Hospital Debts

I wanted to add a more recent review that adds rules citations for three important pieces of information mentioned by earlier reviews/comments. Let's read the fine print on these Hospital Debts!

First: If you draw Hospital Debts naturally as part of the Upkeep phase at the end of the round, you will not be able to sneak two resources onto it before the round ends. The rules for timing make clear that there is no ~Player Window after you draw cards.

Second: In multiplayer, other investigators at the same location can activate and pay for Hospital Debts. In the rules, Activate) Actions can be taken on "all encounter cards in the threat area of any investigator at that location," and according to the rules for Weaknesses,) any weakness with an encounter cardtype (like "Treachery") "are considered to be encounter cards [...] once they have entered play."

Third: In multiplayer, the "Limit twice per round" applies to each investigator individually, meaning that three different investigators could pay down the debts in a single turn. The relevant) rule on limits specifies "Unless stated otherwise, limits are player specific." And this is likely relevant to a number of other cards.

Again, these three points have been mentioned elsewhere, but I wanted to collect them all in one place with relevant citations. I so often find that discovering the rules behind one card makes me better understand other cards, and the game as a whole!

mistakes · 28
Thanks so much for posting this! It's always helpful to have everything in one place. Given these elements, what's your stance on the card? It definitely feels much less debilitating knowing other investigators can chip in a few dollars, and that it won't cost them an action is nice. Also great that everyone can take care of it in a pinch at the end. — LaRoix · 5
I think the most important part of a weakness' design is the kind of tension it creates, and I think Hospital Debts is really good at that. Skids would ALWAYS be happy to spend a few extra resources on his turns, and the fact that you have to plan ahead to get your debts cleared makes for interesting decisions. The fact that other players can help doesn't water that down to me, because it still requires planning your movements and resources across the team. I also really like that this is an XP-based weakness. Skids has access to a number of very poweful 1 XP cards, so you're not totally sunk if you get caught by this...but losing out on 2 XP even once can make saving up for the big ticket Rogue Exceptional cards feel out of reach. — mistakes · 28

As mitigations for failure go, Self-Sacrifice doesn't quite stand up to Survivor staples such as Take Heart. Take Heart grants a failing investiagtor two resources as well as two cards and can be committed to your own skill tests, so it has great synergy with the Survivor card pool in general.

Self-Sacrifice's specialty comes from allowing you to pass around the consequences for skill test failure. Many punishments for failure include taking damage and/or horror, and I know I've lost a handful of scenarios due to one player drawing and subsequently failing every Rotting Remains in the deck, while another sat pretty with a pristine sanity pool! Self-Sacrifice may allow you to avoid that case in a way that Take Heart won't while providing at least a portion of the older card's tempo acceleration. You can even choose to take the extra draw yourself, which might be good for catching up if you just tanked a chunk of horror due to an auto-fail.

Notably, Self-Sacrifice might also let you tank a Retaliate or Alert attack trigged by a failed test, which may well be relevant if you're packing some of the Guardian cards that reward you for taking attacks, particularly those spoiled for the Nathaniel Cho starter deck (Counterpunch, Lesson Learned, etc.). Weirdly though, this demands that you play someone with a Guardian card pool while your teammate attempts to fight or evade a monster, rather than you taking that action, which doesn't come up often in a typical two player Guardian monster hunter plus Seeker clue gatherer pair.

Clearly this isn't a card for every investigator. Roland Banks tends to be the very investigator suffering from one too many Rotting Remains with his paltry 5 sanity, and the same could be said for "Skids" O'Toole and Tony Morgan with their pitiful willpower. Investigators with larger sanity pools and higher willpower are more likely to appreciate Self-Sacrifice's ability to divert punishment for failure to themselves. I think one key investigator who will appreciate this is Carolyn Fern who is happy to tank horror all day, as its easier to heal on herself than on teammates, and she has an adequate health pool too. Diana Stanley can really ratchet up protecting her teammates with this as well, and she might be able to cancel a consequence for failure with Deny Existence when it's applied to her rather than a teammate.

Interestingly, there are a handful of investigators who have both Take Heart and Self-Sacrifice as part of their card pool. At time of writing they are William Yorick, Lola Hayes, Calvin Wright, and Tommy Muldoon. As per my brief analysis earlier, I think Take Heart is generally the stronger of the two cards because granting extra resources is more straightforward to take advantage of than moving consequences for failure, but some of these investigators might consider Self-Sacrifice in addition to Take Heart. Yorick, Calvin, and Tommy can all benefit from tanking extra damage or horror on their cards: Yorick and Tommy can both replay soak assets and Calvin can boost his stats. Lola is of course a toss-up because of her bizarre deckbuilding restrictions, but I think even if you are playing Guardian as one of your roles, you're too fragile to really consider Self-Sacrifice.

