|Size of the Encounter Deck||32 (+10 locations)|
|# Discard (Deck)||7|
My take on this encounter deck: This is the first proper campaign finale that was done for the game. Accordingly, this encounter deck is filled to the brim with impactful cards. There’s almost nothing here that offers a bit of a reprieve, it’s just one big hit following the next. The Dunwich campaign is fairly heavy on fighting and Lost in Time and Space is no exception: Around a fourth of the deck is enemies which is pretty standard, but not a single one of them is filler. Interstellar Traveler with its 4/3/2 statline and an ability to generate doom every round is already the smallest enemy and it only goes up from there, with Yithian Observers, the Abominations and another scenario specific Yithian. Six of the enemies are Hunters, so that’s something to look out for as well.
The combination of Sorcery and The Beyond gets a last feature here, so players will have to be mindful of Beyond the Veil and its enabler cards. Thankfully, there are no further enablers present in the scenario specific cards except for one location that discards 3 cards from the player’s deck.
Rounding out the deck is a smattering of damage and horror treacheries across the encounter sets and from the scenario specific cards. Most of it is testless, and in the one case where it isn’t, a completely failed test can lead to up to five horror. These sources of horror stack up with effects from the advancing agendas which also deal horror to everyone.
In a unique twist, the locations are shuffled into the encounter deck, diluting the high average power of encounter cards a bit. Despite the deck being a tower of more than 40 cards, the players will likely go through the deck multiple times. This is because players will use the ability on the act to discard cards from the deck, searching for the locations. Also, each of the agenda advances triggers a reshuffle, so all the high profile threats from the deck are never really gone (except for those with Victory, of course)
The whole scenario is really wild and interesting, with locations popping in and out of existence and the players trying to navigate through that maze, scratching their heads as they try to figure out which location is connected to which. Lots of one-way connections feature to make moving around already a challenge in itself. The encounter deck complements this perfectly and puts a consistent amount of pressure on the investigators. It is a difficult scenario like many other campaign finales, but not as random as Before the Black Throne or weirdly anticlimactic as Shattered Eons. In my opinion, LiTaS is still the best campaign finale out of all that have been released until now.
Cancel these: Beyond the Veil, Collapsing Reality. Removing Beyond the Veil from the list of worries you have to care about will give you some more leeway in dealing with other things and take the sting out of its enabler cards. Collapsing Reality can be a supremely nasty card and throw a wrench into your plans while dealing damage and horror and stranding you on top or near big enemies.
What it does: Interstellar Traveller is a Hunter enemy that spawns at any of the extradimensional locations and goes after the players from there. Whenever it enters a location (including on spawn), a doom is placed on this Yithian. If possible, this doom is taken from the the location by flipping a clue token.
It is easy to evade, but since it generates doom, letting it live isn’t really an option. Its fight of 4 and stamina of 3 mean that most fighters will need two actions to kill it.
My take: While this is actually the enemy that is easiest to defeat in this scenario, it is not exactly one that i like to see most of the time. Having doom on a notable enemy like this can be a real issue, especially with the doom thresholds on the agendas being fairly low. These are a priority to kill as soon as possible. Luckily their spawn instructions do not state that the location has to be empty, so these can be spawned right on top of your enemy handlers if they happen to be at an extradimensional location.
Threat level: Mid to High. They have a potential to escalate, but usually it should be possible to take them out fairly well.
Dealing with it: Spawn them right on top of your Guardian or whoever is on enemy duty if possible. Otherwise just spawn them as close as possible. Having them appear in an unreachable place would be a disaster, but should be very rare.
As usual with three health enemies, you can gain some good value if you do not have to spend two actions on killing it. The usual suspects apply, from Spectral Razor to Beat Cop. Dynamite Blast is also fantastic in this scenario, not just because of the Traveller, but also to weaken any of the other big boys in this encounter deck.
What it does: Another Yithian enemy. The Starseeker spawns at the Another Dimension location, the starting location and the fallback for investigators who find their current extradimensional location disappearing under them. Starseekers are hard to evade and at least competent fighters, with Retaliate for some extra risk when fighting them. If it gets to attack an investigator with 10 or more cards in their discard, a doom is placed on the Starseeker.
My take: Being sent back to the starting location is bad enough already – but when it happens to a vulnerable non-fighter like a Seeker and this enemy is waiting for them, things can get messy quick. Evading isn’t an option for most investigators here, making this creature even more of a problem. Worst case, the enemy handler needs to move back to the Another Dimension to defeat this thing, a considerable waste of time.
