Tarotlyn Fern - Malpractice Makes Perfect!

Card draw simulator

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HanoverFist · 184

Meet Tarotlyn Fern: Legitimate Doctor!

Totally real doctor Tarotlyn Fern (nobody can prove that she isn't, anyway) is a poor cluever and worse fighter who's personal psychic has convinced her to try her hand at both. With her medicinal cleaver, patented homeopathic remedies, and an unshakable belief in astrology, Tarotlyn is out to apply the cutting edge of 20s medical science!*

*-approximately three decades before they figured out that smoking is bad for you.


Tarotlyn's quackery is always welcome in MP! As a heal-capable cluever/fighter combo she may just make it in solo, too...


EASY/STANDARD. This is a theme deck, utterly unsuited for expert play! But it's a treat on easy/standard, built around around a very swingy chain-reaction-combo where Anna Kaslow's belief in Tarotlyn will transform her from a terrible fighter... into a mediocre one!


Tarotlyn's gimmick is to upgrade into the following 5-card chain-reaction. While you need all 5 cards in your decklist, you literally only need to draw 1 of them- Anna Kaslow- to get the full benefit:

What this does:

  • Stick To The Plan digs out an Astounding Revelation automatically, and thins your deck by 3, slightly increasing the odds that you'll...
  • Draw Anna Kaslow, who digs out a 2nd AR, plus 1 Tarot of your choice.

You're now starting with 9 resources, Anna, a Tarot, and a 6-card-thinner deck. All without even taking an action!

Now, Anna might be busy that morning and fail to show in your opening hands (with 2 Annas, a hard mulligan has a ~61% chance of a hit. Good, but definitely not certain). Or Tarotlyn may draw the 2 remaining Astounding Revelations, turning them into Anticlimactic Revelations That Were Fairly Obvious, In Hindsight.

But even then, the 7 resources and a 4-card-thinning SttP + AR is a guarantee every game.


Yeah, you'll need upgrades- 18XP realistically, 21XP for opportunistic early pulls (which I'll describe below). We'll be using Delve Too Deep to speed this along.


1st: Stick To The Plan (6xp)

  • From now on, you'll start each game with 7 resources, Prepared For The Worst, & Practice Makes Perfect on tap.

1.5st: Clarity Of Mind -> Clarity Of Mind (3) (1xp)

  • Most campaigns give 7 chances to cash in on Arcane Research's XP discount. Tarotlyn has 4 spells to upgrade. Get this one early (only 1XP per), so you have time to hit the pricier Deny Existences later.

2nd: Prepared For The Worst x1 -> Ever Vigilant x1 (1xp)

  • With SttP already installed, this is worth getting early- Tarotlyn has 15 assets, and with +2 resources she can set up multiple big assets 1st turn.

2.5th: Clarity Of Mind -> Clarity Of Mind(3) (1xp)

  • The other one.

3rd: On The Hunt x2 -> Ace of Swords x2 (2xp)

  • You need the Tarot Cards before it's worth it to get Anna.

4th: Forbidden Knowledge x2 -> Death x2 (2xp)

  • You'll risk dead draws with 4 Tarot until you get Anna, but they're XP-cheaper, you up the chance for your initial draw, and Beat Cop still helps in the ally slot.

5th: Delve Too Deep x2 -> Anna Kaslow x2 (8xp)

  • FINALLY, Anna shows up! Further XP is less urgent now, so the Delves can go.

At 21XP, you likely have 3-5 missions remaining. Some further XP buys:

Deny Existence x2 -> Deny Existence(5) x2 (6xp)

  • When possible. We paid for Arcane Research, we're gonna collect!

Charisma (3xp)

  • Gets your Beat Cop on-line next to Anna.

Vicious Blow or Beat Cop x2 -> Reliable x2 (2xp)

  • (Thanks to Crayne for this suggestion!) An addition (or alternative, if you don't want to buy Charisma) to getting your cops online. Depending on your XP situation, this may be worth doing before reaching Anna.

Keen Eye (3xp)

  • Not super efficient at only 3 actions per turn (4-ish with the Survival Knife). But Carolyn's rich, this boosts INT & STR, so hey!


