I have all my best ideas while I’m walking — no joke. I figured out how I want to make Rumors work in The Ascalon Horror while I was walking to the grocery store. Plane-hopping isn’t a central theme of Guild Wars, I want to take a slightly different approach to the whole a-gate-opens-and-a-monster-appears thing.

First of all, the core gameplay of The Ascalon Horror won’t include quests or grand adventures. It’s a more day-to-day, struggle-for-survival-in-a-world-with-monsters affair. Future additions to the game will include quests and adventures, but for now the idea is to keep things straightforward and uncomplicated.

The game’s equivalent of a “Mythos card” will add a Rumor token to one of twelve locations on the board, and it will also add a wandering monster to the Countryside. Unlike Arkham Horror, monsters do not appear in Ascalon, they don’t move, and there are no Clue tokens. Therefore, the “things get worse” phase resolves faster.

Rumor tokens, as I imagine them, are two-colored discs. They come in six varieties: red-yellow, red-green, red-blue, yellow-green, yellow-blue, and green-blue. Similar to Arkham Horror, the color indicates the types of encounters you read from when you draw from a hypothetical deck of Rumor encounters.

Since there are no sub-divisions into Other Worlds, you’re a lot more likely to have a “relevant” encounter to your Rumor. It might seem like they’re a little more generic at first, but with more room on the card, the encounter text can be longer and a lot more flavorful. It’s even possible to have profession-specific requirements.

The basic Rumor encounter card will be composed of two parts. The first part will detail an event of a physical or magical nature, and will require at least one major Skill check. If the player passes the check, they keep the card. If they fail the check, or leave their current location, they have to discard the encounter card.

The second part will detail an additional requirement the player must meet to remove the Rumor token from the board. This could be something as simple as a second Skill check, to making a payment of treasure or a trophy, to remaining in the location for another turn, or even moving to another location.

I’m not positive about what I want to include in the content of the Rumor encounters, but I have some ideas about including the characters from the location encounters, having some “easier” and some “harder” Rumor encounters, and having other events like “traps” and such. I’ll be revisiting the idea over the next few weeks.