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Allonym

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  1. Guardian: Obviously I'm gonna say Carolyn Fern, for whom I have published 3 different decks and who is my favourite investigator in the game. She's gonna be my next character played again now the Meat Cleaver exists. And that's a bit of a shame because it prevents me having a fighty choice - I'll be curious to try out Roland again at some point and I enjoy pretty much all the other guardians. Seeker: Minh is my favourite (though I have yet to try out any of the new characters from The Circle Undone), as she plays very differently to the other seekers - and I find the other seekers very boring. Rogue: I've had a lot of fun playing Sefina, played her in 2 campaigns and made good use of the Ornate Bow. I haven't played much of other rogues, though Preston Fairmont looks like amazing fun. Mystic: Akachi Onyele is my favourite by far, she's straightforward and flexible and really gives me the feeling of being able to handle any situation. Plus her unique asset is amazing. Again, she might end up being supplanted by Diana though... Survivor: This is a tough one. I think it still has to go to Ashcan Pete, the first investigator I really loved. I like his ability to get started from the very beginning, letting you work on the scenario and carry the team early on. He also has a great deal of flexibility, and you can build him in so many interesting and unique ways. Sadly he tends to drop off in the latter part of a campaign. Honourable mention to Wendy, who is the roguiest non-rogue out there and great fun. Her ability is absurd and also enables a lot of interesting approaches. The less said about the others, the better, though one day I do want to see if I can make Calvin work.
  2. Allonym

    A Critical Glance at Rogues

    Last campaign I played Sefina, I managed to play Ace in the Hole three times, by tearing through my deck like it was tissue paper. I love that Suggestion+Pickpocketing+All In synergy.
  3. Allonym

    A Critical Glance at Rogues

    That sounds like a pretty accurate analysis...around the time of the core set. Nowadays, I'd say rogues are the second strongest class after seekers. Preston Fairmont is making a good argument for strongest investigator in the game if played the right way, Finn Edwards is legitimately better at gathering clues than many seeker builds while also having absurd evasion and solid backup combat abilities, Jenny Barnes is the most popular investigator in the game and is like "Preston lite", still with an exceptional economy but with an actual stat-line, Sefina Rousseau is very durable with 4 Will/Agi and can pull off excellent shenanigans, and Skids O'Toole is also an investigator card published for this game. Honourable mention to Wendy, who tends to be very rogue-y and, much like rogues themselves, started the game very weak and by this point is extremely solid. I will say that rogues are very dependent on a few exp cards. Lockpicks, Charisma, Lola Santiago, Hot Streak and above all Streetwise are extremely important for making them work, and in the first scenario a rogue tends to be one of the weakest group members (well, unless you're Finn). Rogues also have some of the worst cards in the game, so it's very easy to make a bad rogue build - for instance, their level 0 weapons come in two flavours - completely worthless and usable but mediocre. I recently finished two different Forgotten Age campaigns with 2 rogues in the group and it was exceptional, particularly the second campaign with a Preston proxying Intel Report and Decoy. At one point, between Intel Report, "Look What I Found!", Lola Santiago and Streetwise, Preston had 3/4 of the clues in the game - on a team with a dedicated seeker.
  4. Allonym

