Each round of the game is divided into four phases: Mythos phase, Investigation phase, Enemy phase, and Upkeep phase.
Numbered items within each phase are known as framework events. Framework events are mandatory occurrences dictated by the structure of the game.
Players may use free triggered abilities () during the indicated player windows.
Proceed to Enemy Phase.
Proceed to Upkeep Phase.
During the investigation phase, each investigator may take up to three actions in any order, and may take the same action multiple times.
When a player wishes to initiate a triggered ability or play a card, that player first declares his or her intent. There are two preliminary confirmations that must be made before the process of initiating an ability or playing a card may begin. These are:
Check play restrictions: determine if the card can be played, or if the ability can be initiated, at this time. (This includes verifying that the resolution of the effect has the potential to change the game state.) If the play restrictions are not met, abort this process.
Determine the cost (or costs, if multiple costs are required) to play the card or initiate the ability. If it is established that the cost (taking modifiers into account) can be paid, proceed with the remaining steps of this sequence.
Once each of the above confirmations has been made, follow these steps, in order:
Apply any modifiers to the cost(s).
Pay the cost(s). If this step is reached and the cost(s) cannot be paid, abort this process without paying any costs.
Upon completion of this step, attacks of opportunity, if applicable, resolve.
The card commences being played, or the effects of the ability attempt to initiate.
The effects of the ability (if not canceled in step 3) complete their initiation, and resolve. The card is regarded as played (and placed in play, or in its owner’s discard pile if it’s an event), and the ability is considered resolved simultaneously with the completion of this step.
If the ability being initiated is on an in-play card, the sequence does not stop from completing if that card leaves play during the sequence.
Each time an investigator makes a skill test, follow these steps.
Players may use free triggered abilities () during the indicated player windows.
This step formalizes the beginning of a skill test. There are four types of skill tests: willpower tests, intellect tests, combat tests, and agility tests. The card ability or game rule determines which type of test is necessary, and thereby a test of that type begins.
The investigator performing the skill test may commit any number of cards with an appropriate skill icon from his or her hand to this test.
Each other investigator at the same location as the investigator performing the skill test may commit one card with an appropriate skill icon to this test.
An appropriate skill icon is either one that matches the skill being tested, or a wild icon (). The investigator performing this test gets +1 to his or her skill value during this test for each appropriate skill icon that is committed to this test.
Cards that lack an appropriate skill icon may not be committed to a skill test. Do not pay a card’s resource cost when committing it.
The investigator performing the skill test reveals one chaos token at random from the chaos bag.
Apply any effects initiated by the symbol on the revealed chaos token. Each of the following symbols indicates that an ability on the scenario reference card must initiate: , , , or .
The symbol indicates that the ability on the investigator card belonging to the player performing the test must initiate.
If none of the above symbols are revealed, or if the icon has no corresponding ability, this step completes with no effect.
Start with the base skill (of the skill that matches the type of test that is resolving) of the investigator performing this test, and apply all active modifiers, including the appropriate icons that have been committed to this test, effects of the chaos token(s) revealed, and all active card abilities that are modifying the investigator’s skill value.
Compare the investigator’s modified skill value to the difficulty of the skill test.
If the investigator’s skill value equals or exceeds the difficulty for this test (as indicated by the card or game mechanic invoking the test), the investigator succeeds at the test.
If the investigator’s skill value is less than the difficulty for this test, the investigator fails at the test.
The card ability or game rule that initiated a skill test usually indicates the consequences of success and/or failure for that test. (Additionally, some other card abilities may contribute additional consequences, or modify existing consequences, at this time.) Resolve the appropriate consequences (based on the success or failure established during step ST.6) at this time.
If there are multiple results to be applied during this step, the investigator performing the test applies those results in the order of his or her choice.
This step formalizes the end of this skill test. Discard all cards that were committed to this skill test, and return all revealed chaos tokens to the chaos bag.
A keyword is an attribute that conveys specific rules to its card.
Alert: An alert enemy attacks an investigator that fails to evade it.
Aloof: An aloof enemy does not engage investigators of its own accord. (An investigator may use an action or a card ability to engage it.) An investigator cannot attack an aloof enemy unless he or she is engaged with it.
Bonded: Cards with the bonded keyword are linked to another player card.
Exceptional: An exceptional card costs twice its printed experience cost to purchase and an investigator deck can only include 1 copy.
Fast: A player may play a fast card without spending an action.
Hidden: An card with the hidden keyword has a revelation ability that secretly adds that card to your hand.
Hunter: Each hunter enemy moves one location toward the nearest investigator at the beginning of the enemy phase.
Massive: A massive enemy is engaged with each investigator at its location.
Myriad: You may purchase up to three copies of a card with the myriad keyword for the experience cost of a single card.
Patrol: An enemy with the patrol keyword moves toward the designated location (as described in parentheses next to the word patrol).
Peril: When an investigator draws a card with the peril keyword, that investigator cannot confer with or receive assistance from other players while resolving the card’s revelation ability and/or spawning it.
Permanent: A card with the permanent keyword does not count towards your deck size.
Retaliate: If an investigator fails a skill test while attacking an enemy that has the retaliate keyword, the enemy (if it is ready) performs its attack (damage and horror) against the investigator.
Seal: When a card with the seal keyword to enter play, its controller must search the chaos bag for the specified chaos token and place it on top of the card.
Surge: After an investigator draws and resolves an encounter card that has the surge keyword, that investigator must draw and resolve an additional card.
Swarming (X): An enemy with the swarming X keyword is actually a pack of enemies operating in unison.
