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Borja Pindado
The Wages of Sin #159.
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Reviews

I think this card is incredibly broken. When I first saw it, I thought the skill test had to be succesful in order to get the bonus, which would 've been totally reasonable if that were the case. Instead, Survivors now get a card that lets them click for 2 resources once a turn simply by taking an investigate action and using this card and they still have a chance to get a clue. The only downsides I see are when there are negative effects of failing on certain tokens and the negative effects on Haunted locations in TCU. Other than that, I think it's almost an auto-include in non-Dark Horse decks in every Survivor.

What makes this card even better is its notable interaction with Rabbit's Foot and especially its upgraded version. With Rabbit's Foot, you now have even more reasons to fail tests, as you can now click for 2 resources and a card, and what makes this card totally absurd is its combination with Rabbit's Foot (3): With it, you can take an investigate action, proc Drawing Thin to increase the difficulty of the test, fail hard and tutor even further than you otherwise would, plus you get resources for doing so! And you can do this every turn! So, you now have a powerful tutoring engine that can get you all the cards you need while making money in the process!! Absolutely unreal!!

But you won't always have the luxury to draw or make money, right? Sometimes there's a tight race against the agenda, or the situation is rough and you don't have the luxury to juggle around with your deck. So, let's find situations where this is useful in other ways, namely when you have the opportunity to use this during a test you want to pass. These tests are not very common, but such situations can arise and allow you to make more profit out of this card. An example that comes in mind is a Finn Edwards or Wendy Adams with Lockpicks. Both of these characters can use Lockpicks to investigate at high skill value, allowing the use of Drawing Thin during that investigation without failing the test. In the same manner, other cards that test more than one stat that add up to one another can make interesting cases. Some examples are Cheap Shot and Slip Away. Another example is Rita Young. With her high Agility and all those assets that boost it further she has a good chance to pass an evade test even if its increased by 2. But let's be honest, if you have this card early, you can always just click for 2 resources and those cases where you will want to make money during a skill test will be rare, so it's a win-win in most situations.

Don't get me wrong. It's not that I don't like card. I love it, to be honest. But I wonder; how is it possible that a card with such powerful abilities and interactions was released?? Simply amazing...

matt88 · 872
I just imagine Yorick going bonkers with this card (or TWO) out. — CecilAlucardX · 2
It's a net +2 Fight with Fire Axe in play which makes me think this might be useful even in Dark Horse decks. — RPZip · 1
I pulled off a move with Wendy where I moved to a location, activated the Track Shoes then Drawing Thin to make it a +1 test (with Pete Sylvester in play). I took 2 resources which I spent to play Watch This while also pitching in Quick Thinking. Ended up gaining 4 resources and moving two locations without it costing a single action. That's insanely good. — Sassenach · 53
How would Live and Learn interact with Drawing Thin? Would the +2 difficulty still apply on the re-take of the test? — Cluny · 38
When I first saw this card I thought about Calvin: increase by 2 the difficulty of a test that deals him 1 damage/horror by lacking point and you boost him faster. — AlexP · 24
Yes, Live and Learn and Drawing Thin do have an ambiguous reaction. This was just cleared up by MN earlier today and I'll post the clarification on this page as its own review. But tl;dr: Drawing Thin effects both checks. — StyxTBeuford · 548
Drawing thin has an op interaction with Streetwise. If you trigger both on a test you basically net +1 on the test for free. — Tsuruki23 · 833

There was allot of hype about this card when it was spoiled and many reviewers considered it to be “OP” and a sure candidate for the next update of the “Taboo List”. Because you get the resources independently of the result of the skill test many consider this card to be free resources or card draw. After using this card though its limitations become apparent:

  1. Expending actions to trigger this is from an action economy perspective not worth it most of the time. The only benefit of doing this would be 1 resource, which is quite mediocre considering the price of failure in this game (#BS-Tokens).

  2. Accordingly, you want to trigger this card on test you don’t have to expend actions to initiate, namely skill test triggered by revelation effects of encounter cards or locations and skill test triggered by reaction effects of assets like Track Shoes. This means you can’t trigger Drawing thin at will. You have to hope for the right treachery or have track shoes and don’t care about failing the test or even succeeding and moving to a place you don’t want to go. This of course is a heavy consistency blow to this card.

  3. As any card that deals benefits over time, the efficiency of Drawing thin diminishes the later you get to play it. If it appears late during the scenario you probably won’t be able to take the possible tempo hit to play it and trigger it. This adds up to the consistency problem.

  4. I have to also emphasize the price of failure in this game. The effects of the infamous BS-tokens (cultist, skull, tablet, squid) can go from irrelevant to devastating depending on the scenario and the difficulty you are playing on. At least in 4 scenarios of a campaign the negative effects will be egregious, specially on hard and expert. “If you fail add 1 doom to all cultist in the game”, “if you fail search for X monster enemy and draw it”, “if you fail take 2 horror and burn your collection”…ok the last one was a joke but you get the point.

