- RRG entry for Weakness says: "A player may not optionally choose to discard a weakness card from hand". So if you have Dark Memory in hand, you must keep it and discard all other cards.
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Playing Weakness cards in agreement with the rules is no trivial task. In my review i will try to explain the peculiarity of Amnesia.
When a treachery card, like Amnesia, is drawn by an investigator, that investigator must resolve its effects. Please note the wording. Some cards only let you search or look at cards from your deck, in these cases the effect does not resolve!
The effect is initiated by the keyword Revelation, which means "When a weakness card enters an investigator's hand, that investigator must immediately resolve all revelation abilities on the card as if it were just drawn."
So you follow all the steps in the rulebook under "Appendix I: Initiation Sequence".
No play restriction, cost is zero.
Step 1. No modifier applicable.
Step 2. No cost to pay.
Step 3. The card commences being played, or the effects of the ability attempt to initiate. This means the card Amnesia leaves your hand at this point.
Step 4. The effects of the ability (if not canceled in step 3) complete their initiation, and resolve. The card is regarded as played and placed in its owner's discard pile, and the ability is considered resolved simultaneously with the completion of this step.
The text of the ability states to "Choose and discard all but 1 card from your hand." There is a special rule which prevents you from discarding Weakness-cards, it says literally: "A player may not optionally choose to discard a weakness card from hand, unless a card explicitly specifies otherwise."
So if you have any Weakness card on your hand when Amnesia resolves, you have to keep it and discard all other cards!
Creating the weakness card pool
Because Amnesia is such a hefty Weakness, i would want to include a few words about the correct setup of the weakness collection.
There's a paragraph in the rulebook that states that "To select a random basic weakness, take a set of the ten basic weaknesses in this core set, shuffle those weaknesses together, and draw one at random to add to the investigator’s deck. Some Arkham Horror: The Card Game products add additional basic weakness cards to a player’s collection. Simply add these cards to the ten cards found in the core set when selecting random basic weaknesses in the future. For example: Stephanie owns two copies of the core set, one copy of the first deluxe campaign expansion, and one copy of the first Mythos pack. To create a single set of basic weaknesses, she takes all of the basic weaknesses in one core set, in one copy of the first deluxe campaign box, and in one copy of the first Mythos pack, and shuffles them together. Her basic weakness is drawn at random from this pool."
Amnesia can be two times (2x) at the most in your pool of weaknesses at the start of a campaign!
If you are new to the game, bend the rules and redraw another weakness if you play Wendy Adams.
This is a weakness I let new players redraw if it's a starter (mid campaign is still fair). As a starting weakness, this card is absolutely crippling for most classes. If you are new to the game, itll wreck you for most characters. If you know what youre doing you can manage with a few.
Guardians are hit probably the weakest as they tend to play asset heavy and low draw. Survivors are probably next as they have high recursion. Mystics can also handle this ok.
Many seeker and rogue builds, or any fast draw, however are completely destroyed by this card. It'll not only destroy any momentum you have and make you dump your hand, but will also ruin combos and be back around to punish you once again when you get the draw engine going.
For that and in those classes, this is probably the worst starting weakness you can draw and isn't fun or thematic in the slightest. For that reason, I let most players redraw this one.
Now mid campaign... it's hilarious and often a damning and very Lovecraftian punishment.
As the two "draw, resolve, then immediately discard" weaknesses in the Core, Amnesia and Paranoia are obviously meant to be parallels. Their effects mirror each other, one discarding all but 1 card from your hand, the other discarding all your resources. However, this mirroring obscures the truth, that being that Amnesia is a far greater threat than Paranoia. Why? Because cards are, to quote a trend from 2020/2021, NFTs.
No 3 non-Myriad cards are the same; .45 Automatic is slightly different from .32 Colt, Dr. Milan Christopher provides resources where Whitton Greene provides cards, and Amnesia attacks the cards in your hand while Paranoia attacks the resources in your pool. What this means is that, technically, cards in your hand are non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, items that are not mutually exchangeable with each other. If you want Glory, a substitute won't work: you need Glory itself. Of course, cards can have similar effects and thus occasionally stand in for each other, like a deck running Enchanted Blade and Machete to provide a Melee weapon, but this only pushes my argument back, not defeats it; if the cards themselves are not, strictly speaking, NFTs, then the functions they fulfill are: if you want a Weapon, you need a proper Weapon, not something like Magnifying Glass.
Resources, by contrast, are fully fungible tokens; one resource is no better than any other. You don't need a Weapon resource to pay for Weapons or a Tool resource to pay for Tools; resources are resources are resources.
Therefore, while Paranoia clears your board of fungible tokens, Amnesia (almost) clears your hand of NFTs, something much more devastating. Losing 5 fungible tokens is bad, but possible to quickly recover from; the resources you generate in the following upkeep phases are functionally no different than the ones you just lost. With NFTs, though, if you lose them, you lose not just the tokens but the function they fulfill. You're not just discarding 4 cards, you're discarding a Weapon, a Tool, and 4 total skill icons, and if you want to recover those functions you need to find other cards that fulfill them; you can't just generate any random card during upkeep, you need it to be a card that does a specific (sometimes very specific) thing. And if one of the cards you discarded was a one-of, intended as tech against a certain scenario card, that can be very difficult.
I understand what Amnesia is trying to do, help slow players' card draw down. However, I believe that, as is, Amnesia is far too punishing and variable (the draw-heavy might never end up with this as their weakness while the poor gets it every single time) for it to be considered as fulfilling its purpose.