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Subject: Elder Sign: Abominations - Fan made expansion project rss

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Chris Lawson
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Despite the problems with Elder Sign (and there are many), I've enjoyed playing the board game. The main issue I've had is that the game appears to be too easy so to address this particular problem I started to design some new components. Along the way, I noticed that some of the new ideas would help those who are finding the game too difficult as well as those who find the game too easy.

The end result is that I think I have enough new components and ideas to create a complete new expansion for Elder Sign (named Elder Sign: Abominations). It is aimed at those players who find the game as written either too easy or those who find the game too difficult, it should also offers greater variety during play.

This is a work in progress and I invite those who are interested to help craft and guide the project. I'm not so good with flavour text for example, and I'm sure there are many of you more familiar with the Arkham Horror than I am so help in this area would be appreciated.

At this point in time I have created the following new components.

Abominations - New horrors that are between the strength of monsters and Ancient Ones.
Heralds - Similar in strength to Abominations but fit the more classical AH Herald.
Guardians - These fit the classic AH Guardian mold but with Elder Sign elements.
Mythos card set - A reworking of the existing set to make the game IMO more balanced and a way to fine-tune the difficultly.

I also have some ideas for new Ancient Ones, monsters, Items, Spells, Allies and such. These can be incorporated into the project as and when.

In general the rules have mostly remained the same, they have been expanded to cover the new components but as such they are not new but just extensions to the existing rules. There is one major change to the rules and that concerns the Final Battle (Battling the Ancient One) and the win condition (Ending the Game).

I will upload the PDF files into the Files section soon (they will take a few days before they appear) but I will also post images and summaries in this thread. I'm not sure the best way to handle the project within the structure of this forum but to start off I will create new posts within the thread to cover the following topics. Please note that the images posted in this thread are only 150 dpi, I will include the 300 dpi images in the PDF files.

Rule Changes - Winning Condition
Abominations - Design aim and goals
Abomination - Dunwich Horror
Abomination - Black Goat of the Woods
Abomination - Lurker at the Threshold
Abomination - Nyarlathotep
Herald - Bokrug
Herald - Shudde M'ell
Guardian - Nodens
Mythos card set

So far I have playtested the following (with 3 players or solo).
(i) New winning conditions, (ii) Abominations (Dunwich, Black Goat or Lurker), (iii) Guardians (Nodens) and (iv) the new Mythos card set.
The players have enjoyed the game more than using the standard rules as Abominations gives a greater challenge. Win/lose (for the 3 player games) has been 50/50 so far. The games have also been very close, no runaway victories or defeats. Obviously more playtesting will help.
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Chris Lawson
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Rule Changes - Winning Condition
Third of my Herald designs for my Elder Sign: Abominations project.

As such, it isn't really a Herald in the usual sense of the word, more of a rule sheets to define a new End Game / Winning Condition. Now to win you need to collect the required number of Elder Signs and defeat the Ancient One.

I would strongly recommend this Herald is considered even if you do not use any of the other Elder Sign: Abomination components.

The Great Old Ones Herald sheet


Note that now collecting Elder Sign rewards (page 8 of the rules) are optional. While most of the time you would always collect the Elder Sign, there are certain situations where you most definitely do not want to collect the final Elder Sign and awaken the Ancient One.

In particular, Yig
When Yig awakens, each investigator must return a Common Item, Unique Item, and Spell or be devoured.

You might now want to delay awakening the AO before your Investigators have the required Items (assuming you have time before the final Doom token is placed).

There are also a bunch of AO attacks that are in the form of "When AO attacks, each investigator must discard xxx or be devoured. Players may want to delay the AO from awakening in certain circumstances.

There are some situations (typically when using Bokrug or Shudde M'ell as the Herald) where you are required to add Doom tokens at the start of the final battle. If required to do this then the number of Doom tokens can exceed the number of spaces on the Doom track.

The following is some personal comment.
I find the game much more interesting now that you need to defeat the Ancient One in the final battle. While this new rule does add length to the game, it adds a dramatic conclusion to the game. To some extent it also stops players from being able to game the system and just build up for the final battle. Plus, what's the point of having a final boss is you don't even need to defeat him to win?

