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Thought I'd start a thread for Lovecraftian Games.
I'm an old hand at AD&D, Traveller, Divine Right, Avalon Hill war games, Illuminati, etc. etc., but I've only played Call of Cthulhu a handful of times (and enjoyed it).
Today's question: has anyone ever played this board game?
Arkham Horror supposedly plays in 2-4 hours. True fact? Good reviews from Amazon...
Anything from 2 to 8 hours for me. Although we sometimes play with some of the expansions. It is a good game, but it really depends on having a good group of mates. It is more of an experience game than a strategy game.
You should also look at http://www.amazon.com/Fantasy-Flight-Games-MAD01-Mansions/dp/1616610158 which some find to be a better game.
2-4 hours is pretty realistic, depending on number of players and whether they're prone to analyze everything or play more intuitively, but count on four hours minimum if it's everyone's first time. The rules aren't complex, really, but there's a lot of them.
If you like it, you'll find that after repeated plays it gets quite easy, esp. with larger numbers of players (it's best with 3-5, IMMO), which is where the expansions come in handy.
Thanks both of you for the useful info. I think we'd play it with 4 or 5 players, and approx. 4 hours would be good for duration. I do like the "cooperative" aspect mentioned for Arkham Horror. After those mysterious, unsolved disappearances of players involved in hotly-contested Illuminati games of the past, it would be nice to work with and not against each other! "Mansions" looks very intriguing, too, and seems a step closer to an actual RPG.
Well not really - Mansions Of Madness is still pretty boardgamey. You do not have the same leeway as you would in a RPG.
There are a number of Cthulhu RPGs now. You already know about Call Of Cthulhu but there is also Realms Of Cthulhu and Trail Of Cthulhu. You can also download Cthulhu Dark for free which is an ultra-lightweight game. See http://www.thievesoftime.com/news/cthulhu-dark/
HPL & gaming will forever be inextricably linked in my mind.
The first time I ever saw the name "H.P. Lovecraft" was when I was 13 years old and looking through my best friend's Dungeon Masters Guide. I came upon the justifiably famous APPENDIX N: INSPIRATIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL READING and saw "Lovecraft, H.P." nestled there between "Leiber, Fritz" and "Merritt, A.".
Appendix N is still the best goddamn list of reading recommendations for fantasy/horror/weird fiction fans, goddamnit.
My favorite horror game is De Profundis. It's an unconventional -- and fully diceless -- RPG that uses both correspondence and LARP elements.
I notice that there's a second edition that accommodates Internet play, and I'm curious about how that works. (The original edition discouraged that, although I have my own ideas about how best to manage it.)
Cthulhu Dark sounds like it would be interesting to try - if only I had the time for an ongoing RPG!
I'll have to borrow a copy of the DMG and check out Appendix N - it's been a while!
De Profundis sounds really intriguing, especially the "by correspondence" part. I'll have to read up on it a bit more...
I used to have Arkham Horror but I got tired of playing solo games and I sold it. :|
I've been there, Thulean. All those times I played Starship Troopers against myself.... You'd think that video games would be just the thing, but there's something wonderfully tactile about having a board and all those little pieces in front of you. Not to mention the hypnotic pull of all those lovely hexagons-on-cardboard (depending on the game, of course)! And a nice 60-page rule book in the tiniest of fonts.
Yeah, I enjoy tabletop gaming but it can easily lose its entertainment value without the social factor from a group to play with.
Those crazy internets have saved you the trouble, Kenton:
2-4 hours....for setup, once you get all the expansions ;-)
Arkham Horror we does love it :-) A great game. We didn't buy mansions of madness, my wife thought it was too combatty.
The Stars are right by Steve Jackson Games is also a keeper (it's actually a licensed german game). Good two player game.
2-4 hours for setup - ain't it the truth! Thanks for mentioning The Stars are Right. I've found most of the Steve Jackson games I've tried to be very enjoyable, especially Illuminati I'll definitely check out TSAR . In fact, thanks for all of the suggestions so far, everyone!
I've just started getting into Looney Pyramids games.
I think I'll be re-reading "Entombed with the Pharaohs" and seeing if I get any inspiration for game rules there.
Yes well, I think she thinks it's a bit too much like 'Descent' in some senses. We playtested it at a local games store.
Thanks for the Looney Pyramids link - this looks fascinating. It might make a great Xmas gift idea for someone I know...
I know the HPL tale as "Imprisoned with the Pharaohs", but I see it was also published as "Entombed with...".
My new game is here! Initial playtesting is a little unimpressive, and I'm very open to suggestions for improvement.
Wow! I didn't realize that "Pharoahs" was actually a game. Unimpressive - how so?
