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Lovecraftian Games

The Weird Tradition

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1KentonSem
Dec 12, 2011, 1:27pm Top

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?

http://www.amazon.com/Fantasy-Flight-Games-VA09-Arkham/dp/1589942108

Arkham Horror supposedly plays in 2-4 hours. True fact? Good reviews from Amazon...

2andyl
Dec 12, 2011, 2:46pm Top

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.

3AndreasJ
Dec 12, 2011, 3:15pm Top

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.

4KentonSem
Dec 12, 2011, 3:30pm Top

>2 andyl:, 3

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.

5andyl
Dec 12, 2011, 3:55pm Top

#4

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/

6artturnerjr
Dec 12, 2011, 9:22pm Top

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.

7paradoxosalpha
Dec 12, 2011, 9:23pm Top

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.)

8KentonSem
Edited: Dec 13, 2011, 8:42am Top

>5 andyl:

Cthulhu Dark sounds like it would be interesting to try - if only I had the time for an ongoing RPG!

>6 artturnerjr:

I'll have to borrow a copy of the DMG and check out Appendix N - it's been a while!

>7 paradoxosalpha:

De Profundis sounds really intriguing, especially the "by correspondence" part. I'll have to read up on it a bit more...

9Thulean
Dec 12, 2011, 10:16pm Top

I used to have Arkham Horror but I got tired of playing solo games and I sold it. :|

10KentonSem
Dec 12, 2011, 10:29pm Top

>9 Thulean:

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.

11Thulean
Dec 12, 2011, 11:38pm Top

10>

Yeah, I enjoy tabletop gaming but it can easily lose its entertainment value without the social factor from a group to play with.

12artturnerjr
Dec 12, 2011, 11:46pm Top

>8 KentonSem:

Those crazy internets have saved you the trouble, Kenton:

http://www.digital-eel.com/blog/ADnD_reading_list.htm

13cosmicdolphin
Dec 13, 2011, 6:40am Top

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.

14andyl
Dec 13, 2011, 6:51am Top

#13

And Arkham Horror isn't combatty?

15KentonSem
Dec 13, 2011, 8:48am Top

>12 artturnerjr:

Thanks, Art!

>13 cosmicdolphin:

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!

16paradoxosalpha
Dec 13, 2011, 8:58am Top

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.

17cosmicdolphin
Dec 13, 2011, 2:12pm Top

14andyl

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.

18KentonSem
Edited: Dec 14, 2011, 12:23pm Top

>16 paradoxosalpha:

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...".

19paradoxosalpha
Dec 18, 2011, 12:19pm Top

My new game is here! Initial playtesting is a little unimpressive, and I'm very open to suggestions for improvement.

20paradoxosalpha
Dec 19, 2011, 10:41am Top

The designers of the card game Fluxx have a Cthulhu version slated for summer 2012 release.

21KentonSem
Edited: Dec 19, 2011, 12:46pm Top

>19 paradoxosalpha:

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?

22andyl
Dec 19, 2011, 1:34pm Top

#21

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/

23paradoxosalpha
Dec 19, 2011, 2:26pm Top

> 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.

24KentonSem
Edited: Jan 4, 2012, 7:12pm Top

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.

25brianjungwi
Jan 5, 2012, 1:53am Top

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.

26KentonSem
Jan 5, 2012, 8:44am Top

>25 brianjungwi:

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.

27cosmicdolphin
Jan 5, 2012, 2:39pm Top

20 pardoxsalpha

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.

28paradoxosalpha
Mar 4, 2012, 10:26am Top

Cthulhu Dice looks fun to me. Has anyone here played it?

29paradoxosalpha
Edited: May 11, 2012, 1:42pm Top

Okay, something else to play with Cthulhu Dice: Builders of R'lyeh.

30brianjungwi
Apr 9, 2012, 2:48am Top

Has anyone played Cthulu Saves the World?

http://pc.ign.com/articles/118/1183771p1.html

31paradoxosalpha
Apr 21, 2012, 7:06pm Top

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!"

32Thulean
Apr 22, 2012, 8:15am Top

http://rampantgames.com/blog/?p=4248

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.

33KentonSem
Apr 22, 2012, 9:19am Top

>32 Thulean:

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...

34Thulean
Apr 26, 2012, 10:27am Top

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.

35prosfilaes
Apr 27, 2012, 4:56am Top

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.

36paradoxosalpha
May 8, 2012, 4:18pm Top


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.

37paradoxosalpha
May 11, 2012, 10:35am Top

Holy crap! Check this out! Comically demented concept, but look at the sculpted player tokens!

