Before The Book

Card draw simulator
Odds: 0% – 0% – 0% more
Derived from
None. Self-made deck here.
Inspiration for
None yet

HereticPriest · 135

This deck is a level 0 version of Joe "The Book" Diamond. In his early days of the campaign he's still the guns-blazing, gung-ho, physically adept P.I. aggressively searching for answers. As time goes on, his practiced skills will change into a personal approach more connected to knowledge, supernatural power, and the terrible secrets given to him when he memorizes the The Necronomicon.


Working a Hunch, No Stone Unturned, Preposterous Sketches, Scene of the Crime, Truth from Fiction

The concept behind this deck was at first the combo between Well Prepared, Guiding Stones, and the The Necronomicon. As I looked into the deck and fell in love with Joe's gameplay, I wanted a way to make sure I wasn't over-taxing my hand slots, especially since the Hawk-Eyes were instrumental in protecting me from the mythos phase. Hence Arcane Enlightenment, and suddenly I realized I had created a private investigator who thematically memorized the entire Nomnomicon. Which was just such a cool concept that I decided to go all in on it with various ways to give him an in-game eidetic memory and profit off his supernatural knowledge.

Upgrade Path:

Old Book of Lore –> The Necronomicon (5/5 XP)

Archaic Glyphs –> Archaic Glyphs (6/11 XP)

Perception –> Well Prepared (4/15 XP)

Overpower –> Ever Vigilant (2/17 XP)

Take the Initiative –> Forewarned (2/19 XP)

Practice Makes Perfect –> Eidetic Memory (6/25 XP)

Eureka! –> The Eye of Truth (optional but fun 10/35 XP, you may want to prioritize upgrading to No Stone Unturned, Deduction, Vicious Blow, or Cryptic Research before this)

If someone else in your party wants them, or you just feel like being less mainstream, or are playing with Taboo, Alice Luxley is a great replacement for Dr. Milan Christopher, and Research Librarian is a great replacement for Mr. "Rook". Depending on the party comp or scenario I may actually prefer to run the more chill cards, because they see play less frequently and are fairly close in caliber in this deck.

Other personalization/campaign tech options can include replacing Preposterous Sketches with Logical Reasoning if you're tanking more horror or treacheries than even the cameras and foreknowledge can protect you from, or Extensive Research if you care less about drawing cards and would rather suck up more clues. The latter could also replace Scene of the Crime if you're not hurting for resource gen in the scenarios, as it's more reliably two clues.

Finally, party composition notes. This Joe is definitely supposed to be your party's primary seeker, since although he starts with a decent amount of combat ability that will quickly be phased out in favor of the hoovering-entire-locations-worth-of-clues approach. He will always be able to support your primary fighter with damage and his guns, but he needs serious help in order to handle swarms of enemies or larger elites. His main combo also works best in 3-player or higher groups where locations usually range from 3-6 clues or 4-8, since he can reliably oversucceed on the glyphs and get 3+ clues per action (more with Deduction) and grab the rest at fast speed using his Hunches and the Nomnomicon's infinite-range cluegrab.

I hope y'all find this out-of-the-box, heavily thematic, surprisingly fun deck as enjoyable as I do. After all, who doesn't want to play a cynical, hard-bitten, Harry-Dresden-like P.I. whose better angels win out more often than he'd like to admit and whose brain is full of horrifying secrets? Pulp Horror here we come!

EDITOR'S NOTE: I'm not allowed to publish the decklist yet with Arcane Enlightenment included, but consider Dream-Enhancing Serum just a stand-in for it.