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Eldritch Horror: Strange Remnants» Forums » General

Subject: Dark blessings prelude rss

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Alex
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Coruña
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It's the one where you can get boons for three investigators if you take a dark pact, an agreement and a debt.

Do you guys ever use it? I've tried it, of course. And when it comes out I want to use it because it's a prelude -Yay, setup variety and randomness- but I find it very hard to justify taking it, since it's completely optional. Mostly due to to the agreement.

I play with six-eight investigators, so I could take the risk with the dark pact if I get a Harrigan or someone else I won't miss much in my random starting crew, but... Wasting time getting two clues (if you ever get the chance) plus a difficult inf. action to dispose of the agreement? Not worth the boon in the first round.

Also, with less investigators i think it'd be even worse. Jeopardise three guys out of four when they should be doing their standard "opening"? No, thanks.

What's your take?
 
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David "Davy" Ashleydale
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I've only played with this Prelude once and I took full advantage of it. Mostly because I just wanted to try it out, of course. But I think I will continue to do it in the future, too. I like variants on starting positions in games. It's kind of like in media res in a TV show or movie.
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Alex
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So do I, and that's why I find it so unsatisfying. I randomIze the prelude, investigators, their order and the AO. It throws you off setting a balanced or predefined strategy. I like it when I'm paired against yoggi without spellcasters, or Asia shows up full of gates and my whole group is somehow within two spaces of New orleans. A different story every time.

But this prelude is mostly a disadvantage. In this particular game I had two blessed investigators in the first round just because of the encounters. And a "get a boon" asset sitting in the reserve. The outcome of dark blessings without paying for it. Of course, you could go with this prelude just for the extra hindrance, but I enjoy the Difficulty level as it comes. The other SR preludes do a much better work balancing the start. But this one feels wrong, and I'm not sure if it's unbalanced per Se or its mostly due to the agreement. Taking an agreement is a bad decision 95% of the time. A dark pact has some weight in your choice and some consideration, but an agreement, IMHO, it's a no-no. In the first round it's suicidal.

And that's too bad. When some card or play is a must or a mustnot, and the optimal choice is straightforward, well, that's not the best design.
 
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John McCarthy

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I think you may be missing the mark with weighing the pros and cons of what you get out of Dark Blessings. Agreements do suck, and I generally consider them worse to take than Dark Pacts. However, in this case the first character takes Dark Pact for boon- probably a pretty balanced choice. The second character gets an Agreement- maybe a little bit of a crap deal for that guy, but not by much. Then the third character gets a boon for a debt- that's a steal, especially if they get blessed- chances are very good they dodge the debt for free anyway. So overall, the Prelude is actually pretty well balanced. Never underestimate how good blesses and righteousness can be early in the game, which amps up your ability to succeed at all tasks, buy items, etc. Righteousness can often help with the active mystery when you flip it, plus stock up on focuses in the meantime. And if your character dies from the agreement- oh well, at least somebody can go interact with him and try to retreat doom. And you still have two souped up investigators for the beginning of the game. There are many preludes that are just bad for the investigators- this isn't one of them. It seems an odd one to complain about...
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Alex
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I'd take a stat improvement over a boon in round zero every time. You can get severely impaired and come way worse off than you started by the first reckoning.

But yes, we agree that it comes down to the agreement, mostly. Also, I only have SR preludes, so I can't weigh on a larger outlook
 
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John McCarthy

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That explains it a bit. The preludes in Mountains of Madness and Strange Remnants more often benefit the investigators. The preludes starting in Under the Pyramids and Signs of Carcosa are notably worse for the players. Ultimately, when mixed together they offer a decent variety of ups or downs (in my opinion).

We will have to disagree on the skill bump vs. boon. Boons are temporary but fantastic and in the case of bless, effectively make you better at every skill by having a higher chance of success. A bump to one skill is probably overrated unless you are using that one skill constantly (Charlie Kane, or a spellcaster who starts with a very good and easy to use spell, like Daisy). Then it's a closer call between the two. Otherwise, the encounters you draw have a wide diversity in the skills you will test, so a bump to one skill doesn't actually come up as often as one would think...
 
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M.C.Crispy
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umbat01 wrote:
That explains it a bit. The preludes in Mountains of Madness and Strange Remnants more often benefit the investigators. The preludes starting in Under the Pyramids and Signs of Carcosa are notably worse for the players. Ultimately, when mixed together they offer a decent variety of ups or downs (in my opinion).

We will have to disagree on the skill bump vs. boon. Boons are temporary but fantastic and in the case of bless, effectively make you better at every skill by having a higher chance of success. A bump to one skill is probably overrated unless you are using that one skill constantly (Charlie Kane, or a spellcaster who starts with a very good and easy to use spell, like Daisy). Then it's a closer call between the two. Otherwise, the encounters you draw have a wide diversity in the skills you will test, so a bump to one skill doesn't actually come up as often as one would think...
From the Ref Guide
• Lore is often tested when casting Spells and resolving Other World Encounters.
• Influence is often tested when performing the Acquire Assets action and resolving General Encounters on City spaces and Defeated Investigator Encounters.
• Observation is often tested when resolving Research Encounters and Expedition Encounters.
• Strength is often tested when resolving Combat Encounters and Expedition Encounters.
• Will is often tested when resolving Combat Encounters and Other World Encounters.

So if you have a character that has an obvious role (Gate Closer, Big Game Hunter, Expedition Leader, etc.) You have a general guide for which Skills are worth Improving (especially as there's a limit to what you can achieve via Bonuses). Conversely, if you have a character with strong skills in particular area(s), you know what they should (probably) focus on.

Once day I'll put together a player aid with this info on (like the one for Actions and Reckonings). But realistically, it'll be a while off
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