Locked Doors

Set Size2
Number of unique Cards1
RoleStalling, Strength, Agility
Threat LevelLow to Mid
# of scenarios13
VariantsSecret Doors
Appears in: Midnight Masks, Extracurricular Activity, Miskatonic Museum, Echoes of the Past, Threads of Fate, City of Archives, For the Greater Good, Waking Nightmare, Thousand Shapes of Horror, The Vanishing of Elina Harper, The Lair of Dagon, City of Elder Things(v1, v3), Heart of Madness #1

What it does: Locked Door attaches to the location with the most clues and stops players from investigating at that place. To discard the Locked Door, an action must be spent to pass on either a Strength or an Agility check. At a difficulty of four, that test requires either some investment or a player with naturally high physical attributes.

My take: This is one of the cards that lost a good amount of its power over the times. The main reason for that is how many ways there are in todays card pool to pick up clues without investigating. A few of those existed in the Core, but aside from Drawn to the Flame they weren’t too great at dealing with this card. But still, if the investigation needs to happen and no alternative is around, Locked Door still presents a challenge sometimes due to the fact that the one doing the investigation is rarely also the one who reliably can pass the tests on this.

Threat level: Low to Mid. Locked Door’s threat can be measured fairly well in how many actions are needed to deal with it. Usually, it will be around 2-4 actions, including some extra movement, but if the players are actually scrambling to even pass the test it can easily be more.

Dealing with it: The best way of dealing with it is not requiring to investigate there in the first place. Cards like Scene of the Crime, Pendant of the Queen or Working a Hunch can bypass this treachery completely.

Return to The Dunwich Legacy: Secret Doors

Set Size2
Number of unique Cards1
RoleStalling, Willpower, Intellect
Threat LevelLow

What it does: Return to Dunwich includes Secret Doors, a possible replacement set for Locked Doors. The Secret Door attaches to the location with the most investigators present and then stops them from leaving there until discarded. To discard the Secret Door, an investigator has to take an action and either pass a Willpower or an Intellect test.

My take: While similar in template, this card does something very different than the one it replaces. There are some investigators that are somewhat impacted when they are caught by Secret Door, but since the difficulty of the test is only three instead of four it shouldn’t be completely out of reach. The thing i am missing most here is the forced teamwork aspect of Locked Doors. The ones who need to deal with the Locked Door are usually not the ones who are actually most impacted by it. This is not necessarily true for Secret Door. I think this is a fairly weak card that will unlikely be taking many actions away from the team.

Threat level: Low. It’s unlikely to have an effect beyond taking one or two actions to clear it.

Dealing with it: If multiple locations have “the most investigators” , then the players get to choose where to put the card, so just don’t attach it to the location where Preston Fairmont is hanging out all on his own and you should be fine.

2 Replies to “Locked Doors”

  1. Given the large differences in both flavor and mechanical restrictions, it would be good to go through each scenario that uses the set to consider how flavorfully-appropriate and mechanically-interesting Locked Doors vs Secret Doors are. The Return-to-Dunwich Core-Set replacements are interesting like that, in that in some scenarios Locked Doors might be the only reasonable inclusion, in some Secret Doors might make way more sense, and in some 1 of each might make a good mix.

  2. Absolutely, in fact that is something that i do. Usually i just run one and one, but switch them around when it’s thematically appropriate. So i don’t use Secret Doors in Threads of Fate, but they certainly fit the flavor of For the Greater Good extremely well. If i were to go by mechanics alone instead of flavor, i think i would just straight up use Locked Doors every time. I can’t help but feel like Secret Doors is a much lesser card than the core card in almost every aspect.

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