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Favorite and least favorite investigators


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#21 Julia

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:11 PM

allstar64 said:

Yeah to be fair he was a favorite pre Insomouth. I don't think I've had a chance to play him since Insomouth was relesed due mostly to not having many chances after I moved.

Agreed. Pre-Innsmouth he was someone I've always loved playing with :-)


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#22 allstar64

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 03:46 AM

Yeah i was really really excited when I first heard about the Persoanl Stories. Even before they were announce I had wanted them cause I saw them as a great chance to balance out some of the less powerful characters and pump some life into the characters as a whole.

 

After it was released I was completly disapointed. It seemed like the only old character who had been given any thought whatsoever was Sister Mary whose PS did do a great job of making playing her feel new. There were so many other characters who should have gotten boosts that were much better thought out like Amanda, Mark and Pete not to mention players whose missions were really not boosts at all Like Willson, Darrel or any investigator who has to pay 5 clue tokens.

 

This is going to sound Sacreligions but they really should have gotten community input on this one. Release a  few Prototypes to the community and we would have instantly been given the feedback rather than waiting till after it was set in stone and now we have to live with it.



#23 The Professor

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 04:46 AM

AllStar ~ I couldn't agree more…sometimes I wonder why they're reticent to get input from the very individuals who purchase the game, expansions, miniatures (okay, seriously, I'm not buying the miniatures).  Personally, I find quite a few of the Personal Stories quite thematic, but some, like Darrell's make a good Investigator make horrible decisions…all for the case of the PS.  He can't have 5 Clue Tokens…he is a Photographer, isn't he…trying to find clues…


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#24 Julia

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 04:59 AM

allstar64 said:

This is going to sound Sacreligions but they really should have gotten community input on this one. Release a  few Prototypes to the community and we would have instantly been given the feedback rather than waiting till after it was set in stone and now we have to live with it.

You're not sacrilegous at all. Most great games have a huge playtesting work done by the community. Look at Dominion, for instance. Donald is certainly brilliant as game designer, but having hundreds of games played by the on-line community were vital to create a better game. Every forum on the FFG site has some people "taking care of it"; people whose passion and love for the game and knowledge of the cards, encounters, possibilities and stuff are so great they could be really helpful on some points. FFG then clearly can decide not to listen; but throwing in some prototypes and asking "play 10 games each, then post xyz on our server at this address with comments, and so on" could give them a lot of feedback before the game is out. So that we don't need errata, clarifications, FAQ, revised edition, new booklets of the rules (se ES, MoM. SoB for Descent and other apocalyptic nonsense that happened in the past) but we can have a sound game, able to satisfy everyone


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#25 Julia

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 05:00 AM

The Professor said:

(okay, seriously, I'm not buying the miniatures)

That's right, Joe, you don't buy minis. You produce directly the accessories you need for a better play

(and I'm pretty damn sure that Rob will be able to design - and paint - better minis than those produced by FFG)


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#26 Julia

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 05:03 AM

The Professor said:

like Darrell's make a good Investigator make horrible decisions…all for the case of the PS.  He can't have 5 Clue Tokens…he is a Photographer, isn't he…trying to find clues…

Yeah, that's really a sound point. Not only is he penalized under a strategic point of view, he's also brutalized by logic. "Hey, I'm a reporter! But I'm not reporting anything, because if I gather too much infos, then I'm in trouble". C'me on…


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#27 The Professor

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 08:29 AM

Julia,

     Yes, Rob's impressive ~ I'm glad that you'll enjoy the horror adorning your table.

     As to the PS, I have to admit, I've only just changed Darrell's…and today Wilson failed his and I diodn't know what failing meant…Discard all of his Clue Tokens…that hurt.  I'll explain in my next session report entitled, "From the Jaws of Death."

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#28 Kallabecca

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:40 PM

Had a great time with "Ashcan" Pete. Especially once he had both a .45 and a .38. Made stomping monsters that weren't immune to phycial weapns so much fun.



#29 Lilikin

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 12:23 AM

Dexter needs a shout just for his pimp stick!