38KentonSem
May 11, 2012, 11:43am Top

>37 paradoxosalpha:

Nice! Richly detailed figures, to boot. I'm always checking out "Cthulhu Fluxx"...

39lammassu
May 11, 2012, 11:49am Top

>37 paradoxosalpha:

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!

40lammassu
May 15, 2012, 4:01pm Top

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.

41paradoxosalpha
May 16, 2012, 7:26pm Top

I'm primed for a demo copy of Cthulu Fluxx.

42paradoxosalpha
Jun 12, 2012, 11:45am Top

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.

43paradoxosalpha
Edited: Jun 13, 2012, 2:30pm Top

The Doom That Came to Atlantic City made its nut on Kickstarter last week: "We thank you for your ongoing involvement in your Doom."

44KentonSem
Jun 13, 2012, 3:51pm Top

Crom! It looks fantastic, but it's so expensive!

45paradoxosalpha
Jun 13, 2012, 3:55pm Top

> 44

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.

46KentonSem
Jun 13, 2012, 4:10pm Top

>75

I know what you mean. $75 for books? Sure!. But on a game? Outrageous! But it keeps drawing me back....

:)

47paradoxosalpha
Jun 15, 2012, 10:58am Top

On the more affordable side, The Stars Are Right looks really fun to me. Anyone here tried it?

48paradoxosalpha
Jul 4, 2012, 2:10pm Top

49KentonSem
Jul 5, 2012, 9:04am Top

>48 paradoxosalpha:

Looks good. I kept thinking that the "Ungoals" were a cannibalistic race from the Dreamlands. I would give this a try.

50paradoxosalpha
Jul 9, 2012, 9:46pm Top

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.

51paradoxosalpha
Jul 22, 2012, 7:04pm Top

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?

52andyl
Jul 23, 2012, 7:06am Top

#51

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.

53paradoxosalpha
Jul 23, 2012, 7:20am Top

> 53

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.

54artturnerjr
Edited: Jul 23, 2012, 11:28am Top

>45 paradoxosalpha:

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.

55paradoxosalpha
Aug 28, 2012, 4:22pm Top

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.

56KentonSem
Sep 19, 2012, 10:43am Top

57paradoxosalpha
Sep 19, 2012, 10:57am Top

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).

58KentonSem
Sep 19, 2012, 11:28am Top

>57 paradoxosalpha:

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.

59paradoxosalpha
Sep 19, 2012, 12:06pm Top

> 58

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.

60KentonSem
Sep 19, 2012, 12:35pm Top

>59 paradoxosalpha:

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?

61paradoxosalpha
Sep 19, 2012, 12:46pm Top

> 60

NO, nobody won. Decades later, I still have sealed envelopes holding the data to restart the tabled game.

62KentonSem
Sep 19, 2012, 12:59pm Top

>61 paradoxosalpha:

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.... :-)

63paradoxosalpha
Edited: Oct 5, 2012, 10:36am Top

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!

64artturnerjr
Oct 5, 2012, 11:09am Top

>63 paradoxosalpha:

Ha! :D

I forgot that we were talking about Colin Wilson in that thread. I mentioned elsewhere (http://www.librarything.com/topic/126593) that I picked up one of his novels (The Space Vampires) recently.

65KentonSem
Oct 5, 2012, 11:14am Top

>64 artturnerjr:

The Space Vampires is a sequel of sorts to The Mind Parasites. Both contain elements of Lovecraftian horror, as I recall. "Vampires" was made into the less-than-successful 1985 feature film LIFEFORCE, directed by Tobe Hooper and scripted by Dan O'Bannon.

66artturnerjr
Oct 5, 2012, 11:23am Top

>65 KentonSem:

So I should read The Mind Parasites first, I take it?

67KentonSem
Edited: Oct 5, 2012, 11:26am Top

>66 artturnerjr:

I don't think it's necessary at all, although a friend of mine who read both books recently definitely liked TMP much better.

ETA

Sorry to hijack the games thread! And now back to your regularly-scheduled programming. :-|

68paradoxosalpha
Edited: Nov 12, 2012, 2:45pm Top

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!

69paradoxosalpha
Nov 12, 2012, 2:45pm Top

Anyone here like Legos?

70paradoxosalpha
Dec 12, 2012, 11:39am Top

Expansion just announced (looks good!) :

71KentonSem
Dec 13, 2012, 12:39pm Top

>70 paradoxosalpha:

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 paradoxosalpha:. Is this actually played through the mail? Would this be something that WT members might want to play?

