Taboo/FAQ 2.1 Roundup


Almost exactly one year after the previous Taboo/FAQ we got the 2.1 version this week. As is par for the course, we get some new rule clarifications, interpretations and also re-interpretations. Additionally, some changes to the optional list of Taboos was made, intended to provide some balance shifts for those that opt into using them. Again, let me stress that the Taboo list is optional, if you are new to the game, your card pool is still small or if you straight up don’t care about these changes, then by all means ignore them.
For those that do care, here’s a list of the changes plus some enlightened commentary by yours truly.


These are the cards that got a modifier to their XP cost, making them more expensive (chained) or cheaper (unchained) to buy when upgrading your decks. Remember this doesn’t alter their card level, so this will not push cards in or out of some investigator’s card pool. I will only go over what changed to the previous version of the taboo.

Pathfinder(+1): Used to be chained at +2, so this becomes cheaper to include. I did not really expect this, Pathfinder is quite good. A slotless card that basically provides an extra action each turn is easily worth paying 3XP for. That being said, I don’t have strong feelings on this change and I don’t expect it to change much how often this card gets used or not for me.
Switchblade(+0): Used to be chained at +1. I always thought chaining this one was a bit weird, as there’s really only one investigator, Tony, that can use it properly. Fully agree with the unchain, it was just unnecessary.
Higher Education(+0): Used to be chained at +3, so this is a big one. This is a very powerful card that trivializes skill checks. I am very surprised to see this being unchained, i think this is an unhealthy card for the game that promotes a very boring and stale playstyle. This one should stay nuked imo.
Streetwise(+0): Used to be chained at +3. The other good one of the Dunwich talents, but way less so than Higher Ed. Still, funneling money into skill boosts at a rate better than 1:1 is particularly valuable for Rogue. Unlike Higher Ed, this doesn’t quite deserve the +3 chain to 6XP, but seeing it at its original 3XP probably makes it a bit too good.
Scrapper(+0): Used to be chained at +1. This is totally fine to unchain. There are tons of cards by now that let you trade resources to skill boosts 1:1, Scrapper is nothing special anymore.
David Renfield(+0): Got chained +3 in 2.0, this got dropped again. Good. Chaining Renfield in anticipation of being too good in a doom archetype that ended up a complete stinker was ridiculous. He got a mutation instead which is fair. More about that in a bit.
Sharpshooter(-1): New to the list. Buying this card now costs 2XP instead of 3XP. I do appreciate the sentiment, Sharpshooter is indeed a card that needs help. That being said, i don’t think this changes much. The issue with Sharpshooter isn’t the XP cost, it’s the fact that it exhausts on use, so failing your attack leaves you with your pants down. While that is very rogue, it also makes it a hard sell to build a deck around.
Jeremiah Kirby(0): Like Renfield, the poor guy was chained in 2.0 (to +2) and this has been lifted in favor of a mutation. I very, very, very much like this change, this means that Kirby can go up against Milan for slots at deck creation again. More on the mutation in a bit.
Runic Axe, Inscription of the Hunt (+1): New to the list. Fine? The Inscription of the Hunt is very powerful, getting repeatable free moves should cost 2XP. It now costs the same as Pathfinder, which i can agree with.
Shed A Light(+2): New to the list. Oof, swing and a miss in my opinion. This changes very little to the monstrum that is the “reduce to zero” archetype. Old Keyring(3) was the card to hit instead and with a mutation instead of a chaining. I agree with the reasoning behind the change, but i don’t think this effectively does anything too worthwhile.


Mutations are cards that got errata to their card text. These are mostly small changes that can be memorized easily, but a couple are a bit more involved. As with the Chainings and Unchainings, these can be used to either make cards stronger or weaker.

Hypnotic Gaze and Banish: Both of these rarely played cards now get their additional effects on any symbol token, not just the ones named on the card. I don’t think this makes Banish a whole lot more playable, but being able to reliably deal damage with Hypnotic Gaze in bless/curse decks has potential. The upgraded version of Hypnotic Gaze is not explicitly mentioned in the document, but it’s safe to assume that it is affected by this change as well. EDIT: Duke confirmed on Discord that Hypnotic Gaze(2) is intentionally excluded from this mutation. Personal opinion: That’s just being inconsistent for no reason and truly bizarre. For my own games, I will go against this and apply this mutation to the level 2 version as well because i see no reason not to.
David Renfield: He got unchained, but his ability is now limited to creating a maximum of 3 resources. That seems perfectly fair and agreeable.
Persuasion: No longer requires the target to be Humanoid. Hey, this is pretty good removal now! I could see myself using this card now, when it was basically unplayable before. Good change.
Interrogate: Same thing, no longer needs the target to be Humanoid. A way for Guardian to reliably pick up two clues? This might on average be better than (or as good as) Scene of the Crime now. And Scene is a perfectly respectable card. Again, turning an unplayable coaster into something worthwhile, i approve.
Daredevil: Weaknesses discarded by Daredevil are now drawn, not shuffled back. Hey, this is actually a buff despite being worded like adding a risk to your tests. Drawing a weakness is still card draw, now that weakness doesn’t replace your draw in a later turn. Well, at least if the weakness doesn’t reshuffle, but that’s the exception. I like Daredevil a lot in all sorts of decks and this mutation makes me think that i will only like it more. Note that this only applies to the level zero version.
Trish Scarborough: Her investigator ability can no longer evade Elites. She can still gain extra clues off of the presence of an Elite. Yep, that’s fair. Trish is pretty ridiculous and shaving a bit off of her top end power is perfectly justified.
Ancient Covenant: No longer can be activated on other players skill tests, only your own. I think it’s still the best Covenant, but at least it now has one strike against it when compared to the others. It’s now the only “selfish” one and in a high player count environment that might push you towards Sacred Covenant instead if you are one of the few investigators that can run both of them. I’m not sure this change accomplishes much, but i have no strong feelings on this.
Geared Up: Is now limited to 5 items. Ha. I pretty much considered Geared Up to be unplayable outside of the “Backpack+Shoeffners+20 items” abuse case. I can see that this extreme needed to be reined in, but is the card just unplayable in total now? Dunno, this isn’t a card i am particularly interested in so i will leave the commentary on this one to people that actually play it.
Jeremiah Kirby: Can now be triggered only twice per game. I guess this is okay. It’s at least preferable to the chaining. This completely clamps down on any Hit and Run/Calling in Favors shenanigans and i feel like this could have been a “max 4 per game” instead to allow at least a little bit of interaction between those cards while just removing loops and abuse cases. That being said, i am fine with just playing Kirby “fairly”.
Burn After Reading: Also gains a “max 2 per game”. It already exiles itself, so this was targeted at party play where everyone was bringing two of these to a standalone or campaign finale. Sure, that seems fair.
Research Notes: The second ability is limited to spending a max of 3 evidence (and thus picking up a max of 3 clues) now. Note that a max is group wide and across all assets, so this clamps down a bit on the interaction of having two copies of this card out. Having two Notes out is still quite powerful and i think i would’ve preferred just a straight up “limit 1 per investigator” on the asset. But sure, worth a try doing it like this instead. Can always be more heavy handed in a later mutation.
Power Word: Alright, so there are multiple parts to this one.
First off, “Cower” is no longer an innate ability of the card, instead it moves to the upgrade sheet and now costs an XP. This seems fine to me. The ability to repeatedly exhaust an enemy is worth an XP and the innate ability to move an enemy can still be used to protect yourself from the enemy.
Then, “Mercy” is removed completely as an option. It represented a lot of repeatable testless healing of both stamina and horror, at an efficient rate. I can see that being too good as it trivializes most of the challenge from the encounter deck. As a side-effect this means that Vincent can no longer use Power Word at all and that Carolyn can only upgrade it to level 1. Again, this looks like a reasonable change to me.
Finally, the card is no longer testless. All commands now need a Will(3) test to work. I get what they are going for here, Power Word being repeatable and testless is indeed a problem. But this seems like a very awkward change to me on two levels. For one, one of the main appeals of this card is how it replaces being testless with having to find the right enemies to attach to. This is what made it usable for the likes of Amina. Now, Power Word is just another “Willpower matters” spell like all the others. That is really bad in my opinion because it doesn’t change much if someone like Akachi or Agnes uses Power Word, but makes it so Power Word simply isn’t playable in Amina anymore. The other reason i don’t like this change is because it’s just tiresome to resolve. So many extra tests to do, that’s a lot of fiddling around with the chaos bag. Just on that basis alone I would not want to include Power Word anymore.
I’ve never been one to play Power Word, it doesn’t really appeal to me much in theme and mechanics. But i did appreciate it (like much of TSK) for breaking the “Willpower Matters” mold in Mystic and i am sad to see this fall to the wayside here.


