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Buhallin

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Everything posted by Buhallin

  1. The Rita infinite deck, while requiring a lot of parts, did indeed break the core mechanics. IMHO cards can be broken even if they don't auto-win you the game by virtue of crowding out everything else, and requiring active designing around. LOTR is a good example of this. There are a number of very powerful cards in the early sets that skew literally everything that comes behind it, whether it's player cards (Leadership tax) or encounter cards (how many enemies can Gandalf's arrival one-shot these days?) That's my one concern with calling them optional. What's the baseline for design going forward? Will Seeker cards be based around Higher Education being hard to get, or easy? Will costs assume you've got access to the best money maker in the game? It would be helpful to know if respecting the Taboos is standard, and ignoring them is easy mode, or if they're optional, and using them is harder mode.
  2. I see it less as assuaging guilt than opening up options. Even if you're willing to try janky decks, it's hard to ignore the power level of a lot of these cards. And even if you're not taking them because they're crazy powerful, they fill niches and you get the crazy power along with it. Being able to use Milan without him covering every resource need makes deck building more interesting. The higher cost on Higher Education means there's a real choice between it and, say, the L2 Hyperawareness. And so on.
  3. I wonder if I've been thinking about Shortcut wrong? Page 3: Some abilities have bold action designators (such as Fight, Evade, Investigate, or Move). Activating such an ability performs the designated action as described in the rules, but modified in the manner described by the ability. Shortcut(2) could be a move action, which is modified by being a fast trigger so you don't spend an action on it. I've been treating it just like a fast ability, but I'm thinking it's more like Ursula's ability in that it gives you an action without having to pay the action cost. That would make it consistent.
  4. Not sure I agree that it would make it more relevant. If you kept the modifier, it almost becomes "Fail your next skill test, then shuffle it in". As it is, it's sort of a constant risk but not that guaranteed to go off. IMHO this makes it more interesting, as you have to constantly be aware of the potential and account for it for a much longer period of time. Higher probability of failure would mean you just take a few low-importance tests to get it to go away.
  5. Milan needed to change because he defined Seekers as a money faction, and did it all by himself. Resources were never an issue if you had him, but a serious limitation if you didn't. Every Seeker I ever played was night and day for a scenario depending on whether I had Milan in my opening hand. Once you had him out he's almost a free Emergency Cache every turn. It was just too much. 8 XP for the permanent boosters (or 5 for Scrapper) doesn't seem out of line for what you get. Yes, it makes them expensive, but they're incredibly efficient boosters that cost nothing to play, don't take up deck space, and aren't dependent on a draw. They completely invalidate every other pay-for stat boost in the game. And that's even before you get to the three that got hit covering even better stats than the ones you have to draw (with the possible exception of Streetwise not giving a Fight boost). Key of Ys... meh. I would rather have seen it get an errata that made it harder to keep around by requiring all horror to be placed on it first, but making it Exceptional will make it a lot less reliable to build an entire deck around. Rex is an obvious change as well. A lot of the other changes seem to target specific combos like the Rita infinite action loop, or are just sort of general. I'm sad seeing Elusive get hit, but it's honestly an incredible card for 0XP - free disengage and a near-unlimited move is always incredible even before you consider the potential it has to trivialize any number of scenarios. Sleight fixes bouncing Flamethrowers and can still do Lupara, so that makes me happy. Machete is obvious, and the Switchblade seems (as mentioned above) to be more of a general tweak to make ammo-based weapons a little more worth it. I'm a little nervous about that though, as Guardians no longer have a real damage-boosting melee weapon at L0. It's going to change how they have to approach the early game pretty dramatically (which is probably a good argument that the change needed to happen).
  6. Definitely needs spoiler tags, but I'm really curious how this happened
  7. A little of both, honestly. They add more variety in the encounter sets and some locations, but they also fix a few bad design choices in the originals. If it's your first first playthrough, I'd do Night of the Zealot first. For Dunwich I don't think there's really any advantage to playing the base version, and I'd just go to Return.
  8. And just adding here - the story and text don't make that much sense either. Somehow deciding we didn't trust them way back before Threads of Fate lets us realize they were lying to us in a way that having both Alejandro and Ichtaca actively betray us doesn't?
  9. Ah, that was it misread that part and did the swap block as well. While I definitely liked it overall, the design on FA is REALLY big on contextless choices that have pretty major impacts later down the line. Supplies are easily the worst offender, but we (should have) lost out on the extra scenario because we tried to be nice to Ichtaca and didn't tie her down and interrogate her? Pfft.
