I think I might have figured out how to create a pool of objects or characters which share a few traits with one another, and can be chosen at random to both effect a game and yet remain a mystery until discovered. While playing around with the numbers from Treasure Mountain! I worked out a couple interesting things.

The first is that the number of objects you start with may not even matter. I mean, unless it needs to be an odd number, which isn’t much of a restriction if you ask me. The second important point seems to be that there are as many descriptors as there are objects, except that they are used to describe up to four or five objects at once.

Also not bad.

In Treasure Mountain!, this system of clues and searchable objects is used to reward a player for collecting all the clues, but also for carefully working out the other objects that share some but not all of the object’s similarities. That requires some critical thinking skills which are otherwise difficult to come by, let me tell you. *snerk*

Anyway, I had this idea. I remember reading something years back (it may have been in the Diablo 2 manual, I honestly don’t remember) that creature types were minions particular to each of the Prime Evils. Animals and beasts were the servants of one, demons the servant of another, and the undead servants of a third.

That gave me an idea.

What if you had a rogue’s gallery, but didn’t want to be especially obvious whom you chose to be this week’s Monster of the Week? Each of them has a few traits in common with one another, such as what sort of minions they use (skinny punks, huge brutes, etc.) and what their choice of targets tends to be, and so forth.

Now, at the beginning of the adventure, you only have a clue as to the villain’s identity based on what enemies you first encounter, but as you get farther along in the narrative, or you see more of their victims-slash-targets, you get a clearer picture of whom exactly you’re dealing with – shortly before the final encounter.

Something like this would be fantastic for a game of Arkham Horror where you didn’t want to know who the Ancient One was before the beginning of the game (only one person needs to set that up by selecting the proper minions and locations) and their identity can be revealed throughout the course of play like a mystery!