The list of Taboos is only one part of the FAQ document, with it also come a couple rules clarifications and changes. Disclaimer: I do have a good grasp on the general rules of the game, but deeper minutiae and timings often escape me. I’ll still try to comment on the two most important changes:

For each/For every: The way it works now, if an “for each” effect can be calculated in full in advance, it happens in one go. If it can’t, it resolves in seperate instances. If it has a choice, it always resolves seperately. The big takeaway here is that Deny Existence can no longer cancel Terrible Secret and Crisis of Faith (the weaknesses of Diana and Mary) in full. You might want to run some horror healing in those two investigators now instead or in addition to Deny.
Ignoring all costs: If a card instructs you to ignore all costs, it doesn’t ignore “additional costs”. So basically, it only ignores costs left of the colon, none of the ones on the right. This seems to be targeted at making cards like Knowledge is Power a bit less potent and freeing up some design space for cards with powerful additional costs, but has some consequences that aren’t all that intuitive. For example, you can play KiP to use a Shrivelling in your hand, but no longer play it to use Brand of Cthugha from your hand. Pushed to the Limit from the upcoming Hemlock Vale will be able to fire a M1918 BAR for 5 damage from your discard, but you won’t be able to empower an Enchanted Blade when using Pushed to the Limit on it. Kinda weird.

There’s a bunch more red text in the FAQ document with notes on rules explanations, much of it regarding Scarlet Keys, in particular concerning the keys and the Concealed keyword. But nothing that really merits being specifically called out here.

Arkhamesque Dividers for The Unofficial Return to Innsmouth

Hey everyone, i just wanted to post a quick shoutout to BoardgameGeek user Troy (aka smallville247).
You might know him for the excellent custom “Arkhamesque” dividers he made and has for download on the BGG file section. He now has done such dividers for my fan-made Return to Innsmouth set as well:

Horizontal Dividers:

Vertical Dividers:

“Classic” Horizontal Dividers:

Pretty cool!

The (Unofficial) Return to The Innsmouth Conspiracy: FAQ/Errata


I’d like to start this off by thanking everyone who gave their feedback to the fan-made Return to Innsmouth both during playtesting and also following the full release two months ago. I am quite happy with how the set turned out and the reception from those that talked to me about it has been exceptional, way beyond what i expected.
That being said, even with all the feedback during development, there were some things that ended up controversial and/or could’ve been tweaked a bit here and there. This page is going to look into that and talk about those cards.
I am not going to do a new version of the set. For one, most of these tweaks are subjective and i will leave them to your own discretion. Also, i think i can reach more people with this extra article than by releasing a version 1.1 with only slight changes.

Hard Errata

I want to lead with what i consider “Hard” Errata, cards that do have an actual mistake on them and that need a tweak to function properly. I am happy to say that to my knowledge, only one such card exists in the set.

Cave Mouth (URt Devil Reef): Instead of "Cave Mouth is connected to all Ocean locations“, Cave Mouth should read "Cave Mouth is connected to all Ocean locations and vice versa." The card is missing the “vice versa” bit to indicate a two-sided connection, so as written you’d not be able to enter Cave Mouth again once you left it. This is of course not the intention, quite the opposite actually: Cave Mouth is supposed to be an alternative location hub similar to Churning Waters, but with an additional movement ability and safe from the kraken. So please do assume the vice versa being on the card.

Soft Errata

With that out of the way, here are some Soft Errata that can be applied to certain cards to balance them a bit better. These are obviously completely optional. I will try to give enough context on the suggested changes so that you should be able to decide on them even if this is your first play of the Unofficial Return to Innsmouth. This concerns two encounter cards that were perceived as too punishing and i have come to agree with those concerns.

Struggle for Air (Rolling Tide set): This one wasn’t really intended to completely demolish every Daisy or Joe with eight hand slots and a Backpack. It was balanced around your usual two hands plus maybe a body slot. While it was supposed to be a rather harsh card (and it is) since it replaces both the original Undertow and Riptide cards in function, these extreme cases where Struggle for Air could in theory deal six or more damage and horror in one go, are a bit much. My suggestion to rein it in just a bit is adding a “(max. 3)” on the end, so even if you autofail on a test with 6 hand slots and a body slot filled, you “only” get 3 damage and horror.