Also, help me a bit here. "Looney Pyramids" - is this the name of the company that produces a basic set of pieces ("Icehouse Pieces"?) for which you can make up (or purchase) games? I'm interested in trying Zendo. So, how do I go about getting what I need?
Looney Labs is the company. Looney Pyramids is now the name of the game system.
Nominally Zendo requires 60 pyramids in 4 colours (15 of each). That requires 5 stashes. You might be able to get away with just 4 stashes.
You will also need 20 black stones, 20 white stones and 20 green stones (or other coloured counters).
You can read more on the designer's page - http://www.koryheath.com/games/zendo/
> 21 Unimpressive - how so?
Well, the chance element really dominates any sense of tactics and strategy. But it is kind of growing on me during the course of playtesting. Although I devised it for the pyramid pieces, it's certainly playable without them. You could just use a chessboard, a deck of cards, and the following coins per player: two quarters, two nickels, a dime, and a penny. The quarters would be 3-point monsters, nickels 2-point, dimes 1-point, and pennies Magicians.
Oh, and if it wasn't clear (I suppose not) the game designer Dionysius = Carthoris = Paradoxos Alpha.
I bought Arkham Horror. Made the mistake of trying to play it right out of the box, learning as we went. Some of the directions were rather vague and/or convoluted. However, after about three hours or so, when everything started to click and make sense, I really began to enjoy it. Looks like a keeper - can't wait to play a real game in a couple of weeks with no learning curve involved.
I played Arkham Horror a couple of times and enjoyed it, though our initial run with 6 people made it incredibly lengthy. I enjoyed playing with three, co op gaming is fun.
Brian, we had four players, but that learning curve I mentioned did not allow us to finish the game. We did pretty much keep Yig (one of the "easier" monsters, supposedly) in his place, though! There is some strategy involved in Arkham Horror, which I appreciate. I'm looking forward to the next game.
Thanks for the heads up, I wondered whether they would do a Lovecraftian version of Fluxx. It'll no doubt be a blast.
We have had 'Arkham horror' and ALL expansions set up on our Dining table for a couple of weeks now, since were having several games with various people. One more play this weekend and we're taking it down though.
Arkham Horror was the reason we picked up the lovely large dining table we have, and there are still two more leaves in case Fantasy Flight do more expansions.
The game runs quicker when everybody playing has played it repeated times.
Okay, something else to play with Cthulhu Dice: Builders of R'lyeh.
Has anyone played Cthulu Saves the World?
So I've got Cthulhu Dice now, and it turns out to be a pretty trivial game. Our house rules make it entertaining, though not especially horrific. It tends to be two-player games, and we have little 1" plastic toys that we use to represent our cultists. This leads to an endless stream of funny game declarations like: "My frog retaliates against your dragon!" and "My insane baby attacks your tiger!"
Call of Cthulhu the Wasteland.
I guess it was an IOS game that is now coming to PC. I had never heard of it before. It appears to be a turn-based RPG.
Thanks for posting that info. Outside of my now-antique PS1 and GameCube, PC is my only option. I think I will look into thus further...
PC is the way to go for gaming anyway. IMO of course. I have an Xbox 360 but it has been used perhaps 15 or 20 hours. I just like the freedom PC gaming gives as far as mods and whatnot. PC games are also cheaper than the console versions.
There's Miskatonic School for Girls that recently went through Kickstarter. It's a very pretty game, but the consensus among most of the board gamers I've played it with is that it doesn't have enough strategy to support the game.
PC is the way to go for gaming anyway.
There's nothing like being face to face with your opponents. Besides which, my computer sucks, and so do my reflexes, so boardgames actually give me a chance.
Some rave reviews are rolling in from people who've played the prototype at cons. It's not due on the market till August, alas.
Holy crap! Check this out! Comically demented concept, but look at the sculpted player tokens!
Nice! Richly detailed figures, to boot. I'm always checking out "Cthulhu Fluxx"...
OMG! The Doom that Came to Atlantic City sounds like a lot of fun! :-) Like monopoly, but instead of building a city, you're destroying one. Yay the end of days!
Aaaarrrgh! I would so plunk $100 into 'The Doom that Came to Atlantic City' boardgame, but the Mrs. would kill me. She'd kill me dead, and the judge would acquit her of any wrongdoing.
Looney Labs is creating some advance buzz for Cthulhu Fluxx with a little quiz-format introduction to the game design: Guess that Goal. Based on the first one, Weird Tradition members should find it mighty easy.
The Doom That Came to Atlantic City made its nut on Kickstarter last week: "We thank you for your ongoing involvement in your Doom."
Well, $50 is about normal for a nice adult board game these days. But I admit I'd want the ones with pewter figurines, which still seem reasonable at $75. If only I hadn't just spent all my money on books! Well, no, I don't regret a thing, actually.
