Scroll of Secrets

An interesting cheap card that would normally be a good comparison to Scrying. Scrying is already a tool that some people deem worth it and others do not. Certainly when interacting with the encounter deck, Scrying will be more flexible in preparing for what the group (or solo) would be encountering. You can keep delaying something with it or setup everyone for optimal draws in groups. Since the scroll of secrets is only dealing with a card you may never get to, or might want to be left there it might do little to nothing. And once you think the card on the bottom is ok and you would rather deal with it instead of something else. Well, then this card will no longer be useful "in the encounter deck". I think that interaction has little useful circumstance.

You could, if you wanted combo a little bit with Alyssa Graham and get rid of a card that you recently put to the bottom of the deck in the encounter deck, but outside a corner case such as that, it doesn't seem that useful against the encounter deck.

In regards to individuals player decks, I think that Daisy Walker should always be considered whenever we are dealing with a new tome that has been released. Would this be good for her? I think the comparison there would logically be Old Book of Lore. The cost of Scroll of Secrets is much cheaper, but has limited charges and only really examines 1 card at a time. But Daisy Walker would put this out to get a free draw for three turns (unless a treachery is seen, in which case you discard it). It's not a bad card, especially since if you are going with a draw mechanic to fuel Higher Education, you usually put more than Old Book of Lore in there for draw potential. But I think once you get the book out, you won't be using this, as you only get that free draw action between them once per turn. In this case, it seems like a decent include but nothing special.

With regards to Norman Withers, he also has the potential to put that card on the top of his deck in order to get a cheap interaction out of it instead of his hand which can reduce costs of cards over time if the card found was something that is currently playable at the time. So, it can act as a cost reduced draw action in some circumstances.

Overlay, I think it is an ok card that won't see all that much use. If there are other important interactions amongst and that I am missing out on that seem fruitful, please point them out in the comments.

Bronze · 65
In a Daisy deck, scouting your allies's decks for their weakness with Alyssa, then put them on the bottom and discard them with the scroll could be useful! — mogwen · 78
The upgraded version looks to be quite useful for Daisy. The text is cut off, but it looks to be three cards instead of one. — cb42 · 15
If I was playing Daisy and had both Scroll of Secrets and Old Book of Lore in my hand on turn 1, I'd play the Scroll of Secrets. Normally, your assets in play are more at risk from the Encounter deck than your cards in hand, so it's good to have cheap assets out, and you have resources left over to pay for expensive assets like Dr Milan Christopher. Enraptured also extends the lifetime of the card. — Katsue · 2
Marksmanship

Cool and fun card. Whip out a ranged weapon and snipe something, its a cool card in idea and practice. it's just not very good.

This is what the card does:

  • A +1 damage effect, these are hard to come by in a manner that stacks, layer on the Vicious blow and the gun and you're dealing 4 points of damage in one hit. Sometimes the 3-damage attack is good enough too!

  • Sniper effect. You counter a couple keywords that might increase the risk or cost you an extra action. Ever so often you save an action moving into the enemy, since the enemy might be located to one side or at a finished spot, this then might double up by not making you haul yourself right back again.

You get quite a bit of cool stuff, so that would make it seem like a good card right? 2 saved moves is EASILY worth 2 spent resources. The extra damage. Sounds good? Not quite.

This is a -card-, you gotta draw it, play it, costs money to play and most importantly, it's 1/15th of your deck! characters do not have much luxury in card draw unless their name is Joe Diamond. also struggle with resources.

What I'm getting at is this: Marksmanship is this real cool effect, a timesaver and circumstantial problem solution, doesn't actually do much that you cannot already, no extra accuracy nor grabbing clues or evading or whatever. If Marksmanship isnt immediately helpful, it's a full blown dud! You might draw the enemy yourself, it's engaged with you, a dud! Dealing +1 damage wont let a 2 damage weapon kill a 4 HP enemy, a dud! Maybe you just don't afford it, even if you got the cash you need to save it to pay for the next weapon or ally and the 2 resources will set you back too much, a dud!

