Chilling Cold

Set Size4
Number of unique Cards2
RoleDiscard(Assets), Willpower, Stalling
Threat LevelMedium
# of scenarios16
VariantsCreeping Cold, Chilling Mists
Appears in: The Gathering, Midnight Masks, Miskatonic Museum, Where Doom Awaits, The Pallid Mask, Doom of Eztli, City of Archives, At Death’s Doorstep, Union and Disillusion, Beyond the Gates of Sleep, Thousand Shapes of Horror, Weaver of the Cosmos, The Vanishing of Elina Harper, Fatal Mirage, City of Elder Things(v2, v3), Heart of Madness #2

My take on this set: The two cards from this set don’t share much mechanically or even thematically, so it’s best to look at them on their own merits. Crypt Chill is an impactful card that should have some influence on the player’s actions. Meanwhile, Obscuring Fog is very hit or miss depending on the location it attaches to. Together, they form an encounter set that is neither particularly impressive nor a total pushover. Just a regular, okay set.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: Crypt Chill sets the standard for how asset hate looks when it’s coming from the encounter deck. The investigator is allowed a Willpower check at a non-trivial difficulty and if it fails, he has to choose and discard an asset.

My take: A Willpower test at difficulty 4 is easy to fail, even Mystics will want to commit some icons if they can not afford to lose an asset. This card is the bane of any Guardian who is still setting up the cards he needs to fight. And even with the player choice, losing an asset will often hurt in the first few turns. After all, having to choose between Beat Cop and a Machete after spending all your resources is still enough to throw off many plans. Once the initial setup turns are done and some of the more optional assets enter play, Crypt Chill can sometimes be shrugged off, but in general it’s a relevant card.

Threat level: Medium to High. Losing an asset often translates into losing a considerable amount of player resources as not only the card and action to play it are neutralized, but also the resources invested into it. If Chilling Cold is part of the encounter deck, this alone can force players to drop their assets more carefully than usual or they open themselves to an untimely Crypt Chill.

Dealing with it: The player choice of which asset to discard means that key assets can be protected by having other things around to sacrifice. If available, play cheap assets like Fine Clothes or Cherished Keepsake before commiting to more expensive ones like a .45 Thompson or Leo de Luca.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: Obscuring Fog attaches to a location and makes it harder to investigate. The only way to discard the card is by passing an investigation check, which means it protects itself.

My take: This is one of the encounter cards that i changed my opinion about the most as i kept playing the game. When i started out, this card felt like its very hard to deal with. With a growing card pool, and starting to supplement basic investigation more and more with alternate ways of collecting clues, Obscuring Fog lost a lot of its impact. Today i am mostly glad to see this come from the encounter deck.

Threat level: Low to Medium. Obscuring Fog can become very annoying, but a few things have to come together for that. First, it has to land on a location that even still has a clue left to collect. Second, the location has to already be high shroud. Third, the investigators need to not have other ways to collect the clues.

Dealing with it: Alternate ways to collect clues bypass the Obscuring Fog completely. Typical examples are Drawn to the Flame, Scene of the Crime and Roland Banks’ investigator ability. If those are not available, the best bet is to commit enough icons to brute force the test and hope not to draw the auto-fail token.

Return to The Dunwich Legacy: Creeping Cold

Set Size4
Number of unique Cards2
RoleDiscard(Assets), Discard(Hand), Damage, Willpower, Agility
Threat LevelMedium

My take on this set: Creeping Cold ties the two cards in it a bit closer together than the base set does, as both deal in discarding cards and can play off each other. Like the cards they replace, Inexplicable Cold can be impactful while Oppressive Mists is very situational. This is an okay replacement set, on par with Chilling Cold.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: Inexplicable Cold changes the willpower check to an agility check. Instead of a binary pass/fail, the effect of the treachery scales with how much the test was failed by. For each missing point, the player has to either discard a card from play, from their hand or take one damage.