72paradoxosalpha
Dec 13, 2012, 1:10pm Top

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).

73paradoxosalpha
Edited: Dec 13, 2012, 1:18pm Top

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.

74KentonSem
Dec 13, 2012, 1:38pm Top

>73 paradoxosalpha:

Is this it?

http://www.amazon.com/Profundis-2nd-Michal-Oracz/dp/1907204180/ref=sr_1_5?s=book...

I'd be interested in trying it out for only a fifteen dollar investment. Anyone else?

75paradoxosalpha
Dec 13, 2012, 1:42pm Top

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.

76KentonSem
Dec 13, 2012, 1:46pm Top

>75 paradoxosalpha:

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...

77paradoxosalpha
Dec 13, 2012, 1:57pm Top

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?

78KentonSem
Dec 13, 2012, 2:26pm Top

>77 paradoxosalpha:

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.

79bibliorex
Dec 13, 2012, 2:42pm Top

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.

80paradoxosalpha
Dec 13, 2012, 4:32pm Top

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.

81andyl
Dec 13, 2012, 6:28pm Top

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.

82paradoxosalpha
Edited: Dec 20, 2012, 1:40pm Top

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.

83bibliorex
Dec 13, 2012, 8:10pm Top

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.

http://www.nobleknight.com/SearchResults.asp?catid=1&search=de+profundis

84paradoxosalpha
Dec 19, 2012, 12:32pm Top

Building an Elder God looks somewhat trivial. Has anyone here played it?

85paradoxosalpha
Dec 20, 2012, 1:40pm Top

And here's a long and entertaining review of Strange Aeons:
http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/900921/strange-aeons-two-parts-cthulhu-2-parts-d...

86paradoxosalpha
Jan 16, 2013, 9:29pm Top

Check out these brilliant Elder Sign game-generated vignettes.

87lammassu
Jan 18, 2013, 9:46am Top

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.

88paradoxosalpha
Jan 29, 2013, 9:20pm Top

Fantasy Flight Games has just announced a cool-looking Elder Sign expansion.

89AndreasJ
Feb 7, 2013, 8:55am Top

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"?

90paradoxosalpha
Edited: Feb 7, 2013, 9:01am Top

> 89

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.

91AndreasJ
Feb 7, 2013, 9:47am Top

Thanks, that sounds good. Anyone who has played both feels like chiming in?

92prosfilaes
Feb 7, 2013, 6:25pm Top

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.

93paradoxosalpha
Feb 15, 2013, 10:34am Top

I just read and reviewed an "Arkham Horror" novel, Ghouls of the Miskatonic.

94KentonSem
Feb 15, 2013, 11:01am Top

>93 paradoxosalpha:

"...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:

http://atthemansionofmadness.blogspot.com/2011/01/dark-waters-1994-lovecraftian-...

This reminds me that I should get out "Arkham Horror" and play a game soon.

95JonathanGorman
Feb 18, 2013, 11:09am Top

> 89

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

96AndreasJ
Feb 18, 2013, 3:49pm Top

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".

97paradoxosalpha
Feb 18, 2013, 4:15pm Top

> 96

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.

98KentonSem
Jun 27, 2013, 11:45am Top

Sandy Petersen Kickstarter "Cthulhu Wars" game nearing it's end date:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1816687860/cthulhu-wars

I haven't looked at the videos yet, but it sure looks cool!

99paradoxosalpha
Jun 27, 2013, 12:03pm Top

> 98

And expensive.

100AndreasJ
Jul 4, 2013, 4:10pm Top

Thought y'all might be interested hear I finally did end up buying Elder Sign. Played it for the first time today; the initial impression is that it's very much "Arkham Horror lite", which is just what I was hoping for.

The one concern is the ease with we beat it. I think we got a bit lucky, and we played a rule wrong in a way that made it easier, but I imagine we'll soon be looking at house rules to ramp up the challenge a bit.

101paradoxosalpha
Jul 4, 2013, 9:01pm Top

I just got the new Elder Sign expansion, and it really improves the base game, in my opinion. It's got more of everything: characters, ancient ones, adventures, items, mythos cards, and dice. We've only played it once, and Glaaki ate our lunch.

102KentonSem
Sep 3, 2014, 9:30am Top

WT member Dannelke sent me this interesting update from the artist who recently worked on a new MoM expansion set:

http://jakemurrayart.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-mountains-of-madness.html

103paradoxosalpha
Edited: Sep 16, 2014, 12:16pm Top

There are a few new Cthulhvian games out lately, which I haven't played:
Cthulhu!!! Hastur la vista, baby!
The Cards of Cthulhu
Eldritch Horror
The last of these is from FFG, and seems to be something of a reboot of Arkham Horror, with the scope expanded to a global setting. It's getting good marks from Arkham Horror players, and from some who found Arkham Horror too fiddly.