For those who think that it isn't thematic that you should be able to win against an Ancient One, I agree. My viewpoint is that you never actually kill the Ancient One anyway, even if you defeat him, all you do is return him to his slumber. There he dreams biding his time before he extracts his revenge on an unsuspecting world goo

I will add this Herald to my Elder Sign: Abominations - Game Expansion project files soon.
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Chris Lawson
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Abominations - Design aim and goals
Placeholder for Abominations - Design aim and goals
 
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Chris Lawson
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Abomination - Dunwich Horror
Placeholder for Abomination - Dunwich Horror

PDF download has been submitted to the Files section, see Elder Sign: Abominations - Game Expansion

Rules wrote:
Setup
When the Dunwich Horror awakens, place this Adventure card below the six normal Adventure cards. The six Dunwich Horror Abomination markers are shuffled and placed face-down on this card. Three markers are then selected at random and turned face-up. All "At Midnight" game effects on this card are then resolved.

Abominations
Whenever a game effect states "an Abomination appears", the active player selects a face-down Abomination marker on this card at random and turns it face-up. An Abomination does not appear if this card already has three face-up markers on it or there are no face-down markers on the card.

Abomination markers are immune to game effects that apply to Monster markers (such as Bind Monster or Kate Winthrop's Science).

When a player successfully completes the task on a Dunwich Horror Abomination marker, it's taken as a trophy (in the same way as a Monster marker would).

The Dunwich Horror Adventure card
To resolve this Adventure card, all six Abomination markers must first be completed (i.e. no Abomination markers remain on the card). Once resolved, the Dunwich Horror Adventure card is discarded but it will re-awaken if a Dunwich Horror Abomination marker is spent as a trophy.

If the Ancient One awakens with the Dunwich Horror Adventure card still in play, place three additional Doom tokens on the Doom track..

Penalties
When a player fails to complete this Adventure card, he suffers the penalties listed on the card (this applies even if an Abomination marker task was completed but the Adventure card was not).
- Lose either 2 Stamina or 1 Trophy.
- An Abomination appears.

Rewards
When the active player has resolved this Adventure card, the investigators, as a group, receive the rewards listed on the card. If the Dunwich Horror re-awakens then the rewards are not distributed again.
- Gain two Clue tokens.
- Draw a Spell.
- Draw a Unique Item.
- Draw a Common Item.
Each investigator may select one of the rewards listed. Each of the four rewards can only be selected once and each investigator may not receive more than one reward. If there are more than four investigators in play then only four of them can collect a reward.


Dunwich Horror Abomination Adventure card



Dunwich Horror Abomination markers

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Chris Lawson
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Abomination - Black Goat of the Woods
Placeholder for Abomination - Black Goat of the Woods

PDF download has been submitted to the Files section, see Elder Sign: Abominations - Game Expansion

Rules wrote:
Setup
When the Black Goat of the Woods awakens, place this Adventure card below the six normal Adventure cards. The four Black Goat of the Woods Abomination markers are placed face-up on this card. All "At Midnight" game effects on this card are then resolved.

Abominations
Whenever a game effect states "an Abomination appears", the active player turns a face-down Abominations marker on this card face-up. An Abomination does not appear if there are no face-down markers on this card.

Abomination markers are immune to game effects that apply to Monster markers (such as Bind Monster or Kate Winthrop's Science).

When a player successfully completes the task on a Black Goat of the Woods Abomination marker, it remains on this card but is turned face-down.

The Black Goat of the Woods Adventure card
To resolve this Adventure card, all four Abomination markers must first be completed (i.e. no Abomination markers remain face-up). Once resolved, the Black Goat of the Woods Adventure card and the four Black Goat of the Woods Abomination markers are returned to the box.

If the Ancient One awakens with the Black Goat of the Woods Adventure card still in play, place three additional Doom tokens on the Doom track.