    Threads of Fate Act decks

    All three act decks are in play at all times (until completed). You can progress any of them whenever you meet the requirements to do so. If you've progressed to act 2A, you can choose to progress act 1C or 1E or 2A, in whatever order suits you. Progress on one act doesn't affect the other act decks (so if you progress to Act 2a, you don't progress either of the other acts at that time). All in all, you might find it better to spread your efforts rather than just working on a single act until it's finished, because there are effects that get more dangerous the more act decks you've fully completed. However, later parts of the acts require more than just clue-gathering, and if you're not sure you'll be able to finish all three acts, it might be best to make sure you can complete at least 1 or 2 of them instead of spreading your efforts and not completing any of them.
  5. Houserule I played with in our most recent run was to use 1-player supplies, and have them affect the entire group (e.g., everyone gets the exp from binoculars, everyone counts as having a pickaxe, if you use medicine everyone who's poisoned heals the poison) - it makes a few things easier and eliminates a certain layer of strategy, but it's such a huge increase in quality of life. Same applies for using some of the "Normal" symbol token effects instead of the "Hard/Expert" ones - "you're poisoned if you fail this test" and "place a doom on your location, regardless of whether you pass" are both the wrong kind of difficulty... With those, I found myself far better disposed towards TFA, though the first 2 scenarios and Heart of the Elders still feel pointless.
  6. TFA had a lot of dropped ideas that never really went anywhere. One of the main complaints I have with the campaign, aside from supplies and some of the chaos token effects, is that it felt like they tried to do too much and it all started bursting at the seams a little. The most egregious example is in Depths of Yoth. At a certain point, if you have a canteen in your supplies, you can "collect a strange liquid". This doesn't do anything at all, and is never even mentioned again...
  7. Thinking of the LOTR LCG, there was a lot of early weirdness with traits there, too. They never added traits in errata, but there were a number of early traits that quickly disappeared, many cards that didn't have traits they thematically should, and many of the traits ended up being properly developed only much later. For example, there's the Archer and Steward traits. Only Denethor has the Steward trait, and only the hero versions, not the ally versions. It appears on 2 cards and does exactly nothing - you can't even use the handful of effects that care about matching traits between cards rather than a specific named trait because there's no way to grant it. The Archer trait appears on a horse-archer and a Silvan archer ally in the core set. It doesn't appear on Legolas, also in the core set, nor on any other card representing a bowman (not even Bard The Bowman). It doesn't do anything, and thematically it overlaps with the Ranger and Scout keywords, which were expanded on. Dáin Ironfoot (or to give him his proper title, King Dáin II Ironfoot), was released in the first cycle as a hero, but he despite being a literal king, of two different kingdoms, didn't have the Noble keyword that appeared on everyone from miscellaneous Gondorian noblemen to every other royal in the game. He also didn't have the Warrior keyword, despite being one of the greatest Dwarven warriors to ever live. He was recently released in a new form as a hero from a different sphere, and that version does have the "missing" keywords. Speaking of Ranger and Scout, there were a lot of keywords that appeared early on and mostly just as thematic descriptions, or to enable certain cards to target them. Legolas was a Silvan, but all that did is recognise that, yes, in the setting Legolas is an elf, and mean that the occasional card could target him (like an elven knife that only Silvan or Noldor heroes could wield). As the game progressed, a lot of traits started to get mechanical themes and deck archetypes designed for them. This started with Dwarves, with the aforementioned Dáin Ironfoot, who gave all Dwarf characters hefty stat bonuses while he was ready. Later trait themes added were that Silvan characters had weak stats but strong effects when they entered play, and had a slew of effects that bounce them back to hand (a bit like certain Rogue cards in Arkham); Noldor is all about discarding cards from hand to pay for effects, and then being able to manipulate your discard pile (a bit like certain Survivor cards from Arkham); Rohan is more about discarding allies from play to trigger powerful effects; Hobbit synergy is all about flying under the radar and making up for weak effects; Gondor is all about having loads of resources and spending them on expensive stuff (another Rogue-y theme), and so on and so forth. But in most of these trait themes were developed long after the traits first appeared, and the earlier cards with those traits don't really fit in the newer synergies (for instance, Legolas is a strong hero, but he doesn't really have anything that synergises with the other Silvan effects about bouncing allies to hand). These trait-based synergies partly compensate for "sphere bleed", where as the game went on resource colours meant less and less, because it ended up being just as possible to have a deck capable of killing enemies in Spirit (traditionally the quest-oriented sphere, think like how Seeker is about clue-gathering) as in Tactics (traditionally the murder-based sphere, think like Guardian). Now, certain traits had specific spheres associated with them (almost all Noldor are Spirit or Lore, for instance), so the colours still mean something. So basically, I wouldn't sweat it too much. Almost all the trait-based cards we've seen so far are little more than targeting restrictions (Dr Elli Horowitz, for example, can only fetch Relic cards, but it's not like there's a cohesive Relic archetype); or flavour-based effects (fast flying monster harder to hit with a Melee weapon than a Firearm); or parts of someone's deckbuilding restrictions (like how Ursula can get a lot of Relics). The closest thing to a proper keyword synergy so far is the handful of cards that target Illicit cards, and even then it's little more than standard Rogue effects, just with keyword descriptions. It might be more difficult to make LOTR-style keyword synergy work in Arkham with the broader range of card types, the inherent restriction on deckbuilding, and the smaller decks, but I think we'll probably see more keyword-based archetypes in future. I think they just haven't planned that far ahead, and/or are interested in developing different parts of the design space first. Who knows, we might see player cards that reference investigator keywords! There's already an inkling of that in some of the resolutions for the newest cycle...
  8. Allonym

