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Sebastian Rodriguez
Забытая эпоха #9.
Зов неизведанного


(from the official FAQ or responses to the official rules question form)
  • Q: What happens to Call of the Unknown if there is no 'location other than your location' in play at the beginning of your turn? A: Nothing would happen. You would not shuffle it into your deck and take 2 horror; it would simply remain in your threat area. In other words, the condition of "f you did not successfully investigate the chosen location this turn" is not met because there was no chosen location.

  • Q: There's an old ruling that says if you use Mind Wipe on Swamp Leech and attempt to evade it, the evade value of '-' is treated as 0. If another card, like Sharpshooter or Delilah O'Rourke, references the evade value of something with a '-', like Swamp Leech or Vulnerable Heart, is it treated as 0 for those purposes as well? Or is the ability just unable to fire? What about investigating the Hidden Tunnel in City of the Elder Things (for something like Searching for Izzie, Call of the Unknown, or Buried Secrets)? A: After re-examining these cards and the direction our game has taken, we are going to override the previous ruling. Even if Swamp Leech were blanked with Mind Wipe, its Evade value would still be a “-“, which can be thought of as “null” or a “non-number.” You could not use this non-number as the basis for a skill test with Sharpshooter. It’s, as you said, unable to fire. This also means that you could not investigate at Hidden Tunnel.

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Unless it's the back end of a scenario, you're going to end up tanking the 2 horror at some point. It's usually too much tempo loss to constantly move and investigate, even for Ursula. And once you take that 2 horror, you can look forward to drawing this again. Really that's what you're trying to prevent by satisfying that Forced trigger every turn- card draw denial. It is incredibly annoying to top deck this several times in once scenario. That said, take Mr. "Rook" to soften the blow. Yes, the card will recur even after Rook takes the two horror, but at least you pulled two other cards while drawing this one. It's a very thematic and engaging weakness to play around. Just take care you don't get hit too many times.

StyxTBeuford · 12943
The Pathfinder asset for 1 xp is a great way to mitigate this weakness. Gives you a free move per turn. — Ezhaeu · 48
Pathfinder and Shortcut are such great Ursula cards to begin with, no doubt. But even with them you're using your free moves most of the time when dealing with this in a way that doesn't most effectively further the Act, and therefore you lose tempo. Unless it's near the end of a scenario, you're gonna eat the horror at some point, because the alternative is too terrible. — StyxTBeuford · 12943

A delightfully flavorful signature Weakness. Looking at the two elements, the effect and the discard condition, we get:

The effect: This only punishes Ursula if she doesn't do what she loves to do. Good counter-cards to this are Pathfinder, Fieldwork, and, in a pinch, Shortcut. Either of the Esoteric Atlases or The Truth Beckons can also help, along with the usual suite of tools for boosting investigate tests. Seeking Answers can let you target a low-Shroud (or empty) location and still grab clues. As the difficulty level goes up, failure becomes more likely, so Ursula may pack some horror-soak allies, maybe an Art Student or, if you are using an Atlas, the Eldritch Sophist, or invest in some Logical Reasoning.

The discard condition: You don't. You either keep moving and succeeding at investigations (note testless clue-getting won't help; you have to investigate (although you can do it at a location with no clues)), or you take 2 horror and shuffle it back into your deck to strike again. Ursula doesn't really favor a high-draw strategy.

Taken together, this is a below average signature weakness, maybe average in a scenario with a cramped map and a lot of enemies or at high difficulties.

I definitely think this one is above average because of the reshuffle element — StyxTBeuford · 12943
I find that this really doesn't disrupt anything in the game for me. I still add Pathfinder (with Taboo) early and have Fieldwork so I can almost always trigger an investigate even if the location doesn't have clues. Or I take two horror and shuffle it in near the end of the scenario. — The Lynx · 971
I’ll say at least it’s harsher on lower counts where you may not be able to target a worthwhile location as often. Sure you dont always need to investigate for a clue, but wasting actions makes this thing even worse, so you want to be targeting clues as much as possible, and in solo clues may already be cleared from any valid location. — StyxTBeuford · 12943
Dead draw in seeker is ROUGH tho. — MrGoldbee · 1416
Exactly. If the conclusion behind this weakness is that Ursula just shouldn’t do a draw heavy deck, then she’s already several steps behind her fellow Seekers. They live off their draw, and losing draws because of a reshuffle weakness (which will appear more and more as the deck gets thinner) is brutal. — StyxTBeuford · 12943
If every location is cleared of clues then Ursula still has her free action when moving so there isn't a wasted action. The big issue is if she gets tied up with an enemy (or enemies) and can't move. She could get hit with an attack in the enemy phase and the horror from her weakness. That is a big swing in health and sanity in one round. — The Lynx · 971
No I understand that, you can still use it, it’s just not optimal. You ideally want to use the extra investigate somewhere that has clues. — StyxTBeuford · 12943
I always draw like mad when I'm a seeker. You can imagine my pain with this card in her deck. Versatile is a must. — LaRoix · 1634

Very insightful reviews! One thing that might be added post-EotE is how Gené Beauregard can potentially neutralize this weakness (at least sometimes). This is a great Ally --- in Ursula Downs as in other seekers (and in rogues, of course) --- so purchasing/playing her ALSO for the purpose of coping with Call of the Unknown in no way feels like wasting XP/resources.

