Trapped Spirits

Set Size4
Number of unique Cards2
RoleEnemy, Damage, Haunted
Threat LevelLow to Mid
# of scenarios2
VariantsBloodthirsty Spirits
Appears in: At Death’s Doorstep, Wages of Sin

My take on this set: Like Spectral Predators, this set appears only in two of the scenarios and does interact with the Haunted mechanic. At Death’s Doorstep even has the full Haunted extravaganza assembled, with Trapped Spirits, Spectral Predators and Realm of Death all being around on a board that only has haunted locations.
Among those sets, Trapped Spirits is the one that is the least threatening, but it does contain a reasonably powerful damage treachery to look out for.
Wraith is a fairly weak enemy despite its recursion ability, it is pretty much a flavor homerun though.
All things considered, i don’t mind this set much. It’s not one that leaves a great impression due to being overshadowed by the two other Haunted themed encounter sets, but it does add a few solid cards to the encounter deck. Fair enough!

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: Wraith’s stats aren’t scary at all, with just 2s across the board it is neither difficult to kill nor to evade. It does however inflict two horror on attack and has Hunter, so that’s something to look out for. If Wraith is killed without using a Relic or Spell, it is attached to the location where it can re-spawn if Haunted is triggered there.

My take: Not particularly threatening, but if it ends up recurring, it can at least cost an extra action here or there. I found this to be a nuisance mostly, the scenarios using this set have bigger threats to worry about. It does stack up with all the other Haunted effects, so it’s basically just another cog in that particular bunch of card interactions.

Threat level: Low. While it does threaten two horror on each attack, it is relatively easy to deal with and also easy to prevent from recurring.

Dealing with it: A charge from Shrivelling is all that it takes to stop this thing from doing anything more than a core set ghoul. Enchanted Blade will also do the trick. But even if it attaches to a location, it is usually not that difficult to prevent the Haunted from triggering again. Having a Wraith on a location can be a reason to end the turn on a different one, to play around the cards from the Realm of Death set.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: After performing an agility test, the investigator has to take a damage for each point they failed by. Should this test happen at a haunted location, the player can only commit card to it if they resolve those haunted abilities.

My take: A straight upgrade from the Ghouls set’s Grasping Hands. During Wages of Sin and (most of) Death’s Doorstep, all relevant locations are haunted, so this will always prevent pitching extra icons if the haunted ability is not triggered. Depending on the location this can be a real tough ask. And since this is one of the very few agility tests in a willpower heavy campaign, chances are that the investigators are not necessarily well suited for those agility tests in the first place.
As a result of these circumstances, this card is much more dangerous than Grasping Hands. Death’s Doorstep doesn’t apply a whole lot of pressure on the stamina of the investigators but Wages of Sin has several other sources that can stack up with it.

Threat level: Low to Mid in At Death’s Doorstep. Medium in Wages of Sin due to the increased pressure on stamina from other places.

Dealing with it: This card is difficult to handle and how bad it becomes will depend almost entirely on what haunted effects are present at your location. This is when cards like Nether Mist suddenly become a more pressing issue than previously thought. If soaking the damage from this card is possible, then that’s often going to be the preferred option. Personally, i would only take the haunted triggers if they are really benign or if the damage threatens to outright defeat my investigator. Otherwise, i’d be too wary of being haunted first, then pitching a card or two and then drawing the -4 or tentacle anyways…
Keep this card in mind when deciding whether you can take another 2 direct damage from Fate of All Fools!

Return to Circle Undone: Bloodthirsty Spirits

My take on this set: This is a spicy replacement set. Many of the other Return to Circle Undone sets are weaker than their base campaign counterparts, but this one is an exception. While Trapped Spirits was not a weak card by any means, Wraith was always just a bit irrelevant. In this new set, both cards have a notable presence.
As is the case with many of the replacement sets for Circle Undone, this one can also be combined with the base set simply by including one copy of each card.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: A geist with 3 health, low evasion and passable combat. It has Hunter, just like the Wraith it replaces. Dealing damage to the Banshee with anything but spells or relics forces the investigator to resolve all of the haunted effects at the Banshee’s location.

My take: The swap of Wraith for Banshee removes two additional sources of haunted abilities for two additional cards that can trigger haunted. This makes a lot of sense to me, after all having more effects is irrelevant if they don’t by chance get tripped by something from the Realm of Death set or from the seeker pulling a tentacle. Banshee is a lot more dangerous than the Wraith is, simply by having better stats and by having a Forced effect that actually does something.
If my reading of how a “When…”-Forced ability works is correct, the Banshee should also cause the haunted trigger if it gets hit for 3 damage in one strike. So the only way around it is using relics or spells, most of which are unable to deal 3 in one action, so they will need to take two actions (and possibly charges).

Threat level: Mid. Killing it is not outrageously difficult, but the haunted effect can make it a bit more costly than usual.

Dealing with it: In theory you’d want to evade this thing and not killing it. However, it is used during Death’s Doorstep and Wages of Sin. The former will have the Banshee attack the Twilight cultists, which can be an issue if you want to save them. The latter has a whole lot of Hunter enemies already. Both feature a lot of backtracking. So evasion is rarely going to be a satisfying answer, leaving you to either invest Shrivel charges, spend a Spectral Razor or just engage and kill it on a location where Haunted doesn’t bother you too much.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: Bloodthirsty Spirits enters play in the threat area of the investigator that drew it. At the end of each turn, that investigator has a chance to pass a willpower test to discard it, otherwise Bloodthirsty Spirits sticks around. While it’s in play, the affected investigator can only commit cards to skill tests at haunted locations if they resolve those haunted abilities first.

My take: Anything that follows the Frozen in Fear template can be ridiculously hard to get rid off for some investigators. Of those cards, Bloodthirsty Spirits is relatively mild, but again some investigators that rely on skill play can be impacted a lot more than others. Amanda and Silas sit on the crossroads of both of these conditions, as they both have low base willpower and focus on skill cards. Amanda is even forced to use a skill each turn and will have to trigger haunted in turn.

Threat level: Mid to High, depending on the investigator.

Dealing with it: Having ways to discard cards like this or the Hexes is a core requirement for investigators to do well in Circle Undone. That can mean willpower boosts, Alter Fate or a wall of cancels. Whatever it is, you should have a plan for cards like this.

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