Followed is a weird card because it's good for builds since they can carefully dictate their damage, yet it's also decent for offensive builds like Tony, Mark, and Leo because it doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity. I don't think there's yet an investigator who adores this card since they can probably get by with off-class tech, but the card itself has great theatrics, and does it's job pretty well all things considered.
Compare with a few other cards of similar effect at lvl 0, each granting 2 clues:
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- "Look what I found!": 2 cost, Fast but skill value and token have to be in close proximity, 2 icons.
- Scene of the Crime: 2 cost, 1 action (protected from AOO), test-less but Bold traited.
- Read the Signs: 2 cost, 1 action (unprotected), + your 's , ignores location hazards (or DttF).
- Deduction: 0/skill, 1 action (unprotected), +1 . (or WaH but it's no help for the 2nd clue)
- Intel Report: 4 cost (or 2 for 1 clue), 1 action (unprotected), test-less and flexible but expensive.
- Eavesdrop: 1 cost, 1 action (disengagement needed), uses enemy value which makes for inconsistent difficulty.
- Followed: 2 cost, 1 action (protected from AOO), +X where X is how much pulp beating you're doing.
I took it in my Sefina deck on a whim because I wanted something to pick up a few spare clues (and naturally I wanted an event), but we already had our cards stretched pretty thin between Akachi and Luke in our Dream Campaign. Eavesdrop wasn't going to fly because of Sefina's piss poor and obviously Preston wanted Intel Report, so you could say I was stuck with Followed. How did it fair?
Pretty well honestly. Fighting in an evasion deck usually means dishing out incremental damage. Hatchet Man, Sneak Attack, Delilah O'Rourke, Coup de Grâce, and even Backstab deal a specific amount of damage that is test-less (you typically need to evade but that's easily handled with Suggestion or Stealth - Blinding Light in my case) and easy to control (as opposed to erratic damage like .41 Derringer, or overkill, ala Shotguns). This is useful because for one, I'm already planning on evading the enemies anyway, and for two, I can get their damage right up until that last HP before I play Followed. Typically I get +3 for the check for two resources. This is preferable over something like Streetwise because with Followed, you get an extra clue. Eavesdrop gives you no bonus and as others have pointed out, an unknowable difficulty test (though evade values seem generally lower on the whole but I could be wrong).
It's not like you aren't planning on fighting enemies or getting clues, and any worth their salt should have an ample cash flow to pay a measly 2 resources. Eavesdrop might be cheap but it's only good for characters with high , while Followed is good for any or build. Jenny, Preston, and Sefina can easily afford it, and Finn is the king at evading. Tony Morgan likes it because he does get a free engage/attack, and let's not forget that Followed does NOT provoke attacks of opportunity so he doesn't need to bother with an evasion. Skids is the only one I can see not wanting this because the man's always broke. If he's going to pay for something, it better be test-less like Scene of the Crime. As for off-class s who might like it, I could see Wendy, Leo, Mark, and maybe a jank Rex who could use it to grab 3 clues and then play "I've got a plan!" to deal the full 3 damage. It's not like he needs the bonus so it's really the extra clue and the protection from attacks of opportunity he's looking for.
But I digress. The question remains, why not just get the clues with your off class faction? You're correct, just do that. But Jenny, Preston, and Finn all either have a limited number of off class support, or they have more than enough cash to play this. Why bother with taking up Jenny's precious 5 off class cards or Streetwise when you're going to have to make the skill test anyways? Intel Report is great, but if you really want to maximize it, you're going to need an obscene amount of resources. That's fine, but it will hurt the bank eventually. Lockpicks are good, but this way you can carry a two handed weapon around and nab clues while you're mowing down enemies. Like I said, it's doing lots of good work for Sefina. If you're goal is to be a passivist, then this card isn't going to help you. To me, it's about equal with most of the other 2 cluing cards, most of which cost you 2 resources and/or require a skill test. Plus, I gotta say, it is pretty satisfying to beat these eldritch monsters into turning tail.