Brown Jenkin
The Witch's Familiar


Creature. Familiar. Elite.

Fight: 1. Health: 1. Evade: 4.
Damage: 1. Horror: 1.

Aloof. Hunter.

Each ready Creature enemy gets +2 fight.

Forced - When the enemy phase ends, if Brown Jenkin is ready: Each investigator at his location discards his or her hand, then draws that many cards.

Rafał Hrynkiewicz
The Secret Name #148. The Secret Name #36.
Brown Jenkin

I just watched Justin from "Playing Board Games" in his Gauntlet Challenge with limited card pool facing this guy, and a question arouse, which neither he, nor people in chat could answer (correctly). So since I lost my password to comment on youTube, and can't recover it either, and more so, I feel, if a guy, who professionally plays Arkham all days and clearly knows more about the game than me, is uncertain about a thing, chances are, there are others, who didn't watch the video, yet would like an answer, I decided to answer it here.

The question was, if Brown would force to discard The Tower • XVI, if his Forced ability triggers, and the answer, they came up with was: "No, because only randomly discarded weaknesses can leave the hand", but that's not, what the rules say.

The relevant paragraph of the rules is: A player may not optionally choose to discard a weakness card from hand, unless a card explicitly specifies otherwise. So while cases, where a card is discarded randomly, like with Liquid Courage or some treacheries, are probably the most common and hence often used as example, they are not the only time, this can happen. The Forced ability on Brown Jenkin does not leave an optional choice, it simply gets rid of your whole hand, no matter what. (Unless you are Patrice, having the Watcher from Another Dimension in hand, because that is a hidden card, which cannot leave your hand by any means except those described on the card, so it trumps the general rules for weaknesses.)

I also think, this is intentionally. Both the weakness and the enemy came in the same cycle, the former can even be "earned" as a story asset, and they didn't went the way to fix it, neither in the errata, nor optionally in the "Return to". And it would have been an easy fix, if they wanted that. Just replace the text with: "Each investigator at his location discards each non-weakness card from their hand..."

There are other weird edge cases, I want to highlight, even though, they are unrelated to Brown Jenkin. It's fairly obvious, that if you draw Amnesia, while holding a weakness in hand, you have to "choose" all other cards. But what happens, lets say, if Winifred draws Amnesia while holding The Tower • XVI and Arrogance in her hand? My take would be, that in this case, she would have to keep both weaknesses, because she cannot choose, which one to get rid off, so she has to keep both, doing only as much as possible from Amnesia's revelation effect. But people might make a case, that that's where the otherwise redundant "optionally" from optionally choose to discard kicks in, saying that, there is no option to keep two cards with Amnesia. I'm not sure on that, but would go with my interpretation unless proven wrong. Even if you also hold a hidden card plus a weakness, Amnesia does not allow to choose even the weakness, you are obliged to do as much of Amnesia as possible, keeping both cards.

Susumu · 315
The FAQ has an entry on terror from beyond that seems to be relevant. It says roughly that it can discard weaknesses even if the player with the weakness is the one choosing what type of card to discard because you're not making a choice about what specific cards to keep/discard . You choose a type of card and then discard everything that matches with no choice involved at that point. So if that's what "optionally" means in that context , Brown Jenkin and similar effects should definitely discard weaknesses. You're not making any kind of choice about what to keep/discard - you're obligated to discard your hand and so that's what you do( with the exception for hidden weaknesses) . By the same token , I think your interpretation for Amnesia + multiple weaknesses is correct. It says "choose and discard" all but one card, so you choose and discard everything not a weakness , you're left with two weaknesses neither of which you can "choose and discard" so you've done as much of the revelation effect as you can and on you go.. — bee123 · 25
You are right! Even in my "Dark Memory" plus hidden card example, you should not be able to discard the weakness, because it is a "choice", so you can do from Amnesia only as much as possible, keeping both cards. I will reword this paragraph. Thank you. — Susumu · 315
Hidden cards have their own rules that they cannot be discarded besides their own text. — Django · 4753
I know. Did I wrote anything in an ambiguous way, that you thought, I don't? To claryfy, I initially thought, that with a hidden card and a (non hidden) weakness in hand, you would be forced to keep the hidden card, but discard the weakness by Amnesia's forced effect. But the wording of Amnesia says, you have to choose each card, and hence, I would say, you still can't choose the weakness, and hence still have to keep both cards, the hidden and the weakness. The former, because of the special rule for hidden cards, but the later, because you still can not choose it, reducing your obligation to execute the forced effect on Amnesia to do as much as possible. — Susumu · 315