In conclusion I will say that this card can be awesome in certain circumstances but at least for me it fails to make a big impact more often than not. Using Drawing thin effectively requires good deckbuilding skills and some insight in game tempo and action economy. It is not like good old (pre nerf) Dr. Milan Christopher that you can just put into play and make it rain. For this reasons I wouldn’t support a nerfing of this card.

PD: I tried Drawing thin in the Return to the Night of The Zealot and in the first 5 scenarios of the Circle Undone on hard difficulty with Wendy Adams.

Alogon · 264
I agree with this. I feel like it's a really powerful card, but only as part of the right combo, whereas e.g the Key of Ys is/was just enormously brilliant all the time. I think in some ways the card it's most comparable to is Double or Nothing. Both cards encourage you to try and get as much as possible out of a single skill check, but the main differences are that Double or Nothing wants you to pass the skill check at increased difficulty while Drawing Thin wants you to fail, the maximum payout from Drawing Thin is lower and Drawing Thin can be used every turn. So, since it's much easier to guarantee that you fail than guarantee, I can see why Drawing Thin looks so attractive as the missing piece, so to speak, of the survivor fail-to-win combo. That said, though, I don't think it's the only way to use the card. The most use I've got out of Drawing Thin is in a Finn deck with Lockpicks and Lola Santiago. I think that gets around the two big costs of the card , in that you're not spending actions just to trigger Drawing Thin (because you want to investigate anyway), and you're aiming to pass the check so the consequences of failing aren't a problem. And base 10 investigation skill is often high enough that adding +2 to the test difficulty doesn't make a practical difference to the odds of success. In that case , it's all upside. So I think that because Drawing Thin is only really really good within combos, and because those combos are quite diverse it's going to be tricky to nerf it without making it useless. If it does end up on a taboo list, I'll be interested to see if the designers strike that balance :) — bee123 · 16
Must say when I first saw this card I thought it was hugely OP, or at least it really needed to cost a couple of xp to make it more realistic. Having used it a bit in a variety of decks I'm less sure of that now though. The best results I had with it were with Wendy in combination with either Trackshoes/Peter Sylvestre or Lockpicks. It's massively useful there because you can trigger it during a test that you're likely to succeed at even with the extra 2 difficulty. I haven't tried it yet, but I'd imagine it would also be great for Agnes in combination with Pete Sylvestre(2) , Holy Rosary and Sixth Sense. In that scenario you can just plough through any shroud 3 or lower location and likely get a clue + 2 resources every time. If you're aiming to use it as a 'fail to win' card it's not so hot though. It's basically take an action to gain 2 resources, which is not terrible exactly but how often are you able to just burn an action ? I've run it a number of times in decks without an obviously dominant combo and found that most of the time the returns were way more disappointing than I expected them to be. — Sassenach · 53
I agree with the comments, Drawing Thin shines only within a well thought combo. Having to set up for it to work properly though limits the consistency of the card. I think that in a Finn Edwards deck with Lokpicks, Lola Santiago and Track Shoes this card has the most probability to shine. Nevertheless it must be considered that on hard and expert difficulty, specially during the mid-late campaign, the chaos bag will get so nasty, that you will be burning through your lockpicks allot quicker if you are using them while triggering Drawing Thin. — Alogon · 264
I’ve been running it in Calvin on Normal Circle Undone, and it’s been great. I fail tests often enough anyways that it floods me with resources, and it has a sweet combo with fire axe that lets me make multiple bonus damage attacks with an attack bonus in a round. That said, there are also plenty of rounds that I don’t have the opportunity to use it, especially in the late game after I’ve built up, but it doesn’t really matter by then. In my experience, it hasn’t been OP, but it has definitely been strong. — Death by Chocolate · 12
I didn't consider Calvin because he is...well Calvin, the embodiment of masochism. I think in his case it becomes even more vital to draw Drawing Thin early to make it work, because of his painfully (he literally has to take damage) slow set up and momentum/tempo problems at the start of the scenario. — Alogon · 264
I think it's worth noting that you're very likely to draw Drawing Thin early if you really need it, given that you're willing to mulligan your whole hand. Expected # of Drawing Thins drawn in an opening hand (that seeks through 10 cards given the mulligan; this is a hypergeometric expected value) in a deck with 2 of them is 2*10 / 33, or 20/33. So on average your hand will have 3/5 of a copy of DT, and the variance is 20/33 * 31/33 * 23/32, or about 4/9 , S.Dev is about 2/3, so it's reasonable to expect around 1 copy in every other opening hand. You could go further with this and say that we probably are also running Take Heart and Rabbit's Foot, which will help us draw into Drawing Thin earlier if it isn't in our opening hand, so the expected number of economy cards in an opening hand given we're willing to mulligan for them is 6*10/33 or almost 2, meaning our average opening hand has around two of these cards in them (variance is 60/33 * 27/33 * 23/32, about 1 therefore S. Dev is also about 1, so expect on average 1-3 of these cards in an opening hand). I'd say if you're running DT in an economy deck it's reasonable to expect that you'll draw into them, and with Calvin there's not really any other good early game options for him (aside from Rise to the Occasion and the new card coming in Clutches), so he's perfect for such a set up. — StyxTBeuford · 548
Actually quick correction: the odds are slightly better because it really should be out of 31, not 33 (weaknesses get automatically replaced). — StyxTBeuford · 548
I've played William Yorrick last week with all 3 fail to win cards and had often 2 parts in my starting hand (i mulliganed for a weapon and them). Not sure if this card is OP, but i consider it very strong. I could trigger it nearly every turn to generate lots of ressources or draw cards. This flexibility is also very helpful and hard to decide, sometimes. — Django · 2049
Intersting probability calculations. Sure, with Calvin you may want to hard mulligan for Drawing Thin, balancing the fact that for him is even more important to draw it early. With other investigators the probabilities go down though because you usuaklly want to keep 2 - 3 cards from your opening hand. — Alogon · 264
Two days ago I had a really strong game with Drawing Thin after I drew two copies of it relatively early on the scenario and I also had my talents in play (2 copies of High Roller). When you have 2 in play and a way to transform those ressources into momentum/tempo, using talents or expensive strong cards for example, is when Drawing Thin starts becoming OP. This ideal situation happens very selten though and you still have to do some smart piloting when deciding to trigger Drawing Thin or not. — Alogon · 264
I think it could still be valid with other investigators. It really has to be built around those economy cards, but it makes sense to mulligan for them since they help you draw into the other things you need. — StyxTBeuford · 548