While researching links for the games above, I stumbled across a print-and-play game Postcard Cthulhu, which I might try out.

What I'm really saving my gaming pennies for is the upcoming Call of Cthulhu LCG expansion The Sleeper Below.

104andyl
Sep 16, 2014, 10:29am Top

>103 paradoxosalpha:

There is a new one out pretty soon called Kingsport Festival

105AndreasJ
Sep 16, 2014, 10:46am Top

paradoxosalpha
Eldritch Horror
The last of these is from FFG, and seems to be something of a reboot of Arkham Horror, with the scope expanded to a global setting. It's getting good marks from Arkham Horror players, and from some who found Arkham Horror too fiddly.


I'd recommend it to AH fanatics and to those who don't have AH, or dislike it for some specific failing not shared by EH. If you've got AH and thinks it's good but not earthshaking, you probably don't need EH. (And if you hate AH in general, you'll probably hate EH too.)

106paradoxosalpha
Sep 23, 2014, 2:42pm Top

I just finished reading the Arkham Horror novel series "The Lord of Nightmares"; my reviews of each of the three volumes are posted:
Dance of the Damned
The Lies of Solace
The Hungering God

107RandyStafford
Sep 23, 2014, 9:31pm Top

>106 paradoxosalpha: I'll second the favorable opinion of the series.

108paradoxosalpha
Edited: Nov 28, 2014, 9:52am Top



The wicked fairy at the christening of Horus?

109paradoxosalpha
Edited: Dec 17, 2014, 1:47pm Top

110paradoxosalpha
Nov 1, 2016, 2:59pm Top

I recently played (and won) a game of "A Study in Emerald," a deck-building game by Martin Wallace, based on the short story of the same name by Neil Gaiman. I liked it so much that yesterday I bought a copy.

112andyl
Nov 1, 2016, 4:51pm Top

>111 paradoxosalpha:

I have the first edition. It is a good game but there was someone who just hated the game when I first played it and he was a fun-sucker. Ruined the game for everyone.

I also don't want to feed your Lovecraftian gaming urge too much but have you seen

Mythos Tales - https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/126100/mythos-tales
Which is a bit like Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective (for those who have played that) but Lovecraftian.

Also of course FFG are releasing their new LCG - Arkham Horror The Card Game - https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/205637/arkham-horror-card-game which looks very interesting. It is a cooperative adventure game where your character improves as he or she battles through each scenario (or maybe dies) to the big climax of the story.

113paradoxosalpha
Nov 1, 2016, 5:01pm Top

>112 andyl:

Yeah, I'm looking forward to the Arkham LCG. It won't fill the void left by departing my old Cthulhu LCG group, but I expect to enjoy it a lot.

I hadn't seen Mythos Tales. Of course Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu is the most ubiquitous of the recent gaming yog-sothothery. It looks like a pretty solid adaptation of the Leacock co-op engine to Arkham Country.

114paradoxosalpha
Nov 1, 2016, 5:03pm Top

I think I'm also in the target market for this (just announced today).

115AndreasJ
Nov 1, 2016, 5:20pm Top

>113 paradoxosalpha:

Reign of Cthulhu is pretty good. Perhaps oddly, the mechanics fits the Lovecraft Light (sensu TVTropes) theme better than the original one.

116Jarandel
Edited: Nov 3, 2016, 11:08pm Top

One of the current Humble Bundles includes the Laundry File RPG (from the series by Charles Stross) and two supplements in .pdf format : The Laundry, Black Bag Jobs & Agent's Handbook

117paradoxosalpha
Mar 20, 2017, 1:11pm Top

I had a big week of Lovecraftian gaming last week. First, I observed the end of winter with a win in Elder Sign: Omens of Ice.



Then I celebrated the anniversary of HPL's death by feeding four investigators to Yog-Sothoth in Elder Sign: The Gates of Arkham.



Finally, my daughter and I learned to play Arkham Horror: The Card Game, and had a high old time with the first two scenarios. I've been playing amnesiac ex-con "Skids" O'Toole, while she's been the witchcraft-powered waitress Agnes Baker.

