Leo De Luca

This is one of the least impactful upgrades in the game, but still deserves a review. Although I often get Leo De Luca, I rarely get this upgrade. The general “rate of exchange” in this game is that 1 XP makes a card one cheaper, and this card follows that rule. However, I tend not to like it for two reasons:

  1. There are usually tons of far more meaningful things to spend your XP on, cards you can only get by spending XP and upgrades that do really important things that change how your character works. Spending XP just to make cards cheaper is relatively boring and lower priority, and I would only do that once I'm done buying the really important cards that improve my deck in more substantial ways.
  2. I would normally have two copies of Leo in my deck and would thus need to spend 2 XP you upgrade both of them, but if you draw both copies during the game you will only be able to play one of them so you will save at most one money, not 2. And he is so expensive that if you draw him late, you might not play him at all and might not save any money. If I'm going to spend XP to make cards cheaper, I would rather do it on a card I am almost always going to play when I draw.

However, I should mention a couple reasons why you would play this card:

  1. Sometimes, late in a campaign, you reach a point where you have purchased call the new cards you really want, and all the remaining level 0 cards you have are key parts of your deck and it is quite painful to get rid of them to buy a new card. In this case you want to start upgrading your existing cards, and the number of upgrades available in the game is often quite limited, so even if this option isn't that amazing at least it has the virtue that it is available and makes your deck unconditionally better.
  2. Leo De Luca is so unusually expensive that most of the time I end up needing to spend actions to gain money just in order to play him, or in order to play both him and whatever else I need. And spending actions to gain money is not, in a general sense, what you want to be doing in the game. This seems to be the primary intent behind the card, that in practice it doesn't merely save you money, but in fact saves you an action, which is more valuable.

I think that if either of these two advantages are appealing to you, you would be even better off buying Another Day, Another Dollar instead - assuming your character is permitted to take that card.

ChristopherA · 49
More fun with Chance Encounter tho. — MrGoldbee · 1042
I like the upgrade stacked with Leo Anderson's discount ability for allies - 4 resources means you still have 1 resource spare if De Luca (1) is in your starting hand. Not huge, but it feels a lot better than going down to 0. — Prinny_wizzard · 99
"I want to add Leo to my deck after level 1, o he comes with a discount, nice!" Seen here, a world where adaptable doesn't exist, or you know, you just bought charisma and whats 2 more XP? — Zerogrim · 171
I feel like you've overlooked the key value in this upgrade. It is not about saving you a resource. It's about saving you an action because if you draw him turn 1, you can play him with your 5 resources. And if you don't, it is far easier to hover around the 5 resource mark than it is 6. — LaRoix · 1446
Yeah, the point of it going down to 5 is you’re able to play it straight away without taking a resource action. You can of course splurge more and get Another Day Another Dollar for a similar effect. — StyxTBeuford · 12433
It does typically save an action rather than merely a resource, but that's still weak for 1 XP. — CaiusDrewart · 2381
If you want the effect reliably, you need to upgrade both copies for 2 XP to save 1 resource. Because you likely never play both copies of Leo in one game. So for 1 XP more, you can save 2 resources with ADAD on your round 1 Leo play. I would say, unless for off-class rogue, who are restricted to up to level 2, this is a better deal. — Susumu · 127
Sacred Covenant

Let me get this straight. Step 3: I reveal a bless token. End of step 3, I activate Sacred Covenant and return the single bless token to the bag. There is no step 4 as there is no token to resolve. If you have 10 bless tokens in the bag and Sacred Covenant ready, you basically have ten more 0 tokens in the bag, this is super powerful.

Vittek · 1
You ignore its MODIFIER (+2) but not the EFFECT attached to the bless token, which is to reveal another token. — Pinchers · 15
Ah, I was sure I was missing something. Thanks. — Vittek · 1
Also, any time a token makes you reveal another token, you basically loop back to step 3, so you can wait until the end of the chain of token reveals before activating Sacred Covenant and return multiple Bless tokens. If you want a Covenant that basically adds 10 +2 tokens to the bag, take Ancient Covenant as that does what you want: stopping the test while positive. — Death by Chocolate · 730
I guess you combine Ancient and Sacred Covenant? - on two different investigators of curse. — tdctaz · 40
I take that back - it is not possible. After Ancient Covenant triggers during the resolve there are no futher reveal steps for Sacred Covenant to trigger in. — tdctaz · 40
This could also only be done with different players, as you're only allowed one covenant per deck. — Jaysaber · 1
Veda Whitsley

Got this as a chance encounter as Yorick in RttFA. Well, what a fortouitous team mate for William; Veda has everything Yorick needs in a soak ally.

