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Jobu

Thoughts on Threads of Fate Player Cards

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Here I go, same deal as always:

Scene of the Crime:  An option for Guardians to get testless clues, that's pretty nice.    So nice, I wonder if this card was really a good idea for Guardians.  I am more likely to put this on the 2 intellect investigators than the 3 intellect ones.  That being said, it does help with those 4 shroud locations.  It does compete with Evidence and luckily I am not convinced which one is better that the other.

Marksmanship:  Seems like a good card for multiplayer.  Saves actions in an interesting way.

Persuasion: eh, I have better things to do with Seeker cards than reshuffle a subset of enemies into the deck, that's why I brought that meathead Guardian along.  I guess its not bad, but I am not that excited on it.  At least its cheaper than I've got a Plan.  Why do so many level zero Seeker cards leave me cold?

Shrewd Analysis:  I like it.  It seems to shine when 1.  When you have multiples of the three upgradable cards in your deck (at least 2) and 2.  Build your deck in such a way that any of the options you draw randomly is useful.  If you need to heal damage as part of your setup, don't use it on Strange Solution.  I know loss of control is scary, but a 7XP discount isn't a small deal.

Lucky Cigarette Case:  Yet another card going to the win by 2 category for Rogues.  One of these days I am going to need to try to build a deck around that.  But as I always say, one more card and I can do it.

Fence:  I don't think I have seen a non zero XP card so focused on one character before.  Seems good, the cost may give me some pause but extra actions ain't cheap.  Also it seems a "get it in play early or don't play it" card and its only got one Agility on it, so its not all roses.

Arcane Research: In the right deck, this is gold.  Mystics seem to go through XP like no one else.  I suspect it will go into half my mystic decks and it will move me towards spell upgrade heavy decks.  It has the unfortunate side effect of making higher level spell cards without a lower level equivalent less attractive.

Counterspell:  A solid card, am not sure I would use it myself.  Seems if you are using Seal, you don't need this card that much.

Perseverance:  I like this.  In addition to soaking damage and horror, its double Will skill, which survivors could use more of.  I can see this being of use on low Will, low horror survivors.  Most survivors are sitting pretty in the health department.  I think Agnes could make use of this as well either to boost will, help her manage her sanity more and to avoid a big health hit.

Stunning Blow: Kind of meh, not great, not horrible.  Being able to evade with your fight (and use any bonuses to fight) can be useful.  Hoping there is a L2 version in the future.

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I just know I've had solo games where I'd have given half my deck for a copy of Scene of the Crime. Like that **** shroud four engine room in Essex County Express where I spent three turns digging through my deck for a solution and then was defeated.

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One thing about Perseverance after I did a double take -- it only cancels the damage and horror that would defeat you.  This means that if you're at four health and take four damage, it will not prevent the first three damage.  It will prevent the one damage that would defeat you.  It saves you, but you're still left with only one remaining.

Edited by CSerpent

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.... are you sure about that?   Why would it say "cancel up to 4 of that damage/horror" if it was only canceling 1 point of damage?  I think perseverance works the "good" way.  

Looks like every class is getting a way to boost their own XP, which is interesting.   I like some of these new options.  

I think persuasion is nice if you get to use it.   Sort of depends on how many Humanoid enemies there are.  Might be a good option for Jenny to use Adaptable to swap this in when needed.  Streetwise gives her a pretty easy instant-KO on humanoids.  You can also get by Aloof status, which is common on many humanoids.  And if you wanted to go all-in, you could even gain a bonus from Fine Clothes.  

I like Lucky Cigarette case because it is a repeatable asset.   I don't have to play a win-by-2 event and then make very sure that I win by 2.   I can just have lucky cigarette case down and then if I happen to win by 2, I get a free card.    I like this a lot.

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48 minutes ago, CSerpent said:

One thing about Perseverance after I did a double take -- it only cancels the damage and horror that would defeat you.  This means that if you're at four health and take four damage, it will not prevent the first three damage.  It will prevent the one damage that would defeat you.  It saves you, but you're still left with only one remaining.

I think you may be misunderstanding the damage assignment rules.

