Monday, August 4, 2008

Announcement: August and Arkham Horror

Alright, so, that stuff that I said that I would do doesn't look like it will happen soon. My previous summer classes really wore me out, and I need to use my current, lighter schedule to rest and recuperate. I just really don't feel like doing much of anything right now.
The RPG that I'm trying to run is currently completely stagnated, since C says that he's too busy to give me some genre decisions, and M ... I need to yell at him some more. Actually, if I get M's full input, I may have to use my power of ... being the GM ... to move on.
The main thing that I actually *do* for fun lately is Arkham Horror. I like it. Of course, it's not necessarily clear why. It's a cooperative game, a hard game to win, a complex game, and of course it has a Cthulhu Mythos theme. I've also seen it described as something like a light RPG, and I can see why. It has characters - though it takes away about a third of the rules compared to an RPG, since there are no character creation rules, since the characters are pre-generated. The characters even have back stories on the backs of their sheets, if you bother to read them. Random events also tend to come with descriptions around them, like when you get the chance to get Ruby Standish (an Ally). It involves bumping into her while she's sneaking around the Silver Twilight Lodge and ... I think that it's a Fight check to stop her. If you succeed but her Ally card isn't available, then you get an item - I think that the theme there is that she gives you something that she totally ganked from the lodge. This game has a good dose of atmosphere, all things considered.

Another fun aspect about these sorts of games (standalone tabletop fun times) is that they can be played with whomever, especially once they know the rules. For RPGs, assuming that we can somehow make character creation fast, the closest equivalent would be running all one-shots. An exception to this may be Spirit of the Century, due to its pulpy nature and the fact that character presence in adventures is pretty interchangeable. I've heard stuff to this effect around the internet, but right now, I don't know where to point anyone regarding that.

Actually, I'm looking to participate in the Summer League that Fantasy Flight Games is running. Ironically, I do have a couple of friends who should be regularly available (currently every Sunday), and we're not doing an RPG.
Here's the URL for the league:
Normally, Arkham Horror is for 1-8 investigators, but for some reason, the league is for 2-8. It doesn't really matter, since one player could play two (or more) investigators. The league releases a scenario (on a fortnightly basis), which specifies the Ancient One to fight and adds special rules, including a list of cards to remove from the investigator decks (the items and such that investigators use). A common theme that I noticed in the first scenario is that they yanked everyting except Allies that help with evading monsters, including:
1. both Dark Cloaks (the only common items that boost Evade (none boost Sneak))
2. both copies of Sneak and both copies of Stealth (the two sneaky skills)
3. all copies of Mists of Releh (the only spell for Evading monsters)
So, the theme seems to be not sneaking past monsters. I think that I know why, but that's for more detail, perhaps in a coming post.

Well, I'm just rambling now. I'll try to get some more coherent AH thoughts (ironic, ain't it?) into a later post.

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