|Size of the Encounter Deck||32|
My take on this encounter deck: Like many other scenarios from deluxe boxes, this encounter deck shows that its built only from campaign-wide building blocks. It’s a bit of a mixed grab bag of all kinds of things and could really have done with some scenario specific cards to provide some more flavor and coherence. Instead, we are left with a pretty large deck that does merely foreshadow several things that will get fleshed out later in the campaign. There’s the combination of Sorcery and Beyond that will appear two more times, but without any further support from the encounter deck the player discard theme is just a minor point here (Except for specific investigators of course). We got some Doom mechanics thanks to the ever present Ancient Evils and a smattering of various tests in willpower, agility and strength to complement the usual investigate tests on locations.
Extracurricular Activity has a bit of everything: A large map, some big monsters, an even bigger boss monster, some small enemies, some even smaller enemies, lots of clue grabbing, testing all the things, multiple win conditions and multiple fail conditions. In short: It’s a great introductory scenario, in my opinion it’s better than the Gathering for showcasing the game to new players because there’s just so much in it.
Cancel these: Ancient Evils, Beyond the Veil. These two cards are the anchors for two of the fail conditions in this scenario. Nothing else in this scenario really comes close in importance unless you are for some reason really afraid of Light of Aforgomon.
Return to Extracurricular Activity
My take on the modified scenario: Only one extra enemy is added to the deck. It’s an okay card, but doesn’t shake up the scenario in any meaningful way. Neither does the new location that can randomly replace the Orne Library, for that matter. However, a whopping four of the encounter sets used in this scenario get replacements from the Return To box and they do add at least a little bit more focus to the whole ordeal. Swapping Ancient Evils for Resurgent Evils doesn’t do much to change up the scenario and neither does the replacement of The Beyond with Beyond the Threshold. Secret Doors does however remove the token agility and strength checks from the encounter decks and replaces them with the more generic willpower and intellect tests. The treachery from Yog-Sothoth’s Emissaries adds another two cards with a willpower test while the creature from that set plays into the discard theme (although it is fairly inefficient at doing so).
As a result, the scenario isn’t really changed much in its core, but there is at least a little more focus to the deck than there was before.
What it does: Enthrealled Security Guard is a medium sized Hunter enemy that offers players two ways to defeat it. They can either go the usual way of defeating them in combat, which is easy enough to do due to a low fight stat on the card. Unless the player is able to deal three damage with one action they will need two attacks for this, however. Also, should they miss their attack despite the low difficulty, they are hit for one point of retaliation damage and have to discard the top two cards of their deck. The alternative way of dealing with them is evading them which will trigger a Forced effect that defeats the Guard. While this allows to get rid of the card in one action and without the threat of retaliation, the difficulty for evasion is twice as high as for fighting.
If Return to Extracurricular Activity is played after Return to The House Always Wins, then one of these guys starts in play at the Administration Building, enticing players to leave the Quad right away.
My take: I usually still end up just fighting the guy as there are only few other high caliber enemies around that would take up my fighting power. At a fight value of 2, the retaliation ability is very non-threatening… and even if it hits, it’s not that much of a problem in the first place. Of course, if evading ends up being the better option (because of investigator choice) then i will gladly take that option, but it’s not a thing to specifically plan for.
Threat level: Low to Mid. There are a bunch of keywords and effects printed on the card, but ultimately it doesn’t deal enough damage on an attack to be more than a nuisance.
Dealing with it: If you are playing this scenario as your second one, I wouldn’t suggest going after the one that spawns at setup right away. There is little reason left to enter the Admin building at all, just move towards the Humanities or Library/Observatory and set up your assets. Then kill the Guard while its at the Quad next turn. The two ways to defeat work very much in the players favor here, decide which one to go based on your investigators abilities. The choice should probably be fairly obvious as most investigators are heavily tilted towards either fight or evasion.
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