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Harvey Walters has an ability which lessens each sanity loss by one point, which means that single point sanity losses have no effect on him. The Man in Black, a mythos card, causes one sanity loss per failed die roll. Therefore, it seems that Harvey is immune to the MiB's devouring and will always gain rewards from this card. Is this correct?

I'd like an "official" answer, because half of my gaming group was fully convinced that Harvey was immune to the MiB, and the other half was sure that Harvey could be devoured just like everyone else.

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1 Answer 1

Yes, that's correct. Harvey Walter's ability applies to all losses (but not costs), as the FAQ explicitly states:

Q: Does the Strong Mind ability (reduce all Sanity loss by 1) of the professor, Harvey Walters, apply to the casting of spells?

A: No. The professor’s ability works on losses, not costs. The same distinction applies to the gangster, Michael McGlen, and his ability to reduce Stamina losses.

So Horror checks, Elder signs, Mythos cards, Tomes... are all covered. While it's a cool combo if you happen to draw that Mythos card, it's not a game-breaker, IMHO. You still have to hang around French Hill Streets, and the reward, while good, isn't exceptional.

I'll note that an alternative way to play this would be to add up all the sanity losses from the Man in Black, and then subtract one from the total. In fact, this is the way I normally play this interaction, since getting the clue and spell for free feels kind of lame. As far as I know, there is no official ruling one way or the other on that though. Whichever way you play it, I don't think it is going to substantively affect your games - there are many more, much more decisive random elements in a typical game of Arkham!

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So the MiB's sanity losses are multiple hits (on a per-die basis) of a single point? –  KatieK Jun 24 '13 at 4:39
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If you want to rationalize adding it all up and subtracting one, just note that you always roll all the dice at the same time (and the card implies this), and read it as "lose an amount of sanity equal to the number of failures", and just figure that they tried to simplify the wording and lost some precision. –  Jefromi Jun 24 '13 at 4:52
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@KatieK - As worded, I think it's valid to argue that, yes. I personally agree with Jefromi, that this wording is for rule simplicity, rather than intent, which is why I play it as a cumulative addition - 1. But that's just my opinion. –  ire_and_curses Jun 24 '13 at 4:54
    
In case of ambiguity, always take the least favourable option. ^_~ The Elder Gods Command It So. –  Sardathrion Jun 27 '13 at 11:55

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