Damage is applied all at once, so in your example if you are at 4 health and take four damage, all four of those points of damage are "going to defeat you". Playing Perseverance in this instance will prevent all four of that damage. Damage is not applied point by point when coming from one source, so there is not point at which there is a difference between "damage that would defeat you" and normal damage. From one source either all damage will defeat you, or none of it will.

The rules would work as you describe if you took 4 points of individual damage (such as by taking four attacks from an enemy that does one damage). In that case, Perseverance would only block the last point of damage.

Edited by HansZiegler

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This also provides a somewhat interesting situation:

Say you have 2 Sanity remaining (ie. 2 horror will defeat you) and a Cherished Keepsake with no horror out. You take a 3 horror attack. Normally, you could push the horror on to the Keepsake, discard it, then take one horror and survive.

Now, with Perseverance, you could instead assign all the horror to yourself, then play Perseverance, negating the 3 horror and preserving the Keepsake (for tiwo resources).

Edited by HansZiegler

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I would argue that Scene of the Crime is much better than evidence. The reason being that Scene of the Crime nets you 2 clues if a monster is present. But there's no reason why you can't take both...

Persuasion would be awesome if it weren't restricted to Humanoids. I understand that it is thematic, but I also don't particularly feel like it is wise to take cards in your deck that may not even be usable. Sure you could commit it, but it's a weird card because you are essentially using it to evade a monster (avoid engagement/fighting), yet the icons are for will and intelligence. That is all fine and good, but if you happen to be stuck against a monster that you WANT to evade or remove, I would much prefer the card to have agility pip/s. Or even a fight and an agility pip. You really don't want this card at all unless you know for a fact there are going to be humanoids. 

I think stunning blow is great! It does not ONLY affect non-elites for one. And in the situation that you KNOW you can't kill a difficult monster on your space, by not having to evade it to prevent it from damaging you, you can get an extra hit in. Obviously you don't want to use it if the monster is going to die that turn anyway, but especially in higher player count games, this could be great for taking out bosses safely.

I'm not sold on lucky cig case. Drawing cards is great, but I think I'd rather have the Rabbit's Foot. I understand that is a survivor card, but it seems more important to get a card when you fail than to gain additional cards when you're already succeeding greatly. 

Fence seems great on anyone who wants to take illicit things. It doesn't HAVE to be Finn, it's still a great card for any rogue basically since all illicit cards are rogue cards right now (I think?). Making Contraband FAST makes the card MUCH better.

Marksmanship is great all around just for the +1 damage.

I'm not sold on the mystic cards. 

Overall, I like the idea of lvl 0 permanents that essentially give you yet ANOTHER way to play each investigator differently if you decide to play them in multiple campaigns.

Edited by Soakman

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1 hour ago, Soakman said:

I'm not sold on the mystic cards. 

Really?  I absolutely am.

Arcane Research isn't going to be taken by every investigator that can cast spells, but I think anyone with a spell-heavy build is going to appreciate 7xp over the course of a campaign for 1 horror.  Mystics have some of the highest xp needs, and this reduces a stat they probably have a surplus of to alleviate that stress; I think some decks could take two.  If you carry investigators over to a second campaign, you're going to need those upgraded spells because you'll be starting with a lot of trauma.

As for Counterspell, it's the poor man's Seal of the Elder Sign.  Those bad tokens are usually among the highest negative modifiers in the bag, and their rider effects are sometimes devastating; this turns failure and the effect into a success.  I really like it.

I actually like every card from this pack, except maybe Persuasion due to its small niche.  Good job, devs.

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Yeah, I think the Mystic cards are really strong too.   Arcane Research seems auto-include to me.  The real question is.... do I take 2?  I worry that you will run out of spells to upgrade as the current card pool stands, still you could upgrade all your spells very quickly, and there is something to be said for that.  You could potentially get something like Level-5 shriveling very cheaply, by first upgrading shriveling-0 to shriveling-3 with a discount, and then upgrading shriveling-3 to shriveling-5 with a discount again.   It takes a few scenarios of time, but very efficient.  If you also plan to be running St. Hubert's key and are maybe thinking of dropping that on turn-1, then Arcane Research doesn't really hurt you, since you would lose that sanity anyway.  

