For some time I’ve been making custom investigators for unreleased characters in the Arkham Files setting. Since I started, several of those characters have had official releases and more are confirmed as on the way. This Trish design is actually quite old now, but as she’s been announced for the upcoming Innsmouth Conspiracy box this is really the last opportunity for her not to be an alternate take on a perfectly good official design.
Trish Scarborough – the spy – is a popular character from Arkham and Eldritch Horror who is characterised in those games by her flexibility and adaptability. Let’s start with the investigator card:
At first glance, this version of Trish doesn’t look very interesting. With 3s in all stats she has no particular weaknesses – or strengths – and an ability which doesn’t significantly impact the game. In fact she’s very similar to Jenny, but rather than her ability working once per turn, it works once per phase but much less reliably. This is because Trish’s defining ability can be found on her signature asset, which begins in play:
Trish starts with this double-sided asset in play. She can choose to start with either side face up, but will likely flip it back and forth every turn, sometimes multiple times in a single turn.
Each side of the asset gives her +2 to two stats – the physical stats in the case of Corpus Perfectum and the mental stats in the case of Mens Perfecta. However, using this bonus requires both paying a resource and flipping the card. 1 resource is a pretty good deal for a +2 bonus, but to use it consistently you’ll have to find ways to alternate tests.
For example, if you’re planning to investigate several times, you’ll only be able to use Mens Perfecta for the first test, because after the first test it will have flipped to Corpus Perfectum which no longer gives an intellect boost. If you can find a way to make a fight or agility test, however, you’ll then be able to flip it back and get access to the intellect boost once more.
There’s also a synergistic relationship between Trish’s base investigator ability and her signature asset – it costs 1 resource to activate Mens Perfecta or Corpus Perfectum, but you can recoup that cost if you can pass the subsequent test by 2 or more – which is more likely to happen given the +2 bonus.
Piloted carefully, Trish effectively has 5 in every stat, but getting that may require creative ways of taking different kind of tests during a turn – perhaps keeping an enemy around to attack between investigations, or investigating between attacks.
Trish’s card options reflect her flexibility and adaptability. She’s primarily a rogue, but with a few seeker and guardian cards she can lean more towards combat or investigation. Given her playstyle though, she should probably try to do both.
Trish works for a shadowy organisation known as the Black Chamber – who are actually a real historical organisation. Her weakness is similar to Roland’s Cover Up, but easier to complete and harsher when you fail. Cover Up has a few odd mechanical and thematic idiosyncrasies due to being one of the oldest cards in the game, and this is an attempt at a “fixed” version of that card.
If you’d like to try out Trish for yourself, here’s a PNG file with all the cards.
Youtube superstar Mattastrophic played this version of Trish along with Lola Hayes through the player-made Idol Thoughts campaign.
The deck Mattastrophic used in his Idol Thoughts videos can be found here. This deck takes advantage of her deckbuilding options to include powerful level 0 cards from all three classes. He hasn’t leaned heavily into the succeed by 2 archetype, as despite her ability Trish doesn’t do that much to support it.