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Edvando

What do you want AHlcg to Improve from LotRlcg?

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Hello Investigator!

 

I want to spur a good discursion. Most of the people here probable already played LotR LCG before, so I want to hear from you guys.

 

Taking lessons from LotR LCG, what do you want AHlcg to improve?

 

Ex: We all know that Locations in LotR was not as fun as the rest of the game. So I wanted they to improve on that. From the information we know, they did. Now it feels more like exploring and moving. I just hope they can find a way to make locations more "random". In the adventure in Gencon, the locations were fixed, so if you play that adventure once, you know what you will find in the cellar and in the attic.

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Keep the different classes different. Because in Lord of the Rings, after a while the classes started to run together.. The identities of the classes should be defined well, begin balanced, and stay that way. Everyone knows Lore was basically third wheel for like 2 years... and while Tactics is certainly fierce, combat can be achieved by any of class effectively. Also...

PLEASE NO STEWARD OF GONDOR!

the big overpowering cards like Glorfindel, Ironfoot, and many cheap auto includes always ruin the fun of trying new things.. there's always that one guy using slivers.

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Monsters move, so maybe that's a little more interesting than simply engaging with threatening players as in LotR. Still Pac-Man level from what I've seen of it so far though :P

 

If there will be any powerful items for the investigators, they'll either be limited and scenario-based, or have some seriously bad side-effects. I expect the Necronomicon to start using the investigator after a while…

 

I'd love to see scenarios where you pick the major enemy types at random, or where you make strange alliances to reach your goals. Anything with multiple branching paths which decide different outcomes would be nice, and more conditional branches. They already hinted at a little of that, so it'll be interesting to see what they have in store.

 

If they go fully through with the RPG lite intent they'll have to bake in a lot of replayability.

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I would like if each pack comes with a investigator. If they don´t, i will be a very sad panda =[

 

I also hope that each investigator incentivize a different play style or deckbuilding. I want to each investigator feel like a unique experience.

 

I hope that all investigators are good and viable. In LotR there is a lot of useless or boring heroes (Tac Theoden, Lore Bilbo, Tac Dori, Sp Fatty, Lore Glorfindel, Lore Mirlond). If there is something to be extra careful is with investigators.

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I would like if each pack comes with a investigator. If they don´t, i will be a very sad panda =[

 

I also hope that each investigator incentivize a different play style or deckbuilding. I want to each investigator feel like a unique experience.

 

I hope that all investigators are good and viable. In LotR there is a lot of useless or boring heroes (Tac Theoden, Lore Bilbo, Tac Dori, Sp Fatty, Lore Glorfindel, Lore Mirlond). If there is something to be extra careful is with investigators.

 

Flame of the West added a ton of good cards for Tactics Theoden, and he works really well with Tactics Merry, so that's a theme win. Some of the others are pretty awful, though.

 

I want a faster growing player card pool, personally. I don't need a new investigator in every pack (that's probably too often for after the first cycle or so), and only being able to use two copies of each card in a deck should help make this easier. The more cards, the more interesting the deckbuilding gets.

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How is an investigator in each pack is too often? Do you know how many investigators out there? 

6 investigators per cycle is nothing to sneeze at. Given that each investigator only has one signature card and one signature weakness, - they won't hurt independent card pool. To top it off, Investigators are key part of each deck, and the more of them there is - the more fluid deckbuilding options are gonna be.

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I'd like a slightly better through-scenario difficulty curve. I feel like a lot of the quests are very difficult at the beginning and then become much easier if you manage to have a few good early on. The demo scenario did seem to avoid this issue so that's somewhat encouraging.

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I'd like to see it more about building a good deck for the Investigator you choose rather than build the best deck to beat this scenario. 

 

I'd fully expect a new Investigator per pack for a while until we get a larger pool to choose from. 

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Sphere balance and distinction. Spirit got the silver spoon and Tactics the night soil bucket.

I am worried though because the balance in AGoT is just as bad.

