Dr. Henry Armitage

Now that the janky applications of this card have been officially ruled out (no, he won't let you solo a scenario without ever drawing an encounter card... and no, he won't make your deck weakness free...), it's time to take stock of what remains. So what does this fusty, jittery, bespectacled old bookworm have to offer?

In short, money. Cheddar. Thick wads of cash. Sacks of doubloons splitting at the seams. Once per turn, whenever you draw a card, you can instantly discard it for three resources. How good is that? Think of it this way: Armitage turns every card in your deck into an actionless Emergency Cache. Absorb the magnificence of that: you now have 30 lovely cards in your deck, doing all kinds of lovely things, which can ALSO be played as FAST Emergency Caches... Armitage is the King Midas of allies: whatever he touches turns to gold. Simply put, there is not a card in the game that can match the income-generation of this creaky old Croesus.

Of course, one hardly needs to spell out the uses of an enormous resource flow: every player has their own fantasies. Expensive assets, fodder for your Streetwise, the world's buffest Money Talks, whatever you like!

Oh, and just in case all that wasn't good enough: in a pinch, here's your third copy of Unexpected Courage.

Solemn Vow

Weird, but useful.

TL:DR, if tanking is your thing, this is now in your deck. Period.

Edit: By tanking in this review I mean the classical term used for roleplaying and videogames, a character who interposes himself between friends and danger and does everything he can to take on as much pressure and pain as he can handle, so that everybody else might do their jobs in peace.

Certain characters are really good at just, taking pain. That's what they do. They'll even do it intentionally for one reason or another. Obviously the characters I speak off are the + combinations Tommy Muldoon and William Yorick. Leo Anderson can do it too but he's not quite so good at it, those other guys don't care if their soaks die, Leo Anderson cares a lot!

Via beefy allies like Guard Dog, Madame Labranche and cheap soaks like Leather Coat and Cherished Keepsake these guys can take twice as much pain as anybody else and keep coming back for more. They can even leverage it into game advantages by taking on the pain for others, with cards like "Let me handle this!" or Heroic Rescue.

Solemn Vow is the new capstone card to this strategy. The key issue with the other cards is that they only apply when the cards are drawn and enemies attack, raw damage and horror however, those are easy as pie to find, and Solemn Vow makes it possible to just funnel all of that bad stuff onto the tanks and their soaks. You might even have a deck totally dedicated to the funneling and management of damage via soaks and healing, using First Aid and/or Painkillers to move the hurt around and make it go away on a choice soak or heal-able target.

It's fast, it's free, you can adjust the number of copies in case this strategy is important, it has 2 icons so the unused copies double as a defense mechanism for the tank himself.

So yes, Tanking, now a far more viable strategy than ever. Even if the "selfless tank" events we've got already didn't exist Solemn Vow single handedly grants viability to this whole strategy.

Tsuruki23 · 816
Armor of Ardennes? Peter Sylvester? — Django · 2027
The thing is that tanking is, in of itself, not a winning strategy. You survive, but what do you do? This card lets you do the survival FOR your friends, I.E why this card is required — Tsuruki23 · 816
This card is Carolyn Fern's new favourite. Basically it's a new way of "healing horror" for her, as she can use Peter Sylvestre to soak horror for all the team, while gaining resources in the process. It basically functions as a new horror-healing card for her. The only difference it has from other horror-healing cards is that she is the one that gains the resource instead of the one being healed and it has no limited uses. What's even better is that it costs no actions and it comes at 0 XP. — matt88 · 850
There's a lot of people that can take maximum advantage of stuff being piled onto them. Tommy is the obvious one since he was in this pack, but Carolyn if she's running Peter Sylvestre is another. It's also a Spirit, so Calvin can take it and boost his stats even faster. I'm a big fan of this card. — StyxTBeuford · 438
Love the idea of this card. Hate that the way it is written gives away all control over its use. — Kael_Hate · 1
Thoughts on this card for Mark Harrigan? Given his ability of drawing a card each phase he takes damage, seems like you can get an absurd amount of cards by soaking everyone's damage... — NorthernPolarity · 1

Because of the many possibilities this card opens up -- and the fact that you have to play a bonded asset to access it -- it often confuses people. They try to calculate whether drawing two cards for an action is worth it, or how often they are going to want to trade a card for a resource. The damage-dealing capacity of the card, which involves both discarding cards and paying resources, only makes things murkier.

Nevertheless, this is an outstanding card. One usage along justifies it -- all the rest simply gives you more flexibility. For simplicity's sake, try reading it this way:

"Spend an action. Discard the top two cards of your deck and deal one damage to an enemy at your location."

That's basically what would happen if you used Blood-rite to draw two cards and discard them both -- using one discard to gain a resource, and the other to spend that resource and deal a damage. The only thing that could derail that plan would be drawing a weakness, and even then, you could probably still pull it off with an additional discard from your hand.

How many level zero cards let you deal guaranteed, almost costless damage like that? Sneak attack costs 2 and requires that the enemy be exhausted. Beat cop makes you discard a four-cost asset. Guard dog costs 3 and requires you to get hit. Dynamite Blast is amazing, but requires you to take out a second mortgage on your house. Zoey's Cross is great, if you're Zoey. And none of those are Seeker cards.

And of course, this is only ONE possible use of Blood-Rite. Want to do two damage? Pay a couple resources, and still keep your hand level. You really like the cards you drew? Discard two other cards instead. Absolutely love everything in your hand? Don't discard anything, and simply revel in your good draw luck. Strapped for resources? Good thing you have this poor man's Emergency Cache.

There is no doubt that this card is a rocking level zero event. The only question is whether you have a hand free to tote around Occult Lexicon as you wait for your two additional copies of it to appear.

