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Subject: From the Arkham Nights Event ~ Many Questions Answered rss

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Joe Pilkus
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Arkhamites,

In addition to playing several games of AH while attending Arkham Nights 2011 last week, I did have a chance to also play a half-dozen games of Elder Sign...one of which we asked Richard Launius to moderate for us. One of the things that keeps showing-up in these threads, as well as the 300+ over on BGG's site has to do with the Vincent Lee"s and Carolyn Fern's abilities vs. Ithaqua and Hastur. Speaking to Richard during the game and playing a fairly long game at that gave us some insights to the "rules."

Understand, first and foremost that Richard is "all about having fun with the game" and doesn't stand on ceremony regarding the rules, especially those deemed ambiguous, at least by the way we played. Also, he indicated to us in the Q&A that Kevin is quite adept at balancing games...thus, the clock. In the original game, Richard would have all of the players each have their respective Investigator perform some function (Entrance-related purchase/treatment or Resolve an Adventure Card) and then have a Mythos Phase or the GOO would attack. By introducing the clock mechanism, there's an increase in the tension, as not all of the investigators (with five or more in play) will have the opportunity to resolve an adventure or perform some Entrance-related function.

Why is this important...the game is not intended for Vincent and Carolyn to heal themselves, potentially 4 times when battling the GOO. If you're playing this game solo (or any other number of Investigators up to 4), each Investigator performs a function, and then the GOO attacks. With 5 or more Investigators, each of the first four may attack...then the GOO, then 5, 6 etc. That completely resolves the issue governing Vincent/Carolyn, especially for one investigator games.

I'll answer some of the more frequently asked questions from my time at the Event last week, as we had several very good play-testers, including the individual who was attempting to "break" the computer version.



Battling an Ancient One:


1. Can clues be used during the final battle? Yes (it was our saving grace once or twice)

2. Unless otherwise stated on the card, can allies be used in the final battle? Yes

3. Does each success lock the dice for that task just like a normal resolve adventure step? Yes (which means you re-roll the remaining dice, attempting to get another successful "task" to remove a Doom Token)

4. Do dice locked on adventure cards, Mythos cards, and monster cards remain locked when the final battle starts? Yes



Spells

1. If a spell is played, is it mandatory that a die be placed on the card or could you discard the spell? Yes (According to the way we played when moderated by Richard, you had to place a die and not simply discard it) If a spell has two dice icons, do you have to place two dice? Yes Could the two dice be placed one at a time on different task completion rolls? No (When you cast it you add the dice) Can clues be used to re-roll dice are placed? Hmmm? (If I understand you correctly, you may use a Clue token, re-roll those dice (or die), and then decide what's added to the Spell)

2. How is a monster defeated when using a spell? It is turned-over and the Investigator need not lose Sanity or Stamina (no costs) nor advance the clock, if necessary according to the "tasks." Can you immediately claim the monster token? No (You must wait until you succeed or fail the Adventure card) If it is a partial or total monster task, would you then have to complete the task as depicted on the card? Yes/No (You can defeat the monster and claim it if you fail the Adventure card, but you must complete the entire task on a partial task. Remember a spell that defeats a monster doesn't satisfy the entire requirement for a partial task.)

3. Are Spells cast before or after rolling the dice? Hmmm? (Thanks Hudarklord, I believe I heard the same thing. The intention is to cast it after you roll to make the selection)

Monsters

1. If all monster tasks are currently filled, can you keep placing all other monsters on one non monster task card making that card in effect a giant holding pen? (No This was one Richard was quite vocal about ~ it's not the designers' intention to have an impossible task)

2. On an adventure card with an arrow, if a monster is added to the bottom of the card, does it become the last task? No (It is separate and distinct from the rest of the Adventure card) Could the monster task be completed first or in any order the player chooses like an adventure card without an arrow? Yes

3. If a spell says that it can defeat 1 monster, can it only defeat a monster on the adventure card that my investigator is on? Yes

4. If I complete an adventure and get a monster as a "reward", does this monster have to go onto one of the other 5 cards or can it go onto the adventure that will replace the one that I have just completed? Yes (This one actually had two competing interpretations one of the five remaining OR one of the six, to include the recently placed Adventure Card)

Locked Dice

1. If a red die for example is already locked on an adventure card and a second red locked die icon comes into play, does the red die immediately move to the second card when the the first card is resolved? Yes (The one play-tester had an evil grin when he told us about that one)

2. If the red and yellow dice are locked, can Gloria Goldberg use her Special Ability to resolve Other World Adventure Cards? No

