It occurred to me that I didn’t actually explain what “the unexpected mechanic” was in my previous post. The unexpected mechanic was the Skill Point, which you might have realized on you own, but now I’ve told you so you don’t have to wonder. Now you know, and as we all know, knowing is half the battle.

I’m going to talk a little more about locations.

So, Arkham Horror has thirteen locations with special encounters. Both recovery locations (the Asylum and the Hospital), the three shops (Common items, Unique items, and Spells), and everything else (Bank, Police Station, River Docks, Lodge, Admin. and Science Buildings, Ma’s Boarding House, and South Church).

From one perspective, The Ascalon Horror doesn’t need as many special locations as Arkham Horror, because TAH doesn’t have nearly as many pieces that go into the game. It isn’t necessary to redeem monster trophies to gain money or Clue tokens, and Common items, Unique items, and Spells are integrated into character sheets.

From another perspective, Guild Wars takes place before scientific advances that made standardized medical practices possible. The hospital and asylum aren’t concepts that translate well from one game to another. What we get instead, are temples and shrines that are selective toward whom they can (or will) treat.

So, there are five shrines, each one dedicated to one of the five gods, and one temple that’s a little less choosey than the shrines. Mostly, you’re looking at Stamina recovery, unless you belong to one of the spellcasting professions. In addition to those, there are six unstable locations with Special “hunting” encounters. These are the “lairs.”

Beyond those, there are six locations with “miscellaneous” special encounters. There’s the Ascalon Academy, The Guild Registry, the Merchant’s Quarter, Barradin’s Manor, Foible’s Fair, and the South Lake. Similar to the Silver Twilight Lodge, the South Lake opens up The Secret Garden to members of the exclusive Huntsmen affiliation.

The Merchant’s Quarter and Foible’s Fair replace the basic idea of the shops from Arkham Horror. They enable a hero to trade either two wealth treasures or two monster trophies (the two common reward types) for a magic treasure. Mentioned previously, magic treasures will be used to upgrade a hero’s built-in equipment.

At Barrdin’s Manor, you can turn in your monster trophies for wealth. You know, because sometimes you need cash, and you need it fast. Therefore, wealth is technically the most common reward type, but lairs for hunting creatures by type contributes a certain amount to the accessibility of monster trophies.

Finally, the Ascalon Academy takes the place of Ma’s Boarding House, enabling a character to choose a companion for the low, low cost of three trophies (one quest, two monster). The Guild Registry enables a hero to join the Ascalon Army, akin to becoming deputized in Arkham Horror. Almost, but not quite the same.