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Man, I've gotten so much enjoyment out of LOTR that it feels almost a little un-appreciative for me to talk about what should be done better in AH.  That said the things that I think that they will have learned include the consistency of the card language (as Kakita Shiro mentioned) and how to deal with travelling/exploring/locations in a more interesting way.  I also imagine that their quest design and integrated story telling will have benefited from the dozens of LOTR quests that Matt has been a part of creating.  

 

 

Things I hope that they will bring over from LOTR include the amazing blending of theme and mechanics on lots of the player and encounter cards, the consistently great artwork and the respect for the source material.  All of those combined, I think, are what can make AH feel really saturated with the atmosphere of the setting.

 

*fanboy mode off*

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30 cards per deck and 2 cipoes I like more then 50 and 3 copies like in lotr. Less card better deck and game. I love ❤ that!

Sounds like this game is rrally good evolution ! Cannot wait!

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I also hope that each investigator incentivize a different play style or deckbuilding. I want to each investigator feel like a unique experience.

 

I hope that all investigators are good and viable. In LotR there is a lot of useless or boring heroes (Tac Theoden, Lore Bilbo, Tac Dori, Sp Fatty, Lore Glorfindel, Lore Mirlond). If there is something to be extra careful is with investigators.

 

How do you think they can achieve making every investigator feel different and require different playstyles/deckbuilding if their cards are the same for everyone due to the limited cardpool and the restricting rules? Also, doesn't your statements contradict each other? With an investigator in each pack, there's no way they can make all of them great and thematic. Imagine how many LotR heroes would be boring/unplayable if they couldn't interact with the other 2 to create interesting synergies/decks. AH rules don't allow that, so investigators need to be strong by themselves. Power creep or underpowered investigators can become an issue fast if they release one in every pack.

 

I prefer for them to only release investigators during DE expansions, with interesting mechanics related to the new campain so they feel unique, than to release one every pack or two just for it to play almost exactly the same as someone else due to the decks being almost exactly the same. We already have the levelled up cards taking up precious player card space, we don't need investigators taking even more (and considering they require a mini card, a unique card and a unique weakness, that's a lot of space).

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How do you think they can achieve making every investigator feel different and require different playstyles/deckbuilding

 

I will list some ideas that I have about making investigators feel different:

 

1) Every investigator has the deckbuilding rules in the back, which can be used:

1.1) Because each investigator is 3 cards (investigator, special card, weakness) that gives designers ample design space, including changing this formula (like a investigator with 3 special cards +2 weakness or a investigator with 2 special cards that dont have a huge impact and no weakness)

1.2) Each investigator has a list of cards that can be used with him, considering 5 factions + neutral, we can have 10 combinations of factions, plus the combination of lvls (in the core its one faction lvl5, one faction lvl2). You can spice that with investigators with 3 factions, with 1 faction, with 2 factions lvl 5 but no neutral, with ALL factions lvl 2, etc.

1.3) If you pay attention, the decksize is written on the investigator, so you can have investigator with bigger or smaller decksize for some reason (like a 5 faction investigator has min decksize 45 cards?)

 

2) You can print cards that are basically made for a investigator, but don´t have the restriction. For example, in LotR we have Light of Valinor that is basicaly made to be used with Sp Glorfindel, but can be used with other heroes. It just happens that Glorfindel become super awesome with it. This can be used as a method to power up weaker investigators or to give a special flavor to some.

 

3) Each investigator has 4 skills + 2 Hps (meat, mental) + Text + Traits + Deckbuilding requirements + Special Token Ability. This is a lot of design space. Even traits can say a lot about a investigator, since cards can require or be better if your investigator has a trait, so it is basically one more unique deckbuilding requeriment. 

 

If you consider that we have 6 Packs+ 1 Big Expansion per circle. I think at minimum they need one every other pack + 3 investigators on the BE. So we have at least 1 investigator per faction per circle, plus one special investigator.

