Ace of Rods
The Fateful Step

Asset. Tarot


Cost: 3. XP: 1.


During your turn, remove Ace of Rods from the game: You may take an additional action this turn, during which you get +2 to each of your skills.

When the game begins, if Ace of Rods is in your opening hand: Put it into play.

Robert Laskey
The Circle Undone #40.
Ace of Rods


No faqs yet for this card.


Did they forget to make this fast? It might have been worth considering if it was. As it stands, if this card isn't in your opening hand then most of the time you are effectively paying three resources to get +2 in a skill test, the equivalent of Unexpected Courage. Comparing it to the other neutral skill cards like Perception or Overpower is even more unfavorable because those allow you to draw a card if you succeed and are completely free. There are a handful of situations where the Ace of Rods will give you +4 in a test, but even then it is still too pricey to seriously consider.

One positive is that because it gets removed after use, putting two in your deck doesn't result in a dead draw. Preston Fairmont can use it as a means of flexing on other investigators to show how little he cares for efficiency.

While all of what you said is correct, I don't entirely agree with your dismissal of the card. In addition to all of that, it lets you take an action *from* a turn where you have nothing important to do (because you wouldn't play this if you did), and move it *forward* to a turn when you need it (because you likely wouldn't use it unless you need it). Is it a great card? No. But action manipulation could come in handy in certain builds. — cb42 · 36
I agree that it's not a good card, but I feel some of the reason for that might be because it's in a fairly weird design nice. — bee123 · 31
*design niche. Like it's got to work as the neutral tarot card and as a kinda pseudo-story asset for the Circle Undone. So it's got to be balanced as a card in and of itself and as part of a campaign level risk/reward and that seems like a tricky card to get right. Like, it's got to be able to do something in most decks, but not outclass the class-specific tarot cards or end up OP in the specific context of the Circle Undone. Given all that I'm not surprised it ended up a bit too small of an effect. :) But I wonder what a balanced neutral tarot would be? Something like the Red-Gloved Man, maybe? — bee123 · 31
This card consistently under performs. You should be paid 1 XP to take this card. It's honestly almost always a dead draw. — StyxTBeuford · 12943

So I am thinking that maybe there is a character that goes under looked when considering the Ace of Rods and that is our friendly Pete.

So you lose your tarot slot but the survivor tarot is the most easily skipped so no great loss there.

If you don't draw it in your opening hand it can be fed to your dog like any other card so its lack of icons isn't as much a hindrance.

I also find myself flush with cash to burn in my dark horse pete decks so banking an action for 3 resources being the worst use of this card doesn't seem like a bad use of money I typically end up burning anyway.

The end of the day if it was good enough to include in every deck then it would probably be too good for a neutral 1xp card.

Zerogrim · 287
Yeah , it's in a funny niche in the card pool because it has to work as a SPOILERS pseudo story-asset for the Circle Undone as well. So, it's a tiny , mostly terrible, effect but if it were bigger or had more of an impact then it'd risk muddling up the balance of that campaign. I dunno if there's a solution to that.. — bee123 · 31

This is the perfect card for Amina Zidane. With her ability that 3 resource cost turns to 0, and the downside of her ability (adding doom to the asset) is entirely negated when you remove this. 0 cost, 0 action, 0 downside, +2 to all skills for this turn. This is especially good if you're playing Spectral Razor or Read the Signs, where it gives you a +4 to the skill test since you're buffing both skills.

