Elder Sign: Omens is basically a race. Can you use your resources to accumulate 12 elder signs before 14 doom tokens stack up? Your resources include your investigators, who get battered in the process and have to burn turns healing themselves. In my case, the most precious commodity is sanity, since no one on my team of burly investigators is known for his mental stability. I frequently send them back to the museum entrance to recover sanity. Meanwhile, the doom tokens build up.
After the jump, things get a little crazy
As my investigators get knocked down to a point or two of sanity, I have to make tough choices about whether to send them on adventures that will “kill” them if they fail, or whether to send them on safer but less lucrative adventures. And at a certain point in the game, you need to focus on the adventures that give you elder signs. Eyes on the prize and all that. It doesn’t do you much good to have an investigator loaded down with inventory items, clues, and spells when the world gets devoured because he neglected to chase elder signs.
That’s why I send reporter Darrell Simmons into the Medusa Exhibit, which offers a precious elder sign among the rewards. Simmons has three points of sanity, which is remarkably hale for my team. And failing the Medusa Exhibit will only cost him two points of sanity, so he can afford a single failure. It’s worth the risk. What’s more, one of the tasks in the Medusa Exhibit adventure requires several points of investigation, and Simmon’s unique power boosts how many points of investigation he gets in a die roll. Perfect.
But I fall victim to my own attention span. I hadn’t taken into account that two of the tasks in the Medusa Exhibit cost you a point of sanity when you beat them. I could have backed out if I’d been paying closer attention — Elder Sign: Omens is mostly forgiving about take-backs so long as you haven’t rolled any dice yet — but I beat the first task before I realize what I’ve done. Simmons loses a point of sanity, and now his sanity is two. If he fails the Medusa Exhibit, he’ll go crazy.
He manages the second task, which robs him of another point of sanity, but gets him that much closer to closing the Medusa Exhibit and earning us another elder sign. But the dice don’t cooperate on the last roll. We need to get seven points of investigation and after two re-rolls and even his unique ability, Simmons can only manage six points. He loses two points of sanity and is out of the game.
Any stories Darrell Simmons files will be from the Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane.