Monday, June 07, 2010

Arkham Horror: The Story Begins

A group of my fellow gaming friends and I have decided to embark on an epic multi-session campaign of Arkham Horror, each week facing a new Ancient One and drawing one step closer to a final showdown with Cthulhu.

We started by using only the Dunwich Horror expansion, along with the character and item cards from all sets, and the Personal Story cards. As the campaign draws on, we'll be adding the small-box sets and alternating out the different big-box expansion boards. Eventually we'll have all rules from every expansion in play, and for the battle against Cthulhu we may actually use all four game boards.

Here's our starting roster (this will probably change as adventurers get devoured):
Diana Stanley the Redeemed Cultist (Christian)
Lily Chen the Martial Artist (Joe)
Patrice Hathaway the Violinist (Hillary)
Kate Winthrop the Scientist (Chris C.)
Jim Culver the Musician (Franklin)

(What can I say? The female characters tend to be better.)

We've instituted some house rules to make the campaign (hopefully) flow more smoothly.

General Campaign Rules:

- Seven random Ancient Ones are selected and placed in order of difficulty from easiest to hardest. Cthulhu will take the eighth and final spot. Each week we'll play a game against the next successive Ancient One.

- Investigators that are Devoured before the Ancient One awakens are gone forever. History. Toast. Grab another one and start over.

- Investigators lost (even "Devoured") in the final battle are considered to be knocked out or temporarily insane. They'll be available for the next session.

After a win:

- Investigators gain one Skill card, which will carry over to the next game (along with all previously-collected Skills).

- Investigators reset all money, spells, and items to their initial starting values. However, Investigators may keep items and spells collected in a previous session rather than a random starting item. (For example, if my character starts with a random Common Item, and I collected a Carbine Rifle this game, I may choose to bring that in as my "random" Common Item for the next game). All extra items and spells over the starting values are lost.

- Investigators may trade items or spells freely between games (again, remembering that you're limited by your initial starting possessions).

- Investigators keep all memberships, titles, and rail passes. Discard bank loans, retainers, blessings, and curses.

- Investigators may discard all but one Injury or Madness card. If the player only has one of these cards, it may be discarded. All Corruption cards are discarded as well.

- Personal Stories "reset" each game.

- If the party won its first attempt at a given Ancient One, the next game will begin with a Herald in play. Ouch.

After a loss:

- The obligatory "it was all a dream" clause. Five unused investigators are discarded from the available pool, and the players will face the same Ancient One for the next session.

- The next battle with the same Ancient One will have a Guardian in play.

- If the investigator pool runs out and we lose a game, the campaign is over. We decided that we'll probably play out the final session against Cthulhu just for fun, and call it a draw if we win.

My plan is to post a quick recap after each game. I'm not yet sure how often we'll be able to play, so this may stretch out for a while.

We're all excited to be embarking on the campaign and hope you'll follow our triumphs (and grisly deaths) as we attempt to save Arkham from the Elder God menace once and for all!


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