Immaterial One (Innsmouth Haze set): This guy is difficult and that is intentional. However, a group completely unable to evade something can find this enemy incredibly frustrating as it pops up turn after turn. On the other hand, a group who is extremely good at fighting and evading might even get the idea of keeping Immaterial One around, drawing and defeating it every turn to replace one of their encounter draws. My suggestion to fix both of these issues is changing its ability that puts it back on top of the encounter deck to instead shuffle it into the top ten cards of the encounter deck. That still gives it the recursive power to haunt the group, but without completely hammering them.

Wrong card numbers

I did my best to have the cards come with consistent numbering so they are easier to sort for the Print and Play people. As it turns out, i did make a mistake there, though. Both the sets for Return to Vanishing and for Return to In Too Deep have the wrong total count on the card:
The cards from RtV show an X/8 although there are only 7 cards in the set.
The cards from RtITD show X/7 although there are only 6 cards in the set.
Those sets originally had an extra act or agenda card in it during design. After cutting them, i forgot to update the card numbers on the other cards of the set. Oops.
Note that the download for the print and play comes with a detailed Excel list that you can reference to check if your sets are complete. That Excel list is correct.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are some balance concerns, rules mistakes and rules questions i am aware of and my answers to them.

Player cards

Tristan Botley(5):
Q: Tristan doesn’t seem worth 5XP, shouldn’t he trigger on two tokens revealed instead of three to be worth the investment?
A: Thanks to the Favors of the Moon and Sun, revealing two tokens in one test is trivially easy to set up so it has to stay at three. Tristan is meant to be played in a group that uses both curses and blesses and thus has an okay chance to trigger just by chance. That being said, if you play a Favor, you can use that Favor to trigger Tristan after drawing two tokens naturally. You can even play both Favors to turn just one natural token draw into a Tristan trigger.

Butterfly Effect(3):
Q: Does this card allow me to repeatedly commit and return the same skill to one test (and abuse commit triggers like on Unrelenting)?
A: It does not. All skill cards are committed at the same point, so after pulling one back you aren’t able to commit it again. You can however use a second Butterfly Effect to re-commit everything you pulled back with the first copy of the card.

Accursed(basic weakness):
Q: This seems harsh?
A: Yes, and it meant to be. Accursed is a take on the Doomed/Offer You Cannot Refuse style of weakness that escalates over time. But instead of outright killing you at some point, it smothers you in weaknesses. This is of course especially crippling for investigators that cycle their deck often and they might want to consider taking the trauma option if they are stuck with this. But truth be told, feel free to just ignore the existence of this weakness with such investigators, just as you might do with Doomed and Offer. See it as me offering you a fun(????) challenge, to add to your best decks to keep them humble without just putting a timer on them like Doomed and Offer do.

Q: What happens if I reveal a Weakness with “permanent” for Accursed’s effect?
A: While a permanent card can not be discarded from play, there is nothing stopping you from putting it into your discard pile from out of play. So that’s where it goes and Accursed resolves in full, adding that weakness to your deck. Should you draw that weakness later in the same game to your hand, it will clog your hand because you have no way to play it. Starting with the next game, the permanent weakness will start in play.

Scenario related cards

Troubling Memories (URt Pit of Despair):
Q: I can’t pick the same option twice, right?
A: Correct. You have to pick a different option for each recovered memory. Since there is a total of four memories available in Pit of Despair, this means that near the end of the scenario you might be left without a choice and have to “choose” all of them.

URt The Vanishing of Elina Harper:
Not a question, but something that was missed here and there: Remember that the ability on the act changed to no longer shuffle a treachery into the Leads deck after revealing something else from it than a Suspect or a location. That means drawing one of the three Hybrid assets or a treachery/enemy that has been shuffled in before will not add a new encounter card into the Leads, but instead reduce the Leads deck in size.

Mud Tracks (URt Horror in High Gear):
Q: Can vehicle enemies move out of Mud Tracks if there are still clues on it? Can we just leave our vehicles and walk to Falcon Point without our pursuers able to catch up?
A: Nice try, but that won’t work. Vehicle enemies are not impeded by Mud Tracks ability. The reason for this is that it doesn’t use the bold/italic indicator for the Vehicle trait, but instead refers to vehicles as defined in the rules to The Innsmouth Conspiracy. Compare the original “Long Way Around” which also won’t add extra doom for enemy vehicles entering it and contrast it with Straight Section from the URt HiHG, which does use Vehicle as a trait and will thus work for enemy vehicles.

Born to Breed (URt Light in the Fog):
Again, not a question but a detail that has been missed. Unlike many other encounter cards, Born to Breed doesn’t surge when it does nothing. Instead it surges when it does have an effect. But as soon as players remember about the lifecycle of a Deep One, Born to Breed becomes a “free” encounter draw.

