The Necronomicon

2 questions about this version of necronomicon.

  1. What if you play voice of Ra and reveal elder sign?? Does it earn you 0, 2, or 6 resourse??

  2. If you draw elder sign during skill test, can you play counterspell(2)? If you can, would the effect of 1 icon token of your choice be cancelled? Or all of them?

ks4108 · 2
It's a single chaos token with three symbols. Voice of Ra cares about symbols, so you get 6 out of it. Counterspell cancels a token, so you it cancels the whole thing. — Adny · 1
Voice of Ra states: "For each... symbol revealed, gain an additional 2 resources." This would lead me to believe that one would gain 6 resources because (per Adny's comments) the single token has three symbols. Critically, the Necronomicon states that the three symbols apply when a token is revealed, not only resolved, so it should apply to Voice of Ra and other reveal mechanics. — SocialPsientist · 110
1.6 resources — Pawiu14 · 1
2.Of 1 icon token of your choice — Pawiu14 · 1
...why is it a single chaos token with three symbols, as opposed to the more natural interpretation of treating as though you revealed three chaos tokens simultaenously? — suika · 7574
Because it's literally, physically, a single chaos token. This means, by the way, that Counterspell (2) treats this tri-symbol token differently than Defiance (0) does. Counterspell says to cancel the entire token, so you cancel the entire token and you haven't drawn a token for that test. Defiance says to ignore the effects of the chosen symbol, so you ignore those effects and still resolve the rest of the token. — Thatwasademo · 36
If it's a tri-symbol token, could you cancel it with counterspell? Technically, counterspell specifically cancels a skull/cultist/tablet/elder-thing chaos token, not a chaos token with a skull/cultist/tablet/elder-thing symbol. — suika · 7574
The definition of "skull/cultist/tablet/elder-thing chaos token" *is* "chaos token with a skull/cultist/tablet/elder-thing symbol" (respectively). — Yenreb · 9
Would it defined as a token with that symbol on it, or a token with only that symbol on it? The latter interpretation would mean Counterspell (2) can't target a tri-symbol token. — suika · 7574

The static boosts are nice, particularly for the likes of Norman or Marie that can use the as well. But it's usually a waste to get Ikiaq just for the stat boosts, particularly since mystics have no shortage of good allies. You'd usually be better off getting Arcane Studies if you're particularly enamored of the two stats; it'll save you a Charisma as well. No, what you really want Ikiaq for is the ability to cancel basic weaknesses.

Mystics will rarely need to use Ikiaq's ability for themselves. With Deny Existence and the worst draw of all the classes, Mystics don't worry much about their own basic weakness. The draw that they do commonly use (Scroll of Secrets and Arcane Initiate) can't draw basic weaknesses either. Ikiaq is better for your friendly fast drawing rogue or seeker, who is likely to draw out their deck and see their weaknesses more than once. It's for a support mystic that's willing to give up their Ally slot and 6xp for the good of the team.

Y'know about all those degenerate rapid-cycling big hand seeker decks, and how the only thing holding them back is nasty basic weaknesses like Through the Gates or Amnesia? With Ikiaq, they'll have nothing to fear at last. The last barrier to true seeker supremacy is finally broken!

You'd think it would mitigate Doomed or Offer You Cannot Refuse, but in practice it doesn't do very well against those two as the "upgraded" forms are no longer basic weaknesses and can't be cancelled. All it takes is drawing them before IKEA is purchased or before he's played, and he'll be useless against them henceforth.

He also is much more useful in Standalone mode, where you have more weaknesses in your deck and haven't built your deck to mitigate those weaknesses.

suika · 7574
I have a confession to make. If I get a really terrible basic weakness that attacks the central strategy of my deck, like Doomed or Through the Gates in a cycling deck, I shamelessly redraw it. This makes Ikiaq quite a bit less necessary. Regardless, a cool card to have in the game and not overpowered in my opinion. The cost to do this is pretty significant and I think the decision to limit it to basic weaknesses was a good one. — CaiusDrewart · 2353
Sadly you cannot use Ikiaq against the Unbound Hound either. I wanted to build more Summoned Hound decks T_T — Zinjanthropus · 160
@ Caius: I wouldn't do that. But even if, "Through the Gates" is actually kind of a fun basic weakness in the queen of cycling. Kind of beneficial, if you draw it before "Shocking Discoveries". — Susumu · 121
Agreed that this is a card you take so that the seeker doesn’t draw Paranoia for the third time in a game. You may think it would be useful for humanoid enemy, but a slotless handcuff is a lot better. — MrGoldbee · 1036
The Stygian Eye

