I’ve finished rewriting Arkham location encounters, and now I’m in the process of “prettying up the text.” I want all of the encounters to have a consistent feeling when they’re read. Consistency lends to a better understanding of the rules, ’cause stuff that sounds the same can be assumed to work the same.

Most of the encounters are variations on the same basic mechanic with some flavor thrown in to taste. Investigators gain Skills, Allies, Blessings, Clue tokens, Common or Unique items, Money, Stamina, Sanity, or the occasional trophy. Sometimes, they’re asked to pass a Skill check, or they find themselves Cursed, delayed, or arrested.

I’ve talked a bit about how repetition with variation is an important concept in gaming. It’s necessary to create a stable game environment. Players need to be able to create and maintain certain expectations in order to explore a game’s situations. When things fail to meet expectations, there must be a clear reason, or the game is “broken.”

I don’t want anyone to think I started this project because I hate Arkham Horror. To criticize it the way I have, I’ve had to play the game dozens of times. Considering how long it takes for one session, that’s a lot of hours playing and analyzing the game. I’ve pointed out before that its flaws are hard to see if you don’t play it very often.

Hopefully, I’ll have a PDF of my rewritten and revised encounters online and ready for download before this weekend, because I’d like you all to see what I consider a real labor of love. (Also, if I finish the document by Friday, it means you have time to try playing them over the holiday weekend!)

In the meantime, here are some more “rejected” encounters:

Black Cave:
You trip over an object half-buried in the dirt. Clearing away the debris, you find a strongbox. Gain 1 Common item.

Black Cave:
Deep within the earth, you can hear the sounds of elder things stirring. They lead you to a lost spellbook. Draw 1 Spell.

General Store:
“I can pay you for your trouble.” The shopkeeper offers you some money to watch the shop for an afternoon. If you accept, stay here next turn and gain $4.

General Store:
You notice a glint on the floor, and pick up a silver dollar that someone must have lost. Gain $1.

None of these are terribly original, and I’ve since replaced them with much better encounters. Really, for me to be cutting these kinds of encounters at this point, hopefully you realize I’m replacing them with more original ones. I mean, these are pretty boring. Maybe it isn’t obvious, but the new ones are much better.