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Subject: Unfair devouring against Cthulhu? rss

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Michael Redston
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Investigators with 3 sanity/stamina are doomed to be devoured when the mythos "at midnight, all investigators lose 2 sanity/stamina" is drawn. In AH you're only knocked unconscious/driven insane from something like this, but here you get devoured. There is not a single card in the game that can save these investigators from these mythos if Cthulhu is the AO. Fair or no fair?
 
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Rauli Kettunen
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Don't Food and Whiskey allow you prevent 1 loss?

Also, given what a wuss he is in Arkham Horror, at least now Cthulhu has some oomph.
 
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David McInnes
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Quite right, Cthulhu doesn't do tea and cucumber sandwiches
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Michael Redston
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Wow, can't believe I forgot about food/whiskey blush still though you need to be lucky
 
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Brother Leon
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i would say that you could use this investigator suicidally for a few turns to make the most of their impending doom... however, if you were really unlucky, you could draw another investigator with a rating of 3 (assuming you draw at random).
 
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Chris Lawson
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kroen wrote:
Fair or no fair?

Cthulhu is one of the easier Final Battle AOs so it seems only fair that he gets a chance to have a light snack during the game.
 
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Jonathan Hersey
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I certainly don’t think it’s unfair. I like how mythos cards such as these add to the sense of impending doom and tension. Plus, the game is fairly forgiving when it comes to losing an investigator . . . at least usually. Especially against cthulu, having the chance to draw another investigator with a more balanced range of sanity and health can be really good. If it looks like he will wake up before we collect enough elder signs or if you are playing the variant where you always vs the AO once you collect enough elder signs, then I might welcome my investigator being devoured through the combined effect of the AO and mythos card.
 
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Chris Lawson
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Elder Sign » Forums » General
Re: Unfair devouring against Cthulhu?
Jonathan68 wrote:
Especially against cthulu, having the chance to draw another investigator with a more balanced range of sanity and health can be really good. If it looks like he will wake up before we collect enough elder signs or if you are playing the variant where you always vs the AO once you collect enough elder signs, then I might welcome my investigator being devoured through the combined effect of the AO and mythos card.

This indicates that you are playing Cthulhu incorrectly.

It may be worth while reading the following AH thread about Final Battle vs Cthulu because that should set you straight. ES Cthulhu is pretty much the same as AH Cthulhu for Final Battle.

Let's give an example to ensure the procedure is understood.

You are playing Amanda Sharpe, (max) Sanity 5, (max) Stamina 5.

At the start of the game her maximum Sanity and Stamina are reduced by 1 due to Cthulhu's power Dreams of Madness.
Quote:
Investigators have their maximum Sanity and their maximum Sanity reduced by 1.

Therefore Amanda Sharpe is now at (max) Sanity 4, (max) Stamina 4.

Now comes the final battle. You can effectively ignore what your investigators current Stamina and Sanity are since it is only maximum Stamina and Sanity that matters from now on. I find it easier to just track this max value instead of the current value.

The investigators will typically have only 6 Midnights before they are devoured on the 7th. This is true for all current investigators (i.e. those who's combined (max) Sanity and Stamina comes to 10). Even the Special Ability such as Psychology or Physician doesn't help as they only effect current Sanity / Stamina not maximum Sanity / Stamina.

They all typically enter the Final Battle against Cthulhu with 8 combined points of Sanity and Stamina, therefore they will all be devoured when the ancient Ones attacks for the 7th time (because at that point they each will be reduced to 1 / 0 for their Sanity / Stamina.

It doesn't matter what your Investigator's current Sanity / Stamina is at the start of the Final Battle, it's the maximum Sanity / Stamina that gets reduced. You can be at Sanity 1 and Stamina 1 at the start, you will still last until the 7th Midnight.

It doesn't matter if you play a 7/3 Investigator instead of a 5/5 since you can decide which attribute to lower after each attack.

