Stamina Costs - During the movement phase, Investigators can choose to sacrifice up to 2 stamina to gain 1 movement point or +2 to a single combat check for each point sacrificed. These are considered Stamina costs, not losses. This a nice thematic addition and is intended to bring balance between Sanity and Stamina and serve as a modest buff to the otherwise restrictive-to-play high Stamina investigators.
Combat Assist - Investigators receive a cumulative +1 to both Horror and Combat rolls for each additional investigator present in the same location during combat. Assist bonuses do not apply when fighting the Ancient One. Maybe some will think this is too strong, and I'm still brainstorming other methods, but I like the idea of giving Investigators incenvitives to help each other out in Combat. I've also toyed with giving penalties for enemies teaming up on Investigators.
Daisy Walker - Iron Will only reduces 1 point of Sanity cost per turn.
Mandy Thompson - Research has a die-reroll cap equal to the number of players.
Patrice Hathaway - Focus is 1, sharing clues requires 2 for 1
Sister Mary - When sister Mary rolls a 1 for a Blessing, she may make a Will check. On a success, she rerolls the die. The Will check can only be made once per turn (in other words, if she rolls a 1, passes the Will check, then rolls another 1, she loses the Blessing).
All Shops - you can draw 4 cards instead of 3 (toying with making it 5 since decks are twice as big with all expansions, I'll probably try 4 first).
Magic Shoppe - You can spend $3 to refresh a powerful spell (see below)
Preface - I pretty much despise the way most combat spells are designed. They are arbitrarily restrictive without being substantially powerful and aren't even unique enough to be particularly fun. This is an attempt at overhauling them in ways that don't blatantly contradict the cards and make them much less situational and fun to draw.
Wither/Shriveling/Dread Curse - these only take hands on combat rounds where the casting is attempted. If the cast attempt is successful, the Fight bonus is active for the remainder of the current turn (including for other Investigators) and if subsequent combat rounds take place you do not have to devote hands to the spell to get the bonus. I think this is a nice way to make these spells more generally useful while keeping them with unique benefits as well as handicaps (they can still only affect a single monster per turn and you must succeed an increasingly difficult Casting check). This change also disproportionately benefits Dread Curse, which is badly needed because by RAW its cost is too prohibitive for what it does compared to Wither and Shriveling. This change also means that these spells are more worthwhile for high stamina, low sanity investigators because they can surivive for more turns to benefit from the bonus and have a higher chance of defeating monsters before being knocked out through the benefits of these spells.
Fist of Yog-Sothoth/Spectral Razor - These now act more like buffs. They are cast during Upkeep and function as spell-weapons for the current turn (even against multiple foes) while devoting hands to them. They are still a little weak in general, but have the unique perks of scalability (through the right combination of skills and stats) as well as being considered both spells and magical weapons, potentially useful against multiple types of monsters in a single location/turn.
Azure Flame - After the intial cast (still costing 1 Sanity), to maintain the spell in subsequent rounds, you must pass a Will check. If you succeed, the spell remains active and you don't pay any Sanity cost. If you fail the check, the spell refreshes and you must recast (by paying a Sanity and making the Lore check). I feel this is a nice medium between having to pay a Sanity every round it's active (too costly considering it's just a Magical Shotgun) and only paying it once and maintaining it forever (too good considering it is still a Magical Shotgun).
Any "Cast and Discard" spell - the spell is exhausted instead of discarded, but can only be refreshed by visiting the Magic Shop and paying $3 for materials. This isn't so much a balance adjustment as a thematic adjustment - I have never really liked the idea of single-use spells.
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I skimmed to your post (not much time at the moment), but one thing popped immediately on my mind for Mandy: I'd use a cap equal to (8-number of investigators) and not "number of investigators", so that smaller parties have a greater bonus, while the larger ones have only few die to roll, since more investigators can supply easier the failure of some.
We have dragged Reason from her throne and set in her place the Empress of Dreams [Liber Endvra]
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