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How do you think they can achieve making every investigator feel different and require different playstyles/deckbuilding

 

I will list some ideas that I have about making investigators feel different:

 

1) Every investigator has the deckbuilding rules in the back, which can be used:

1.1) Because each investigator is 3 cards (investigator, special card, weakness) that gives designers ample design space, including changing this formula (like a investigator with 3 special cards +2 weakness or a investigator with 2 special cards that dont have a huge impact and no weakness)

1.2) Each investigator has a list of cards that can be used with him, considering 5 factions + neutral, we can have 10 combinations of factions, plus the combination of lvls (in the core its one faction lvl5, one faction lvl2). You can spice that with investigators with 3 factions, with 1 faction, with 2 factions lvl 5 but no neutral, with ALL factions lvl 2, etc.

1.3) If you pay attention, the decksize is written on the investigator, so you can have investigator with bigger or smaller decksize for some reason (like a 5 faction investigator has min decksize 45 cards?)

 

2) You can print cards that are basically made for a investigator, but don´t have the restriction. For example, in LotR we have Light of Valinor that is basicaly made to be used with Sp Glorfindel, but can be used with other heroes. It just happens that Glorfindel become super awesome with it. This can be used as a method to power up weaker investigators or to give a special flavor to some.

 

3) Each investigator has 4 skills + 2 Hps (meat, mental) + Text + Traits + Deckbuilding requirements + Special Token Ability. This is a lot of design space. Even traits can say a lot about a investigator, since cards can require or be better if your investigator has a trait, so it is basically one more unique deckbuilding requeriment. 

 

If you consider that we have 6 Packs+ 1 Big Expansion per circle. I think at minimum they need one every other pack + 3 investigators on the BE. So we have at least 1 investigator per faction per circle, plus one special investigator.

 

 

So basically you are saying make each investigator unique by restricting deckbuilding even more so at the end they all can have their own personal autodeck with little costumization in the form of levelled up cards? That could be interessting, they could go Ashes route and have each Mythos pack consist of an investigator with his 33/40 card deck and the next act in the campain. There's already a strong incentive to not skip a pack due to the campain mode, so even if the investigator is "bad", there's little chance you will skip it.

Edited by xchan

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One deck to rule them all. :P Granted, in LotR you can build a versatile deck to tackle many scenarios, but there's still an incentive to build a deck against some scenarios. Which is fine, some people like that, but I rather just have one deck built and I just go hogwild. Essentially more playtime at the table vs more deck building time. I'm hoping AH LCG will cater to that play style more.

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Now, back to topic. The game seems to fix most of the issues LotR had or at least people complained about the most.

 

- Location lock preventing you to advance. Locations are now tied to the scenario/acts. You can move to them or ignore them if they are not needed to progress.

- Enemies slauthering. Same problem as before but with enemies piling up. This seems to be more managable as exiting a location now will leave most enemies behind. This gives you more time to prepare or a way to keep progressing without having to deal with all of them.

- Unthematic mechanics (or how can my hero not be able to attack/defend after he quests?). Investigators can do everything, but are limited to 3 actions per turn.

- High variance. Less cards in your deck increases the chance to see your most needed ones sooner. Less randomness in the encounter deck also helps avoid games where the big guys show up right at the start (tough matches) or never do (easy ones).

- Crucial first 2 turns. They introduced a better set up condition: 5 resources and 5 cards, so you are not too limited on what you can do/play. Also, during the first turn, enemies skip their phase, so essentially it's 6 resources/6 cards before the game "starts". Having the option to use an action to draw or gain a resource also helps a lot.

- Ally supremacy. Allies are now limited to only one at a time, so pick the one you like the most and be over with it.

- Attachments overpowering heroes. Attachments have now limited number of uses, so permanent boosts are no longer a thing. They are also restricted by the number of slots an investigator has, so no more double armor, double axes with a bow, etc.

- Lack of campain/sense of progress. Campain is now the main mode of the game. The XP system and the upgradable cards further emphasize that.