Penalties
When a player fails to complete this Adventure card, he suffers the penalties listed on the card (this applies even if an Abomination marker task was completed but the Adventure card was not).
- Lose 1 Stamina.
- Lose 1 Sanity.
- Gain 1 Clue token.
- An Abomination appears.

Rewards
When the active player has resolved this Adventure card he gains a Clue token. In addition, the investigators, as a group, receive the remaining rewards listed on the card.
- Draw a Unique Item.
- Draw a Spell.
- Draw a Common Item.
Each investigator may select one of the rewards listed. Each of the three rewards can only be selected once and each investigator may not receive more than one reward. If there are more than three investigators in play then only three of them can collect a reward.


Black Goat of the Woods Abomination Adventure card



Black Goat of the Woods Abomination markers


Actually, only four markers are required, not six.
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Chris Lawson
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Abomination - Lurker at the Threshold
Placeholder for Abomination - Lurker at the Threshold

PDF download has been submitted to the Files section, see Elder Sign: Abominations - Game Expansion

Rules wrote:
Setup
When the Lurker at the Threshold awakens, place this Adventure card below the six normal Adventure cards. The six Shuggoth Abomination markers are shuffled and placed face-down on this card. Three markers are then selected at random and turned face-up. All "At Midnight" game effects on this card are then resolved.

Abominations
Whenever a game effect states "an Abomination appears", the active player selects a face-down Abomination marker on this card at random and turns it face-up. An Abomination does not appear if this card already has three face-up markers on it or there are no face-down markers on the card.

Abomination markers are immune to game effects that apply to Monster markers (such as Bind Monster or Kate Winthrop's Science).

When a player successfully completes the task on a Shuggoth Abomination marker, it's taken as a trophy (in the same way as a Monster marker would).

The Lurker at the Threshold Adventure card
To resolve this Adventure card, all six Abomination markers must first be completed (i.e. no Abomination markers remain on the card). Once resolved, the Lurker at the Threshold Adventure card is discarded but it will re-awaken if a Shuggoth Abomination marker is spent as a trophy.

If the Ancient One awakens with the Lurker at the Threshold Adventure card still in play, place three additional Doom tokens on the Doom track.

Penalties
When a player fails to complete this Adventure card, he suffers the penalties listed on the card (this applies even if an Abomination marker task was completed but the Adventure card was not).
- Lose either 1 Stamina or 1 Sanity.
- An Abomination appears.

Rewards
When the active player has resolved this Adventure card, the investigators, as a group, receive the rewards listed on the card. If the Lurker at the Threshold re-awakens then the rewards are not distributed again.
- Gain two Clue tokens.
- Draw a Spell.
- Draw a Unique Item.
- Draw a Common Item.
Each investigator may select one of the rewards listed. Each of the four rewards can only be selected once and each investigator may not receive more than one reward. If there are more than four investigators in play then only four of them can collect a reward.


Lurker at the Threshold Abomination Adventure card



Lurker at the Threshold Abomination markers (which are actually Shoggoths)

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Chris Lawson
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Abomination - Nyarlathotep
Placeholder for Abomination - Nyarlathotep

PDF download has been submitted to the Files section, see Elder Sign: Abominations - Game Expansion

Rules wrote:
Setup
When Nyarlathotep awakens, place this Adventure card below the six normal Adventure cards. The five Mask Monster markers now become Mask Abomination markers and are shuffled and placed face-down in a stack on this card (the order of the face-down stack is open to inspection), the top two markers are then turned face-up and placed on the card. All "At Midnight" game effects on this card are then resolved.

Abominations
Whenever a game effect states "an Abomination appears", the active player selects the top face-down Abomination marker on this card and turns it face-up. An Abomination does not appear if this card already has two face-up markers on it or there are no face-down markers on the card.

Abomination markers are immune to game effects that apply to Monster markers (such as Bind Monster or Kate Winthrop's Science).

When a player successfully completes the task on a Mask Abomination marker, it becomes a normal Mask Monster marker and is returned to the Monster cup (where it can be redrawn and enter play as normal).

