|Size of the Encounter Deck||34|
My take on this encounter deck: This is a rather big deck with few enemies in it. Accordingly, the main threat in this scenario comes from not finding the Relic and getting out of the temple before the doom clock runs out. The only doom acceleration in the encounter deck comes from the Forgotten Ruins set, but the locations are actually the driving force here. All of them (except for the Entryway) have abilities that spawn doom on them triggered by certain player actions.
Chilling Cold pulls double duty here. Crypt Chill partners up with Temporal Flux’s Lost in Time and Snakescourge from Yig’s Venom to neutralize players assets. Meanwhile, Obscuring Fog, Deep Dark from Forgotten Ruins and Deadly Trap’s Entombed keep the players from progressing down the temple. While this is going on, there is also the risk of amassing enough damage from treacheries, especially for poisoned investigators this can be a concern.
The low number of enemies gets some reinforcement by the introduction of the Harbinger of Valusia, a recurring enemy throughout the campaign. She’s not super hard to repel, but doing so takes up two actions per investigator, making the group lose almost a full turn.
I am not a huge fan of this scenario, it’s reliance on treacheries and location effects makes it feel a bit non-interactive to me. The doom clock is also tight enough that the variance from drawing the wrong card at the wrong time can easily cost you the game. Due to the consequences of losing this scenario (either having to replay it or taking a massive amount of Yig’s Fury) this can put a huge feel bad moment on the campaign right from the start.
Return to The Doom of Eztli
My take on the modified scenario: A significant improvement. No new scenario specific cards are added to the deck, but the locations are overhauled to shift the whole focus of the scenario around. Now the locations no longer all produce doom on them, but come with a wider variety of effects that players can interact with, including more ways for some of the supply items to matter. Of special note among those locations is the Snake Pit, though. Make sure that any location that can connect to the Snake Pit is only being explored by the investigator with binoculars or else you may find yourself in a huuuuge pile of problems that you are unlikely to get out of. At least not without amassing some more Vengeance.
Yig’s Venom gets swapped out for Venomous Hate, increasing the number of enemies that the players face by a very noticable amount. This also adds the Serpent Guardian, which is Obscuring Fog
on legs that bites, so it fits right into the deck. Potentially a lot of trouble.
I like this version of the scenario a lot more. Scaling back the pure doom griefing and increasing the number of enemies and interaction points with locations gives Doom of Eztli a lot more dynamic and makes me feel much more like playing the game instead of just watching a random thing unfold.
Of course, this together with the adjustments to the exploration rules makes the scenario also more forgiving and easier despite having an additional location in the exploration deck. I do however feel strongly that this drop in difficulty is absolutely appropriate for what is just the second scenario of a campaign. It’s still a scenario that applies plenty of pressure on the group. It’s just the sort of pressure that you can actually do something about.
Very nice rework of the scenario, much more than with many other Return Tos this feels like a whole new and improved thing and not just like a few tweaks to improve replayability.
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