She is super super cheap at 1 resource for 3/3 soak! What value! If you compare Veda to the classic combo pair of 0 cost Leather Coat at 2/0 soak or Keepsake at 0/2 for Yorick as soak, Veda costs 1 resource more, BUT is 3/3. If she lasts 1 round she's already earned her upkeep. Also it feels great to have both sanity and health in one asset, versus 2 seperate item assets. There are many times where you end up tanking a hit as Yorick and burn through both your Coat and Keepsake before killing an enemy, but can only put one of those two assets back into play for a free action. Veda is more soak in 1 single card, for the cost of 1 resource.

But she gets better; Both her abilities are great for everyone, but for Yorick as a fighter it can help him setup his encounter to be an enemy and avoid nasties. It also helps your weak seeker get through the damn exploration deck safer without drawing an enemy.

Obviously you have to complete the related "story thing" in scenario 3 of RttFA, but if you do as Yorick, prepare for some good times!

Antiundead · 18
I think Tommy and Gloria are also good partner for they. — elkeinkrad · 111
Oh my god! I didn't know this card before, but it seems more broken than Lita! Would never want Yorick to be the lead investigator with this card. Because with "Well Prepared" and this card, he just laughts at the encounter deck. Better use the discards to protect somebody else! — Susumu · 127
It's a very strong card, but you do have to go through quite a lot to get her. I always slam her down the second I draw her and use her encounter ability quite liberally. She doesn't stay out long! — Pinchers · 15
True Survivor

Since Stella Clark came out, this is IMHO one of the candidates for a taboo list. Her signature card, already pretty strong when combined with (red version of) Grisly Totem and True Survivor ... laughs at any test-based treachery the encounter deck throws at her ...

