With the popularity of my previous satire article, I thought it would be fun to make a real Ashlynn Davis investigator based on the content of that article. I posted my creation on Facebook, and was surprised to see that people actually really liked her. What started out as a joke became a pretty serious custom investigator design. Of course, I had a few comments on things to clean up and after reviewing all of the feedback, I am now ready to fully release the new and improved version of Ashlynn Davis, The Millennial.
Ashlynn Davis is a 23-year-old young adult far removed from Arkham in both space and time. Living in California in the year 2018, Ashlynn has no idea what horrors the investigators in 1920’s Arkham are facing. However, she is forced to come face to face with this world when the magic of a family heirloom calls out to her across the dimensions. Ashlynn’s great-grandmother, Amelie Davis, was a witch in the early 20th century. Her powerful enchantments were said to even be able to raise the dead. Trusting no one outside her family and her coven, she took her most powerful enchantment, a mysterious golden amulet, to her grave with her. In the year 1924, acting upon rumours heard from disloyal members of the mysterious coven, occult grave robbers dug up Amelie’s grave and stole the amulet for their own ends. This activated the dark seal Amelie placed on the heirloom. Betrayed by her coven, Amelie’s spirit soared out through space and time in search of the last person she could trust – Ashlynn, the only living female descendant of this once peerless witch.
Ashlynn’s first few days in old Arkham were off-putting to say the least. She didn’t understand why she had traveled through time and she felt defenseless against the newly-discovered horrors she came across. What’s more, as an unwilling visitor from the future, she did not know how to fit in with those around her without arousing undue suspicion. However, after some time, she found a confidant who not only believed she was from the future but immediately recognized her as a descendant of Amelie Davis. That person was none other than Mandy Thompson, Arkham’s foremost researcher into the occult. Mandy has been assisting Ashlynn in figuring out why she was brought to Arkham ever since, illuminating how to put her great-grandmother’s soul to rest.
The magic of the missing amulet intermittently wanes, resulting in Ashlynn being transported back to her original dimension without warning. These periods have shortened as Ashlynn has grown in her understanding of the mythos, but she still finds herself needing to balance life in 2018 as well as in 1925. Mandy has suggested that this may not necessarily be seen as a detriment to her quest – should Ashlynn be able to decipher how to enter the future and return at will, she will possess an unimaginable amount of power. If controlled, this power may be enough not to just save Amelie’s lost spirit, but, perhaps, all of Arkham.
Ashlynn has even stats across the board, with 3 Will, 3 Intellect, 3 Strength, and 3 Agility. This allows her to build out in any direction she chooses. As a Neutral investigator, she can pull from any class, but with one big restriction – she can only take cards with a resource cost of 1 or 0. Being limited to cheap cards takes away a lot of powerful options, including the vast majority of static boost cards (like Holy Rosary, St. Hubert’s Key, and so on), as well as almost every ally in the game. She also critically can’t take any non-Neutral no-cost permanents, as they have no cost at all, as opposed to a cost of 0. But don’t be misled – she still has a wide library of very good cards to choose from. Ashlynn is also limited to skill cards from one non-Neutral class. The choice of which class to pull from will be deck-defining. Like all investigators, Ashlynn can take any Neutral cards.
If Ashlynn can protect herself from the horrors of Arkham, her investigator card earns Victory 1 and is added to the Victory display. Playing around protecting Ashlynn’s sanity can be an interesting sub-quest for your party, one which will handsomely reward you with XP should you succeed. Should you get a lucky Elder Sign pull, Ashlynn can heal all her horror one time. Time this reward well, and you can all but guarantee that bonus XP.
Ashlynn’s signatures hark to her life in 2010’s California. Ashlynn’s signature asset, Kale, is a powerful tool for keeping her alive. While 6 health and 6 sanity is a low stat line, having Kale in play can make her surprisingly hardy with a reliable, if slow, heal and the potential to cancel one big hit coming her way. Since Ashlynn will often have a good amount of resources, given that she can’t include expensive cards in her deck anyway, regularly paying for Kale healing is always a good option for Ashlynn players looking to stay at 0 horror.
Ashlynn’s signature weakness, Student Debt, is a signature weaknesses that threatens to choke the options out of you. Effectively, it wastes your left-over resources whenever you try to spend your money and will also be a looming source of horror, which will take away your Victory 1 bonus at the end of the game. It can be removed from play, but at a significant cost in actions and resources. If you can’t afford to get rid of your weakness, you may choose to ignore your Student Debt, save up, and simply try your best to not trigger the horror. If Student Debt gets out of control, you will find yourself desperately avoiding spending money and suddenly finding a lot of options are no longer available to you as your resources and sanity dwindle.
