But First, Let’s Talk About Custom Dice
Well I have to say that I, Sandy Petersen, am not the biggest fan of custom dice. I was opposed to doing the custom dice in the very first Cthulhu Wars campaign (clear back in 2013), for example (obviously, I lost that fight in spades, given the fact that literally every game we produced since then has had custom dice). However, I am a big enough man to realize that many many people disagree with me, and think that custom dice are the bomb. Certainly I’ve spoken with folks on Discord, BGG, and conventions who love custom dice.
So, anyway here are the custom dice for Evil High Priest. Really they’re just normal 6-sided dice, since all the numbers are used.
What are the dice used for? Also a few points about raids.
If you haven’t read the rules, you may wonder why there are dice. They are only used to determine the strength of an investigator raid. All raids are 1, 2, or 3 dice in strength. You roll the dice, add them together, and that’s the raid*.
So this is a random element, BUT it is also an equalizer, because the raid strength is the same for every single player in the game! Even if I am the person who triggered the raid (which only happens on the cult board), then I get attacked by that same raid, so I need to be ready for it. Sometimes this means I don’t dare unlock a particular Elder Sign, because I couldn’t stand up to the raid it produces. Of course, some other player may make the calculation that the raid would hurt me worse than it does him, and launch the raid before I get to it! That’s life when you’re trying to become the Evil High Priest!
*Although, the advanced way to play the game is to only ever roll 1 die anyway. It’s 1d6 for a 1 gun raid. 1d6 + 6 for a 2 gun raid, and 1d6 + 12 for a 3 gun raid! Look at the alternate rule at the end of the rulebook. It’s the ONLY WAY to play, if you’re a REAL cultist 😉
IÄ! IÄ! SHUB-NIGGURATH, THE BLACK GOAT OF THE WOODS WITH A THOUSAND YOUNG!
Okay, now we’re getting into the meaty stretch goals. Once we hit $60,000 in funding, the Black Goat cult board will be included in the CORE GAME as an alternative cult to play with (rather than Cthulhu)!
Just before we launched the Kickstarter, we also released a Black Goat playthrough video, so check it out if you’re interested (it’s on the main KS page, or you can click here). I like it better than the Great Cthulhu video, because I totally won the Black Goat game (but went down to humiliating defeat in Great Cthulhu).
This stretch goal is for EVERYONE who pledges. You don’t need to be on the Dunwich level to gain this board.
How does Black Goat work?
Notable obvious differences from Great Cthulhu are, first, that there is no cult Shoggoth, no Deep One track, and there are two separate Start sites.
Another big difference is that all of the Investigator Raid sites (except two) also give the player who activates them a free monster. Unfortunately, you don’t get the monster till after the raid is resolved, so it can’t be used to protect you! On the other hand, you’re somewhat protected against the next raid!
In general, the Black Goat board gives you lots of cultists (2 cultists for just 5 treasure) and monsters (a monster for just 1 magic), but also, later on, gives you wants to trade in those cultists and monsters for prizes. For example, you can turn in a cultist for heaps of resources, or, late in the game, turn in a monster for two (2) spellbooks! That’s 10 victory points.
One of the Black Goat board considerations is that two of the reusable sites are only available late in the game, and can probably be used only once or twice. One of these is the aforementioned “trade a monster for 2 spellbooks”, which can really skyrocket you to victory, and the other is the infamous Cult Skulk. In our playthrough, we didn’t get to it (in fact, it was the last elder sign we unlocked, thus ending the game), but I have seen it used plenty of times. Here’s what it’s for – it lets you skulk another location on the Black Goat board, and this board’s sites are SO useful, that it is highly worth activating. You could use it to double-up on playing the “trade a magic for a monster” site, thus protecting you against the last attack. Or if you have enough monsters, you can double up on the “trade a monster for 2 spellbooks”. Since cultists aren’t really useful in the last turn or two, you can also just use the “trade a cultist for resources”, since this actually gives you the equivalent of 4 victory points for a cultist, plus 3 cash, which sometimes is enough to give you the most cash, worth another 5 victory points! The only real limitation is that the Cult Skulk is unlocked so late in the game, you usually won’t need it for the “pay 5 cash for 2 cultists” site. But that site is terrific in the early game!
I really like Black Goat. I hope you do too.