[Arkham Horror] The Kingsport Variations

Since I cracked open Miskatonic Horror last week and spent some time ogling all the cards, one thought in particular has recurred to me: how could the Kingsport board be made more appealing? As it stands, visiting Kingsport is seen as a chore: investigators have encounters at locations in order to shut down rifts or prevent them from opening. It can get repetitive without a lot of tangible reward; “there’s no dimensional rift spewing creatures into the streets” fails to satisfy in the way racking up a pile of monster corpses can, or sealing a gate.

So I’ve been brainstorming some house rules to make Kingsport not only a little more appealing, but less of the time sink trap that it usually works out to be. This is an untested list of wild ideas at the moment, and I wouldn’t recommend using them all at once.

  • When adding a token to a rift track, place a clue token at the pictured location.
  • When a rift track fills, randomly select one of the four tokens used to fill the track. That location is now replaced by a gate to an Other World, which behaves like all other gates for the purposes of investigating and closing or sealing. The matching rift token is turned over and any duplicates replaced by new, non-duplicate tokens from the supply.
  • At the start of the game, randomly draw three markers from the rubble token pile from Dunwich Horror and three rift tokens. Place one of the rubble markers on each of the Kingsport locations. Thanks to the dimensional instabilities that plague Kingsport, those locations are now colocational with the Arkham locations pictured on the rubble tokens. When moving into either the Kingsport or Arkham space, investigators may choose which they stop in. Investigators in these spaces may trade items and use other abilities as if they were in the same space.

Another, more involved project I kind of want to attempt is to completely rework the Kingsport board. Ideally that would make visiting the Strange High House less of a trap, rework rifts or repurpose the materials for some other interesting challenge and otherwise spicing up the town. It would not mean making locations unstable, because that spins out into redoing or adding a stack of mythos cards to trigger gates opening in those locations — unless maybe unstable locations in Kingsport replace counterparts in Arkham. That’s kind of interesting. Hmm.


New England Role Players Association Digs for a Dead God

The New England Role Players Association (NERPA) just posted an actual play recording of Digging for a Dead God, the first act of John Wick’s Curse of the Yellow Sign, using Cthulhu Dark. Future acts are to come. I’ve got the first one playing right now.

I got to talk to James of NERPA very briefly at Carnage this year. I may have heard more of his voice in his recording of Brad Younie’s On the Brink of Invasion for The Unexplained than in actual conversation. We’ll have to rectify that.


If I’m producing a podcast, you know it won’t be long before Arkham Horror gets into the mix. Episode 3 of Carnagecast is the first in a multi-part recording of an Arkham Horror session from last month. We played with the Dunwich, Kingsport and Miskatonic Horror expansions, so there were cards flying every which way.

Give it a listen, won’t you? I would love to get some feedback.

Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition System Reference Document

One mighty-thewed soul, John Reyst, has assembled the open content from the third edition of Green Ronin’s Mutants & Masterminds role-playing game into a hyper-linked web site.

And it’s attractively marked up, to boot. Seriously, this is a slick-looking  rendition, all cool colors and rounded corners. I had no idea one could do that with a Google Site.

When the third edition of Mutants & Masterminds hit the market in the wake of the licensed implementation as DC Adventures, I opted to give it a pass because of three things:

  1. I didn’t see myself returning to the superhero genre in the immediate future.
  2. My gaming purchases have dwindled and I wasn’t prepared to lay out for a book I didn’t know I wanted to own.
  3. The changes and new material being discussed by early adopters didn’t appeal, as I was honestly happy with the relative complexity of second edition Mutants & Masterminds — occasionally overwhelmed, I admit, but generally happy to have a system on which to fall back.

Now with the SRD, I can click around, browse the material and evaluate the touted changes on my own time at a very appealing time and money cost.1

1 I’m much happier reading rules content for free on a computer than I am paying to read the same. Go figure.