But you still have to pay the action to play it, so you net loose a card for a +2 on a skill test (or at best a +4, say with "Cyclopian Hammer"), if you want to pay and use the card instantly. You have to gain something from delaying an action to another turn for the card to be of some use, and I don't see, when Amina is the investigator, who wants to do such a thing with her deck. — Susumu · 351
Spending a card for a +2 on a skill test: you can do this with "Unexpected Courage" at 1 XP less. — Susumu · 351
Why would you use it on a turn where you're only doing 1 skill test. You might as well say it doesn't work because you could spend all your actions in a turn moving and is thus a card spent doing nothing. — sirtommygunn · 7
Oh, it seems, one of us is reading this card wrong. I think it's you, but you make me unsure. "During which" referes to the "additional action", NOT "this turn", imo. — Susumu · 351
I don't see the point of this card ever having been printed if it only referred to the bonus action. I hadn't considered reading it like that but the way its written there's no way to be sure. I'll stick with the interpreation that makes this card have a purpose. — sirtommygunn · 7
Like other's had said: the effect is strong, if you get it into your opening hand and can play it free of resources AND without an action. Sefina has the best odds for that. But for Survivors, who had the weakest tarot before the Return-box it was also a bearable risk, because they can avoid it being a dead card with Cornered or (in case of Wendy and Duke) their gator ability. They might also setup a "Will to Survive" combo with this card, likewise rogues a "Payday" combo. It's not a terrible card, but on the lower end of usability. — Susumu · 351
If you are playing as a monster hunter being able to delay actions to later turns is value enough, the trick is you have to play this either at the start or end of an agenda to avoid the doom triggering an advance. — Zerogrim · 287

This card is pretty bad. Get that straight. Its bad. But its not irredeemable. A few characters are so action starved that theyll take what they can get.

If you find it in the mulligan, its a free action, nice, but, not groundbreaking. We already have Quick Thinking and Swift Reflexes.

If you dont find it, and have to play it... you pay 3 resources to -move- an action, bank it. That is so goddamn terrible that it begs belief that this is a printed mechanic, yet, even so. There is a demand for it.

Some characters are so damn hungry that they will take any old garbage card to sate that hunger.

  • Rita Young has some of the tightest rounds an investigator can have, its all those Engage actions that really muddle her rounds. She likes to bring tricks like Cheap Shot and/or Bait and Switch to circumvent lost actions. For her the ability to generate 4 action rounds is valuable. Typically that 4 action round reads: Dodge, Shoot bow, Reload, Shoot again.

  • Mark Harrigan can be hella action effective with big guns, Shortcut and Elusive, even so he might feel the need to make a 4 action round happen every now and then, probably to attack 4 times with his Machete or .45 Thompson.

  • Calvin Wright has very few options for action economy, and the bonus isnt bad.

You get the picture now, decks that lack access to action economy might want to teck a couple of these every now and then. If there's any other action Economy card in your cardpool, that one is better than this one.


Another, small, consideration for using Ace of Rods is that it's not a bad tagalong tarot for Anna Kaslow, she's an ally with a deathwish and having tarots that self-discard solves some issues that might arrive when she kicks the bucket.


Ace of Rods is not a good card, but i'dd like to say that it gets less credit than it deserves. I highly recommend you try it out, 2 copies, even if only to never try it again.

Tsuruki23 · 2485
I disagree that anyone should ever bother purposely pursuing two copies of this card. One is more than enough to know how terrible it is. — StyxTBeuford · 12943
It's the perfect card for the finale of Union and Disillusion (TCU). I won't say more to avoid spoiling. — Ezhaeu · 48
Ooh, good point Ezhaeu. That would be amazing. Might well be worth paying the XP to add it before that scenario. — gators gonna gate · 53
This card just became reasonable for Dexter Drake as he can effectively play it as a fast action for 1 gold less and there's a chance he can start with it in play. — LondonLeon · 32

Anybody else have trouble with ArkhamDB decks adding this after the intro to The Witching hour instructs you to add both it and The Tower XVI to your deck? After the scenario, I tried to add it as a campaign card, but it wasn't there - it was just under the regular assets, and when I added it there, it tried to charge me XP. Did I miss something?

antichris · 2
No, you're not alone. I wish they would add a copy which can be selected as a campaign card. — Jeko · 14
I ended up raising a bug on github for it - — antichris · 2
If you click on the card title in your build window there is a widget in the upper right that lets you select a number of copies of the card to ignore re: decksize and xp — Sycopath · 1
This works for me. Thanks! — antichris · 2
How do we get the deck builder to ignore The Tower XVI, as there is no option to ignore that card like there is other cards? — corbs · 10
@corbs Story assets and weaknesses already ignore deck limit. — SyncStelar · 1