Forbidden Tome

Asset. Hand

Item. Relic. Tome.

Cost: 1.
Test Icons:

Uses (5 secrets).

Exhaust Forbidden Tome and spend 1 secret: Draw 1 card. Then, if you have 10 or more cards in your hand and there are no secrets on Forbidden Tome, you may discard it to record in your Campaign Log that "you have translated the tome."

Chris Miscik
Harvey Walters #10.
Forbidden Tome
FAQs (taken from the official FAQ or FFG's responses to the official rules question form)
  • Q: Can I use Knowledge is Power to translate the Forbidden Tome in my hand? A: The short answer to your question is “maybe.”

    • If Forbidden Tome was in play, and you used Knowledge is Power, you would skip the “cost” of activating Forbidden Tome’s ability (spending an action + exhausting Tome + spending 1 secret) and continue with the rest of the ability: drawing 1, checking if you have 10+ cards in hand, and if there are no secrets on Tome. Only if those conditions are true could you “translate the Tome.”
    • If Forbidden Tome was in your hand and you used Knowledge is Power, all of the above would stay about the same except that you would no longer have to worry about “secrets” on Tome. If you drew 1 and then had 10 cards still in hand, then you could “translate the Tome.”
  • Follow-up Q: I thought that you would not be able to translate a Forbidden Tome that is in your hand because you would not be able to discard it due to abilities only interacting with cards in out of play areas if they explicitly say so. I.e. the card doesn’t explicitly say “discard from hand” and so it really means “discard from play” which you can’t do because it’s not in play. A: Forbidden Tome does not specify whether it must be discarded from hand or in play to resolve its effect, so you are free to discard it from either place while resolving Knowledge is Power.

Last updated

A fun and relatively simple side quest (appropriate to a starter desk), although 5 actions is a lot. Few Seekers are going to want to a third of 5 turns doing Draw actions to get a shot at an upgrade that will be useful only to Big Hand decks. Eldritch Sophist will helps you pull secrets off it, but that's a pretty thin combo.

More urgently, what happens if you do your last draw, have no secrets left, but don't have 10 cards in hand? Do you hang onto the tome until you hit 5 cards in hand? Have you missed your chance to translate it?

Pro tip: don't spend the last clue with fewer than 9 cards in your hand. Since spending the secret is part of the cost, you can't activate the tome later to translate it (outside of Eldritch Sophist/Astounding Revelation shenanigans). Woe betide the Seeker who pulls Amnesia. — SGPrometheus · 664
Sorry, that should be 10 cards in hand, but are you sure you can get stuck? — LivefromBenefitSt · 910
The pre-then aspect must resolve in order for the post-then aspect to resolve. Don't worry, you can move a secret onto the tome with Eldritch Sophist to get unstuck. — toastsushi · 62
Use Eldritch Sophist to move all but 1 secrets to a different asset. Only when you have 10+ cards in hand, activate this ability to solve it. — Django · 4246
I wonder if there's a build here where you don't care about translating it, and just use it as a source of secrets to reload Rook (or Pnakotic Manuscripts or whatever) with Eldritch Sophist — Zinjanthropus · 209
@zinjanthropus If you're putting in a "battery" card, why not use the level 0 Encyclopedia? Only 1 more resource, and it provides an effect you might actually use. — SGPrometheus · 664
Probably not a bad idea — Zinjanthropus · 209
If you want a battery, and have access to it, I suggest Forbidden Knowledge instead. Also, if you DO get stuck with this at 0 secrets, you can use Forbidden Knowledge to resolve its ability and bypass its cost! You were going to want KiP in your deck anyways to support its upgraded version, so may as well have it already. — Death by Chocolate · 1209
Couldn't you just knowledge is power on this while it is in your hand and immediately resolve it? — Zerogrim · 256
Zerogrim. yes. it seems to me that if you have 11 cards in hand including knowledge is power and Forbidden tome you can "translate the tome" very easily — NarkasisBroon · 9
Zerogrim. Actually I thought about this a bit more. Abilities can't interact with cards in an out of play area unless the ability explicitly says it can. so the text on Forbidden Tome "You may discard it to record in your campaign log..." can't discard Forbidden Tome from your hand, because your hand is out of play. and because it can't discard it from your hand, it also can't "translate the tome" — NarkasisBroon · 9
Has anybody checked that this is 5 free secrets costing 1 ressource for other assets if you have Eldritch Sophist and/or Ariadnes Twine? — GrueneLupenAufheben · 76
NarkasisBroon, that's a nice catch, except I'm not sure the restriction you've cited applies, since the Rules Reference reads (under Ability) "Card abilities only interact with OTHER cards that are in play" [caps added]. So it seems to me that Forbidden Tome is unprohibited from interacting with itself (via its ability) while out of play. (There is the preceding restriction under Ability which normally prevents card abilities from interacting with the game at all from out of play, but Knowledge is Power clearly overrides that or it would be entirely useless.) — alxemy · 1