His ability may look limited especially as his disadvantage limits the weapon selection available to him, but with his high sanity, stamina, lore, permanent Wither effect and Dragon’s Eye, Alexander is an asset to any team. If you’re prepared to discard most of Alexander’s initial equipment, his personal story only requires the acquisition of a new spell and a return to the Billington Estate and, once successfully resolved, turns Alexander into an excellent combat character.
Angelina is truly an investigator on a knife edge. She has excellent initial funds, but needs to invest them in order to make them work for her. Her Accountancy skill and Endless Greed corruption will supplement her starting money, but the latter prevents her from sharing her wealth for the greater good of the team. If she overinvests she might pass her mission… which could either wreck her portfolio or give her the clues she needs to win the game – at the cost of her soul. Underinvestment leaves her prone to failing her personal story, which in turn might leave her in a difficult fiscal situation. Angelina works particularly well in Kingsport; all the locations are stable and exploiting her investments can ensure that she always gets the best encounter cards. Due to her potential to generate vast wealth, Angelina benefits more than most investigators from the Arkham Chamber of Commerce.
More versatile than her counterparts Vincent Lee and Carolyn Fern, Chastity has to sacrifice movement points to make the most of her special abilities. If she acquires a movement enhancer such as the motorcycle, Bentley or the Rolls Royce, and Chastity will always be in the right place at the right time, patching up the wounded and granting succour to the downtrodden. Just like a real nurse, Chastity has to care for her charges. Failure to do so, may see her fail her personal story, dramatically decreasing her effectiveness.
This is one priest who really cares for his flock. If they pray regularly, the good father will always be a steadfast beacon of hope in a sea of turbulence. One strategy which can be overlooked when playing this character is to actively seek out spells (or the devil’s work, as the good father would no doubt remind us) just so that Ryan can acquire monster trophies which can be traded at South Church for a blessing, earning a free sanity refill to boot. His Last Rites ability is excellent against the Undead – including the Banshee, Poltergeist and Revenant – which in turn can be traded at Peck Valley for a blessing.
If he gets hold of a good weapon Frankie is a sweet sweeper par excellence. His weakness is his low sanity, so he may need to trade some of his Fight for Will. One tactic is to jump out of Arkham Asylum, St Marys Hospital, the Holy Heart Monastery or the Wavecrest Inn at Martin’s Beach, destroy several roadblocks and then flee back for healing. If Frankie fails his personal story, he will probably be devoured, but with 7 Stamina this will take awhile, and a little careful play should ensure he passes his story first, immediately increasing his combat effectiveness.
The girl with the plan, the back-up plan and the patents on the plan, Henrietta’s social graces make her excellent investigator when it comes to resolving encounters. To make the most of her abilities, try to make sure she has an encounter in Arkham every turn. She’s out of her depth in combat, so she’ll either need to acquire a weapon or else evade the most dangerous monsters. Thankfully she’s pretty slippery when it comes to evasion. Aim to acquire Silver Twilight Lodge membership sooner rather than later. If she fails her personal mission, she becomes another face in the crowd.
You will need to print 12 rhythm tokens to use this investigator.
A difficult investigator to play, Isabella can be very powerful under the right circumstances. Remember that any skill check she passes earns a rhythm token – including reading tomes and casting spells. Save these tokens for when they are really needed. With three tokens Isabella can have five movement points, then set her Sneak to 5 to slip past all the monsters in the streets (incidentally earning more rhythm tokens for every Evade check she passes). Another possibility is set her Will to maximum to pass a horror check, then use rhythm tokens to pump her Fight up so that she can pass the combat check as well! With Isabella it’s all about the timing, get the tempo right and she’ll always have her sliders optimised.
If you want a team shopper, Josh fits the role perfectly. His discounts will save money, whilst his Pitch ability and high Speed mean that he can distribute equipment accordingly. He can also travel from Arkham free of charge, provided he hasn’t failed his personal story. Josh’s personal story involves visiting (and getting clues from) the four most active locations in Arkham – but the best time to purchase goods is also early in the game, so you’ll need to make a decision early on as to whether you will pursue his personal story or abuse his popularity.
Mystery man Juan Cierva requires a lot of skill to play, but is very rewarding when used correctly. He starts with very little, and, unless he resolves his Amnesia issues, he will need to sacrifice skills in order to seal gates, but, as he regenerates his skills quickly, he should always have something to contribute to the game.
Juan is the ultimate troubleshooter. His greatest strength is his adaptabaility. Given that Juan can sacrifice two skills in place of a clue, and that he has a reasonable chance of acquiring new skills during the upkeep phase, Juan should always be willing to sacrifice low value skills if other ones would better serve his long-term aims. With a little judicious pruning, Juan can be whatever the team needs: a diabolical spell-slinger, a terrifyingly effective warrior, or a grizzled explorer of the Other Worlds.
