Mystic
Event

Spell.

Cost: 3.
Test Icons:

Customizable. Fast. Play only during your turn.

Attach to a non-Elite enemy at your location.

If attached enemy is at your location: Parley. Give it a command (limit once per round per command) -

- "Go." This enemy moves once in a direction of your choice.

- "Cower." This enemy exhausts.

Anders Finer
The Scarlet Keys Investigator Expansion #81.

Latest Taboo

This card’s text box now reads: “ If attached enemy is at your location: Parley. Test (3). If you succeed, give it a command (limit once per round per command) – “Go.” This enemy moves once in a direction of your choice.” This card’s customizable sheet loses the “Mercy” ability and gains“☐Cower. Add the command: “- ‘Cower.’ This enemy exhausts.”

Power Word

Customizations

Betray. Add the command: "- 'Betray.' Deal 1 damage to any enemy at this enemy's location with an equal or lower fight value than this enemy."

Mercy. Add the command: "- 'Mercy.' An investigator at this enemy's location heals damage or horror equal to this enemy's respective damage/horror value."

Confess. Add the command: "- 'Confess.' Discover 1 clue at this enemy's location if its health is equal to or higher than its location's shroud."

Distract. Add the command: "- 'Distract.' Automatically evade any enemy at this enemy's location with an equal or lower evade value than this enemy."

□□ Greater Control. Power Word gains ": Return Power Word to your hand."

□□□ Bonded. You may activate the parley ability on Power Word from up to one location away from the attached enemy.

□□□ Tonguetwister. When you parley with Power Word, you may give up to two different commands.

□□□ Thrice Spoken. You may include three copies of Power Word in your deck. When you give a command using one copy, also give that command to each other enemy with one of your copies of Power Word attached.

FAQs (taken from the official FAQ or FFG's responses to the official rules question form)
  • Q: I have a couple of rules questions about Power Word. One of the upgrades to Power Word is Thrice Spoken: "When you give a command using one copy, also give that command to each other enemy with one of your copies of Power Word attached."

    • 1) Do all of the enemies carry out the command (a) simultaneously or (b) one at a time? And if it's one at a time, do I get to choose the order?
    • 2) (Extension) If the answer to Q1 is enemies act one at a time, how does this interact with Tonguetwister ("You may give up to two different commands")? Does one enemy complete both commands before the next enemy does? Or do all enemies complete one of the commands, then all enemies complete the other command?
    • 3) How does Power Word interact with Swarming enemies? If you Power Word the host enemy do you Power Word them all? Can you Power Word swarm cards or just the host enemy? Do different commands affect Swarming enemies differently (beyond the usual Swarming rules such as if you evade one enemy then you evade them all)?
      A: For both of your initial questions, the investigators(s) get to choose the order in which the effects from Power Word resolve. Also, if Tonguetwister is unlocked, an enemy is not required to complete both commands before the next enemy does. For Q3, if you attach Power Word to the host of a Swarm, the collective Swarm will Go/move with the host or Cower/exhaust with the host, but that is all; if the host is commanded to Betray/attack, it does so alone. (You can also Power Word a specific enemy in the Swarm, but then only that enemy could follow the given command. This enemy shouldn’t be able to move away from the swarm, but it can exhaust or deal 1 damage, etc.)
  • Q: I have a question about the card Power Word and the "limit once per round per command" stipulation. My understanding was that these limits were card-specific and referring to the initiation of the ability on that card. So, here is the question: If I have "Thrice Spoken" and "Confess" unlocked, and Power Word attached to 3 Non-Elite enemies with a health value of 3, and I am at a location with a shroud of 2, can I spend my 3 actions to give the Confess command to each enemy using each copy of Power Word? If so, because of "Thrice Spoken", I would read this as discovering 9 clues at this location. Or, does giving one enemy the "Confess" command, which, with Thrice Spoken, gives it to the other two enemies as well, use up my ability to give the "Confess" command to the other two enemies (using those other two copies of Power Word)? In this situation, I would only be able to discover 3 clues and have to figure out what else I want to do with my other two actions.
    A: To answer your question(s):

    • Yes; limits apply to the copy of the card that they’re on.
    • With Power Word, though, giving a command with Thrice Spoken does count toward the “limit once per round per command” on each copy. So, in your example, you could give the command “Confess” to have all 3 enemies discover a clue (if able) but you would not be able to give the “Confess” command any more times during that round.
Last updated
Reviews

This card is a role playing heaven. What more could you ask from the rats when you can make them distract the ghouls, tend your wounds, or even confess where the cheese is..