You can think of Counterspell as a "poor mans's seal of the Elder Sign", sure.  I think of it as a Mystic Lucky!...  allowing for a bit of an extra boost if you "oops" an important skill check.   Added bonus:  If you are running something like Shriveling-5 and ouch!  pulled the Cultist symbol again and take 2 horror!    Nope!   

I think Soakman convinced me on Stunning blow.   In some ways it can be kind of like a dodge, only as a skill card it doesnt cost a resource, and gives you the extra +1, and exhausting the enemy can often be superior to evading their attack, especially for massive enemies.   Yorrick likes this very much I think.   I think it's strong enough that Zoey might even seriously consider picking it up.  

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2 hours ago, HansZiegler said:

I think you may be misunderstanding the damage assignment rules.

Damage is applied all at once, so in your example if you are at 4 health and take four damage, all four of those points of damage are "going to defeat you". Playing Perseverance in this instance will prevent all four of that damage. Damage is not applied point by point when coming from one source, so there is not point at which there is a difference between "damage that would defeat you" and normal damage. From one source either all damage will defeat you, or none of it will.

The rules would work as you describe if you took 4 points of individual damage (such as by taking four attacks from an enemy that does one damage). In that case, Perseverance would only block the last point of damage.

Perseverance cancels damage when it is assigned, not applied.

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6 minutes ago, CSerpent said:

Perseverance cancels damage when it is assigned, not applied.

Its also assigned all at once.

1 hour ago, Soakman said:

I would argue that Scene of the Crime is much better than evidence. The reason being that Scene of the Crime nets you 2 clues if a monster is present. But there's no reason why you can't take both...

I mean Scene of the Crime requires and action, Evidence doesn't.  Scene of the Crime costs 2, Evidence cost 1.  Scene of the crime gives a fist and a book, evidence gives two books (double skills are better than single).  I am not saying one is better than the other, I am just making a case that they are more equal than not.

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25 minutes ago, Jobu said:

Its also assigned all at once.

I'm still not convinced.  Ys, for example, splits up horror when it's applied.

It's assigned all at once, and then if some of it would defeat you, you can cancel some of it.

Edited by CSerpent

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45 minutes ago, awp832 said:

Yeah, I think the Mystic cards are really strong too.   Arcane Research seems auto-include to me.  The real question is.... do I take 2?  I worry that you will run out of spells to upgrade as the current card pool stands, still you could upgrade all your spells very quickly, and there is something to be said for that.  
 

 My biggest issue with Arcane Research is that it LOOKS better than it is. The only reason is the card pool. It doesn't help you with cards you can't specifically upgrade into, and also doesn't help you with mystic cards that are not spells that require xp. So we're looking at the card only being really useful to buy into Binding Light, Shriveling, Rite of Seeking, and Scrying. Yes, shriveling and rite of seeking are pretty much must haves in a mystic deck, but it seems pretty niche. It's only going to get more useful though as the card pool expands. I get that you pretty much can't go wrong with including this card in your deck, but I feel like it's a bit of a trick if you aren't fully aware of what it does. It also ONLY works if you upgrade, so even if you want to take a Rite of Seeking (4), if you don't have a rite of seeking 0, you still can't reap the benefits. Typically this won't be an issue, but sometimes I like to skip upgrades and jump right to the max upgrade. If you do this, you also lose the opportunity to save xp by using Arcane Research twice in the cases where you can (shriveling 0 -> 3-> 5).

 

Quote

You can think of Counterspell as a "poor mans's seal of the Elder Sign", sure.  I think of it as a Mystic Lucky!...  allowing for a bit of an extra boost if you "oops" an important skill check.   Added bonus:  If you are running something like Shriveling-5 and ouch!  pulled the Cultist symbol again and take 2 horror!    Nope! 

Counterspell is much better, but its value shifts depending on the scenario. Somtimes the tokens in the bag are negligible and other times they can be horrific. What I DO love about it is that you can cast in on other players to help them cope with their encounters. I appreciate making room like this for support mystics. I just personally don't know that with all of the expensive upgrades mystics like to have, that I would spend 2 xp for a copy of this card. I mean I probably would after I took care of my other essentials, but it seems like a drop in the bucket when it only resolves a single test. I'd prefer to take Ward of Protection to cancel an entire encounter than hope that I can really pull off counterspell at a time when it is going to make a huge difference. In my mind, it is not worth using just to pass a simple test you would otherwise fail. It would need to be a test that would have serious consequences to be worth that 2 xp cost.

