Carolyn - Big Ma'am on Campus (Hard Mode)

Card draw simulator
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Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
Carolyn - Big Ma'am on Campus (Hard Mode) 0 0 0 1.0
Carolyn - Big Ma'am on Campus (Hard Mode) 0 0 0 1.0
Carolyn 0 0 1 1.0

StartWithTheName · 22444

StartWithTheName

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This is a carolyn deck i have been working on since the release of Solemn Vow. When ive played carolyn in the past, I found I didnt enjoy spending a lot of my actions healing. It felt a little too slow for my playstyle, and it lacked a little dynamism since I wasnt interacting with the act or agenda much. So here I have tried to speed her up as much as possible and move the healing to a passive continuous function letting me focus on playing the game more and providing carolyns other primary function as a cluer.

When I put one of these guides together I usually play the deck a few times (two handed solo) on table top sim to test them out. However, this deck really wants a 3p or 4p group which is fiddly and less fun to do solo, so it hasnt had the same rigor as usual. Nevertheless, versions of it have cleared standard mode runs of The Blob, both Egypts, and several runs of Murder at the Excelsior. It is also currently part way through an all guardian 4p "Broforce" run of TFA where we are attempting to simply shoot our way out of any problem we see with big guns, while carolyn and tommy take the pain away.

While most of these have been standard mode, the deck is calibrated to be investigating at hard mode level, and most other functions are automatic so I dont expect it to struggle on hard.

The deck is shown here with a little xp to show the long run direction of the deck. To reset to campaign start:

Finally at time of writing Mr. "Rook" is not on the taboo list, but I expect he will be soon. And without knowing what changes may be made, its hard to say if he`ll work the same later on. Also I am aware a lot of people dislike Rook due to him being a bit on the strong side. At very least here hes not being exploited heavily, and he will draw you Rational Thought very early which is a sizable tempo loss. So at least in this deck he doesn't feel like hes being abused. Hes basically there for a little draw. For the most part Tetsuo Mori can do a similar job, or tbh Preposterous Sketches or any other heavy duty draw card.

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PROFILING (TL:DR)

OVERVIEW:

  • CLUEING: ....................... Good.
  • ENEMY HANDLING: ...... Low, escape buttons mainly
  • ENCOUNTER PROT: ...... Decent.
  • DRAW CONSISTENCY: .. High, tutor driven
  • CASH ENGINE: ............... Very High
  • HEALING: ....................... Good

PLAYSTYLE:

  • ROLE: ............................. Cluer and Passive Healer
  • COMPLEXITY: ................ Moderate, rewards practice.
  • JANK FACTOR: ............... Full Rudegoldberg.
  • THEMATIC FEEL: ........... Strict, Neurotic, and Inquisitive...

SLOTS:

A multiplayer support/cluer Carolyn deck which aims to minimise time spent on heal actions to enable more aggressive cluing. Most carolyn decks rely on occasional abilities on assets, like Liquid Courage/First Aid which can be time consuming and expensive to put in play and use. This deck instead uses Solemn Vow to move horror to Peter Sylvestre or Carolyns generous 9 San on her ID, action free, to heal off passively over time like a giant team wide Big Man On Campus - all the while generating cash for yourself rather than your subjects like any self respecting psychologist should (If you really must give it to them, I once heard that Ancient Stones can be used on others, just know that I am judging you!).

Between the Ancient Stone ( on upkeep card), Hypnotic Therapy and Peter Sylvestre, upto 3 passive horror can be healed per turn. Painkillers (also ) allows some of this to be damage instead, though you also will use these for yourself too, and you can also put damage or horror onto Rook (Or Tetsuo if you took him instead) since they need defeating in due course anyway.

Day to day clueing is achieved by stacking high with St. Hubert's Key, Magnifying Glass and Death • XIII which can reasonably reach 6 early game (any 2) or upto 7 late game, going to the 3 or 4 above a shroud 3 desired for hard mode. Bonus clues can be paid for once your rich, as can other Big ticket events. A (minimally tested) addition of Versatile, may also add more bonus clue events.