All things considered, Ashlynn begins the campaign as a bit of an average, blank slate investigator, but one with a broad card pool, access to a lot of resources due to her extremely cheap deck, and a potential XP bonus to the team. Ashlynn at her best can choose her own path and stay alive while doing it. Ashlynn at her worst is unable to succeed in any direction with mediocre stats, has no meaningful passive ability during gameplay, and will die fast with low health and sanity.
Ashlynn can fulfill any role competently. However, her low health and sanity may make it dangerous for her to be a lead fighter without assistance. As such, she may prefer being a clue-gatherer all things being equal. That being said, Ashlynn has access to many, many combos due to the breadth of her card pool. You may also see her power spike once she has access to Composures or alternatively, level 2 Talents such as Dig Deep (2); keep this in mind, as the spike in reliability may take her from being a secondary fighter or clue-gather to a primary one. (While we are on the topic, it’s important to remember that Ashlynn cannot take coloured Permanents such as Streetwise as they have NO resource cost at all, as opposed to a resource cost of 1 or less. This is why Composures are so high priority for her instead.)
I have designed 2 sample decks for Ashlynn, so you can have some idea of how to build her. Of course, there are many, many directions you can go with her, given her card pool covers all factions with no “role restrictions”, but I thought these two ideas would be fun to start out with.
Delvelynn, Mystical XP Goddess
2x Dr. William T. Maleson
2x Cherished Keepsake
2x Magnifying Glass
2x Liquid Courage
2x Ward of Protection
2x Delve Too Deep
2x Drawn to the Flame
1x “I’m outta here!”
1x Smoking Pipe
1x Unexpected Courage
Almost anytime someone CAN run Delve Too Deep, my first thought is, can I make a deck that exploits this to no end? So, the goal of this Ashlynn deck is to farm even more XP with Delve Too Deep and egregious amounts of horror healing and soak to all but guarantee her passive goes off. Smoking Pipe, Liquid Courage and Fearless will heal your horror, which you will undoubtedly stack up fast if you pick up clues with Drawn to the Flame. If you REALLY want to ensure Ashlynn has no horror at the end of the game, you can always just play with a backup horror healer, like Carolyn. However, given how much of this deck is dedicated to JUST horror healing, there is a good chance you will be safe regardless. (That being said, maybe pair this deck with Yorick, and try to Bury Them Deep for even more XP!)
Aside from this, you have to carry your weight somehow in this investigation, so a portion of this deck is designed to gather clues. Flashlight, Magnifying Glass, Drawn to the Flame, and Perception will assist you in this venture to start out. As you get that sweet, sweet XP though, you will be able to start branching out into Composures (see Plucky!), pick up one or two Newspaper (2)’s for more clue gathering, or replace your level 1 Wards with stronger defense against the encounter deck (see level 2 or 5 Wards, Forewarned, A Test of Will).
Dr. William T. Maleson is a great ally for Ashlynn, even if you never use his ability. Ashlynn is critically barred from almost every ally in the game, but Dr. Maleson offers her the bare minimum of what she needs – a place to toss damage and horror. Almost every Ashlynn deck ought to feature him. Cherished Keepsake, combined with a Scavenging, should keep horror off of her as well, and allow you to play Ward of Protection without fear of losing your Victory 1.
As an emergency button, you can play “I’m outta here!” if resigning is available. Should you have no horror on you, you may still be able to escape while you are still worth a victory point!
Axelynn, The Murdering Millennial
2x Fire Axe
2x Dr. William T. Maleson
2x Cherished Keepsake
2x Leather Coat
2x Emergency Cache
2x On The Hunt
2x Live and Learn
2x Prepared for the Worst
2x Unexpected Courage
2x Vicious Blow
2x Take The Initiative
While Ashlynn’s deckbuilding bars her from many powerful weapons, there is one key weapon she can still use – Fire Axe! This Survivor/Guardian heavy deck is designed to allow Ashlynn to become the axe-wielding, time-traveling murderer she was born to be.
Prepared for the Worst helps ensure Axelynn gets her axe (although she will have knives available, you know, in case), while Vicious Blow and Take the Initiative help power-up her swings. If you fail a swing, you can Live and Learn for 0 resources and try again. While you’re at it, why not go On The Hunt for something to murder, so you can pick up Evidence! off of its corpse? Dr. Maleson, Leather Coat, and Cherished Keepsake help make you tanky enough to survive a few hits from the baddies.
With XP, flesh out your arsenal with Switchblade (2), upgrade Vicious Blows, and consider Combat Training or Scientific Theory as composures.
I hope these thoughts will give you a starting point for this custom investigator! If you try her out, please let me know how your experience was. As always, have fun!