Cost: 0.

Customizable. When you purchase Living Ink, choose a skill and circle it on its upgrade sheet.

Uses (3 charges).

Remove 1 charge from Living Ink at the start of each of your turns. If Living Ink has no charges, discard it.

You get +1 to the chosen skill(s).

Kelley R. Harris
The Scarlet Keys Investigator Expansion #79.
Living Ink


Chosen skill:

Shifting Ink. You may play Living Ink under the control of another investigator at your location.

Subtle Depiction. At the start of your turn, you may choose not to remove 1 charge from Living Ink and ignore its ability for the remainder of the round.

□□ Imbued Ink. Living Ink enters play with 2 additional charges and takes up an arcane slot instead of a body slot.

□□ Eldritch Ink. Choose another skill.

□□□ Eldritch Ink. Choose another skill.

□□□ Macabre Depiction. Living Ink gains: " After you reveal a chaos token with a symbol, exhaust Living Ink: Place 1 charge on it."

□□□ Vibrancy. Living Ink grants an additional +1 to the chosen skills and -1 to each other skill.

FAQs (taken from the official FAQ or FFG's responses to the official rules question form)
  • Q: For Living Ink, does the Subtle Depiction upgrade ability to ignore the ability for the rest of the round also ignore the additional reaction ability granted by the Macabre Depiction upgrade? A: For the Subtle Depiction upgrade on Living Ink, you ignore all of Living Ink’s abilities for the remainder of the round, including the Macabre Depiction upgrade if it has that.
Last updated

I will dedicate some writing to the non-clear points of the card and possible ways to exploit it.

  1. When its bonus ceaze to work? Once it is discarded. It is still almost 3 (5 with Imbued ink) full rounds. It starts working the turn you have played it, at the beginning of your next turn you will discard the first charge, and once you have discarded the last charge it is discarded and its bonus isn't applied anymore (but you still had the bonus during the mythos phase before this turn).

  2. Subtle Depiction as a perfect mythos protection. You don't spend the charge and ignor the ability till the end of the round. So the bonus isn't applied since the beginning of your turn, but it IS applied since the beginning of the mythos phase till the beginning of your turn. Therefore you can boost your and for the mythos and don't spend charges during your turn to prevent the card from being discarded.

  3. Imbued ink allows to have two copies in play at the same time. The card is not unique, so you can use your both arcane slots for it. This way you can manage to add +4 and +4 for the mythos protection using the tip above, while 10 charges total allow you to use only one of the card for the boost during your turn, alternating them to make it last longer.

  4. Static stat boost is always good for the cards that use fixed stats like Summoned Servitor or Summoned Hound. This way you can get some really nice numbers for your free tests.

chrome · 50

One of the best, if not the most versatile customisable card in the set for support investigators. By itself, it's: pay a card and an action to give you +1 to a relevant stat for your next 8+ actions, which is a more than decent value for a level 0 card. But things go crazy if you combo the different mods together later on:

If you play with highly specialized investigators (5 in one stats, below average in the rest), you can permanently give them a +2 against the mythos with "Shifting ink, Subtle Depiction, Vibrancy, Eldritch ink (2)". You choose mind + foot as selected skill. Round start: they have some treacheries involving tests with those two stats, and when their turn start, they just use the Subtle Depiction effect and ignore the negative effects on fist and book. Since they never consume their charge, the asset is basically permanent. Or if they have to pass a specific test during their turn, they can still keep the +2 and apply -1 to their main stats to do whatever they want to do.

Else, if you play with flex characters (generally survivor & rogues who hit between 4 & 6), you can still give them +1 to fist + book & use Macabre depiction, so they are virtually have an endless supply of charge, as long as they draw one symbol a turn. And that +1 is often the difference for those flex characters to reliably pass any tests they get.

Imbued Ink is the only mod you'll probably never take, except for Akachi if you plan to instantly discard it for 6 resources. Body assets are rare and not often that useful late in the campaign, since they are too comboish, or cost too much for what they bring. However, arcane assets tend to be more relevant no matter your class for the last few scenarios.

At worse, it's a 0 cost asset that is a fodder against bad treacheries & investigators' ability (dexter). Give it a shot.

mugu · 42
One thing is unclear to me: nothing on the card says that you loose the +1 at the end of your turn, right? So technically, you get a +2 after 2 turns? And then you spend the last charge, discard and loose it? This is so poorly written. — Portinou · 1553
You don't spend a charge the turn you play it, but spending the charge is not linked to the stat boost. So you get the boost the turn you play it, and the two turns after, then it discards itself at the start of your third turn. — sirtommygunn · 7
Good way to stack willpower and/or agility in Sefina, and I think Imbued Ink is pretty good there. Two extra rounds is a pretty significant boost if you can spare the arcane slot. — Zinjanthropus · 222
Could you still trigger this with lola if you are not a mystic? — azrailx · 1
Lola cannot play Living Ink or trigger Macabre Depiction while not in the Mystic role. All other effects of the card should continue as normal, regardless of her role. — Linderwood · 7
Playing with Bless or Curse tokens adds symbols to the bag, making Macabre Depiction more enticing. I'm running this in Mateo / Ancient Covenant to boost Intellect (he has other ways to boost Willpower). — DrMChristopher · 337
The instructions to remove one charge feel like they need the keyword: Forced. — Taevus · 586
I have a question: If you play this card, say, as the first action in your turn, then in that turn you wouldn't have to remove a charge because "the start of yout turn" would already have happened, right? So that would be 2 actions + 9 actions (three actions for the next three turns) with the bonus? — brubsdormeles · 1