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Cycle V: The Dream-Eaters

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2 minutes ago, rsdockery said:

 

Yes, it's thus far the only Unidentified/Untranslated card that isn't a hit on your momentum. Plus it's great for Yithians and Minh.

 

That was the point i was originally trying to make. No extra actions to translate or whatever, and  committing precious deck slots to the card(s) in the hope that it shows up and you have the actions to resolve it. 
Hadn’t thought of Minh, but yes indeed. 

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Definitely an interesting first pack for the campaign. Two classes only getting one card slot in it, and no neutral player cards, is a bit weird. Bonded and Myriad seem to be having a bit of an effect on what we get (and Bonded means I'm having to rethink some of my storage, but that's neither here not there...)

So what did we get?

Guardian - First Watch - One of the cards that was previewed in the pack announcement article. Encounter deck manipulation is always a useful tool to have at your disposal. Having the option to draw all the monsters to you - or distribute Treachery cards based on who should have the best chance of succeeding a check - certainly seems to fit with the Guardian role. This does get more powerful the more investigators you're using - there's no point running it if you're trying to solo with one character, but at a 4-player table, this should have a big impact.

Guardian - Daring - New Innate skill, designed to flexibly aid a Guardian in combat. A big skill pump, but balanced by adding keywords to the enemy in case you fail. Replaces itself in your hand regardless of whether you pass the check, which is handy. The Innate keyword allows it to go into Silas decks - having not run him, I'm not sure how useful it'll be for him.

Seeker - Dream Diary - A return to the Seeker cards where you have to unlock XP variants by completing certain criteria, after we avoided getting one of these in The Circle Undone. More flexible than Ancient Stone, Archaic Glyphs or Strange Solution, given the requirement is to just pass a check by 3 whilst committing its Bonded card. Taking an action to get the Bonded skill card might be seen as a bit resource-hungry, though options like Daisy's free Tome action may make it more attractive. As with all of these upgrade options, the true value of the card isn't going to be known until we see the XP cards. Finally, is the Bonded card the first one with a mechanic to bounce it back to the Bonded area when used?

Rogue - Followed - This one I find to be a bit odd. An Investigate Event that gets better is there is a wounded enemy at your location (though said enemy doesn't have to be engaged with you). It does help you be more efficient in your clue-gathering, picking up an additional clue if you succeed, but I'm really not sure what to make of it.

Rogue - Momentum - Another new Skill card, you're playing this to make another check you make in the turn have a bonus. Do the easier check, then the more difficult one, basically. Single Wild icon makes sense, as it allows you to use it on any check, and there's no restriction on the follow-up check being the same type of action as the one you used Momentum on. I'm not sure if I'd spend XP to run it, but it is definitely interesting.

Mystic - Scroll of Prophecies - Tome of Card Draw/Cycle. Seems useful, but also like there are better hand options available, even for 0XP Mystic. More fuel for Daisy, though, as with Dream Diary, I'm not sure if it is strong enough to replace existing options. Still, could be worth experimenting with.

Mystic - Read the Signs - Our second Investigate Event of the pack, and this one seems much simple to use than Followed. Getting to combine two stats on one skill check is a really strong bonus (Norman says hello), and giving another efficient clue-gathering option (as you can get a second clue from one action) is handy. Interesting that it has come out in the Dream Eaters block - would be handy in TCU as a way of circumventing nasty Haunted abilities. Really like this one - possibly another option for picking up clues for my Zoe decks.

Survivor - Jessica Hyde - A physical damage version of Peter Sylvester, who comes into play with damage already on her. If you can avoid taking damage on her for a turn or two, then I can see her being really handy, especially for someone like Yorrick or Silas (or any other combat Survivor I've failed to mention). Getting her and Peter into play at the same time makes soaking incidental damage/horror a breeze.

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Thanks to dystartes for getting the ball rolling.   Here's my take!


First Watch:  An interesting card.  I think this is probably a card for large player games.   I don't see myself as being too interested most of the time in 2 player.. but maybe even then.  It's quite cheap,  I like that.   3+ players I think this is very strong.

Daring:  Guardians have some solid skill cards already.   Now,  I'm not sure exactly what they were going for on this one.  This card is "3 wild"  but it's not really.   It's actually more limited than a 3 combat/3 evade card.   I mean,  wild icons that you can only commit to attacks or evades?  That strikes me the wrong way.   The point of wild icons is that they're versatile, isn't it?   Ok, so that rubs me the wrong way a little, but regardless,   3 combat or 3 evade is nice.  Combo here with .45 Automatic (2) to avoid the Retaliate, gaining the benefits of Daring for no drawback.   Is that worth making .45 Automatic your weapon when other, stronger weapons are available to you?   Probably not.  If you're getting +3 to this check you are probably only failing on AF token,  so maybe this allows you to get an extra card for minimum risk.      But in my opinion,   it's still some risk,  and it's probably just not worth it.   Steadfast, Take the Initiative, and Overpower all compete with this card.   Each has their advantages and drawbacks.  If you are feeling very bold...  then maybe.    I do like how the card nails the theme here,  I just dont know if I will be playing it.

