I realized belatedly, once I used a deck of cards to replace the Mythos deck, I basically had no use for the Arkham Horror locations. I’ve basically thrown out the Arkham location encounters, realizing they’re horrifically unbalanced, knowing I’m going to have to rewrite them from scratch. That leaves me with very little of Arkham Horror remaining in the game, compared to The Settlers of Catan.

Basically, we’re using the board, roads, cities, settlements, and Resource Cards from Catan, and only the Gate Markers, Clue Tokens, some of the monsters, and the concept of the Doom Track from Arkham Horror. And we’re only using Clue Tokens as a placeholder, they don’t amount to much more than a macguffin at this juncture.

So, there’s no need to put the Arkham locations on the board because they aren’t needed for gate or Clue Token placement, and they don’t currently serve another purpose (much as I would like them to hand out quests and such). The reasonable thing to do now is to remove them from the board as an extraneous element.

For now, I’m going to do exactly that.

There are still ways to bring them back into the game, and quite easily, I might add. The locations might not serve a purpose at present, but if the players can gain an audience and convince a faction to build roads, there’s no reason to suggest they couldn’t also charter a guild. That could well be the new use for locations.

It’s important to keep the game easy enough to manage for one player. That’s part of the whole point, after all — the game is intended to be a solo roleplaying experience, as contradictory as that may sound. Or is it? There’s actually nothing inherent about roleplaying to suggest that it has to be a multiplayer experience.

Take the Fallout or Final Fantasy series for example. (Well, except for any of the online, or multiplayer Final Fantasy games.) Roleplaying games can be enjoyed by a player by themselves, or a group around a table (or around a LAN, or across the Internet…) I think I’ve digressed enough,… that was pretty bad, actually. Anyway…

So, yeah. No more locations for now. Simplicity is good.

Looking at The Catan Horror as it stands now, the game is perfectly manageable by one player. It’s actually quite a bit easier for one player to enjoy by themselves than Arkham Horror, and some of the other games it incorporates (The Settlers of Catan) can’t even be played as solo games. It’s still pretty generic, but it’s getting there.

Board setup is pretty simple now, and requires minimal input from Arkham Horror, Catan, and Dungeons & Dragons. I’m going to continue to design and hone the systems, and see if I can’t pare down the rules even more in the coming weeks.