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Allonym

Themed investigator parties

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With the release of Harvey Walters, I noticed that there's now four investigators with the Miskatonic trait - five, if you include the upcoming Amanda Sharpe. And they would actually make a pretty decent investigator squad - Daisy or Harvey as primary clue-gatherer, Rita as primary enemy management, Norman as secondary clue gathering and mystic generalist, and Amanda as a generalist. Even if you limited yourself solely to Miskatonic-traited ally cards as well, you could do well - Rita with Peter Sylvestre is a natural fit, Daisy could take Abigail Foreman, Whitton Greene and Library Docent/Research Librarian and use them all with Miskatonic Archaology Funding, Norman does well with Milan to bankroll his Mystic cards, and Amanda could lean into the cards-in-hand archetype with Laboratory Assistant in order to help compensate for her low base stats when she isn't boosted into the stratosphere with her ability.

So does anyone have any other ideas for themed groups of investigators? I'm kind of most interested in 4-player groups since that's the most in-depth in terms of flavour and synergy, but Three Musketeers or Power Couples are also more than welcome.

Another obvious example to get things started is a musical troupe - Jim Culver and Marie Lambeau are both mystics but kind of on opposite ends, with Marie using her high intellect and Seeker access to be a clue-gatherer whereas Jim's decent Combat score allows him to do more fighting with Enchanted Blade; Patrice Hathaway and "Ashcan" Pete are both generalists but can easily be built to specialise in any direction, with Patrice often having a limited number of high-impact moves and event focus whereas "Ashcan" Pete can easily aim to be more of a consistent generalist with Dark Horse and his off-class slots - or can do something janky like Big Money.

The three Religious investigators - Father Mateo, Sister Mary, Zoey Samaras - could make a decent mix, though very Mystic-heavy and it might be a bit weird for presumably-Protestant Zoey to join with the two Papists.

I could list a number of other possible themes but I don't want this to just be my monologue: I want to hear what everyone's suggestions for thematic groups would be! As simple as a group of names with a unifying theme, or as complex as their roles, broad deck directions and backstory, I don't mind!

Edited by Allonym

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I like this topic, but I struggle to find themed groups that I love who would also work well together.

I think it would be excellent fun to run a 'cursed' "power couple" with Calvin and Patrice. They are really unusual playstyles, so it is very hard to say how effective they would be together. They do both run survivor heavy, which may make it impractical from a collection pov. They can each do pretty much anything if they play to their strengths, so in theory, should not have a lot of trouble. Early games will be quite tough for Calvin though, as usual.

I also like the idea of a "VA" group featuring Leo, Mark, and Dexter. Mark is the dumb rambo of the group, and Leo could run more support with his higher intelligence and penchant for teamwork. There's plenty of great teamwork cards in guardian now with stand together, heroic rescues, leadership lvl 2, etc. And Dexter adds some flex, stronger clue gathering, and can enable mystic tricks like delving too deep and portals or what have you.

That's all I got for now. I seldom never run a group with 2 of the same faction, so these would be fun to experiment with. However, you're gonna see crossover in cards potentially, but as an added challenge to see how differently you can build decks, it might be fun to try building them with 0 crossover cards in their decks.

Edited by Soakman

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We did once run "Millionaire's club field trip", i.e. Jenny and Preston, but that's not much of a party.

Going by traits:

There's four criminals (Skids, Nathaniel, Finn and Tony), but they are an evasive rogue, a combat rogue, a rogue-guardian and a pure guardian, so a bit heavy on the enemy management and I don't think you want to run your clue gathering purely with Finn's lockpicks and some Evidence.

Several drifters:

Wendy, Ashcan, Calvin, Jenny, Luke and Silas. Those could be a party. Wendy, Ashcan, Calvin and Silas could pretty much be a group of travelling murder hoboes.

 

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I feel like we've got several groups of three investigators, like the Believers, who fit in theme but lack a fourth (I'd assumed Zoey was also Catholic based on the artwork of her cross, which features what look to me like prayer beads but I guess could just be a necklace).

I can see a criminal conglomerate of Skids, Finn and Tony getting up to hijinks but the other criminals (Nathaniel and Winifred) don't really fit.

Likewise a group of licenced investigators wold include Roland, Tommy and Joe. There isn't really a suitable fourth at the moment but perhaps Trish will fill that gap?

A group of those committed to artistic pursuits could be any of Jim, Lola, Marie, Patrice or Sefina. Or if you want people who take centre stage Sefina could be swapped out for Dexter to create a group of performers.

