- "As If": This was added to the FAQ (v.1.7, March 2020) and then amended (v.1.8, October 2020). You can read the October ruling on the ArkhamDB rules page here. (I'm adding a hyperlink rather than retyping the rules in case in future the ruling is changed or amended - at that point, the rules page will be updated and all ArkhamDB FAQ entries will link to the correct ruling.)
Dreamer. Drifter. Wayfarer.
You begin the game with Gate Box in play.
You may play one event each turn as if you were at a connecting location and engaged with each enemy at that location.
effect: +1. Place 1 charge on Gate Box.
Luke Robinson - Back
Deck Size: 30.
Deckbuilding Options: Mystic cards () level 0-5, Seeker cards () level 0-2, Neutral cards level 0-5.
Deckbuilding Requirements (do not count toward deck size): Gate Box, Detached from Reality, 1 random basic weakness.
They FINALLY told us how to actually play him!
"(2.10) “As if…”
Some card effects allow an investigator to resolve an ability or perform an action as if a certain aspect of the game state were altered, using the text “as if…” to indicate the difference. The indicated ability or action is resolved with the altered game state in mind, but the actual game state remains unchanged.
=This includes all steps of the indicated ability/action, including the paying of its costs, attacks of opportunity (where applicable), and resolving each aspect of its effect. =Other card abilities or game effects do not resolve with the altered game state in mind; only the indicated ability/action.
Example 1: Luke Robinson’s ( 4) ability allows him to “play one event each turn as if you were at a connecting location and engaged with each enemy at that location.” If Luke plays Barricade ( 38) as if he were at a connecting location, he would attach it to the location he is considered to be at, instead of the location he is actually at. Doing so would also provoke attacks of opportunities from any enemies at that location, since he is considered to be engaged with them throughout the playing of Barricade. That location has the following ability: “:Reaction: After an event card is attached to this location, deal 1 damage to each investigator at this location.” This ability would still trigger, but it would not deal any damage to Luke, because he is not actually at that location. He is only considered to be at that location for the purposes of the playing of Barricade.
Example 2: Luke Robinson ( 4) instead plays Shortcut ( 22) as if he were at a connecting location. This would allow him to move to a location connected to the chosen location. If there are 1 or more enemies at that location, they do not move with him, because even though the event is resolved as if Luke is engaged with him, those enemies are not actually in his threat area, and therefore do not move when he moves."
I think that Luke Robinson is an interesting investigator. I'm not sure about his power level, but starting in play with such a powerful asset greatly increases his potential during the game. Gate Box essentially gives him 3 uses of Elusive which is super powerful given that Elusive costs 2 XP with the Taboo List, so he basically gets 3 uses of a 2 XP card for free. To be fair, the effect he gets is a little worse than Elusive, as it actually costs an action to move to another location, while Elusive is actionless, but if he waits until the end of his turn, he automatically moves away for free. But that's already great power level anyway, so the action cost can't even count as a disadvantage. And what's more than that, he can add even more uses to his Gate Box with Enraptured and Recharge making that asset even more powerful!
His deckbuilding options are a bit weird, but interesting. Seeker class for a 3-Intellect investigator isn't great but offers him interesting options. I think he might fall in the same category as Roland Banks when it comes to investigating, arming himself with Flashlights and Working a Hunchs and clearing low-shroud locations with regular investigations and using auto-clues for the harder stuff. He can always use Rite of Seeking and Sixth Sense of course, but if he wants to use more physical means for investigating, I think his options are kind of limited.
His ability is also interesting. I think the engagement part is mostly useful for multiplayer, but he can generally equip himself with the right events to make it count. Banish, Storm of Spirits, Drawn to the Flame and Working a Hunch make some examples of some options he can include to make use of his ability, and I think he should also lean on events heavier in order to make it more worthwhile. What's interesting here is that he can combine his ability with Gate Box. Dream-Gate is connected to every other location in play, so he can use the Gate Box to move to Dream-Gate and deal with some enemies or get some clues from any location he wants and then move to any other location he likes! I think that's super neat!
Luke Robinson's weakness is relatively mild in my opinion. With his 9 sanity, I think that the 2 horror it deals to him is a minor punishment. It can even benefit him in some situations, by letting him move to any other location he wants. I believe the worst part of it is that it can lock you down and detach you from the rest of your team for a turn and that can be very punishing in certain situations. That's, of course, assuming that he can't take a successful 6-difficulty investigate test, which I believe will be the case most of the time, but if he somehow can, he can mitigate this problem. If he runs Mr. "Rook", though, he can use this weakness to his advantage, as Mr. "Rook" will give him more control of when he draws it and possibly turn this downside into a benefit, by letting him draw it at an unimportant time and allow him to move to any other location he wants for free.