Deep One Grappler (URt Light in the Fog):
Q: How does this guy work exactly?
A: His ability to pull you to the location below yours works just as the one on the act does. It happens immediately upon engaging, no matter if you engaged it or if it engaged you. This can move you and the Grappler into a location that is only unflooded or only partially flooded, note that the Grappler’s restriction to move only into fully flooded locations doesn’t apply while engaged. If you are at the bottom row when engaging the Grappler, its ability to pull you deeper can’t be executed and in turn does nothing.

URt Into the Maelstrom:
Q: Dagon wakes up earlier than in the unmodified scenario now. However, we took our time in the Tidal Tunnels and advanced the agenda before we advanced the act. Dagon isn’t even in play yet and we are getting the instruction to wake him up. Does this break the sequencing of the scenario?
A: No, everything will still work as intended. Just do as much as possible (shuffling Lloigor, Aquatic Abomination and Presence of the Father into the encounter deck) and continue playing. Agenda 2a notes that if Dagon is slumbering, he is to be turned over to his awakened side. This will make sure that once you finally advance the act and put Dagon into play, he’ll immediately wake up. Note that something similar was able to happen in the original scenario as well, if one were to advance to agenda 2b before putting Dagon and Hydra into play. Agenda 3a has a similar clause to ensure this doesn’t break the scenario.

Anything else?

If you have any further questions or concerns about interactions, intentions or rules with regards to the Unofficial Return to The Innsmouth Conspiracy, please contact me about it and i will gladly answer all of them. Either by posting a comment below this page or by hitting me up on Discord (#DerBK) is fine. I’ll add any other questions that come up to this document, so it can act as a resource at all times. Thanks.

Hemlock Vale Spoiler Roundup #2

Here’s new info that we got this week on what’s waiting for us in 2024’s Feast of Hemlock Vale investigator expansion. There’s one source and it’s a promotional spoiler image in german. Most cards are at least partially obscured, but we do get the full text of an investigator here(!!!!) and enough to go by to reliably put together the text of two other cards. And some teasers.


Official spoiler image for the german expansion


Wolf Mask: It’s partially obscured, but it’s apparent that it’s in a cycle with the Sparrow Mask that was in last week’s spoiler roundup. Translating the german bits that are there and estimating the rest, we can come to something like this:

Wolf Mask (Master of the Moon)
cost 1, level 0
Item. Charm. Mask.
Limit 1 Mask per investigator.
Uses(2 offerings). Replenish 1 of these offerings after you engage an enemy.
free trigger, Spend 1 offering: You get +2 combat or +2 agility for this skill test (Limit once per test.)

Seems good? These masks are really strong. 1 resource for 2 fat skill bonuses is fine even before we get into the whole recharging business. With the recharging, these get silly quick. Now, the second skill on this card is covered, but the assumption that it’s combat and agility on this one is a solid one, considering the skill pips on the card.
Like… you play this and get +2 to your next two attacks? That’s already fantastic. And it reloads a charge whenever you engage something so your first attack/evade against an enemy is always boosted? That’s insanely good on a card that doesn’t take a valuable slot. Truth be told, i’d probably pay 3XP for this.


Not much we can see here. The name translates to “Control Variable”. It’s a 1 cost event with Insight, Science and Cursed traits.


This is this weeks real prize, the full front of Kōhaku Narukami:
Kōhaku Narukami (The Folklorist)
statline: 4-4-3-1
Scholar. Blessed. Cursed.
Reaction at the start of your turn: Either add 1 bless or 1 curse token to the chaos bag, depending on which one are fewer in the bag (choose when tied), or remove 2 bless and 2 curse tokens from the chaos bag to take an extra action this turn.
Elder Sign: +2. Add 1 bless and 1 curse to the chaos bag.
6 stamina, 8, sanity.

This looks quite good to me, allowing you to keep stocked up on tokens for synergies on various Mystic cards. If played with token generators and few payoffs, his extra actions could even become something to build around. Tempt Fate is pretty much one and a half bonus actions for him, even if he has no other token synergies going on. Not something conventionally strong, you do need to build around him a bit. Seeing his backside will be interesting of course, as it will determine how good his access to curse and/or bless generators ends up being. The ability to play cards like Keep Faith, Faustian Bargain or Deep Knowledge – or not – will determine a lot about how well he plays in the end.

