I got two copies of When Darkness Comes expansions today that I had ordered through local gaming shop, Fantasiapelit.
I don't usually write too much reviews or things like that, but right now I'm in the mood for that.
As I said, I got two expansions. First was The Horror Within, and the second one was The Nameless Mist.
First, the packaging sucked. But I guess they had in mind keeping the expansion sets rather cheap. But still it just looked plain bad and messed up, when rulebook and expansion tiles formed a sandwich that had a pewter figure filling, all wrapped up in plastic and not in very neat way.
However, Nameless Mist looked a lot more professional, though still the packaging looked ugly. But at least there was a small, colored "paperback" covering up the insides.
But enough of that, you don't play with actual packaging.
Once you open up the expansion, you can actually see a huge rise in quality over the base game. Rulebooks both look a lot more durable than the leaflets that look like print-outs, which came with the base game.
What I specifically look into, is expandability and how things work together. As much as I'm a statistics freak, I'm a megalomaniac collector who wants the games to be a huge mess of rules that just happen to work together.
My dream is to have a good home-brewn non-GM run semi-campaign system for When Darkness Comes. And that in mind I looked into the scenarios, additional rules and additional disks.
Scenarios for non-GM run games in The Horror Within look both plenty and nice. Though I didn't read them thoroughly except maybe for the first one, they left a nice impression that they were nicely different. Which should read: totally different.
Line of Sight rules have no problem whatsoever in incorporating them into "the Big Game". Probably because they were designed to expang the basic rules, heh.
But things in the Nameless Mist expansion look a bit more difficult to fit into this collection of The Awakening + The Horror Within.
First, the disks that come with the set have a lot more refined graphics in them. But that's only a minor detail.
However, at the moment I lack the actual Willpower rules. Sure, I can download them from the official website which I probably have to do, but I'd like to have a physical copy of them in my hands too, with all the disks and whatnot that come with the expansion.
That much said, I'm sure it will be entertaining enough to use only partial willpower rules, it makes a couple of new adversaries interesting and different from the base game's adversaries!
Now, at least 3 of the 4 new allies look good enough to be put straight into the base game. But security and item discs pose a real problem... it makes little sense for these Cthulhuesque "security" members to wander around in towns, guarding a café of something. They might need some house-ruling not to break the "illusion".
Items, then. As of now they are kind of a waste. Once I'll get complete Willpower rules I'm sure they'll be usable, but as of now adding them to base game would just dilute meaningful encounters. One Elder Sign and both Black Lotuses could see some use if I take enough new adversaries and house rule some of the security disks into the game, but otherwise no-one wants Necronomicon when they can get the Shotgun.
But the book items have Search values of 3S, 3K and 4S, so they could be substituted to some scenario items instead of the uglyish numbered disks.
And last thing: the tiles. Nothing to say here, really. They all fit in and don't look too much "off" from the base games tiles. Miskatonic University campus with all the small buildings is a nice change of tile design and thus may look a bit weird in the middle of town, but really, nothing wrong there.
I guess this was all.