I misplaced the document for my Arkham Horror reference sheet, and no more copies exist. I’m working on a new one now, and while writing the section about movement, I paused for a moment to consider the special movement rules for Other Worlds.

When you move from one town to another with the expansion boards in play, you spend one point of movement to move to the new board and can then continue normally. Why are there special rules for movement in Other Worlds? The obvious answer would seem to be, “so you can have Other World encounters.”

But why are Other World encounters important? I’ve read nearly every encounter there is — in Arkham or otherwise — and I can’t really figure out what the big deal is supposed to be. Encounters should advance the game because novelty is fleeting.

After the last game we played I realized how important it is that, rather than giving out Clue tokens, encounters should place Clue tokens on the board, encouraging further movement and exploration. Arkham Horror is largely about exploration, after all.

On a related note, I read an article (I lost the link) that referenced solo play for tabletop roleplaying games, which included a scene “conclusion” mechanic of sorts based on motivation. A six-sided die determines the answer to this question:

“Does your character get what they want from this scene?”

The results are as follows:

6 – Yes, and…
5 – Yes.
4 – Yes, but…
3 – No, but…
2 – No.
1 – No, and…

When I look at this, I see “but…” and I think dice roll. “Does your character get what they want?” Yes, but they have to work for it. And then of course, “does your character get what they want?” No, but with some effort, it isn’t a total loss.

Simple “yes” and “no” options only compose one-third of the possibilities, and there’s a chance the characters could come out better than they expected … or far worse.

I think this format can be used for unstable encounters — as a matter of fact, my revised encounters already follow a similar pattern, just not in name.

Getting back to the topic of movement and Other World encounters, my thought is this: rather than forcing special movement rules, allow a character to move through the Other Worlds as easily as they do Arkham. I don’t think you have to change any other rules for it to work. You’re still delayed if you open a gate.

What this does though, is really reward characters for choosing to go with Speed or Sneak, or striking a balance between them. Also, with gates potentially closing more often as a result of investigators moving through them more quickly, the Doom track might shoot up, and the chance of monster surges decreases substantially.

I’ll have to try it out in my next game. Also, I’m going to work on some new Arkham encounters. I might finally rewrite encounters for the Other Worlds and expansion boards as well — who knows? It’s a compelling game to hack.