Just my 2 cents. They are more than usable; I just don't think I'm quite as gung-ho about them as others seem. 

Edited by Soakman

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Having nearly lost a scenario (and had Akachi eat a trauma) today because of special tokens chaining their way out of the bag, I'm currently a big fan of Counterspell.  It's not quite a guaranteed victory, but looking at most bags if you're at a usual +2 then you're down to 2-4 tokens that can cause you to fail.  Anything that gives you +5 tokens worth of improvement is pretty solid.

3 minutes ago, Soakman said:

 My biggest issue with Arcane Research is that it LOOKS better than it is. The only reason is the card pool. It doesn't help you with cards you can't specifically upgrade into,

It actually does though, because it frees up extra experience for those other cards.

One important detail on Arcane Research/Shrewd Analysis is that you can still purchase them at any time.  I used this with Daisy to upgrade my Archaic Glyphs and get the two I wanted, then bought Shrewd Analysis before upgrading my Strange Solutions (which I'm much more sanguine about taking the random on).  Arcane Research benefits less from this trick, but it is there.

 

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Semantic quibble? Replace my instances of applied with assigned.

The logic still applies. You assign damage/horror and the total would either defeat you or not. The total damage "would defeat you" and is subjext to cancellation by Perseverance or the total would not, so you would not be able to play Perseverance. 

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@Buhallin

Yeah, I understand these points. I just don't think the cards are quite as solid as people anticipate. Arcane Research will definitely get easier to take advantage of, in theory. But it could equally get harder to take advantage of if we have some shriveling and rite of seeking competitors outside of upgradable cards.

A well used Counterspell will feel awesome for sure. I'm just worried that I'll be holding onto it for the right moment that never comes. Or use it too early and then not have it when it would really matter.

Edited by Soakman

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Counterspell:  Man, I had it in my head that this was 0 XP.   I'm feeling much less favorable to this card now.

More on Arcane Research:   So.... Can we come up with a reasonable 7-scenario plan for AR?   I might do something like this..

Scenarios 1 and 2 End:  Shriv-0 into Shriv-3.
Scenarios  3 and 4 End:   Shriv-3 into Shriv-5
Scenario 5 and 6 End:   Upgrade Rite of Seeking-0 to Rite of Seeking-4
Scenario 7 End:   Upgrade Ward of Protection-0 to Ward of Protection-2

You could mix and match of course, but I think we still have enough spells available that upgrading at the end of every scenario is very possible.   I grant however, that sometimes you might want to go directly from level-0 to level-5, of something like Shriveling, missing out on half the bonus, but hey, you're still getting at least a little bit of free XP... so I can't complain too much.

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I totally forgot about ward of protection somehow as well. That makes the options much more varied and worthwhile, so I will revise to say that I think it's pretty solid right now with the current card pool. Everyone wants to upgrade those wards of protection if they can. My personal problem is that I only have 1 core, so upgrading is going to be much harder since the only way I can include TWO shriveling, for instance, is if I direct-buy a lvl 3 version (or proxy, which I have yet to do). Same issue with Ward of Protection. Rite of Seeking was not core, so that's not a problem for me there. 

Edited by Soakman

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27 minutes ago, CSerpent said:

I'm still not convinced.  Ys, for example, splits up horror when it's applied.

It's assigned all at once, and then if some of it would defeat you, you can cancel some of it.

Not really. The exact wording of Key of Ys is:

 Forced - When any amount of horror would be placed on you: Place 1 of that horror on Key of Ys.

The rules reference says the first stop of assigning damage is:

"Determine the amount of damage and/or horror being dealt. Place damage and/or horror tokens equal to the amount of damage and horror being dealt next to the cards that will be taking the damage/horror."

Note the phrase "next to" not "on" the card. Compare with the rules for applying damage:

"Any assigned damage/horror that has not been prevented is now placed on each card to which it has been assigned, simultaneously. If no damage/horror is applied in this step, no damage/horror has been successfully dealt."

