I’d like to start this off by thanking everyone who gave their feedback to the fan-made Return to Innsmouth both during playtesting and also following the full release two months ago. I am quite happy with how the set turned out and the reception from those that talked to me about it has been exceptional, way beyond what i expected.
That being said, even with all the feedback during development, there were some things that ended up controversial and/or could’ve been tweaked a bit here and there. This page is going to look into that and talk about those cards.
I am not going to do a new version of the set. For one, most of these tweaks are subjective and i will leave them to your own discretion. Also, i think i can reach more people with this extra article than by releasing a version 1.1 with only slight changes.
I want to lead with what i consider “Hard” Errata, cards that do have an actual mistake on them and that need a tweak to function properly. I am happy to say that to my knowledge, only one such card exists in the set.
Cave Mouth (URt Devil Reef): Instead of
"Cave Mouth is connected to all Ocean locations“, Cave Mouth should read
"Cave Mouth is connected to all Ocean locations and vice versa." The card is missing the “vice versa” bit to indicate a two-sided connection, so as written you’d not be able to enter Cave Mouth again once you left it. This is of course not the intention, quite the opposite actually: Cave Mouth is supposed to be an alternative location hub similar to Churning Waters, but with an additional movement ability and safe from the kraken. So please do assume the vice versa being on the card.
With that out of the way, here are some Soft Errata that can be applied to certain cards to balance them a bit better. These are obviously completely optional. I will try to give enough context on the suggested changes so that you should be able to decide on them even if this is your first play of the Unofficial Return to Innsmouth. This concerns two encounter cards that were perceived as too punishing and i have come to agree with those concerns.
Struggle for Air (Rolling Tide set): This one wasn’t really intended to completely demolish every Daisy or Joe with eight hand slots and a Backpack. It was balanced around your usual two hands plus maybe a body slot. While it was supposed to be a rather harsh card (and it is) since it replaces both the original Undertow and Riptide cards in function, these extreme cases where Struggle for Air could in theory deal six or more damage and horror in one go, are a bit much. My suggestion to rein it in just a bit is adding a “
(max. 3)” on the end, so even if you autofail on a test with 6 hand slots and a body slot filled, you “only” get 3 damage and horror.
Immaterial One (Innsmouth Haze set): This guy is difficult and that is intentional. However, a group completely unable to evade something can find this enemy incredibly frustrating as it pops up turn after turn. On the other hand, a group who is extremely good at fighting and evading might even get the idea of keeping Immaterial One around, drawing and defeating it every turn to replace one of their encounter draws. My suggestion to fix both of these issues is changing its ability that puts it back on top of the encounter deck to instead shuffle it into the top ten cards of the encounter deck. That still gives it the recursive power to haunt the group, but without completely hammering them.
Wrong card numbers
I did my best to have the cards come with consistent numbering so they are easier to sort for the Print and Play people. As it turns out, i did make a mistake there, though. Both the sets for Return to Vanishing and for Return to In Too Deep have the wrong total count on the card:
The cards from RtV show an X/8 although there are only 7 cards in the set.
The cards from RtITD show X/7 although there are only 6 cards in the set.
Those sets originally had an extra act or agenda card in it during design. After cutting them, i forgot to update the card numbers on the other cards of the set. Oops.
Note that the download for the print and play comes with a detailed Excel list that you can reference to check if your sets are complete. That Excel list is correct.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are some balance concerns, rules mistakes and rules questions i am aware of and my answers to them.
Q: Tristan doesn’t seem worth 5XP, shouldn’t he trigger on two tokens revealed instead of three to be worth the investment?
A: Thanks to the Favors of the Moon and Sun, revealing two tokens in one test is trivially easy to set up so it has to stay at three. Tristan is meant to be played in a group that uses both curses and blesses and thus has an okay chance to trigger just by chance. That being said, if you play a Favor, you can use that Favor to trigger Tristan after drawing two tokens naturally. You can even play both Favors to turn just one natural token draw into a Tristan trigger.
Q: Does this card allow me to repeatedly commit and return the same skill to one test (and abuse commit triggers like on Unrelenting)?
A: It does not. All skill cards are committed at the same point, so after pulling one back you aren’t able to commit it again. You can however use a second Butterfly Effect to re-commit everything you pulled back with the first copy of the card.
