Well Prepared is an article series that takes a look at “problem solvers”: player cards used by the investigators to solve specific challenges the encounter deck throws at them. Each of the articles will pick a couple of cards from that class and look at their application and where they are most useful. There’s an article for each of the classes and another one for the neutral cards, this is the second one.
Seekers are a proactive class that is best at progressing towards the scenario goals thanks to their unmatched intellect and their high mobility. But in turn they are lacking when reacting to threats from the encounter deck. They do have a few options to deal damage to enemies, but mostly they rely on being protected by other investigators.
Level 0 cards are notable for being available right from the start. They can be used by a wide array of investigators natively and if really needed they are even unlockable through Versatile. Investigators with access to Adaptable gain further benefits from knowing their way around the relevant level zero cards.
I’ve got a Plan!: The quintessential damage event for Seekers. It is conditional on having clues, it does require to pass a skill test and it costs a whopping 3 resources. But in turn you get to deal up to 4 damage in one blow. While this is a nice backup plan to have in your deck in any case, i found it especially valuable in Carcosa, where some chunky enemies with 4+ health appear early and often, so you can actually use this proactively. The level 2 version can be worth it, but it’s more of a luxury upgrade.
Dr. William T. Maleson: Subject of a hundred memes in the community, the good doctor is noteable for having 2 stamina and 2 sanity while only costing 1 resource. That makes him great if you are looking for a meat shield to protect the seeker’s own hitpoints. I suppose he has an ability as well, but that’s rarely the reason to use him.
Inquiring Mind: Any skill with three wild icons deserves some special attention for its ability to prevent a broad lineup of treachery cards from having an effect. They also come with the innate ability to be committed to other players tests, giving them a broad utility against much of the encounter deck. Even though this one comes with a condition, it’s not an outragously difficult one to fulfill outside of solo, so it does merit some consideration if you struggle to pass tests on important cards like Snake Bite or Crypt Chill otherwise.
Logical Reasoning: A card that is so obviously tailored to countering the Striking Fear encounter set, it’s almost too on the nose. It can either heal the fallout from seeing one too many Rotting Remains or to get rid of Frozen in Fear. Either is valuable but should you not need either, the double willpower icons can go towards warding off various other encounter cards as well. A very good card that is a lot less narrow than it looks. Striking Fear is used in every campaign, but especially Circle Undone features several other Terror treacheries this can be used on, from Daemonic Piping to Realm of Torment. This card is also excellent in City of Archives, if you can Adaptable it in for that one scenario. There is a level 4 version of this card, if you really want to show Circle Undone or Carcosa who is the boss.
Occult Lexicon: A generally good card that gets extra value if you want to kill small creatures without having to engage them. Blood-Rite can fill a similar role to Beat Cop, sniping Whippoorwills and Cultists.
Tooth of Eztli: The card text makes the purpose of this relic unmistakably clear: Help with resisting treachery tests. It does a good job at that, in particular during Forgotten Age, Dream-Eaters and Innsmouth, all of which test both of these skills frequently.
Level 1 and 2
While these cards can not be Versatile’d into just any deck, they are still available to a good amount of investigators. Up to level 2 is classic “side class” material, and some investigators gain access to level 1 skills and events. This is also where the XP cost is low enough that spending some on specific answers can be worth it even if the card is maybe not useful in all situations.
Forewarned(1): The great thing about Ward of Protection is how it cancels a card without costing an action. Just pay a resource and take a horror and you are free to take a full turn towards whatever goals you have. Forewarned does cost an action because you usually need to pick up the clue again and that makes the card a whole lot less attractive than what Mystics (and Survivors!) can do. That being said, this is a good tool to include if there is anything you want to prepare for. My classic example would be playing Dunwich with someone like Amanda. Having Forewarned in the deck can save yourself from being stuck with Beyond the Veil and that’s well worth the costs associated with this card.
Otherworld Codex(2): 60% of the time, it works every time. Unreliable as it is, this card can so some serious problem solving. If the encounter deck puts a lot of cards into play, either enemies or treacheries and has multiples of those available, then Codex can discard those without much fuss. You just might not have a choice in what to discard specifically. This is a pretty good card in Circle Undone where many treacheries latch onto players. It’s also among the best answers to the Dancers in Before the Black Throne. Outside of Circle Undone, i find this too unreliable.
Segment of Onyx(1): Is there anything the Pendant can’t do? Aside from helping with the proactive role of Seeker by teleporting around the field and picking up clues, the Pendant of the Queen is noteworthy for being able to shut off Elite enemies. That makes it an excellent solution for things like the Watcher in Circle Undone or the Harbinger in Forgotten Age. Or Silas in Dunwich. And so many others that making a full list would take over this whole article.
Level 3 to 5
Anything above level 2 is only available to characters of that class (and Lola!), so the number of investigators able to pick these options is limited. These are also a bigger investment in XP, these need to have utility throughout the campaign to be worth it. Unique to Seekers are the upgradable “sidequest” assets, which even more than other high level cards can not just be bought on the fly but have to be planned for. In exchange they offer powerful effects that can solve a lot of the typical problems that seekers face when on their own.
Ancient Stone (4): One of the stones is proactive, but the other two are good cards to solve specific problems. One does testless damage and is the bane of aloof enemies everywhere. The other can restore a whole lot of sanity, enough to counteract multiple encounter cards worth of horror. Depending on your needs, there isn’t really a campaign where at least one of them can be supremely useful.
Dream Diary (3): The “Madman” version is especially interesting here, as it allows any seeker to have an out against enemies engaging them. Adding 4 wild icons when engaged turns Essence of the Dream into a great evasion tool and i have used it for that before when playing Forgotten Age.
Strange Solution (4): Acidic Ichor overshadows everything else here. While the evasion and the healing version would technically fit the requirements for this article, they are rarely used because the combat version is so much better. It’s so good, it barely even applies to this article, it’s just a high level weapon like Lightning Gun or Chicago Typewriter.
The Eye of Truth (5): For when you absolutely want to neuter a certain treachery. Unlike some other cards, this isn’t restricted to revelation effects, so you can use it as a solution to all copies of Frozen in Fear or of whatever Hex you are most afraid of. Get two of these and you can potentially near-disable 4 to 6 cards in the encounter deck. Of course, that is expensive as hell, but can shore up the encounter deck protection for a seeker that is otherwise well equipped to do their main job. The effect of Eye of Truth is wide enough that it would be useful in any of the campaigns. Good luck on getting the XP for it in Dunwich, though.
The Necronomicon (5): Like the Pendant of the Queen, this card does a whole lot at the same time. Relevant in terms of encounter protection are the first and the last ability, though. It can shoot an engaged enemy in a pinch, but takes most of its secrets. For only one secret a piece you can add +2 to any test, though. And that can be a great way to steel yourself against the encounter deck, making sure that you pass all the relevant tests. There are certainly worse ways to use this book than to give yourself +4 to three willpower tests, countering the effect of three treacheries without using an action (except for the initial one to play the card).