EDIT (added tone): so as I mentioned, Cthulhu is one of the easier AOs. You should have somewhere between 25 to 28 turns to dispose of him. It doesn't matter if your Investigator started at 1 Sanity and 1 Stamina, it doesn't matter if he was a 5/5, 3/7 or a 7/3 split, any Investigator will still survive until the 7th Midnight.
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Michael Redston
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umm 7 days GUARANTEED is A LOT when fighting an AO. most would kill you in way less time than that
 
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Chris Lawson
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kroen wrote:
umm 7 days GUARANTEED is A LOT when fighting an AO. most would kill you in way less time than that

And your point is?

Which is why I said Cthulhu is one of the easier AOs during Final Battle.
 
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Michael Redston
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lol I didn't get the tone of your post I thought you were making a point that he's strong lol hard to get tones over the internet
 
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Jonathan Hersey
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xris wrote:
Jonathan68 wrote:
Especially against cthulu, having the chance to draw another investigator with a more balanced range of sanity and health can be really good. If it looks like he will wake up before we collect enough elder signs or if you are playing the variant where you always vs the AO once you collect enough elder signs, then I might welcome my investigator being devoured through the combined effect of the AO and mythos card.

This indicates that you are playing Cthulhu incorrectly.


I think it's more I didn't "remember" Cthulu correctly. For some reason I thought he damaged both sanity and stamina in the same turn


xris wrote:
Now comes the final battle. You can effectively ignore what your investigators current Stamina and Sanity are since it is only maximum Stamina and Sanity that matters from now on. I find it easier to just track this max value instead of the current value.


We play a variant where the sanity and stamina tokens are damage markers and you start the game with nothing on your character. If you go into the battle against cthulu with a 5 stamina 5 sanity character and you have already lost 3 of each (so there are now 3 stamina and 3 sanity tokens on your character), then your sunk. Because, Cthulu reduces your maximum stamina and sanity by one, your character is now one day away from being devoured. If I reduce either stamina or sanity by 1 it bring that maximum down to 3, I’ve already taken 3 damage in that respective field and a I die.

I’m so used to playing this way I forgot it was a variant
 
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Lazareth Minnelli
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Hey Chris Lawson, I was reading through the revised rule set and came to the "battle the ancient one" example. After reading about how Harvey Walters battle was going I started to get confused about their example and your example here on battling Cthulhu.

This part from the rules example:

"However, Harvey Walters began the combat with only 1 sanity and 3 stamina. The players failed to defeat Cthulhu for several rounds and, due to Cthulhu's ability, Harvey Walters has now reduced his maximum stamina to 1.

Skip through Mandy's turn, advance clock to midnight and then it says-

"It is Cthulhu's turn to attack and his ability reads:

When Cthulhu attacks, each investigator must reduce either his max sanity or max stamina by 1. Then add 1 doom token.

"Unfortunately, this reduces Harvey Walters' max stamina to zero, and he is devoured..."

So I don't get it. They were going by what his sanity and stamina values were when they entered combat with the ancient one, not using the method you mentioned about disregarding what their values were when they came into the battle and just using their max stamina and sanity listed on the card for each (adding them up to 8 due to Cthulhu's ability, and working down as you choose, sanity or stamina, for each investigator when they take a hit).

I think there is something wrong here. It seems to me it does matter what those values are when you enter battle with Cthulhu and you go with those numbers as with Walter starting with only 1 Sanity left and full 3 stamina. What are your thoughts on this?
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Mark L
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AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!


xris is right about what Cthulhu's ability says. However, zanti_misfit is also right about what the revised rules say.

FFS, Fantasy Flight, sort your $#!+ out. Not only are your rules confusing and contradictory, but every time you publish "improved" rules they cause new issues.

Cthulhu's ability is quite clear, unless the revised printing of the game has changed it (and I'd be very surprised if that's so). It's your maximum sanity or stamina that is reduced. Maximum is not the same as current. The two words are different and mean different things.

