Friday 18 May 2018

The Dunwich Legacy - The House Always wins


 Dear Diary:
Had to cook a meal for twelve at short notice. Work was really busy and the new sous-chef seems to be hitting on me. He will soon realise that I am absolutely not that kind of girl. There are plenty of iniquitous fallen women in this town who will no doubt succumb to his oily wiles; but not me! .

After that horrible shift was over I visited Dr. Armitage - he used to be kind when I worked at the University kitchens and knows some of my 'special' skills. What a wreck though. You can easily see that he is not eating properly and needs to trust in God more than the evils of wicked drink. He wants me to look for some of his old friends who, apparently, have gone missing. He is obviously seriously concerned as I have companions in this worthy endeavour.

The local grave digger - one William Yorick. I like him. Works at the church and shows a suitable deference to those collected by the Lord. The other is that rather tatty , drunkard failure of a reporter Rex. I am not quite sure why the Doctor thought he would be of any use but perhaps he has dodgy contacts that could help. We have decided to initially search a local den of sin called the Clover Club.
Though no mention of violent trouble was made I plan on equipping myself properly. The Lord has been quiet but I do have a feeling that his work may need doing and he does move in mysterious ways..
Bible reading for the day: Proverbs 13:5
A righteous man hates falsehood, But a wicked man acts disgustingly and shamefully.
Perhaps I need to keep a close eye on my companions as well as the , no doubt, disgustingly weak visitors to this 'club'

I always like the first scenario in a new campaign. They usually (so far) provide a marginally gentler entry point and an immersive experience. Helping this greatly was Craig's playing of 20's jazz hits lightly in the background as we setup so nicely indicative of approaching an illegal and hidden club. Since we are all relatively experienced so we all have scenario foreknowledge which will hopefully assist us.

Zoey had to put her Sunday best on. 

'The House Always Wins' is one of my favourite scenarios being both nicely atmospheric and a step change up in immersion. It does a great job in opening up what the game can do above and beyond the core set (which is  more like a teaser). For a card game the lovely aloof mechanism , Pit Boss and assorted gangsters really give a nice impression of being at a club. Technically the Pit Boss causes time management issues for the best clue finder (and the group)  though once the Bella Luna is cleared of clues this is much less important.

Obligatory setup 'glory' shot

The Game 

In the first round a small degree of setup was done by all with Rex doing the only serious work by scooping up all three clues in the Italian restaurant round 1 (the 'Beautiful Moon', hmphf the name practically shouts evil cultist). Zoey added a guard dog and pulled a  trench knife out of her dress (I don't want to consider where the dog was hiding, perhaps she shoved it through a window into the toilet and collected it after entering) - just to be prepared and  moved further into the club.

The first phase was fairly satisfactory bar the Pit Boss thumping me for two damage after Hunted Down, which was unpleasant (and also incorrect, the unengaged boss moves towards you (if not engaged) but as it is aloof it does not engage hence does not attack so we played this wrong) but we managed to advance the act the turn immediately before the agenda advanced.

The pit boss was suspicious. I suspect Yoricks spade gave it away

As is my talent I drew both weaknesses early just prior to the act  flipping. 'Smite the Wicked' drew the bestest enemy to draw in the world for this card - a swarm of rats in a scenario where the furthest location is two hops away and the rats will also run merrily towards you chittering furiously. There was also an O'Bannion thug in the lounge so I killed an enemy where I was, moved to the lounge and discarded a guard dog (to draw two clues and flip the act) taking the opportunity attack from the thug. Next turn I expected the rats to run towards me (saving time ) which was important as the agenda was going to flip and the Pit Boss and other criminals would all decide to take a much nastier interest in us.

Then a very fun turn indeed. First up the enemy phase and the rats indeed ran to my location and engaged me. Then the upkeep phase and what did I draw? - Internal Injury. Oh that's useful when I have two enemies to fight and only a trench knife to do it with. The agenda then flipped and (just to remind) reads

"Your questioning has drawn the attention of several men - hired thugs, by the look of the,, "Francis doesn't want to be bothered," one of them says. "We suggest you leave the premises before we force you to leave'

The encounter deck appeared entirely supportive of this approach with me drawing another swarm of rats (disgusting cleanliness at this casino) so I now had three enemies and a one damage knife then another thug appeared. Both the pit boss and the thug in the card room engaged with poor Rex! Both had two doom on them so the agenda would immediately advance again IF the non-combat Rex and the more militant William (who was a location away engaged with an O'Bannion thug in the Darkened Room) could not defeat both the doomed enemies (the agenda only needed 3 to move at this level). Not discounting the fact that if I didn't remove my weakness I would be getting regular damage coming my way and if I did would only have one attack/move to assist (plus would have tons of damage moving etc).