The Nyarlathotep Adventure card
To resolve this Adventure card, all five Abomination markers must first be completed (i.e. no Mask Abomination markers remain on the card) and then the final task printed on the card can be attempted and completed. Once resolved, the Nyarlathotep Adventure card is returned to the box.

If the Ancient One awakens with the Nyarlathotep Adventure card still in play, place three additional Doom tokens on the Doom track..

Penalties
When a player fails to complete this Adventure card, he suffers the penalties listed on the card (this applies even if an Abomination marker task was completed but the Adventure card was not).
- Lose either 1 Stamina or 1 Sanity.
- An Abomination appears.

Rewards
When the active player has resolved this Adventure card, the investigators, as a group, receive the rewards listed on the card.
- Gain two Clue tokens.
- Draw a Spell.
- Draw a Unique Item.
- Draw a Common Item.
Each investigator may select one of the rewards listed. Each of the four rewards can only be selected once and each investigator may not receive more than one reward. If there are more than four investigators in play then only four of them can collect a reward.


Nyarlathotep Abomination Adventure card

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Chris Lawson
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Herald - Bokrug
Placeholder for Herald - Bokrug

For more details, please see the Herald - Bokrug thread in the Elder Sign Variants forum.

PDF download available in the Files section, see Elder Sign: Abominations - Game Expansion

Bokrug Herald sheet



Being of Ib Abomination markers

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Chris Lawson
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Herald - Shudde M'ell
Placeholder for Herald - Shudde M'ell

For more details, please see the Herald - Shudde M'ell thread in the Elder Sign Variants forum.

PDF download available in the Files section, see Elder Sign: Abominations - Game Expansion

Shudde M'ell Herald sheet



Rubble tokens.

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Chris Lawson
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Guardian - Nodens
Placeholder for Guardian - Nodens

For more details, please see the Guardian - Nodens thread in the Elder Sign Variants forum.

PDF download available in the Files section, see Elder Sign: Abominations - Game Expansion

Guardian - Nodens sheet



Nodiens' Gift cards

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Chris Lawson
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Mythos card set
Mythos Deck.



Preparation of the Elder Sign: Abominations Mythos Deck

The base Elder Sign: Abominations Mythos Deck consists of 24 cards, all marked with a green icon. Additional card marked with a red icon are further expansions to add variety.

Divide the 24 cards into five stacks based on the icon in the bottom left corner of the card.

Crescent: 2 cards (#1-#2)
Plus: 4 cards (#3-#6)
Star: 6 cards (#7-#12)
Triangle: 6 cards (#13-#18)
Circle: 6 cards (#19-#24)

Shuffle each stack separately and then create a new 12 card deck of cards consisting of 1 Crescent card, 2 Plus cards, 3 Star cards, 3 Triangle cards and 3 Circle cards. Once this 12 card deck has been shuffled together it is ready for use.

Use of the Elder Sign: Abominations Mythos Deck

The rules are the same as the standard game with the exception that if the active player is required to draw a Mythos card but the deck has run out then the game immediately ends as the Ancient One awakens and devours all the Investigators.






Mythos cards #25 to #40 are used to adjust the difficulty level. Mythos cards #40 to #48 can be used to add variety to the existing mix. Mythos cards #101 to #106 are used when Abomination Adventure cards are in play. More on these cards later.
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David Boeren
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Sound cool, I take it this is also meant to increase the difficulty of the game? How hard has it typically been with these changes?
 
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Chris Lawson
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dboeren wrote:
Sound cool, I take it this is also meant to increase the difficulty of the game? How hard has it typically been with these changes?

xris wrote:
So far I have playtested the following (with 3 players or solo).
(i) New winning conditions, (ii) Abominations (Dunwich, Black Goat or Lurker), (iii) Guardians (Nodens) and (iv) the new Mythos card set.
The players have enjoyed the game more than using the standard rules as Abominations gives a greater challenge. Win/lose (for the 3 player games) has been 50/50 so far. The games have also been very close, no runaway victories or defeats. Obviously more playtesting will help.