The asset density isnt as bad as it looks. 5 assets are fast, Pathfinder immediately replaces the action spent playing it, and Ever Vigilant (On STTP) reduces the your play actions needed by 2. This all leaves just 4 to 6 actual sunk asset playing actions needed over a game, which is on par with a lot of other decks. With a lot of passive draw and steady bonus income, theres a lot of time left in the system to do this.

Finally note that this deck is a good cluer, not a heavy duty cluer. You wont be as effective as a dedicated seeker, but you can reliably get 2-4 a turn which is decent. It also open up more efficient wider team plays by mitigating risk like occasional AoOs to position well or risking attacks in the enemy phase. I once Dynamited 3 other players wrecking a glut of enemies... Then got paid for it! Who said healing is dull!

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DETAILED PILOTING

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PERSONAL GROWTH (Upgrades)

Ive not had many chances to try out any late campaign builds since it needs a big group, though it has done a few 29xp standalones, which ofc cant have the stones. So a fair bit of this is speculative after the first steps. Please take the "Options" stuff with a pinch of salt.

Priorities:

Slowly transition Fearless & Logical Reasoning to Healy Stones. I keep Logical Reasoning longest to clear Rational Thought quickly and get BMOC's back online asap), but once you have the stones, drop them too to free up slots for some juicy xp toys.

You`ll only be able to get the basic stone after the first sc, so depending how much xp you have, top up with some of these while prioritising the stones.

This should get you to the deck as listed.

Other Options

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DECK SHRINKING (Early Game & Consistency)

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STICK TO THE PLAN TARGETS:

STTP effectively thins your deck by taking 4 cards (~12%) out of it before you even start since Astounding Revelation, which can be triggered when Stick to the Plans searches the deck. You then have options for the other 3:

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MULLIGAN - Keep any of these that you see:

then Mulligan anything else in hope of finding the above. Rook and Self-Sacrifice effectively self replace. Hypnotic Therapy and Pathfinder are just phenomenal time savers, and the rest is trying to build up cluing potential.

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EARLY GAME

  • Get Cluing, let horror build up - Prioritise stacking so you can clue. Youre healing tools will show up in due course, or you can tutor for them later if needed. For now focus tutoring on Magnifying Glass, Death • XIII and St. Hubert's Key. This is important as if you spend too much of your early cash on healing tools, before the horror is down, you may not be able to afford Mr. "Rook", St. Hubert's Key or Death • XIII.

  • Play Solemn Vows as soon as you see them but dont muligan for them. Theres 3 copies in the deck you`ll see one early. Put the horror on Peter Sylvestre if you have him, or on your ID for now. You will use the Stones to heal it off in due course.

  • Spam Draw cards hard. Self-Sacrifice can be used on any test another player is taking. Just use it on the first test that either has no on fail effect, or one that will deal you horror anyway. Dont hold it back. If you had a fast card that would draw you 2 cards, you`d play it on sight. Similarly if you took Perceptions or Eureka!s with Versatile just fire them off on any test you are confident you will pass.

  • Use Hypno Therapy as a Draw Action If you have horror on you, then anytime you would chose to take a draw action, just use Hypnotic Therapy. You`ll get a card, a penny, and remove 1 horror from the team. You are an investigator at your location.

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HYPNOCRATIC OATH (Healing)

  • Solemn Vow is your primary healing method. Use it to move horror from your comrades and their assets, to Peter Sylvestre (where his will clear it and pay you) or your ID where Your Stones or can deal with it later on. You have 9 Sanity and decent . Use it like a battery.

  • Healing Stone triggers off your upkeep card. Ie you can heal 1 horror from your ID a turn without any special effort. With Hypnotic Therapy down, you can use this to trigger its getting you a second heal if needed (though you still only get 1 penny since Hypnotic Therapy increases the heal from the stone.

  • With a full rig, thats 3 horror per turn total passively. 1 from Peter Sylvestre, 1 from Healing Stone, and 1 from Hypnotic Therapy's . Hopefully thats enough for your whole team.

  • You can put damage and horror on Rook/Tetsuo too. They are both 2/2 soaks, and they are both cards you want to kill off, tetsuo for the effect, rook to make space for the other copy once hes empty.

