On the Foul Rumors Afoot

As you may well know, the festival known as Arkham Nights 2016 quickly approaches.  We hope you already acquired your admission tickets since they now appear to be sold out.  Quite an accomplishment for early Fall.  We here at Lockewood & Associates mislayed our calendars—ahem—and failed to hedge against such an event.  It, unfortunately, does not appear that we will be in attendance.  

Still, we did want to provide those visitors attending the auspicious occasion with some initial tools to aid in any investigations that may occur. For example, one never knows exactly what fates may affect your endeavours.  However, understanding the odds will help you calculate the risks of a negative occurrence.

Let us presume, by chance, that you have gathered yourself and/or co-investigators in your study. Let us further stipulate that—as may happen from time to time in the greater Arkham environs—that foul beasts begin to crawl up through your floor board in a lackadaisical manner.  And let us also ponder for a few moments what should happen if, instead of running through the streets raving as a loon, you decided to strike said beast or alternatively side step its attacks. What are the potential risks that your course of action will bear fruit?

As an initial matter, we hope that you wisely purchased an insurance binder covering you against bodily injury and mental trauma—Lockewood & Associates offers numerous options through various reputable underwriters.  (Of course, if the monetary rates for such coverage cause one concern, there are even a few…less than savory avenues we could pursue on your behalf).  

Nevertheless, the standard expectations of success or failure could be stated in this Euclidean manner:

Standard 16 Outcomes
Result Number in Chaos Bag Chance to Draw
“+1” 1 6.25%
“0” 2 12.50%
“-1” 3 18.75%
“-2” 2 12.50%
“-3” 1 6.25%
“-4” 1 6.25%
“-5” 0 0.00%
“-6” 0 0.00%
“-8” 0 0.00%
“Skull” 2 12.50%
“Cultist” 1 6.25%
“Broken Tablet” 1 6.25%
“Mythos” 1 6.25%
“Elder Sign” 1 6.25%

Of course, in such a standard “The Gathering” scenario, some of the more arcane outcomes will indirectly affect the probability of your success.  Pulling a “Cultist” token would reduce your chances by 1 while pulling a “Broken Tablet” would reduce it by 2.  On the other hand, pulling a “Skull” token has an indeterminate effect—getting worse as the bodies of the reanimated dead did too.

Given the probabilities of the various potential outcomes, no one particular risk would necessarily overwhelm you.  However, to make the best assessment, in the aggregate, we must also consider one’s own innate strengths and weaknesses.  We could look to some standard risk profiles, such as these ladies and gentlemen:

Investigator Willpower Intellect Combat Agility Elder Sign
Roland 3 3 4 2 +X
Skids 2 3 3 4 +2
Wendy 4 3 1 4 +0/Auto
Daisy 3 5 2 2 +0
Agnes 5 2 2 3 +X

Then, considering the potential risk calculations when one at least 2 ghouls are in the same room, the chances of success based upon the amount of effort already put in would look as follows:

Before Pull Chance of Success (Agnes 2 Horror / Skids / Roland 2 Clues ) Chance of Success (Agnes 4 Horror / Roland 4 Clues) Chance of Success (Agnes No Horror / Daisy / Roland No Clues / Wendy No Amulet)
Under by 4 0% 6.25% 0
Under by 3 0% 6.25% 0
Under by 2 6.25% 6.25% 0
Under by 1 12.50% 12.50% 6.25%
Equal 25.00% 25.00% 25.00%
Over by 1 50.00% 50.00% 50.00%
Over by 2 81.25% 81.25% 81.25%
Over by 3 87.50% 87.50% 87.50%
Over by 4 93.75% 93.75% 93.75%

Visually, an investigator’s opportunities for success would look as follows:image

Such a gently sloping curve demonstrates that for the most pressing foes, you should doubly commit yourself in order to have any modicum of comfort.  Thus, you should aim to be at least 2 over the skill test—the 2-point threshold.  Doing so will give you a 4 in 5 chance of success. Note too that being 3 or 4 over the skill test does not significantly increase the chances of success.  However, your chances only increase by 6.25% for each skill point over the 2-point threshold.  One can never element all chances of failure given that we live in a harsh and uncaring universe.

On the other hand, at the 1-point threshold, one’s chances drop significantly to only 1 in 2 chances of success.  Further still, when you are only equal to the test, the chances are actually dramatically worse—a 1 in 4 chance of success.  Things grow ever more dire if you cannot meet the test before “rolling the bones.” As you can see, only a committed G-Man facing significant unresolved clues enjoys even a non-zero chance of success.  

Given the expected risks in such a standard scenario, we here at Lockewood & Associates always recommend planning ahead and being Hyperaware of your surroundings, striving to hone your Physical Training, and be ready to Dig Deep.  It also never hurts to have some Guts, Manual Dexterity, or a dose of Unexpected Courage.

So as you begin your investigations, your humble insurance agents at Lockewood & Associates hope that this brief discussion provides a boon such that you survive your jaunt through Arkham starting later this weekend.

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