3. If the red and yellow dice are locked, can Jenny Barnes use her Special Ability to resolve adventures? No

4. When the Great Old One wakes up do locked dice on adventure cards/monsters unlock? No

Investigators

1. Some special abilities seem overpowered when playing with less than three or four investigators (Kate Winthrop, Carolyn Fern, Mandy Thompson and Vincent Lee). Is there some alternate definition of what constitutes a turn when playing with just one or two investigators when considering how often the special abilities can be used? (See first few paragraphs of this post)

2. Does Kate's ability work on the Mythos Cards? No (Monsters do appear, as part of the Mythos Card)


"At Midnight" Effects

1. Do "at midnight" effects on adventure cards take effect at midnight even if no investigator is on a given Adventure card? Yes

2. Do "at midnight" effects on Adventure cards continue to impact players after the Great Old One awakes? No

3. What happens if the clock moves to Midnight because of an effect on a monster task while you are in the middle of an adventure? (See full answer after the next question) Do you interrupt the adventure and deal with Midnight effects, lingering effects, and new Mythos Card? No (According to Richard, you DO NOT interrupt the flow of the turn. Simply resolve all of the effects after the turn is over)

Unresolved

1. Is Mandy's ability really usable once on every turn, even when it's not her turn? Or is it just once per day?

2. What happens when the last Doom Token and the final Elder Sign needed to defeat Azathoth are gained at the same time? Does Azathoth awake and we lose, or do we win? Consensus: Benefits are derived on the card from left-to-right, with the Elder Sign (almost) always appearing before the Doom Token.

3..Can investigators use their Special Abilities during other players' turns? Consensus: Generally, No...exception might be Mandy If only some can which ones and under which circumstances?



Hope that helps.

The Professor
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Hugh G. Rection
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Re: From the Arkham Nights Event
Thanks for that extensive write-up. This is stuff that should have been in the rulebook to begin with. shake
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Steve Duff
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Re: From the Arkham Nights Event
Hugh_G_Rection wrote:
This is stuff that should have been in the rulebook to begin with. shake


I'm going to defend the rules, as most of this is already in the rules. But there are some good nuggets, Monster #2 and Spells #3 particularly, and lots of folks seem to miss the other stuff.

The Professor wrote:

Unresolved

2. What happens when the last Doom Token and the final Elder Sign needed to defeat Azathoth are gained at the same time? Does Azathoth awake and we lose, or do we win? Consensus: Benefits are derived on the card from left-to-right, with the Elder Sign (almost) always appearing before the Doom Token.


I don't believe this one is unresolved. The rules very specifically state:

Quote:
(If the final Doom token is placed as result of an investigator receiving rewards or penalties, he receives all of the rewards or penalties before the Ancient One awakens.)


Thus, you would always receive the final elder sign before the goo awakens, completing the seal and winning first.
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Tiger Wiccan
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Re: From the Arkham Nights Event
You mention that the intention when playing with 4 or less investigators is that each one gets a turn and then the GOO attacks. Is it the same before the GOO awakens? So if there are two investigators, let's say, do you only do one turn each then apply all midnight effects, like drawing a new Mythos card and such?
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Joe Pilkus
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Re: From the Arkham Nights Event
@ Tiger. Sorry it that wasn't particularly clear. In a two-Investigator game, you would resolve as follows (play before GOO awakens):

Turn one (clock At Midnight): Investigator One Moves, Resolves Adventure Card or Entrance, etc.; moves clock three hours (to 3:00)

Turn two (clock at 3:00): Investigator Two Moves, Resolves Adventure Card or Entrance, etc.; moves clock three hours (to 6:00)

Turn three (clock at 6:00): Investigator One Moves, Resolves Adventure Card or Entrance, etc.; moves clock three hours (to 9:00)

Turn four (clock at 9:00) Investigator Two Moves, Resolves Adventure Card or Entrance, etc.; moves clock three hours (to 12:00...Resolve Mythos Card)

During GOO awake turns: Investigator One Attacks, Investigator two Attacks, GOO Attacks, Investigator One Attacks...
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Paul C
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@The professor

I still do not agree with this:

"Why is this important...the game is not intended for Vincent and Carolyn to heal themselves, potentially 4 times when battling the GOO. If you're playing this game solo (or any other number of Investigators up to 4), each Investigator performs a function, and then the GOO attacks. With 5 or more Investigators, each of the first four may attack...then the GOO, then 5, 6 etc. That completely resolves the issue governing Vincent/Carolyn, especially for one investigator games."

Basically you are resolving one problem and creating another. As during solo play it makes the fight with the Goo four times harder than when playing with 4 players: In a solo session the investigators get one attack to each Goo attack and in a four player game the investigators get 4 attacks to each goo attack.