Using the rules as written, I don't think we had lost a game (maybe one of the early games against Azathoth). So previously we had or were having around a 90% chance of winning (all wins due to collecting the required number of Elder Signs, we had never battled the AO during this time)..

Using the Abomination rules, we are at 50%. Two wins (against Yog-Sothoth and Cthulhu), one loss against Shub-Niggurath while in Final Battle and one loss against Ithaqua due to the AO awakening before we collected enough Elder Signs.

Game lengths RAW, typically 24 turns (about 6 Midnights), Doom track half full.
Game lengths using Abominations, typically 32 turns (about 8 Midnights), Doom track 7 of 10, 7 of 11, 9 of 10, 9 of 9.

Those last two games (both losses) I had made the Mythos deck harder so that may be the reason we had an easier time with the first two games
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Chris Lawson
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Re: Mythos card set
Updated the Mythos card set post. Added the images of the Mythos deck designed for Elder Sign: Abominations.

They can used on their own if so wished to help balance the game to make it easier or harder.

One of the problems (for me at least) with the existing 32 card Mythos deck is that it's rather unstable. While the odds are small, it is possible that you get long runs of no Doom tokens appearing, long runs of Doom tokens every turn, no Monsters turning up, Monsters turning up every turn, no lingering effects every turn, etc, etc. It all builds up so it seems you don't get a "normal" sequence that frequently.

While this does bring uncertainty into the game, I personally find it a bit excessive and I would prefer something a bit more structured. Use of the new Mythos deck still gives a huge variety of events and sequences but it reduces the extreme situations occurring (for example the chances of 8 consecutive Doom cards turning up was about 1 in 33 with the original 32 card deck, now it has been reduced to about 1 in 500 with the new 24 card deck).

Another advantage is that the difficulty can now be adjusted, both to make the game easier or to make the game harder. It's possible to adjust the likely number of Doom tokens the Mythos deck will produce as well as adjusting the number of Monsters that might appear. This is now under control of the players, the difficulty can be adjusted before the game starts to fit your play style.
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Chris Lawson
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Re: Guardian - Nodens
Updated the Guardian - Nodens post. Created v2 of the Herald sheet and added the Nodens' Gift card set.

Would appreciate any help with the naming of the Nodens cards. I've given them basic names but if anyone can suggest more thematic names then suggestions would be welcome.

Same applies to the flavour text on the Herald sheet.
 
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Roy Lazarovich
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Chris, thank you very much for the hard work and creativity!
Really looking forward to Elder Sign: Abominations.
 
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Chris Lawson
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roylazarovich wrote:
Chris, thank you very much for the hard work and creativity!
Really looking forward to Elder Sign: Abominations.

Thanks. I've been waiting for the first of the Abominations File to be approved.

I will now submit the PDFs for the Heralds (Shudde M'ell and Bokrug) and the Guardian (Nodens) next and after that it will the Abomination Adventure cards (Dunwich, Lurker, Black Goat and Nyarlathotep). I plan to make a few new Ancient Ones as well (such as Shudde M'ell).

I might try my hand at some new Investigators as well but that is in the future.

I think the Abominations work well and give me a reason to use the Guardian since they makes the game harder and extra help is needed with one of them in play.

Abominations work pretty much as Heralds, you have one in play for most of the game and they add pressure to the play.
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Chris Lawson
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Re: Mythos card set
Chapter 1, Part 2 - Extension to the Abominations Mythos Deck now available in the Files section.

This adds a further 18 cards to the existing 36 cards of the base Abominations Mythos Deck (i.e. Chapter 1, Part 1). See the post above for images of all the new Mythos cards. The PDF for Part 2 should be available for download in a few days.

If you have any further suggestions for new cards or for variations, then please let me know.

Links to Files

Elder Sign: Abominations - Game Expansion

Contents of files
Chapter 1, Part 1 - Abominations Mythos Deck (36 cards)
Chapter 1, Part 2 - Extension to the Abominations Mythos Deck (18 cards)

EDIT: The PDF file is now available in the Files section.
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Chris Lawson
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Chapter 2, Part 1 - Guardian, Nodens has now been submitted to the Files section.