........

So you see how many shades of "dud" the card is? I've toted copies of this cards in my hand in PERFECT scenarios, drawn it even. Rougarou? Miskatonic Museum? Pretty much all of Carcosa? It just isn't helpful enough. In a card game the best decks have as few potential duds as possible.

There is a solution, Lightning Gun! The 3 damage attacks and +hit covers many of Marksmanships statistical weaknesses, the circumstantial problems and opportunity cost will remain though.

Tsuruki23 · 326
I once run one copy of this card in a Carcosa campaign and bought it particularly for the Man in the Pallid Mask. Bad luck or whatever? I don't know... I just never used it once! Ever since I'm down on this card... — matt88 · 460
This should have been an asset with an exhaust effect. Even then it’s not so useful that I’d think it much superior to e.g. Pathfinder at a similar price point. Events need to be abusable for more than a couple actions or they need to be so broadly usable that they’re guaranteed efficiency. This card is neither — Difrakt · 519
clues are static so you can deal with variable solutions. Enemies are variable so you need a reliable and static solution — Django · 1712
Meat Cleaver

I 've been waiting for this moment for quite a long of time. Finally, a Survivor weapon worthy of Fire Axe gets released. Of course, in order to make this weapon worthwhile you have to take horror almost every time you attack, but you can easily negate this disadvantage by running Peter Sylvestre and particularly his upgraded version and maybe some other soak along with him, like Cherished Keepsake. Now this makes it more of a build-around card, just like Fire Axe, but honestly, since (in my opinion) Peter Sylvestre is one of the best allies in the game, I think this is totally fine. The other fact is that this weapon becomes more powerful when you are at low sanity, so you actually want to be taking the horror anyway and by having Peter by your side, this should not be very concerning. You can even heal horror when using this card if you want, by assigning the horror you take on Peter when you attack and healing a horror from your investigator card when you kill the enemy.

This card also opens up interesting deckbuilding options and upgrade paths. Since you want to be at low sanity anyway, it seems like you can benefit from Desperate cards more, Fight or Flight becomes more powerful, and with the ally Yaotl you can focus more on the "Desperate" side of things. Also, some investigators work better with this card than others. It seems like it is a good fit to investigators with low sanity and there are some investigators that will still prefer Fire Axe over this. I will now go through a list of investigators who can use this and outline possible interactions:

  • Calvin Wright: This weapon is just awsome on Calvin. He can use it to take horror on demand in order to increase his stats and he can easily get to 3-or-lower sanity in order to get the empowered bonus. Desperate cards were already good for him and now they are even better.

  • Silas Marsh: With his low sanity and high combat stat, it seems that Silas can make good use of this card. He is still good with Fire Axe, but now he has a decent alternative, that allows him to kill enemies without having to go into Dark Horse/Fire Axe mode.

  • Rita Young: This weapon seems like a natural fit for Rita. Honestly, I can't think of any reason why Rita wouldn't want to include Peter Sylvestre in her deck, other than being On Her Own. It's better both than Fire Axe and Baseball Bat for her.

  • Wendy Adams: Her low combat stat and high sanity makes it very difficult for her to use this weapon efficiently. Fire Axe is way better for her and even Baseball Bat can be more effective than it. I guess, you can use it if you really want a one-handed weapon other than Fire Axe to go alongside Lockpicks and, interestingly enough, her weakness, Abandoned and Alone, can help her get to 3-or-lower sanity faster if she really wants it.

  • "Ashcan" Pete: His low sanity makes him a good candidate, but I think Fire Axe is still better. The Dark Horse/Fire Axe combo is very valuable for him and I think it won't be easy to drop it in favor of this weapon.

  • William Yorick: Weapons from the Guardian class usually do a better job at killing enemies than Survivor ones and this fact doesn't change here either. Additionally, Peter Sylvestre isn't really the best ally for Yorick, so I think the Meat Cleaver + Peter Sylvestre combo is not very valuable for him.

