Continued from “The Catan Horror.”

So, the next problem I realized I had to face, now that I have the setting/world map (The Settlers of Catan -> Risk: Godstorm), the primary antagonist and associated villains (Arkham Horror’s Great Old Ones, including their plots and minions), the missions, quests, and dungeons (various tile sets, plus creature miniatures), was determining how all of these things ultimately formed a cohesive game.

What this monstrosity of a game suggests:
* Ownership and comprehensive understanding of the following games — Arkham Horror (basic game), Fourth Edition Dungeons & Dragons (core rulebooks mostly), and The Settlers of Catan (basic game).
* From Arkham Horror, you want the Mythos deck, the Location encounter decks, the Other World encounter deck, the Gate Markers, the Clue Tokens, and the Stamina and Sanity tokens.
* From The Settlers of Catan, you want pretty much all the pieces except the hateful, hateful dice. Shun the dice.
* Dungeons & Dragons comes in later. (See follow-up post.)
* Ownership of a standard 52-card deck of playing cards. Remove the jokers.

I’m going to try and figure out how to include elements of the games outside the “basic” sets and the “core” books, but first I’m going to focus on the things that are easiest to attain and to combine.

Before you start, you’ll need to hand-make the following items:
26 “deed” cards, one representing each of the 26 locations (the Inner Sanctum doesn’t count … yet) in the original Arkham Horror. They must be small enough to fit under a settlement and be understood, without obscuring the game board.

Think Monopoly when it comes to these, they basically say “this location is in this settlement” on the Catan board.

Here are my thoughts on setting up the game:
1.) Create the map for The Settlers of Catan, following the normal rules for a four-player game.

2.) Assign two “deeds” to each of the Catan players for the following locations, one to each of their starting settlements:

Red: St. Mary’s Hospital and the Woods
Orange: the Curiosity Shop and Unvisited Isle
White: Arkham Asylum and Independence Square
Blue: the Silver Twilight Lodge and Witch House

(Don’t worry if the Woods location doesn’t get attached to a settlement by a woodsy hex. The Woods includes the hiding place of the Sheldon Gang, and the hexes only represent places where you can harvest lumber anyway. There are probably perfectly good woods for hiding places all over the map.)

3.) Distribute the “starting resources” for each Catan player as normal. (They’ll never spend these without explicit “advice” from the player characters, covered later.)

4.) Place one Clue Token in one hex adjacent to each starting settlement, except those featuring Arkham Asylum, the Curiosity Shop, and St. Mary’s Hospital. (These three locations are considered “stable” and won’t generally produce gates. In case you’re counting, that’s five with Clue Tokens, and three without.)

5.) Choose and reveal an Ancient One, as normal for Arkham Horror.

6.) Reveal the top card of the Mythos deck until you get one that opens a gate, as normal for Arkham Horror. If it’s one of the “big four” that’s on the board, the gate marker goes in any hex adjacent to the settlement that features that location. Otherwise, place the gate in a hex that doesn’t border any road or settlement at all.

7.) Spawn a monster, as normal for Arkham Horror.

8.) Place one Clue Token, as normal for Arkham Horror, using the same guideline outlined above for placing gates. If the location’s “deed” isn’t on the board yet, or if there isn’t a hex adjacent to the settlement without a gate on it, place the Clue Token as far from any road or settlement as possible.

9.) “Move” monsters, using the following guideline: if the monster would move (as in, the Mythos card shows their gate symbol), “black arrow” movement indicates the monster moves away from the closest road or settlement. “White arrow” movement indicates the monster moves toward the closest road or settlement.

(Note: You can adhere to as many of the other movement rules as you like. Yellow monsters are stationary, green monsters have “special” movement, red monsters move twice, … blue, orange, and violet are a bit trickier and will be addressed later.)

10.) Ignore the Mythos ability for now, because I haven’t figured out how to make most of them apply just yet. I’ll strike through this step when I’ve figured something out. It’s especially best to ignore Environment and Rumor card effects until I figure out how to make sense of them.

11.) Draw the top card from your deck of 52 Standard Playing Cards. Distribute resources accordingly. Treat the Jack as 11, the Queen as 12, and the King as 13. Treat Aces (1) and Kings (13) as you would Catan’s “7 Rule,” in addition to the drawing of an actual 7. Hexes with the 2 and 12 produce one extra resource.

12.) Pass the “First Player” token from one Catan player to the next, moving clockwise. You aren’t actually playing as them, so it really doesn’t matter who starts. You’ll probably want this to keep track of who’s sicking the bandit on whom, however. You can assume play passes clockwise, and each player attacks anticlockwise.

13.) Distribute 5 Stamina tokens and 5 Sanity tokens to each of the players, or otherwise refresh their totals, so they have 5 of each.

Congratulations, you’ve now gotten through the bulk of the “easy stuff.” (This is actually quite a bit easier than turns in the individual games, which is important, because this stuff should honestly take the least amount of time) I’m going to drum up a second post for all the actions of your player characters.

Now, for some additional information to help you through setup.

Guidelines for placing the Catan players:
Put like colors together, positioned at four corners of the map. I know a hexagon technically has six corners, but if you put two players in opposing corners (five hexes away from each other), you can place the other two about halfway between them and have those settlements be about five hexes apart.

Four of the eight locations assigned to the Catan players include the four unstable locations that are most likely to receive gates. When you set up the Catan players, try to arrange them so one of each location (Independence Square, the Unvisited Isle, the Witch House, and the Woods) winds up in the distant corners of the map. That way, a little hiking is required in order to get to each of the primary “quest locations.”

Passage of Time:
Moving from one hex to an adjacent hex takes one day (and costs each moving player one Stamina/Sanity). This assumes for roads, paths, or trackless terrain, mountain passes, tunnels, or whatever you want to argue. One hex of movement is one day. Live with it. Taking an Extended Rest takes one day.

If the players have exhausted all of their Stamina/Sanity, go ahead and jump ahead to the end of the week. Once the week has ended, it’s time to advance the “state” of the game, by returning to Step 6 and drawing a new Mythos card.

When you’ve exhausted the deck of 52 playing cards (which should indicate an equal number of cards from the Mythos deck), a “year” will have passed in the game world. Congratulations! Time to reshuffle!