Dream Diary:  Hard to evaluate this card right now without knowing how the translation will fall out.  However,  I think it's worth noting that taking the action on Dream Diary to pull Essence of the Dream back to hand as it stands right now... is still probably worth it.    You essentially take 1 action to grab a 2 wild card.   That's not bad.   if each wild icon is worth approximately a resource,  then you're getting 2 "resources" for 1 action,  equivalent to Dario.   But there is also the Grisly Totem, Grisly Totem (3), and Minh who all are going to make some very nice use out of Essence of the Dream.   This is really the only Untranslated item that is worth anything without the translation.    I think this is going to be amazing.  I think this is already good.

Followed:  I wish they would have gone a different direction with this card.   I dont like the whole injured enemy thing.   It might be playable just ignoring the injured enemy part altogether to try to snag an extra clue.   Just tough here.   Unfortunately, almost every single investigator who might seriously consider this card has access to Scene of the Crime,  which is pretty much better by almost any metric.

Momentum:  Seems like a combo piece,  but I'm not seeing the combo just yet.   Reserving judgement.   Currently... eh,  not worth my card slot or xp.

Scroll of Prophecies:  This is a very nice card I think.   I like that it can be used on any investigator at your location, not just yourself.  Akachi gets a bonus charge, Daisy uses it for a bonus action,   I think this is a very nice card draw engine.  Hand slot is a steep price for Daisy,  but a very payable fee for most Mystics.  I think this is solid.

Read the Signs:   Seems a lot of excitement around this card.   To me,  2 resource cost is pretty expensive for a 1-time 1 extra clue and you still have to test (even at a big bonus, theres always AF). Compared to Art Student, or Working a Hunch, or Drawn to the Flame, or Rite of Seeking.    Handy for ignoring Haunted maybe,  but otherwise I'm not sold here.

Jessica Hyde:  Probably the gem.  Keeping her alive a few turns for the auto-heal to kick in isnt too tough,   and +1 combat is very nice.  Very nice for Yorrick,  or any other survivor who wants to fight.  Lots of great allies for Tommy Muldoon,  but she's an option for him as well,  maybe he runs Solemn vow and Peter Sylvestre and absorbs the damage for the whole team,  could be fun.   I think Jessica is going to see a lot of action.   

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I really like this set of cards. To me the most interesting aspect of them is that they are mostly "team" cards.

First watch lets the team decide who is best at each challenge.

Daring can be used on any fight or evade, not just those using combat or agility.

Followed does not require that you do the damage and Momentum does not have to be played on your test.

With the right group composition, these could all be a lot of fun to play.

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The lament of the level-zero Daisy player has always been: "None of the other tomes are good!" Old Book of Lore is fantastic but, to be able to consistently use Daisy's ability every turn, you want at least one other Tome; it's a bit like having enough weapons in a combat deck. The Search for Kadath seems to solve this dilemma between Scroll of Prophesies and Dream Diary.

In Ms. Walker's hands the Diary is comparable to High Roller, a very good 2-experience card -- the Diary takes a valuable slot and provokes opportunity attacks but doesn't wager resources and can assist other investigators. It is weaker than the Encyclopedia but not strictly inferior because you can hold Essence of the Dream in your hand between turns. This means you can effectively "bank" a use of the Diary and commit Essence of the Dream twice in one turn on separate actions. It also means it can assist with Mythos phase tests (or the rare Enemy or Upkeep phase test) and help you extricate yourself if you start your turn engaged with an enemy. The Diary doesn't exhaust, which usually won't matter but could be useful on occasion.

The crazy thing is that the above analysis doesn't even take into account that the Diary is an untranslated "side-quest" card. If it has an upgrade that is as powerful as Acidic Ichor or either of the original two translated Glyphs, it is a very good deal indeed. I will note however, that though you can commit Essence of the Dream to another investigator's test, you can only compete the side-quest on a test that you perform.

---

First Watch: I often play 3-player Arkham and I quite like "Let me handle this!" so it seems like I am in the target market for this card, but my inclination at the moment is to let First Watch fall by the wayside and stick to "LMHT!" because the latter is reactive. There are situations where you wish that encounter cards had been in a different order, but you don't know those situations until you're in them: the problem with First Watch is, "When do you use it?" There is some value in guessing and throwing it down when the team is under pressure (which is more than nine tenths of the time in my experience) but I don't see it as a good enough effect to spend a card on. It could be interesting when someone is running Alyssa Graham

--

Daring goes into every dedicated combat Guardian deck I build henceforth; at least, so I predict. I cannot resist an actionless, resourceless, failure-proof* card-draw -- it is almost pure deck-thinning, effectively playing with a 28-card deck.