  • Agnes Baker: This weapon is interesting for her. If she starts with double Arcane Research, she can easily drop at 3 sanity or below in order to get the empowered bonus and with the self-horror mechanic she can even deal 1 extra damage if she wants to and all of a sudden she can deal with some enemies without using a Shrivelling charge.

  • Preston Fairmont: Preston is another interesting candidate. The only other, truly viable option for him has been Fire Axe so far, which denies him from playing the way he was naturally meant to be played and that is no other than stacking resources. It is however more difficult to use than Fire Axe. With Fire Axe, all he wanted was to find the weapon and he was fine. Now, if he wants to use Meat Cleaver, it has to go with Hard Knocks, replacing a previous 1-card combo into a 2-card combo, not to mention that it is less efficient resource-wise. Additionally, he really wants the empowered bonus in order to make it worthwhile and starting at 7 sanity is not helping a lot. That issue can be addressed however by tanking treacheries and enemies, or even ignore Lodge "Debts" in order to take trauma. I'm not sure how good that weapon will be on him, but at least it will allow him to play naturally and offer him more upgrade options.

  • Minh Thi Phan: Her primary role is not to fight and the benefit she gets from Peter Sylvestre is insignificant for her, so I think this weapon is just terrible for her. If she wants to fight, I believe Fire Axe does a way better job.

  • Finn Edwards: I have no experience playing Finn, but I think this weapon is not a good fit for him for various reasons, one of them being that he doesn't have access to the upgraded Peter Sylvestre. Additionally, Finn is better at investigating and evading rather than fighting so I think that he is better off with situational weapons like .41 Derringer and Lupara.

  • Marie Lambeau: Obviously useless for her; She has a Combat of only 1 and she's a Mystic.

[Edit:

  • Carolyn Fern: This card heals horror, so interestingly enough, Carolyn can take it (I missed that when I was initially writing this review). I'm not sure it's that good for Carolyn, though. She 's not the ideal investigator to be using weapons. If she wants to fight, she has better options, like Shrivelling, Dynamite Blast or Mind over Matter. This weapon however has some very good interactions with her. To begin with, if she wants to use it she definitely wants the empowered bonus so dropping to 3 or less sanity is a must. This can be easily achievable for her by running double Arcane Research and St. Hubert's Key. With these 2 cards, she starts at 5 sanity, so she can easily drop to 3 or less sanity in order to make Meat Cleaver viable (enter Forbidden Knowledge here). Arcane Research is not the best for her, but she can at least use it in order to upgrade Clarity of Mind into Clarity of Mind (3) with a 4 XP discount. She can also use cards like Ace of Swords or Reliable in order to make Meat Cleaver more worthwhile. When Carolyn uses this weapon and has a Peter Sylvestre in play, she can basically earn 2 resources simply by attacking and killing the enemy; 1 by assigning the horror on Peter when she attacks (Peter heals at end of turn so she gets a resource) and 1 by healing a horror from herself after she kills the enemy. So, considering all these, this is probably the best weapon for Carolyn. She's not the best investigator to be using weapons, but she can pull it off if she wants to.

  • Zoey Samaras/Rex Murphy/Jenny Barnes: They don't need this, or have better options.

  • Jim Culver: Jim is another interesting candidate. He has a combat stat of 3 and he's a Mystic, which makes it worth consideration. If he starts with double Arcane Research and/or uses St. Hubert's Key (similarly with Carolyn) it will be easier to drop at 3 or less sanity and he can use allies like Alyssa Graham or his Trumpet in order to soak or heal horror so that he avoids the danger zone. I'm not sure it's quite that good for him though, but it's an option. My guess is that Enchanted Blade will probably be better than Meat Cleaver for him.]

