Saturday, August 12, 2017

Eldritch Horror - Shifted Condition / Replace Investigator Mechanics - WIP

Hello, hello again!

Today I'd like to introduce you to the Shifted Condition and how it uses new Replace mechanics to force unique narrative opportunities and changes in play-style mid-game.

First, I want to introduce you to a new Mythos card that shows one story-line implementation of the mechanic and has a chance to implement these features:


The Great Shift is meant to represent a global event affecting all of mankind in a very odd way. As you can likely surmise, it has the ability to change who people are - in Eldritch Horror's case, our heroic investigators. This is accomplished through the Shifted Condition mentioned above. Shifted Conditions come in one of two types: male or female, as seen below:


When directing players to draw a Shifted Condition, cards can tell the player to do one of two things: 1. To draw a Shifted Condition for a specific sex or 2. To draw a Shifted Condition in general. In our example above, The Great Shift does not give specific instructions to draw one sex or the other, so players would simply draw the first Shifted Condition they encounter regardless of the sex on the card. When directed to draw a particular sex, players would therefore draw the first Shifted Condition matching the requested sex.

Shifted Conditions are flipped immediately after drawing. They were implemented as Conditions purely so that a variety of surprising scenarios could play out randomly.

The backsides of Shifted Conditions always involve the investigator transforming into someone else. Most of the time, they should be more of an inconvenience rather than truly dangerous. Sometimes, they may even be beneficial. For example, a near-death or heavily negative conditioned investigator could be saved by The Great Shift. However, there do exist two Shifted Conditions (One for each sex) that can instantly devour an investigator if drawn. All of the current card backs can be seen below:

 Female Shifted Conditions:




Male Shifted Conditions:




These cards call for a new specific mechanic: Replace. The rules for Replace are detailed below:

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Replace: Some cards will call for you to Replace you investigator. When Replacing your investigator, do the following:

Discard your current investigator's investigator sheet and token. Then draw a new investigator of the sex directed (Draw both their Investigator Sheet and token), following the rules for how you should draw them (Randomly, you select, etc.) You cannot draw any investigator who has been previously discarded this game.

When an investigator is Replaced, the newly drawn investigator is always set back to their maximum Health and Sanity. All other conditions and possessions are retained by the newly drawn investigator unless specifically stated otherwise. You will always gain the newly drawn investigator's starting possessions as well.

The newly drawn investigator continues play from the same space that the player's previous investigator was on. This, along with retaining possessions, helps build the narrative that they are the same investigator, simply transformed.
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The goal with Shifted Conditions is to play a role in deepening the narrative aspects of the game. It's no longer just "Will this character survive?" or "Will we save the world?" Rather, now our investigators have to worry about how their quest might change them. The question they should be asking is "Even if we win, who will I end up as?" 

Even in victory, our investigators could find their entire existence completely uprooted. 

Imagine the rotund Charlie Kane having to leave his political ambitions behind and study martial arts after finding himself trapped in the lithe form of Lily Chen. Would she long for her old life or embrace her new one?

Or perhaps Rex Murphy might find some respite from his tumultuous past as a different man? Maybe one who isn't of such a cursed nature? He should hope, then, that he doesn't get shifted into Silas Marsh, exchanging one curse for another.

I find that there's a certain terror in the loss of self, and these mechanics are designed to play around with that idea. I hope that you find them as intriguing as I do! As always, please let me know what you think and share feedback you might have! I want these to be a fun addition to the game for anyone interested, and the more help I can get with them the better they'll be! Thanks!

- The Merry Raven

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Eldritch Horror - Possession Mechanics / Spell - Explanation - WIP Post

Spiritual possession is a concept that has come up in H. P. Lovecraft's works and I wanted to find a way to make it a fun mechanic that lucky players can stumble upon in the Eldritch Horror board game.

One thing that always struck me as odd was how the Ally - Character Unique Assets have a front and back side that are almost identical. It seemed like wasted space, but I preferred to see it as an opportunity. I could use the back of these cards to craft them into much more developed characters with their own skill values.

My concept of possession as a game mechanic for Eldritch Horror revolves around those skill values. Through a new spell that I created, players may choose to leverage those skill values for themselves. I wanted it to be something that any investigator could do, meaning no Lore tests, but that came with a high risk of becoming stuck in your stolen life if you make poor decisions or are just unlucky.

A Glamour spell seemed the best fit, as it would allow players to easily interact with the mechanic every turn while making Reckonings nail biting affairs where our investigators could literally lose access to their former selves forever. Here is an image of the spell itself and an example of one of the back sides:



The rules on Possession are below:
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Possession: Some spells and abilities allow investigators to Possess an ALLY - CHARACTER Unique Asset in their hand. If you choose to Possess an ALLY - CHARACTER, flip their card over and place the card so as to cover your investigator's art on your Investigator Sheet:

Example:



While you are Possessing your ALLY, your skills are swapped with the ones that are written on the back of their card. Your health, sanity, and investigator features / abilities do not change. Any impairments or improvements still apply despite your new form. You may still use any effects given by the Possessed ALLY while you are Possessing them.

You cannot discard or be forced to discard a Possessed ALLY while you are in Possession of them. Possession does not end if an investigator is DEFEATED or DEVOURED while Possessing an ALLY. The ALLY will be discarded along with the investigator Possessing them.

If you choose to De-Possess your ALLY, move their card back into your hand as normal. Resume using the skill values from your Investigator Sheet. You may not choose to De-Possess an ALLY unless a spell or ability specifically allows you to do so.
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 Below are examples of Ally - Character card backs updated with the skill values added:


Note: Ally - Character skill values are 1 less than the average investigator's skill values. This is so that the investigators themselves are generally more powerful and well rounded. I didn't want getting stuck inside your Ally's body to be crippling, just dramatic and a slight hit to overall stats.

With a wide variety of Ally - Characters, an investigator that makes good use of the Possession spell has the flexibility to be extremely well prepared for any situation they could encounter. They need to be careful though not to take too many risks or they could find themselves having to get used to being inside their companion for the rest of their lives...Lives that could be very short if the Ancient Ones have anything to say about it.

Please let me know if you have any feedback at this point! These ideas are very much still a work in progress. With your help they can become something really great!

Caw!

- The Merry Raven

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Merry Raven Will Soon Play

Welcome!

Stay tuned for a variety of homebrewed table top gaming content with a focus on more adult themes. This blog will feature my ideas for custom additions to some of my favorite table top games. Please note that this content will likely only be for mature audiences, though most of the games I'll be creating content for will naturally lend themselves more toward that demographic.

My plan is to post designs while they are still works-in-progress so that I can get feedback from other players. Once a design is finalized, the post will be updated to show it will likely not be receiving many future updates. Up until that time, any and all feedback will be fully welcomed, appreciated, and considered.

I look forward to sharing some of my ideas and creativity with you! I hope it will make you a very merry gamer!

Stay tuned for more soon!

Caw! Caw! Caw!

- The Merry Raven