Fortune. Gambit.

Cost: 2.
Test Icons:

One at a time, reveal random tokens from the chaos bag until you choose to stop. Treat each , , , or as a 5; the as a 10; and the as either a 1 or an 11. If the combined value of those tokens (ignoring +/-) is...

- ...18 or less, gain 4 resources.

- ...19, gain 5 resources.

- ...20, gain 6 resources.

- ...21, gain 9 resources.

Vlad Ricean
Edge of the Earth Investigator Expansion #48.
21 or Bust
FAQs (taken from the official FAQ or FFG's responses to the official rules question form)
  • Q: What happens if I play 21 or Bust and the combined value of the revealed tokens is more than 21? A: Nothing (you bust). - Edge of the Earth Investigator Expansion Frequently Asked Questions section

  • Q: What happens if I reveal a frost (), bless (), or curse () token while resolving 21 or Bust? A: These tokens have no value when revealed outside of a skill test, so they do not add to your total. You may choose to either continue to reveal tokens or stop, as instructed. - Edge of the Earth Investigator Expansion Frequently Asked Questions section

Last updated

The expected resources is about 5.0 resources, same as Emergency Cache, in standard token setup. Many "5" give slightly better result, but many above 5 (-6, -8) give poor result. In this reason, this card is not suitable for expert difficulty. If you consider "fun", 21 or bust is good choice unlike Henry Wan, since 21 or bust at least achieves E-Cache.

Additionally, if your deck has Prophetic, 21 or bust may be better than E-cahce. Since 21 or bust has fortune trait, you can play 21 or bust for free with Prophetic. Sadly, Prophetic doesn't have , so that only off-class investigators can do.

Note: additional -5 or symbol token slightly increases the expected resources, and -7 or -8 token significantly decreases the expected resources.

The below is my stratagy. I believe your intuition is better, so please refer this just for fun.

Here is my stratagy to achieve E-Cache. According to the combined value of revealed tokens,

  • 11 or less: reveal 1 additional token
  • 12, 13: reveal 1 additional token only if and/or was revealed. (exceptional case: stop if you revealed but you bust if you treat as 11).
  • 14, 15, 16: reveal 1 additional token
  • 17, 18, 19: reveal 1 additional token only if was revealed and treated as 1.
  • 20: reveal 1 addtional token with above condition and if 2 or more "1" tokens exist in bag.
  • 21 or more: stop

Nevertheless, I believe many of you don't want to stop when the total value is 12 or 13 (including me) for fun. I also give the expectation value when you follow above stratagy but don't stop at 12/13.

NotZ Standard bag] ideal: 4.98, proposed: 4.96, proposed(non-stop): 4.86, 17-stop: 4.76
NotZ Standard bag + ] ideal: 5.01, proposed: 4.99, proposed(non-stop): 4.95, 17-stop: 4.85
NotZ Hard bag] ideal: 5.02, proposed: 5.00, proposed(non-stop): 4.97, 17-stop: 4.88
NotZ Hard bag + ] ideal: 5.07, proposed: 5.03, proposed(non-stop): 5.03, 17-stop: 4.96
Here, "ideal" means ideal stratagy. I reveal one additional token only if the expectation will be increased considering all cases. It's the upper bound if you don't know the future information.

With above stratagy, you can achieve below table in standard NotZ.

ideal 3.6% 58.1% 9.6% 13.6% 15.1% 4.98
proposed 3.7% 60.1% 9.6% 10.2% 16.3% 4.96
nonstop 11.2% 44.0% 13.6% 12.9% 18.3% 4.86
17stop 8.8% 48.9% 14.8% 13.9% 13.7% 4.76
12/13/17stop 2.9% 61.7% 11.6% 11.7% 12.1% 4.83

  • 17stop: we stop whenever the sum is 17 or above
  • 12/13/17stop: In addition to 17stop, we stop if the sume is 12 or 13 (not 14~16).

(modified Oct 8, 2021)

elkeinkrad · 446
This card is probably really bad (if you stop at 17 it's sub-E-cache-efficiency), but it's really fun. — Zinjanthropus · 216
If you're expert gambler, you can earn more resource than E-cache. 0.1 higher than E-cache. However, I believe I cannot earn 5 resources using this card. (note: 17-stop gives approx. 4.75 resources) — elkeinkrad · 446
4.83 in standard notz + 1 additional symbol token (17-stop) — elkeinkrad · 446
Do you not put the token back in the bag after revealing it and drawing the next? — Olider · 1
I think the tokens are returned after the effect ends, like test. — elkeinkrad · 446
What does the phrase "(ignoring +/-)" on the card mean? It sounds like numbered tokens are ignored? But then you can't even get 19 or 18? — Nils · 1
It means that both -1 and 1 are calculated as "1". You just ignore the sign of the number token. — elkeinkrad · 446
That makes sense, thank you! Nice review! — Nils · 1
What happens when you play Wendy and "stack the deck"? — ErynnWoodward · 1
@ForrestWoodward // In that case, you can cancel last revealed token, return it, and reveal another. Canceled token don't be combined but you should reveal another. — elkeinkrad · 446
When busted, the number of tokens in chaos bag is small, so that Wendy's ability may not be efficient. — elkeinkrad · 446

Sometimes in Arkham Horror we tend to get obsessed with Min-Maxing. 21 or Bust is a card whose greatest strength is that it is just fun. It's enough of a gamble that the team feels tense when you are at 17 and want to pull another token, it's not game-ruining when you fail, and it's an incredible experience for the group when you actually manage to hit 21.

Outside of gambling, this card does have some utility through the reveal token text. If you're running Favor of the Moon for curse mitigation, this is a really good card to release a sealed curse on. The curse token itself has no downside, and you gain a resource as part of the effect.

Side Note: If anyone tries to give you crap for running this instead of Emergency Cache, remind them that there are dedicated fighters out there running .35 Winchester.

SorryLaurie · 484
Winch is great for Mary! — MrGoldbee · 1360

This card is interesting thematically because, while Rogues have a lot of betting in their thematics, they tend to NOT gamble! A rogue, before this card, said "Gambling is for chumps" like the ace hustlers they were and what their cards were more about them being certain about the outcome and deciding to make calculated wagers, not gambles. They leave that for Mystics and Survivors!

It isn't going to affect the mechanics one way or the other, but it does make my rundown of Rogues for new players a bit less accurate!

dezzmont · 187
This is why you should try to cheat! Maybe ask your friendly mystic to see the ure — Goboxel · 1
This is why you should try to cheat! Maybe ask your friendly mystic to see the future or use especially lucky dice. Or maybe praying to the moon can help you? — Goboxel · 1
Such nonsense doesn't belong in a class that literally has a card called 'skeptic!' But yes that might be a good mechanical use for the card. There is also the fact that as the campaign goes on the bag will start to bias closer to five, and you can, IRL, 'count cards' here fairly easily. — dezzmont · 187

Can Jim Culver treat as 0 while resolving this card? And can I choose the value of after i draw next tokens? Or I have to choose it right when I draw it? 200 characters, so have a good day if you read this!

Pawiu14 · 177
Jim can't choose to change the modifier of the skull-token, since this is no skill test in which you have a modifier. And since you count the total value when you stop you are free to choose the elder sign value until then — Tharzax · 1
Jim could treat the Elder Sign as a 5 (Skull), though. — dscarpac · 97