That's a good boy!

Arkham Extras: Duke, Space Dog

Pete calls me Duke. I am his Very Special Dog. You are probably thinking that all dogs are Very Special. Great! You are a good person. I like you.

But I am a dog with power over time and space itself. It’s 1925, and I’m a space dog! It all started when Pete got a vision saying he needed to help a librarian and a professor. We went to see them, and they sent us looking for two people who were missing. Pete is smart, so he brought his hound. That’s me! I’m good at finding people.

After sniffing everywhere, I didn’t find the people. Pete still said I was his good boy and did good. I like Pete. Instead of people, we found a few things that looked like lots of fun but sort of tossed around threateningly in the place that smelled like Pete when he can’t walk straight, which is a lot.

Then, at the place that smelled like not big people like Pete, but smaller peole, we found, I guess, a really big chicken? Maybe more like a stack of chickens. Anyway, it wasn’t a good smell day, and we didn’t find the people, but Pete said I was a good dog anyway and it wasn’t my fault because he didn’t take me to where the people were. Did I mention I really like Pete?

Then we went to the museum, and I was a super-good dog because I found lots of clues and didn’t chew any of the bones. But then the two suns came out and I wasn’t in the museum anymore, because I was in another dimension. And Pete wasn’t there! So, now I will pour some cool science facts about how that was possible into your brain. Ready?

I have no cool science facts. I am a dog; I didn’t go to college. Well, technically I did go to Miskatonic University, but only for a night. They don’t let dogs in the classes there (very unfortunate–think how wonderful classes with dogs in them would be!*). But I can tell you about the other dimension. It was pretty sandy and rocky, and smelled like old socks. There were some upside-down sort-of chickens, but they appear to be afraid of loud, barky noises. I only ate one before I fell asleep.

And then (this was the best) I got home to Pete in my sleep! How great a space-and-time-faring dog am I? I just dreamed about chasing rabbits and running, and then I was home. Maybe that’s how I get home every night? Anyway, Pete was so happy to see me he gave me breakfast! That was great. Love Pete.

But then we went on a train. Trains are not ideal dog transport mechanisms. I tried to explain this to Pete, and then to the shushing people and the conductor, but they had trouble hearing me, even when I tried REALLY HARD. I think the trouble is that humans don’t grok concept of metal death snakes. Pete tried snuggles, which was kind but sort of missed the point. Fortunately, I didn’t have to ride the whole way, because after the train started jerking backward and getting scary, I did my space-time travel thing without even going to sleep!

It was great. Ate another not-chicken. Also, the librarian left a book there this time, so I picked it up and brought it back to her when I went to sleep. She and Pete were in a totally different town, and I STILL found them. Then I pooped orange with green stripes. It was electric (a word which makes sense to use here because it’s 1925 and electricity still has an air of excitement and danger about it–I mean, we basically have mana piped into some peoples’ houses now?–and also because it was shocking. I mean, literally: my butt got shocked as I pooped it). Can’t wait to go back.

* Speaking as Kelsey, now: dogs were allowed in classes at my college, and it was wicked cool. Also, that college was in New England, thus “wicked”.

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Notable Replies

  1. Sigh. The dog's name is Duke. Of course it is.

  2. I've been meaning to ask if you hunt treasures with a fedora and bullwhip, but never had a good segue until this post.

  3. At least he's a super dog, capable of traveling to the far reaches of time and space! I mean, it's not like every other dog that carries your name and is, you know, not super.

    They haven't released Monterey Jack for the LCG yet.

  4. Odd. I meant that reply for Duke. Oh well.

  5. Mayhaps, but it was far more fun this way. :grinning:

  6. I am very interested in this game, but I've been burned by LCGs before, in a sense. I love the idea that everything comes in the box, but then in practice, it doesn't. I bought the LotR LCG and to have a complete pool of cards tho build with, you needed at least 2 sets. Ditto Android. I have to assume that in this game as well you are allowed x number of cards per deck, but the game only supplies x-1?

    That aside, is one base set sufficient for 2 players? If I get this, it will be to play with my wife. Will we feel like we are competing for cards in our decks because of scarcity?

  7. I fell pretty hard for it, and I currently own one of everything that's been printed, with no plans to buy extra copies of any of it. But I'm also happy to play on a lower difficulty level, and I always play solo (often running two investigators myself). If you're pretty keen on optimizing the perfect deck, yes, I think you'll be fighting over stuff. Most cards have a limit of two per deck, with two in the base, but a few have only one copy. Unfortunately, the design of the investigators from the Dunwich Legacy exacerbated this problem. Right now, the only ways to buy investigators* come in cycles. The base set's cycle all had characters with level 0-5 cards from one class, and 0-2 of a different class. Dunwich's investigators all have a single class 0-5, but allow up to five level 0 cards of any class. So really strong level 0 cards are in high demand.

    For myself, I don't really care. Despite the fact that I have everything so far and plan to buy everything that's been announced, I rarely approach games as a completionist and am happy to play casually. So, for me, this feels a bit like the mechanic from regular Arkham Horror where you have to move your slider to increase one stat, but this decreases your other stat, only between characters--I can emphasize evasion with one character by giving her all the best agility cards, but that necessarily means they won't be available for my other character. And that's fine--it helps push me to make the characters distinctive, which the gameplay tends to reward and which makes the narrative a bit more memorable. But it does mean that if I want to explore the possibility of putting together a team full of bruisers to beat the crap out of everything, or a gang of rogues, sorcerers, or academics, that would get expensive unless I were playing with other people who owned their own copies of the game.

    That's a tiny bit sad. A themed group of professors led by Monterey Jack (who is totally not Indiana Jones), once he's released, would be kind of hilarious. Then again, it might feel a bit like slamming a door on your crotch once you got to the gameplay and everybody kept whiffing against even the weakest enemies. And they're already pretty close to being able to put together a band which isn't class-uniform, so it's not like your only theme options are foreclosed.

    But, say, speaking of the fact that I've bought everything so far, should I write up a buying guide, or set-by-set mini-reviews, do you think?

    • I think there was a promo with pre-orders of The Investigators of Arkham Horror, but, generally, only the core and big expansions have investigators.
  8. @rinelk

    Thank you for the clarification. I don't necessarily mind not having all the cards, or enough to go around, but I do like to complain like a crotchety old man sometimes. I don't like how you get "everything out of the box" but in reality, if they give you a single copy of a card, with a 2-card deck limit, and the ability to play multiplayer, what they are really saying is "if you want the real deck-building potential, then you need 2 base sets per player."

    But that is just complaining about economics. If the game's good, I'll probably end up getting it anyways.

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