Note the use of the phrase "is now placed on each card". I think most people tend to misplay the Key of Ys ability and move the horror in the Assignment step. It is actually as it is placed on the investigator card during the Applying step. 

In any case, since Perseverance must be played during the Assign step and it can cancel more than two points of damage/horror  (for the case of simultaneous defeat by damage and horror), it seems pretty clear that damage applied is treated as one lump sum that either would defeat you or would not.

Edited by HansZiegler

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Right, I know the steps.  But I don't see anything that suggests that the card applies to more than the amount that would defeat you.

In any case, I'm unsure enough that I submitted the question.  If I'm wrong, then it's a crazy powerful level 0 card, and my Calvin decks will be even happier. 

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I was right there with you holding down the 1 core fort for a while.  But I eventually succumbed.   Still...   I think we might be able to squeeze a bit more use out of this for you.   You'll have to put in a bit more XP than a 2 core player, but if we're a bit tricksy, we can still save a little more.

Scenario 1 End:  Upgrade Shriveling-0 to Shriveling-3  . Remove a level 0 card of your choice and add Shriveling-0 (cost  another1 xp for replacing level-0 cards).
Scenario 2 End:  Upgrade Shriveling-0 to Shriveling-3 
Scenario 3-4 End: Upgrade Shriveling-3 to Shriveling-5

Rest of the plan is unchanged, and you could pull the same trick with Ward of Protection if you wanted.   This allows a 1-core player to save an additional 1 xp each time over putting in a Shriv-3 or Ward-2 directly.  

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2 hours ago, Buhallin said:

One important detail on Arcane Research/Shrewd Analysis is that you can still purchase them at any time.  I used this with Daisy to upgrade my Archaic Glyphs and get the two I wanted, then bought Shrewd Analysis before upgrading my Strange Solutions (which I'm much more sanguine about taking the random on).  Arcane Research benefits less from this trick, but it is there.

 

The timing for when you buy Arcane Research does matter. If its not in your deck when you complete a scenario its effect doesn't trigger. If you know you intend to use Shrewd Analysis' effect its best to buy it at 0 xp at deck creation because it costs 1 xp to add later and Shrewd Analysis uses the words 'may' and 'if you do' indicating that you get to decide if you want to use its effect when you upgrade. Its an auto-include in the sense that it costs you nothing (at deck creation at least), takes no card slots, and has no consequences if you decide not to use it later.

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5 hours ago, Donel said:

If you know you intend to use Shrewd Analysis' effect its best to buy it at 0 xp at deck creation because it costs 1 xp to add later and Shrewd Analysis uses the words 'may' and 'if you do' indicating that you get to decide if you want to use its effect when you upgrade. Its an auto-include in the sense that it costs you nothing (at deck creation at least), takes no card slots, and has no consequences if you decide not to use it later.

Given what Matt said in the State of the LCG article about Higher Education possibly being too powerful, I'm keeping my eye out for encounter cards that get worse the more Permanent cards you have...

Then again, Rex Murphy was also called out by Matt and yet Lucky Cigarette Case looks particularly appealing on him. In many cases he wants to succeed by 2 or more on Investigate tests and the cards he generates can help ensure he always meets Higher Education's requirement!

On the Hunt + Scene of the Crime looks to combo well and it means that Roland can now potentially deal with Cover Up in 2 actions if he can kill the enemy drawn in a single attack. 3 resources may be quite pricey for him though.

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Counterspell: Never mind the regular negative modifiers or effects that it cancels.  It offsets one of a Mystic's weak spots.  Most of their standard cards hurt you on those tokens even if you succeed.  How much does Sefina love this card?  I feel like this is one we've been waiting for from the beginning.

Edited by CSerpent

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On 6/13/2018 at 7:58 AM, Jobu said:

Fence:  I don't think I have seen a non zero XP card so focused on one character before.  Seems good, the cost may give me some pause but extra actions ain't cheap.  Also it seems a "get it in play early or don't play it" card and its only got one Agility on it, so its not all roses.

I don't think it's as laser focused on a single character as you think. Despite Finn's access to all things Illicit, if you look at all the cards. the ONLY cards that are illicit to begin with are all Rogue class cards, so it's a pretty generally useful card for lots of Rogue builds.

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