TomLady · 7
I dont mean to sound critical, and I’ve been guilty of doing this too, but I kind of want reviews on this site to pivot away from taboo v non-taboo and just talk about the cards more generally. I agree this card is very good in Stella because of her signature, though it’s worth remembering you can also Resourceful for them since they’re non-neutral, whereas you’d need this for Silas if you ever end up not pulling back Nautical Prowess. This card is honestly not all that broken just because Survivors have quicker and cheaper ways to recur powerful skills. — StyxTBeuford · 12433
Neither Rain or Snow in itself is very strong due to the fact that it cancels all effects of the failed test. I do agree, that when activating Grisly Totem, it may sometimes quite difficult to fail (4 wild icons!), but once in a while you do anyway (and even so, still freaking NOTHING happens!). Thus if you have 2x True Survivor and the Totem, you are almost guarranteed to be able to play NRNS 9 times at least. The card is not broken per se, but with Stella, I dare claim it is. — TomLady · 7
What's the meaning of Grisly Totem? There are no combo with Grisly Totem & NRNS. Also, True Survivor is 3 cost event, which is quite expansive. I think that the main problem is not true survivor, but powerful economy source such as Drawing Thin, or Totem with Take Heart. — elkeinkrad · 111
There is ... Grisly Totem adds another wild icon to NRNS for a total of four and if the test fails, you get it back (and still no negative effects of the failed test occur). Granted, it's once a round as you exhaust it, but still... and yes, with Drawing Thin, the 3 res cost is a non-issue for getting three amazing skill cards back from the discard pile. — TomLady · 7
Can you get NRNS back though? Grisly Totem's bounce is an effect of the failed test, and NRNS cancels all those. I don't think you get to pick and choose which effects to cancel and which to keep. — TheNameWasTaken · 3
Well if someone can put a proof to the contrary, it could prove me wrong, but as of now I wonder why couldn't you? The NRNS cancels the effects of the test, not the test itself, doesn't it? Grisly Totem is just a reaction trigger. This could really use for an offical ruling. Even though it wouldn't work this way, I still maintain that NRNS + True Survivor is too powerful. I think if Stella had just two copies of NRNS, she would be just fine. — TomLady · 7
Anything with "If this test fails" is considered an effect of the failed skill test, it does not matter that if it comes from a triggered ability. — toastsushi · 62
Considering similar case with Take Heart (which has been FAQ'd), you can choose the order of resolving GT and NRNS, since they both take effect in the same step, right? The result of the test is still a failure even though its effects have been cancelled. The test itself still took place, hasn't it? — TomLady · 7
However, NRNS also cancels totem's fail effect, so that you cannot return NRNS if you want to cancel the failed effect. — elkeinkrad · 111
Basic totem effect is reaction ability, but after you trigger that ability, it remains delayed effect, "If that skill test fails, return that card to your hand — elkeinkrad · 111
thus, the ability of returning skill card is "failed effect" and will be canceled by NRNS. sorry for posting splited by 3:) — elkeinkrad · 111
Elkeinkrad is correct, if you Grisly NRNS and the test fails you can choose the order to resolve Grisly and NRNS, but if you resolve Grisly first, NRNS is no longer in the test so you can't resolve it, and if you resolve NRNS first, Grisly's effect is cancelled because it's an effect of the failed test. So it's one or the other — NarkasisBroon · 1
Don't get me wrong, I really have no intention of being annoying and would admit I might be mistaken, but I still don't see how it couldn't work. The test still occurs and it has failed, right? Only the effects are discarded: such as nasty thing on a treachery or some consequence of pulling out a particular chaos token, right? How is the card reaction ability part of an effect of the failed test? Once again, I am NOT trolling you, just would like a elaborate explanation, because it seems unclear to me and could use an official FAQ. — TomLady · 7
As a side note: hypothetically, if NSNR said "ignore" instead of "cancel" (otherwise retaining the same wording), would GT ability kick in, according to you? — TomLady · 7
Anything that follows "If that skill test fails" or "If you fail" or any similar wording is a consequence of a failed test. Cancel or Ignore would make no difference. — suika · 7580
It doesn't matter if the effect is beneficial or harmful. All effects are canceled. The way it works with Take Heart is that you resolve Take Heart first, then resolve NRNS, which then cancels every other effect of the failed test (except Take Heart, which has already resolved). — suika · 7580
To add to suika’s explanation, this is the same game mechanics that causes Double or Nothing to double ALL effects of a successful test - both the original effects of the test itself and any additional effects tacked on from skills etc. — Death by Chocolate · 730
(I will refer you to the Skill Test Results and Advanced Timing (added in FAQ, section 'Game Play', point 1.7) — Death by Chocolate · 730
"ST.7 Apply skill test results. The card ability or game rule that initiated a skill test usually indicates the consequences of success and/or failure for that test. (Additionally, some other card abilities may contribute additional consequences, or modify existing consequences, at this time.) Resolve the appropriate consequences (based on the success or failure established during step ST.6) at this time. If there are multiple results to be applied during this step, the investigator performing the test applies those results in the order of his or her choice." — NarkasisBroon · 1
Grisly Totem (red) and NRNS are examples of things which "contribute additional consequences or modify existing consequences, at this time.). Anything that gets applied at step 7, is just as much an effect of the failed or successful test as discovering a clue or taking horror. As others have said, Grisly Totem's reaction doesn't take place in step 7, it takes place much earlier, but it sets up a lasting effect that triggers in step 7. It is just that lasting effect (return to hand) that is an effect of the failed test — NarkasisBroon · 1
Eye of Chaos

I thought I should just point out the differences from the L0 version because it took me more than one second to notice.

  • +2 willpower to the test
  • Bonus effect triggers FOR EACH curse revealed, rather than just once.
  • Extra willpower icon

I haven't played with Curses enough to know whether this triggers twice enough to make it worthwhile, but it seems like it'd require a full bag of curses to get good value out of it. I think I'd generally be happier with the extra clue from Rite of Seeking or Clairvoyance, despite their downsides.

Lovetann · 2
The big difference is if you're able to keep generating curses and keep pulling them, then you can charge them up essentially infinitely. Probably less of an issue with someone like Akachi or Dexter, but still a very big consideration for a team that works with curses. — SSW · 90
Having done a Leo+Rex ALL the curses strategy I can say if you prepare for it you can totally just keep the bag full of curses and be basically fine. — Zerogrim · 171
The rub with blurse is that filling the bag with bless or curse is way easier than almost anyone anticipated. So yes, you can definitely stack curses on this thing, and what’s more, the failure or success of the test has no baring on the curse effects. So even if you fail, you could pull several curses and get tons of clues on adjacent locations. — StyxTBeuford · 12433
I am currently working through a 3p campaign with Gloria using Eye of Chaos (4) and Favor of the Moon for clue-finding. I think the +2 Willpower is excellent for helping handle the curse -2 modifier. — SocialPsientist · 119