Surely the best solution to the Vincent/Carolyn issue is to only their power to be used once every clock cycle.

So still no closer to a definitive answer IMO. Roll on official FAQ.
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Tiger Wiccan
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Eagle Ov Death wrote:
@The professor

I still do not agree with this:

"Why is this important...the game is not intended for Vincent and Carolyn to heal themselves, potentially 4 times when battling the GOO. If you're playing this game solo (or any other number of Investigators up to 4), each Investigator performs a function, and then the GOO attacks. With 5 or more Investigators, each of the first four may attack...then the GOO, then 5, 6 etc. That completely resolves the issue governing Vincent/Carolyn, especially for one investigator games."

Basically you are resolving one problem and creating another. As during solo play it makes the fight with the Goo four times harder than when playing with 4 players: In a solo session the investigators get one attack to each Goo attack and in a four player game the investigators get 4 attacks to each goo attack.

Surely the best solution to the Vincent/Carolyn issue is to only their power to be used once every clock cycle.

So still no closer to a definitive answer IMO. Roll on official FAQ.



But even thematically, doesn't it make more sense that one investigator would have a tougher time defeating a GOO than four? Then after four, the clock is used to not make it TOO easy. I've done it this way myself, and it does work to bring a tension filled session rather than "let's roll over the monster again today."
 
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Tiger Wiccan
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The Professor wrote:
@ Tiger. Sorry it that wasn't particularly clear. In a two-Investigator game, you would resolve as follows (play before GOO awakens):

Turn one (clock At Midnight): Investigator One Moves, Resolves Adventure Card or Entrance, etc.; moves clock three hours (to 3:00)

Turn two (clock at 3:00): Investigator Two Moves, Resolves Adventure Card or Entrance, etc.; moves clock three hours (to 6:00)

Turn three (clock at 6:00): Investigator One Moves, Resolves Adventure Card or Entrance, etc.; moves clock three hours (to 9:00)

Turn four (clock at 9:00) Investigator Two Moves, Resolves Adventure Card or Entrance, etc.; moves clock three hours (to 12:00...Resolve Mythos Card)

During GOO awake turns: Investigator One Attacks, Investigator two Attacks, GOO Attacks, Investigator One Attacks...


Thanks! That is actually just how I have been playing solo as a single investigator after my first few games of rolling over the GOO and trying to figure out how to make it more challenging.
 
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Gareth Roberts
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This is great! Thanks a lot. I would tip you but im still saving for an avatar!

I'm particularly happy about the monster and arrow task confirmation; I just knew that it would have been a terrible design decision to put the monster at the end of the arrow.
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Joe Pilkus
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@ Paul C. Sorry that this doesn't clarify it for you. I'm not holding out hope that the FAQ is either a.) forthcoming or b.) shall provide any better insight than I received from Richard himself. Should the GOO be more difficult with one person vice more Investigators? In a word, yes!

@ Tiger I'm glad that makes things a bit clearer for you. Admittedly, I always play AH and now Elder Sign with four Investigators, so while I can understand the nuances of the arguments posited here...they'll never affect my games.

@ Gareth Your thanks is enough ~ good luck on saving enough GG for an Avatar!
 
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Maxime Yazz
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Thank you for these clarification they will be of great help in future games.
 
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Lee Valentine
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The Professor wrote:
Monsters

2. On an adventure card with an arrow, if a monster is added to the bottom of the card, does it become the last task? No (It is separate and distinct from the rest of the Adventure card) Could the monster task be completed first or in any order the player chooses like an adventure card without an arrow? Yes



Ugh. He gave a diametrically opposed answer via email.

Quote:
Lee: Richard, according to your house rules for the game, how do you handle monsters on adventures with an arrow? The rulebook says you normally go from the top down for the tasks. There is a separate rule that says monsters are put on the bottom of the adventure card (assuming no specific monster task spaces in play). These two rules together would suggest that you have to beat every task on the adventure card before you can interact with the monster. Some card/monster combinations could then make the adventure practically impossible to ever complete. I have been playing that on a typical arrow card, if the monster is placed at the bottom of the adventure that you can't handle the monster until you've completed all the other tasks. Is this how you handle monsters on arrow adventures? This makes the game really hard, particularly if the monster in question locks up a die.

Richard: You are playing correctly - if an arrow is on an adventure any monsters placed on the bottom of the card would have to be resolved last.



Back to Lee and the actual thread: On an unrelated note I agree that the waking of Azathoth vs. adding doom tokens and elder signs at the same time is resolved by the rulebook. I added it to a list of questions for FFG because I thought it was a common question, not because I questioned the answer that I thought the rulebook gave me.