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#30 Lilikin

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:22 PM

Seriously what is wrong with Dexter is he not a good spell caster?  I played with him last night (mainly because of this post) for a 2 player with a mate with two charecters each and he was very good he got that spell from the king in yellow where you add 3 to fight with no sanity cost and use you lore to your fight for that round and he was very very good.  Thoughts? 


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#31 The Professor

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 10:10 PM

Lilikin,

     He shoud be a very good Spell Caster, but his dead-average Sanity of '5' prevents him from casting too many requiring a Sanity cost and compared to Carolyn Fern who has a higher Sanity and can restore her own OR Daisy Walker (Kingsport Horror) who reduces Sanity costs for Spell Casting right out of the gate…Dexter looks a bit thin.  On the otehr hand, once he's passed his Personal Story (Innsmouth Horror), he's quite effective.  On a personal note, I enjoy playing him.

Cheers, Joe


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#32 Julia

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 01:12 AM

Yeah, what Joe said. The main point is that all the spell casting activity in Arkham is a bit… hmm.. crappy? Some spells are great, but there are only a few of them into the whole deck, and most of them are really effective only under specific circumstances. Hence, characters built aroung the spell casting activity are… not always the best ones. Among all the existing spells, combat spells are in some way the less useful: they require a roll, that makes you usually lose sanity regardless of the result, only to add some dice and roll again. For these reasons, people tend to shop for items and not spells, and so it's ever more unlikely that new spells enter play after the initial setup.

But as Joe said, Dexter is a little better if he manages to pass his Personal Story.


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#33 Lilikin

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:04 AM

That makes sense, I suppose I was lucky with that spell with no sanity cost at the start but there is nothing better than bringing down a bit of righteous fury on a few baddies, hmmmm that would be a great idea for a spell caster a priest…….


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#34 OrionAnderson

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 11:55 AM

One of the things I love about Arkham is that if you think about role-playing your character, you very often stumble on some good tactics.  In the case of Dexter Drake, I think he works a little bit more effectively if you remember that he's The Magician, not the Wizard.  He doesn't have huge reserves of sanity and giant lore bonuses because he's not actually a dedicated spellcaster.  He's a showman who happens, by way of his professions to have a lot of connections in the occult underground, and it's those contacts that make him valuable.  Also: he's an artist.  Like all artists, hecan do great things with enough cash, but he really benefits from having a patron.  Okay, enough flavor talk.  What does that mean in gameplay terms?

Well, here's how I approached Dexter the one or two times I've been dealt him. Magical Gift doesn't actually reward you for using spells, it rewards you for collecting them, so that's what I focus on. You start the game with Shrivelling, which is a good spell that Dexter can't use that effectively. With 3 Will and 5 Sanity, he just can't afford to use it that often.  He doesn't cast it as reliably as the Professor would, or the Student if you build her for casting. He also starts with 3-choose-2 spells, but so few spells are worth using for Dexter that it's really not better than anyone else who starts with 2 randoms. As others have noted, he just doesn't start in a good place to accomplish much with magic. However, he does start in the Magick Shoppe, with $5.  That means he can immediately buy another spell (choice of 3). So at the end of the first turn, he will have taken a wither, and then looked at a total of 6 other spell cards. (If you're *really lucky*, he'll also start with a Tome he can get another spell from.) In the basic game, that means he will have drawn 7 cards from a 40-card deck. As others have mentioned, combat spells in this game are not that great.  Plus, you tend to find way mroe than you can sue anyway.  So skip the combat spells. The utility spells in the deck come in 3 or 4 copies each.  That means Heal and Voice of Ra each have about a 50% chance to show up, while Find Gate and Mists of Releh are better than even. Finding Wither is a near certainty.  Now, sadly, most of these spells aren't that great. He can't afford to use Heal and doesn't really need to, he's mediocre at sealing gates, and with 5 Speed 4 Stealth 2 Focus, he can usually get where he wants to without using Mists. We still haven't actually done anything worthwhile.