The Stygian Eye is super cool thematically (I'm really liking all the Greek mythology stuff Seekers are rocking lately), so I'm eager to make it work. But this card asks a lot of you, and I'm not sure it gives all that much in return.

You really have to be all-in on Curses to make this worth 3 XP. To be honest, I think that even if you are all-in on Curses, this effect is not necessarily a hugely rewarding payoff. If you'll indulge me in a cross-faction comparison, look at Trial by Fire and Will to Survive. I think you have to try to get The Stygian Eye down to 3 resources or lower for it to even start seeming playable at its XP cost. That's an awful lot of Curses! At 0 resources it's getting strong, but even then it doesn't strike me as crazily strong, not for 3 XP.

If this were a more permanent bonus, it could really be the centerpiece of a deck. As is, I think that one really strong turn is not enough of a payoff to justify throwing a lot of Curse generation into your deck. (The recursion options like De Vermis Mysteriis and Eidetic Memory are worth keeping an eye on, but each only offers one additional use.) So, I think you are probably going to want other, stronger payoffs for your Curses, and put this in additionally.

I suppose that a hypothetical Seeker/Rogue might be the best home for this, as Rogues have additional ways to get Curses into the bag, and also have a lot of ways to generate extra actions which obviously works well with this round-long buff. Even outside of Rogue, there are various ways to take an extra skill test or two on your turn (Ursula + Pathfinder, Summoned Hound, Cryptographic Cipher, and so on). None of these proposed synergies are all that exciting to me, but they're worth keeping in mind if you decide to go for this.

My guess is that, despite the cool artwork and the sweet Greek mythology reference, this card will ultimately be too underpowered to see much play outside of theme decks. But we'll see. Maybe the extra-action and/or recursion synergies eventually get there.

CaiusDrewart · 2353
I think this card looks like a bomb, but usually you'll play it for like 7 resources and just investigate three times. Seekers have enough economy that I think 30-50% price reduction is enough, and that's not too many curses. — SGPrometheus · 506
I don't think 1 card and 5-7 resources for +3 to a turn's worth of tests is good for 3 XP. If you have that much resource generation you have plenty of much stronger options like Taboo'd Higher Education or Hyperawareness IV. — CaiusDrewart · 2353
Yeah the XP cost is way more an issue for me as well. +3 for a turn? This is kind of like a more flexible, way more expensive Trial by Fire or Fight or Flight. — StyxTBeuford · 12422
Ruth Westmacott

I disagree that Ruth Westmacott is unimpressive. I think she's pretty darn good, and well worth the 3XP for Charisma to run both her and Alyssa Graham. (Of course you want Alyssa - she's the single most important card for Gloria). Yes there is the risk in Charisma-for-Ruth that you don't draw her, but Charisma for an optional signature ally tends to open up campaign-specific allies too, and then you play out which one you draw. Let's assume for now that you get Ruth out alongside Alyssa - is Ruth worth that 3XP and 3 resources? Wholeheartedly, yes.

The trick with Ruth is to be using her a lot. With Gloria, you don't just want to lock down a few Ancient Evils or whatever into your basement and then leave it at that. With Ruth out, you want to be cycling cards into and out of the basement every turn, possibly even multiple times / turn if you can.

There are no limits to how often you can use Gloria's ability. With Alyssa out, you've got one every turn. With Scrying(3), Scroll of Secrets, maybe even Parallel Fates or First Watch , or even her Elder Sign / Seal of the Elder Sign, getting two cards into the basement in a given turn isn't hard. It doesn't even have to be every turn, you just want a steady flow of cards in. Then Ruth allows you to flow the cards out again, claiming her bonus.