It's admittedly not a very obvious point -- easy to miss -- but if read carefully, the rules on Cthulhu's card are not ambiguous. But clarifying non-obvious points is exactly what rule examples are for.

What's the bloody point in having a rule example written by someone who hasn't read the rules carefully!

cry
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Matthew
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First off, I'm reading in the revised rulebook right now and there's no mention of Harvey's starting stats in the Ancient One fight. So it doesn't contradict itself. Secondly, in zanti_misfit's example, he clearly wrote that while Harvel started with 3 max sanity, he also wrote, "The players failed to defeat Cthulhu for several rounds and, due to Cthulhu's ability, Harvey Walters has now reduced his maximum stamina to 1." I added the bold. So yes, when next the clock strikes midnight Harvey will be devoured because his max sanity and now his max stamina are both one.

As for Cthulhu being too easy, he's also the only Old One that adds doom tokens back to the track, and has one of the most difficult rolls to score; Shub-Niggurath's is also difficult, but with Cthulhu the yellow and red die are much less effective.

Now, take a deep breath...
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Lazareth Minnelli
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"there's no mention of Harvey's starting stats in the Ancient One fight."

"Harvey Walters began the combat with only 1 sanity and 3 stamina"

I read that just as it is, "beginning the combat ie beginning the battle" with the ancient one. Open to multiple interpretations it seems...

I wish they had made it quite clear in this example that Harvey had indeed taken hits from max 7 sanity down to 1 before switching to taking hits on his remaining stamina max 3 down to 1.

Wait, Cthulhu lowers everybody's max sanity and stamina by one right, so they start the final battle with a combined score of 8 right? sigh..

I'm still not settled on this, but I'll go with these numbers...
 
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Matthew
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I still don't see that part in the example, but I could easily have missed it. Regardless, "The players failed to defeat Cthulhu for several rounds and, due to Cthulhu's ability, Harvey Walters has now reduced his maximum stamina to 1." seems pretty clear about Harvey's state at the point in the fight where midnight strikes on Amanda's turn.
 
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Lazareth Minnelli
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Eyefink wrote:
I still don't see that part in the example, but I could easily have missed it. Regardless, "The players failed to defeat Cthulhu for several rounds and, due to Cthulhu's ability, Harvey Walters has now reduced his maximum stamina to 1." seems pretty clear about Harvey's state at the point in the fight where midnight strikes on Amanda's turn.


Yes that part makes sense, its the part before that in contention really, "began combat with 1 sanity and 3 stamina", that's the part that had me wondering. First sentence 2nd paragraph.

The entire example begins with:

"The players have failed to collect enough Elder Signs before filling the doom track and Cthulhu awakens from his slumber. They must defeat him to win the game."

"However, Harvey Walters began the combat wth only 1 sanity and 3 Stamina. The players failed to defeat Cthulhu for several rounds, due to Cthulhu's ability..." and so forth.

Seems to me the example is being clear about Harvey initially starting with those stats. Now, whether or not the example is wrong is what I'm wondering about. It never mentions 5 or 6 other rounds of battle bringing his sanity down to 1..

Also, when fighting against Cthulhu, how could Harvey ever have max 3 stamina during this game? It would have to be 2 max, and 6 sanity right?

I think I might personally be losing a point of sanity with the FFG rules issues and stuff. haha

The other investigator used in this example is Mandy Thompson, not Amanda so I'm not sure if that's just a typo on your part or you are reading a different example than I am. I downloaded and printed the current pdf from FFG's website and I'm using that for this discussion.


 
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Mark L
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Eyefink wrote:
First off, I'm reading in the revised rulebook right now and there's no mention of Harvey's starting stats in the Ancient One fight. So it doesn't contradict itself.


Surely "Harvey Walters began the combat with only 1 sanity and 3 stamina" tells you Harvey's starting stats in the Ancient One fight. What else could "began the combat" mean?

