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Is joining One of a thousand Cult worth it?

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Looking through the cult encounters, is joining the cult really worth the hassle? The cost of corruption is high and the cult encounters don't seem that good in terms of value to the investigators?

More than 50% grant some kind of bonus, offset with corruption in most cases, but almost half don't grant any kind of bonus and just makes things worse for the investigators, so is it simply better for the investigators to avoid the cult completely?

 

I haven't played with the black goat expansion yet, so was wondering what those who had thought of it?

 

 

 

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Well, its rare to get it, especially using all AE cards! So I always take the thing because I dont read cards until I put them in play - spoilers. I get nasty and pleasant surprises all the time now.

Is it worth it? Depends. Like, is it late in the game and could you be doing something better with your time and stuff?

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If I have two toughness of monster trophies to spare, I join. Better than possibly losing two stamina. I've never got a decent encounter of it post-joining (though even with just the Black Goat expansion, it's not something that comes up every game), but on the other hand, apart from perhaps the Black Cave, the locations it affects are not ones you have to go to often.

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The main advantage is not running the risk of opening a gate on that unstable location in the encounter phase. Apart from that, it's more of a "pressed into service" kind of thing, not a "tempted with huge profits"

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 Is it worth it to join the Cult of the Black Goat?  Not really, no.  

True, cult membership cancels out "a gate appears!" encounters at the Woods, Unvisited Isle, and Black Cave.  But there are plenty of other locations that also have a high risk for "gate appears" encounters, and cult membership doesn't help with those.  The cult encounters aren't a heck of a lot safer than ordinary encounters at the Woods, Unvisited Isle, and Black Cave.  Cult encounters also tend to be less interesting than ordinary encounters at those locations.  

Compare cult membership with joining the Inner Sanctum.  Inner Sanctum encounters are a lot more interesting than STL encounters.  IS encounters also usually have more positive effects than STL encounters (with a few notable exceptions).  Joining the Inner Sanctum usually makes a lot more sense than joining the Cult of the Black Goat.

I was thinking about ways to sweeten the deal for joining the cult.  Another poster (I forget who) came up with a house rule where cult members can draw both an ordinary encounter card  and a cult encounter card while at the Woods/Unvisited Isle/Black Cave, and choose the encounter that they want.  This rule makes it much safer for a cult member to go to those locations.  I've taken out some of the more "cult like" unique items and spells and made them available ONLY to cult members.  When a cult encounter directs a player to draw an item or spell, they draw from the stack of "cult items" instead of from the ordinary decks.  I included some very good items like the Fetch Stick (no Elder Signs though).  

Also, I've taken out a few of the cult encounters and green corruptions that I thought were both a) boring and b) harmful to the investigators.  I didn't remove any red corruptions.  This increases the appeal of drawing corruption cards, but it also increases the chances of getting to the red corruption cards.  

I haven't had a chance yet to try out these house rules in an actual game, so I don't know how well they work.

There's also a common house rule where cult members automatically evade hexagon monsters.  I like this idea, but I suspect it works best when using the Black Goat herald, since the herald puts a lot more hexagon monsters on the board.

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Yes, the blurb on the expansion talks about the investigators trying to infiltrate the cult to gain an advantage, but I really don't see it as living up to this hype. The IS encounters from the base game didn't seem that useful either though, but those added by the expansions have certainly made trying to join that cult more useful/rewarding.

Before having the expansion but knowing a bit about how it worked I really expected the green corruption cards to grant much more benefit to the investigators than they do, and the red ones would then punish them, which by then would be too late. The Greens ones simply aren't rewarding enough in my opinion.

 

 

 

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 Another idea that just occured to me is that, when cult members get knocked unconscious or go insane, instead of moving to the hospital or the asylum, they can choose to move to either the Unvisited Isle, Black Cave or the Woods.  If they do so, they draw a cult encounter.  Call it "Looking After Their Own"

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Thanks, dj2.0!  I was mostly thinking it would help investigators get around the board more easily.  But increasing the number of cult encounters would also be good.

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I generally think that joining the cult is advantageous.

First, you don't get dinged for stamina damage or whatever this turn for refusing to join.