  10. I'm not sure about that. We ended up with one token from each of them, and didn't take the one option that resulted in forging your own path. We spawned both big enemies in Shattered Aeons, and refused the offers from both. That led us to finishing the original 4a, and beating it, which gave us R5. Any guesses as to what we missed? Lots of moving parts in this, I can't find what we missed.
  11. So we polished off Forgotten Age today - I can understand why people have issue with it, especially the difficulty, but I loved it. We did run into an odd situation setting up for Turn Back Time though. What do you do with other tokens that have been added to the bag? We couldn't find anything that said you remove them, and the "cross everything out" doesn't do so since added tokens aren't recorded in the campaign log. Turn Back Time's reference card doesn't include anything for those tokens though, which seemed really odd. We ended up leaving them in and treating them as zeros - it was enough of a good/bad that we called it a wash on the Grim Rule and just went with our best read. Anyone have any clarification on this, or how did you handle it?
  12. Especially with regards to the Camera, but also to Henry (whose range is admittedly much smaller) I think we're reaching a point in the game where card analysis is going to have to start looking past just "good" or "bad", or "Good for Seekers", or even "Good for Daisy". The card pool is big enough now that most major needs are covered. If the only analysis left is "What helps Seekers get clues better" then the range of interesting cards is going to be very narrow, and the only thing available is power creep. Instead it feels like we're starting to get cards that bring wider flexibility, but with a cost. That cost won't be paying for all decks, even within the same investigator. A clue gatherer/support Daisy won't want the Camera. A spell slinging Daisy is another matter entirely. Is it worth it for Mystics? Probably not, but a Dark Horse Jim build, possibly. This is a very good thing for the game, as it will enable a much broader and more interesting set of deck options. I've seen this myself - Protective Incantation is generally considered awful, but in a bag control Norman build with Milan to fund it, it's incredible (hence my thoughts of what Henry could do paired with someone like that). If the only thing we care about when we look at a card is how well it supports the very one-dimensional Seeker/Guardian play, it's going to miss a lot of what's coming.
  13. The Camera seems to be pretty solidly aimed at Mystic/Seeker hybrids. As far as I can find it's the only hand slot that gives a willpower boost, and it still covers the intellect boost you could normally get from the slot (which is universal rather than just for investigation at that). Especially if you can afford the setup time, I can see a number of decks getting use out of it.
  14. I did say I didn't think Henry was good 😀 But I disagree that it's a poorly designed card. A card that looks good at first glance but is really awful unless you manage to create the right environment even though that's very hard and then it's incredible... That is brilliant design, and the fundamental concept for combo decks. I'm with Allonym on Rook though, especially since you still get the draw as well as the weakness. So even if you hit one, you're effectively getting a free card draw at the same time. And I agree that there are many, many situations where you're either ok with or even want to draw a weakness.
  15. Henry actually has some interesting potential in combo with bag control Mystics. Dunwich starts with 3 special tokens plus the autofail, and it's very possible to get through the entire campaign without adding any more. It's actually pretty realistic to remove at least two of those once you get a little experience. If you've got a 2 in 13 chance to fail it that gives a much better chance of ramping it to really serious levels. It's definitely beginning to stretch the realm of likelihood, but it is actually possible to seal every token in the bag that could make Henry fail. Is 10 resources for an action worth that effort? Probably not in itself, but it's not like the combo is JUST for Henry, there's plenty of other benefit to all that sealing. Not really saying it makes him GOOD, just that he does have the potential to be in the right environment.
  16. It's invaluable for making sure those big, critical tests pass. Setting up a Double or Nothing Shotgun blast with a few Vicious Blows? Knowing where you need to be is huge. Knowing whether you're going to pull the autofail (or even the +1) before a Guiding Stones dig for everything tells you exactly how many resources to commit. But I honestly find it great just for average checks too. Knowing what you need to pass, or that you'll be getting hit with a nasty token effect if you fail, can be a big swing. Sure, you could just take something for an extra +1 - but that's still living in the risk management zone. Premonition converts the action you need from risk management to resource management, and lets you make the choices in that space.
  17. Pretty much. Similarly to the various Seeker solve-it cards, it puts a bit of a higher bar on the initial play which will then allow stronger effects. And Blood-Rite is rather strong for a Level 0 - card draw, filtering, resource gain, and direct damage all in one neat and incredibly flexible package. That would be pretty crazy as a standard L0 card, but with the extra prerequisite of needing the single copy of the Lexicon first, it puts enough burden on it to balance it. It's also a neat way to circumvent the standard two copy deckbuilding limit, again with the burden of the difficult initial setup.
  18. Premonition is probably my favorite card in the game. Well, second favorite. Seal of the Elder Sign is better But for L0s...