A significant disadvantage this weapon has is that it can be painful to attack 3 times in a row when you 're facing a tough enemy, so it's good to have alternatives for when you get swarmed or when you 're up against a boss. So, considering this, this card does not make a good pair with Will to Survive, which annoys me quite a bit, because a Survivor running Fire Axe was facing the same problem, so this weapon doesn't change that a lot. It doesn't make Will to Survive unusable, but taking 3 horror for 6 damage in one turn isn't really the best thing you can do, unless your Peter is fully healed.

In the end, I think this weapon is best for Calvin, Silas and Rita. Calvin gets the most benefit out of it and the other two are good fighters and have alternatives when they are facing a tough situation. Other investigators can also benefit from it, but I think these 3 are the best candidates.

matt88 · 460
Carolyn can also use Meat Cleaver, and has some interesting interactions with it. Not sure it's worth it however, with a combat stat of only 2. It might still be better than her alternatives, if you really want to use a weapon with her. — neescher · 74
Good point! I totally missed that! I also forgot about Zoey/Rex/Jenny/Jim! I'll edit my review to include them! — matt88 · 460
Grisly Totem

This is theorycrafting. A review from somebody with experience running this card will provide better insight.

The first names that popped into my head while reading this card were Minh Thi Phan and Silas Marsh. It enhances what they want to do normally. I don't know what else is competing for relic slots for them (Cherished Keepsake? possibility to add Key of Ys later?), but this seems really strong for them. An auto-include unless I'm missing something. The typical Dark House "Ashcan" Pete deck would benefit greatly from it.

Otherwise, it just depends on a) how many skill cards are you running (I know it works on any card, but a skill card is the ideal option), and b) what relic cards you are running. Like most assets, it gains value the earlier you play it. Maybe that's good enough to test it with Dr. Elli Horowitz and run a lot of skill cards. Seekers in general have access to good skill cards. It also works nicely with wild skill icons. On the Survivor side, Dark Horse decks can utilize it.

The biggest weakness of this card is the one-time use limitation. You're only getting one extra icon per turn (I'd imagine this makes it worse on harder difficulties, I only play standard). You also have to have a card to commit that has the correct icons on it. You can limit that weakness through deckbuilding. One extra icon seems weak, but you are already adding icons with the card you are committing.

It's hard to say if this is a deck-defining card like Dark Horse (outside of Minh and Silas), but it should be a decent amount of help if you're going to run lots of skill cards anyway (and/or cards with good skill icons).

It's not unique, so you could have two copies out. As for Dark Horse Duke, I've played various builds a lot. I find if a card costs more than 1, it just ends up getting discarded as Duke food. — cb42 · 15
Correction: Two copies out with Relic Hunter. — cb42 · 15
The OP seems to be confusing the Accessory slot with the Relic trait. (Probably because "Relic Hunter" gives an extra Accessory slot.) But, yeah, this card *isn't* a Relic, and so *doesn't* synergise with Dr. Elli Horowitz. — Yellow_Peril · 1
I'm not fully sold that "a skill card is the ideal option", as you normally play skill cards to shore up weaknesses (e.g. get from 3 to 5 skill) or cycle them (overpower for making that fight test pass unless you draw an autofail) , so most of the time, 1 extra icon does not matter much. — Shakiko · 3
There are plenty of excellent 1-icon skill cards, like Eureka, Resourceful, Quick Thinking, and Double or Nothing. — Katsue · 2
Sign Magick

I think this card is an exciting addition for a sealing Mystic, as it gives them the ability to have a Seal of the Seventh Sign, 2 Protective Incantations, and a Chtonian Stone on the board all at once. It can also be used to turn the new Enchanted Blade into basically a two handed weapon if you really need those Arcane slots.

Xenas · 1
An interesting alternative to Book of Shadows (3) for builds that don't need charge replenishment — Chitinid · 12
This card is way better than Book of Shadows (3). Compared to it, you get the benefits of making it fast, costing 1 less resource and saving you 3 XP, for the drawback of not being able to add charges to spells, which is very minor. The restrictions on spell and ritual assets is also irrelevant os of the time of this release. — matt88 · 460