community and try to make it something we could actually playtest! Even if it never becomes something FFG does, maybe it would be so much fun that it really would be worth implementing into our games (permanently, on occasion, or not at all).

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I don't see what the 'time' issue would be. There are lots of ways to measure time in the game.

 

For instance, let's say we are playing with the Lurker at the Gate.

 

Plot 1: There has been an increase in people suddenly coming in wealth and power within the town under mysterious circumstances. If Investigators discard, as a group, X number of Clue tokens, then they all gain X Reward and place Plot #2 in Play. If the Doom Track reaches 3 before this happens X Penalty occurs and place Plot #2 in play.

 

If, by the time all the Plot cards have been cycled through, there are more Completions then Failures, or if no Failures, or whatever has occurred, then the Players have defeated the Herald. Or, the Herald actually enters into Arkham to see why none of it's plots are working and to fight or face the Investigators.

 

 

Since I think this path is the most promising on making this idea happen, I'm going to expand on this and try to write an example for the King in Yellow.

First, AOs have anything from 10 to 14 doom tracks. To avoid having yet another component with which to measure time or to keep track of (I first thought about the number of turns, but who wants to make it even more complex?), we're going to use the Doom Track to keep track of the actions of the King in Yellow. Three steps, or plots, will be the arc of the King's "heralding". The first resolves at 3 Doom, second at 6 Doom, third at 9 Doom.

 

First Plot - The Coming of the Madness: the King tries to get people interested in the play "The King in Yellow", which is currently performing at the theater. Posters have started appearing all over town, advertising the play. Investigators can spend money or clues (each clue counts for $1) during Upkeep, that go into a common pool. If by the time the 3rd doom token is added the pool is worth $(number of investigators x 5), they've had success in sabotaging the advertising operations, by covering up or destroying the existing posters. They choose one investigator who draws a random ally. If they didn't manage to pool the $20, raise by 2 the terror level as people start to go mad from seeing or hearing about the play.

 

Second Plot A - His Will Be Done: if the investigators passed the First Plot, the play is moved out of the theater and into the streets and plazas of the city. The investigators pass if, by doom token 6, there are at least 2 Elder Signs on the board, the reasoning being that the sealed locations are immune to the influence of the King's minions. No other reward. They fail if they don't put the 2 seals down, and in that case the terror level increases by 3 as the crowds are exposed to the play.

 

Second Plot B - Between a Rock and a Mad Place: If the investigators failed the First Plot, townsfolk crowd the theaters. To pass, the investigators have to convince the mob (the authorities are in disarray, having being exposed to the play) to scare people away from the theaters, by each being Cursed and pooling at least $(number of investigators x 5, clues can still be used on a 1-1 basis). The mob attacks the theaters, some folks are hurt in the process, but the plays are disrupted. Close and seal 1 open gate (no trophy) but the terror level increases by 1 as the town is shocked by the violence. If they don't manage to strike a deal with the mob, the criminals rampage through town, having being exposed themselves to the play. Close all 3 shops and the bank for the remainder of the game and raise the terror level by 2.

 

Ok, recapping, so far we have:

Plot 1: Pass (draw 1 Ally), Plot 2: Pass (no reward)

Costs: $(number of investigators x 5, clues count for $1)+having sealed 2 gates

 

Plot 1: Pass (draw 1 Ally), Plot 2: Fail (terror level increases by 3)

Costs: $(number of investigators x 5, clues count for $1)

 

Plot 1: Fail (terror level increases by 2), Plot 2: Pass (seal 1 gate, terror level increases by 1)

Costs: All investigators Cursed+$(number of investigators x 5, clues count for $1)

 

Plot 1: Fail (terror level increases by 2), Plot 2: Fail (close shops and bank and increase terror level by 2)

Costs: None.

 

Ok, since this isn't an easy or fast process, I'll write the remainder tomorrow. At least I won't be wasting time if you people don't like the idea or you think it's flawed or unbalanced. I do have some neat ideas for the 3rd Plot :) Let me know what you think :)

Edited by Tox

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I like Plot 2, but you should probably specify if the Elder Sign seals that are down have to be made /during/ Plot 2 or if they can be from before hand.

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Hey Tox,

 

I think that in general, that seems like it could be a really fun scenario to play with the game. Honestly though, I don't know if it really works for what I'm trying to do with the Herald mechanic. That adds a lot of complexity that would make eliminating The King in Yellow from the game more tedious than fluid. Having to do those things seems like it would really take a LOT of focus on the part of the investigators, thus detracting them from other things that are necessary in order to win.

 

This idea you came up with basically just makes the game a LOT harder, as if the investigators choose to ignore stopping the play, they are going to get even more terror than they normally would and make the game more difficult. Investigators should be presented with the option of stopping the play without suffering EXTRA consequences if they choose not to. BUT, if they do try to stop the play and fail, then something bad could happen, and if they succeed, then obviously there is a great reward.

 

I think that the idea in general is very good and could probably be tweaked/reworked to better fit the gameplay of the game.

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The theme of TKiY is that throughout the entire game, the play is happening in the background, causing the terror to rise even more than it normally would. People are watching the play, going insane, and causing even more havoc in Arkham. Because of this, I think there should really be one test/series of tests that the investigators can make at ANY point throughout the game in order to shut the play down completely and save the citizens of Arkham from this maddening performance.

