The Lost Sister

Other encounter sets in this scenario: Blight, Horrors in the Rock, Mutations, Myconids
Residents involved: Theo (day 1 and 2), Gideon (day 2 and 3), William (day 3), Helen (any day)
Available experience: 1 (parlaying Helen/Theo or William) +2 (resolution) +2 (Limulus Hybrid) + 2 (Crystal Parasites) = 7XP
Available experience on day 2/3: as before, but also +1 from helping Gideon = 8XP

Size of the Encounter Deck26
# Enemies8
# Willpower3
# Agility5
# Intellect2
# Fight5
# Damage9
# Horror7
# Doom2

My take on this encounter deck: This is a relatively small encounter deck that has a little bit of everything in it. With Reclaimed by Nature it even has an encounter card that has something of everything on it!
The encounter deck takes a bit of a step back and lets the mutated crabs that are set aside at setup be the clear stars of the scenario instead. Notably, the enemies in this encounter deck are quite soft: Cavern Moss is barely even an enemy, Amanita is not all that dangerous. And Crystal Parasite at least gives you plenty of warning before it arrives. The one copy of Corpse Lichen is really the only case where an enemy can unexpectedly pose a challenge to your enemy handling. That being said, Crystal Parasite at least is not something to underestimate.
Calcification and Desiccation together put a bit of a strain on investigator’s health however and can let some of the other damaging treacheries appear a bit more impactful than they look at first glance. Aside from that, there’s not much to specifically mention here as standouts. This deck tests everything just a little which means that on the one hand you don’t need to prepare anything special for this scenario. But on the other hand, it also means you can’t really prepare yourself and if random chance happens to serve you with multiple cards that all exploit a particular weakness of your investigator and deck, you can just end up in a bad spot. It’s not particularly likely to happen though.

My take on the scenario as a whole: I like this one for putting some of the encounter cards that work off dark/light mechanics into a different context. I also think that the Elite crabs are fun to fight, at least as long as you don’t have someone on your team that can just blast past the mechanics with raw power.
Personally, i would have wished for the encounter deck to have more of a presence here, it’s at times very mild and only provides minor background noise. That is fine as long as you are tackling a crab and busy with that, but kind of unimpressive while you are just making your way through the caves.
But that doesn’t distract (much) from this being a fun scenario thanks to a cool central mechanic that puts a spin on the day/night things we see in the rest of the campaign.

Scaling/Variants: This scenario is key if you want to follow Theo’s and Helen’s story, reuniting the two with each other. To do this, you need to parley with Theo multiple times while Helen is around and then finish the scenario successfully, saving the lost sister. This unlocks version 2 of the finale (which can alternatively be reached by reconciling William and River in their own path) and allows you to add Helen Peters to an investigator’s deck. This is true no matter if you do the scenario day 1 or day 2, however there is a subtle difference in that Helen will not be available to “share a dance” if you do this day 2.
On day 3, this is no longer possible and you will instead find William who can simply be parleyed with for a small chat (and an XP). Gideon is around on day 2 and 3 and requires help finding his “treasure”. If you manage to do that, this not only rewards an XP, but also unlocks the final stage of Gideon’s personal path which can also come into play to unlock a version of the finale.
There is some limited day number scaling on the smaller of the Elite enemies in this scenario, but not something that i would really consider when deciding when to play this.
Since the scenario doesn’t actually work differently between day and night, this can be played fairly well at night, in place of either Twisted Hollow or Longest Night. Doing so will remove all of the interactions with residents from this scenario however. Considering that Lost Sister is quite rich in that department, that feels like a shame to do.

The smaller ones of the Crab Hybrids. There are two of these lobsters and their main job is making up for the lack of enemies in the encounter deck before the investigators reach the big guy. Defeating them doesn’t earn any victory, but they do at least go into the victory display so you don’t have to see them again. They basically teach you how to handle the dark/light mechanic in this scenario so you can put that into practice when the big crab shows up.
The enemy flips sides depending on whether it is in a dark cave or an open spot. In the light, it becomes hard to kill, with only 1 damage per attack getting through to it. That coupled with its Elusive means that it takes quite a few actions to defeat with attacks in this state as you will either keep running after it or evade it first. And evading it is even reasonably difficult.
If it moves (either through Hunter or Elusive) from a light into a dark area, it will however become easier to damage. Its fight value goes up slightly, but that is of course still preferable to only dealing 1 damage per action. When flipping into this state, it will deal 1 damage to each investigator at its location. This makes it hit relatively hard when it hunts into you, but in most cases doesn’t do anything on an Elusive move.
Depending on the day, its health scales from 4 to 6, without any player scaling. This means that they are a lot more dangerous for small groups than for big ones.
Something to be aware of is that the damage reduction on their light side only applies to attacks. So if you are able to hit them with damage from other sources, that will go through in full. What’s more, that sort of damage will also not trigger their Elusive. As a result, keeping multiples of something like Blood-Rite or Sneak Attack can give you a way of getting rid of one of these lobsters without having to interact with any of their mechanics.