A +3 bonus is superb in Arkham, and a fighter making a fight test with +3 is very likely to succeed and so not suffer from the card's drawback. To use Daring to attack an exhausted enemy, to attack an enemy that already has retaliate, or to evade an enemy that already has alert is to use a card with no drawback. Guardians are usually good at taking hits anyway -- they certainly are when I build them because I like to capitalize on the Survival Knife.

Now, I say it is 'almost pure deck-thinning' because the card can't replace itself until an investigator at your location attacks or evades an enemy. This means it doesn't necessarily thin your deck with respect to having enough weapons. That said, Yorick and Mark evade at a very respectable skill value of 6 with Daring so it does help them if they are caught empty-handed.

*unless I die

--

I think it has been mentioned earlier in this thread, but it might bear repeating that Jessica Hyde heals one damage at the end of the turn you play her. She seems really good.

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5 hours ago, Spritz Tea said:

the problem with First Watch is, "When do you use it?"

I see three possibilities:

  1. You use it as soon as you draw it. That makes one Mythos phase significantly less stressful (especially if there are lots of Peril cards in the deck), and is a perfectly fine use of a card to my mind.
  2. You hang on to it until you get to a high-Shroud location with Scene of the Crime or Evidence in hand. Note that you're still mainly playing it to rearrange encounter cards for the group (if you want to dig for enemies, On the Hunt is significantly better), and you should really only go with this option if you already have one of those other cards in hand and are already planning to visit an appropriate location. Think of it as "option one, but hold off for a turn or two to get a slightly higher potential payout."
  3. You hang on to it until you are personally resilient to the encounter deck. For instance, you are Diana and have Deny Existence (5) in your hand, or you have the Red-Gloved Man in play, or you're at a location with a mild Haunted effect (or no Haunted effect at all) and the Realm of Death encounter set is in the deck.*

All that said, nine times out of ten I'd play it immediately and be perfectly satisfied. Point 3 is probably only relevant in certain scenarios or for Diana (unless you manage to get RGM and First Watch in your hand simultaneously or something), while Point 2 is both situational and unreliable.

*...Which brings up an interesting question, actually: How does this work in Wages of Sin? I assume you draw the cards from whichever deck applies to your location and distribute them to the other players regardless of whether they'd share your deck, yes?

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3 hours ago, rsdockery said:

*...Which brings up an interesting question, actually: How does this work in Wages of Sin? I assume you draw the cards from whichever deck applies to your location and distribute them to the other players regardless of whether they'd share your deck, yes?

That sounds right to me.

I really like First Watch.  Playing normally in 4-player games, the ability to distribute goes beyond just "Who gets the monsters?"  Being able to target something as simple as Grasping Hands vs. Rotting Remains is good.  Being able to target a Shapes in the Mist or Realm of Torment would have saved us in a few games.  Sending bad treacheries to the player who can cancel them is big.

Certainly there will be those times when it just doesn't work, but overall it seems incredibly versatile.

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First Watch:

So this card, much like Premonition, is an interesting card because on a purely numerical basis, it might do absolutely nothing. It doesn't improve any of your abilities, give you any economic benefits, or provide any directly quantifiable progress, defensive benefits or tempo. It's possible to play First Watch, see 4 encounter cards, come to the conclusion that they are best distributed where they would have gone anyway, and essentially completely waste the card.

And, much like Premonition, I think it's a really great card. At least if playing 3+ players, it's a very solid and interesting pick. It's great with certain team configs - if you have, say, a really high-willpower Mystic who can happily pass a willpower test, a Seeker who has no means of handling an enemy by themselves, Calvin Wright looking to boost his stats, etc., distributing cards can indirectly give you a huge tempo swing, saving the team multiple actions and making the game much smoother. In addition, it's particularly effective for certain investigators or builds. Tommy Muldoon, Mark Harrigan and Carolyn Fern can be glad to take damage and/or horror; Zoey Samaras gets economic boosts for engaging enemies, Machete benefits you for engaging enemies; Flamethrower and Mk. 1 Grenades are great answers for drawing multiple enemies at once; Diana Stanley benefits from having effects to cancel or ignore (especially early on, before she's upgraded to Ward of Protection (2), or if she's running a cancel-everything build with Dayana Esperence and Ward of Protection (5)); Ambush, Snare Trap, Disc of Itzamna, Barricade (3), Think on your Feet (2) and Luke Robinson's Dream Gate benefit from choosing who draws enemies; cards that provoke a skill test can be beneficial for Survivors to draw with Take Heart and even Drawing Thin; I'm sure there's countless other potential synergies. It also works well alongside effects like Scrying that allow you to see what's coming to see when the best time to use First Watch might be, as otherwise you more or less have to just guess (unless the deck is almost empty or you have some other intel about what might be coming) when a good time would be. It's nice in that regard for very fighty, tough Guardians like Mark or a tanky Zoey or Yorick or Tommy, as in the closing turns of the game when you have no other means of contributing to the game and the team is on its last legs, you can use First Watch and take all the heat for yourself to give the other players an untroubled turn to race for the win.

