A collection of spoiler-free advice on how to play effectively. Aimed at new players, but hopefully useful to everyone.
2. This applies double in combat, trying to race through a fight will get you hurt. combat is about making the best use of your time, which doesn’t always mean killing as quickly as possible. dodging where possible is a good idea, as is bracing against certain powerful attacks.
3. that said, if you know that you can 100% kill this turn by ignoring defense and spamming prepared attacks, go for it. a dead enemy can’t hurt you. a lot of fighting effectively is figuring out how to get them weak enough that you can finish them with 1 turn of burst damage while taking as little damage as possible doing so.
4. understand how skill checks work, and don’t take bad gambles. skill checks work by generating a number from 1-12 at random and comparing it to your relevant stat, if your stat is equal or greater you win. this means that, barring any modifiers, you have a 50-50 chance on a skill check with 6 in a stat.
5. check threat level before investigating. threat level can make skill checks harder by adding a bonus to the check’s roll. again, don’t take bad gambles.
6. stats affect combat in less ways than you might think. your actions don’t get more powerful with your stats, they just get faster. a baseball bat will deal the same damage at the same hit chance at 1 str that it will at 12, and dodging is as likely to work at 1 dex as it is at 12, but higher stats mean faster actions and more powerful combat sequences.
7. shopping just after starting your first mystery, before going off investigating is a good idea. buying a weapon and a flashlight/camera/compass will help a lot.
8. related to the above: certain mysteries will pull you into locations outside of town when started. remember what these are, and avoid them if you have something you need to do in town like shopping or seeing the doctor.
9. there’s 1 free funds in your apartment that you can pick up before starting your first mystery.
10. the mystery discount item at the dog shop is always 1 of 3 items. don’t buy unless you know you want one of these.
11. once you unlock the occult shop, Holy Candles are a great purchase. They reduce doom for free in certain events, help with luck checks, and in a desperate situation can give you extra reason.
12. think carefully before casting spells. they can be powerful, but the stronger ones have hefty costs. a certain elder god can make them cheaper, but you have to consider if the doom cost is worth it.
13. speaking of doom, it’s a resource of a sort as well since you can trade doom for healing, items, and other bonuses. don’t be put off of shopping or going to the hospital by the cost.
14. don’t get reckless or greedy though, winning a run involves planning for the long-term. sometimes the best thing you can do is play it safe.
15. always bathe between mysteries and before your first mystery. it’s free healing, and bathing before your first mystery is essentially 5 free experience.
16. every combat action has a fixed rate of scaling, and not every action scales. this rate determines how many points of time is removed from the action for each point in the relevant stat.
18. conserve ammo. guns are very powerful, but ammo is very rare. reserve those bullets for bosses and life-or-death situations.
19. once you figure out the ritual for banishing a ghost, write it down. it will be the same for the rest of the run, meaning that as long as you haven’t forgotten it you can kill every ghost you meet in 1 turn.
20. sometimes the best option is to run. there are some very nasty random enemies, and it may be better to incur a little bit of doom than to risk taking too many hits.
21. once you’re more familiar with the mysteries, think about the order you want to do them in before starting. some mysteries give rewards that you may want sooner rather than later, and some are harder than others.
22. the lower a weapon’s speed stat is, the faster it is. the speed stat lists the base amount of time it takes to attack with the weapon.
23. your luck stat is hidden, but it always starts at a default of 6.
24. try to remember the order you did mysteries in, that information will help you later.
25. if you’re low on money, investigate the apartments. there’s several events that can act as easy sources of funds.
26. pressing z will highlight everything on screen that you can click on.
27. pressing q will restart your run. there’s no confirmation dialogue, so make sure you don’t hit it by accident.
28. some enemies have an option to listen to them in combat and gain bonus exp or spells in exchange for time.
29. some enemies have stronger than normal attacks. they will telegraph these, so be ready for them.
30. late game it can be worth making a visit to the pharmacy and buying Pain Medication/Experimental Drugs, as they provide a strong heal and it’s unlikely that you’re going to reach your maximum stamina/reason again that late in the game.
31. unless you’re in a dire situation, it’s usually better to take +1 stat on a level up rather than a heal. you can get healing from other sources, but stats can help you avoid taking damage in the first place.
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