Track Shoes can be used to generate a safe, action-less skill check for Drawing Thin every time you move. Enemies need not be present to use the ability on Track Shoes. This is currently the best way to generate recurrent skill checks for Drawing Thin, and it is available to every .

jmmeye3 · 199
The only problem with this is, if you pass the test you have to move, even if you don't want to. — neescher · 142
That’s right, so I think the combo is best with investigators with 3 or less agility (excludes Wendy, Rita and Silas) — jmmeye3 · 199
I should mention that even if you succeed and get an unwanted move, you can typically move back for an action, which would be the same as “wasting” and action to use Drawing Thin alone. — jmmeye3 · 199

It's not immediately clear how this card interacts with Live and Learn. Does Drawing Thin apply to both attempts or just the first one? There was some debate about this, but the final ruling came from Matt Newman himself:

Greetings,

This is a bit of a tricky interaction, so I apologize for any confusion here. I agree it’s a bit ambiguous. I think the ruling that makes the most sense here is the following:

As a general rule, when you use Live and Learn to attempt a test a second time, all effects with a duration that expire at the end of the first attempt will have expired by the time the second begins. This includes effects used during the first attempt that say “until the end of the skill test…”, “…for this skill test,” or the bonuses from committed cards, which are all discarded at the end of the first attempt. Effects that are inherent to the test itself (the test’s parameters, what happens if you succeed/fail, that sort of thing) all remain the same, even if they have a duration of “for this test.” So, for example, if an effect said “play during a skill test. until the end of the skill test, increase the test’s difficulty by 2,” that would expire at the end of the first attempt, whereas if the test itself said “Fight. Increase the difficulty of this test by 2,” that increase in difficulty would exist in both the first and second attempts.

Now for the tricky part: Which is Drawing Thin? Is it an effect that initiates during a skill test with a duration of that expires at the end of the skill test? Or is it an effect which alters the inherent nature of the skill test itself, such that it would affect both attempts? Since Drawing Thin does not explicitly say any variation of “until the end of the skill test” or “for this skill test,” and since its triggering condition is a “when” reaction to the skill test initiating and not something you use during the first attempt, my ruling is that Drawing Thin is changing the skill test’s inherent difficulty to be 2 higher—altering the nature of the test itself. Therefore if you use Drawing Thin when the skill test initiates, and then use Live and Learn to attempt that test a second time, the increased difficulty would carry over to the second attempt.

Again, apologies for the trickiness/ambiguousness. Hopefully this clears up this interaction, as well as clearing up how Live and Learn works in general. Thank you for bringing this to my attention; I’ll be sure to add it in the next edition of the FAQ as well.

Cheers!

