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Time and time again, skill checks in Arkham Horror have been made without remembering to include certain factors, such as environments and the presence of stat-modifying items. For organizational purposes, is there a flowchart by which all the skill check modifiers can be ordered and accounted for so that none may be missed?

For example, Combat Checks can be processed in the following order:


If the monster is Dark Pharoah then the base stat is Lore

Take the base stat of Fight if not set already

Look for skills that affect base stat of Fight

Look for allies that affect base stat of Fight

Look for Mythos environments that affect base stat of Fight (e.g. Heat Wave)

Look for skills that negate Physical, Magical, or Weapon Immunity

Look for allies that negate Physical, Magical, or Weapon Immunity

Look for tradeable items that negate Physical, Magical, or Weapon Immunity

Check if the monster has Physical, Magical, or Weapon Immunity

Look for skills that negate Physical, Magical, or Weapon Resistance

Look for allies that negate Physical, Magical, or Weapon Resistance

Check if the monster has Physical, Magical, or Weapon Resistance

Look for items that passively affect combat without being equipped (e.g. Cross against Undead)

Ask the player for non-combat spells that affect stats (e.g. Voice of Ra)

Ask the player for equipped common items, unique items, or spells

For each equipped investigator card, apply relevant immunity unless negated

For each equipped investigator card, apply relevant resistance unless negated

Subtract monster's combat rating

Subtract bonus combat rating from Ancient One

Roll the skill check value

If Mandy is an investigator and her ability hasn't been exhaused then ask whether the player would like to invoke "the Mandy ability"

Check the number of successes via state of Blessedness/Cursedness

Double successes scored with 6 in case Shotgun was used

If there are no successes:

Look for skills that allow re-rolls (e.g. Marksman)

Look for allies that allow re-rolls

Look for items that allow re-rolls (e.g. Bullwhip)

If Mandy is an investigator and her ability hasn't been exhaused then ask whether the player would like to invoke "the Mandy ability"

Check the number of successes via state of Blessedness/Cursedness

Double successes scored with 6 in case Shotgun was used

Ask for clue tokens if the player wants additional dice

Add an extra die for every Fight skill

Add an extra die for every clue token if Joe is the investigator

If there are no successes:

Look for skills that allow re-rolls (e.g. if the original value was 7, and 3 clue tokens were spent, Marksman would roll 10 instead)

Look for allies that allow re-rolls

Look for items that allow re-rolls (e.g. Bullwhip)

Roll the skill check value

If Mandy is an investigator and her ability hasn't been exhaused then ask whether the player would like to invoke "the Mandy ability"

Check the number of successes via state of Blessedness/Cursedness

Double successes scored with 6 in case Shotgun was used


I don't even know whether the above flowchart covers all the cases. And this is only for the Combat Skill Check alone. In the Arkham Horror Wiki (http://www.arkhamhorrorwiki.com/Skill_check), Step number one for making a Skill Check involves getting the value of a skill check involving all relevant factors, but there's no mention of the order by which these relevant factors should be processed.

Are there flowcharts for other kinds of Skill Checks besides Combat (i.e. Speed, Sneak, Fight, Will, Lore, Luck, Evade, Horror, Spell)?

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With all due respect to the amount of time you put in making that list, I think you may be asking the wrong question.

First of all, there's generally no fixed order or prioritization which requires a flowchart. You add up all the things that affect the modifier, and addition is commutative. If you have things that let you reroll, they can be used in any order you want. That is, the "flowchart" would be:

  • Add up all modifiers

  • Roll that many dice and see if you passed

  • If you failed, consider your options for re-rolling, re-roll if desired/possible, see if you passed, and repeat.

The bulk of your question, then, is just how to make sure you got the modifier right, and perhaps how to make sure you didn't forget a way you can re-roll. And I would argue that your list is not going to help you there, because your list is longer than the number of cards typically in play. It will be faster (and just as reliable) to simply look through everything in play every time a skill check is made than to consult a list like the one you're proposing.

Remember, there are relatively few global cards in play - perhaps an environment, perhaps the ancient one affects skill checks, and other things are very uncommon. Everything else is either on your investigator sheet or the little cards (items + skills + allies) right in front of you, and you can very quickly scan through those, until you start remembering that your shotgun always doubles sixes, and that your dark cloak doesn't affect luck checks.

If you want, you could try to use counters/dice/sliders to remember all the global modifiers (e.g. when the Heat Wave environment appears, set global indicators for fight to -1 and lore to +1), but that gives you yet another thing to remember to do (adjust those indicators when environments change) so honestly, you might as well just look at the environment card every time if you're having trouble remembering. Same goes for everything else - you could perhaps keep track of your current net stats, but it's easier said than done.

So, in general, just try to get all the players to keep an eye on everything, and probably someone will notice if you slip up. Keep your cards in consistent places: environments always in the same place, organize your items into combat and non-combat items. And don't worry so much - if you realize after the fact, you can probably either fix it or just let it slide.

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"Remember, there are relatively few global cards in play - perhaps an environment, perhaps the ancient one affects skill checks, and other things are very uncommon." Ugh, I knew I forgot to include something: Ancient One/Herald skill check modifiers (e.g. Lurker's gate closer)! It's absolutely frustrating for me whenever I remember that I have forgotten about these things; it makes me feel as though my computations have come to naught. Your comment about the rarity of global effects makes me think that I should get a list of those first, including the one that I just pointed out right now. –  Floyd Navarro Jun 10 '12 at 21:34
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@FloydNavarro I'm still confused why you need a list, though - just read everything as it comes into play. If you really don't think it's something you'll remember, keep track of it some other way (with a die/counter/slider like I suggested, or just a piece of paper); otherwise you'll probably remember at least to check it. But a complete list of all possibilities will always be more work than just reading every single card in play. Trying to make such a list is probably a fool's errand. –  Jefromi Jun 11 '12 at 5:12
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