I know what you mean. $75 for books? Sure!. But on a game? Outrageous! But it keeps drawing me back....
On the more affordable side, The Stars Are Right looks really fun to me. Anyone here tried it?
Rising from the deep right quick:
Looks good. I kept thinking that the "Ungoals" were a cannibalistic race from the Dreamlands. I would give this a try.
Got my Cthulhu Fluxx demo copy today. Played two hands with the family. I won the first with the Miskatonic University goal (requires the Librarian and the Professor). The second I seemed to have won with the Cultist (it's Wilbur; he needs the Dunwich Horror Ungoal to be met), but I got trumped by the youngun with the Secret Cultist.
At Half-Price Books today I scored a complete copy of Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game. I hope it plays well without expansions. Has anyone here played it?
It plays OK without expansions although a few asylum packs will help. Like all CCG/LCG games quite a bit of the fun is in designing decks to play against each other (the meta-game) and the more cards the merrier. FFG are switching to big-box expansions for the game - one of which would be plenty to give lots of options.
Yeah, if it turns out that I like the core game, I must say the "Order of the Silver Twilight" expansion looks to be right up my alley.
If only I hadn't just spent all my money on books! Well, no, I don't regret a thing, actually.
Yeah, you woulda just spent it on something frivolous otherwise. Food, for example.
So, experience now demonstrates that I do like the Call of Cthulhu CG, and the Silver Twilight expansion should arrive in this week's mail.
Also, I recently played the OOP Mythos card game, and found it mostly inferior to CoC. It had a lot of narrative integrity, but with just two decks it was far too invariable, and I never really got a sense of even vigorous tactical play. Also, the graphic design was sort of an eyesore, I thought.
Yes, the die is beautiful, even if the game is borderline stupid. The die can be adapted for other games.
In other gaming, I just designed a few custom cards for Cthulhu Fluxx:
A Student Keeper
A Nyarlathotep Creeper
A "Hand Limit 2 + Investigators" New Rule
The Goal "The King in Yellow"
The Action "Summer Vacation"
And I've picked up some supplementary packs and started earnest CoC deckbuilding. My decks so far include Mothersuckers (Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath fronted by Syndicate seducers and con artists), Sunsets'n'Slime (Silver Twilight sorcerers and cultists with Deep One support), and Rough'n'Rotting (Hastur villains with corrupt bruisers from the Agency).
Never played Cthulhu Dice - just wanted to document it in this thread.
Have you ever played the Steve Jackson ILLUMINATUS card game? One of my all-time favorites. The "Servants of Cthulhu" were one of the factions attempting world domination. Their goal to win the game, unlike any others was to destroy sub-groups under their control.
Yeah, I played a good chunk of Illuminatus in high school. We had four regular players, and it got so we could never finish a game because of the pile-on-the-leader dynamic. We had one game that ran for over twenty hours.
We always made sure to hide any sharp objects in advance of a game. The hardest part for me was always trying not to use the bathroom, which would provide a perfect chance for the formation of cabals that didn't include me. But really... 20 hours?!?! Did you win?
NO, nobody won. Decades later, I still have sealed envelopes holding the data to restart the tabled game.
It's not over until it's over. You do realize that any... errrr... untimely demises beforehand will result in a very EC Comics-looking game finale some day.... :-)
From the Call of Cthulhu Card Game (Touched by the Abyss expansion):
See our discussion of this volume in the "Black Man with a Horn" Deep Ones thread!
I don't think it's necessary at all, although a friend of mine who read both books recently definitely liked TMP much better.
Sorry to hijack the games thread! And now back to your regularly-scheduled programming. :-|
I've long had a copy of The Mind Parasites and haven't gotten around to reading it. I have seen Lifeforce on the other hand, and while I don't know anything about its box office returns, I thought it was fun. It even scratched my girl-on-the-altar itch!
Nice - you've reminded me that I tried playing "Arkham Horror" exactly once. Think I'll try to set up a game over the holidays. I'm not sure if this has been asked, but is anyone aware of any good Lovecraftian games for PC?
Question about de Profundis up in >7. Is this actually played through the mail? Would this be something that WT members might want to play?
I don't know about PC games, but Elder Sign: Omens is for mobile devices and has gotten some good reviews.
Yes, De Profundis is actually played through the mail (among other possible modes). I don't have a copy of the rules anymore. I'd be interested, but I'll have to see how hard it is to track down either the first edition (which I had) or the revision (which I haven't yet read).
Okay, a little quick research shows that the first edition is not too hard to find used, with prices gravitating down toward $8.00 or so. The second edition is in print at $14.95, and seems like the better bet -- primarily because it has some method of accommodating play by email, while the first edition simply discouraged it, insisting that proper game pacing could only be achieved through hardcopy letterpost.