  • Painkillers let you heal Damage too. And since the horror you take isnt direct, it can also be put on allies like Mr. "Rook" or Peter Sylvestre. You should keep a few of these supplies for yourself however as Carolyn`s low makes her vulnerable to damage. But if times are good, heal peoples damage too.

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CASE NOTES (Clues)

Probably no surprises here

  • You wont be a top end seeker. This build uses some deck space for the heal engine, so its not going to be multi cluing like a dedicated seeker might. You are a hybrid healer/cluer. Dont expect to completely carry the team on both fronts, but you will be pulling more than your share (not least since someone else is doing the enemy handling most likely)

  • Aim to stack Early Game. This is covered above in the early game section. But aim for 6 or 7 asap. This puts you 3 or 4 above a 3 shroud location, which gives about 80% odds on hard. Then just get on with cluing and progressing the act. The healing tools will come in due course, and can be played later on. Healing stops you dying, cluing helps you win, and short of a lot of trauma, people arnt going to have a lot of horror early game.

  • Bonus clues come with xp. Deduction and Working a Hunch are your only bonus clues. This is why I add Versatile. 2 or 3 more bonus clue events go a long way. I find Winging It great for this. It starts on Stick to the Plan. Then as soon as your cash engine is working, play it, then play it again. Mr. "Rook" can dig it out again once its shuffled back in. Repeat each turn and your now reliably hitting 3 or 4 clues a turn.

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CAROLYN BURN! (Enemy Handling)

you wont be much of a damage dealer, but you have options

  • Use 1 of the STTP slots for an attack. I prefer "I've got a plan!" for this as its cheaper and if you need it early game, that 5 bucks is a big tempo loss on Dynamite Blast. Though later on when you have money Dynamite Blast is usually the superior card overall.

  • Take the Initiative can be used to evade. so long as you take the first turn. With Peter Sylvestre down it can take you to 6 which is enough for most panic moments.

  • If you want more damage, modify the list a bit. Guard Dogs work well. Horror from attacks of opportunity (AoO) can be turned into money, while damage can then be dealt back. Other good options include Alice Luxley over St. Hubert's Key (again take the AoO), Spectral Razor, or just another "I've got a plan!"/Dynamite Blast. Remember Versatile can let you bring these in later on if you realise youre a little short after a couple of scenarios (See upgrades).

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EXPOSURE THERAPY (Encounter Handling)

  • Tank the horror perhaps a little obvious, but if an encounter card deals horror you probably dont need to throw pips at it. It actually plays into your game plan.

  • Be wary of your damage You dont have a lot to spare. Soak what you can on allies, use Painkillers as needed, and keep Ward of Protection should be held back for brutal effects or crisis moments. Take the Initiative can also get you our of tests which usually occur on encounter cards with damage effects like Spoiler. This means you shouldnt be too generous Vowing damage from other players, even if you have Painkillers. Youre a psychologist not a doctor.

  • Play Painkillers early if you expect asset hate. Better to lose them than something more important. And notice that they dont discard when empty anyway. Similarly an empty Stone wont self discard, so its a viable sacrifice if you are forced to discard an asset by an encounter card.

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12 comments

Mar 20, 2020 mattastrophic · 1462

Hey there!

What's your take on the Pendant of the Queen? Is it worth including in the base 30, or would it make a great use of Versatile, or is it not that great?

Mar 20, 2020 Neramoor · 3

Is shrewd analysis really a good idea? all the stones are good but you really want the healing stones. Is it worth the risk that you don't get them?

Mar 20, 2020 Doma0997 · 3

@Neramoor the healing stone is the only one Carolyn can take, as is the only one that heals horror and she can’t take other seeker cards past level 1. When you upgrade the one, it picks both out of all legal options, there is only one legal option, so you get them both healing stones.

Mar 21, 2020 SGPrometheus · 205

Interesting deck, Doma! Carolyn is one of my favorite investigators, but I had experienced difficulty splitting my actions between clues and healing, which this list seems to deal with. Definitely worth a test!

I also wanted to mention that Logical Reasoning doesn't clear Rational Thought because it doesn't have the terror trait, so I would consider that two extra OoF slots for extra clues/damage early on.

