Gift of Madness

Like Hastur's Gaze, potentially game-ending if the stars align. If this ends up in your hand and there are no Monster enemies left set aside, it'll stick around forever, and prevent you from triggering abilities on locations... like, say, the Resign ability on Garden added by No Asylum. Probably unintentional, but still devastating, especially given the "Investigator Defeat" resolution nastiness.

Aside from that, surprisingly gentle; yes, not being able to help the party complete the 4 tasks needed to advance Act 3 is troublesome, but there are still things you can do with your turn, even if you never discard this (until you need to resign). For example, you could kill The Man in the Pallid Mask, who really seems to like spawning in Garden, preventing you from being able to resign until he's exhausted...

Does it work like that ? There's no "then" in the text nor a colon after the "monster-under-act-deck" part , so I don't see why the discard-this-card part would be dependent on successfully resolving the monster-under-the-act-deck part. If there are no monsters left, can't you just spend your action, try and fail to put a monster under the act deck and then discard the card? — bee123 · 24
Yeah, there's no 'then' or colon, so the second part of the effect isn't dependant on the first as either cost or effect, but you have to resolve it if you can. You can literally just wait until you get to the garden then toss it, if other people are doing the other actions on locations. — SSW · 187
Oh. I thought that the "monster-under-act-deck" was part of the card's cost, so you needed to pay it in order for the rest of it to resolve. Just how badly have I misread this thing? — NightgauntTaxiService · 25
You can't get yourself into a position where it sticks around forever , that's all xD I made the same mistake the first time I read it fwiw. It's the precise card that taught me to look ***very carefully*** for colons in encounter cards in future cycles. — bee123 · 24
I like how the exact same thing was brought up in the other version of Gift of Madness. — toastsushi · 62
Hallowed Chalice

tl;dr, Vinnie, Carolyn, possibly Amina and Marie. Not a complete sink in Dr. Orpheus who can load up the doom and sell it. Extremely situational otherwise.

An important thing to keep in mind when playing this is that the only damage/horror that matters is the last one. Damage and horror is just a clock you're working against; turning back that clock is good, but not if you're wasting time on a different clock. Spending time healing when you don't need to is counterproductive.

This is $3 to play, which is a lot, and it occupies a very valuable slot. Both of those resources could be contributing to you actually making progress in a scenario.

One action to heal one damage/horror is already a pretty bad exchange outside of the direst circumstances. Three dollars (each worth slightly less than an action), plus one action to equip it, plus the opportunity cost of giving up a hand slot is abysmal. You never want to use the second action on it's own unless you're forced to, and if you are forced to, it's probably because you didn't play a better card in your hand slot.

Now, healing two for one action is better. But to do that, you're adding a doom. Assuming there are no scenario effects that care about doom (which isn't a guarantee), doom only matters when it will push the agenda. The problem is that healing exists to fix a problem, and you have no guarantee that that problem will align with the window this gives you to solve it.

Most of the time, when someone has taken three damage, it doesn't matter. That's a perfectly safe amount of damage to leave sitting on your investigator. You can easily finish a scenario coasting on 3+ remaining health, and you want to, because that means you didn't waste time healing when you could have been investigating. But because you have to clear the last damage to remove the doom, you need to use the chalice right now, before you know if it will matter. It also means you're following around the injured investigator regardless of what you each need to do to make progress, because it requires two actions across two separate turns. And if you're one doom away from advancing the agenda (or two doom if the ubiquitous Ancient Evils and its ilk are in play), you can't use it now when you need to without potentially sabotaging everything else.

The one time the first ability is totally safe to use is the turn you know the agenda will advance (which again thanks Ancient Evils isn't guaranteed), but unlike, say Blood Pact, the chalice exhausts itself, so you only get a single use within that often once-per-game window, and that's assuming you don't have more important things to do (which you always do).

And sure, abilities like Moonlight Ritual exist, but if you're using that to clear doom from the chalice, you're now spending $3, two cards, and a minimum of three actions to solve a problem that could have been prevented by any cheap soak in the game, which usually has other utility beyond healing.

In summary, it's a trap, and only useful for certain investigators that can piggyback some other, better effect on top of the healing.

CombStranger · 190
One thing you can do that makes the chalice a lot more usable is use the doom heal effect on someone who's really injured then the 1 heal effect on someone else, not a huge bump in power but you don't have to only use it to heal people on exactly 3. I think this is a consideration for Agnes (hand slots close to worthless, any amount of healing is free damage later) — Zerogrim · 260
Analysis

If you play a Minh Thi Phan blessed deck, Analysis helps Minh to get a bless token (which becomes a basic "+2" thanks to Ancient Covenant and to succeed.

BUT if you play her in a duo with a guardian using Blessing of Isis it's even better: Analysis can also helps to get the second bless token (either by spending more clues or because you used Favor of the Sun to be sure to get the 1st one), which triggers Minh's and allows her to get back Analysis after the end of the test.

And of course you can use Practice Makes Perfect to get more use of Analysis and take back to your hand an other skill when Practice Makes Perfect assures you to get back Analysis.

AlexP · 218
Signum Crucis

Playing off taboo list, this card reliably syncs with drawing thin.

Draw a hard test in mythos you have no chance of passing? Add +4 to it and play this. You end with a ton of money and a Good bit of bless generation to boot.

Unfortunately though this situation rarely happens, and most of the time you're better off just using Keep Faith.

Playing on taboo since drawing thin is nerfed and this is now level 0, it can still be useful for blessing generation... but ultimately keep faith still outperforms it.

drjones87 · 100
Dont forget quicklearner, it also increases difficulty of the first test each round by 1 (or 2 if you have 2 quicklearner). Still this is very situational and hard to use. — Django · 4305
The Red-Gloved Man

A reminder...

This card cannot be selected if you're doing TSK. He's integral to the story and can't show up as an asset.

That being said, other than that consistency rule there is actually no gameplay reason why he can't be selected, so feel free to house rules it up.

drjones87 · 100
"The game rules can explicitly be ignored if you wish" is what this post boiled down to... was it really necessary to make? — fiatluxia · 52
He is a unique character, with an asterix. So let's say, he makes an appearence as an enemy in a scenario, you could not play him, should he be in your deck, because this enemy likely will also have an asterix. — Susumu · 234
Of course, if you go that far, you could easily just get rid of the unique rule as well. Two Dr. Milan Christopher on the table, why not? — Susumu · 234