Knowledge is Power

What a card, right?

I've played just a few times with it, using Norman Withers and it was absolutely fantastic. Saves an action and a charge in one go. The obvious scenario is of course to use a standard military-oriented spell (Daisy or Norman option) and be happy about the economy. But there's more. It's fast. Which means that you can do all those things while having an enemy on your back and not causing any attack of opportunity:

Having it in your hand, along with Mists of R'lyeh can save you some time and money too. In this situation you may decide not to setup at all and just rush your way through a scenario, until an enemy shows up.

Interaction with Blood Pact is also something fun to consider. This card then essentially becomes a better version of Steadfast

So what else to say? A fun card to play and plan around.

Onetribe · 164
I may be missing something, but what's the Blood Pact interaction? BP adds doom to itself, not a spell, so you don't get a free boost. — TheNameWasTaken · 3
Blood Pact is a Spell asset, so Knowledge is Power can be played to trigger its free trigger ability without paying its cost (and the doom is part of its cost). — Death by Chocolate · 10
Oh, that's what I missed. Thanks, makes sense now! — TheNameWasTaken · 3
Track Shoes

Track Shoes is an amazing card.

3 resources for an unconditional stat boost is already very good. Combine it with Peter Sylvestre for a +2 to Agility, and Trench Coat for +3 Agility on Evasion attempts. Investigators who are built for evasion will obviously enjoy the passive boost the most: Finn Edwards gets a free evade action to take advantage of it, and Rita Young is good at turning evasion into damage or even extra movement. That's reason 1 to run Track Shoes.

Notice that the reaction ability on Track Shoes doesn't care if there are enemies at the location you move into. It simply initiates the test before any enemy engages with you. Now, if that test succeeds, you move to any location connected to it. Notice also that all reaction abilities without the "Forced" keyword are inherently optional- you may choose to trigger the test. It is possible that you might not want to, for example you may want to move normally first, then move again into a room with lots of enemies, THEN trigger the shoes to move a third time in two actions skipping that room full of enemies you want nothing to do with. That kind of versatility is important, and definitely makes an evasive investigator just that much better at dealing with a clogged board of enemies late in the scenario (happens often in solo for low combat investigators like Wendy Adams). Combine this versatility of movement, this ability to be anywhere you need to be at anytime, with cards like Gravedigger's Shovel and "Look what I found!" to clear clues at the exact location you need to. Combine with Resourceful on a subsequent Track Shoes agility check to successfully recur the aforementioned clue getting cards. The combo potential here is brilliant. That's reason 2 to run Track Shoes.

The icing on this rubber and steel cake is it's a free skill check almost every turn. Drawing Thin, Rabbit's Foot, and Take Heart all love Track Shoes. Pump the difficulty to 5 with the first, have the second in play, and play the third during the check. 4 cards and 2 resources OR 3 cards and 4 resources gained from a test that you probably don't mind failing anyway. Worth noting of course is that you could accidentally succeed, so this strategy is probably more advisable for Calvin Wright (with low stats) and Silas Marsh (with his ability to at least conserve Take Heart if it does succeed) than it is for Rita or Finn, but both Calvin and Silas can have enough evade to eventually make use of the shoes' movement ability if they want to. That's reason 3 to run Track Shoes.

So what have we learned? Track Shoes is great for evasive investigators to evade things better. It's great for solo investigators trying to run away from everything instead of fighting. It's great for positioning the dedicated evader or clue-getter of the group. It can turn one move a turn into a double move if you need it, but if you don't, it turns into card and resource generation almost every turn with the right infrastructure backing it. The only big issue with Track Shoes is that you NEED to move every turn to get any real advantage from its skill test, whether for movement or for economy. And yeah, it's a bit expensive, and yes you can only have one in play. But still, for me this has become an almost auto-include in most Survivor decks, and definitely an auto-include for Finn even without the economy support. Probably the only Survivor who doesn't run this card is William Yorick who would rather fight anyway and needs to succeed at skill checks to take advantage of his ability- he doesn't therefore throw in the economy cards necessary to make failures into goodies.

StyxTBeuford · 18
Can I have two of them in play at the same time and benefit +2 agility? Is It correct? — Fedro · 1
You could, if not for the fact that Track Shoes is footwear and it says limit 1 footwear per investigator. — TheNameWasTaken · 3
And it is a bit of a shame too since it doesn't have the best icons around. But you've got a decent amount of choices for Agility boosting. For example along with Peter Sylvestre you could take Charisma and throw in allies like Cat Burglar or Lola Santiago. Plus there's always Key of Ys. — StyxTBeuford · 18
And in a faction with Cornered, you don't have to worry about the second one! — mogwen · 87
That is true, Cornered works well with any bad iconed card. — StyxTBeuford · 18
Telescopic Sight

This card is just aggressively bad. Let's start with the functionality, because that's where all the other choices on the card fail to accurate reflect.