It also counters Peril quite well by allowing you to discuss the Peril effect, how best to resolve it and who would best be able to handle it or cancel it (though the additional Peril effect of preventing other investigators interfere would still apply once you actually resolve it), since you haven't actually drawn and begun resolving Peril when First Watch is resolving.

It's basically a beautiful piece of design - it's a card that is beneficial to essentially anyone who can take it, but also has some really great synergies, and also isn't game-breakingly strong by any means, and also is by no means mandatory for anyone.

And the art and mechanical flavour are great.

Daring:

The more I look at this card, the more I like it - though my initial reaction was very sceptical.

The Evasion part of the card is obviously less beneficial for the majority of Guardians since the general Guardian modus operandi is to shoot enemies dead, but it's great for investigators like Skids and Silas and enables other investigators with a decent evasive ability (Many Guardians have 3 Agility, for instance, and Carolyn and William Yorick might well take Peter Sylvestre and get +1 agility; Mark has the ability to boost evade with Sophie and Diana and even Zoey have the ability to use spells for evasion). This makes it a great choice for TFA and to an extent TCU as well, since it helps Guardians evade which is typically what can make playing them so frustrating in TFA. However, the addition of Alert does mean that using it to simply have "decent" odds of evading is very risky - more an additional string to the bow rather than a primary benefit.

The combat side is obviously pretty great. The addition of Retaliate can be a major problem, and there's (almost) always the possibility of Auto-Fail no matter what your Combat number is - this card can and will result in very unlucky losses and trauma for people. But taking that into account, for fight tests it's basically super-Overpower, giving you an extra icon and letting you draw a card regardless of whether you succeeded on the test. The fact that it provides wild icons is nice for situations like Skids or Silas using an Ornate Bow or Backstab, or Diana using attack spells, or anyone with Blood Eclipse, or even like Joe Diamond using "I've Got A Plan!". That's a really nice little bonus.

The flexibility with regards to use for Evasion or Combat, and not caring about the attribute used, is counterbalanced by the fact that, unlike Overpower or Unexpected Courage, you can't use it for tests that aren't Fight or Evade. In that regard, much like First Watch, I don't think it will be a staple (aside from Skids and Silas, for whom it is a fantastic card, or TFA runs, where it helps counterbalance one of the problems with the campaign itself) - a card where almost anyone who can take it should consider it, but not taking it is a completely valid choice.

Since I'm a huge fan of non-Willpower Diana Stanley, I love the jank of using Daring to give an enemy Retaliate, and then using Marksmanship or the .45 Automatic (2) to ignore the Retaliate keyword and let you put the card under your sheet for the stat and economy boost.

The mechanical flavour, again, is great.

Dream Diary/Essence of the Dream:

My view is that this is interesting, but nowhere near as good as many people seem to think. A lot of people are enthusiastic about the fact that it allows you to spend an action to in essence add Unexpected Courage to your hand. The truth is, though, that while there are times where Unexpected Courage is precisely the card you want to see, it's a completely middle-of-the-road card that doesn't make it into most decks I design nowadays. You could spend an action to draw Essence of the Dream, or you could spend an action to draw the top card of your deck, which might be as helpful or even more so. Sure, you know what you're getting with Dream Diary and there's no chance of the draw resulting in a weakness, but you've spent an action, a card, a hand slot and 2 resources for the privilege. In addition, there is only the one copy of Essence of the Dream (and logically that will be the only copy available though, you know, Bonded rules are severely lacking in explanations), so you can't stockpile them. Daisy naturally gets a far greater benefit from it (making it feel kind of like a level 0 version of Encyclopedia) but for any other investigator, the ability to get Essence of the Dream for tests is an ancillary benefit of taking Dream Diary in order to complete the interpretation minigame, not a benefit that's at all worth taking the card by itself.

Beyond that, though, we won't know exactly how to feel about this, and whether it's worth having in your starting deck, until we know what the interpretation gives us. The Diary has a pretty meh single will icon (Strange Solution (0), by contrast has a single wild), so the second copy, assuming you take 2 copies, is a pretty sad draw.

The art on the Diary is completely prosaic, but the art on Essence of the Dream is amazing and trippy. Love it.

Followed:

This card sucks. I almost want to stop there, but the hot take is that the only time you want to take this is if you need more clue gathering, but you have no access to clue gathering events from any of the other 4 classes. It's a second bite at the "get info from an enemy at your location" schtick of Eavesdropping, but it's just as failed a design concept as that card. The bonus from dealing the enemy damage is really niche - presumably, if you take this, you are at least to some extent a monster-hunter (as otherwise you need to rely on another team-mate just to set you up for a really mediocre effect), and in that case you are taking time out of your busy kill-the-enemy schedule to make an investigate check. I guess if you're definitely certain you'll kill the enemy (e.g. you have a Beat Cop or Coup de Grace ready to deal the last point) you can do so without the risk of spending an action not killing the enemy and consequently not managing to actually kill the enemy at all, but that's highly situational for not much benefit.