Is this it?
I'd be interested in trying it out for only a fifteen dollar investment. Anyone else?
That's the one all right. I'm a little puzzled by the cover image in the Amazon listing, which has the subtitle in some Central or Eastern European language that I can't read. But the specs listed give the language as English. My arm could be twisted to pick this up pretty easily.
I'll make a separate post asking if anyone else wants to try. Do you have any idea how many players might make it worthwhile? We can choose an approximate starting date if it looks like it's a go...
My honest recollection is that it seemed like it would work with even two players, and three or four ought to make a respectable quorum. I don't know about any sort of upper limit. There's no referee, we'd just need to agree to some setting conventions and then use the mechanics of the game. (Again, this is all based on my reading of the first edition over a decade ago.)
To give people time to acquire the rules, but not let the impulse go stale, we might aim for a mid-January organizing start, with play to commence on ... Candlemas?
Sure! Think I'll order a copy now. A mid-Jan. start should give all players time to review the book. As noted above, I'll post this as a separate thread to get max exposure.
I've got copies of both editions of De Profundis and would be interested in participating. I've wanted to give it a go for years now, but have never found anyone else who was also interested.
By the way, although The Doom that Came to Atlantic City got fully funded on Kickstarter, it's been thrown into delays by litigation-demanded redesign work.
The copy linked to in #73 is the Polish version I believe. It was originally a Polish game. Or at least it is a picture of the Polish edition.
My copy says Cthulhu Gaming On The Edge Of Madness. I think it might be out of print also as I cannot seem to find it in stock at the major RPG online shops in the UK.
Yeah, it's a Polish cover. But the specs say English. We'll have to see what amazon ships us, eh?
ETA (after receiving amazon shipment): English book with English cover.
Noble Knight Games, a very reputable new and used online game store I have bought a lot of books from, has copies of both 1st and 2nd edition (in English) available. The 2nd edition contains all the text of the 1st, plus it includes a final chapter on using email rather than snail mail.
Building an Elder God looks somewhat trivial. Has anyone here played it?
And here's a long and entertaining review of Strange Aeons:
My copy of the Call of Cthulhu LCG is in the mail. :) Soon I'll be the proud owner of the greatest game that ever existed.
Fantasy Flight Games has just announced a cool-looking Elder Sign expansion.
For those who have played Elder Sign (the boardgame), would it scratch an itch for "something like Arkham Horror, but plays faster and, most importantly, doesn't involve quite as much setup and bookkeeping"?
I can't make the comparison authoritatively, because I haven't played Arkham Horror. But I like Elder Sign, and its setup and bookkeeping are extremely minimal. From what I understand, the sixteen investigator characters are the same as the Arkham Horror base game.
It's quite feasible to complete a satisfying game of Elder Sign (open-box to close-box) in just an hour.
I will play Arkham Horror, though it's way down on my list. Elder Sign is at my "I will go sit on the couch and read a book" level. It's way faster and its setup and bookkeeping are trivial. But in my experience it's one of the cooperative games that consistently degenerates to solitaire, and the flavor feels completed pasted on.
"...three students, anthropologist, a scholar of ancient religion, a journalist, a photographer, a Pinkerton, and a hoodlum."
And the AD&D equivalent would be three non-player pieces of monster fodder, a wizard, a monk, a cleric, an illusionist, a fighter and a thief.
"Dark Waters" reminds me of a 1994 film with some enjoyable Lovecraftian elements:
This reminds me that I should get out "Arkham Horror" and play a game soon.
Maybe, if you really like the artwork and the theme of Arkham Horror. However, Elder sign has a couple of issues for me
1) In Arkham Horror, there's a lot of dice rolling, but you don't remember that as much as what you were trying to do. In this game I just mostly remember the dice rolls and don't remember what I was trying to do.
2) I've easily beaten it with every group
3) Not much really in the way of choices.
So I'd say no...unless you didn't like the length and overwrought rules of AH but really liked the art and a hint of the teme
Well, I do really like the art, but I'd also like a bit of a challenge - my group routinely defeats base AH - and, in a Lovecraftian game, more than a hint of theme. So your post gets filed under "against".
Well, you can continue to count me as a proponent.
As far as the challenge goes, it seems to vary widely: so much depends on the random draw of adventures and mythos cards. There are easy ways to increase the difficulty through house rules, one of which is evidently becoming an official rule in the expansion -- no redeeming trophies at the gift shop to get Elder Signs! Other methods of increasing difficulty include changing the increment of the clock advance (four hours instead of three), and/or assessing a two-doom penalty (rather than one) whenever an investigator is devoured.
Also, be sure to play with the 2012 version of the rules (downloadable at the FFG site if you end up with a 2011 printing of the game), which repairs some overpowering of characters.
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