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General Zodd

Dark Memory, rules and strategy

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I thought I'd ask people's opinions on how best to handle Dark Memory, Agnes Baker's signature weakness. But first, some rules clarifications, as I've played this wrong in a couple of different ways so far...

Okay, so, playing this adds a Doom to the agenda. There's no way round this during the Witching Hour just before the Agenda is due to advance anyway, as this can cause the Agenda to advance in its own right. That's massive, losing a full turn for everyone in your team is worse than any other weakness I can think of, right? However, you don't have to play it, but if it's in your hand and you don't play it, it costs you 2 Horror each turn until you do.

So, as it's a weakness, you can't voluntarily discard from hand, unless it's random. What about effects that require you to discard, and this is the only card available in your hand, can you discard it then? What if it's a choice you've made to do that? "Either discard three cards from your hand, or do X", if you decide against doing X, and you only have three cards in hand, one of which is Dark Memory, can you choose that option? And if you do, will you discard the other two only, or all three?

Finally, what's your strategy? Early game I guess you just suck it up, apologise to the group and get the Doom down. If late game, you try and manage that horror damage as best you can? If you have Pete Sylvestre, Clarity of Mind, etc. or someone else has Liquid Courage, you might be able to manage that horror damage for longer, but if you're spending actions to mitigate it, when does it makes sense to just accept the Doom?

Im not playing her at the moment, but Agnes is one of my favourites and I'm certain to go back to her at some point soon. Grateful for your thoughts!

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I don't think you can choose to discard it, even if it's part of a larger discard set. If you get lucky and it hits randomly for a discard you're good, and that should include a random discard when it's the only card in your hand. But if you're making the choice at all, it stays.

As for strategy... We haven't hit it as much as some others, but if you have a way to mitigate the horror I'd go that route, even if it takes an action each turn. A doom effectively costs the entire group a full turn, so up to 12 actions. Liquid Courage for a few turns is a small price there.

If you just can't mitigate it, there's not much to do but bite the bullet one way or another.  It's important to consider that letting Agnes go insane may actually be the better choice, if it means the rest of the team has a turn to finish up some goals to get a better resolution.

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@Buhallin Are you referring to effects like Herman Collins' Parley ability (choose and discard X cards from your hand) or Amnesia (choose and discard all but 1 card from your hand) or effects like Terror from Beyond (choose a criterion and discard all matching cards - assuming Agnes is drawing it)?

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42 minutes ago, Khudzlin said:

@Buhallin Are you referring to effects like Herman Collins' Parley ability (choose and discard X cards from your hand) or Amnesia (choose and discard all but 1 card from your hand) or effects like Terror from Beyond (choose a criterion and discard all matching cards - assuming Agnes is drawing it)?

In these cases I would rule that the first two can't get rid of it, but that Terror From Beyond can get rid of it. You're not choosing that card specifically, you're choosing a class of cards and everything that falls under that class gets discarded.

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17 hours ago, mwmcintyre said:

You're not choosing that card specifically, you're choosing a class of cards and everything that falls under that class gets discarded.

You've picked an option that would result in discarding a weakness, but weaknesses cannot be optionally chosen to be discarded. At least that's the other way of looking at it.

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 Would say that Klayman_SK is right in there. You can chose events and discard all other events, but not this because you made a choise, so no pure random. But what happens if another player makes the choise? Interesting question...

"vink vink, ******, snach, chose events please!"... ;)

hmm... not random, you can not discard the weaknes as per rules...

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@Hannibal_pjv Terror from Beyond has the Peril keyword, so you're not allowed any communication while resolving it (whoever draws it). The rules say "you cannot choose to discard weakness cards". If someone else makes the choice, you're in the clear. The real question is when Agnes draws Terror from Beyond.

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you are not allowed to discuss, however other players should be aware that you have the weakness in hand, if not on the turn you get it, certainly every turn their after because you have to reveal it. Therefore the absence of discuss is kinda mute in this regard, you have shown them the card thus influencing desicion.

 

Im personally of the stand point you are not choosing the weakness you are making a choice independant of resolution, then the resolution is in turn forcing the discard. There could equally be a theoretical card that made you play all of a certain card type in hand, and then non of us would have problems with us being forced to play it, i personally feel how this is in the grand scheme of things that much different.

 

As a point i do see a third option to do this resolution, namely you choose event and discard all events EXCEPT dark memory which remains in hand.

 

Also as another extra lets be clear about what the rules say, they say you cannot CHOOSE to discard the weakness, however choose is NOT defined from what i can see. This i feel is the crux, how deep does "choose" go, is it any choice that results in the outcome, or is it simply choose the card specificly?

Edited by DaeMord

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Similarly, if you are required to discard X number of cards (I'm thinking House Always Wins for example) and you only have X cards in hand, you're arguably not choosing any of them as they all have to go. You're right that the definition of 'choose' is the sticking point here.

This is obviously all exacerbated by the fact this is the only weakness we've yet seen which sits in your hand like this, making it a damned oddity!

