Tuesday 31 July 2018

Playing Arkham Horror Online

A common post on the Arkham facebook forums is with people either bewailing lack of opponents or trying to see if the game runs on TTS (Tabletop simulator) and the like. This always surprises me as the game is very easy to run across international boundaries using your phone as a minimum.

So rather than report this repeatedly. I thought it might be useful to show how my current games operate. This is not to say that this is how online games 'must' be played just how my groups tend to play.

What you need

I - Players. Either FTF (face to face) or anywhere else in the world with common language being the primary differentiator.
II - Your investigators deck
III - The game - by this I mean the relevant scenario and encounter cards involved in the game
IV - A pc/phone with an internet connection

What if you don’t have these!

I - Easiest thing to do is to post on facebook or possibly on the discord/ffg/arkham db sites. Facebook worked for me though. When posting make sure you state what you are planning on playing and how frequently/when - Including timezone would help.

II & III If you have not purchased the cards then you are not supporting the game and are a leach on humanity. Or something like that.

IV Worse case you could run this over a standard phone land line. It does work best with an internet connection though

Other Problems

I - Still no cards! Buy some, support the hobby. I have no interest in answering this complaint.

II - My internet sucks!. Ahaaaaaa you live in Australia

Suggestions: Move (half the country appears to) or sell a kidney. Actually the second wont help but you will be in hospital and in such pain you maybe will not want to play.

III - Perhaps you worry that your accent/language might be incomprehensible? Well considering what you are playing I dont think that will matter (unless you do not speak the language at all).

How does it work

You build your own investigators deck. Just yours and no-one elses. You set up the scenario locations and agenda/act decks.

One of the group 'runs' the encounter deck. So this player sets up the encounter deck and has the 'official' locations. All the other players don’t have to set up the encounter deck (though I tend to get at least one of each unique card in a pile so I can read them myself).

All players then connect to a group call. This can be whatever rocks your boat so skype or google hangouts would be good.

We play using a free browser based chat group that reminds me of the Brady Bunch. With this all players can see each other and you can also point your webcam/phone at the board pieces for boasting/queries etc

My game setup with laptio up and ready

Then you play. Each player announces what they are doing for their own turns and each player moves the player markers round on their own setup. When a random location appears and the encounter deck runs then the single player just announces the card


'I have entered the General Store, which one is it?'

' it is the 4 shroud Store, card 198' (at this point the other players ensure the correct card is In play)

For encounter cards

'I am going to draw for Bill first, looks like ancient evils' (everyone adds a doom to their agenda)

'Susan you have Rotting Remains'

[Susan] 'ok I am testing. Damn, 2 under. I take 2 horror' (Susan adds 2 horror to her own card. The other players don’t have too but my group tends to track horror/damage by just adding it to the relevant player card)

And that is it. What players don’t do (well you can but it would make the system unwieldy) is to track what cards players have played.

Some of the campaigns do have cards that need working around. i.e Carcossa's Hidden Revelations. These can be addressed by house rules. Some I have seen include each player has his own revelation deck and if one is drawn just draws from his own. Ok the other players 'know' a revelation is in play but that is little different from a ftf group seeing someone take an encounter card and not say or deal with it. Basically this is only a minor issue.

Anyway , finally, here is the system in operation in my most recent scenario. Note the sound sounds a little 'wild' due to my obs settings...Saying that the upload might need fiddling with so if it doesn't play then bare with  me..

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