 

We would need to come up with a few things:

 

What location on the board is the play being performed?

What kind of test/encounter would the investigators need to go through to stop the play?

What are the penalties for failing to stop the play?

What are the rewards for failing to stop the play?

 

As a reward, obviously eliminating the Herald from the game. Perhaps also resetting the Terror level or lowering it by a set amount, as minds are relieved from the absence of the play?

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It is so, so, so satisfying to play the game and say "WE KILLED CTHULHU!!! YES!!" It makes me want to tell my friends who don't know about Arkham Horror all about the game just so they can appreciate that feat. Being able to kill/banish/de-summon/destroy the Heralds is like fighting a mini-boss. Who doesn't love mini-bosses? 

 

Heh...  I don't understand final combat victories as killing the AO (certainly not the Great Old Ones).  No...  Just driving them back.  For now.

Anyway, I'm enjoying lurking on this thread.  Good luck working on this guys, lots of interesting ideas here!

Edited by Avi_dreader
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The Manley Theatre in Arkham, as far as I know its only playhouse, is located in Northside, near the Newspaper offices.

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The Manley Theatre in Arkham, as far as I know its only playhouse, is located in Northside, near the Newspaper offices.

 

How confused would an Arkham player be seeing on a Herald sheet "Investigators may stop the performance of The King in Yellow by having an X encounter at The Newspaper"? =P

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It is so, so, so satisfying to play the game and say "WE KILLED CTHULHU!!! YES!!" It makes me want to tell my friends who don't know about Arkham Horror all about the game just so they can appreciate that feat. Being able to kill/banish/de-summon/destroy the Heralds is like fighting a mini-boss. Who doesn't love mini-bosses? 

 

Heh...  I don't understand final combat victories as killing the AO (certainly not the Great Old Ones).  No...  Just driving them back.  For now.

Anyway, I'm enjoying lurking on this thread.  Good luck working on this guys, lots of interesting ideas here!

 

You're most likely correct and I totally understand/agree with that! I still can't stop myself from saying "We killed Cthulhu!" opposed to "We drove him back!". So much more satisfying, haha!

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The theme of TKiY is that throughout the entire game, the play is happening in the background, causing the terror to rise even more than it normally would. People are watching the play, going insane, and causing even more havoc in Arkham. Because of this, I think there should really be one test/series of tests that the investigators can make at ANY point throughout the game in order to shut the play down completely and save the citizens of Arkham from this maddening performance.

 

We would need to come up with a few things:

 

What location on the board is the play being performed?

What kind of test/encounter would the investigators need to go through to stop the play?

What are the penalties for failing to stop the play?

What are the rewards for failing to stop the play?

 

As a reward, obviously eliminating the Herald from the game. Perhaps also resetting the Terror level or lowering it by a set amount, as minds are relieved from the absence of the play?

 

I kind of agree with you, it IS kind of complex and maybe too much of a hassle to keep track of (except if we structure it like a deck of cards that are unveiled as the doom track progresses and each Plot is foiled or executed). But I'm thinking about how to let investigator try their hand anytime at all and having them fail/pass. How is it possible under the current game rules?

 

p.s. wait, I think I got it :) Think Dunwich Horror deck: how about a deck for every Herald? It doesn't have to be a deck to FIGHT the herald, each card could present a challenge and a pass/fail condition. Will the investigators risk drawing from the Herald's deck or will they deem it safer to ignore it? Maybe the game could FORCE them to draw from the deck sometimes. Think about it :)

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The theme of TKiY is that throughout the entire game, the play is happening in the background, causing the terror to rise even more than it normally would. People are watching the play, going insane, and causing even more havoc in Arkham. Because of this, I think there should really be one test/series of tests that the investigators can make at ANY point throughout the game in order to shut the play down completely and save the citizens of Arkham from this maddening performance.

 

We would need to come up with a few things:

 

What location on the board is the play being performed?

What kind of test/encounter would the investigators need to go through to stop the play?

What are the penalties for failing to stop the play?

What are the rewards for failing to stop the play?

 

As a reward, obviously eliminating the Herald from the game. Perhaps also resetting the Terror level or lowering it by a set amount, as minds are relieved from the absence of the play?

 

I kind of agree with you, it IS kind of complex and maybe too much of a hassle to keep track of (except if we structure it like a deck of cards that are unveiled as the doom track progresses and each Plot is foiled or executed). But I'm thinking about how to let investigator try their hand anytime at all and having them fail/pass. How is it possible under the current game rules?

 

p.s. wait, I think I got it :) Think Dunwich Horror deck: how about a deck for every Herald? It doesn't have to be a deck to FIGHT the herald, each card could present a challenge and a pass/fail condition. Will the investigators risk drawing from the Herald's deck or will they deem it safer to ignore it? Maybe the game could FORCE them to draw from the deck sometimes. Think about it :)

 

 

The idea of a deck for each Herald sounds like it could potentially work. Just like Epic Battle Cards, it would make dealing with the Herald different every game, which could keep things fresh. The only thing I'm really adamant about is not FORCING the players to have to deal with this mechanic, even if they use it. The Herald itself already presents so many challenges and makes the game significantly harder for the players. This mechanic needs to be an option, and only an option, that allows the players the chance to remove the Herald from the game, where if they fail for attempting this option they are THEN going to suffer an additional penalty.

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