Anyways, I'll drop a rule related to the Confess option since I had to look it up a bit : "Health" is a number which damage counter goes up to and defeat it, so damaging it partially will not decrease effectiveness of Confess. Also it does not say "printed health", so I think any mythos-modified health can take effect. (Rule : Health and Damage)

5argon · 7208
Can you use any of the commands on itself (like distracting itself to evade)? It does have equal health to itself and is an "any enemy" technically. — brianlights · 7
Yeah I think Betray and Distract should be able to work on itself. — 5argon · 7208
Why not use " "Cower." This enemy exhausts"? — MrGoldbee · 1386
Could work equally for not taking battle damage but exhausted enemy still stay in your threat area right? Distract can be a bit better that you can move away and left it behind. — 5argon · 7208
@MrGoldbee, Maybe you used "Cower" already this round? — olivergrayson · 1
Exhausting doesn't disengage evade does both so if you are moving away so you don't have to keep using power word to exhaust. — White Liger · 3

The evolution of that card over the course of its upgrade is the same as a wizard for a DnD campaign. It starts really, really underwhelming but reaches stratospheric level of power in its late stage. Be it enemy mitigation, sustain, getting clues, this card does everything and testless. It becomes so absurdly powerful that when you get to draw three of them in its fully upgraded form, it will trivialize a scenario on its own. Many ennemies spawn in the first few turns of a scenario when your fighter isn't set up yet? Slam them on the biggest threats, transform them into powerful allies, and distract the other monsters from hurting your friends. This card effectively reads: convert a bomb card from the encounter deck into a boon for yourself. Not only the fact that your allies can also trigger all the effects makes it so versatile, but you effectively remove the biggest threats from being a problem, and thus, instantly.

However the card really needs tonguetwister to get going, but when you get it with thrice spoken things start to escalate. You evade most monster you meet, testlessly get two clues, heal friends, and effectively, definitely remove any monster (except elite) in the game, in a class that has access to ward of protection level two. Congratulation, on your own, you disabled not only the most menacing treacheries, but also the most terrifying monsters the game has to offer. Anything else is just between your main fighter and the boss of the scenario, and your cluever who has all the time of the world to do his job. If you think that as a mystic, you ever needed a weapon, this card solves all problem you need, being slotless and fast. By the way, you don't need weapons when you convert any otherwordly abominations to your cause. This card is worth any xp point you can spend on it.

mugu · 42
The point about other investigators activating the command is incorrect. See the rules on 'Control of Attachments' and 'Abilities'. Players may activate triggered abilities on encounter cards at their location. You retain control of player cards you attach to encounter cards. Power Word has the triggered ability, not the enemy. Compare to Shrine of the Moirai and Shortcut (2) which are designed for other players to use. — Death by Chocolate · 1351
Kills Trish's weakness! — MrGoldbee · 1386
You can even thrice the thrice spoken with a pair of Sign Magick(3) — Escalir · 1
Power Word is an Event, not an Asset, so Sign Magick(3) doesn't work. — Arkandos · 1

I'm pretty sure Carolyn should be able to take this card and not have it count towards her 15 off-class options as long as she takes it with the Mercy command added, no? Since it can heal horror, that should satisfy her deckbuilding, and thus allow her to spend up to 10 exp on various customizations for it just as long as Mercy is among them.

That is correct. — Death by Chocolate · 1351
But without this upgrade this card count for her seeker/mystic card limit? — Tharzax · 1
@Tharzax without Mercy this is counted as limit and we cannot check more than 3, but we can add this after check Mercy. Thus, I think we do not consider deck limit. — elkeinkrad · 457
Because Carolyn was mentioned: With this, Arcane Research finally becomes very attratice for her, because Power Word is a Spell which could be upgraded over the course of many scenarios (before, there weren't much mor than Deny Existence and Clarity of Mind). Also, it becomes an interesting option for several investigators to only take 1 Arcane Research because several upgrades on Power Word only cost you 1 XP. — Miroque · 23

Q: With thrice spoken, does the second and third enemies need to be in the same location with me? The ability says "also give command to each other enemy with power word" and it does not specify that those other enemies need to be at the same location?

nic7410 · 42
No. With Thrice spoken they do not have to share location. "if enemy is at your location" is part of the cost for triggering the ability. It is not a clause for being affected by it. — tokeeto · 33

I have played this card in two campaigns now. Power Word reaches power levels that I haven't seen since pre-Key of Ys being tabooed. And if you were to ask me which I think is more powerful: a pre-taboo Key of Ys or Power Word, its really no contest. Power Word wins this contest hands down. I'm of the opinion that there are few cards in the game more powerful than Power Word.