Telescopic Sight requires a two-handed firearm. Now that seems okay at first, but then you remember that Marksmanship allows you to do this with any gun. And it provides an extra damage to boot. Now you may make the case that Marksmanship is only one use. But at best, Telescopic Sight is one use per turn. Yes, it exhausts for some reason.

You cannot make the snipe shot at Elite targets. Typically Elites are the scariest enemies, and the ones you're least likely to want to end your turn engaged with. So being able to plink away at them from range would be useful. Naturally, they have taken that away from the card. Please note that Marksmanship does not have this problem.

You cannot shoot an enemy in your face. That's really bad when using a two-handed weapon, as it means you now need a Bandolier so you can carry a second weapon or an alternative means of removing an enemy from your face to be able to continue using your weapon. Please note again, Marksmanship does not have this problem. This is the entire reason Springfield M1903 is bad.

You also cannot shoot into a connecting location if an enemy is in your face period, even if they are not the target of the attack. As someone with a gun, this is often going to be a thing that happens when trying to kill enemies. Marksmanship still doesn't have this problem.

Finally as a card it has the no Will sampler platter of icons which isn't exactly where a Guardian wants to be. Cards without doubled icons are a hard sell for me, unless you're always intending to play them for their primary function. This one doesn't have a good primary function, so it should at least make up for the 3 XP cost with good icons (which it doesn't).

So I keep bringing up Marksmanship which in itself isn't exactly regarded as a stellar card. It's cheaper for a single use than the scope, does more damage than the scope, and requires less XP than the scope. And did I mention you can put it on Stick to the Plan? Two scopes is 6 XP, but Marksmanship plus Stick to the Plan is only 7 XP for the ability to guarantee you'll see the card. Still doesn't require a two-handed weapon either, it's going to work on your .45 Automatic (2) if you're a mad lad.

Swekyde · 11
I tend to think there has to be something coming up in a future cycle that will make this card viable. Not sure what that might be though, and sometimes cards are just bad. Still though, at 3xp with all the obvious drawbacks you just set out, Matt better have something in mind for it. My guess is that there's going to be an investigator coming up in a future cycle who will naturally tend towards a sniper style of play, or perhaps a guardian with a unique ability that gives them an extra hand slot. We do often see cards released at the back end of one campaign which are baffling until the next campaign comes out. — Sassenach · 34
I think there are a few interactions to consider that you’ve overlooked. First is the fact that it is fast. This means you don’t have to play it until it would actually be relevant. Yes the inability to shoot a threat in your face with your 2h weapon is a pain, but until the first time you actually need to snipe, you can avoid that hassle. Second is that it can still be used to shoot an aloof elite (and bypass its retaliate) in your space. The elite restriction is only on enemies in connecting locations - and the reusable ability to snipe elites would be so stupidly broken as to be unprintable (so, give it a couple cycles lol). Third, you contrast it with Marksmanship as an either/or, but it actually synergizes quite well with it. Marksmanship can provide an additional sniper shot on a turn, be used as a one-off before you put the sight down, or get a shot on an elite. It plays directly into the style you are already going for. Fourth, and this is a weird one - you can put a second telescopic sight on your gun so you can make two sniper shots in a round. It’s... weird, but not unreasonable. Fourth, their is a fair bit of synergy already in the card pool to help with the issues of monsters on your face: Hiding Spot is runable by Mark and Zoey (or a friend) and makes an excellent sniper perch. Leo can run Cat Burgalers to disengage+move before shooting. Leo and Zoey (or a friend) both have access to contraband to keep your MBAR juiced for an entire scenario. Oh yeah, the MBAR. It’s ability to deal the perfect amount of damage was already amazing, but also makes it the best sniper weapon as it can comfortably snipe big and small targets alike in a single action. Spoiled cards on this site have had typos before, but assuming the Mk1 Grenades really don’t take a hand slot - we’re looking at an excellent back up weapon for a sniper than handles a pile of local enemies, doesn’t require bandolier, and gets refilled with ECache3. Is Telescopic Sight a perfect card? No. But if it didn’t have limitations, it would be absurd. Is it a Guardian auto-include? Heck no. But it isn’t nearly the unplayable binder filler you make it out to be and enables a fun and interesting alternative deck style. — Death by Chocolate · 10
I have to agree with Death by Chocolate here. This asset is rife with downsides, but it’s upsides are specifically designed to mitigate those downsides and the action economy on tap is immense. I think in an intelligently built and piloted deck it has the potential to be quite powerful. It is definitely an archetype card, not a genetically powerful one, but the archetype itself probably has a high skill ceiling. — Difrakt · 549
The Chthonian Stone

Let's look at this card line by line.

