- In response to "Can you boost a stat that isn't being tested?": "There is nothing stopping you from using Scrapper or any other similar asset during a test of another type (i.e. it doesn't say 'During an agility test' or anything like that). You may use it during a willpower or intellect test if you wish."
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Cthulhu forgive me my sins, but this must be said:
Move over Flashlight! there's a new king in town. Lockpicks allow Rogues to investigate locations at an insane base skill value of + (or other skill value, in certain cases). This is a really nice benefit, but to really illustrate the point consider the following comparison:
Flashlight is a strongly considered item in Expert because of the abundance of high-negative number modifiers that may pop up. While flashlight doesn't modify your base number significantly, for 2 shroud (or less) locations using flashlight lets you auto-succeed any non- token pull. If Wendy or Skids use lockpicks on a two-shroud location they are also almost guaranteed to succeed, bar a total modifier that is greater than -5!
Of course there are a couple downsides: Lockpicks is marginally more expensive at 3r and 1exp instead of 2r, and flashlight doesn't exhaust allowing you to drain a location very quickly in a low-stress turn. On the upside, however, lockpicks can be used almost indefinitely, depending on how often you're likely to fall below the succeed by 2 requirement. At a minimum they have as many charges as do flashlight, and in the off case you are investigating a non- location you can always use to boost lockpicks using Streetwise.
All-in-all an exceptionally good card who's sole real downside is that it cannot be used consecutively in one turn. While power-investigate turns do happen, with some intelligent forethought these situations can be minimized. A very unique and powerful addition to the Rogue card pool, and recommended as a 2x early upgrade.
They're a very welcome addition to the card pool, as the Rogue class previously had a severe dearth of investigation options. With Lockpicks, they at least have something, even if they do have to spend XP for it.
However, a couple things must be said against them. Lockpicks are both expensive and slow. The fact that they exhaust every time you use them is a really hurts. In solo play it's not quite so big a deal as lots of locations only have one clue. But if you're playing with, say, three players and you need to clear a 6-clue location? The once-per-turn limit is going to make Lockpicks extremely slow.
Even more critically, with Lockpicks you're still only getting one clue per action. That's why I think this card is nowhere near as good as something like Rite of Seeking. Being able to pass investigation tests more reliably is good, and that's why I often do run Lockpicks. But a really excellent investigation card would let you get more than one clue per action, and Lockpicks doesn't do that.
Once you hit Expert difficulty, Lockpick's charges will start running out, but on lower difficulties I'd imagine they stay in play for quite a long time.
This question is related to the FAQ question above: If I use Lockpicks, can I commit an agility icon card to the test, even if includes no intellect icons?
Apparently, I need 200 characters. Did I reach it yet?