By The Book
All-New Print-And-Play Parallel Investigator & Scenario for Arkham Horror: The Card Game
Yet another body has been uncovered in the Black Cave. With due diligence, you seek the truth and believe the mastermind of the murders is a congressman, Mr. Grey. This is an unprecedented case for you. Will you be able to take down such a powerful politician and his ring of conspirators?
Today, we’re proud to reveal another new parallel investigator for Arkham Horror: The Card Game, now available for print-and-play! Following Daisy Walker, “Skids” O’Toole, and Agnes Baker, you can download Roland Banks and the By the Book challenge scenario today! Designer Jeremy Zwirn shares his thoughts on parallel Roland Banks and By the Book.
Power with Regulations
I’ve always enjoyed Core Set Roland Banks, a strong and straightforward investigator. I wanted his parallel version to remain powerful but explore the other end of the complexity spectrum. Much like his challenge scenario, parallel Roland Banks can feel very puzzle-like as you try to unlock and optimize his potential. This version allows you to customize Roland by choosing three of five unique Directive assets to add to your deck. Each of these assets has a good ability (along with a drawback) and mixing and matching these assets makes parallel Roland a fun and interesting investigator to play. Some of the Directives also encourage investigators to use underplayed yet thematic cards, such as Handcuffs (The Depths of Yoth, 265) and Interrogate (The Circle Undone, 20).
Roland follows the rules, fair and square. This is represented by a different “regulation” ability on each of his Directive assets, which puts a restriction on how you play the game. For example, the Directive "Red Tape" (Parallel Investigators, 26) has the regulation “You cannot play more than 2 cards each round.” Roland Banks must stick to procedure, even if that means taking longer to play his cards. Building your deck with these restrictions in mind is important to having success with this new version of Roland.
The backside of parallel Roland Banks pushes his deckbuilding in a different direction. Unlike his Core Set version, this version doesn’t have access to powerful Guardian cards level 4-5 or to most Seeker cards. Instead, it has access to Insight and Tactic cards level 0-3, such as Drawn to the Flame (Core Set, 64) and Winging It (The Depths of Yoth, 272). It also provides 5 additional experience to jumpstart your campaign with.
Uncovering a Conspiracy
I had two main goals when designing this challenge scenario: to have it be similar yet different from The Midnight Masks, and to make it feel personal.
I love scenarios that have a “high-score” aspect to them, such as The Midnight Masks. “How many cultists did you get? I’m sure you can top that the next time you play.” Having a simple goal with room for improvement makes a scenario fun and replayable. I increased the top score of six cultists in The Midnight Masks to ten in By the Book. I also changed how you find them by having each location begin the game with one random facedown cultist. This allows investigators to take different routes through Arkham and incentivizes them to engage multiple cultists at once in order to be more efficient at bringing them to the Arkham Police Station (Parallel Investigators, 36). Abiding by his conscience, Roland uses a nonlethal approach to this investigation, which means you can’t simply defeat the cultists in this scenario; you must parley with each of them.
By the Book is about Roland Banks. Roland is quickly becoming a thorn in Mr. Grey’s side and, if the politician’s underlings don’t deal with him, Mr. Grey will confront Roland himself. Only Roland can trigger the second ability on Act 1a (Parallel Investigators, 35) to exhaust a Cultist enemy, which then allows him to haul the suspect to the police station without taking any attacks of opportunity. Chasing down so many cultists can be physically exhausting, and the Elder Thing chaos token can damage Roland Banks, even if another investigator reveals it. Each resolution also affects Roland more significantly than other investigators.
By the Book can be played in standalone mode or as part of a campaign, but either way, Roland Banks has to be in your party. In addition to the new cards included as part of the By the Book print-and-play, you simply need one copy of the Core Set.
Your Deadline Nears
You must find and question as many conspirators as you can in order to strengthen your case against Mr. Grey before you’re forced to drop your investigation. If you’re ready to try the parallel version of Roland Banks and test yourself against the By the Book challenge scenario, you can download the cards and the rules today! Find in the Support Section here under Print-and-Play.