Set Size5
Number of unique Cards2
RoleEnemy, Impairment, Horror
Threat LevelLow to Mid
# of scenarios4
Appears in: Extracurricular Activity, Blood on the Altar, Undimensioned and Unseen, Union and Disillusion

My take on this set: One of my favorite sets from the game. These birds are one of the early examples of how game mechanics and flavor can come together perfectly. These are an important part of Lovecraft’s “Dunwich Horror” and they are represented in their cards quite well. Little more than tiny birds, they are no physical threat at all, but their presence makes every investigator at their location be worse at everything they try to accomplish. The treachery nails their flavor of being harbingers of death, instilling horror into investigators that are badly hurt already.
The Aloof keyword is used extremely well here. While players will find little actual difficulty in swatting these pests, the added requirement in actions to do so is still going to make them double guess themselves whether it’s worth it or if they should just take the penalty.

Number in the encounter deck: 3

What it does: Whippoorwills are Aloof and Hunter, following players around but not engaging them. Anyone at their location gets a penalty to all of their main skills.

My take: It’s easy to underestimate the effect this penalty can have on your tests. Even if it leads to just one extra card that has to be committed to a test to ensure passing it, this little devil will have done its job. Defeating them is easy enough, but is going to take two actions. Factoring in the reduction of the fight value, they have an effective fight stat of 3, which at least puts them out of range to just be punched by any Seeker who runs across them. Players really shouldn’t let these linger around for too long, they do have quite the big impact on a lot of things and if nothing else, they shouldn’t be allowed to stack up.

Threat level: Low to Mid. A problem in multiples. While easy to defeat, they will usually take the better part of a turn away from the player who has to get them out of the way.

Dealing with it: Whippoorwills (and other Aloof enemies, for that matter) are good reasons to have ways of dealing damage without engaging. Beat Cop is the classic way to dispose of these creatures, but there are of course many other such damage sources in the player card pool.

Number in the encounter deck: 2

What it does: The player has to pass a willpower test. If they don’t they are dealt 2 horror. The difficulty of the test scales with any damage the player already took prior to drawing this card.

My take: Aside from being a flavor homerun, this card is also potentially quite relevant. Being dealt 2 horror when already down on health can put any player into a situation where they have to be really paranoid about any card coming from the encounter deck. Usually this sort of card only stacks up with other encounter cards that deal the same type of token to the player. This one not only stacks up with other horror cards, it also does so with damage cards.

Threat level: Low to Mid. Mitigated in the usual ways, and not threatening on its own. It does however escalate any situations that are already problematic.

Dealing with it: On the surface, Eager for Death is just another variant on Rotting Remains: Do a Willpower check, if you fail gain some horror. So a lot of what was said about that card also applies here. If possible, try to pass the test. If that is out of reach (or simply failed to the whims of the chaos bag) then using soak from assets can be used to soften the blow. Those same assets can of course also be used to soak damage and prevent Eager from Death from becoming too much of a problem in the first place.

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