Juan’s Fragments ability is not as powerful as his primary one, but is an excellent way of recycling pinata monsters, allowing the team to benefit from them again and again. He should always go toe to toe with Barnabas Marsh or the Tcho-tcho. In a pinch, use Peck Valley to sacrifice them back to the cup.
Because Juan’s mission requires Mi-go, the difficulty of this mission will depend a lot on whether or not the Vermont Horror expansion is in use. If this expansion is in use. Juan should head to Vermont as soon as possible. If it is not, he will need to hope that a Mi-go appears and that he is nearby when it does. If he has the time and money, consider using the Unsavoury Allies ability at the Tenements.
It’s easy to underestimate Julia – she doesn’t start with a skill and her abilities don’t appear that powerful. However, this overlooks her excellent attributes – four of which are max out at 5. Provided she isn’t soujourning in the other worlds or trying to cast arcane spells, Julia can put a dent in any obstacle that stands in her way – and as she’s armed with a sledgehammer, that’s usually a mighty big dent!
Her Puritan Work Ethic ability combines with her Will Work For Food ability turning any location in Arkham with a dollar symbol into a mini-hospital. Combined with her phenomenal stats, this makes Julia a top-tier monster slayer, capabilities she will need if she wishes to stem the flood of monsters to prevent the terror level rising and safeguard the fail condition on her personal story. Passing her personal story will probably involve a trip to the Administration and $8. Thankfully with the ability to turn any dollar symbol location into $1 and 1 stamina, keeping with the interest on a bank loan shouldn’t prove too onerous.
We all have one – a friend that attracts curse cards the way honey attracts bees – Molly is designed for that player. The bane of Yig and the Forked Tongue, it goes without saying that Molly should always take clues from spell symbol locations first. She is less likely to experience negative outcomes and, in addition, she can negate any negative outcomes which would result in her being cursed. Because she is specifically encouraged to spend such a lot of time in eldritch locations, don’t be surprised if Molly ends up with a large complement of spells and esoteric trinkets.
Her personal story is difficult to pass, but it is well worth doing so, as it provides the team with a free seal. Furthermore, failing her mission can be catastrophic, especially if there is a gate open in Witches Hollow.
It may take a while but Ramona will get the best equipment through use of her barter ability. Her fixed equipment isn’t all that great, so feel free to trade it away for something more practical. Combine this with 3 Focus and with a little preparation, Ramona will ready for anything that Arkham can throw at her.
Her personal story looks difficult to acquire the components for, but really isn’t that bad as you’d normally want at least 5 clue tokens to seal a gate, and she can use take one of the most powerful monsters off the board when she scores it. By comparison her failure condition isn’t especially debilitating, as planning to take on the Ancient One should never be anything other than a last desperate measure anyway.
Tommy’s value depends on the number of other investigators in the game. In a game with few investigators, Tommy will be hard pressed to make the most of his power, but in a game with plenty of other ivnestigators, Tommy is only limited by the company he keeps. Team up with Jenny Barnes to gain money, join forces with Vincent Lee to set up an emergency clinic or visit Marie Lambeau and set the Ancient One back a doom token. If other players successfully cast Consume Likeness or Juan Cierva finishes his personal story, Tommy becomes even stronger as a result.
Regarding his personal story, whilst collecting three clue tokens and returning to Aylesbury is not an especially taxing task, will earn Tommy a retainer, and, as a side benefit, will re-open factories in the industrial district, it is only really useful in a game where the investigators are impoverished or facing off against New World Industries. If times are desperate (and Tommy has lost or does not care for his bravery skill), there may be more cause for the immediate $2 from the Employment ability.
The consummate profession, Gieves is the power behind the throne, and should be played as such. Whilst never directly intervening, whenever Gieves is nearby things just seem to work out for the best. Gieves ability spreads to adjacent locations, so feel free to park him in stable location near (but not too near) the action, so that he is on-hand to dispense his sage advice. This is especially when trying to close a difficult gate or win a difficult fight.
Gieves’ effectiveness depends on his being saner than his compatriots, so heal up sooner rather than later when playing Gieves. He is also slow and will benefit enormously from a motorbike or map of Arkham. He tends to work especially well with Henrietta Brooks and (to a lesser extent) Tommy Bongiovi.
The importance of his personal story depends on how much money other investigators have and whether or not Gieves has already lost his retainer. Due to the strict requirements, it’s fairly hard to pass, so don’t be afraid to fail it, especially if Gieves has already lost his retainer.