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Subject: Recommended pairing of characters and Ancient One for new players? rss

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Joe Kundlak
Slovakia
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I wonder, are there any recommended characters in the base game for new players (in terms of overall usefullnes in conflicts) and a relatively easy Ancient One to choose?

I would say if yes, what would be the recommended ones in the order for 1-8 players?

Or are they more or less balanced between themselves, so that any combination you choose is good?
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H W
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Anybody with a balance 5/5 sanity/health should be perfect to start with.

If they have the ability to heal either, even better.

I found even after several plays, the ones with strong sanity, I end up needing just that little bit more health, and visa versa. Just try and drum it into new players heads "you don't win, you just do a little better each time."
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JGT
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INVESTIGATORS:
Any new player can easily understand Joe, Jenny, Harvey, Michael, Vincent, Carolyn, and Kate. The "shoppers" (Bob, Monterey, Dexter, Amanda, Ashcan) risk their players reading a lot of cards they may not be familiar enough with the game to choose, but I can't think of any player that isn't thrilled when drawing extra cards. Of course, this might backfire with the "Explorers" (Darrell and Gloria) since they could be reading two large blocks of text, but I hope this would be offset by having favorable Encounters. Finally, there's Mary, who NO ONE should EVER have for their first few game, and Mandy, who generally carries a LOT of responsibility for the entire group, but should be fine if her ability is focused on herself (for the most part).

ANCIENT ONES:
Everyone thinks that Yig is the easiest AO to play, but I don't believe that is necessarily true, since a Yig game is FAST, the easiest monsters (Cultists) for combat training come with bad-feelings Doom Tokens, and with new players, the game will undoubtedly end with a Final Battle (albeit it a relatively easy one). Ithaqua is also relatively simple, but Stamina loss in the Streets may not be all that nice to rookies either, nor beefy Cultists. But the Final Battle is Fight vs Fight, often an exciting slugfest.

No, I think Nyarlathotep is the easiest first AO outside of the "tutorial" Azathoth. Nyarl doesn't affect the board in a major way--Endless Cultists tends to mean more easy combats to engage in, and the Masks are fairly rare--and he has a longer Doom Track so there's some "wiggle room" before he might wake up. If there is a Final Battle, he attacks the most readily available resource your rookies should have: Clues.

On the harsher end of the scale, Hastur makes sealing an excruciating pain, but could make for the simplest Final Battle if you keep the Terror Track down. Shub will make combat nasty and off-putting, and a Physically Immune Final Battle will end in pain and tears. Cthulhu is horrifying to rookies because they lose some unrecoverable San/Stam right off the bat, and they probably won't overcome his regenerating abilities in a Final Battle.

And UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you challenge Yog-Sothoth. There's a reason that after eight expansions with a total of 24 Ancient Ones, Yog STILL ranks in the Top Three Masters of PAIN. Trying to close Gates will crush souls, someone WILL get Lost in Time and Space and DIE, and Yog has the WORST Final Battle in the base game, as one has to balance Fight against Will, and Gate Trophies will be scarce. BEWARE YOG.
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Tibs
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Ancient Ones
(from the base game)
Amanda Sharpe
"Ashcan" Pete
Bob Jenkins
Carolyn Fern
Darrell Simmons
Jenny Barnes
Joe Diamond
Mandy Thompson
Michael McGlen
Monterey Jack

(from Dunwich)
Diana Stanley
Leo Anderson
Mark Harrigan
Rita Young
Wilson Richards

(from Kingsport)
Charlie Kane

(from Innsmouth)
George Barnaby
Patrice Hathaway
Roland Banks
Zoey Samaras

Ancient Ones
Yig is fastest (countering the time it takes to explain rules) and reasonably easy to battle. However, it's tough to seal him.

Nyarlthotep is pretty easy all-round as his abilities are easy to apply.

Ithaqua has a simple ability and is reasonably easy to battle, especially considering that the above investigators have mostly higher stamina than sanity.
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Jason Sherlock
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For characters, I would avoid using many of the ones that top out at speed 3. These guys are tough to use when you are experienced; they are frustrating when you are new. That one extra movement point makes a huge difference, especially if you have to reduce it to get some sneak.
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Jacob Busby
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Joe Diamond.

He fits an established archetype that everyone recognises. His speed, focus and hunches ability allow player unfamiliar with the game to compensate for their mistakes without excessive planning.

Amand Shapre.

Very much an all-rounder, she can be what a new player wants.
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