Ursula Downs

As a rule, investigators are especially good in the campaigns they arrive in. And since almost all of Ursula’s reviews are from 2+ years ago, it’s worth revisiting her post Return to TFA.

Moving and investigating is great. You often want to move every turn, unless you have “In the Know and active teammates. The forgotten age offers a move that doesn’t seem like a move: the explore action. Multiple scenarios require you to explore over and over, with text like “when you successfully explore, reveal and move to a new location”. And if Jake Williams is around, you also draw a new card. Combine him with fieldwork, and you can move to a location your group no longer needs to be, evade an odious enemy you don’t want to deal with (Starting at a +6), and then come back and investigate again with Pathfinder at a cost of two actions. Just leave a clue or two around.

Over the course of a regular adventure, Ursula is going to be taking more actions, and when you take more actions in your specialty, you complete the scenario faster. You go faster, your see less of the counter deck, which means fewer obstacles.

That’s why Ursula is often pitched as the best solo seeker; she can outrun her problems, adequately deal with the encounter deck, and compress essential moves into essential investigates. (When she gets pathfinder, she can turn one free action into two. The expedition journal can turn a free explore into a move and an investigate.)

Now that Rex doesn’t get to clues for every investigate and Mandy has the least spend paid to make her infinite combos work, Ursula is back at the top. She’s a character who will make a new player feel very effective, especially when you’re busting out TFA.

(Also, if you’re curious about universities in Boston that would’ve existed in the 1910s and offered archaeology degrees, most likely Miss Downs went to Boston University. Go Terriers.)

MrGoldbee · 196
If you want a fun run, try Rita and Ursual in TFA. They are stupid fun! — LivefromBenefitSt · 167
It is difficult for me to rate the Seeker investigators for all types of play but I play Ursula as a cluegetting generalist at 2p and she definitely the best Seeker for that role (Joe HM). I have been making her deck faster and faster by going with Mag Glass (and upgrading) and a lot of skill cards. She starts investigating immediately and can usually investigate 2-3 times each round while still being able to handle enemies if needed. I will also say that her style is a very fun way to play the game. There might be more effective Seekers at collecting clues faster for those that play the binary Fighter/Cluegetter decks or at 3-4p but Ursula is incredibly good at the generalist cluegetter role. — TWWaterfalls · 549
Scroll of Secrets

With the 10/15/2020 taboo giving this card icon to activate instead of , the whole cycle is quite a bit more likely to see play.

Truth be told, this much was obvious. But I want to touch on a particular interaction that the Scroll of Secrets has going for it:

It can bury weaknesses in investigator's decks.

Now I don't necessarily mean "if you happen to hit an investigator's weakness in the bottom three, you get to punt it into their discard pile." No, what I mean is "My sick-nasty Winifred Habbamock deck happened to draw Doomed as her basic weakness, while our Rex Murphy player drew Offer You Cannot Refuse and I hate it."

Enter, Scroll of Secrets. Not ONLY do you have the option to dropkick these weaknesses into the Shadow Realm, you ALSO have the ability to effectively negate them by always choosing to put any player cards from the bottom of the deck to the top. In doing so, you end up 'pushing' any weaknesses not drawn closer to the bottom of the deck and away from the top, regardless of whether or not they're necessarily relevant to the scenario at hand. Because if it means you get another scenario out of your 30XP character who is waiting for The Bell Tolls, it's worth it.

Now I just need to convince our Rex player to pick up the second one so I don't hear that damn bell.

TL;DR interesting corner case in flipping cards from the bottom of your deck to the top to avoid being Doomed.

DanPyre · 14
With 3 secrets you can check the last 9 cards of your deck, which may not be enough to find the card in question. So if you always put the 3 cards you checked on top, you can delay drawing unknown cards for about 9 turns. Or add more secrets to the scroll by truth from fiction, eldritch sophist, astounding revelation (though the scroll does not search, it looks),... — Django · 2799
Yup! I didn't bother with the actual math, but if you wanted to actually get a card each time you'd 'draw' 3 and put 6 on top which isn't bad at all. — DanPyre · 14
I played Scroll of Secrets (0) with Ursula this weekend and twice in one scenario she found Leo's weaknesses (29XP standalone so 4 total weakness in the deck). It isn't a natural fit for Ursula but the card is so good after Taboo that most Seekers will use it. Or at least they should. — TWWaterfalls · 549
...Until you shuffle. — MrGoldbee · 196
I don't think you can ever voluntarily discard a weakness, right? So you can't target it with the "discard 1 of those cards" portion of the effect. Your point about burying them by bringing other cards to the top still stands. — FarCryFromHuman · 1
You can't choose to discard a weakness from hand. Discarding from anywhere else is fair game. — TheNameWasTaken · 3
Deep Knowledge

Getting three cards for an action and zero bucks is extremely powerful. It can protect you from the encounter deck in Dunwich and night of the zealot.