    Thoughts on TSN player cards

    I don't know that they're clear, mostly because of Lola. Does a given card count for both of its classes for her deckbuilding requirements? The moment you say "yes" to that question, all the issues currently under discussion arise again, because suddenly it becomes possible for a card to fit into two different categories at once.
  9. Allonym

    Thoughts on TSN player cards

    Oh right, that makes sense. The devs have said that they're going to publish a new errata any time now which will do into detail about how the multi-class cards work. They're a tangle of rules questions at least as thorny as Time Warp was. So I guess we'll wait and see. The difference between the printed inserts and the rules .pdf online has already muddied the water - for what it's worth, I think it's safe to ignore the printed insert in favour of the online .pdf since the printed version contains unambiguous mistakes.
  10. Allonym

    Thoughts on TSN player cards

    One, since she has access to it as a Seeker card and the Survivor part is ignored since she doesn't have access to Survivor in the first place (just like if Daisy included it). The question is, how many slots does Scroll of Secrets take for her (or how many of the 5 off-class slots would Grisly Totem take up for, say, Finn or Zoey)? By far the most logical approach would be for it to take one slot, since it's a single card, and things would quickly get absurd if a card counts as two cards, but the rules are still very ambiguous, as they contain clauses like "it is a level 0 Seeker card and a level 0 Mystic card" which could be read in two different ways.
  11. Allonym

    Thoughts on TSN player cards

    It does feel like they missed a trick. The idea of the cards branching off into two distinct versions of the same card has a lot of fun mechanical flavour, with the classes taking their own unique approach to the same concept, but in terms of actual mechanics it feels pretty empty, a whole lot of confusion for not much gain. You don't need the level 0 version to upgrade it into the level 3 version, and it's 0 exp so you don't get a discount for upgrading it into the single-class variant, so there's no need to necessarily follow the mechanical path of taking the general concept and giving it your class' "spin" when you could just buy the level 3 single class version on its own, at which point the idea of creating multiple different versions of the same card doesn't have much impact in practical terms for most people - if instead of the upcoming two versions of the .45 Thompson they released a level 3 rogue gun called like "Beretta 1918" and a level 3 Guardian gun called like "Lewis Gun" instead of the two branching versions of the .45 Thompson, it wouldn't change anything except for allowing Lola to take 2 copies of each, and maybe Finn, if they both have the "Illicit" trait (leaving aside the fact that this scenario would allow you to have the "Lewis Gun" and the ".45 Thompson (0)" at the same time). I really wish the multi-coloured cards had a split colour or colour gradient rather than just the gold colour, it would look a lot cooler and more distinct, and would make them a lot less similar-looking to the Seeker cards.
  12. Allonym

    Thoughts on TSN player cards

    The more I think about it, the more I think my initial reaction was incorrect and they used that obtuse wording specifically to include the Dunwich investigators. Which is actually worse, because they're using technicalities instead of just making an unambiguous and exhaustive explanation or list showing how it works...
  13. Allonym

    Thoughts on TSN player cards

    Scroll of Secrets can't target Joe's hunch deck. With Alyssa, it's a pretty specific situation where you've spent the resources and action to get and use Alyssa and put the doom on her to bury a card, and then you're additionally worried about drawing your entire deck (or reshuffling your deck, I suppose) and are willing to spend a further two actions and resource just to discard that card. I would say that's pretty much only a huge draw power deck and the only thing so awful that you need to devote that many resources, actions, deck slots and cards to counter would probably be the Doomed line. But they do certainly both apply. I wonder if we'll see "bottom of the deck" as a specific mechanic or gimmick - similar to one of the Syndicate themes from the old Call of Cthulhu LCG.
  14. Allonym

    Thoughts on TSN player cards

    I think that, with enough time and therapy, he'll be able to move past the pain of having a disadvantage when taking level 0 Scroll of Secrets 😛
  15. Allonym

    Thoughts on TSN player cards

    Carolyn does in fact say "other", her book version was a misprint (and ArkhamDB is a mistake), as specified by a developer response and, I believe, subsequently corrected on her "official" release in TCU (I don't have access to my cards right now so I can't actually check the physical TCU card myself).
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