The solution I found is that Drake works best as the assistant to a more powerful caster. He's so fast that on his second turn, he should be able to meet up with any other investigator in the city and give them his spells. Imagine setting up the Professor with Find Gate and Mists of Releh. Or the Psychologist  with Heal and Shrivelling. Either way you have a powerhouse of a character.  Unfortunately, you also have an even-more-useless Magician sitting around.  What to do with him? Well, you have a few options. The first is to have another investigator give him money and send him right back to the shop. With his ability and his speed, he's better at spending money efficiently than most other characters. You also want to give him all of your Tomes. Not only can he choose what spell to learn from them, but he has enoug Speed that he has time read while still running around. If one of Harvey's 2 unique items is a spellbook, Dexter can actualy meet him in the admin building, read his book for him, and hand off the resulting spell on turn 1, freeing Harvey to amble into battle with his full 3 movement. Other cute tricks include giving all his possessions away, then taking out a bank loan and spending it on more magic. (I assume the bank doesn't repossess your spells when you default) I think people underestimate the value of trading equipment, and I think having a team "courier" is a viable role; I played a Photographer in a similar way recently. But in the long run, you do need all of your investigators to actually contribute something. I suggest giving Dexter 2 Wither spells and a sword, and making him a "troubleshooter." He can't handle the big monsters or the scary gates on his own.  What he can do is use his 5 speed to run all over town, killing weak monsters as needed to to clear the path for the real heroes to get where they're going. 

TL;DR: Dexter isn't great at personally completing major objectives, so he suffers in 2-investigator matches. But I think he can pull his weight with 4, as long as you have another spellcaster and ideally a wealthy character on the team.



#35 Julia

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:19 PM

OrionAnderson said:

 

He doesn't cast it as reliably as the Professor would, or the Student if you build her for casting.

 

 

You know that Harvey's strong mind is about losses and not costs so that he still loses Sanity after casting spells, right? (sorry if this was clear already)

You're right about using Dexter as supporting character. The main issue with this character is that he starts with zero clues. This means that before he's able to seal a gate, several turns will pass; pairing this with the fact that his starting equipment is kinda meh (he's not really a monster whacker unless you give him some good items, plus he's loaded with spells, and even if he can choose among a larger number, it's difficult to build an entire strategy on spells), you have to consider carefully how to divide the roles among your investigators. It heavily depends on the number of investigators you play (as usual): if you play only three investigators with maybe one expansion boards, having Dexter in the party can be a heavy penalty. You're right, if you have Carolyn or some other strong characters it's still pretty balanced, but consider a party with no decent spell casters (no Daisy, no Harvey, no Carolyn) then… ouch. It's better having Dexter retired or devoured as soon as possible


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#36 eiterorm

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:04 AM

OrionAnderson said:

Other cute tricks include giving all his possessions away, then taking out a bank loan and spending it on more magic. (I assume the bank doesn't repossess your spells when you default)

Spells count as items, just like common items and unique items. Allies and skills don't. So if you default your bank loan, your spells are discarded too. And if you can get from the Bank of Arkham to the Olde Magick Shoppe in one turn, there's still a 50 % chance that you have to pay $1 interest on your bank loan, thus depriving you of the opportunity to buy two spells. If that didn't happen, and you choose to buy two spells, you'll have no money left the following upkeep phase. So the following upkeep phase, there's a 50 % chance that your bank loan defaults, forcing you to discard your spells before you can give them to another investigator. Add this together and you have at most a 25 % chance to buy two spells and let another investigator have them. So if you want this to work, you should make one of the other investigators give you $2 before you take that bank loan.

In my opinion this is not a very good strategy. You can be lucky and draw Find Gate or Plumb the Void, but I'd say your time could be better spent otherwise. Assuming it doesn't take you multiple turns to move from A to B on the board, this strategy will on average require 4--5 turns. One turn in the Bank of Arkham, one turn in the Olde Magick Shoppe, one turn loading off all your stuff on another investigator, and one to two turns (on average) waiting for the bank loan to default. (although this may take significantly longer) And then, when the bank loan is finally defaulted, you'll have to get all your stuff back. If you want your stuff back immediately after your bank loan defaults, you'll need to make sure that the other investigator is neither in another town nor in an Other World. So, as you see, this strategy adds some rather significant restrictions to your team.