Neat deck!

Mar 21, 2020 Doma0997 · 3

Totally not my deck, that's StartWithTheName, Just wanted the point out the way shrewed analysis works.

Mar 21, 2020 The King in Yellow · 138

@SGPrometheus Rational Thought does not have the Terror trait, but Logical Reasoning can still heal horror of it

Mar 21, 2020 StartWithTheName · 22444

Cheers for all the comments all. Sorry i may be a little slow to respond on here due to various community stuff for my local games group monopolising my pet project time somewhat atm.

@mattastrophic - You and your chocolate oranges! for anyone who is reading, Matt and I play together Hes actually in the Broforce campaign i talk about above. Anyway - I think you could possibly get the onxy in after making space with versitile. It would have to take some of the bonus clue OOF event slots and you`d probably need a Relic Hunter, so it would need some testing. The hard bit is digging out the components. Rook could probably assemble it once, but after that the deck might lack the draw to keep re-building it like other decks would. Which i guess means it would likely net you the same 3 clues as the events it replaced, but at range and with auto clue benefits and alternative evade/move options. Basically slower to use but more flexible i think. Maybe theres a deck to be made that can do passive healing, then a massive draw engine to keep cycling the oranges.

@Neramoor also knows me and I messaged him this after the comment, but for anyone reading, @Doma0997 is right in the logic you spend 1 OOF slot to save 3xp later on (cheers for explaining doma). I am actually on the fence about whether this is worth it but for a different reason. Those out of faction slots are very very useful for bringing in bonus clue tools and after the set up as listed the benefits of more xp seem to offer diminishing returns fairly quickly. Certainly I at the point in TFA im at i would happilly spend 3 xp to be able to bring in 1 more Read the Signs for example, though TFA does have more xp available than other campaigns so perhaps im spoiled.

Cheers @SGPrometheus and The King in Yellow. I had never even considered that Logical Reasoning could remove a weakness from play if it had a terror trait. I was just referring to it removing 2 horror where fearless removes just 1. This gets a bit mathsy but you need either Hypnotic Therapy + Logical Reasoning or 2x Logical Reasoning to clear Rational Thought in 2 actions, where fearless needs Hypnotic Therapy and both copies of fearless (so 3 cards total). I also want the certainty of clearing at a time of my choosing and without risk of bad luck that Fearless cant offer.

Also I wasnt sure if you thought this from your comment, but in case it helps, neither Logical Reasoning or Fearless count towards your OOF slots since they heal horror. I forget the ruling but it works and its at least how adb is programmed to count them.

Anyhow - Thanks all for reading.

Mar 21, 2020 The King in Yellow · 138

Spoiler!
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You should of linked the Hastur

Mar 29, 2020 richwiss · 1

I really enjoyed your Diana deck - played it in 2p game. Looking for a 2p Carolyn deck but you mention this is best 3p/4p. Is that bc Carolyn doesn't do well 2p or bc this deck isn't set up for 2p? And if the latter, what changes would you make to allow 2p mode? -THANKS!

Mar 31, 2020 StartWithTheName · 22444

Hi @richwiss

A group healer who is essentially feeding off the horror generated by others will naturally lose some of their charm with 2p simply because there will be less horror streaming in. However you could just pair up with someone like Agnes who will be deliberately taking extra horror. Or maybe someone like Roland who is used to taking horror on soaks could free up a little more deck space and go full glass cannon.

Alternatively, or indeed additionally (and this is all untested), re-jig the deck to bring a little more combat or Evade. You can at least free up 1 of the Solemn Vow spots (i realise you will have 1 spare in the deck but you want to see it early and its pipped so the spare can be chucked for an encounter check).

for enemy handling options perhaps something less bursty, but longer term like Mists of R'lyeh or Shrivelling would be ok. Note that you will struggle to land these pre Peter Sylvestre (2) and getting St. Hubert's Key/Hemispheric Map down without throwing pips at the test, but there are a TON of will pips in there. Ofc this will make sc1 a bit rougher without Peter Sylvestre (2) like.

Apr 13, 2020 Jef · 7

Hi, first of all, thanks for the deck and the write up, very complete.

