Greetings once again, loyal readers, and welcome to another instalment of Delve Too Deep! We’re almost finished our analysis of all of the new investigators coming out soon in the Dunwich Legacy. Today, we’re going to be looking at yet another unusual character. This troubled musician is able to charm the dead with is trumpet, but can his abilities make him a viable investigator? Let’s check out Jim Culver!
Notable Strengths of Jim
Jim has a rather solid statline, having 4 in his core stat (Willpower), 3 in two more very relevant ones (Combat and Intellect), and his dump stat of 2 in one of the least useful ones for him (Agility). This makes Jim an excellent choice for soloing, as he is resilient to many of the horrible treachery cards he may encounter thanks to his high will, and he has reasonable abilities to investigate and fight natively.
This slightly better than average statline means that Jim is not as entirely dependent on his spells as Agnes is. While Agnes cannot fight at all without Shrivelling, Jim can just as easily pull out a Machete and bring down monsters.
However, what’s incredibly interesting about Jim is his ability to completely ignore one type of token. ** The Skull token is the most common of the icon tokens, and being able to ignore all of the negative effects associated with it (if it works how I believe it does) is rather strong. This means that Jim natively has more consistent skill checks than other characters.
**EDIT: I have been informed that Jim is unable to completely ignore all of the Skull effects. That being the case, his ability is much worse.
Notable Weaknesses of Jim
THOSE SIGNATURE CARDS. My goodness, what an absolute nightmare of a pair. Jim’s Trumpet is, in my opinion, the most (or at least tied with Agnes’s, although at least hers will get better) underwhelming signature card in the game. Taking up one of the two most valuable slot for a non-guaranteed and minor effect is not my idea of strong.
On the flip side, Final Rhapsody is probably the scariest weakness in the game. Last time, I spoke of how Searching for Izzie was absurd and outrageous. At least with that you didn’t stand a chance of losing the game on the spot at any time. Final Rhapsody will unlikely deal very much damage to you (you’re likely to only draw one token), but if you do happen to draw a second, let alone a third, it’s a fair amount of damage that comes out of nowhere. If you play it safe, then there’s no real issue, but if Jim is forced to take some damage early, you’ll have to pray that you don’t suddenly explode at any moment.
I think the thing that makes me the most concerned about Final Rhapsody is that, unlike the others, you’re never quite sure what’s going to happen. In a game with so much uncertainty already inherent within it, having another card which could suddenly and randomly destroy you is a large worry for me.
Finally, while Jim has consistency on his side, he is not particularly great at anything, and really lacks a role. He’s much like Jenny in that he is more of a jack of all trades style of character with some added consistency. He’s an inferior spellcaster to Agnes due to her naturally higher Willpower, and if that’s the role he’s trying to fill, you may find him lacking somewhat.
Build Path: Drunken Wizard
2 Ritual of Seeking
2 Ritual Candles
2 Holy Rosary
2 Arcane Initiate
2 Forbidden Knowledge
2 Liquid Courage
Leo De Luca
2 Unexpected Courage
2 Double or Nothing
2 Drawn to the Flame
2 Ward of Protection
2 Emergency Cache
Ritual Candles are the bread and butter of this deck. Combined with Jim’s unique ability, it turns Skull tokens into positive modifiers. If you get two out, you also improve your Elder Sign ability from +1 to +2 (you treat it as a Skull, which you would never really want to do otherwise).
The main splashes in your deck are Liquid Courage and Double or Nothing. With all of the spells used in the deck and Jim’s high Willpower, Liquid Courage can help take the edge off, especially if you’re delving deep with Forbidden Knowledge. Due to the often mentioned more consistent skill checks, Double or Nothing can work wonders with both Rite of Seeking and Shrivelling.
Other than that, Jim is a pretty standard Carry style character. You’ll slowly accumulate assets that help you perform better (topping off with Leo De Luca). You’re reasonable early game transitions well into a solid late game; while not spectacular, Jim is definitely reliable.
When levelling up, you’ll want to grab Grotesque Statue as early as possible. This little piece of equipment REALLY ramps up your consistency, moreso than the other sorcerer due to your ability to ignore skulls. I’d cut out an Arcane Initiate for the first one, and then a Ritual Candles for the second (they serve similar purposes and both take up the same slot; optimally, you want one candles and one statue).
Other than that, you’re pretty free to grab whatever you like. Bind Monster is a nice alternative to using Shrivelling, especially on the higher health monsters (like some that are encountered in the Curse of the Rougarou). It’s not a replacement though, so don’t go cutting Shrivelling to make room. Elder Sign Amulet is another great investment, both for its nice icons as well as the four horror it can soak for you.
Conclusion on Jim
I’ll be honest; I really, really don’t know about Jim. Last time, I spoke about how Jenny feels like she’s missing something to be exciting, but I still look forward to using her with the Generous Jenny build I outlined (check out her article here). Jim feels very similar in that he just feels as though he’s lacking something to be a standout. Sure, he’s alright at everything, and he has access to powerful cards from Mystic, but why would you bring him along instead of Agnes?
I’m a little bit disappointed with this musician, and he’s probably the first investigator I’ve encountered that I could easily pass on. Surely, I must be missing something, loyal readers. What do you think? Is Jim really lacking a bit, or have I overlooked something entirely? Let me know, and until next time, may your skill checks remain untentacled!
*images courtesy of arkhamdb.com and Fantasy Flight Games