I was looking over the charts I posted in my entry “From Adventurer to Investigator,” and I realized I didn’t explain how they would need to be reorganized for Arkham Horror! For “Speed and Sneak,” you’ll pair Dexterity and Wisdom, and for the “Lore and Will” skills, you’ll pair Intelligence and Charisma.

Constitution replaces the “Luck” skill in all instances, I realize this looks weird. You’ll just have to trust me, I do this kind of thing as a hobby. *snerk* Strength is “Fight” and is paired with the equivalent of “Luck” because it makes far more sense thematically (and from a game balance perspective) than pitting Fight and Will against each other.

From one perspective, it makes a lot of sense to put Fight against Will. Will is used to prevent Sanity loss, and Fight is used to prevent Stamina loss. When you engage a monster in combat, there should be some potential for loss, whether you’re going mad fighting against Things That Should Not Be, or just getting pummeled.

And for a long time, this seems like a wise design choice.

It works out that Spellcasting is a far more complicated affair than simply bashing monsters over the head, since your spell equivalent of a “weapon” could give out at any time and prove to be worthless in a fight. You’re stranded fighting a monster with your bare hands. That might be compelling in a roleplaying situation…

Lots of the more socially-oriented encounters call for Will checks, which your warriors are typically bad at. This would normally be fine, leaving other characters (those with better Lore) to pick up the slack. They fight with Spells and can afford to boost Will at the expense of Fight. But they don’t ’cause they need Fight in case their Spell fails.

I don’t tend to play spellcasters in Arkham Horror, and I regularly advise others against playing them because there are numerous dice rolls involved, and the payoff is small by comparison. I’m sure there are other good reasons to play a spellcaster, but there aren’t enough reasons to make them worth the added complexity.

It really doesn’t help that there are a number of ways to get special items out of the Common and Unique Item decks, (Weapons and Tomes, even Food or Whiskey) but there are few or no ways to fetch specific Spells from the deck. Even the game discourages players from choosing or using spellcasting characters.