The comparison with other options is laughable. Seeker has testless clue gathering at 0 actions, Survivor has reactive clue-gathering in "Look What I Found!", and Guardian has both Scene of the Crime (which requires you to play on your first action, but gives you the two clues for no test at all) and Evidence! (which gives you clues for doing your job of killing enemies, rather than explicitly not doing that job). There's the slightest synergy with Handcuffs but while the flavour is high, the mechanical benefit is extremely low. About the only benefit of Followed is that you can use it to investigate for extra clues without an enemy at your location, but that's again extremely niche.

The only time I could see taking this was if I was Tony Morgan, and I wanted extra clue-gathering, and I chose Survivor as my secondary class, and I didn't want to take the Survivor clue events like "Look What I Found!" or Winging It. Even then...it wouldn't be a great card. It even has terrible icons - Evidence, "Look What I Found!", Working A Hunch, etc., all have matching double icons, whereas Followed has half a wild icon. Scene of the Crime is the same but the testless clue gathering is far stronger, and it at least offers a Combat icon to benefit with monster-slaying.

Failure of a card design, basically never take it. The art is "ok" but not all that compelling.

Momentum: 

I do like this card. It works well alongside the Rogue "Succeed by x" synergy, and the fact that it reduces the difficulty rather than increases your stats is very nice as a 0-difficulty test is guaranteed except on auto-fail. If you need to take 2 tests in a round (e.g. shooting a boss with Lupara, twice, or evading and then using Waylay), it lets you go all in on the first test to guarantee success +2, and then take the second test at base skill by reducing the difficulty to 0. Additionally, it's an excellent counter to lingering willpower treacheries such as Frozen in Fear or the various Hexes in The Circle Undone, which present a major problem for most rogues (with the exception of Sefina, big-money decks and maybe Jenny). It doesn't matter that Tony has a willpower of 2 and Finn has a willpower of 1 if you use your Momentum to reduce the test difficulty to 0.

Reducing a test difficulty to 1 or 0 is also great for synergy with Double or Nothing - doubling the test difficulty is essentially irrelevant if this means an increase of 0 or 1. And there are other synergies with the Survivor "if you fail by 2 or less" effects like "Look What I Found!" or Dumb Luck, which is good news for Preston, Wendy and even Finn.

The exp cost is minimal but rogues do have an enormous amount of pressure on their exp. Rogues are starting to get a lot of decent skills, and the fact that they are free to use is great for both resource-poor Dark Horse Jenny/Poor-man Preston decks and big-money decks that don't want to cut into their nest-egg. This focus can be seen in the skill spoiled for Point of No Return, as well. I'm looking forward to trying Momentum with Finn and Tony, as well as in a 20-skill Jenny Barnes deck I want to piece together sometime.

That art is so cool. Very rogue-y and full of the pulp/noir feel that epitomises the game.

Scroll of Prophecies:

It's decent for Daisy. That's both the obvious conclusion and sad truth for most of the Tome assets in the game. Previously, the only legitimately good level 0 Tome has been Old Book of Lore - Scroll of Prophecies and Dream Diary are both good cards for her starting deck. Scroll of Prophecies can be a good card alongside Old Book of Lore if you want more than 1 card for her Tome action, or even as a replacement for it - while it will run out of charges (unless you recharge, e.g. with Astounding Revelation), the 4 secrets will let you draw (or let others draw) a total of 12 cards before running out, and even with the need to discard one card each time, that should be enough economy to give you a huge amount of tempo.

For investigators other than Daisy, is it worth it? Probably not, really. Since anyone can draw a single card for 1 action, the first time you use the Scroll you'll still be worse off in terms of cards (-1 card to play the Scroll itself, -1 action to play the Scroll itself, -1 action to activate the scroll - you draw 3 cards and discard 1, whereas if you'd had a completely different card in your hand to begin with and spent 2 actions to draw 2 cards, you would have 3 cards without needing to discard 1). Then the subsequent actions gain you net 2 cards, compared to the net 1 card for just using an action to draw, but you need to have the actions to spare and you're also down 2 resources and a hand slot. You might have some complete chaff you're happy to discard, so it's much better than +2 cards, and it could help set you up for using cards like Winging It by getting them into discard for you and synergise with the upcoming Glimmer of Hope, if you're playing as Agnes or something, so it's not impossible for it to be a good choice - but the default would be a no. In a sense, the hidden issue with the card is similar to one of the many problems with Alchemical Transmutation - the card doesn't really pay off until you've used up all the charges, and that means a: you're stuck earmarking 4 actions to use the card to make sure that it wasn't a waste of time, which is a huge problem if you need those actions to go win the game or something, and b: you only see the payoff later on, whereas cards like Emergency Cache or Preposterous Sketches give you the economy boost up-front, and the best time to have resources or cards is right now.