Lee
 
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Paul C
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@The Professor

Well I suppose if you just look at it thematically then of course it would be a harder battle with 1 than it would with 4. However we are talking game mechanics here. And it just seems wrong to increase the difficulty for solo games and decrease the difficulty for 4 player games).

That is why most games scale up according to how many players there are: including Arkham horror (monster limits, outskirts limits etc.) and Mansions of Madness (threat tokens, named monster health etc).

I think the final battle in Elder sign is balanced by the clock for a good reason. Namely that the battle would be the same difficulty with one player or four.

That's my interpretation anyway. But it's your game so what ever rocks your boat

And if you always play with 4 then it will not be a problem for you. I on the other hand have only played solo (although I sometimes get my 3 year old daughter roll the dice).
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Eagle Ov Death wrote:
@The Professor

Well I suppose if you just look at it thematically then of course it would be a harder battle with 1 than it would with 4. However we are talking game mechanics here. And it just seems wrong to increase the difficulty for solo games and decrease the difficulty for 4 player games).

That is why most games scale up according to how many players there are: including Arkham horror (monster limits, outskirts limits etc.) and Mansions of Madness (threat tokens, named monster health etc).

I think the final battle in Elder sign is balanced by the clock for a good reason. Namely that the battle would be the same difficulty with one player or four.

That's my interpretation anyway. But it's your game so what ever rocks your boat

And if you always play with 4 then it will not be a problem for you. I on the other hand have only played solo (although I sometimes get my 3 year old daughter roll the dice).


There are other balances in play though, you are much more likely to be able to buy elder signs and therefore hit a seal victory in a 1 player game for instance as 4 turns worth of trophies will be concentrated on 1 player rather than 4, as will 4 turns worth of rewards, as will 4 turns worth of damge, but once you get going in a 1 player game that sheer level of income should stop you losing many adventures.
 
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Cody Moultrie
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hudarklord wrote:
The Professor wrote:
Monsters

2. On an adventure card with an arrow, if a monster is added to the bottom of the card, does it become the last task? No (It is separate and distinct from the rest of the Adventure card) Could the monster task be completed first or in any order the player chooses like an adventure card without an arrow? Yes



Ugh. He gave a diametrically opposed answer via email.

Quote:
Lee: Richard, according to your house rules for the game, how do you handle monsters on adventures with an arrow? ...

Richard: You are playing correctly - if an arrow is on an adventure any monsters placed on the bottom of the card would have to be resolved last.


Lee


I like this way of dealing with monsters on adventures with arrows. It makes the choice of placing which monster where more important. It also kind of makes sense since there are adventures that have arrows, yet have the same task twice. What purpose would that serve other than forcing the players to tackle any monsters on the adventure last?
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Joe Pilkus
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@ Lee: : Don't shoot the messenger cool Also, intuitively, while things can get bad in AH or ES, the tasks set-forth should not be deemed impossible. If, for some reason, you have a series of tasks requiring 6 dice and a monster requiring 3 dice, you've now made it impossible. Again, I'll stick with the interpretation that the monster is "in" the room and may make things "more difficult" but not impossible.

@ Paul: At the age of three, my daughter rolled a "00" on percentile dice and a "20" on a 20-sided...even though she's grown a bit weary (now at 12) of AH, I think she'll like the pace of ES
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Paul C
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@The Professor

Must be great to have kids old enough to play. Might be a couple of years before she is ready to tackle MoM or AH. We are still on the Gruffalo memory game stage at the mo

Can sometimes persuade my wife to play though. We played Dreams in the Witch House on Friday and it came down to the last die role of the game. After using a skill token Kate had to roll a 9 or less to blow a shotgun hole in the Witch. I got a 10. Gutted.
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hudarklord wrote:
The Professor wrote:
Monsters

2. On an adventure card with an arrow, if a monster is added to the bottom of the card, does it become the last task? No (It is separate and distinct from the rest of the Adventure card) Could the monster task be completed first or in any order the player chooses like an adventure card without an arrow? Yes



Ugh. He gave a diametrically opposed answer via email.

Quote:
Lee: Richard, according to your house rules for the game, how do you handle monsters on adventures with an arrow? The rulebook says you normally go from the top down for the tasks. There is a separate rule that says monsters are put on the bottom of the adventure card (assuming no specific monster task spaces in play). These two rules together would suggest that you have to beat every task on the adventure card before you can interact with the monster. Some card/monster combinations could then make the adventure practically impossible to ever complete. I have been playing that on a typical arrow card, if the monster is placed at the bottom of the adventure that you can't handle the monster until you've completed all the other tasks. Is this how you handle monsters on arrow adventures? This makes the game really hard, particularly if the monster in question locks up a die.

