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Daniel Rizea
La Route de Carcosa #31.
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(from the official FAQ or responses to the official rules question form)
  • 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.

Difrakt · 1268
Too bad ashcan pete can't play this card, for once it would be a good use of his smelling salts ability, besides readying scooby duke. — Django · 4879
also: 1 clue per turn is usually good enough in true solo or if you're a flex character rather than primary clue getter — Zinjanthropus · 223

Don't get me wrong, Lockpicks are good. It's probably a good idea to buy them as Wendy, Sefina, and "Skids", and even Jenny might consider them.

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.

Since Lockpicks can get you a very large modifier, it can be nice to use Double or Nothing with them as a kind of janky Deduction. This can help alleviate the tempo issue I mentioned earlier.

CaiusDrewart · 3018
You're right this card is way better in solo. However, if you're playing multiplayer, the Rogue investigator's role probably won't be to gather clue. Some other investigator will certainly do it better, and a 6 clue location is easily emptied by the Seekers — banania · 398
Lockpicks are a bit unique in how their use shifts between solo and multiplayer, but their power is still quite high in both: Solo, they allow you to investigate reliably as a rogue. Multiplayer, they let you support the clue hound or proc Burglary and Scavenging regularly. The insanely high skill value lets you combo with all kinds of things, including double or nothing. — SGPrometheus · 757
SGPrometheus they can't proc Burglary as Lockpicks requires you to use an ability on the card. Lockpicks and Burglary are two different action Abilities. — matt88 · 2993
Oh yeah, whoops. Still, they do combo with those other things. — SGPrometheus · 757
It's also probably the best way for most rogues to activate stuff like Quick Thinking and Lucky Cigarette Case — Zinjanthropus · 223
Yes, this is true. This review was written before the Rogue "oversucceed" archetype really got there. (I think we pretty much only had Quick Thinking and Double or Nothing at that point.) Lockpicks is great. It is still true that it is a little too slow to do all of the investigation work for a 3+ player faction, but regardless, one heavily boosted investigate per round is really valuable. — CaiusDrewart · 3018

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?

Phelpsb83 · 190
Step 2 of Skill Test Timing says you can only commit cards with icons matching the skill tested, so no. Lockpicks adds your agility to the INT test, but does not change the tested skill. This also means that cards with INT and AGI icons only add their INT icons. — Django · 4879
Thanks for the response Django. This card now gets added to long list of cards I've been playing wrong...! — acotgreave · 783
I was playing cards like Slip Away and Spectral Blade wrong too, then. Thanks! — Yenreb · 15

If investigating Arkham Woods, I assume Lockpicks would essentially double your skill value for the investigation test? Admittedly for this location it’s overkill with most Rogues’ evade values, but it’s useful for clarification.

RollanPyro · 91
Yup! You add it again. — MrGoldbee · 1402
Thanks for the confirmation! I noted the wording of “skill value” and thought I’d better check. — RollanPyro · 91
i wouldn't necessarily say it's overkill to be able to test 8 vs 2. on hard or expert difficulty 4 vs 2 has a realistisch chance of failure, while 8 vs 2 is still likely to succeed. — PowLee · 20
Lockpicks is one of the best cards in the game imo because of the overkill that it provides. But it should be noted that it can only be used once per round, it loses supplies if you don't have oversuccess and the overkill combos well with other Rogue cards like Lucky Cigarette Case (succeed by 2 and draw a card). — The Lynx · 952

I have found a "sour spot" (the opposite of sweet spot) while using this powerful card. It is on investigator with 3 (Skids), with no other gentle boosts available in the deck, and having to work on 2 shroud location with something like 3 clues. Basic investigation with 3 struggles against 2 shroud especially you want to repeatedly succeed, and also using Lockpicks is slow to drain the location since it exhausts. It is like you are given a bazooka but was tasked to kill some birds.

You will have to intentionally find a more difficult location with 1 to make the best use of your action. And therefore replacing starting 2x Flashlight into 2x Lockpicks may not always be a good idea, regarding of flexibility even in Normal difficulty.

5argon · 7774
I think, Lockpicks has two applications. In solo, one clue per round is a good rate. You have to spend actions to move around anyway, so the exhaustion does matter less. In multiplayer, I agree the clueing potential is rather slow. But you get value out of an action per round, where you over succeed by a lot to dig out cards with LCC (3) and potentially trigger other effects. — Susumu · 335

Lockpicks is a very strong card. We don't really need to dicuss this. Winifred Habbamock, Finn Edwards and Trish Scarborough all just get to go at it for eight (while Bob Jenkins at least gets to go to 7), which should be enough to beat the bag in most scenarios, at least at Normal difficulty.

What's more is that it synergizes greatly with Lucky Cigarette Case and its level 3 option. These two cards in tandem basically form an engine that lets you go really hard. Digging 2-4 cards to draw one and find a clue every turn is going to propel you through a scenario very efficiently.

Worth mentioning, too, is that someone like Lola Santiago or Gené Beauregard give you a boost on both numbers, effectively boosting your tests to 10 on the aforementioned characters. At this point, the engine gets a little XP-intensive, but still: This card isn't outright powerful in the way that other cards are, but it's incredibly consistent.

Along with Thieves' Kit and the rogue events like Intel Report and Pilfer, this card can turn your mobile rogue into a clue finding machine that has both consistency and explosiveness, which is just a fun playstyle to me. Where this card really shines is in True Solo, where a lot of your locations consistently only ask you to find one clue, so the exhaust often isn't that much of a downside if you manage to weave a lower shroud location into your patterns that you can crack with your base book.

Fogshaper · 1