Threat level: High. A massive inconvenience at best, a huge threat for vulnerable investigators otherwise.
Dealing with it: There aren’t really any great ways of minimizing this card’s impact. It’s almost always going to be a pain. When it appears, try to find a moment for your enemy handlers to kill it without completely having to go out of their way. Until then, avoid having to go back to the starting location. This means not grabbing the last clue from Prismatic Cascade or feeding doom/resources into other locations to stabilize them until you are able to move away from them. Still, drawing Collapsing Reality at the wrong time can still ruin this plan eventually.
What it does: After taking a willpower test, the investigator takes one horror for each point they failed by. The difficulty of this test scales with the number of extradimensional locations, up to a maximum of 5.
If no such locations are in play, Vast Expanse surges.
My take: As the game goes on, this treachery can get quite scary. At least part of the damage is somewhat avoidable by letting locations expire that are not being used right now. But still, this is a potent variation of the Rotting Remains effect.
Threat level: Mid. There’s a lot of extra horror sources in this scenario, players can’t really afford being hit by a decently sized Vast Expanse.
Dealing with it: Some locations discard themselves at some point. Some others leave deciding on whether to discard it or not to the players, giving them a way to keep the number of extradimensional locations in play in check. There’s three of these cards in the encounter deck, so it’s worth keeping this in mind when deciding on whether to let a location stick around or not.
What it does: If the investigator is currently at an extradimensional location, that location is discarded and the investigator takes 1 damage. Discarding the location will lead to another horror from the agenda and move the player to the Another Dimension.
If there is no extradimensional location to discard, Collapsing Reality deals 2 damage instead.
My take: Another potentially horrible card. Two testless damage is bad enough, but can be managed thanks to a lack of other damage treacheries. But if the player is hit by this card while at a location that can be discarded, things become a lot more impactful. Aside from the horror and damage, actions are being wasted by setting the investigator back to the start. Things get really grim if a Yithian Starseeker is waiting for them… Even if not, there are a bunch of Hunter enemies likely stalking about the web of locations and most are not very far from the Another Dimension.
At that point, we didn’t even talk about losing a location yet. That might very well have been important as well and will now need to be rediscovered.
Threat level: High. The damage and horror isn’t the main problem here, the forced movement and the loss of a location is. This card can rip holes into an otherwise carefully executed plan.
Dealing with it: Ending the turn on an Extradimensional location is something to avoid in the first place because keeping that location in play is often linked to a cost of some sort. Still, it can not be avoided completely and a few of the locations are actually safe(ish) to stand on. In those cases, an untimely Collapsing Reality can be a huge blow. Aside from canceling the card, there’s not a whole lot that can be done at that point.
What it does: The topmost location from the encounter deck is revealed and put into play. After resolving the revelation ability of the location, the player is moved there. This forced move will deal 1 horror to the investigator via the Forced ability on the agenda.
My take: This is the one card in the encounter deck that can actually do some work for the investigators instead of against them. This will discover a new location without having to pay actions for it, which can be worth paying a point of sanity for and dealing with the forced move.
Threat level: Low. It’s not all upside and the forced move can certainly cause some complications, but just being potentially beneficial is already a welcome break in this loaded encounter deck.
Dealing with it: Just ride it and see what happens. This can potentially throw you back towards the beginning of the path, but it might as well propel you forwards. Depending on how many Hunter enemies are around, this can be dangerous, but for the most part the actions saved by getting a “free” location can at least counteract that somewhat.
Return to Lost in Time and Space
My take on the modified scenario: The Return to Dunwich campaign doesn’t modify this scenario too much, which in my book is a good thing. There are no additional cards shuffled into the encounter deck except for some extra locations that go under in the 45 card deck. Seth Bishop can make another appearance as a mini-boss. Yog-Sothoth gets its own location, giving it immunity to damage. This was done to remove the option of just smashing Yog with a Baseball Bat to finish the scenario. Makes sense to me! The most relevant change is probably that investigators that would be sent back to Another Dimension are now instead sent right into Yog-Sothoth’s tentacles at its unique location. Investigators who have this happen to them when they are out of actions will get attacked by the Big Bad.
In terms of replacement sets, this scenario uses Yog-Sothoth’s Emissaries and Beyond the Veil instead of Agents of Yog-Sothoth and The Beyond. Both are roughly even trades that don’t introduce any new challenges.
Return to LiTaS feels and plays much the same as standard LiTaS, the developers rightly chose not to screw too much with a scenario that is already quite good and instead improved on it in several smaller ways.
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