Later, you take special cult encounters instead of risking "A gate and monster appear". Many posters have noted above that the cult encounters aren't all that much better than the normal ones. I disagree. Many of the cult encounters do something bad if you refuse to take a corruption card. However, I feel like most of the green corruption cards are (on balance) positive things, and I've only once gone through all the green cards - so these cards are usually good events and not bad ones. If you do manage to go through all the green corruptions, then the membership starts to be a drag if you go back to those areas.

It's not a huge advantage, but I think it's net positive in most games.

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The toughest thing seems to be getting the option to join. IS membership is pretty simple. Black Goat is tougher to get than Sheldon Gang. We played two games with all the Cult expansion cards on top of the decks, still no offer of membership.

And I agree that joining the cult to 'bring it down from the inside' doesn't really seem to be implemented.

Looking forward to getting Innsmouth soon. From the word on the forums, sounds like it's been well put together.

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A positive (negative?) downside of memberships (both 1000 and the Lodge) is that you cannot get the ally encounters anymore (Ruby Standish, Duke, Tom Murphy and John Legrasse), some of which are realy worth getting.

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Lactamaeon said:

 

I generally think that joining the cult is advantageous.

First, you don't get dinged for stamina damage or whatever this turn for refusing to join.

Later, you take special cult encounters instead of risking "A gate and monster appear". Many posters have noted above that the cult encounters aren't all that much better than the normal ones. I disagree. Many of the cult encounters do something bad if you refuse to take a corruption card. 

 

 

---Location spoilers---

 

Out of the 24 cult encounters cards, I count 8 that are purely bad.  That is, a bad effect happens and you are not offered the choice of avoiding it by taking a corruption card.  So 33% of the cult encounter cards are bad.  

Of the 35 encounters at each location, I count 9 in the Woods that are purely bad, 10 at the Unvisited Isle, and 14 at the Black Cave.  That means that 26% of the Woods encounters are bad, 29% of the Unvisited Isle encounters are bad, and 40% of the Black Cave encounters are bad.  So in two of the three Black Goat locations, joining the cult actually makes you less safe.  And even in the Black Cave, your chances of drawing a bad encounter only decrease by a measly 7%.  Of course, there are no cult encounters where a gate appears.  So the pitch for joining the Cult of the Black Goat sounds something like this:  "If you join, the Woods and the Unvisited Isle will actually become more dangerous, but the chance that a gate will open during the encounters phase goes down from 10% to zero.  At those locations. For you personally."  Like, wow, what an amazing advantage.

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To be fair, your chances of a purely negative encounter at the Black Cave change by 16.7%. If you subtract two percentages instead of dividing them, you have to measure in percentage points, which is an unpalatable measurement.

I mean, your conclusions about the benefits are still the same. Just wanted to jump in in defense of the Black Cave.

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Tibs said:

To be fair, your chances of a purely negative encounter at the Black Cave change by 16.7%. If you subtract two percentages instead of dividing them, you have to measure in percentage points, which is an unpalatable measurement.

I mean, your conclusions about the benefits are still the same. Just wanted to jump in in defense of the Black Cave.

Oh yeah.  Good catch.  But yeah, that doesn't change the overall point.

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I generally joint Cult or STL to avoid the consequences of declining. Or just to check that box when reporting a game (especially for most of the meaningless encounters that get you Barred) gran_risa.gif . Last game I did turn down the Cult with Hank, but Hanky-Panky had Speed maxed, so the -2 Speed check was easily passed.

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Dam said:

I generally joint Cult or STL to avoid the consequences of declining. Or just to check that box when reporting a game (especially for most of the meaningless encounters that get you Barred) gran_risa.gif .

You too! ha. Im trying to collect all those special events and acquisitions. I still havent put any conditions in play. Which means I still have no idea what they do. 

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I don't really like the OoaT cult. Pretty harsh. Although, yes, I'm always happy to be like "woohoo, a new corruption, never read that one !" and the other players to look at me with pity like "you're not of big help for the team, you know that ?". So, if I had to make a top 3, that'd be 1 STL, 2 SG and 3 OoaT.

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