The art is more interesting than your average book or scroll art, at least. Obviously with Arkham we're stuck seeing countless pictures of reading material, but this is more interesting than the thousandth dusty tome.

Read the Signs:

Hey look Followed, it's a card that does your job, but properly! This is a pretty good pick for any Mystic, really (aside from a low-willpower Diana build) - adding your Willpower to your Intellect adds up to a solid chance of success even for low-intellect investigators like Akachi or Agnes, and Willpower+Int is a minimum of 7 for any mystic other than base Diana. Since it's not actually a Willpower test, you can't commit willpower skills like Guts, but boosts to either - or both - of the skills will help, so St Hubert's Key is a +2 to the test for instance. 2 resources is pretty standard cost for the effect. For some investigators, it will be a card you add to your starting deck and replace later on when you have better clue-gathering skills and the means to find them. For others, you'll keep it around forever, since it's a relatively low-impact but useful card.

Luke Robinson obviously loves it, since he can use it to investigate at range with his ability. It's also great for a starting Sefina Rousseau deck since she can place it under her sheet and copy it with The Painted World. Mystics (at least those without Sixth Sense + multiple willpower boosts) and Sefina can have difficulty getting clues until they have some exp. While Sefina only has base 6 to investigate (4 WP, 2 Int), Dario el-Amin gives +2 to the test so it's still very solid for her. Even Daisy and Mandy might really like it in their starting decks - until they get their powerful clue-gathering exp cards, an event for a boost to investigate and an extra clue is a pretty good deal, and they both have a base 8 to the test. Since it's still a norman Investigate test, it can be used in conjunction with Deduction and Magnifying Glass. It's a little less attractive given Fingerprint Kit, but I think the two could work in one deck, and not everyone wants the Fingerprint Kit. Sadly, it's really terrible for my girl Patrice.

Art is nice. A bit understated but I like it.

Jessica Hyde:

This is a great card...in search of a place. William Yorick and Tommy Muldoon seem like obvious choices...until you realise that she has anti-synergy with their investigator abilities, and they're better off using Beat Cop (2) for both a stat boost and damage for benefits that synergises with their abilities; she's simply completely outclassed by Beat Cop for them. None of the off-class Survivors have much use for her, and of the other survivors, many don't need the +1 Combat, so the stat boost is not all that relevant. Patrice doesn't care about +1 combat for the occasional Improvised Weapon when she has so many cards to put into checks and she's far better off using a Leather Coat; Wendy gets basically nothing from it; she's not bad for a combat-focused Calvin Wright, "Ashcan" Pete or Rita Young deck, but in all those cases the +Combat is not the most useful way to use an ally slot - you'd use her if you have 5 exp and 2 deck slots to spare for 2x Jessica + Charisma and can easily afford playing a second ally, since each of them wants Peter Sylvestre, Miss Doyle or maybe Yaotl first. Even Silas Marsh, who is the main user of Jessica, is probably better off with Peter Sylvestre, given his 5 sanity and 2 base Willpower.

I've used her with Silas and Rita, and found her to be "ok". As I said, she's a fantastic ally, offering a stat boost and massive soak...but what she offers isn't what the current crop of Survivors most want to use their ally slot for. I'm sure we'll see some builds that really make good use of her, and I'd be very happy to see a future investigator who can really make the most of her abilities (I am really hoping for a Daniela Reyes similar to Carolyn Fern, like Rogue 0-3, 15 Guardian/Survivor 0-1, Upgrade cards 0-5; Jessica Hyde would be a great girlfriend for such a Daniela).

The art and subtitle are very survivor-y. The Jessica Hyde/Peter Sylvestre dream team make an odd couple, but together with a second Charisma and Guiding Spirit you could have boosts to all 4 stats. The mechanical flavour of Jessica together with the art and title give the impression that she stumbles out of the dark nearly dead and joins up with you. Which is cool.

Edited by Allonym

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On 11/19/2019 at 3:07 PM, Iuchi Toshimo said:

I see what you did there. 😃 

As usual, great analysis. 

Yes, that was definitely an intentional pun and not a typo at all. Definitely!