Ruth's bonus is actually pretty good. It can reduce skill tests to 0, it can make "fail by X" cards (like Rotting Remains) completely blunted, it can be used anywhere on the map, and it doesn't exhaust. If you've seen Liber Omnium Finium, then you can safely be flowing monsters through Ruth for auto-evades or fights as well. Just getting the bonus, say, 3 or 4 times and burning her for Health/Sanity would have been worth the play. But you can do it far more often than that. In my most 4-player recent game, I dropped Ruth first turn alongside Scrying (3), getting Alyssa online later. By the end of the game, I'd used Ruth 14 times. Even if you say it's half as good as Ward of Protection, that means Ruth deployed 7 Ward of Protections for 3XP, 1 card, 3 resources - that's insane value!

Yes, she's better the more players you have. But that's OK, as Gloria's main abilities are better the fewer players you have. So Ruth can help across the board on 3/4 player, but is still good on 1-2 player. We'll see how Gloria's "real" signatures turn out, but for now, I'm very happy with Ruth.

Agreed! -2 Difficulty is nothing to sneeze at, no matter what it is! — LaRoix · 1440
Thank you for your review, Duke. I have been critical of Ruth in my games, and I appreciate seeing an argument for putting her in a positive light. :-) I have three issues with using Ruth myself. (1) I don't want to spend 3xp on her (ie: buying Charisma) as there's usually another ally I'd rather have in play. (2) I don't want to put too many encounter cards under Gloria until her signature weakness comes out so I can control its effects, so early Ruth isn't that helpful with my approach. (3) I really like her skill icons; I often will have a situation where +3 Intellect comes is really helpful. All of this is "in my opinion" and "your mileage may very," and I'm definitely open to the idea that my strategy isn't optimal. I have usually played her in 3p games, so my usual turn is Scrying four cards and discarding one of them. — SocialPsientist · 110
William Yorick

I am not going to go into specific cards or strategies. What I want to communicate here is why you would want to play William Yorick, and what you can expect when you decide to send him against all the horrors of Arkham and beyond.

No investigator is perfect, and William Yorick is no exception. He's no great cluever, even though he has plenty of Survivor tricks to get by in a pinch. He doesn't have access to the big blue weapons either. Economy can be an issue, but that's par for the course for most investigators, especially fighters. He is not the fine-tuned precision instrument that Roland Banks can be, nor is he the awesome overpowering sledgehammer that Mark Harrigan is. But no investigator can give you the visceral (almost sadomasochistic) satisfaction of enduring what the game throws at you, spitting in its face, and shoving it right back down its throat like Billy can.

Control is the name of the game here. Read that little under his stat-line again, and maybe a few more times if you really need to. It is exactly as amazing as it reads. Once he has an asset, it's never really lost to him, in hand, play, or discard. A card in the discard might even be best place for him, providing for some of the best action compression this side of a federal agent. This control is what separates him from his color counterpart Tommy Muldoon, who is so much more at the mercy of his draw, and does not gain tempo putting them into play.

The Gravedigger seems at times less a man and more some stitched-together Leather and Cotton golem come to make war on the monsters of the Mythos. Where so many combat investigators are one bad treachery test or token draw away from the edge of insanity, this failed actor can grind through the worst the game has, dealing damage and protecting his teammates all the while. Yorick is the rare investigator who can simply outlast the game.

Assault the mythos with your preferred assortment of cops, cats, and curiously resilient old ladies. Have a whirlwind romance with a witch hunter if that's what the script calls for. Pick your weapon. Any weapon. You have the strength to use it well, and the durability to make sure you'll be around to as long as your team needs. Your weakness is just another chance to fire your ability. Your signature benefits the entire team during and after every scenario.

Whether you want to comically fling your kitties at ghastly ghouls or dramatically wade into battle with nought but a friendly teddy bear in hand and righteous fury in your heart, William Yorick can play the part. Against all monsters, terrors, and horrors, he'll fight, till from his bones his flesh be hacked.

Rite of sanctification and favour of the sun, that is all, good day, have fun with them. — Zerogrim · 171