What makes it so powerful? This is the setup I used when using it to fight: Tonguetwister / Thrice Spoken / Betray / Mercy / Confess / Distract. What has this let me do? Well, trivialize every scenario. I find a decent enemy, I Power Word it. Usually my first command that I give to all my minions is "Cower". Why? The enemy exhausts. It is not evaded so it remains engaged with you but will not attack you during the enemy phase. This means it will follow you around wherever you move. My second command is usually to Betray any non-PW'ed enemy at my location or Confess to get a clue. As the fighter in a 2p campaign, if I'm able to nab a couple of enemies early, I can frequently get half the clues needed to finish the scenario. And that's with me spending a lot of my actions fighting instead of focusing on clues.

I also took Wither. Yep, good 'ole Wither. If your minions have a fight of 3 but you need an enemy to die that has a fight of 4? Use Wither and lower its fight value so that your minions can finish it off. Or you can just Distract it if necessary. Whatever.

Any chance of you getting defeated? Nope. I sometimes find myself moving a space before fighting. Rather than using an action to exhaust them, then moving, then only getting one round of attacks, I would move (taking opportunity attacks from all 3 minions), then attack/heal, then attack/exhaust. I heal up almost all the damage they've done in the opportunity attacks. My partner and I are never close to death because I can use the minions to heal us up. Yes, healing is bad, but when it's actionless because I'm already exhausting them to pick up 3 testless clues in one action? It becomes very, very good.

Oh, and I'm sure that someone is going to say, "You can't give the same command twice!" But you can. Limit once per round per command. "Limit X per " is a limit that appears on cards that remain in play through the resolution of an ability's effect. Each instance of an ability with such a limit may be initiated X times during the designated period. Another copy of power word would have another instance of the same ability. So if you have 2 minions, you can activate the fight on both of them with Thrice Spoken and get both of them to deal a damage to an enemy at your location... twice. With 3 minions, you can spend all 3 actions telling each of them to fight, which causes the other 2 to fight. For a total of 9 testless damage.

Yes, there are some drawbacks. Health needs to be high for clues. Fight for fighting. Foot for evading. But I tell you, it is hilarious to have a Swarm of Rats as a minion (evade 3!) and while ordering the Rats to evade a scary elite, they are also crawling over you (or another investigator!) and healing you (or the other investigator!) for 1 damage. And the Rats are one of the worst minions you could cast this on.

I was playing Father Mateo with this combo (signature weakness: Serpents of Yig) and drew Mob Enforcer. It feels so good to have weaknesses that actively make your deck better. What other card in the game actively makes your weaknesses into strengths?

If you haven't played Power Word, I encourage you to try it. It's a card that you build around, but it's a spell, so cards to build around it are already cards you would play anyway. This card is so, so good.

tcrudisi · 3
It's good yes, but also requires a ton of XP and resources and the right enemies not spawning too late to make it work, so it better be freaking good or everyone would've called the card binder fodder. Key of Ys is one card that basically makes you unstoppable. I could see the comparison with post-taboo Key of Ys but PRE-taboo? No way. — Nenananas · 240
I'm fairly certain the intention is to still be limited to once per round. Thrice Spoken says to give the command to the others. I get your rationale tho, so perhaps they should Errata it to " max once per round per command" — Death by Chocolate · 1351
I agree with you that Power Word is a strong card, but nowhere near the power level of pre-taboo Key of Ys. The Key was a 5xp card, available to all classes, that provided full benefits without requiring any actions. I feel like a 10xp card, gated to a specific class, that requires actions every turn to maintain the full power level is a different ballpark. — Pseudo Nymh · 37

This is my favourite card in the Scarlet Keys pack (among many great cards).

Why?