(I wouldn't bother using Read the Signs on Norman unless I had no other uses for his 5 level 0 Mystic cards - and between St Hubert's Key and all the great level 0 Mystic events I think that's unlikely. Shame, because thematically it works rather well for him)

One thing I forgot to mention about Read the Signs is that it synergises really well with Rite of Seeking, at least on higher player counts. With RoS, you often want to only use it for your last action, as drawing a symbol token will cause you to forfeit the rest of your turn. If you don't have much to do except gather clues, you often end up in a situation where you have more than 1 action left (e.g. you spent 1 action to move to a location with 4 clues on it), and then either you use Rite of Seeking early and risk drawing a symbol token and completely wasting your remaining action(s), or you just kind of waste your actions doing vaguely beneficial stuff like drawing cards, gaining resources etc. in order to use your last action on Rite of Seeking. With Read the Signs, you can use Read the Signs to investigate with your penultimate action, then Rite of Seeking for the final action. This is particularly nice for off-class Mystics like Sefina on 2/4 player, as full-class mystics can eventually get Rite of Seeking (4) and gather 3 clues at once, and using Read the Signs to pick up only one clue is a bit of a waste. It might still be nice with Rite of Seeking (4) on a 4-player game, though, as 2 uses of Rite of Seeking + 1 use of Read the Signs adds up to 8 clues (i.e. the amount of clues on a 2xinvestigators location) and therefore Read the Signs can essentially save you the very scarce and expensive Rite of Seeking charges.

I also forgot to mention that Momentum works particularly well with a "Big money" archetype because those decks often only have 1 big test per round - if you're playing Preston and you have like 30/40 resources in your pool, you can use Well Connected for a test at +6/+8, but then that's basically you for the round unless you spend resources or use cards for boosts or effects. If your job on a given turn is getting some clues, for instance, you might massively overachieve on your first clue-gathering test and then be left extremely useless for your subsequent tests. Momentum works well in conjunction with this one-big-test-per-round playstyle, by letting you translate all overachievement in one test over to the next test (and potentially even make that test a near-guaranteed success).

Edited by Allonym

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On 11/18/2019 at 7:45 PM, Allonym said:

The art and subtitle are very survivor-y. The Jessica Hyde/Peter Sylvestre dream team make an odd couple, but together with a second Charisma and Guiding Spirit you could have boosts to all 4 stats. The mechanical flavour of Jessica together with the art and title give the impression that she stumbles out of the dark nearly dead and joins up with you. Which is cool.

Her art strikes me as very Mountains of Madness-y.  Looks very snowy outside that cave where her plane has crashed.

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I think the Bonded and Myriad cards are turnoffs for me. I mean, I get they have to include new player cards with new packs, but some of them are too powerful and many just add too many cards. We already ban the Tarot slot from any campaign save TCU (it's just not very Lovecraftian, and it means every campaign you'd have investigators flaunting tarot cards around), and I personally ban Bonded cards. I think we'll all be deciding to ban all Bonded and Myriad cards too. 

Edited by Krysmopompas

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1 hour ago, Krysmopompas said:

I think the Bonded and Myriad cards are turnoffs for me...  I think we'll all be deciding to ban all Bonded and Myriad cards too. 

Of course you can make house rules about what cards you can or cannot use, but I think you are making a mistake here. 

I find that the bonded and myriad cards have added some interesting options and, in actual play, I haven't found any of them to be overly powerful.  (Though I haven't used the pendant yet... 🤔 )

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1 hour ago, Krysmopompas said:

I think the Bonded and Myriad cards are turnoffs for me. I mean, I get they have to include new player cards with new packs, but some of them are too powerful and many just add too many cards. We already ban the Tarot slot from any campaign save TCU (it's just not very Lovecraftian, and it means every campaign you'd have investigators flaunting tarot cards around), and I personally ban Bonded cards. I think we'll all be deciding to ban all Bonded and Myriad cards too. 

I can understand not including the Bonded cards (Segment of Onyx/Pendent of the Queen is very powerful and many of them are extremely annoying and fiddly to use, though not being able to use Stargazing/The Stars are Right is a tragedy), since it's a weird and cumbersome mechanic. But banning the Myriad keyword? What possible objection could you have to a keyword that simply allows a third copy of the card in your deck?

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I don’t see how you would ban a card in a friendly coop game at all

If you all agree on the card being out of character/overpowered/poor, than no ban is needed

If it is a point of discussion among your group, than I would say just follow the rules, which are fair for everyone

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On 11/22/2019 at 4:43 PM, Skeptical Gamer said:

Of course you can make house rules about what cards you can or cannot use, but I think you are making a mistake here. 

I find that the bonded and myriad cards have added some interesting options and, in actual play, I haven't found any of them to be overly powerful.  (Though I haven't used the pendant yet... 🤔 )

I personally like the pendant. Having to get all 3 onyx pieces before you can play it, is it’s built in weakness.  For me it has entered play late in the game if at all. But boy howdy, that automatic evade of an enemy at any revealed location saved us in RtPoC! A far away Ursula was able to evade for a severely wounded William, so he could pass through a location with an enemy without having to waste actions to engage and evade it, or he wouldn’t have made it out of the catacombs. (Although there are worse places for a grave digger to succumb.) That being said, there  are so many play styles to this game. It’s part of why it is so appealing. You can be cautious or foolhardy or heroic. I kind of let the investigator I have chosen to determine that. Which is why it’s so fun to read all of your thoughts about cards play style etc! 