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Going back to strategy,  I think I'm of the opinion that unless it is devastating (ie:  you simply can not afford to add a doom and advance the act or something), you should pretty much just play Dark Memory as soon as you get  it.   It's the price of playing Agnes, as far as I'm concerned.  Maybe you can use a Ward of Protection to dispel an Ancient Evils sometime later in the game and break even on doom,  if not then you just have to grin and bear it.

Losing all those player actions is painful, yes, but Agnes needs her sanity to use her ability, so she doesnt want to hold it too long.  Speaking of, it could be beneficial to hold onto Dark Memory for a turn if there is an enemy that you need 1 damage on.  But it's not too hard to trigger Horror damage to yourself on demand since the release of Painkillers, so probably this is a corner case.

The only other time I'd hold it on purpose would be if it was nearing the end of the game and I knew we could win within a few turns.

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@General Zodd Well, that's because the other player-typed weaknesses (The Necronomicon and Baron Samedi) are slotted assets (so them coming into play is already disruptive). If there was a skill weakness (or another event), it'd probably sit in your hand (doing bad stuff) until you used it (doing other bad stuff) as well.

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I don't think s type-based discard can get rid of it.  It doesn't say "You can't choose this card", it says "May not optionally choose to discard a weakness card from hand".  If you have a choice, you can't choose something that would discard the weakness, and that should apply whether you're picking "Dark Memory" or "Event".  I don't think there's an open option for "Discard all but Dark Memory", either, because the rule isn't specifically about the discard, it's about the choice.  If it said "Weaknesses cannot be discarded from hand" then it would simplify matters, but as written I think it affects the choice.

On 4/23/2017 at 2:53 AM, Khudzlin said:

@Hannibal_pjv Terror from Beyond has the Peril keyword, so you're not allowed any communication while resolving it (whoever draws it). The rules say "you cannot choose to discard weakness cards". If someone else makes the choice, you're in the clear. The real question is when Agnes draws Terror from Beyond.

I don't think Peril saves this.  Peril stops you from discussing the decision, but that doesn't free you from the rules requirements for resolution.  If you have a Peril card that affects everyone, you don't get to pick an illegal option just because the other players (theoretically) can't tell you it's an illegal option.  That's assuming that (A) the limitation is on the choice, and (B) the rule applies to everyone making the choice and not just whoever's hand it is in.

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"A player may not optionally choose to discard a weakness card from hand, unless a card explicitly specifies otherwise." 

 

Looking at it, I would have to say that anytime you have to make a choice in what gets discarded, it can not result in discarding the weakness. If you draw Terror from Beyond, you can not make the decision that would remove Dark Memory from your hand, because it is an option that you have that would discard the weakness. On the other hand, if someone else drew it and said events, it would remove Dark Memory. You're not making the choice, and the game effect will still make you discard it. It's important to remember that the rule doesn't state you can't discard the weakness, it just can't be from a choice that you have made yourself. Amnesia will leave you with just your weakness, discard X cards will force you to pick everything else first. 

I imagine though if there is ever anything that lets you shuffle cards from your hand into your deck, it could be sent away that way as that's not discarding, however I also think they will put "non-weakness" on that type of card anyway. 

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23 minutes ago, Doma0997 said:

"A player may not optionally choose to discard a weakness card from hand, unless a card explicitly specifies otherwise." 

...

It's important to remember that the rule doesn't state you can't discard the weakness, it just can't be from a choice that you have made yourself.

I'm not sure about this.  Does "from hand" mean only yours?  Or any investigator?  It's never strictly defined that I can find, and there are plenty of places which refer to "player's hand" or "his or her hand".  I'm inclined to think that "from hand" is universal - it cannot be discarded from a player's hand, period.  I think it would have to say "A player may not optionally choose to discard a weakness card from his or her hand..." to work as suggested here.

Edited by Buhallin

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This has been addressed by Matt:

"Terror from Beyond can cause weaknesses to be discarded, even if you are the one making the choice. Terror from Beyond has the player optionally choosing a card type, and then all investigators are obligated to discard all cards of that card type. In this case, you aren’t optionally choosing to discard 1 or more cards; you are selecting a category of cards and all cards of that category are being discarded, and the discard is mandatory."

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47 minutes ago, Network57 said:

This has been addressed by Matt:

"Terror from Beyond can cause weaknesses to be discarded, even if you are the one making the choice. Terror from Beyond has the player optionally choosing a card type, and then all investigators are obligated to discard all cards of that card type. In this case, you aren’t optionally choosing to discard 1 or more cards; you are selecting a category of cards and all cards of that category are being discarded, and the discard is mandatory."

Can you tell me where did you find it? Are there other rulings available there?

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20 minutes ago, tsuma534 said:

Can you tell me where did you find it? Are there other rulings available there?

On the Mythos Busters discord. People post e-mails they get from Matt, but I don't think they're collected anywhere.

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