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Pixoloid Studios
Szkarłatne klucze - Rozszerzenie badaczy #17.
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Reviews

"Welcome to today's group, I'm Dr. Fern. Now, you've each experienced different, yet equally devastating personal disasters. Perhaps sharing would help?"

"... I was stabbed, shot, dyin'... I swear I had maybe 1 drop of blood left. Suddenly... I had a flashback to the Somme. The bodies... my friends! And... something... Sophie I'm so sorry..."

"nnngh.... I... can't talk. I know the Spell that Ends Everything. Twice I almost spoke it, but resisted... and... it's EATING MY MIND..."

"Who cares if you do. The world is so cursed, it can't get worse. You know... after a life with the church, when I count my blessings, all I think is "There is no god."

"There is. A blind idiot god. I wanted to stop him, I stole 4 spells from the Lodge to... he... he KNOWS. Wants them back, but I can't... I... sob ... we're all gonna die..."

........

"Mr. Simmons, it's your turn?"

"... uh..."

HanoverFist · 624
Flaw, Spell, Madness, Madness..... blunder, kinda says it all. — Zerogrim · 282

Why on Earth is this weakness so brutal?

My mind immediately goes to Bob Jenkins and his signature weakness for comparison:

1.) Bob has the same health/sanity partitioning as Darrell,

2.) Bob's weakness also has the capability to deal you 4 horror, and

3.) the amount of horror you take is inversely proportional to your...."preparedness". Preparedness in quotations because it's up to raw luck if/when you pull this.

I feel like this is a fair comparison to make; if you agree with me on that, then you must also agree that this weakness is way too brutal. Here's how they differ, and Ruined Film is worse in both ways.

1.) Greed's (again, Bob's signature weakness) effect depends on your resource count, and with secondary 0-2 lvl Rogue class access, Bob can get to 10+ resources in a single turn. Even if you build Darrell around evidence (and you...probably should be doing that), getting to 4 evidence in turn 1 is literally impossible. With the current card pool, as big as it is, building 4 evidence takes quite a lot of time on average. Your best bet is honestly just manically getting 4 clues and dumping them on the floor for Research Notes, and that just means that you've undone 4 clues worth of progress exclusively for padding yourself against this weakness on top of the fact that I don't like constraining myself to a Research Notes-exclusive deck for Darrell simply because of this one freaking weakness. But it hurts SO much.

2.) Now, the resource condition is also constraining for Bob in that he's forced to, in some capacity, go for a big money build. It's really not that bad because if you're hovering at less than 10 (which isn't big money), you still only take 2 horror, so Bob is barely constrained at all, but for the purposes of making my point, let's just say he leaned hard into it in order to completely circumvent his weakness. He draws it, laughs it off, and keeps playing with his black fan, his connections, and his expensive caviar. Because he got to keep his resources. Darrell has to pay 4 or all of his evidence to his randomly drawn weakness, take the appropriate horror, and now start over from scratch. Again, evidence is not nearly as easy for Darrell to build as it is for Bob to build resources. And currently, Darrell is unquestionably the best at building evidence. If Bob had actually lost 10 resources, I would argue he'd still be able to recoup the loss better than Darrell.

3.) But why the need to recoup? Well, for theoretical hand-wavey big money Bob, hitting his resource threshold is what allows his cards to trigger. There are other things he can likely splurge on if he needs to, but he'd then have options that allow him to budget out what he can buy and what he can't. Darrell needs evidence because he needs to spend evidence. That's his fundamental ability. So not only is Ruined Film removing evidence when Greed is not (removing the analogous resources), but the use of the one that is getting removed is for it to be spent, whereas the need for big resources in a big money Bob deck pushes him to ultimately be successful and completely unencumbered in the face of Greed.

Honorable Mention: Barring extenuating circumstances like going hungry or a bad reading, Bob starts the scenario with 5 resources. Darrell starts from scratch. He can barely get evidence on the board in the first turn. If Bob did absolutely nothing turn 1 and drew his weakness on upkeep, he'd still only be 1 resource away from taking 2 horror, and that's strictly because you have to draw the card first before getting the resource.