I also feel like there could be a group based around Carolyn and her patients. The question is who qualifies? Ashcan is wracked by nightmares, so is a possibility. Agnes is trying to delve into memories of a past life (and her ability combos  nicely with Carolyn). Mark is maybe not the most stable of individuals after Sophie's death. They could all work.

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12 hours ago, Soakman said:

I think it would be excellent fun to run a 'cursed' "power couple" with Calvin and Patrice. They are really unusual playstyles, so it is very hard to say how effective they would be together. They do both run survivor heavy, which may make it impractical from a collection pov. They can each do pretty much anything if they play to their strengths, so in theory, should not have a lot of trouble. Early games will be quite tough for Calvin though, as usual.

I have been interested in playing all one faction groups for a while now - obviously it's tough if you're building all from a single collection but there's more variety in both investigators and cards now. I'm amused at the thought of Tony, Finn and Preston all handing off their Willpower treacheries to a poor, beleaguered Sefina using "You Handle This One!" - an all-mystic group could end up pretty boring if everyone is just packing Shrivelling + Rite of Seeking (or equivalents), but I think you could do something more interesting. Above all I just love the idea of a 4-guardian group utterly stomping the mythos, tearing through hordes of monsters.

2 hours ago, Eldan985 said:

Going by traits:

There's four criminals (Skids, Nathaniel, Finn and Tony), but they are an evasive rogue, a combat rogue, a rogue-guardian and a pure guardian, so a bit heavy on the enemy management and I don't think you want to run your clue gathering purely with Finn's lockpicks and some Evidence.

Several drifters:

Wendy, Ashcan, Calvin, Jenny, Luke and Silas. Those could be a party. Wendy, Ashcan, Calvin and Silas could pretty much be a group of travelling murder hoboes.

 

You'd be surprised at how much clue-gathering you can do with Finn - Lockpicks, Dr Milan, Fingerprint Kit and/or Winging It all go a long way. Skids can make good use of Lockpicks, and Intel Report and Scene of the Crime cover a lot of ground as well.

I love the idea of the 4-drifter, 4-survivor group. A ragtag group of scruffy outcasts armed with random improvised weapons roll into town and proceed to save the world.

5 minutes ago, Assussanni said:

Likewise a group of licenced investigators wold include Roland, Tommy and Joe. There isn't really a suitable fourth at the moment but perhaps Trish will fill that gap?

I also feel like there could be a group based around Carolyn and her patients. The question is who qualifies? Ashcan is wracked by nightmares, so is a possibility. Agnes is trying to delve into memories of a past life (and her ability combos  nicely with Carolyn). Mark is maybe not the most stable of individuals after Sophie's death. They could all work.

The obvious choice for the fourth licensed investigator is Tony Morgan, to my mind. That would be a really cool 4-person squad.

Carolyn and Mark is a very appealing pairing - both can be potent generalists and Carolyn's toughness covers for Mark's fragility, plus the idea of Carolyn treating Mark's shell shock only to start believing there's truth in his wild tales is very appealing.

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48 minutes ago, Allonym said:

The obvious choice for the fourth licensed investigator is Tony Morgan, to my mind. That would be a really cool 4-person squad.

Tony was immediately where my mind went to, but given he's Criminal traited I'm thinking Bounty Hunting may not be the most legal of professions in Arkham...

Once we get a few more Arkham Files investigators in the game we might get to see a group linked by their love of vehicles: Silas (boats), Tommy (motorcycles), Winifred (aeroplanes), Michael (Ol' Boiler) and Daniela (mechanic). Sadly in the card game this is unlikely to be represented in the game mechanics in any way at all!

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19 minutes ago, Assussanni said:

Tony was immediately where my mind went to, but given he's Criminal traited I'm thinking Bounty Hunting may not be the most legal of professions in Arkham...

Once we get a few more Arkham Files investigators in the game we might get to see a group linked by their love of vehicles: Silas (boats), Tommy (motorcycles), Winifred (aeroplanes), Michael (Ol' Boiler) and Daniela (mechanic). Sadly in the card game this is unlikely to be represented in the game mechanics in any way at all!

I got the impression from his backstory that the Criminal trait was more that he is willing to use less legitimate methods to catch his prey - he still hunts down "scumbags" and gangsters. He makes an interesting foil for Joe - Joe gets his info from hard work, asking the right questions and piecing it all together, whereas Tony disappears in a speakeasy for a few hours and comes out with a lead, as long as you don't ask too many questions!

