Hyperphysical Shotcaster
Theoretical Device


Item. Relic. Weapon. Firearm.

Cost: 4.
Test Icons:

Customizable. Uses (4 aether). If Hyperphysical Shotcaster has no aether, discard it.

Spend 1 aether: Resolve the Manifest ability of the Hyperphysical Shotcaster's current form.

Exhaust Hyperphysical Shotcaster: Change its form (to one you have unlocked on its upgrade sheet).

JB Casacop
The Scarlet Keys Investigator Expansion #119.
No image


□□ Railshooter. Hyperphysical Shotcaster has this form: "Manifest - Fight. Fight with any skill. This attack deals +1 damage."

□□ Telescanner. Hyperphysical Shotcaster has this form: "Manifest - Investigate. Investigate with any skill. If you succeed, discover a clue at any revealed location instead of your location."

□□ Translocator. Hyperphysical Shotcaster has this form: "Manifest - Evade. Attempt to evade with any skill. Before or after this attempt, you may move an investigator or a non-Elite enemy at your location to a connecting location, or vice versa."

□□ Realitycollapser. Hyperphysical Shotcaster has this form: "Manifest - Test any skill (3). If you succeed, discard from play a non-weakness treachery that is not attached to an Elite enemy."

□□ Matterweaver. Hyperphysical Shotcaster has this form: "Manifest - Choose an asset in your hand and test any skill (X), where X is that asset's cost. If you succeed, play that asset at no cost."

□□□□ Aetheric Link. Hyperphysical Shotcaster enters play with 2 additional aether.

□□□□ Empowered Configuration. While using a Manifest ability, you get +2 skill value.

FAQs (taken from the official FAQ or FFG's responses to the official rules question form)
  • Q: I'm wondering how Deduction interacts with the Hyperphysical Shotcaster's Telescanner investigate action if you discover a clue at a different revealed location from where you are. Deduction states: "If this skill test is successful while investigating a location, discover 1 additional clue at that location." Does this mean that Deduction does not work with the Telescanner Investigate ability (when discovering clues at other locations) because Deduction only discovers additional clues from the specific location that is being investigated? A: [NB see follow-up Q] Correct – Deduction will only grant additional clues when you discover at least 1 clue at the location you’re currently investigating. It will not work with Hyperphysical Shotcaster’s “Telescanner” upgrade, which specifically has you discover a clue from a revealed location you’re not in.

  • Follow-up Q: Years ago there was an official ruling about the interaction between Deduction and Seeking Answers: "If you commit Deduction to the [Seeking Answers (0)] test and succeed, you will find 1 clue at your location and 1 clue at a connecting location.” If I am understanding your ruling about Hyperphysical Shotcaster’s “Telescanner” correctly, it seems as if this new ruling overrules the past ruling for Seeking Answers. If Deduction doesn't work for Telescanner discovering clues at different locations, then it seems to me that it shouldn't work for Seeking Answers discovering clues at different locations. Can you please comment on how Deduction does (or doesn't) work with Seeking Answers? A: Thank you for bringing that ruling to our attention, because we did not consider it when making the ruling on Hyperphysical Shotcaster. After much discussion we believe that the ruling for Deduction + Seeking Answers is the same ruling we’d want to make for Deduction + Hyperphysical Shotcaster: when you investigate with the Shotcaster’s Telescanner form and commit Deduction to that test, you would be able to discover 1 clue at “any (other) revealed location” and 1 clue at your location if successful.

Last updated

In my opinion, Hyperphysical Shotcaster is the best card in the Scarlet Keys investigator expansion. Better even than Darrell Simmons: for he is but one man, while this card improves many.

I do not particularly condone taking this card for 0 experience when because you can buy customizable cards with their upgrades without paying the 1 xp "new card" tax (as per the rules insert); although I do not hate taking a copy in the first scenario of a campaign if you're planning to Refine it. At least you can chuck it to an Act of Desperation or something.

Shotcaster obviously lives or dies by its upgrades. No other card interacts directly with aether so its uses are limited. Before I get on to the upgrades, however, its excellent collection of key words give some fantastic synergy that is worth considering as we explore further (not considering encounter cards):





So with all this support available from merely the keywords, which investigators can benefit most from each customization? I'm glad you asked, hypothetical straw man.

Railshooter (2xp):
Excellent way to give a fight option to characters that did not have many good ones, although fighting is not the only means of enemy management. Every single mystic can take this instead of a fight spell to save precious arcane slots. Rogues with high get fights that are as good as their evades. Seekers can use this to supplement or replace their limited fight tricks such as "I've got a plan!". Some survivors, such as "Ashcan" Pete, appreciate backup fight options.

