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Constrictor

Serpent Crown - Feedback and Rules question

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In a recent game, an investigator unearthed the Serpent Crown, one of the new Forsaken Lore artifacts.  This artifact allows you to use an action to have a chance at gaining an ally but forces you to lose an ally every reckoning phase, making it actually end up slowing you down and harming you if you want to keep any allies.

Either you spend half your actions every turn acquiring allies to feed to the reckoning effect, or you just end up getting all your allies stripped away from you.  

 

Is this card working as intended?  I feel like the other artifacts in the deck are all highly beneficial, and those with a drawback typically have a chance to avoid the effect or a choice to use it or not and suffer the negative effect.

 

Can I choose to ignore the artifact and not pick it up when it is gained? I just sent it to the discard since I feel you should not be punished for getting an artifact since it's supposed to be a beneficial thing for you (even worst case it's something you can't make much use of on your investigator).

 

I think a tweak should probably be made for this one, making you roll a die during reckoning and a 1 or 2 causes you to lose an ally.  That would make it so that if you don't roll poorly you can actually acquire power through the crown.

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Artifacts are frequently cursed. I recommend trading the crown, or discarding it at the nearest opportunity. Generally I play that cards cannot be discarded unless specifically called for, even if the card is normally beneficial.

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I like the Serpent Crown, though admittedly it hasn't done much to help win the game. I've found that it works if either A) you can trade the allies to another player before you have to sacrifice them, or B) if you have Leo Anderson. In a couple of games we've used the Serpent Crown to "fast track" giving Leo an ally by letting him fish them out of the discard pile. Side note: our group also plays that you may not voluntarily get rid of an item (which is often thematic of cursed items). Compared to other artifacts, I agree that it is on the lesser side of usefulness especially since I don't feel allies are that good to begin with but that's neither here nor there.

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One thing I really dig about the FL expansion (may have been in the base game too, but I never noticed) is that many artifacts can be an albatross around your neck and do more harm than good. Acquiring the Massa di Requiem per Shuggay is great when solving the Voice Of Azathoth mystery. Otherwise not so much.

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