I dunno...it's just aggravating how Darrell puts so much effort into having so much of what makes him fun so that he can lose it. Another comparison along the same vein is Harvey's weakness, which tbf is probably worse than Darrell's quantitatively measuring it in terms of damage/horror taken on average since that one is essentially "the faster you pick up speed and momentum, the harder you hit the brick wall when it inevitably comes", but even then, at least Harvey doesn't have to discard down to it, and Harvey draws cards easier than Darrell gets evidence. I'm not about to look up a comprehensive dossier on signature weaknesses, but I'd say as far as those that deal damage/horror, this is definitely one of the worst. Not exclusively because of the amount of horror you can take, even though that can be very severe, but because of how much it sets you back. Harvey's brick wall hurts, but he just....keeps going. Amnesia sucks way more in Harvey than in someone like, iunno, Finn? because cards are Harvey's bread and butter, and discarding his entire hand sets him back (honestly probably more than losing evidence lol). Darrell's weakness frequently does both; it's like the school bully taking your money, and then beating you up when you don't have "enough", and the inner feeling you get afterwards...just stinks. Sometimes I feel like I'd rather just take my chances with Final Rhapsody so I can just brace for damage/horror and keep trucking forward, or at least be eliminated instead of spending the rest of the scenario playing catch-up.

TheDoc37 · 466
Nah, not buying it. Darrell has 8 sanity and is seeker/survivor, you shouldn't be going insane even if you take 4 horror immediately. And yeah, sometimes weaknesses are bad! Oh no, you lost all your evidence, guess you'll just have to rely on your 5 intellect and carpool to help you get more. Maybe it is "unfair" that some character have milder weaknesses, but this one is fine. — Hylianpuffball · 25
*cardpool, oops. And I'm not trying to pick on you in particular, there are just too many reviews of weaknesses that basically amount to "this weakness should be easier/harder, like weakness X; they're not the same, so one of them is wrong." — Hylianpuffball · 25
Get this mid game & it's a road bump. 3 cameras and a theory, all have evidence. — MrGoldbee · 1368
I'm personally gonna back theDoc37: Ruined Film isn't the worst signature weakness in the game (that title still goes arguably to Thrice-Damned Curiosity), but it is still not nothing and definetly more punishing than Greed. It can certainly wreck you bad if you are not prepared for it and while Darrell has high sanity, his willpower is below average, so he takes more sanity damage than average compared to someone like Wendy. There are very effective ways to counter this weakness though: you can use other assets with evidence and spend the ones there to keep the resources on the Kodak save, or just tank the horror very efficently. Survivors have excellent ways to absorb horror over all (beside the obvious Peter Sylvester, you got Cherished Keepsake, Granny Orne and once you have xp you can upgrade these cards and/or get Level 3 plucky and Precious Memento or heal it up with Grimm's Fairy Tales). Still, the fact you need to consider these options to counter this weakness instead of just having the freedom to deal with it, speaks volume of its effectiveness. And most weaknesses usually either deal damage and/or horror to you or shut down your playstyle, Ruined Film does BOTH. As LivefromBenefitSt would say, I call this an average to above average weakness: not likely to end the campaign, but certainly cause of concern — HeroesOfTomorrow · 28
The first time this hits you fill blast is pretty rough (and it will do that from time to time) but I don't think it's as bad as this review makes it out to be. For one thing it's a free action to pick up an evidence (sure you have to get a clue, but you're already going to be doing that) so it's just as likely to cost you 0 total horror/actions as it is to be a big issue. For another thing Darrell has so many options to manage horror that even taking 4 horror at once isn't that bad (you have Cherished Keepsake, Logical Reasoning, and Perseverance as level 0 options before we even consider using allies or upgraded cards like Spirit of Humanity). Also, even with 0 evidence and a bunch of horror Darrel is still 5 intellect with Seeker access, so it's not like he's helpless even if this wipes out all his evidence and deals you a couple of horror. This weakness is definitely not a free pass, but it's manageable if you plan a little bit. Sure it CAN be bad, but a well designed weakness should be from time to time. — Pseudo Nymh · 23
@Pseudo Nymh I think the problem is less on how it slows Darrell's progress down and more in how it leaves him exposed: as you said, with 5 intellect Darrel doesn't need to really use his signature ability for investigating and clue gathering, unless he cares about succeeding by a certain amount, but his Kodak is his main way to deal with the fact he has 2 will and allow him to pass tests on treacheries that he wouldn't have great chances to in normal circumstances. Ruined Film taking away evidence and hitting your sanity just leave you open to even more harm — HeroesOfTomorrow · 28
@HeroesOfTomorrow Again, a well designed weakness should have the potential to wreck you ever now and again. If you're running 0 other cards to help deal with treacheries then you're greatly increasing the risk this treachery leaves you exposed, but an investigator who has access to both A Test of Will and Forewarned (not to mention Dr Christopher Maleson and the Nine of Rods) is far from helpless at managing treacheries. — Pseudo Nymh · 23