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Lovecraft Mythos is great! But I'll most likely ignore it...


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#1
Sherpico

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I really like the idea of themes and settings in games and especially games set in the Lovecraft Mythos, but once I sit at a table and play...setting is quickly forgotten and I begin to focus on the mechanics of the game and the tactics and strategies needed to win the game.

 

I've experienced this in the Elder Sign board games as well as the A Game of Thrones and  LotR LCG's.  All I see when cards are flipped over are the numbers needed to defeat the challenge and move on to the next card. With Elder SIgn, I would a make a conscious effort to read the flavor text on all the cards as they were revealed, but halfway through the game I am skipping  them and rolling dice and matching symbols.  I enjoy these games, but just wish I could feel the theme within the game more than I do. 

 

Any others have this issue? Any suggestions on how to make these games more immersive?   My hope is that the campaign based system and continuity with characters will make the Arkham Horror LCG different for me.



#2
MightyToenail

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Glad you think that the setting is great!

 

 

I don't.


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#3
phillosmaster

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Well I do think it's a great setting. 

 

Unfortunately I'm not sure how exactly I can help you not just see numbers and bits of cardboard.  I could try and explain to you why AH the board game was pretty successful at forging a narrative. I think it is much more successful than AGOT or Eldar Sign in this respect.  LOTR LCG I think get's much better at forging a narrative as the cycles go on.  That said they all are only a shadow of the character building that can be had in AH the board game and AH LCG promises to give us that experience in much more bite sized chunks (and hopefully in a less random presentation).  At the core AH the board game is about the characters.  It's about the people they meet, the situations they get into, the bizarre locals and other worlds they visit, the risks they take, the rewards they claim.  All these elements chain into this evolving story of just how your investigator traversed through the apocalyptic events happening in the town.  Whether your character ends up being a hero or just another tragic Lovecraftian victim plays out during the game.  It's about taking a hobo who just hopped off a train into town with only his dog for company and (because of you decisions) turning him into a portal closing bad ass or a gibbering mad man.  It's that focus on your investigator as an actual participant in the events transpiring in the town that allows you to surrender to the theme IMO. 

 

AH the board game gave you all the tools to craft a narrative and from the previews AH LCG appears to be walking down the same road.  Though a game can only do so much.  Some of it is just how you are approaching these games.  I mean I can play a game of Agricola or Ticket To Ride and forge a narrative (and I often do).  I guess some people are just more predisposed to that sort of behavior.


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#4
MagnusArcanis

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Hey Sherpico,



I, too, am a mechanics-first gamer.



While I can appreciate themes, flavor and cards and game mechanics that convey them into a cohesive experience… I also often see such intricacies fade into the background in favor of the puzzle that’s in front me. This is true of nearly any game I’ve ever played… ever. Not the game’s fault, it’s just how I am.



There are some things you can do to increase immersion though. Having a good reader/story teller in your group to read off story elements, play in a thematically appropriate environment, using more advanced game pieces (such as minis, custom dice, a sick looking bag, even cosplaying), and roleplaying (attempting to make decisions based on what you think your character would do) can all help.



Obviously some of the stuff I just mentioned aren’t really for everyone (including myself) much less feasible on regular basis. However, one piece of advice that I can give is to try and take a moment to realize the implications of what you’re doing.



IE. When you discard that Stray Cat to evade a monster… try thinking of what you’re doing to that cat… and what the monster is doing to that poor cat.



Filling in those story holes with your imagination is probably the best thing you can do. It’ll make the game more immersive, and you’ll likely create some fun/crazy memories along the way.
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#5
Sherpico

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Thanks for the input folks.  Especially the comment to take a moment to realize the implications of game actions on the characters within the game. Slowing the pace of the game play to take time to consider those things should help me a good bit.