Cost: 0. XP: 2.
Test Icons:

Gain 3 resources (4 resources instead if you have 10 or more other cards in hand).

After you draw Cryptic Writings during your turn: Play it.

"...these are few as compared with those in the languages I cannot understand." - H. P. Lovecraft, "The Statement of Randolph Carter"
Anna Christenson
Harvey Walters #24.
Cryptic Writings
FAQs (taken from the official FAQ or FFG's responses to the official rules question form)
  • Q: I have a question about some card interactions for cards that trigger 'at the end of your turn' and 'during your turn'. To draw a specific example, if Monterey Jack's ability draws Cryptic Writings, is he allowed to trigger Cryptic Writing's ability and play it? More generally, when an ability triggers 'at the end of my turn', is that 'during my turn'? And similarly, if an ability triggers 'at the start of my turn' is that 'during my turn'? A: Short answer, yes, “at the end of your turn” is still “during your turn”, so you would be able to play Cryptic Writings if you drew it with Monterey Jack’s triggered ability. (By extension, “at the start of your turn” should also count as being “during your turn.”)

  • Q: Can I trigger Cryptic Writings' ability from the discard pile if Cryptic Writings is not in my hand "After [I] draw" it because it was discarded by Scroll of Prophecies? A: This one was tricker to determine [cf two rulings on Easy Mark], because of how “then” and “After” in abilities interact. What we determined is, Scroll of Prophecies’ final sentence would be treated as a single triggering condition, given priority because it has a “then” clause in its ability whereas Cryptic Writings has an “After” in its ability. To put it simply, Scroll of Prophecies needs to resolve in full before Cryptic Writings resolves. If Cryptic Writings was discarded as a consequence of resolving Scroll of Prophecies, Cryptic Writings could not trigger from the discard pile, as it cannot be “played” from this out-of-play area. Hopefully that makes sense! Further discussion: There's one thing I don't understand about your explanation, and I was wondering if you could indulge me with a clarification. You mentioned that Cryptic Writings can't be "played" from the discard pile. Is that because of "Card abilities only interact with other cards that are in play, unless the ability specifically references an interaction with cards in an out-of-play area." under Ability in the RR? If so, why can Cryptic Writings be "played" from hand (also an out-of-play area)? To be clear, obviously it must be playable from hand, otherwise the ability doesn't function... but how does that fit into the rules framework? I noticed that most of the other cards that work like this (particularly Easy Mark, but also e.g. Archaic Glyphs, Dexter Drake, Ever Vigilant, Farsight) specify "from your hand" - i.e. specifically referencing the out-of-play area. Should Cryptic Writings have this text? Or is there some implicit reason that Cryptic Writings can be played from only the zone we expect it to be in after its triggering condition? A: Unless something states it can be played from the discard pile (like Winging It), you can’t play it from there. Easy Mark’s ability can be activated while in the discard pile, but that’s not the same as playing Easy Mark from the discard pile. It’s the same for Cryptic Writings; it cannot be played from the discard pile.

Last updated

This is very nice, but mostly in Big Hand decks. Harvey probably finds the XP worth it, but I think a lot of other investigators prefer the Level-0 version, unless they find themselves with XP to burn.

On editing (mysteriously, fixing a display error took me under 200 characters): The Reaction ability is a pretty interesting mechanic (as opposed, say, to just making the card Fast), and very thematic for Harvey or any other Big Draw investigator. It's very rare an investigator wouldn't want to get 2-4 resources during their turn, but are their other actions where this would be fun or interesting? Probably not Fight or Evade, but maybe a card that triggers an Investigation, Draw, or Play?

Disagree, this is just pure gravy in any deck that has lots of draw, not just big hand, which is basically any Seeker and will definitely include the Rogue 5, Seeker 2 Trish Scarborough. Lucky Cig Case and All In plus this = perfect engine. — StyxTBeuford · 12738
That's assuming that XP ois infinite. 2 XP gets a lot of great stuff in every class, so you want to make sure you are landing 4 resources every time. There are plenty of Seekers who end uo with fairly thin hands. — LivefromBenefitSt · 927
2XP to effectively thin your deck by a card and 3 resources you otherwise wouldnt (actionless!) is ridiculously powerful. I think if you reliably trigger the original, you take the upgrade every time. — StyxTBeuford · 12738
I dunno; do most investigators prefer this to, say, the upgraded version of Deduction? Maybe if you play Solo all the time.... — LivefromBenefitSt · 927
I dont understand why the two are at odds. Deduction 2 is probably taken before this in 3-4 player, probably not 2 and def not 1. — StyxTBeuford · 12738
I think the conflict is with Crack the Case, which is pretty easy for most Seekers to pull off for at least 3 resources and never costs an action. This costs 2 XP and runs the risk of being drawn during upkeep or post-mulligan, turning into an Emergency Cache or couple of icons. I think it's a bit terrible at 2 XP, really. — housh · 141
I'm actually mistaken in thinking it thins your deck since you still draw it instead of another card, so it's not like Astounding Rev. You're right, CtC competes really heavily with this. Still I think a very strong card and worth looking at if CtC gets taboo'd or if you need more resources. — StyxTBeuford · 12738

The real competition here is with Emergency Cache. Both provide a base of 3 resources and cost 2 XP. Emergency Cache guarantees you a card draw. This card doesn't give you a card draw but provides three possible alternative benefits:

  1. An extra resource if you have a very large hand.
  2. An extra action if you draw it during your turn (since you don't have to spend one to play it)
  3. Icons if you can't/don't want to use it for resources. None of those benefits are guaranteed. An action is better than a card draw but you'll have to judge the probability that you'll draw this card during your turn based on your deck. When in doubt, I think Emergency Cache still wins.
GeneralXy · 36