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Nothing Left to Lose is just an awesome card. I'm not convinced of its utility for Patrice though, ironically, since the card draw is very situational for her and events in general aren't great since she can't save them up for a turn if she can't spare an action to play them the turn she draws them. That said, I've found that she has huge resource problems so the resource gain is pretty great. And that art! Awesome.

Summoned Hound is a pretty cool card that looks really fun and potent, but doesn't seem worth the weakness at all.

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I really like the idea of the nothing left to lose card. Not sure how to really make use of it yet but potentially gaining 5 resource and more cards with 1 card is really tempting. It is also a wild icon which is another plus point.

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Summoned Hound is exactly what I was looking for thematically in Mystic.  I'd like to see more Summoned and Bound mythos creatures since that is a thing in the Chaosium RPG and correctly it's always a huge gamble.

The thing that gives the Hound some utility is that its a free action.  I think it's more useful for someone who can fight but is poor at investigation since you'll probably need to fight the Hound off once it turns on you.  Taking a free investigate at int 5 at least once each turn is pretty nifty for 1 xp.  That said they did pile on the downsides with this guy considering the weakness and the two slot requirement.  Also I wish it was spell traited.  Though I like that it's summon traited.  I'm hoping that becomes a thing.

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1 hour ago, Allonym said:

Nothing Left to Lose is just an awesome card. I'm not convinced of its utility for Patrice though, ironically, since the card draw is very situational for her and events in general aren't great since she can't save them up for a turn if she can't spare an action to play them the turn she draws them. That said, I've found that she has huge resource problems so the resource gain is pretty great. And that art! Awesome.

Maybe I misunderstood, but I got the impression it wasn’t really for Patrice per se, who wouldn’t really need/want it, (except for the resources and 3XP seems steep just for that) but as a way to let any survivor have an event that gave them the Patrice-like mechanic with the resource bonus. I really like the card a lot. 

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That art on Nothing left to lose is soooooo nice. 

Having a free action on a mystic is great (look at knowledge is power, and Marie.. they are both powerhouses), and this gives a bit more use to cards like Scrying or upgraded Scroll of Secrets. Placing that bound hound at the bottom of your deck is maybe worth the xp of SoS? But still you would need to find both the Hound and the Scroll. I think what we need in mystic is some better card draw support.

 

Edited by Soakman

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Just now, Mimi61 said:

Maybe I misunderstood, but I got the impression it wasn’t really for Patrice per se, who wouldn’t really need/want it, (except for the resources and 3XP seems steep just for that) but as a way to let any survivor have an event that gave them the Patrice-like mechanic with the resource bonus. I really like the card a lot. 

It literally has Patrice in the art, front and centre, clutching her violin, and is in the cycle wherein Patrice is released. I think it seems pretty reasonable to think it was a card intended for Patrice, or at least find it ironic that it doesn't do much for her.

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I think you were right in your first post considering Patrice usually needs resources so she's much more likely to be out of resources.  It can be harder to empty out your hand on a given turn unless she has stacked wild icons for something.  I think gain 5 resources for 3 xp is not bad considering 3 xp cache is 4 resources.

I agree it's better for someone like Ashcan or Wendy who can run their hands down fast and can hold onto this card until they really need it.  Wendy in particular who like to spend resources on events can make good use of either effect.  Ashcan tends to run dirt cheap though Dark Horse Ashcan might like it since it can bounce back your resources when you need to pay for something.

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It will be particularly strong for Wendy because she can use up cards in her hand rapidly and she can run a resource-intensive build, but a resource stockpile build with Well Connected and Pickpocketing (2) and Dario el-Amin gets little from the resource side except as a card to recover resources after initial setup or as tech against Paranoia. It will be really good for anyone running a Desperate/Yaotl build which is great for "Ashcan" and Calvin. Nice for Calvin in general, really, since one of his many issues is major economy limitations. Even great for Yorick since he quickly ends up broke because between being a monster-hunter and his ability, he drinks resources like water. Rita might like it because she also doesn't have many economy options. Even for Dark Horse builds, assuming you have a way of throwing all your resources away quickly (like Scrapper or Fire Axe), it'll be pretty great still as the big resource swing can if nothing else mean that your next test is huge.

I've played Patrice through two campaigns so far and found her to have huge resource problems, my next Patrice decks will be trying out Dark Horse and avoiding some or most of the core Mystic assets, which I think might be a better approach than Shrivelling (0) and Rite of Seeking. If that approach ends up being good then Nothing Left To Lose won't have much benefit for her (she would be the Survivor who least wants it), but if it ends up lacking raw power then NLTL will be solid to solve her resource problems, even if it still has the problem with Patrice and events. Time will tell.

Either way, it's pretty cool.

Edited by Allonym

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