Telescanner (2xp):
Many characters suck in solo play because they just cannot reliably pick up the clues that are needed to win the game. This is the upgrade that fixes all that. For some characters it might be the best thing to spend the xp from In the Thick of It, especially those who can afford chicken soup to mitigate the trauma. Mystics get less utility here than for Railshooter because Sixth Sense exists. Survivors have even more utility because of the potentially broken interaction with Scavenging (2).
So here is every single character for whom I would seriously consider taking using their very first 2xp: "Ashcan" Pete, Daniela Reyes, Kymani Jones, Lily Chen, Mark Harrigan, Nathaniel Cho, Rita Young, Silas Marsh, Stella Clark, Tony Morgan, William Yorick, Winifred Habbamock, Zoey Samaras.

Translocator (2xp):
Lets your Shotcaster do a fair impersonation of Bait and Switch or Survival Instinct. Decent repeated enemy management, especially for enemies without the hunter keyword, although it does not affect Elite enemies. This is also action compression which is good for tempo. Zoey Samaras can even use this to evade one enemy and drag in another from a nearby location, scooping up more resources and triggering Zoey's Cross on each of them. I also like this upgrade for investigators that really struggle to evade and don't have many options to do so, such as Norman Withers and especially Harvey Walters or Vincent Lee.

Realitycollapser (2xp):
It's like A Test of Will (0) and Alter Fate (1) had a baby. This is an amazing upgrade that will fly under the radar for many, but is absolutely clutch in so many situations. The only problem will be juggling the forms of your Shotcaster (unless you can ready it as "Ashcan" Pete).
To be clear: if you can pass the test consistently, then this upgrade is amazing for nearly every character in the game (except Carolyn Fern who can't take it).

Matterweaver (2xp):
With so many other good upgrades, I can't in good conscience recommend spending experience to allow a 4 resource item to pay for more items. Schoffner's Catalogue and Hot Streak do this better, but if you're using this to jam Agency Backup four times then more power to you.

Aetheric Link (4xp):
Getting two extra aether is not a bad use of 4xp if this is going to be your main form of clue gathering or enemy management. Survivors take Scavenging (2) instead, guardians can grab Well-Maintained (1) for cheaper, and rogues might just stick with Sleight of Hand. Its not bad if you definitely want a second manifest ability on your Shotcaster; i.e. if you rely on Telescanner but would also like Realitycollapser, then this gets much better.

Empowered Configuration (4xp):
+2 skill value when you are already using your best skill to start obviously sounds great... but Antiquary and Bruiser are less experience, do the same thing and more, and all five classes can take at least one. The other problem is that most characters that use the Shotcaster will be doing so to cover a gap in their arsenal, so the longevity of Aetheric Link is probably better and the more unique effect. Save your experience and get more copies of the talents.

The_Wall · 271
Idk..... Darrell Simmons is pretty dope ngl — Therealestize · 57
You mention Lili Chen...but no Firearms. — Rislyeu · 1
So if you use Matter weaver, it says no cost? But additional cost are cost too, so you can play assets without additional costs (like summoned hound, summoned servitor...) Right? — vidinufi · 63
It looks like the service weapon from the game control — Django · 4765
You said "No other card interacts directly with aether so its uses are limited", but there is one exception: Ghastly Possession can refill the Shotcaster with 2 aether per committed copy! — jamalix · 1

After playing with this card for a while, there were some investigators that definitely had better uses with this card. Usually used in:

  • Characters who can easily find Hyperphysical Shotcaster or recur it (= almost every ).
  • Characters who would like some consistant fight/investigate option that their deckbuilding options doesn't support (= no , )
  • Characters who can boost their primary stats through multiple ways

Notable examples that I found:

gyrjsrla · 29

To piggyback on The Wall's extensive review, it must be pointed out how well the HPS works for Darrell himself.

The HPS as a weapon is really only useful for characters with low combat and willpower. If you can already fight, you have more efficient options. Compare to level-0 .45 Automatic; for 2 less XP you get +1 attack and the ability to reload it through other cards. The same goes for attack spells. That means the only characters that really want the Railshooter upgrade have high intellect or agility.

The main problem is, as it uses aether, only Ghastly Possession can reload it, and only for 2 shots even with the Aetheric Link upgrade (which increases the aether it comes into play with, not the uses value). And, if you have access to GP, you're probably better served by attack spells anyway. That means the only realistic way to reload it is to either dig it out of your discard or draw through your deck again, and either option is going to cost you a hefty $4.

Enter Darrill, who has no problem finding it with Whitton Greene, using Scavenging to bounce the empty gun back to his hand, and paying for it with Schoffner's Catalogue. He can even dual-wield it CQC-style with an Ice Pick. Being able to hit 3 damage in a single attack is a huge boost in efficiency, downing the majority of enemies in the game with a single action and significantly stretching your ammo.

Of course Minh has access to the same suite of cards with a slightly less focused stat spread, so it's really a matter of preference between them. For completion's sake I have to add that Minh could theoretically combine it with Gray's Anatomy to really stretch your ammo usage, but that's a whole pile of resources and XP on top, and you'd either need to evade or slap on an upgraded Raven Quill to avoid the opportunity attack. It's really not worth it.

CombStranger · 230