By request, and because it’s something I’ve meant to do after getting sufficient plays of Innsmouth Horror in, I’m bringing everything published for Arkham Horror for a One With Everything session this Tuesday night. That’s six expansions total; three big boxes — Dunwich Horror, Kingsport Horror and the aforementioned Innsmouth Horror — add a board each, additional encounters, more investigators and Ancient Ones, plus sundry items and impediments; and three smaller box expansions — Curse of the Dark Pharaoh, The King in Yellow and The Black Goat of the Woods — add items and encounters typically centered around a particular theme or nemesis.
Add all that together and it’s easy to have a jumbled mess. Other Arkham players report that the more expansions added to the game, the less effect any of them exert. Gates open less frequently in the outlying townships because they’re outnumbered by each other, as well as all the Arkham-centric mythos cards added by the small expansions. It becomes much harder to find really useful items in the equipment cards as tommy guns and shotguns are outnumbered by weapons with one-shot applications or fiddly usage rules that reduce their overall utility — which, admittedly, were added by later expansions in an attempt to water down the frequency of investigators tearing up the countryside with tommy guns and dynamite.
So, skimming the internet hive mind and doing some independent thought of my own, I came up with these rules to facilitate a hopefully more enjoyable One with Everything session of Arkham Horror:
- Mythos cards are divided into two decks: base and expansion. Which deck is drawn from alternates each turn. A token moves from the top of one deck to the other to denote which is to be drawn from on a particular turn. Hopefully this will make the expansion towns more active overall, as well as give more face time to expansion card effects that occur in Arkham.
- Other World encounters only use world-specific events. “Other” encounters are ignored. It’ll mean a lot more drawing, but this rule and the next are intended to give the expansion boards’ Other Worlds of Lost Carcosa, Another Time, Unknown Kadath and the Underworld a better chance to be seen and explored.
- Four of the standard gates are replaced by the expansion gates with matching symbols. While it reduces the odds of traveling to Yuggoth, Another Dimension, R’lyeh and the Great Hall of Celeano, I hope it will help improve the same for those Other Worlds mentioned above.
- Ten Allies are drawn from the entire pool. They’re available at Ma’s Boarding House as usual and are subject to diminishing as the terror level rises. The remaining Allies are only available through their encounters.
We’ll see what that does. I’ve also toyed with a couple other ideas:
- Certain infrequent gate locations in Arkham, like the Historical Society or the Graveyard, shunt their gates to unstable locations in other towns. That would probably require some kind of table to work, or drawing mythos cards until an acceptable gate location turned up.
- Some or all of the condition cards from Dunwich Horror, which grant certain benefits to the investigators, begin the game activated. Normally they have to be activated via specific encounters. This would fall more under adjusting the difficulty than spotlighting expansions, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one of those encounters turn up — probably because the relevant locations are some of the least-visited on the board; I’ve never taken my investigator to Velma’s Diner, for instance.