  • Once you have Anna, hard mulligan for her. That single card will land you an actionless 2 resource, an ally, and a tarot. Until then, tho...

  • Early on, mulligan for weapons, and (until you get SttP) Prepared For The Worst, and Practice Makes Perfect- those last 2 give you a shot at the Astounding Revelations for econ bumps.

  • Your Doctor's Cleaver is your main weapon! Remember: Every time you fatally botch a surgery with it, you get paid!

  • St. Hubert's Key + Arcane Researchx2 = 5 sanity. Use the cleaver and/or Forbidden Knowledge to get just crazy enough to activate the Cleaver- the Key's insurance-effect makes this less risky than it sounds.

  • You're wierdly tanky; Survival Knife gives you a tempo boost by taking the occasional attack just for the free counterattack with the much needed +2 Fight and +1Dmg.

  • Actionlessly re-route damage into healable horror with Painkillers. It's okay- you're a doctor!


Truthfully, I love the canonical Carolyn's story of using intelligence and compassion to fight horrible things. But I also enjoy incompetence-comedy, and the opportunity to play Carolyn as Dr. Spaceman With A Cleaver was too good to pass up.

So always remember: What do you call somebody who graduates dead-last at medical school?

A doctor.


Aug 06, 2020 crayne · 3

Nice write up.

Currently playing Roland Banks with a similar STTP setup. It's very efficient if you pop 3 Astounding Revelations so early. Using Vicious Blow two times with Practice Makes Perfect is also nice.

For support, did you consider making your weapon Reliable?

Aug 06, 2020 HanoverFist · 184

smacks my own forehead

Why didn't I think of that, that's a GREAT idea. Tarotlyn needs all the +Fight she can get, and sidesteps her weapon-limitation. Thank you!

And yes, I can see Roland would be an extremely practical home for SttP/AR... come to think of it I'd have a hard time not burning one of Zoey's 5 off-cards on an AR just for that guaranteed money on turn-one.

Aug 08, 2020 Krysmopompas · 21

Can Astounding Revelation go under Stick to the Plan? It's not a Supply or Tactic card, but do (relatively new) Research cards also apply?

Aug 08, 2020 Krysmopompas · 21

just read the rules on both again. I'm sure that's going to get Tabooed/fixed, it doesn't seem in the spirit of the rules.

Aug 08, 2020 Lord Triloth · 234

Stick to the plan searches your deck, so you can trigger astounding by doing that

Aug 08, 2020 HanoverFist · 184

Krysmopompas: As Lord Triloth says! Asounding Revelation can NOT go under Stick To The Plan. However, Stick To The Plan searches the entirety of your deck, thereby activating Astounding Revelation automatically.

Perhaps it will get taboo'd (in which case I'd cheerfully update the deck/description), but it's hardly a gamebreaking- only 3 Investigators can use the combo (without Versatile), and SttP is already a 6XP investment. For comparison, Another Day Another Dollar gives rogues an unconditional +2 resources on start, and is valued at 3XP. So while this is an efficient way to get a similar effect- as SttP is a marvelous card already- it won't autowin the game.

Aug 09, 2020 LocoPojo · 15

Should give her Liquid Courage! When your shady therapist sidles up and offers you a swig of whiskey to heal the pain away you know you've come to the right lady.

Aug 09, 2020 crayne · 3

On the same topic and for more malpractice, could add Painkillers and Smoking Pipe and hand them over to patients with Teamwork.

Or use Solemn Vow to transfer their maladies and use those on yourself, like the Hot Shots doctor scene (sadly Arkham doesn't have any syringes).


Aug 12, 2020 HanoverFist · 184

LocoPojo: bwahaha yes! I am in fact working on a variant of this deck that focuses on Will & Int (rather than Fight & Int) which runs on therapy via booze & pills.

crayne: That scene! Believe it or not, my original title for this deck was "Not A Very Good Doctor".

Aug 13, 2020 Yenreb · 3

AR was well worth a slot in my Zoey deck with SttP in TFA (PBF on BGG).