In short, any investigator who is reasonably durable and doesn't mind tanking some treachy failures, damage, and horror ought to consider Self-Sacrifice to protect more vulnerable teammates. The tempo reward of drawing cards actionlessly is a nice bonus for a faction without much reliable and repeatable card draw. It's no staple, but it is a solid card.

aeongate · 54
Do you still draw cards if the investigator was successful in their skill test? — Synn · 1
If a card has a "then" statement, then in order to resolve the text after the "then," you need to first succesfully resolve the text before the "then." Since it says "if they fail the test, resolve all the negative effects, THEN someone draws 2 cards," the test needs to fail in order for the cards to be drawn. — zrayak · 60
Joey "The Rat" Vigil

This card is certainly better than suggested by the other review, and far from "the worst card in the game" as suggested in the review for the upgraded version. I challenge you to actually use this in an appropriate deck (such as Tony Morgan or Jenny Barnes) and not see his value. I did and I would choose him again. The point is not only extra actions, but also optimizing when you play each item, so that you can maximize the skill value, clues, and damage from your weapons and tools to match what you are facing. He also makes Colt Vest Pocket and Lupara decent weapons, especially with Tony Morgan. Yes, he is expensive, so don't use him with "Skids" O'Toole or other investigators that tend to be short on resources. But in the right deck, the effect is worth the cost. Also, the theme fits perfectly: he is the guy that can get you whatever you need, right when you need it, with no limits, as long as you can pay the price.

jmmeye3 · 264
If you are just looking at CVP and Lupara, you’re probably better off with Fence. It is 1 xp, but it saves you a resource when you play it and every time you use it, and it doesn’t take the ally slot. It doesn’t work for Tony’s signature guns, but other than those how often are you using it for a non-illicit item? And how often is it relevant that it can be used outside of your turn? Fence also has synergy with a few illicit events as well. I’m not suggesting Joey doesn’t provide value (and thick stats for an ally), but the level 0 seems outclassed by Fence for most actual use cases. — Death by Chocolate · 14
I would definitely agree that he is not the worst 0xp Rogue ally, as Rogues also have Henry Wan. — Zinjanthropus · 16
Joey is nuts for Preston, if you built around him and replace him with Leo later — Django · 2631
Mind's Eye

I feel this card is most useful for Sefina Rousseau. Sefina has a Willpower of 4 and is naturally event-focused. She's likely to see this early as well thanks to 3 copies from Myriad and a 13 card opening hand. Lockpicks was already fairly strong for her, allowing her to investigate at a base of 6. Lockpicks + Mind's Eye allows her to investigate at a base of 8 (or 9 with Holy Rosary), making it much more likely you can hold onto those Lockpicks supplies at high-shroud location.

While it does compete with Double, Double and Suggestion for your Arcane slots, it's significantly cheaper in exp than the former, and gaining 3 copies on purchase makes it a more consistent find than the latter. Consider taking Mind's Eye as an early purchase while saving towards the 8 XP for Double, Double, then afterwards grabbing a Versatile to throw in your favorite off-class event, a Sign Magick or two, and more of those fantastic rogue events (alternately, some Guts or Lockpicks if you want to mitigate some of the consistency penalty that comes with Versatile's extra cards)

clarionx · 7
I am confused about the Versatile part - why not just use Adaptable? She's a rogue after all. — trazoM · 7
Haste is also very strong for Sefina and requires an arcane slot. — Django · 2631
@trazoM Adaptable doesn't allow you to take dynamite blast, scrounge for supplies, or working a hunch, to name a few. — SGPrometheus · 224
Able Bodied

This card is surprisingly good with Agnes. All she really needs for items is a meat cleaver, the rest can be spells. And you’re going to want those +3 fight or that agility if you don’t get your spells out immediately, or if you simply want to evade something and don’t have the opportunity. So it turns out physical fitness is vital to being a waitress, which makes sense. Those plates can be very heavy.

MrGoldbee · 23
Meat Cleaver Agnes is definitely the deck that I left this in for the longest. I eventually upgraded into Crystalline Elder Sign, though, so that made it a bit worse. — Zinjanthropus · 16
I imagine it also works well in Patrice cause she doesn't need much setup and her mystic access allows her to avoid items. — Django · 2631
Eh, I actually slightly disagree. Patrice at minimum wants her Violin out, and if you add in any other item at all- Rosary, Fire Axe (which she is amazing with), Track Shoes, etc- this loses pips. — StyxTBeuford · 1338