- Heavy deckbuilding/changing decks between quests. Casual players complained about this a lot. Monoshpere decks were hard to use since the core set, so deckbuilding was allways required. Also some quests required to completelly start your deck from scratch. To counter that, deckbuilding is now heavily restricted by the investigator and the slot system. I'm pretty sure the rules will come with preconstructed decks for each investigator strong enough to be able to complete the Core acts (similar to the Saga decks), so people won't have to deckbuild if they don't want to. The XP system seems to be an assisted deckbuilding feature to help them improve the decks (so acts can be more challanging) without requiring them to think too much into deckbuilding (just substitute the cards for the upgraded version and move on to the next scenario). Acts will most likelly be designed to be completed by multiple ways so each investigator has a chance to succeed (or what would be the point of a campain mode if certain investigators will be stucked at act 3 of it).

- Scaling for solo and multiplayer. LotR core set was badly designed for that. The third quest is still nowadays unbeatable solo (expect by extreme luck), but "easily" doable with 4 players. Acts and locations now seem to use an improved scaling system where each of them require/have a certain number of clues linked to the number of players. So acts can be equally challanging regardless the number of players.

- Erratas/FAQ/weird wording/rules. LotR was a complete mess from the start. Wordings that change meaning, erratas hidden in the FAQ, nerfs, etc. AH Core set will come with a Reference Rule book and if it's similar to the one from AGOT or Conquest, rules and wordings will be perfectly clear in it. The restricted deckbuilding will also help avoid broken combos.

- Huge numbers/maths involved. Questing and attacking was a constant math test. Locations, enemies and allies could pile up fast, so calculating the required overall quest/attack needed or the progress/damage done was time consuming and sometimes misscalculations happened altering the game outcome. This seems to be slightly reduced in AH as all math related stuff seems to be reduced to small individual tests, where the numbers will probably end up being more managable (investigator + cards discarded + allies/effects - location/treachery - token).

-Threat count. The threat mechanic was an interesting feature, but most of the times it caused confusion. One of the most common misstakes a newcommer did was to forget to increase their thread at the end of the round. It was a good way to put pressure on the players and balance the heroes out, but after more cards were released, thread became more managable to the point it stopped being a real thread. Doom seems to be a better system, placing a token on the agenda is a lot more classy and helps keep the pressure on the players regardless of the choosen investigator or the card pool.

 

So basically, AH seems to fix everything LotR did "wrong" and it's an excellent successor game. However, there are a couple of things that worry me and make me less excited about the game than I should be.

- Replayability. More consistency in your players deck and less randomness overall might mean less incentive to replay some acts. The multiple endings seem to be aimed at solving this, but once you figure out what's the best outcome, they can become stale. Replaying each scenario with each investigator, trying to maximize the XP gained might be fun at first, but can get old pretty quick if each run ends up being almost identical. Weaknesses seem to be the answer to the increase on deck consistency, but I think sooner than latter they will be easily mitigated.

- The substitution of the shadow effects for the chaos tokens. I understand the reasoning behind substituting it. The shadow and encounter system made balancing quests really hard and allowed for the high variance of never getting the big guys out/getting them all at once. Some cards needed to have their numbers artificially increased or be there as fillers so they could be discarded as a shadow effect. I can see this limiting the questing desing (although so far, I haven't seen any signs of it) similar to what draft does to the TCGs. Removing the shadow system allows them to freely design the acts now, without having to worry about the big guys being discarded/small effects having to be there to balance everything out. Encounter decks will probably be smaller now, which also helps with the Mythos pack distribution (it looks like only 20-25 spots will be dedicated to them). However, Shadows were such a classy way to introduce randomness and strong conditional effects in a card game that I'm really sad to see it go. Tokens can achieve something similar, but I can't shake the feeling that they will become really fiddly. This is tied to the next 2 worries.

- Tokens everywhere. There are clue tokens, doom tokens, resource tokens, horror tokens, meat tokens, munition/use tokens, chaos tokens. With so much to keep track of, counters are necessary, but I'm wondering if I will spend most of my time placing tokens instead of playing cards. Set up might take longer than usual too, and if you play in a small table, where overlapping cards might be required, tokens might be transferred easily. I know that happens when I play LotR in my nightstand.