With our "Intrepid Explorer", you may move a clue around among connecting locations. How is this helpful in this specific case? As Ursula, it may so happen that you absolutely cannot afford to tank the 2 horror which your weakness threatens to inflict. If so, then you're forced to designate a location as the locus of Call of the Unknown that may be conveniently (and with success) investigated this round, even if this location doesn't have any clues (it's like scrambling for a successful investigate action, its only use being the negative one of not taking horror). Such a "dead" investigation nets you no clues whatsoever, thereby costing you tempo.

Enter Gené: even if the location you choose as the destination of the Call of the Unknown doesn't currently hold a clue, you may be able to move one there from a neighbouring location (which itself may be blocked by an enemy, a scenario effect, or have too high shroud, etc). If you manage to pick up this relocated clue, you've effectively mitigated the extent to which your signature weakness forces your hand (which ideally is holding a Magnifying Glass or some such helpful tool). Ideally --- though this might not happen often --- you thereby actually turn a disadvantage into tempo.

Is this tactic absolutely waterproof? Certainly not, as its success hinges on many moving parts; in general, signature weaknesses would be laughable if they could be circumvented reliably. But I do think Gené Beauregard may help out Ursula every once in a while, in this case as in others (they seem to be best buddies anyway).

EDIT: Just realized that Pocket Telescope may trivialize this weakness every once in a while. Having both the Telescope AND Gené in your play area significantly reduces the danger of losing tempo from this weakness.

I can confirm: have seen this combo in action on a friend, and it was very useful. You can even move the clue from the one location not eligible to choose for CotU: Your location at the start of your turn. — Susumu · 351
Re: "in general, signature weaknesses would be laughable if they could be circumvented reliably." — Kulko · 1
If above where true why are there other single cards which trialize Weaknesses (Norman, Trish). That combo might work, but it still a lot harder for Ursula to handle her weakness than others — Kulko · 1

Just play Ursula and found this Weakness is never discarded. So I need to move and investigate every turn since I draw it around mid-game. Then I found some card to include for mitigate your tempo

  • Place the upgraded Shortcut save you a lot when you running around central location.
  • Also Using it with Pathfinder would make you way around more efficient.
AquaDrehz · 199
Yup, play Ursula the way she asks you to play her and her weakness shouldn’t be too bad. — StyxTBeuford · 12943
the only annoying thing is if you draw it before all of a scenario is explored (in TFA), really slows you down to have to backtrack, at least in solo (in multi-player, you might be jumping back and forth when investigating to get more use out of Fieldwork — Zinjanthropus · 225

Oh boy. I just finished a campaign of TFA as Ursula Downs

First off, the good stuff. The flavor on this card is right on. Like many investigator weakness, it slows down or counteracts what your character is good at, and I feel like 2 horror is a reasonable penalty for failing to satisfy the call. This would be a pretty light penalty except....

The bad stuff. When you fail, you shuffle this card right back into your deck. On average, you'll draw this maybe once or twice a scenario and eat 0-4 horror. I had a few cases where I thought "tempo is more important than 2 horror, I'll just tank it" and draw the card again within a few turns. In other cases I drew or a -5 token and botched the investigate check. This led me to quickly nickname Dr. Elli Horowitz "Dr. Horror-soak". This is all well and good for a rough weakness, except....

The worst stuff. Spoilers for The City of Archives ahead. The fact that this scenario is part of the same campaign where Ursula debuted is a kick in the nuts! Not only are you stuck taking 2 actions to move and investigate, you still have to pass the investigation check with your measly 2 . They were at least fortunate enough to have Lost Humanity as part of the encounter set, unless like me you were unlucky enough to not remove Call of the Unknown from the game. Then you become left with a really small deck where you either keep paying 2 actions or keep taking 2 horror in quick succession. The only saving grace here is that Towers of Pnakotus exists to beef your deck back up, but even still, you want to be drawing lots of cards in this scenario. The Call will find you soon enough.

Ultimately, all I would want is some (reasonable) way to get rid of this card for good. Maybe something like "When you succeed on this investigation check for the first time in a round, place a resource on Call of the Unknown. Then if there are 3 or more resources on this card, discard it".

TheMathDoc · 12
Yeah unfortunately the card is really wordy to begin with. I think it’s telling however that Ursula is considered by many to be one of the strongest solo investigators, usually second only to Wendy. Her weakness is incredibly rough, but it seems fair considering how much tempo she saves. Just finish the scenario quickly. — StyxTBeuford · 12943
^ Incidentally, Wendy also has a pretty brutal weakness. I had a lot of skill cards in my deck in all of my TFA campaigns, which helped out with the weakness in City of Archives, but i still had to sack a Laboratory Assistant to it pretty quickly. Was lucky enough to not draw it like a million times — Zinjanthropus · 225