  • It's flexible: Customisable offers lots of ways to lean into a card giving lots of replayability in future campaigns.
  • It's powerful. It's REALLY powerful.
  • It's a puzzle. If you manage to get 3 enemies with Power Word in play, managing them all each round is a challenge, and sometimes a negotiation with other players. When you solve the puzzle, the benefits are huge. Sometimes the "solution" means an investigator has to compromise in some other way.
  • It's a story. I play AHLCG for the RPG moments and this card creates many. I had turns where I Commanded 3 enemies to do things to my will, then blew them all up with Storm of Spirits, followed by an Ethereal Slip across the map to victory.

But more than anything, it's the best card because It's ALL those things combined. There are many great cards in the game, that do one or another thing very well. Consider Grizzled. It's hugely powerful, and flexible, but, in the end, it boils down to "just" an incredible Skill card.

And that's why I love Power Word because it enables us to enjoy every aspect of what makes a great card, in one place.

acotgreave · 776

10 XP for a card that can't target elites? Can someone convince me this is a good card to pick up? It is obviously less optimal than Cyclopean Hammer, but I don't think it can even compete as a late-game enemy management because it can't interact with Elite enemies.

It can interact with elite enemy's, just not directly — Therealestize · 61
You can't attach this card to elite enemies, but with distract, you can Evade any enemy withe the same or lower. Which is okay, it's not the best,bur this is a card you look at and go "do i want this? I want this." And it definitely not a stable by any means. — Therealestize · 61
1. basically turns hard to kill 3~4 hp enemies into assets that heal, gets clues, etc 2. great target for arcane research, since this is a spell you can dump 10 exp onto it. — gyrjsrla · 30
This isn't a combat card. It's a clue card that just happens to come with healing and free enemy management attached. You just drop this on any medium-sized enemy and it immediately becomes an asset for you instead. Power Word is ridiculously good with Thrice Spoken and Tonguetwister. Note that exhausting enemies does not disengage them, so you can drag around your army of helpless clue-finders for the entire game. If you haven't tried it, you are missing out. — Soul_Turtle · 405
There are some niche enemies that surprisingly don’t have the Elite trait but possess massive healing, evading, and cluevering potential. Playing blind through TFA rn and it was a blast being able to mind control 2 Yithian Observers to steam roll everything in Pnakotus (that was particularly helpful since that scenario seems to be rough for many players that don’t build for it). It also just makes for some hilarious storytelling. Just used it on Eater of the Depths in The Depths of Yoth and the big bad couldn’t really focus on his job because of the distracting behemoth snake pet rampaging in the corner healing much of the damage he was trying to do. — Synthboy · 1
This card is bonkers good, and there are ways to make it actually not 10 earned XP (add in some Refine on off turns in the beginning of the campaign, go all in with Down the Rabbit Hole, or Arcane Research). Like everybody else is saying, with Tongue Twister and Thrice Spoken, you just plop it on a tough non-elite enemy when it spawns, they also exist lategame, and as long as you can spare your first action to activate it, you can damage some elites, evade them, or collect clues testlessly while the elite is just standing there.. or even heal, so you can tank more damage/horror from said elite enemies. Not auto-include since you definitely need to dedicate XP and resources to it (but since it's a spell, a lot of the mystic money cards help it anyway). The thing that makes it good is that everything it does is testless so there's no chance of drawing the auto-fail and wasting the action. — midnatssol · 1

Don't take it in TSK, it's a good card but seems to be terrible in that particular campaign. Can't target Elites, and usually you don't want to be with enemies in the same location or you prefer them to be dead.

Otki · 15
Isn't the post taboo cower ability pointless, since you could just take Distract, and the Power Worded enemy is always an enemy with equal evade value to itself at its location? — Xenas · 7
In very niche situations you may want to exhaust but not disengage from your minions - maybe you want to drag them with you to Confess somewhere else or Power Worded a Deep One which does terrible things to you when re-engaging you (which is a terrible idea in and of itself but to each his own I guess) — koaexe · 16
If you intend to consistently discover clues with Confess upgrade, you can't play Power Word without Cower, because to move between locations with your Power Word enemies without taking AAOs from them you'd have to have them Distract themselves and then manually reengage each of them by spending 1-3 actions. Thus I'd never call taboo Cower a niche upgrade unless you're not planning to repeatedly use Confess. — adogface · 4