Again, some guesswork involved, but the german parts do give a good impression of what the card does. While we don’t know the level and cost of this card, its ability should be pretty close to this:

Malicious Athame (Cursed Blade)
cost ?, level ?
Weapon. Melee. Cursed.
(uses a handslot)
action, add 1-3 curse tokens to the chaos bag: Fight. You get +2 combat for this test for each curse token added this way. If this attack defeats an enemy, replenish one of the charges on an asset you control.

That’s a lot of combat bonus. It doesn’t deal extra damage, but it can easily murder a cultist or deal the third damage to something tough following a Shrivelling charge. It’s also a really easy way to consistently pack the bag with curses if that’s what you want to do. I expect this to be level 1, cost 3. Simply to mirror the Spirit Athame.

Basic Weakness

It’s a weakness. It’s an asset with “-” cost. Its traits are Item and Relic. And its name is “The Silver Moth”. Aside from that, we can’t really gleam much from this…

Hemlock Vale Spoiler Roundup #1

Here we go again

Well then, we have our announcement. In January and February 2024 we will get the next Investigator and Campaign expansion for our silly little card game of by now truly eldritch proportions. Until then, i am sure we will get tidbits and spoilers aplenty along the way, maybe even in a coordinated fashion similar to what we got for Scarlet Keys. So i am hereby officially declaring this spoiler season open and let’s just dive in with everything we can get out of the announcement and other sources on the FFG site in terms of player cards.


Everything so far we know from FFG themselves.

Announcement article
Campaign Expansion
Investigator Expansion
Asmodee Shop page
“I’ll pay you back” was teased a good while back on their Youtube, at the end of this video

The investigators

Alright, let’s start with the investigators. Two of them were spoiled almost completely (their backside is missing) in the announcement. The other three are known with at least their name and statline from the Asmodee Store page. Let’s start with the two we have more details about, then move onto the other three.

Kate looks to be quite strong, basically able to get free “Unexpected Courage”s with each clue she collects. There’s some rule questions still unanswered, the most important one being if she’s able to spend clues (for example for advancing the act) when those clues are on her cards, but assuming that is the case, she should be quite potent. If not, there is at least some significant opportunity cost with moving the clues around. Her weakness looks really ghastly though, especially considering that she has only 2 willpower. If everything works as i expect, she would be quite powerful with the clue dropping archetype, able to move clues in circles around her, her assets and the location.
EDIT: It has been confirmed by Duke that clues on assets can be spent without restrictions. That means she is indeed quite flexible and i would put her ability somewhere near Mark’s Sophie in terms of having access to stat boosts on demand whenever it matters. That seems fantastic to me.

Samson is wild. Another member of the Survivor tank group, he joins Daniela, Calvin and Tommy in the ranks of survivors that want to get hurt for fun and profit. This all looks really strong, but the switch from his first mode where he wants to get hit and the second one where he needs to be more careful makes him probably a lot less straightforward to play than Tommy and Dany. That signature is ridiculously strong, the weakness probably fine. Ultimately the weakness is just a dude that can be killed. Fun to see them tease the Elusive keyword here, which seems to be a reverse Hunter – an enemy that runs away from you each turn. Supposedly that means it will break engagement as well… if that happens during normal monster movement, the enemy would never attack then? I wonder.

Oh no, it’s a 3/3/3/3. Not a great start. The ability looks super flexible and useful though, so that might be able to make up for it. The text is partially obscured in the image, but we can probably be rather confident he reads:
Reduce the resource cost of the first Tool asset you play each round by 1.
You get +1 skill value to skill tests on Tool assets.
Elder Sign: +0. You may swap a Tool asset in your play area with a Tool asset in your hand with equal or lower printed cost.

Now, Guardian isn’t exactly famous for its tool assets, so the card access will be very important here and likely make or break how useful Wilson ends up being. I am a bit concerned about them not giving full Tool access to Wilson because they just did that with Kymani.

Hey, it’s the long awaited Parley investigator. I’ve seen a couple of those by now in fan-made sets, it was only a matter of time before we get an official one. Trish-like stats, a conditional bonus action, the trusty 7/7 split. I like everything we get to see here.

We don’t get to see much of him, except for a statline that has decent potential to be built in multiple directions. Now, something I have seen posted elsewhere by people with way better ability to tell things from just few pixels is that Mr. Narukami here has these traits: Scholar. Blessed. Cursed. Now combine that with this fun tidbit from the investigator expansion page:

Blesses and Curses are back, baby. I can’t overstate how excited i am for this. And if Kōhaku is indeed a blurse specialist, then i am here for it!

