(replaces Ancient Evils from the Core set, for use in Path to Carcosa)
Goal of this replacement set: In my opinion, Delusory Evils from Return to Carcosa is a deeply flawed replacement set that removes any semblance of relevance and threat from Ancient Evils. It may be an okay card when taken for itself, but as a replacement for one of the most iconic and most relevant encounter cards in the game it is just completely insufficent. Gnawing Evils is a replacement card that takes the formula from Return to Dunwich’s much better Resurgent Evils and gives it a Carcosa spin involving the Hidden mechanic. Just like Resurgent Evils, Gnawing Evils offers the player who drew it a choice to either just add the doom and be done with it or to give into a second choice that may very well backfire.
About this card: Taking this version of Evils out of the deck and preventing the doom comes at a steep price. Once it is added to the players hand, there is no way for it to leave again and it will slowly but steadily eat away at the players health and/or sanity. This is a bargain that will look very lopsided at the start of the scenario, but become more and more attractive as the game goes on and the final stretch of the scenario comes into sight. Of course, by then players will already have collected some horror and damage, so it’s a bit of a push and pull between the two option, which should make for a nice situational choice for the player.
The two Carcosa scenarios using Ancient Evils are the Last King and Black Stars Rise. In Last King, every point of doom is worth a whole lot as it’s one third towards flipping the next party guest by itself. Players can flee from the scenario at any time, so Gnawing Evils can exchange a premature flip of a guest for a parallel limitation to how long they can stay in the manor. In Black Stars Rise, the deck is reshuffled many times and taking the Evils into the hand can stop this from happening. The price is appropriately steep though, as the BSR encounter deck is packed with treacheries that deal damage and/or horror, severely stacking with Gnawing Evil’s ping every turn and making the proper point to add them to your hand hard to calculate.
Long story short, i think this card offers a much more interesting choice than Delusory Evils and lets the card keep its signature impact on the game. It also has some implications with certain investigators like Carolyn that might be neat to see in action.