Sunday, March 04, 2007

Arkham Investigations new version out

After lots of feedback, I've made some changes to the Arkham Investigations rules and uploaded them to the site. Go to the Arkham Investigations web site to grab the new versions. There are new versions of the rules set, token sheet, progress cards, and an updated version of the first casebook that is compatible with the new rules.

The major changes include:
Toughness Tokens
Because casebooks tend to focus on particular enemies, it's easy to run out of enemy chips when you take them as monster trophies. So now, instead of taking the monster as your trophy, you take one Toughness Token for each point of toughness the monster has and return the monster to the monster cup. Then, toughness tokens may be spent just like one-toughness monster tokens. This also provides a mechanism to reward players for accomplishing tasks in the case by granting them toughness tokens to spend.
Generic Investigation Progress Cards
The Vignette cards and Investigation Progress cards are now melded into single cards that track progress through the vignette and its state. And because they are generic - with labels like "A", "B", etc. - they may be used from game to game, and don't project the environments the players will face during the case like the old ones did.
Paragraph-based exposition
The game has now adopted a "read paragraph X..." mechanism for presenting the story. This not only helps hide the plot from being revealed prematurely, it also adds more dramatic tension to decisions, because you don't always know the ramifications of a decision you are about to make. Do you approach that stranger on the train station platform, or not? If so, read paragraph 12. If not, read paragraph 37.
Simpler timeline mechanic
We've done away with the doom track and simply made the endgame get triggered when the timeline runs out. This is not only simpler, but it also allows Arkham Investigations to be played as a stand-alone game or as an expansion for the core Arkham Horror game by removing the multiplicative impact the old timeline mechanism would have had on the Doom Track. You could even play multiple games of Arkham Investigations at once.
More author-friendly format
The sum total of the above changes makes creating casebooks much more fan-friendly. Whereas before, authors would have to produce Vignette cards, now authors need only provide text, which can be delivered easily and with little bandwidth. And because of the new timeline mechanism, fans can create short or long stories depending on their commitment to the effort.
Let me know what you think!

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