#37 OrionAnderson

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 08:28 AM

@Eitertom: Agreed. Now that I know spells are a kind of item, it's almost certainly not worth the trouble of trying to scam the bank. Edit: It would actually be a 75% chance of having to pay up before your buy the second spell, since you can only buy them one at a time.

@Julia: Yeah, I know his special ability doesn't apply. I was referring to his extra Lore die.



#38 Fake Ghost Pirate

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:58 PM

There's superstars like Akachi, Patrice, and Hank Samson- but there's a big difference between best Investigators and favorite Inv's.

Does anyone especially like a character who's abilities are (ahem) somewhat less than stellar?

 

Some Examples:

Luke Robinson- I always hope to draw this Investigator (I draw randomly with a few twists) He's "Mister Dreamlands" and comes with a Gate Box, but for some reason I never do all that well with him. But I love the theme, he's possibly my favorite "character" and the one I relate to the most (I'm a "dreamer" of course)

Ursula Downs- arkham's female Indy Jones. A perfect character for the Arkham Horrorverse but never seems to do very well.

Charlie Kane- love the picture, one of the best looking tokens on the board. Love the theme and his personal story, wish he had some decent abilities.

George Barnaby- possibly the worst Investigator in Arkham. It's a crying shame too, cause I love his story. Maybe I just never figured out how to use him to good effect….



#39 Dr.Faust

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 09:03 PM

I'm actually still relatively new to the game in general and only have access at the moment to Innsmouth and Dunwich for my choices of Investigators (along wit the Base set, naturally! :P ) But when I play the game (mostly solo) I try to play based on two investigators that I think would make for interesting set-ups if it was say a book or movie.

 

My favorite single character is Roland Banks. Between his backstory and personal cards, his overall constant stream of clues and cash and the actual look of the character, he's my single favorite. I soloed with him and was lucky enough to get the 'Reporter's Pass' which made soloing infinitely simple. I've contemplated taking them out just to actually give the game a fighting chance. XD

 

McGlen and Mary - Nun and Gangster. It sounds almost like a Clint Eastwood film, but truth is, it was the first game I won. Mary's blessing (and this was maybe just my luck) never wore off and Michael made for a good gate-shutter when properly outfitted. The image of him gunning down Nyarlthotep's Masks while spouting lines like, 'Keep the change, you filthy animal' gave me a little chuckle too.

 

Yorick and Dexter - Gravedigger and Magician. With Dexter shutting gates left and right and Yorick plucking up monsters and 'Burying them Deep' to keep most from respawning, this is an awesome team up. Top that off with him getting ahold of Legrasse and Yorick was having the time of his life with the beasties!

 

Hank Samson and Tommy Muldoon - The tragic duo. This one actually pulled at my heartstrings. I picked them because I wanted a more 'bruiser' pair and hadn't read their Personal cards. That was when I realized these two guys have some serious characterizations in their stories. The thought of 'I Wanna Go Home' coming into play darn near broke my heart and I worked feverishly to make sure Hank's story ended happily. Tommy was a different matter and I actually was a bit miffed that I couldn't get him a happy ending without losing him, so I had to be content to let him not have a tragic ending instead.

 

On a side note, my favorite Ally card is Richard Upton Pickman--mostly because he's just one of my favorite Lovecraft characters period and so always look forward to drawing him in a game…which I've yet to do! XD



#40 eiterorm

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:07 AM

Dr.Faust said:

McGlen and Mary - Nun and Gangster. It sounds almost like a Clint Eastwood film, but truth is, it was the first game I won. Mary's blessing (and this was maybe just my luck) never wore off and Michael made for a good gate-shutter when properly outfitted. The image of him gunning down Nyarlthotep's Masks while spouting lines like, 'Keep the change, you filthy animal' gave me a little chuckle too.

The probability that you will keep a blessing (or a curse for that matter) for n turns is (5/6) ^ (n - 1). Remember that you don't roll for the blessing or the curse during the first turn. So if you play a game of 14 turns, Mary will have a 9.35 % chance of keeping her blessing for the entire game. It's obviously a matter of luck, but the odds really aren't that bad. ;-]






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