This consists of a new Guardian, Nodens, along with 8 "Gift of Nodens" cards.

While this has been designed to make the game easier, the main intention is that when a Guardian is in play, a Herald or Abomination is also included to make the game more challenging.

Links to Files

Elder Sign: Abominations - Game Expansion

Contents of files
Chapter 1, Part 1 - Abominations Mythos Deck (36 cards)
Chapter 1, Part 2 - Extension to the Abominations Mythos Deck (18 cards)
Chapter 2, Part 1 - Guardian, Nodens (1 Guardian and 8 cards)
 
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Chris Lawson
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Chapter 3, Part 1 - Herald, Bokrug now available in the Files section.

This consists of a new Herald, Bokrug, along with 4 Abomination markers.

Designed to make the game more challenging.

Links to Files

Elder Sign: Abominations - Game Expansion

Contents of files
Chapter 1, Part 1 - Abominations Mythos Deck (36 cards)
Chapter 1, Part 2 - Extension to the Abominations Mythos Deck (18 cards)
Chapter 2, Part 1 - Guardian, Nodens (1 Guardian and 8 cards)
Chapter 3, Part 1 - Herald, Bokrug (1 Herald and 4 Abominations)

EDIT: The PDF file is now available in the Files section.
 
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Chris Lawson
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Chapter 3, Part 1 - Shudde M'ell now available in the Files section.

This consists of a new Herald, Shudde M'ell, along with 9 Rubble tokens and 4 monster markers.

Designed to make the game more challenging.

Links to Files

Elder Sign: Abominations - Game Expansion

Contents of files
Chapter 1, Part 1 - Abominations Mythos Deck (36 cards)
Chapter 1, Part 2 - Extension to the Abominations Mythos Deck (18 cards)
Chapter 2, Part 1 - Guardian, Nodens (1 Guardian and 8 cards)
Chapter 3, Part 1 - Herald, Bokrug (1 Herald and 4 Abominations)
Chapter 3, Part 2 - Herald, Shudde M'ell (1 Herald, 9 Rubble tokens and 4 Monster markers)
 
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Chris Lawson
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Chapter 4, Part 1 - Abomination Adventure cards has now been submitted.

This consists of 4 new Abomination Adventure cards (Dunwich Horror, Lurker at the Threshold, Black Goat of the Woods and Nyarlathotep), along with 14 Abomination markers and rules.

Designed to make the game more challenging. This chapter is the meat of the Elder Sign: Abominations project, the components I designed first.

Links to Files

Elder Sign: Abominations - Game Expansion

Contents of files
Chapter 1, Part 1 - Abominations Mythos Deck (36 cards)
Chapter 1, Part 2 - Extension to the Abominations Mythos Deck (18 cards)
Chapter 2, Part 1 - Guardian, Nodens (1 Guardian and 8 cards)
Chapter 3, Part 1 - Herald, Bokrug (1 Herald and 4 Abominations)
Chapter 3, Part 2 - Herald, Shudde M'ell (1 Herald, 9 Rubble tokens and 4 Monster markers)
Chapter 4, Part 1 - Abominations (4 Adventure cards, 16 Abomination markers)
- Dunwich Horror
- Lurker at the Threshold
- Black Goat of the Woods
- Nyarlathotep
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Tom Wilfong
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Sorry for bumping an old thread, but we just discovered this awesome work and had a couple of questions:

1. Are the Abomination adventure cards just meant to be shuffled into the normal Adventure deck? Is that how the Abominations are "awakened"? Or is it through the Mythos cards 101-105?

2. Can you clarify the Great Old Ones card? For example, the rule listed under Rewards and Penalties: Should that be "Instead of placing an Elder Sign on the Ancient One, you may place that Elder Sign on this card"? Or am I misunderstanding how that rule works?

Also, on the Bokrug card it says "Being on Ib" instead of "Being of Ib".

Otherwise, this looks absolutely amazing. I really look forward to running this stuff soon! I especially love the Abominations! Good work!
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Dean Harris
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I'm wondering this as well. How do the adventure card abominations awaken?
 
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