Player cards

The announcement focused completely on Seeker and Survivor (like the TSK one focused on Guardian and Mystic), so that’s what we get here:

Chemistry Set: This is very hard to plan for, but if played early you can get a good amount of extra stuff out of it. Probably fine, not great. I hate that it exhausts on use. But playable if you like one or more of the traits.
Dr. Charles West III: Ah, that reaction ability is like the one on Alice Luxley, except more limited. And Alice’s was already too narrow to see play. Sorry, i am not too hopeful on this one, unless it turns out that a tool slot is that valuable.
Microscope: More evidence collection, very similar to the Dissection Kit from TSK in that regard. The ability to take a double action for three clues and a healthy skill bonus is pretty good. This could make a great impression of a knock-off Fingerprint Kit(4), as long as you can keep the evidence counters coming. I’d be interested in testing this out.
Ravenous Myconid+Uncanny Growth: So all we need to do to identify this one is take an action, pay a resource, take another action and succeed an investigation by 3? That seems on the easy side for Researched cards. Limit 1 per deck again, as with the Conduit. Obviously we need to see the upgrades before diving into this one, but it’s cheap and easy to get started, so this is promising. Loving the traits on this one.
Well-Funded: Nah, not impressed. You need a Tool in play just to have this be Courage. Now to be fair, one Tool is easy to get, but so is a Courage. It can go to 3 and if you are playing the Science deck that might be good enough, but the lack of any relevant traits lets me lean towards “probably not that great”.

Pitchfork: This is really, really good. Getting to deal 3 damage with one action is incredible, even if it needs a reload. This is basically a level 0 card that does a good impression of Ornate Bow.
Sparrow Mask: Reminds me a lot of the Bangle of Jinxes, which is decent. This doesn’t take a (relevant) slot, is cheaper, triggers on treacheries and doesn’t cost XP in exchange for being limited to what tests it can contribute to and not being able to stack counters forever. That seems like a very, very good tradeoff. Hey, you can run both. Make those monsters really regret attacking you. This is a very good card.
Pushed to the Limit: Have we not learned from Knowledge is Power? This is a very dangerous card and likely to find a home.
Stall for Time: I guess if Parley does something special for you (like the Rogue from this set or if you wear Fine Clothes), this can be okay. But i don’t think i would usually see much of a point to play this over an actual evasion card. I suppose using willpower instead of agility can be relevant too. Or if the enemy has Aloof. Hm, yeah i guess there are some niches this could fill, but i am not super optimistic.
Wrong Place, Right Time: Obviously tailored for Samson, but this is a powerful effect just in general. Being a Double will keep it out of most decks though, i think.
Long Shot: This one is again really good. Vicious Blow, but in Red. Trades the +1 skill for the ability to hit into connecting locations. Can also commit to evasions and fights that are done with any attribute, not just combat. It’s Practiced, too. This will see a lot of play.

And finally, this Rogue card was spoiled 4 months ago in a Fortune and Folly stream on the FFG YouTube channel. I see this as a great way to allow rogues to spread their wealth around to other players. Is that going to be worth a card in your deck? Teamwork does something similar and isn’t really played a lot either. I do like it, but this might end up being one of those cards #31-#35 for my 30 card deck.

The (Unofficial) Return to The Dream-Eaters

Announcing a New Fan-Made Upgrade Expansion for Arkham Horror LCG

“Behold! It is not over unknown seas but back over well-known years that your quest must go; back to the bright strange things of infancy and the quick sun-drenched glimpses of magic that old scenes brought to wide young eyes.”
– H.P. Lovecraft, “The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath”

You thought you’d already seen everything, from the spider infested halls of St. Mary’s over the dazzling landscapes of the Dreamlands to the wastes lit by death-fire. You talked to cats and zoogs and fought off all manner of nightmarish monsters roaming that surreal land. But now that new challenges are presenting themselves, it’s time to return. Return back to the quest for the lost city of Kadath, return to the dark side of the moon and even return to the point of no return.

I am proud to announce The (Unofficial) Return to The Dream-Eaters, a fan-made upgrade expansion adding new supplementary content to the entire The Dream-Eaters campaign for Arkham Horror: The Card Game!