  19. No reason there couldn't be, just don't see it on this one. I wonder if we'll get three copies of Blood Rite in the pack? I assume so, but it's odd. With the Lexicon being 1 per deck I expect we'll get one Lexicon and 3 Blood Rite, making it equal to the normal 2 per. I'm also not sure that "your bonded cards" means "all out of play cards". It could potentially be a side deck sort of thing. I don't expect it, but without seeing the full rules it may be more complicated than we expect.
  20. Sure, it's not the best choice for every enemy. But there are plenty where it is a solid choice, even in the examples you cite - Acolytes don't keep gaining doom. If you can't get to them before you advance, you're far better off leaving them. Even if it is less than half - which I'd probably agree with, if only because of Hunters - that doesn't make evasion a strictly weaker option. It makes it another tool in the bag. There are times when killing will be more efficient. There are times when evasion will be more efficient. That's fine and good - I'm not saying that evasion is always a better choice. But you were saying that evasion was always an inferior choice, which is simply not correct. And even in cases where killing is more efficient, it doesn't make evasion useless. If nothing else, evasion is a key element in dealing with a number of boss fights where you have to handle high fight and Retaliate. We did Return to Blood on the Altar yesterday without a reliable evader in the group, and while we got through it was FAR less efficient than it would have been if we'd had one. It's worth remembering that most Rogues can fight fairly well too. I think they skew stronger towards investigation than they do fighting, but they can do it. Being able to fight or evade lets them choose the most efficient option for the current situation, where Guardians just see a map full of nails.
  21. Secret Name was delayed - the normal release cadence is 4 weeks, it took 6 after Circle Undone. I suspect Wages will hit on the normal (8 weeks from Circle Undone) cycle as if the delay didn't happen.
  22. I'll add one more thought to this: Killing monsters isn't actually the win condition most of the time - getting clues is usually the sole requirement to advance, except in cases of boss fights. Enemies are speed bumps that must be dealt with; there are a number of ways you can do it, each of which presents some advantages. Even in cases where you must kill a monster, the common existence of Retaliate on these makes evasion a critical part of doing so. I remember when Key of Ys came out, the first screed I read about how broken it was because it made Dim Carcosa trivial really was more about how evading every turn made it trivial. Sadly, the author showed no awareness of the distinction.
  23. Finn snagged 8 clues in a single turn last week that saved our bacon in Depths of Yoth. Admittedly he had help doing it, but I'd take some exception to the idea that he's weaker than a pure Seeker. This simply isn't true. With the exception of Hunters, an evaded-and-left-behind enemy is can be better than one which is actually killed. Evasion is also typically far more action efficient, requiring a single action vs. multiples to kill a lot of enemies. Even if you have to keep evading it each turn, you can do that for multiple turns before the action cost comes to a disadvantage. Evasion is also a pretty flat efficiency compared to damage, which relies on extra cards to improve the efficiency. And that's before we get to the obvious observation that you haven't played through TFA yet Lockpicks enables an investigation stat spike like no other. The above Finn was also our only chance to touch the 12-shroud location in Depths. Lola is insanely awesome. Double or Nothing can easily generate multiple clue gathering actions. Streetwise may not be as efficient as the (often argued to be broken) Higher Education, but it also does it while still letting you actually use your cards. Again, this just isn't true. 3 actions at 100% chance of success and 4 actions at 75% chance of success will net the exact same number of successes. More realistically, let's take Extracurricular Activity on Standard, and assume that a Seeker can get to +2 while a Rogue can only get +1. At +2, 4 tokens fail (74% chance of success). At +1, 6 tokens fail (60% chance of success). 3 actions at 75% or so gives you 2.2 clues per turn. 4 actions at 60% gives you 2.4 per turn. That will obviously shift, and depend a lot on that gap between +1/+2, but the base assumption is simply wrong. Now, that failure may often bring other negatives with it, but it also brings the flexibility of using that action for anything. Once a location is cleared of clues, many Seekers have the "Okay, what now?" look. Same thing with Guardians on turns when no enemies pop out. If only they'd done something to help them have extra actions to compensate for that... And predicting the inevitable response, this just creates flexibility for the class - you can use extra actions to gain resources which increase your chances of success on fewer actions, or play into a "spray-and-pray" approach to trying more in order to pass more. I'll freely grant that Rogues require more work to accomplish the same as a simpler, higher-stat one-trick character like a Seeker or Guardian. But the reward is flexibility. Even more than that, they provide a different playstyle, which is a good thing.
  24. Fixed that. Sadly, the new Blackjack is so awesome we can't bash the card on title alone any more!
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