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1 hour ago, Eldan985 said:

Trish is Detective and Agency, yeah. So she'd fit in a party with Roland.

That sounds like an awesome pair to me; they both have enemy management and clue finding abilities. Roland is by the book, and Trish is like, "this evidence fell off a truck, I swear."

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9 minutes ago, Soakman said:

I'm curious why Wini is a 'criminal'. Is it to be assumed that she just stole that biplane? 

In her backstory, she has no respect for authority and is forever getting in trouble - she indeed took a biplane for a joyride, though the owner was wowed by her abilities. So I think it's mainly that she generally is happy to do work outside the law (much like Tony Morgan and Nathaniel Cho), rather than that she's a dedicated felon like Skids or Finn.

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The 4 wardens: Father Mateo, Nathaniel Cho, Tommy Muldoon, and William Yorick.
They are short on direct investigative power, but have a lot of auto and alternative clue gather - "Look What I Found!", Gravedigger's Shovel, Alice Luxley, Grete Wagner, Evidence, Interrogate, Lesson Learned, and Scene of the Crime.

There are also a lot of possibilities via shared traits. For example, there are only 3 veterans - Dexter Drake, Leo Anderson, and Mark Harrigan. But Dexter is a sorcerer, and can drag any of the other 3 sorcerers into the adventure, while Leo could one of the other 2 wayfarers along.

Similarly the 3 believers of Father Mateo, Sister Mary, and Zoey Samaras could pick up a warden or a hunter to round out there team.

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There are also the three Wayfarers. Ursula, Luke and Leo. Not a badly balanced bunch ad all different classes. If they ever release Monterey Jack, he may fit into that group as well. 
 

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Then there are the investigators with Allies as  signature cards. Ursula, Leo, Nathaniel, Dexter, Ash Can.
Really mix it up by taking their allies, shuffling them and redistributing them. 😉

Edited by Mimi61

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On 9/8/2020 at 2:14 AM, Allonym said:

The three Religious investigators - Father Mateo, Sister Mary, Zoey Samaras - could make a decent mix, though very Mystic-heavy and it might be a bit weird for presumably-Protestant Zoey to join with the two Papists.

 

Samaras is a Greek name, so there's the tiniest outside chance that she's Orthodox. Not likely, though.

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10 hours ago, Mimi61 said:

There are also the three Wayfarers. Ursula, Luke and Leo. Not a badly balanced bunch ad all different classes. If they ever release Monterey Jack, he may fit into that group as well. 
 

Monterey Jack is still my bet for a Seeker/Rogue. I would have put him at Rogue/Seeker, but Trish took that one.

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16 hours ago, Mimi61 said:

Then there are the investigators with Allies as  signature cards. Ursula, Leo, Nathaniel, Dexter, Ash Can.
Really mix it up by taking their allies, shuffling them and redistributing them. 😉

Whoever gets Duke is gonna kick ***!

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3 hours ago, Eldan985 said:

Ooh, how about a D&D party.

We need... one wizard, one cleric, one rogue and one fighter. Interestingly, we have several of each of those, except cleric. Well, we'll have two clerics soon.

That sounds very fun! You could require serious role playing and rolling a d20 before every attack (even though it doesn’t count)! There are even a couple of Bards. Marie obviously, but Ash Can could make a strong case as well. 

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I'm not interested in a keyword matching party so much, but we try to make parties as thematic as possible.  For example for The Forgotten Age, we're trying to put together a party that would make sense visiting a lost temple in a jungle.  Ursula was a no-brainer.  We included Mateo mainly because his weakness fits.  I brought along Winifred as the pilot who was hired to fly the investigators there.  The only problem was nobody wanted to play Leo, so we had to think of a 4th investigator (preferably a Guardian) to fit.  We finally decided on Mark as hired muscle.

Similary in Circle Undone we used Diana and Preston for their Silver Twilight ties.

Also we try to take thematic weaknesses.  For example whoever plays as Diana takes Silver Twilight Acolyte as a basic weakness.  We're really thrilled that the basic weaknesses included in the new investigator decks actually fit those investigators thematically!

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Our Return to the Forgotten Age party is Mateo and Winifred.

I think we'll do a "pure" Silver Twilight run with Preston and Diana on our next Circle Undone, working to follow the Lodge plot route in preference to Witches throughout.

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20 hours ago, Mimi61 said:

That sounds very fun! You could require serious role playing and rolling a d20 before every attack (even though it doesn’t count)! There are even a couple of Bards. Marie obviously, but Ash Can could make a strong case as well. 

Ashcan's a ranger.

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