As a final note, I think De Vermis Mysteriis becomes a lot better with Luke Robinson. All those mystic spells that fight or evade can now be used against enemies at a connecting location and let you avoid the attack of opportunity that De Vermis Mysteriis would cause. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the cost is paid BEFORE the ability is initiated, which makes De Vermis Mysteriis usuable while you are at a connecting location and when you initiate the ability you can choose to use Luke Robinson's ability and play the event as if you were at a connecting location, therefore making it usuable with events that fight or evade enemies while you are not engaged with anything. And, as a bonus, his combined access to Mystic and Seeker cards gives him good options to fuel the book, making it possibly a viable choice for him.
Luke Robinson is a pure mess of an investigator as it currently stand, everyone has their own interpretation of how his effect of playing events as if being at a connection location actually works.
So until some FAQ on him is released I would say he is close to unplayable, you will be making up rules and spending insane amount of time trying to read the current rules to determine how his ability interact with them or reading conflicting intetperetations of how his ability works in given situations on both reddit, BBG and other places . Being consistent with what ever rulings you might come up I personally found to be extremely hard.
Some questions can be answered, but others like what happens to enemies already or becoming engaged with Luke during the event work when played at a connecting location work? - there are no clear answers in the rule book, under Engagement it only talk about enemies in the Threat area when moving, so what happens when you are not really moving but are just there as if. Do they follow you or disengage? - What if they already are engaged with you when you play the event - you are considered to be as if your are at the connecting location when playing the event so did the already engaged enemy "follow" you? or do they disengage and reengage? Do they do Attack of Opportunity?
There are a lot of good combos with him (some were already mentioned before):
- Crack the Case when a fellow investigator finishes the last clue at a connecting location, and as his ability is per turn, you can also use an other event in your own turn.
- Unfotunatelly Vantage Points doesn't work for his weakness, but you can also use it with the Box. It makes his location 0 shroud so it is auto-success other than auto-fail, and you can get a clue from any location to it. It pairs very well with Hawk-Eye Folding Camera. When you investigate the dream-gate you trigger the camera. You can do this multiple times in a game (ofc you need to put a clue on it to work) as per rules Limits and Maximums every time the Gate enters play it is a new instance. Alternatively you can use Dr. William T. Maleson or Quick Study to put a clue on your location. The later can greatly help if you want to investigate the weakness side of the Gate, and makes the investigation meaningful.
- Barricade non-elites.
- Shortcut(0) by wording causes a double move.
- Time-warp an other investigators action from a connecting location (doesn't take up your turns event). You can even pull the other investigator back to your self if he/she moves away. Good if revealing location wasn't such a good idea, or if you only want to troll a little.
- My favorite for a multi investigator game is Open Gate. You want to get your teammates from an other location? Or send them away? Put down a Gate on your location, enter the Box, then put down an other gate anywhere on the map by using his ability. You can even end up on a third location (and put a Gate there too).
- Open Gate has an other good use. If there is already a Gate in play, when you draw your weakness, put down a Gate in the pointless reality, so you can move away without investigating. Its fast so you only have to move. Ofc you lose one of your Gate cards, but if you weren't ready for investigating the location it can be a good alternative. Edit:
- Knowledge is Power is awesome to use shrivelling on neighborhood enemies.
Luke is an interesting mystic in that he's best when played to full hi-jinx and shenanigans. His stat line for both Mystic and Seeker is mediocre, so you're going to be most successful looking for ways to grab clues from the Dream-Gate that require little or no testing, and using his dippy do dah to avoid monsters and traps, or cause them to fizzle.
Some fun suggestions:
Gate Box + Vantage Point + Seeking Answers combo to pull two clues from a high shroud location with only auto-fail to stop you. With Seeking Answers (2) this can be done in one action. If you can boost the Camera while doing so, awesome! Play Enlightened on this Investigate to turn a card into a charge on anything but auto-fail.
Gate Box + Pathfinder to instantly teleport to any revealed location as a free action. You can set up some serious crazy with Shortcut, 2xPathfinder, and your Gate Box where you can Pathfinder into an unrevealed location, Shortcut into a second (use Shortcut second in case a monster spawns), then Gate Box shenanigans and use the second Pathfinder to pop out wherever with a full turn's worth of actions remaining and two additional revealed locations.
Alyssa Graham + Gate Box + Drawn to the Flame to pull two testless clues from a high shroud location when you find an encounter that can't spawn at your Dream-Gate. If you are the lead investigator, Alyssa can do a lot of work for the team by identifying location attachments, treacheries where X is based on shroud, and irritating no-VP monsters for you to negate. (Just remember to use the Gate Box during upkeep player window!).
Hemispheric Map + Gate Box + Read the Signs for an 11 skill test as long as four locations have been revealed (See Pathfinder/Shortcut above) - another two clues on basically anything but auto-fail. If you're rocking the Camera from earlier as well this could mean even -8 is no biggie.
Working a Hunch basically any time you're at the Dream-Gate and won't be using your once per turn ability on something else.
I have found that when I play Luke my partner is often annoyed that it's STILL MY TURN because I'm doing so many free trigger actions. That's typically the best sign of a successful shenanigan - your game group can't believe you still have actions left.