I've just played the deck at lvl 0 to start a campaing, on hard, and I see some problems, and most of them are stats related.

  • Fearless with 3 Will is quite hard to land, you can always play it on a friends test, if you have a friend with high will, else it's probably a dead card for most of the game as it's hard to create a will test most of the time. With Peter(2) AND St Hubberts key we'll be testing at 6, but that's later, and we are suppossed to drop fearless by that time anyway.

  • Hypnotic Therapy test Intellect(2), Carolyn has Int(4) and the only boost in the deck is a single copy of St Hubert's Key, later we'll get the healing stone (so we'll use the response effect) and the tarot (so passing the test is easier), but at the start of the campaing drawing Rational Thought is a killer. As you depend on passing a test with Hypnotic Therapy and playing a logical reasoning on it (while having Hypnotic Therapy played, of course). Healing with Fearless is not reliable, at all. Rational Though could mean no extra money for a very long time, and no healing for anyone, that harsh. That also means that searching with Rook is quite dangerous, as he will get Rational Though more often than not.

  • The healing stones are the solution to Rational Though, and here we can benefit from the Mag Glass, but again, we need more robust boosts. I'm lucky as I got and ally that boost Will and Int, so going into game 2 I can get to 9 Intellect with assets (Key, Tarot, ally, double mag), but that's specific to my campaign and requires a lot of xp. Else, passing a test of shroud +3 is going to be a huge gamble.

And that's all, once I get the stones in the deck I'm sure the experience will be much better with the deck, but the start can be way more rough than with other decks.

Apr 13, 2020 StartWithTheName · 22444

Thanks @Jef - Always nice to hear the deck is getting used!

Yes indeed the first scenario blues are a little harsh in this deck. Im afraid to say the second sc will be similar while you solve the Stones, though you will at least have more available. To address your points:

  • Fearless isnt easy to land on your own tests without throwing pips in with it. The deck does at least have a lot of these. Rational Thought will show early because of Mr. "Rook". It does at least do no harm early game letting you then use rook to find Logical Reasoning, and ideally Hypnotic Therapy to get a 3rd horror from Logical Reasoning with its effect (you are healing Rational Thought as if it were on Carolyn - who is an investigator. You then just need to wait until it resets and pass that test, or land a fearless by burning pips. Working a Hunch has 2 pips, or Take the Initiative is 3 wild. But this doesnt have to be done asap. it can wait until you find the parts. Not ideal at all i know. But this issue becomes moot with the Stones later on at least. Another option which i used for a while was Smoking Pipe + Hypnotic Therapy to clear Rational Thought in 2 turns with actions. Im on the fence about which is better between fearless and pipe, but then i was paired with a Zoey chaperone who was using Sixth Sense so perhaps i was spoiled for fearless targets.

  • Mr. "Rook" is the answer to getting the tools out early. This is the reason for the very focused muligan, though admittedly more for clueing than healing. Note that you are not reliant on the cash from Carolyns to get cluing. That is used later on for event bursts. You are hoping to play a rook, a mag glass and either a second mag glass, or the key, so 3+1+[1 or 4] = 5 to 8 total. Which is doable by turn 2 if you found the parts. With Stick to the Plan you will start the game by hitting the Astounding Revelation automatically rather than relying on rook at least. if you are looking for pips for Hypnotic Therapy, use the tricks above. But really you can just float the Rational Thought until the big guns are there. You shouldnt really use Rational Thoughts ability to clear it unless you are aiming to draw a card anyway so the action isnt fully sunk.

  • Yeah hitting those stones is a moment you need to throw the book at. You can get to 7 base with your own tools (one mag glass, huberts, Death - the other hand will have the stone in). But you just have to throw pips at it hard it at least gives 2 clues as base plus any deductions you add. A pip or two from a comrade wouldnt hurt. But build up to it and look for a 3 or 4 shroud location. 6 charges on the stones will go a long way. Anything above that is a bonus, but you probs dont need to find a 5 shroud location unless you think you can shoot the moon (and if you can then go for it, with enough deductions in there you may well clear the location afterall)

Hope that helps. The good news is the hard bit is almost over for you!