At times like this it’s a bit like the Matrix Gun Lobby scene starts running, the start is calm as you look at the board and then all hell breaks loose.

The calm before the storm, that music starts playing then furious action!

We started with Rex who took on the difficult task of killing the Pit Boss on his own. Which he did via a card that added fight per amount of clues. Next up Willian Yorick who threw knives at the Bannion Thug, killed it, retrieved his knife, moved to the card room and killed the thug in there too - without damaging Rex (who the thug was still engaged with). Brilliant! Though now I fully expected the dedicated combat person would fail miserably. Except I had a plan.

The trench knife really came into its own providing +3 (due to engaged enemies) so I thumped the thug at '7 fists' killing it (it already had one damage on from the guard dog). I then removed my weakness taking instant opportunity attacks which I plonked on my helpful dog (which died) but killed all the rats and thus my 'smite' enemy. Phew. This prevented the agenda flipping but could only have happened if all successes had occurred as advertised.

The next couple of turns allowed a little breathing space especially as Rex promptly found the VIP room first try. I, in the meantime, had really tooled up as I now had my cross and a machete out so was now a deadly knife killing machine.

Oh yeah. Pain has arrived and all the red shirts  black jackets are in trouble.

We kept on drawing copious amounts of thugs but now I was doing one auto damage with the cross and either could use the trench knife (if outnumbered) or the machete if not so they were no major problem. The agenda did flip again before we had Rice and now the scenario (again) bumps it up a gear. The random monster for the lounge was a 'Servant of the Lurker' and at the same time Rex managed to draw a 'Conglomeration of Spheres' in the VIP lounge.  I absolutely love the change where mobsters now get auto destroyed if in the same location as an abomination. In a game where less thought had been provided they would have all remained enemies and carried on fighting you but that would have made no sense and the rampaging monsters ripping them to shreds is so atmospheric and in keeping with the scenario It is just wonderful.

As can be seen Zoey is nicely tooled up and is engaging the Servant of the Lurker just seen above. Yorick keeps hearing things and Rex is about to lay some pain down on the conglomeration of spheres.

Anyway we organised beautifully round  the new challenges.  I moved first so that Rex would hold the Spheres interest and used shortcut to move to the VIP lounge and took three attempts at four will to three to parley Professor Rice. I succeeded with two. Rex then evaded the spheres and smacked it for 3 damage (how does mild mannered Rex manage to be such a bad arse?) With William finishing it off after getting the last parley on the Professor. I then shuttled down to deal with the Servant of the Lurker helped by Rice soaking up damage while my brave compatriots cleaned the clues on the last two locations.

We had enough time at the end to kill Yoricks weakness ghouls and for Rex to get his Strange Solution out and resigned with two turns spare and no trauma/failures and 6 XP (Pit Boss, Servant of the Lurker, three victory locations clue free and Yoricks extra card in the display).


Loved it. The Chaos bag was not too nasty though most of the time but we also did not give it much chance to hurt us. The biggest risk was probably my one up parley attempts with no pumps.  It is also a pleasure to have Zoe in action again. When she has her cross out and a couple of knives she is a kill machine.  I decided to not save up for the deadly lightning gun 'just yet' (I may not go for it at all as I like 'Knives' Zoey). Instead I upgraded my two beat cops, which allows more instant damage, and took two copies of Reliable. This will hopefully drop on the machete (best case) making it either a +2 fists +1 damage (with one) or +3 fists +1 damage (with two ,when engaged against one enemy). If we collect much experience in the next few scenarios then I have to decide on upgrading first aid and vicious blow or go 'big gun'...

Play of the Game

Apologies for blowing  Zoe's trumpet but I rather thought my turn of getting the clues to advance the act at the last possible moment then removing my weakness and killing three enemies with one action was brilliant. Though close second comes the entire team wiping out 4-5 enemies in one turn twice in the game leaving no one standing.

Not so 20's but this Priest is obviously mimicking Zoey

Enemy of the Game

Technically the Servant of the Lurker or the spheres were the 'hardest' but my winner for this scenario is the Clover Club Pit Boss. Plus taken out by Rex! Embarrassing…

Dear Diary
That was horrible. Having to wear a dress and pretending I wanted to visit that den of evil. Luckily billowing skirts are good at hiding both my knives and machete and when the going got tough the tough were indeed dismembered. Proving that evil cannot stand against rightous force. The monstrosities we killed there were truly unclean and  prove that, wherever it leads, this quest is one that God's will  is to succeed with. I have sharpened my knives and next we go to the University. As everyone knows the students may not be riddled with drink but have low sexual morals and thus God's righteousness may be needed again. One pleasant thing to note is that my companions appear equally committed and ,bar Rex's weakness for the demon drink, should prove stalwart allies moving forward.

In God.

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