Richard: You are playing correctly - if an arrow is on an adventure any monsters placed on the bottom of the card would have to be resolved last.



Back to Lee and the actual thread: On an unrelated note I agree that the waking of Azathoth vs. adding doom tokens and elder signs at the same time is resolved by the rulebook. I added it to a list of questions for FFG because I thought it was a common question, not because I questioned the answer that I thought the rulebook gave me.

Lee


I played it with Richard at Arkham Nights as he answered in your email: Monsters added at the bottom of the card with an arrow are completed last. I would go with this as Monster functions as "tasks".
 
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Joe Pilkus
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@ Paul...nice! If you want a good read, go back to the Arkham Horror posts and read the game of AH we played at the event...Epic!!!
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Lee Valentine
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The Professor wrote:
@ Lee: : Don't shoot the messenger cool Also, intuitively, while things can get bad in AH or ES, the tasks set-forth should not be deemed impossible.


Thanks very much for providing the answers that you received. It is much appreciated.

The "ugh" was exasperation not at the messenger (you), but at what appears to be the designer giving out totally opposite answers. I think the rulebook is pretty clear on this point. You put the monster tasks on the bottom of cards without dedicated monster tasks and the arrow tasks are handled from top to bottom. That said, who knows what the designer's actually intended if they are giving out opposite answers to questions.

Note for discussion purposes that any single monster on the bottom of an arrowed adventure doesn't tend to make it impossible in that you can often hunt for a spell to get rid of the monster in question.

Lee
 
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Joe Pilkus
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@ Lee: That's a very good point (specific, monster-eliminating spells!)
 
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Very helpful. And put me down as someone who thinks the rules are overly fiddly and I'd like an official FAQ.

Re impossible tasks - I'm pretty sure I can see impossible tasks with too many monsters meaning you just don't have enough dice.

That is assuming I have the rules right and you lose your dice resolving each task as you go down so that by the end you may have 2 dice left for the last task.
 
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Lee Valentine
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SamNzed wrote:
Very helpful. And put me down as someone who thinks the rules are overly fiddly and I'd like an official FAQ.

Re impossible tasks - I'm pretty sure I can see impossible tasks with too many monsters meaning you just don't have enough dice.

That is assuming I have the rules right and you lose your dice resolving each task as you go down so that by the end you may have 2 dice left for the last task.


Sam, the point in contention is this:

If the monsters placed at the bottom of arrowed adventures can be handled in any order, you can send someone in to fail the adventure and just clear out all the monsters. In that case, if you have the goal of clearing just one monster then you'll have plenty of dice. If, however, you put them at the bottom as new tasks, and then do what the rulebook suggests (to handle the tasks from top to bottom on arrowed cards), then adding one monster to some arrowed cards makes it almost impossible without a spell. Adding two or more monsters to an arrowed card will generally make it impossible without a spell (again if you handle the monsters last that aren't on dedicated monster spaces). Of course, the problem here is that Richard may have given two of us diametrically opposed answers and FFG is not being helpful at answering questions. Thank goodness at least for Richard's kind-hearted assistance, even if some of the answers are 100% consistent.

I do agree with you that there needs to be an official FAQ. For example, some of Richard Launius' rulings (that effectively the game needs 4 characters to work as expected) run contrary to the rulebook. That said, his method seems to make a unwieldly but workable solo experience where things resolve. While the rules as written allow auto-wins in some matchups of single characters vs. a Great Old One.

I'm still wondering about some of the hearsay about what Kevin Wilson said, namely that you can only focus once per adventure even if you use up the focused die to free up your investigator. That'd be a major shift to my interpretation of the rules (which say nothing about this limitation), and would make soloing with one character substantially harder.

Lee
 
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Joe Pilkus
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@ Lee: Regarding the use of Focus twice during the resolution of an Adventure card is something my girlfriend and I experienced this weekend. We could see nothing in the rules prohibiting it, and I didn't know there was a question concerning it until I read another few pages of posts (I've read all 5 pages on the FFG site and from 30 down to 8 on this site)
 
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Lee Valentine
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The Professor wrote:
@ Lee: Regarding the use of Focus twice during the resolution of an Adventure card is something my girlfriend and I experienced this weekend.


Joe, does this mean that you were taught by Launius and the FFG guys that you could focus just once per adventure attempt, or that if you freed up a focused die for one task you could focus again for the next task on that adventure?

Lee
 
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