An absolute must have in Mandy by the way. She can find all the copies easily and cycle through her deck quickly to get more. — StyxTBeuford · 438
Ever Vigilant

Pretty mediocre card in the average deck, but certain decks will launch the power of this behemoth into the stratosphere.

The average spends a few actions playing assets, and a good number on taking resources, Ever Vigilant saves you 2 actions and 3 resources when you hit 3 cards, economy cards are varying degrees of good, but this cards is very literally just a conditional Ace in the Hole, a 6 xp finisher for 1 xp!

The trick is finding the assets to play, it's not unusual to have 30-50% of your deck made up of assets, but drawing some of those, 3 of those, as well as a copy of Ever Vigilant, that can be a tricky challenge indeed.

Insert for the combo goodness:

That's it, these are the main combos, and they are VERY, VERY good.

You get bonus points if you:

Tsuruki23 · 816
Open Gate

Not terrible, not great. Good for very specific characters, anybody else just doesn't have the deckspace.

Open Gate is fun, whatever else it may be. Opening a gate to create shortcuts is fun, when you pull it off usefully it's a YAY moment!

  • That time where you create a short shortcut to cut through an annoying spot repeatedly (1st Scenario of Carcosa comes to mind).
  • That time when you set up an initial gate and create another gate wherever you happen to wind up at during the scenario to escape back to the startpoint through (2nd Forgotten age for example).
  • Some maps have you running back and forth in general and setting up a major network node speeds your back and forth moves greatly (2nd Core).

The thing about this card though....

You tend to play this card in places where you HAVE been, and it wont help you get places you're actually going to. The only times this is helpful is when you backtrack for some reason or if a map isn't ushering you in just the one general direction (which most maps have a tendency to do), in many maps you're only netting one action saved, sometimes two, depressingly often zero.

In multiplayer it's WAY more helpful, one character can pepper locations like Hanzel & Gretel and the other dudes skip-step in their wake. Going faster than them other characters is needed for this to be possible, it's not unusual for a character to surge forward to get clues or an enemy, you can plan rounds where a vanguard is dropping gates and the others follow suit to catch up. You can easily save your team half a dozen+ actions in this way, even if you never actually used the gates yourself.

Synergies for Open Gates include:

  • and movement cards. Shortcut, Elusive, Pathfinder, Think on Your Feet all help you move faster, covering more ground (and staying ahead of your friends) helps set up good gate spots. There's also Astral Travel and Mists of R'lyeh, the latter in particular will find you spots to place gates in a jiffy. Also Arcane Initiate really helps you set up a network that much faster.
  • Luke Robinson is all but printed for Open Gate, or vice versa, you'll often be in the circumstance where he can pick 2 viable locations to go, place a gate on one, investigate the other, then place another gate to move to the previously gated location, saving 2-3 actions in the process. He might also put a gate at a friends's spot, move a few locations, then gate somewhere around his new spot, allowing the buddy to move 3-4 locations in one action. For Luke Open Gate is a much more reliable staple than for other folks.
  • Norman Withers doesn't have as much flexibility, but he tends to dig DEEP into his deck every map, when he does find Open Gate he can often play it for free, which is great incentive to just drop it in order to save himself or his friends just the one action or so (while also digging even deeper in the deck!).
  • Daisy Walker can run very fast, and she can get the pieces quickly with her Old Book of Lore engine, efficiency wise they are a bit worse for her than Luke and Norman but as for deckbuilding and finding the bits it's smooth sailing for her.

I frankly wouldn't even try Open Gate for other characters than the above, Akachi Onyele and Agnes Baker aren't fast enough and it would wreak havoc on their tight decks and cost curves. Jim Culver doesn't have the deck-space and there's no synergy, he doesn't struggle so much for actions as for consistency, same with Father Mateo. Sefina Rousseau likes to mess with her events and there's already a thousand good options. Diana Stanley has other stuff to do with her time, movement support is something that should be directed AT her, not From her. Patrice Hathaway can certainly find them fast, but they'll drip from her fingers long before you can put them in the right place and actually set up a good network.

Tsuruki23 · 816
"Not terrible, not great" seems to be a good description of all the myriad cards. The ability to include three of them in a deck an the way they synergize with each other is offset by the fact that they can often be difficult to make full use out of and come at a substantial opportunity cost. I'm sure they were designed that way. — Sassenach · 50
While Open Gate May sometimes be a dud for The Painted World, it is not always a dud. It does not allow you to play a fourth copy of Find Gate, no, but most games you won’t even see the third copy of the card - and Painting a Gate means that you have two gates available now, which, in the scenarios where it is important is, well, important. And even if you do hit the triple gate limit, any extra OGs pitch for Sefina’s two most used stats. (In case I’ve misunderstood your viewing it as a dud: remember that nothing makes it stop acting as a copy of Open Gate until it eventually leaves play, so you can attach it to a location and use it.) — Death by Chocolate · 12
This is wrong, for the same reason Painted world cannot hit Delve too deep, it cannot usefully copy Open gate. Painted world self removes from the game after play, I.E you play the gate, then it just POOF, gone. — Tsuruki23 · 816
Nevermind, checked the rules, it holds up. — Tsuruki23 · 816
I'm currently in 4 player through TCU and this card together with Shortcut 2 is awesome! It helps our fighters so much, to get those cultists down. It also helps that arcane initiate can find these. — Django · 2027
For Marie, Feed the Mind is good to get all 3 portals earlier. — Django · 2027
I can say that I just used it for great effect in Heart of the Elders, which requires a lot of shuttling back and forth clues between increasingly more distant locations. — Eldan · 1
Can we get a doublecheck if this actually works with Shortcut(2)? Open Gate does not actually connect the locations. — Discordia · 1