Q: This seems harsh?
A: Yes, and it meant to be. Accursed is a take on the Doomed/Offer You Cannot Refuse style of weakness that escalates over time. But instead of outright killing you at some point, it smothers you in weaknesses. This is of course especially crippling for investigators that cycle their deck often and they might want to consider taking the trauma option if they are stuck with this. But truth be told, feel free to just ignore the existence of this weakness with such investigators, just as you might do with Doomed and Offer. See it as me offering you a fun(????) challenge, to add to your best decks to keep them humble without just putting a timer on them like Doomed and Offer do.
Q: What happens if I reveal a Weakness with “permanent” for Accursed’s effect?
A: While a permanent card can not be discarded from play, there is nothing stopping you from putting it into your discard pile from out of play. So that’s where it goes and Accursed resolves in full, adding that weakness to your deck. Should you draw that weakness later in the same game to your hand, it will clog your hand because you have no way to play it. Starting with the next game, the permanent weakness will start in play.
Scenario related cards
Troubling Memories (URt Pit of Despair):
Q: I can’t pick the same option twice, right?
A: Correct. You have to pick a different option for each recovered memory. Since there is a total of four memories available in Pit of Despair, this means that near the end of the scenario you might be left without a choice and have to “choose” all of them.
URt The Vanishing of Elina Harper:
Not a question, but something that was missed here and there: Remember that the ability on the act changed to no longer shuffle a treachery into the Leads deck after revealing something else from it than a Suspect or a location. That means drawing one of the three Hybrid assets or a treachery/enemy that has been shuffled in before will not add a new encounter card into the Leads, but instead reduce the Leads deck in size.
Mud Tracks (URt Horror in High Gear):
Q: Can vehicle enemies move out of Mud Tracks if there are still clues on it? Can we just leave our vehicles and walk to Falcon Point without our pursuers able to catch up?
A: Nice try, but that won’t work. Vehicle enemies are not impeded by Mud Tracks ability. The reason for this is that it doesn’t use the bold/italic indicator for the Vehicle trait, but instead refers to vehicles as defined in the rules to The Innsmouth Conspiracy. Compare the original “Long Way Around” which also won’t add extra doom for enemy vehicles entering it and contrast it with Straight Section from the URt HiHG, which does use Vehicle as a trait and will thus work for enemy vehicles.
Born to Breed (URt Light in the Fog):
Again, not a question but a detail that has been missed. Unlike many other encounter cards, Born to Breed doesn’t surge when it does nothing. Instead it surges when it does have an effect. But as soon as players remember about the lifecycle of a Deep One, Born to Breed becomes a “free” encounter draw.
Deep One Grappler (URt Light in the Fog):
Q: How does this guy work exactly?
A: His ability to pull you to the location below yours works just as the one on the act does. It happens immediately upon engaging, no matter if you engaged it or if it engaged you. This can move you and the Grappler into a location that is only unflooded or only partially flooded, note that the Grappler’s restriction to move only into fully flooded locations doesn’t apply while engaged. If you are at the bottom row when engaging the Grappler, its ability to pull you deeper can’t be executed and in turn does nothing.
URt Into the Maelstrom:
Q: Dagon wakes up earlier than in the unmodified scenario now. However, we took our time in the Tidal Tunnels and advanced the agenda before we advanced the act. Dagon isn’t even in play yet and we are getting the instruction to wake him up. Does this break the sequencing of the scenario?
A: No, everything will still work as intended. Just do as much as possible (shuffling Lloigor, Aquatic Abomination and Presence of the Father into the encounter deck) and continue playing. Agenda 2a notes that if Dagon is slumbering, he is to be turned over to his awakened side. This will make sure that once you finally advance the act and put Dagon into play, he’ll immediately wake up. Note that something similar was able to happen in the original scenario as well, if one were to advance to agenda 2b before putting Dagon and Hydra into play. Agenda 3a has a similar clause to ensure this doesn’t break the scenario.
If you have any further questions or concerns about interactions, intentions or rules with regards to the Unofficial Return to The Innsmouth Conspiracy, please contact me about it and i will gladly answer all of them. Either by posting a comment below this page or by hitting me up on Discord (#DerBK) is fine. I’ll add any other questions that come up to this document, so it can act as a resource at all times. Thanks.