- Constant tests. From the demo, it looked like a test was required constantly. Almost every encounter card translated into a test; some were straight forward, like treacheries, but others, like the enemies, were less obvious, even though they ended up requiring tests too, wether you decided to evade them or fight them. After a while all actions seemed to be exactly the same, flip an encounter card - test, evade an enemy - test, fight - test, investigate - test. It wouldn't be so bad if the tests were straightforward, but since they require a pull from the token bag, the process gets tedious. I really hope they never require tests to travel to a location or play some cards/effects.

- Restricted deckbuilding. The reason for it was explained above (help casual players get involved with the game), but I really love LotR deckbuilding. It captured the feeling of CCG games were the meta requires constantly tweaking your deck to adapt to it. It was also really flexible, allowing for almost any combination of cards, so finding hidden synergies and combos was a big part of the fun. I usually spend more time building decks than actually playing them, which I love and it's one of the main reasons I like playing CCG over other boardgames. AH completelly destroys that by making the Investigators class restricted, with no shown way to alter that. I'm not a fan of the levelled up cards either, as they take the slot of other cards that could expand the deckbuilding further. I can't see myself constantly thinking about card interactions and combos, and what would be the perfect deck to make use of them. Everything looks so straight forward in this that I'm affraid I'll get bored with it fast. Hopefully the gameplay is fun enough that I can enjoy it as a casual boardgame, once I need to take a break from AGoT or LotR.

Edited by xchan
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- Attachments overpowering heroes. Attachments have now limited number of uses, so permanent boosts are no longer a thing. They are also restricted by the number of slots an investigator has, so no more double armor, double axes with a bow, etc.

 

[...]

 

-Threat count. The threat mechanic was an interesting feature, but most of the times it caused confusion. One of the most common misstakes a newcommer did was to forget to increase their thread at the end of the round. It was a good way to put pressure on the players and balance the heroes out, but after more cards were released, thread became more managable to the point it stopped being a real thread. Doom seems to be a better system, placing a token on the agenda is a lot more classy and helps keep the pressure on the players regardless of the choosen investigator or the card pool.

To be fair, most Weapon and Armour attachments are Restricted, which is supposed to represent "slots" or hands. You're probably thinking about the Rivendell Bow, which isn't Restricted. It definitely should've been. All other bows in the game require a slot. It is indeed possible to power up a single hero with lots of non-Restricted attachments like readying effects, but it's a strategy that requires time and resources to set up and since effects like Unexpected Courage and Light of Valinor represent abstract concepts I don't really have a problem with it.

 

As for threat vs doom, there may well be player cards in the future that allow us to counter doom similar to threat. So it does seem like a greater problem now, but we'll just have to see what the future brings.

 

Agree with the rest of your post. Great summary and looking forward to the game.

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i'm mostly only worried about useless/underpowered investigators. There's probably gonna be that "good in every scenario" character, like Mandy Thompson and Patrice were in Arkham Horror. Then that investigator that is just so bad you never want to randomly draw them out of the box.. (i'm looking at you Mark Harrigan)

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To be fair, most Weapon and Armour attachments are Restricted, which is supposed to represent "slots" or hands. You're probably thinking about the Rivendell Bow, which isn't Restricted. It definitely should've been. All other bows in the game require a slot. It is indeed possible to power up a single hero with lots of non-Restricted attachments like readying effects, but it's a strategy that requires time and resources to set up and since effects like Unexpected Courage and Light of Valinor represent abstract concepts I don't really have a problem with it.

 

As for threat vs doom, there may well be player cards in the future that allow us to counter doom similar to threat. So it does seem like a greater problem now, but we'll just have to see what the future brings.

 

Agree with the rest of your post. Great summary and looking forward to the game.

