|Number of unique Cards
|Enemy, Horror, Willpower
|# of scenarios
My take on this set: The set features a a medium sized Hunter enemy that keeps pinging you for horror whenever it catches up to you and a variant on a treachery template we have seen on two other cards. It’s a fine set consisting of two cards that both are interesting in their own ways. At least in theory, it’s not like anyone ever got to play with them… Jokes aside, these only appear in one of four plays of The Devourer Below, which itself ranks among the least played scenarios.
The Agents of Cthulhu set is finally seeing some proper use during the Innsmouth Conspiracy cycle where the Young Deep One can join the ranks of the fish people and Dreams of R’lyeh can team up with the Innsmouth Look to drain the investigator’s sanity and skills.
What it does: Young Deep Ones are Hunters sporting the iconic 3/3/3 statline, putting them right out of reach of trivial solutions. What’s more, whenever this enemy engages an investigator, it immediately deals a point of horror.
My take: A very solid enemy. Won’t be casually brushed aside by most attacks and three fight is where fighters start to occasionally miss their attacks even on standard difficulty. Drawn from the top of the deck, it will immediately deal a damage to that player – that sort of unavoidable attack on enemies isn’t particularly common. And that point of horror is probably especially relevant for the kind of investigators that intentionally engage this creature. That little extra Forced effect has a bunch of neat little interactions, from discouraging evasion to making investigators attack the enemy while its engaged with another player without pulling it to themselves first. This of course can backfire if the attack misses… Cool enemy, i like it.
Threat level: Mid. It’s not exactly hard to deal with, but will take some actions or cards and will still leave a mark.
Dealing with it: Dealing with this sort of enemy poses no real problem, but special consideration should be put towards how to deal with its Forced effect. Evasion is only an option if leaving the creature behind is realistic because you’ll probably not want to stack up on horror only to end up having to find a more permanent way to deal with it later. The ability might tempt the fighter to keep this enemy engaged to whoever else drew the card to avoid the extra action and horror, but they should at least be aware of the risk that goes with it. A fragile seeker will not appreciate when a Guardian screws up their shotgun blast with an auto-fail…
One detail of note: The Deep Ones are humanoid. This means that the Innsmouth cycle could be a good campaign to take a pair of Handcuffs with your Guardian to provide a clean way of dealing with the fishfolk.
What it does: While affected by Dreams of R’lyeh, the investigator’s sanity and willpower are reduced by one. Dreams of R’lyeh sticks to the threat area until the player takes an action and passes a Willpower test.
My take: Dreams follows the same template as Curse of Yig and Innsmouth Look, but notably, this one reduces the stat that is used to discard it. This makes it very difficult to get rid of for some investigators, and often those are going to be the same investigators that will very much care about their sanity being reduced. At the same time, those will also find that their reduced willpower is going to make other treacheries potentially hurt more. For Devourer Below, Striking Fear is the set that stacks up with this one, and can stop a player dead in their tracks until someone else rids them of their Dreams and Frozen in Fear. Curse of Yig (and presumably Innsmouth Look) don’t really snowball as hard as this one, making Dreams the most dangerous of the bunch.
Threat level: Mid to High. The willpower reduction interacts with a whole lot of cards, including its own way to get rid of it.
Dealing with it: Even more than with Curse of Yig, the key here is being aware that other players can take the action to discard this card for you. Depending on what else is in the encounter deck, having your willpower reduced for a longer period can end badly, so this is even somewhat of a priority.