  1. It's unique. You can only have 1 in play.
  2. It cost 3 which is a decent amount of resources, especially for mystics.
  3. It's both an item & a relic. It's cursed.
  4. It costs 0xp and can be in your starter deck.
  5. When commited to a skill, it adds , which isn't as great as for mystics.
  6. It seals a , , , or removing it from the chaos for the entire team. This is very powerful.
  7. It only returns to your hand when YOU reveal the eldersign.
  8. It takes up one of two hand slots, which are seldom used by mythics.

First analysis is that it's very strong.

Math suggests that with 16 chaos tokens in the chaos bag (15 after playing) while performing 2-3 skills tests a round it'll last an average of 3-4 rounds before returning to your hand. This is still largely chance based. This equates to 1 resource per round.

Pairing with cards like Time Warp or Seal of the Seventh Sign can add to this cards duration.

In multiplayer, playing this as a final action is a great benefit to the whole team, especially if you go first.

Can be searched for with Backpack or Dr. Elli Horowitz

Able to cast after Emergency Cache.


Now lets compare to Protective Incantation who is very simular.

THE CHTHONIAN STONE

  • Pro: Uses hand slot.
  • Pro: Overall cheaper per round than Protective Incantation, but also luck based.
  • Pro: Starting card.
  • Con: higher initial cost.
  • Con: Unique item. Limited to 1.
  • Con: Commits a .

PROTECTIVE INCANTATION

  • Pro: Able to have 2 in play.
  • Pro: low initial cost.
  • Pro: Able to remove 1 chaos token for entire scenario.
  • Pro: commits
  • Con: Upkeep cost
  • Con: Uses arcane slot
  • Con: Costs xp.

Final Anslysis: I Think The Chthonian Stone is a great card, but probably only as a one-of as the second copy is dead in your hand and only commits a . Most scenarios have one token that is worse than others & this can seal it up. It's extremely powerful in multiplayer & gets stronger with more members. You normally get 3+ rounds with it in play, with Time Warp you can double it's duration. Cheaper per round than than Protective Incantation and doesn't use a valuable arcane slot for mystics.

You could run 1x The Chthonian Stone and 2x [Protective Incantation] (/card/04031) and seal up to 3 chaos tokens, but that gets expensive really quick & there is no easy way to do this keep up the resource dedication.

I especially like this card for Jim Culver and Norman Withers decks.

Calprinicus · 14
Drawing Thin

It's not immediately clear how this card interacts with Live and Learn. Does Drawing Thin apply to both attempts or just the first one? There was some debate about this, but the final ruling came from Matt Newman himself:

Greetings,

This is a bit of a tricky interaction, so I apologize for any confusion here. I agree it’s a bit ambiguous. I think the ruling that makes the most sense here is the following:

As a general rule, when you use Live and Learn to attempt a test a second time, all effects with a duration that expire at the end of the first attempt will have expired by the time the second begins. This includes effects used during the first attempt that say “until the end of the skill test…”, “…for this skill test,” or the bonuses from committed cards, which are all discarded at the end of the first attempt. Effects that are inherent to the test itself (the test’s parameters, what happens if you succeed/fail, that sort of thing) all remain the same, even if they have a duration of “for this test.” So, for example, if an effect said “play during a skill test. until the end of the skill test, increase the test’s difficulty by 2,” that would expire at the end of the first attempt, whereas if the test itself said “Fight. Increase the difficulty of this test by 2,” that increase in difficulty would exist in both the first and second attempts.

Now for the tricky part: Which is Drawing Thin? Is it an effect that initiates during a skill test with a duration of that expires at the end of the skill test? Or is it an effect which alters the inherent nature of the skill test itself, such that it would affect both attempts? Since Drawing Thin does not explicitly say any variation of “until the end of the skill test” or “for this skill test,” and since its triggering condition is a “when” reaction to the skill test initiating and not something you use during the first attempt, my ruling is that Drawing Thin is changing the skill test’s inherent difficulty to be 2 higher—altering the nature of the test itself. Therefore if you use Drawing Thin when the skill test initiates, and then use Live and Learn to attempt that test a second time, the increased difficulty would carry over to the second attempt.

Again, apologies for the trickiness/ambiguousness. Hopefully this clears up this interaction, as well as clearing up how Live and Learn works in general. Thank you for bringing this to my attention; I’ll be sure to add it in the next edition of the FAQ as well.

Cheers!

StyxTBeuford · 18
Thanks for posting! — BraidsMamma · 2