 

 

I understand the restricted tag, but it didn't prevent heroes to ride 2 horses at once or wear two pieces of armor, etc. I'm not liking the slot thing, it's another deckbuilding restriction and I hate those, but I can see why people would complain about it.

 

On another hand, I don't think that Doom will be a greater problem now, even if they release cards that manipulate it like in LotR (which I think they eventually will exist), Doom can now be set by the encounter/act instead of by the players (heroes initial threat), so that gives the devs more flexibility and a greater way to balance the acts. Agendas also work in multiple parts, so they can't set the pace of the scenario more freely too. Journey along the Anduin set a great example of different pacings during a quest (you didn't want to reach 35 threat due to the negative effects), but was no way to balance it out. Some heroes/decks/players could reach that in 2-3 turns while others could not even get there after 10. They can now make it equal to everyone by setting the agenda's Doom to a specific number, so there's little variance around it. Yes, some cards could manipulate Doom and stall the agenda, but there are others that can speed it up, so they could balance each other out. Aslo, if cards with doom manipulation require an action to be played, then you need to evaluate what's the best course of action, stall the agenda or progress the act by investigating.

 

i'm mostly only worried about useless/underpowered investigators. There's probably gonna be that "good in every scenario" character, like Mandy Thompson and Patrice were in Arkham Horror. Then that investigator that is just so bad you never want to randomly draw them out of the box.. (i'm looking at you Mark Harrigan)

 

Yeap, that's also one of my concerns and the reason why I would prefer for investigators to only show up in DE and not in Mythos Packs. With an overpopulation of investigators, there's a high chance that some of them are unplayable or just weaker overall. VS PCG has this same kind of problem. With so many MC per team, most of them end up being binder fooders. And that game has one of the most open deckbuilding system I've seen as it allows you to play almost any card you want, so making them viable should become easier than in AH. The fact that the investigators can't support each other like in LotR and that they are limited to certain classes also makes it hard to compensate their weaknesses with deckbuilding. So they will have to be extremelly careful when releasing those.

 

On the other hand, the exclusive investigator cards are neutrals, so they might just release second versions of the weakest investigators to offset that.

   

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My main want is the ability to have quite long campaigns that span many game sessions. I want to be able to have my playgroup start at the beginning and then proceed to level up and spend many, many game sessions within a campaign-style adventure. 

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i'm mostly only worried about useless/underpowered investigators. There's probably gonna be that "good in every scenario" character, like Mandy Thompson and Patrice were in Arkham Horror. Then that investigator that is just so bad you never want to randomly draw them out of the box.. (i'm looking at you Mark Harrigan)

 

You never draw a random investigator out of a box.  This is an LCG.  You choose your own investigator and design your deck around that choice.  So you can pick whoever you do like and ignore anyone that you don't like.  Over time, there will eventually be dozens and dozens of investigators.  Yes, it's likely that some will have abilities that are more generally useful while others are more specialized.  So what?  You're still picking whoever you like.  There will be enough investigators that if there are a couple you don't care for it's pretty much negligible, and different people have different tastes to begin with.  Furthermore, this is a co-op/solo game, not a competitive one.  Complaining about a weak investigator isn't much different than complaining that hard mode is harder than easy mode.  Just consider that guy to be a personal difficulty adjustment if you aren't good at him and yet somehow cannot just leave him in the box and use someone else you do like.

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On one hand extra investigators take up precious space that could be spent on more adventure. But on the other hand the mythos creatures and its worshippers have an unhealthy appetite for investigators, so it only makes sense you need new ones now and then.

 

I'm basically wishing for packs with more than 60 cards so there can be some substance to the investigations. But the game might also follow the LotR model with base encounter cards just sitting there, until you've bought all of the cycle, before there exists an investigation to play with it. We can speculate wildly for another two months+ :)

 

I wouldn't mind two deluxes a year, every other one focused on investigators and new toys, the rest focused on new adventures. Then you'd have one cycle deluxe and six packs, plus a standalone for more investigators and abilities/gear/derangements.

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