You’ll have to deal with the curse tokens sooner or later, which means spending experience points. Which makes total sense for a card with the keywords of both insight and cursed.

MrGoldbee · 196
I think it's pretty bad cause you need to draw this card as well, it's more like 2 actions and 2 curses to draw 3 cards. The real value is giving the draw to people how are out of cards and/or missing key cards. — Django · 2799
Of course there's also the consideration of "is curses in the bag a bad thing?" Seems like there's a theme in seeker and mystic of drawing power from have curses in the bag. — NarkasisBroon · 1
At low XP most curses result in a failed test because you aim at the difficulties most likely modifier (+2 on standard). However with more XP you tend to have a higher modifier (XP weapons and spells have higher bonus), so curses lose relevance. They're also less relevant for survivors as they fail on purpose and can modify the result after drawing tokens. — Django · 2799
Amanda Sharpe

Django‘s review explains many many ways to play Amanda, but doesn’t answer why.

Amanda is the seeker equivalent of Calvin or Preston, with low stats that are accounted for with a special ability. And while Prestons makes a lot of sense (he’s a lazy guy who makes up for it with money), and Calvin’s is a bit more tenuous (looking at rotting remains gives him additional willpower?), Amanda’s is amazing.

For young people, college is a time of unparalleled opportunity. Especially for a woman going to an integrated college in the 1920s, there’s really no archetype to fall back on, how to act, or who to be.

So Amanda gets to choose. If Roland Banks gives her a machine gun, she can lay down brutal attacks. She can join the archery team with a bow and +8 to her agility but if she decides to spend her semester in the Orne library, she can equal the card draw of professor Harvey.

Unlike other adaptable characters, like Jenny Barnes, Amanda can be super good at what she needs to be when she needs to be it. No need to be broke to trigger dark horse, no need to flush cash into physical training or hard knocks. So what’s the downside?

Again, it’s like a college. You might run out of options and have to be someone else for a while. That someone else might be an ancient frog person. It could also be hard to prioritize playing assets, compared to using your high skills to just pass checks.

But as a seeker, Amanda is extremely well-positioned to cycle her deck and get her best cards back. She also has better self-preservation through most, able to raise her brawling talents or simply run away.

In solo, Amanda can hoover up clues, then deal with bosses. In multiplayer, she can carry fightier investigators without needing rescuing. And that’s a Major advantage.

MrGoldbee · 196
Chainsaw

I think this item will make Yorick good for multiplayer as main dmg dealer again. This was exactly what he was missing!

Act of Desperation should be your main interaction. You will use it to gain resources back, get finishing hit and play it back into your play area for free. How does this work? AoE first discard Chainsaw and after the fight is resolved Chainsaw should be already in discard pile to pick it up with Yorick ability back.

Then you can use Resourceful to get your AoE back. In emergency case it should be of course used to get back Chainsaw directly (even if less effective)

Still not enough charges ? Use Emergency Cache to put up to 4 charges into your Chainsaw.

Still not enough charge? Cheeze it out with Versatile + Contraband 3 base +4 from cache doubled by Contraband for 14 supplies thats 42dmg in your disposal by 3 card combo that cost 8 resources. Who can do that? :)

Not forget that Chainsaw has 3 icons for Well Prepared You will test for 9 without any other buffs.

If you just count how much dmg you can put into your deck with all those interactions its getting pretty crazy with how consistent it could be.

atilak · 7
Well Prepared and Bandolier is a good way to go with this I've seen. Have your secondary weapon be something like Enchanted Blade or even .32 colt and just go wild. — StyxTBeuford · 2317
Secondary weapon? Another chainsaw. — MrGoldbee · 196