Meet the Investigators: Part 1
Iä! Iä! Investigators fhtagn!
It's time to meet the team!
Today we're going to go over five of the ten Investigators featured in the core box for Death May Die, but before we get into each of them proper, let's go over some basics about them as a whole!
- As an easy Quick-Reference, each Investigator's character sheet lists your actions along the left.
- At the top you'll find your Sanity Track- everyone starts insane, but as you progressively go more and more insane you'll utilize that madness to unlock additional skills. When facing the impossible to comprehend, being mad has its benefits.
- Bottom left is where you'll track your Stress and Health.
- Finally, we come to your Investigator's Skills- the single most important aspect of their character. Each Investigator features one Unique Skill that they and they alone possess, as well as two additional Skills drawn from a common pool of abilities that can appear across numerous Investigators.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SKILLS
As mentioned, Skills define your Investigator, and each of them can be leveled up numerous times throughout the game, gaining additional benefits and power. More so, one of the major aspects of your Cthulhu: Death May Die experience will be your overall availability of these skills.
Have an Investigator or two with Stealth? Your scenario experience is going to drastically change because of this, as the group now gains the option to bypass enemies to achieve their goals versus direct conflict. Does one of your group possess a rare healing ability? Well now the group can be a bit more reckless, as you have a means of recuperating damage throughout the mission! Perhaps your entire team is focused on damage-effects, whether they be ranged or melee- suddenly the dynamic is kick down the door and blast them back to <unpronounceable>!
So for those who wish to craft the perfect team for each mission, you have a rich and enjoyable experience available for you in Cthulhu: Death May Die. Of course, you can also just pick your favorites and utilize your motley assortment of skills and powers on the fly- figure out the plan as you go!
With all that being said, let's now take a look at the first half of the brave Investigators joining us...
*Please note all information subject to change before final release.
- SKILLS: Healing Prayer (Unique), Stealth (Common), Toughness (Common)
Alternatively, you can forgo that approach and instead boost his Stealth capabilities, giving him the option to slip past foes and, eventually, begin damaging them as he does so. Taking this route puts him more into a "rogue-like" position in your group- if you find you already have some Investigators that can deal with things head-on then this approach might be more beneficial to the mission in the long-run.
- SKILLS: Read the Omens (Unique), Arcane Mastery (Common), Swiftness (Common)
For those that prefer a more "controller" aspect to their Investigators, Fatima is the choice for you. Her unique skill, Read the Omens allows exactly that (partial) control over the Mythos Deck! The Mythos Deck can be a major source of frustration for the Investigators (and a surge of power for your enemies). By including Fatima you can better mitigate this with some limited manipulation early on and, at later levels, outright cancelling the effects! Of course this puts strain on poor Fatima, so it's something you should only consider in the most dire circumstances (or unless, perhaps, you have Ahmed around to restore her!).
Aside from her unique skill, Fatima also continues her theme of manipulation via Arcane Mastery, which allows her to convert Elder Signs into Successes. Combine this with the Stress-reduction from Read the Omens and Fatima becomes one of the most... Well, Stress-free Investigators in any group.
Finally, Fatima also boasts the Swiftness skill, allowing her to quickly move around the map. Better yet, once properly increased, she can begin to pull other members of the team with her at an expedited pace, allowing you to get up some fantastic plays that could spell the difference between a win and a loss with proper timing!
- SKILLS: High Strung (Unique), Brawling (Common), Toughness (Common)
Sister Beth is not to be trifled with. Arguably one of the best front-line fighters available to the Investigators the good Sister Beth's skills are all focused around surviving in the thick of things and bringing down everything around her (probably utilizing violence).
This is apparent with her two common skills: Brawling and Toughness. As we previously spoke of with Ahmed, Toughness insures that Beth can survive when she decides to get right up in a monster's face and take it head on- which is where she'll usually want to be, given how her Brawling skill works. Once properly increased, beth can begin taking on whole mobs of enemies at once, bringing down a reckoning upon them. Combine this with her unique skill High Strung and you have an incredibly resilient fighter and potentially amazing damage output.
All in all, you may think Sister Beth a bit one dimensional "Oh she deals the damage" but that would be severely understating what that can contribute to a group. Your enemies aren't messing around, and odds are they are going to be far deadlier than you are, so not only having someone willing but also incredibly capable of engaging these threats while everyone else completes your mission can be a real game-changer!
- SKILLS: Savage (Unique), Brawling (Common), Stealth (Common)
Let's take a look now at how the proper combination of common skills can really separate one Investigator from the next:
Here we have Borden, who boasts the Stealth and Brawling skills, two that we've already discussed on other Investigators. Combining these options, however, creates a new play-experience all together. Whereas Sister Beth took a direct "Kill 'em all!" approach and Ahmed used his Stealth to better position himself to support his allies, Borden here... Well Borden likes to sneak up on enemies and utilize that ax of hers (or whatever weapon she finds, really).
One need only take a look at her Savage unique skill to piece it all together. When playing Borden your goal is to find those nice isolated targets, stealth up on them, and cut them down. Not only are you rewarded for this method via the extra damage from both Brawling and Stealth, but if you manage to neutralize your target then Borden also recovers all her Stress, keeping her going that much longer.
When Borden is included in your group suddenly enemy positioning is going to matter that much more- It may become beneficial for some of your group to distract enemies, pulling them away from others, allowing Borden to work her particular form of magic. Likewise, I'm sure there will be times when you're facing down the Old One all by themselves and Borden won't be around, and you'll find yourself wishing you had a stealthy-ax wielder right about now...
- SKILLS: Lucky (Unique), Marksman (Common), Swiftness (Common)
For those who prefer a more run-and-gun approach to encounters, Lizzie is the choice for you.
Wanting to avoid the thick of direct fighting, Lizzie specializes in ranged combat. Her combination of Swiftness, which grants her an additional Run Action each turn, means she can properly position herself exactly where she needs to (and, of course, drag allies with her at later levels). This pairs with her Marksman skill, which further increases the range in which she can perform attacks. Combine these two and Lizzie becomes your group's ace problem solver as she can cover an extreme amount of ground, offering additional support to her allies from across the map when needed.
All this is capped off with her unique skill: Lucky, which allows her a set number of re-rolls depending on if you've leveled this or not. It's not the flashiest unique skill, but no one can deny the awesome benefit it brings. Just when the chips are down and you really need to get those Successes you'll have the potential to do so, meaning you can make a few riskier plays than normal (or ensure a plan goes... well, to plan).
Those who want the experience of playing a ranged specialist, capable of dashing around the map, laying down covering fire for their allies and taking down eldritch threats with well-placed shots will naturally be drawn to Lizzie - and the rest of the group will be happy she tagged along!
And that, Investigators, will complete our look at the first five of the team included in Cthulhu: Death May Die's core box! Join us next time where we'll be taking a look at the rest of the team and what they bring to the table.
In the meantime, which Investigator are you most looking forward to playing?
The Great Old One stirs. Sleep tight