This massive horseshoe crab is the big boss of this scenario. It uses the same day/light mechanic to switch sides as the Crustacean Hybrids but with some twists. The first one (and one that is easy to miss, i know i played this wrong the first time i went into this scenario) is that the light side of the Limulus Hybrid doesn’t have Hunter. So you need to attack it and trigger its Elusive if you want it to move into a dark area again. It also means that this thing will not follow you forever, if for some reason you need to flee from it and recover or dig for another weapon, you can do so… as long as the doom clock permits, of course. That being said, having it in the light is actually good for you. There is no damage reduction here and the lack of attacks of opportunity can be used in your favor.
If you are fighting the crab in the dark, this is getting a lot tougher. The fight value goes up and the thing gains Retaliate, always a dangerous combination. It also dishes out a lot of damage in this form, further supported by a Forced ability that hits anyone attacking it with a melee weapon. Since we already noted that dwindling health can be an issue due to effects from the encounter deck, this can become very dangerous. Notably, the crab doesn’t have Elusive in this form, so once you are fighting it in the dark, it will stay with you. That can be a good thing if you are able to just burst it down with a good fighter, but can also mean that you might want to have it hunt towards you into a light location again for it to swap back into its more tame form.
Having it swap back and forth is also rewarded with a damage trigger on the light side. Weirdly, this trigger scales with player count… so while a solo player will only deal a point to the Hybrid here for 1/8th of its life, a 4p group will chunk the beast for 4 damage each time it flips to light which is almost a quarter of its full health.
Unlike the lobsters, the crab does not scale its life by day number. It does however scale by player number in the usual way that we expect from this sort of boss enemy.

# in the encounter deck: 3

Threat level: Low.

What a weird card mechanically. While it’s pretty clear how it’s supposed to work from a thematic point of view, this created a lot of questions for me on how it interacts with various cards. Questions that i have seen repeatedly asked elsewhere as well. So take this with the usual grain of salt when it comes to edge cases in this game, but the way i understand it is that Cavern Moss does still count as an enemy at your location while attached to an item in your play area. That means you can use it to fulfill the condition on Scene of the Crime or Trish Scarborough. Or you can parley it with the likes of Grift. It does however not count as an enemy engaged with you, so it won’t attack you. Not even if it is attached to an item in your threat area like Daisy’s Necronomicon. On that note: Yes, Cavern Moss can blank Item weaknesses for you.
There is no limit on how many mosses can attach to one Item, so if you have a good spot to stick it (like a weakness or a Hallowed Mirror) or are simply able to do without one of your items you can basically ignore any further Cave Moss you draw and just put them on the same item.
You can choose to engage Moss which might be useful if you want to trigger something like a Wolf Mask or if you want to evade it. Evading it will exhaust it and stop it from blanking your asset for a turn. It will however not detach and once the moss readies your item is blanked again. This is rarely going to be useful.
There are some other wild edge cases like Markmanship being really good for sniping moss off your items – since Moss isn’t engaged with you, Marksmanship will deal three damage to it.
So, once we push past all of the rules weirdness that comes from attaching enemies to items … how dangerous is this card in the end? I’d say it’s almost a player card. Blanking weaknesses and enabling parley or similar cards is very much in the player’s favor. And even when it does its thing and takes away one of your assets, it’s only temporary and can be dealt with rather easily.

# in the encounter deck: 3

Threat level: Mid

Of the two modes on this card, i am definitely more afraid of the daytime one. Damage is just much more relevant than horror in this scenario and the alternate choice of having an enemy attack is also more relevant that healing a damage from enemies.
With the big Elite crabs around that can take a bunch of attacks the healing isn’t completely irrelevant, but doesn’t really move the needle much. Notably, you do have to pick an option that changes the gamestate however. So if there is no enemy on the board, you have to take the 2 damage on the day effect. If there is not damaged enemy nearby, you have to take the 2 horror on the night version.

# in the encounter deck: 3

Threat level: Low

Turns a dark cave into a light location. This effect is going to be highly context dependent but is usually not going to end up being scary enough that you actively want to pursue the test to discard it. You might do it if you are already at the location and have nothing better to do, but keeping it around can even work out in your favor, especially if it leads to multiple locations without Dark next to each other where you can herd the Limulus Hybrid back and forth without having it enter a dark location so you never give it the Hunter ability and can fully control the pace of combat. The main counterpoint is that having more light locations makes Black Aminata and the lobster hybrids more annoying to deal with.
And there is of course the fight/damage bonus to consider.

One Reply to “The Lost Sister”

  1. That’s a huge find, that the moss can blank weakness items! I guess, this was an oversight, they will eventually errata? But they did the same with “Fungal Rot” in the same box. Were they thinking, you don’t control weakness assets in your threat area, when they designed them? But if that was the case, Daisy could not activate her Necronomicon. Or everybody at her location could, based on the rule for treacheries in the thread area?

    Another situational asset, you might want to blank is the advanced “Heirloom of Hyperborea”. I was in a situation as || Agnes, when I didn’t mind anymore to not draw cards after playing spells, as my hand was full with the good cards, and the scenario was not going long anymore anyway, but my horror situation was stingy. So even though I had a Backpack in play with a card attached, that was to late to play, as additional perfect target, I attached “Fungal Rot” to the Heirloom instead, allowing me to soak horror from encounter cards with it, which spared me from getting defeated.

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