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I think there's consensus that Elder Sign is not satisfyingly difficult. The variants I've seen suggested are either too long for my taste, or don't look play-tested.

Has anyone found a satisfying (read: you've played it at least once and liked it) way to tweak the difficulty up without adding more than, say, half an hour to the base game or ramping up the complexity and housekeeping?

I would love for the change to meet most of these conditions:

  • Add no new mechanic or a very simple one
  • Add more decision making rather than more chance
  • Add no more than half an hour to the game
  • Tweak the win rate down to somewhere between 50% and 80%

That said, if you have something you love, post it regardless.

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2 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

One that is simple to implement, doesn't add any time, and seems to up the difficulty without making it overpowering is to ignore the word "unless" and everything after it on mythos cards.

So, for example, "Add a Doom token to the Doom track unless at least 1 investigator has a Spell." would become "Add a Doom token to the Doom track."

Particularly if you're playing with 4 players, these cards never seem to add doom tokens by the base rules. Another alternative would be to change "unless at least 1 investigator" to "unless ALL investigators".

That same thread has some simple rules for making the final battle harder, but I haven't tried that one. Definitely seems in line with your goal of being simple and not adding time to the game, though.

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We've tried to solve this in the past by advancing the clock by 30 minutes instead of 15, to bring out more Mythos cards and cause more "At Midnight" effects. The only time we lost the game was when using this variant.

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Unrelated, but you're the first person I've heard describe the clock as minutes instead of hours. Not sure which way makes more sense in my head, now. –  Sparr Apr 10 '13 at 22:19
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