StyxTBeuford · 548
Thanks for posting! — BraidsMamma · 2

Out of interest, do we have clarification on when you get the resources ? I read it as being immediate, ie before the test is undertaken. This could be incredibly powerful if so. The synergy with certain cards would be incredible. For example, initiate a test at +2 gain two resources which you then spend for a +3 boost from Streetwise. You just made the test easier by one while not having to spend any resources. Alternatively, what's to stop you from having two of these in play and just ploughing through easy tests getting 2 resources and a card every time ? Agnes can take this and partner it with something like 6th Sense, where she's just investigating at her willpower level every time. This is likely to mean that she sits at 6 or 7 (or 8 with Dark Horse) on a regular basis and she can just plough through any shroud getting 2 resources and a card every time she does it.

I'm not sure I agree that it doesn't suit a Dark Horse build btw. There looks to be an obvious synergy with Fire Axe. Guarantees that you can power up a +4 boost every swing if the resources can be immediately spent. Also, it offers a way for a Dark Horse player to get a quick resource boost if they need to pay for an asset.

This is a great card. If it cost 2xp I'd buy it in a heartbeat. I'm surprised that it's available at level zero. Seems almost like an auto-include for any investigator with access to it who has a reliable way of passing a lot of tests.

Sassenach · 53
You dont need to pass the trst to get the resources/card. I prefer using it when you are gonna fail a test anyway (treachery for example). — aramhorror · 235

Interaction with Live and Learn from Matt Newman (designer)

Greetings,

This is a bit of a tricky interaction, so I apologize for any confusion here. I agree it’s a bit ambiguous. I think the ruling that makes the most sense here is the following:

As a general rule, when you use Live and Learn to attempt a test a second time, all effects with a duration that expire at the end of the first attempt will have expired by the time the second begins. This includes effects used during the first attempt that say “until the end of the skill test…”, “…for this skill test,” or the bonuses from committed cards, which are all discarded at the end of the first attempt. Effects that are inherent to the test itself (the test’s parameters, what happens if you succeed/fail, that sort of thing) all remain the same, even if they have a duration of “for this test.” So, for example, if an effect said “play during a skill test. until the end of the skill test, increase the test’s difficulty by 2,” that would expire at the end of the first attempt, whereas if the test itself said “Fight. Increase the difficulty of this test by 2,” that increase in difficulty would exist in both the first and second attempts.

Now for the tricky part: Which is Drawing Thin? Is it an effect that initiates during a skill test with a duration of that expires at the end of the skill test? Or is it an effect which alters the inherent nature of the skill test itself, such that it would affect both attempts? Since Drawing Thin does not explicitly say any variation of “until the end of the skill test” or “for this skill test,” and since its triggering condition is a “when” reaction to the skill test initiating and not something you use during the first attempt, my ruling is that Drawing Thin is changing the skill test’s inherent difficulty to be 2 higher—altering the nature of the test itself. Therefore if you use Drawing Thin when the skill test initiates, and then use Live and Learn to attempt that test a second time, the increased difficulty would carry over to the second attempt.

Again, apologies for the trickiness/ambiguousness. Hopefully this clears up this interaction, as well as clearing up how Live and Learn works in general. Thank you for bringing this to my attention; I’ll be sure to add it in the next edition of the FAQ as well.

Cheers!

Calprinicus · 428
I already posted a Review with this FAQ clarification on this page. — StyxTBeuford · 548

If i use this on Rotting Remains and draw , do i take 5 horror (or 7 if used both of them)? This would increase cards searched with Rabbit's Foot 3, if i fail?

And would increase the amount of charges if i succeed on the higher difficulty on Ancient Stone?

Django · 2049
Playing Drawing Thin on Rotting Remains seems like a terrible idea. If you auto-fail, you'd be taking 5 horror - drawing a 0 when the difficulty is 5 means you fail by 5. By the same token, It would increase the charges on Ancient Stone, which directly references the difficulty of the test. — cb42 · 21
Except of you plan to deny the existence (5) of rotten remains - then it is a very good idea! — trazoM · 1
Or if you're a (mostly) sane Agnes and there's an enemy around. — TheNameWasTaken · 3
Unfortunately, you can't use Drawing Thin on Rotting Remains or almost any other treachery card with a Revelation effect. Drawing Thin can only trigger off of skill tests you initiate - things like investigate, fight, or evade actions. — Tynian · 1
Actually, Tynian, that is quite incorrect. The card text of ‘when you initiate a skill test’ is not in contrast with an ‘unwilling’ skill test from an encounter card but in contrast to ‘another investigator’ initiating a skill test. If you go back through the rules, you will see that ‘initiate’ is used to mean ‘resolving some effect in full’, whether it’s an elder sign ability, or action, or a ‘when’ clause of rules text, etc. There is no required notion of player agency when it comes to ‘initiating’. Heck, technically, you aren’t any more responsible for initiating any of skill tests you mentioned because you choose the action and the game rules of said action trigger the skill test. So, yes. You can use Drawing Thin, or any other ability that triggers when you initiate a skill test such have as Money Talks, on a skill test during a Revalation effect. — Death by Chocolate · 12