Harvey actually starts the game with 7 sanity and 3 stamina; due to Cthulhu's special ability these are reduced to 6 and 2 (so he can't possibly have 3 stamina as given in the example!), and that's what he should start the fight with.

Since Harvey can't under any circumstances have 3 stamina when fighting Cthulhu no matter what, the example is already wrong. But even if those numbers were the other way round (i.e. the example was meant to read 3 sanity and 1 stamina) those could only be his current levels at the start of the fight, not his maximum levels.

Current levels of sanity and stamina are irrelevant when fighting Cthulhu, so why mention them?

The only conclusion I can reach is that whoever wrote the example hasn't a clue what they're talking about. Which raises the question of what the hell they're doing writing rules examples in the first place!

Quote:
Now, take a deep breath...

I'm perfectly calm, and not in any way turning green or bursting out of my clothes.
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Steve Duff
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Yes, the example is borked and inconsistent.

Personally, I've always found it really stupid gameplay-wise. A party is on death's door, 1 sanity and 1 stamina each, and then gets into a fight with evil incarnate in Cthulhu, and suddenly it's "Hey, I feel great, never better, I'm 4 and 4 now!" "Me too! I'm 5-3!" "Yeah, I'm the strongest I've ever been!" as if everyone bathed at Lourdes. It just simply made no sense.

I think this part - "However, Harvey Walters began the combat with only 1 sanity and 3 stamina." is telling us each character's current stats are what you begin the final battle with, and you take hits from there downwards.

So, why the wording "maximum stamina" everywhere with Cthulhu?

This is because they want each hit to be unhealable. When he wallops you, it not only hits you, but it lowers your maximum at the same time, so you can't play a spell and regain it, or have a character heal you.

If they had put just "each character reduces his current sanity or stamina by 1", then the damage would be healable and the final battle would go an unknown number of rounds.

Personally, I'd track both items, my max and my current. Each time he attacks, I lose one off both. If I enter below full max, then I can raise it up to my ever diminishing max, but not more than that.

This way, we make it a guaranteed 8 rounds or less, instead of a guaranteed full 8, which makes him properly one of the more difficult AOs, instead of one of the easier ones.
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Lazareth Minnelli
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"Personally, I've always found it really stupid gameplay-wise. A party is on death's door, 1 sanity and 1 stamina each, and then gets into a fight with evil incarnate in Cthulhu, and suddenly it's "Hey, I feel great, never better, I'm 4 and 4 now!" "Me too! I'm 5-3!" "Yeah, I'm the strongest I've ever been!" as if everyone bathed at Lourdes. It just simply made no sense."

I couldn't agree more.

It was the first boss I did battle with when playing Elder Sign for the first time months ago, and I must say that all of the confusion I've had with it, different viewpoints, cryptic wording, really soured my experience with this game overall. It has come to the table much less often as a result. Along with a few other rules issues I've had to track down and read up on with the faq, its been more irritating at times than not. By far the worst written rule book, as far as gameplay errors are concerned, that I've encountered thus far.

In contrast, I found Death Angel's rules and card powers to be easy to follow. Many claim it is a poorly written manual with vague card actions at times, but I didn't have that problem.

I will say that the example in the revised rule book makes more sense to me (starting the battle with the stats you came in with). I'm thinking that this example could be looked at as the official ruling when battling Cthulhu (minus the 3 stamina for Harvey botch of course).
But I know that will be heavily debated for some time to come. Guess FFG needs to come out with yet another official FAQ on this..

I'm with you on this Steve Duff. I think the idea of being able to heal up to your ever decreasing max stamina/sanity levels makes perfect sense when battling Cthulhu. Also, beginning the encounter with your current stats, like in the example, makes perfect sense. That is how I will personally be playing and interpretting this particular boss battle unless/until FFG says otherwise.
 
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