My take: This is a rare example where player choice was introduced into a “Return To” card, but the power level is still around the same as the base card. At full strength, this makes the player choose their poison four times which can certainly offset not going for the assets directly. The move to an agility check i like in this case as it makes the card more impactful for a wider range of investigators.

Threat level: Medium to High. The player choice does dampen how threatening the card feels, but the high ceiling of the card lets it keep most of its bite.

Dealing with it: Partial success still helps to weaken this cards impact, so even low agility investigators should consider pitching cards with multiple agility icons if available. Other than that, losing cards from hand or taking damage is usually much preferred to discarding assets, so having any of those to spare should keep the worst case scenarios away.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: Like Obscuring Fog, the Oppressive Mists attach to a location, but that’s where the similarities end. There is no interaction with shroud or clues at all, instead Oppressive Mists makes investigators discard cards whenever they draw and fail a willpower test. To get rid of the card permanently, a player can spend two actions.

My take: Even more than Obscuring Fog, this card often fails to have any notable effect. Even if the willpower save and the two action discard option were not present, this wouldn’t be all that dangerous.

Threat level: Very Low. To be affected by this card, an investigator would either need to end their turn on the location with this already attached or draw extra cards during the investigator phase. Both scenarios are easy to avoid.

Dealing with it: Using the double action to clear the Mists is rarely worth it. Instead it should be easy enough to avoid triggering the card. The two actions would be better spent on just drawing two cards.

Return to Circle Undone: Chilling Mists

My take on this set: This is a neat replacement set that puts a spin on the original set without changing a whole lot about its place in the game or its impact. On the one hand that means that the swap doesn’t really change anything too significant about the campaign except removing a pair of willpower tests for agility, which is something that TCU desperately needs. On the other hand, this means the set fits neatly into any other campaign as well. I foresee using this set, both as a full replacement or as a mixed deal, in all the campaigns from time to time.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: After failing a difficult agility test, the player has to discard cards from their hand or their play area with a total cost of at least the amount they failed by.

My take: This is a rough one. It’s difficult to not lose anything to this card, as passing an agility(5) test is certainly not something that most people would expect to do. If you fail the test in a major fashion, this can also easily discard multiple cards. The saving grace is that you are allowed to discard from your hand. So you don’t run into the classic situation where you invest a bunch of resources into one card only to have it fall to Crypt Chill in the next Mythos phase… unless you don’t actually have enough cards in hand to discard. All things considered, this is about on the same level as Crypt Chill and a card that deserves some respect.

Threat level: Mid to High. Will usually do at least something and has a high ceiling. Player choice mellows the effect at least a bit.

Dealing with it: Supernatural Tempest hits both your hand and your board, so there is little need to playing around the card. If you can, try keeping some high cost card in your hand instead of committing it for its icons, like a second copy of a ally or a spare gun. That way you can feed it into this and effectively cancel it. Otherwise, just take it as it comes and see what you can spare then. Generally speaking you’ll want to discard cards from your hand instead of from play.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: Mists from Beyond attaches to a location where it increases the shroud by 1 as long as it stays attached. At the end of each round, Mists moves towards the nearest location with clues on it should there no longer be any on its current one.

My take: I really like this design. Where Obscuring Fog just discards after the investigator pushes past it once, this one sticks around. And not only that, it follows towards where the clues are. In exchange, it only increases by +1. Still, that can make the difference and work towards getting an extra haunted trigger from a failed investigation.
While it doesn’t come with a built in trigger that discards it (like Fog and Oppressive Mists do), there are some ways to strand it at some non-victory location or something like that. Could lead to some interesting ingame decisions, which i am all for.
I am almost a bit sad that this set only gets used twice during the RtTCU campaign.

Threat level: Low to Mid. Somewhat minor effect, but consistent and able to stick around for a long time.

Dealing with it: If you don’t want to Alter Fate it, the best way of getting rid of it would be directing it to a location you don’t intend on fully clearing and letting it sit there. Unless you are really strapped for clues that should be possible in the vast majority of cases.

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