My Nyarlathotep rules :') use them if you dare.
At the beginning of the game, do not put the masks in the cup. Random masks spawn when new gates open instead of the normal monster, after they're defeated the first time, they go into the monster cup for random selection afterwards. Masks do not effect the monster limit. They can be temporarily removed by gate closings or feds raid arkham type cards. This variant is particularly fun if you have all the box expansions (and have the tougher masks from Dunwich and Kingsport). The Beast, The Skinless One, and The God of the Bloody Tongue make town navigation quite a challenge, along with the lesser masks that will at the very least jam you up in the streets ::laughter:: and once you get a gate surge or two, the town gets really flooded. In the meanwhile, the guy who destroys clue tokens (not his actual name) gives you a little minigame to play as you try to kill him. Add to this challenge :'D throw in Tulzscha as the herald, and then you'll also have elusive cultists destroying elder signs while being defended by the masks, while the elusive mask is destroying clues. Yeah, you might still be able to stockpile enough clues and items to take Nyarl down, but maybe not. Not if the endless(ly annoying) cultists and masks slow you down or take you out. Anyways, it should still be possible to beat Nyarl in direct combat, but I think it will be considerably more difficult.
Also, change Nyarl's attack effect to a loss of two or three clue tokens (depending on how easy you think it is). I would give you an exact number, but I've never tried this with the Herald before (I'll try it Saturday night probably— while going for a combat victory).
Bloody FFG keeps stealing my avatars…
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I've always been a bit sad that such a cool Outer God got such a feeble card. I came up with a scenario to try and make him a bit more fun (It's meant to be pretty hard):
Shoot the Messenger
Ancient One: Nyarlathotep and Any Other
Setup as normal; however, choose an additional Ancient One besides Nyarlathotep. Create a seperate monster cup for Mask monsters.
The Gods' Messenger: In addition to the chosen Ancient One, Nyarlathotep is also in play. All special rules of both Ancient Ones apply, however treat the chosen Ancient One as the game's Ancient One for all other purposes.
A Thousand Faces: Whenever a monster would be placed on the board, roll a die and subtract the number of Mask monsters in play. If a one or less is rolled, place a Mask monster instead of the normal monster. Mask monsters ignore the monster limit and are never placed in the Outskirts. At the beginning of each turn, if the number of Mask monsters exceeds any player's current sanity, they glimpse the true form of the Crawling Chaos. Nyarlathotep is revealed...
Unmasked: If Nyarlathotep is revealed, place two Doom tokens on its Doom track for each Mask monster on the board, then return all Mask monsters to the cup. The investigators must fight him exactly as if he had awakened. If all Doom tokens are removed from its Doom track, Nyarlathotep returns to his machinations and play continues.
A Message and a Summons: If an Investigator would be devoured by Nyarlathotep, instead they are lost in time and space; add two Doom tokens to the Ancient One's Doom track. If this awakens the Ancient One, it must be fought alongside Nyarlathotep, making its attack immediately before the investigators. Each Investigators must choose which Ancient One they are attacking each turn.
Song of my soul, my voice is dead,
Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed,
Shall dry and die in
A very creative and thematic way to integrate Nyarlatotep! I will try this next time out.
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