118paradoxosalpha
Jun 13, 2017, 2:32pm Top

My daughter and I have worked our way through the first half of the Dunwich Legacy campaign in Arkham Horror: The Card Game. She's been playing as the roguish dilettante Jenny Barnes, and I've had the disgruntled chef and religious fanatic Zoey Samaras. It's been a blast; for example, here are our characters on "The Essex County Express":



When we got off the train, there was nothing left of it but the engine--everything else had been sucked into some hellish other dimension.

I'm really looking forward to the second campaign cycle, which is supposed to start releasing later this year:

119paradoxosalpha
Dec 25, 2017, 4:23pm Top

I've recently picked up a couple of "Arkham Horror Novellas" published to supplement the card game:


The first I've read, and reviewed here.

120paradoxosalpha
Jan 29, 2018, 2:19pm Top

Now I've read and reviewed the second one.

122paradoxosalpha
Jan 8, 10:40am Top

My latest Cthulvian gaming is Martin Wallace's AuZtralia, the "sequel" to his A Study in Emerald (inspired by the Neil Gaiman story of the same name--DEEP ONES discussed it here). Both of these are semi-cooperative games, but very different in their approach. Narratively, the premise is that after the espionage and eventual Restorationist revolution of A Study in Emerald, the liberated humans of Europe start an era of colonization. But when they get to Australia, they find that there is an Old One redoubt there, and a war ensues.

Players rush to create farms that will gain them the wealth they need to raise armies and buy munitions. They fight in the island interior with mi-go, shoggoths, Loyalist brigades, and zombies under the dominion of the Old Ones. "How else can you capture a zombie, unless you attack from the outback?" At about the midpoint of the game, the Old Ones enter the game as an automated additional player, and they take actions in the same pattern as the other players, in which they move, blight farms, attack ports, and so forth. In the end, the Old Ones get their own score, and they can potentially beat all the human players.

I've played it with four players, two players, and solitaire. It's definitely easier at higher player counts, but there are elements included to make it easier in solo and two-player games, as well as variants to increase the difficulty for three or four players. Here's a solitaire game where I got stomped:



By chance, I happened fortuitously into a second new-in-shrink copy of this one. If someone is interested in buying or trading for it, please let me know.

123WeeTurtle
Jan 9, 7:45pm Top

Wow, this is a large thread and it's hard to keep it all straight!

I'm mostly into video games but I do have some board games and my brother is the master collector in the family. I do have a fondness for the longer co-op games, or ones that aren't directly adversarial. The Fury of Dracula, Tales of the Arabian Nights, and The Lord of the Rings are among my favourites. Probably comes from my D&D fondness as well. Games like Decent and Talisman are great but do take a lot of time. Knowing the general systems for D&D can help a lot with figuring out the rules for these long haul board games.

We recently played a Lovecraftian game that my brother got and it was a bit of a tangle at first but we managed. I can't recall the name though (just texted my bro to find out). It's a board game that allows people to make modules that people can download on their ipad or laptop and use to play new adventures. The module we played was essentially Shadow Over Innsmouth with some window dressing. We were investigating more often than fighting, which did tend to get out of hand.

The interesting part of this game was that there were hidden mechanics going on. For instance, people could become mad and acquire secret missions. One player became a pyromaniac and her "win" condition for the game became setting at least three buildings on fire. We didn't know she was mad and because it's a cooperative game, she had to find ways to hide it or we could actually interfere.

I'd post a couple pictures I have but I'm not sure how to include personal photos in a forum post. Short answer, most of the party died in a burning building while fighting a mob of monsters and fishmen that we had to start stacking because there was not enough space for them to fit in the designated area. I *almost* made it by valiantly barricading myself in an abandoned fishermen's hut on the beach. Perfectly reasonable. Really.

124paradoxosalpha
Jan 9, 9:32pm Top

>123 WeeTurtle:

You can put images in a forum post with a regular html img tag (in angle brackets). Use the src= attribute to specify the URL of the image. Your LT account has a "junk drawer" connected to your regular gallery that is tailor made for uploading images you want to share that way, if you just have a pic and its not on the 'net.

125WeeTurtle
Edited: Jan 10, 12:57am Top

>124 paradoxosalpha: Thanks!

The situation...


Me.


If anyone recognizes the specific pieces let me know. It seems to be Mansions of Madness. My character there is William Yoric.

126AndreasJ
Jan 10, 12:42am Top

>123 WeeTurtle:

That'd be Mansions of Madness 2nd edition. A friend owns it and I rather like it.

127WeeTurtle
Jan 10, 1:08am Top

That appears to be it. We played through the Innsmouth module which is apparently the longest and most complicated of the bunch that were available at the time. It did feel long for the type of game iirc.

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