Within this fan-made upgrade expansion, you’ll find new scenario cards and encounter sets that you can insert into every scenario of The Dream-Eaters, to inject new dangers and new objectives into your journey to the Dreamlands. New player cards, representing both upgraded and downgraded versions of cards from The Dream-Eaters give you new tools and options for upgrading your decks. Also returning: Hauke, who once more enhances this fan-product with all the necessary assets and instructions to create your own “Return To” box and dividers! So, do you have what it takes to once more brave both the waking and the dreamer’s side of this campaign and make your way to the horrors that await at the end of the journey?

Venturing beyond your wildest dreams

The Dreamlands are constantly shifting, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a return visit will have moved many things around. Some places look different, others are simply more vast than before. But the thing that really leaves a mark is how the land and its inhabitants react differently to the investigators disturbing their (relative) peace.

The (Unofficial) Return to The Dream-Eaters remixes the entire The Dream-Eaters campaign, with new tricks and turns in every scenario. Since the campaign is split into two mini-campaigns, there is also going to be more interaction between the two halves. On the side of the dreamers, you will need to make sure that you aren’t completely swept away by the Mesmerizing Images of the Dreamlands. The other side will have to make sure that they don’t get buried by the Ravenous Hordes of vermin on four or eight legs. Otherwise they risk that there will be Nothing Left But Bones.

Along with bringing changes to every individual scenario, this fan-made upgrade expansion also includes six new encounter sets, designed to swap in throughout the campaign and bringing even more replayability to the table. This does not only include new rats and spiders (so many spiders!), but also Marauders and a new version of everyone’s favorite treachery, Ancient Evils. As long as you are up for a little bit of arts and crafts, you can also make yourself all the necessary dividers and the box to properly store these new cards using the arts assets that come with this fan-made expansion.

Whatever you can dream of

To brave these new challenges, you can reach into an arsenal of new tools at your disposal. The (Unofficial) Return to The Dream-Eaters has, just like the official Return sets, two new player cards for each class. There’s also two neutral ones and two weaknesses to round out the player card portion of the set. While not available in every class, a small focus is on level zero versions of some hallmark cards that allow players to build into those even before they are able to drop the necessary XP on those build enablers. For example, Guardians might decide they want to start out with a level 0 Empty Vessel in their deck to get an early taste of the power of Wish-Eater. In a similar manner, Seekers can now already during deck creation enlist Abigail Foreman to carry their books around for them. In terms of upgrades, we couldn’t have a Dream-Eaters return without a high-level Miss Doyle! The general even recruited a fourth cat into her highly unusual army. Mystics that were interested in Mind’s Eye before but always found it to be not quite where they want it, might be interested in investing into the level 5 Mind’s Eye which can more easily be the centerpiece of a deck.

The weaknesses are doing something that has not been done in the Arkham Horror LCG up to now. They are locations with player backs that, like all basic weaknesses, get shuffled into their bearers decks, to come out at the most inopportune of times. One of them is the Dream-Maze which locks an investigator down until another player rescues them. And yes, Hauke made a sweet custom frame for location weaknesses.

Finally no upgrade expansion, fan-made or otherwise, would be complete without a list of achievements tempting you to display your mastery. These achievements give you something to strive for again and again, luring you back into the Dreamlands.

Current state of the project

As before when I announced the Unofficial Return to Innsmouth a few months back, the set is still heavily in development at this point. I have only just begun initial playtesting and iterating, so the final release of the set is still going to be a while. We can of course draw from our experiences with the other Return set we did for this one which should bypass some of the technical issues we had and streamline some of the other processes this has to go through. We are also joined from day one by coldtoes, who helps a lot with artwork for the cards and everything concerning print and play… so things should be progressing more smoothly than before.
But even with that… i’d estimate about three months before all is said and done? That being said, don’t hold us to that, ultimately it’s going to be done when it’s done and we will take all the time we need. If it takes five, it takes five.
As before, the set will be available as Print&Play and as a digital release. I expect the digital version to be available earlier than the P&P.
Obviously, as a fan-made product, it is completely free and not monetized in any way.
Note that anything previewed in this announcement, including cards and the box art, is likely going to change over the course of development or possibly even be completely dropped and replaced.
Once I’ve gotten my own early playtests in and adjusted the design based on that, I will make this available for (digital) playtesting for an audience. If you are interested in playtesting and giving me feedback, feel free to drop me a message in Discord (username DerBK).

Anything Arkham Horror: The Card Game, including card art, is copyrighted by Fantasy Flight Games. This website, and by extension this project, is not affiliated with or supported by Fantasy Flight Games in any way.