Uses (X): The uses keyword creates and defines a particular token type to be placed on a card when that card enters play. The value following the keyword indicates a number of resource tokens to be placed on the card to represent the specified token type. These tokens are used in conjunction with the rest of the card’s ability.
If an enemy is being spawned without an investigator drawing it, the effect spawning the enemy will typically indicate where that enemy should spawn. After spawning the enemy at that location, it will automatically engage investigators at its location, unless it is aloof.
If an investigator draws an enemy, check to see if the enemy has a “Spawn –” instruction.
If the enemy has a “Spawn –” instruction, the enemy spawns at the indicated location. After spawning the enemy at that location, it will automatically engage investigators at its location, unless it is aloof.
If the enemy does not have a “Spawn –” instruction, the investigator drawing the enemy spawns it engaged with him/her, unless it is aloof.
“Prey –” instructions have no direct impact on which location an enemy will spawn at. The only time “Prey –” instructions will impact this process is when an enemy spawns unengaged at a location with multiple investigators, and you determine which investigator it should automatically engage.
To setup a game, perform the following steps in order:
Choose investigators. Each player chooses a different investigator, and places that investigator’s card in his or her play area.
Take trauma damage/horror. In campaign play, each player places damage equal to his or her physical trauma, and horror equal to his or her mental trauma, on his or her investigator card.
Choose one of those investigators to be the lead investigator for this game.
Assemble and shuffle the investigator decks.
Assemble token pool. Place the damage, horror, clue/doom, and resource tokens within easy reach of all players.
Assemble the chaos bag. Place the chaos tokens indicated by the campaign setup instructions into the bag, and return the other chaos tokens to the game box.
In campaign mode, use the chaos bag as it was composed upon completion of the previous scenario.
Collect starting resources. Each investigator gains 5 resources from the token pool.
Draw opening hands. Each player draws 5 cards. Each player, in player order, may mulligan once at this time.
Read the scenario introduction in the campaign guide.
Perform the scenario setup instructions indicated by the campaign guide. This includes gathering the encounter sets listed in the setup instructions in the campaign guide, placing locations, placing investigator mini cards at the location each investigator begins play at, setting aside any listed cards, and shuffling remaining encounter cards together to form the encounter deck.
Set agenda deck. Assemble the agenda deck in sequential order, with the art side faceup, so that “agenda 1a” is on top. Read the story text on agenda 1a.
Set act deck. Assemble the act deck in sequential order, with the art side faceup, so that “act 1a” is on top. Read the story text on act 1a.
Place the scenario reference card next to the agenda deck.
There are no action windows during setup. Players may only trigger player card abilities or play cards from hand during setup if the card or ability’s specific triggering condition is met.
Scenario cards include:
See each cardtype entry above for detailed card anatomies.
Player cards include:
See each cardtype entry above for detailed card anatomies.
An ability is the specialized game text that indicates how a card affects the game.
Card abilities only interact with the game if the card bearing the ability is in play, unless the ability (or rules for the cardtype) specifically references its use from an out-of-play area.
Card abilities only interact with other cards that are in play, unless the ability specifically references an interaction with cards in an out-of-play area.
If multiple instances of the same ability are in play, each instance interacts with (or may interact with) the game state individually.
The various types of card abilities are: constant abilities, forced abilities, revelation abilities, triggered abilities, keywords, and enemy instructions (spawn and prey). Each type is described in detail below.
See also: Costs, Effects, Qualifiers, Self-Referential Text.
Constant abilities are simply stated on a card with no special formatting. Constant abilities are always interacting with the game state as long as the card is in play. (Some constant abilities continuously seek a specific condition, denoted by words such as “during” or “while.” The effects of such abilities are active any time the specified condition is met.) Constant abilities have no point of initiation.
A forced ability is identified by a bold “Forced –” command. Forced abilities initiate and interact with the game state automatically at a specified timing point. Such a timing point is usually indicated by words such as: “when,” “after,” “if,” or “at.”
If a forced ability does not have the potential to change the game state, the ability does not initiate.
The initiation of a forced ability that has the potential to change the game state is mandatory each time its specified timing point is met.
A forced ability with a timing point beginning with the word “when…” automatically initiates as soon as the specified timing point is reached, but before its impact upon the game state resolves.
A forced ability with a timing point beginning with the word “after…” automatically initiates immediately after that timing point’s impact upon the game state has resolved.
For any given timing point, all forced abilities initiated in reference to that timing point must resolve before any abilities (see below) referencing the same timing point in the same manner may be initiated.
See Simultaneous Resolution.
A revelation ability, indicated by a bold “Revelation –” command on an encounter card or weakness, initiates as that card is drawn by an investigator (see Revelation).
A triggered ability is any ability prefaced by either a icon, a icon, or an icon. If the ability has one or more prerequisites (costs and/or conditions), these are listed in text immediately following the icon. A player must always meet the prerequisites of a triggered ability in order to trigger that ability. There are three types of triggered abilities:
Free triggered abilities ()—A triggered ability may be triggered as a player ability during any player window.
Reaction triggered abilities ()—A triggered ability with a specified triggering condition may be triggered any time that triggering condition is met. For example: “ After you defeat an enemy:”
A ability with a triggering condition beginning with the word “when…” may be used after the specified triggering condition initiates, but before its impact upon the game state resolves.
A ability with a triggering condition beginning with the word “after…” may be used immediately after that triggering condition’s impact upon the game state has resolved.
Each ability may be triggered only once each time the specified condition on the ability is met. For example, an ability that is triggered “After X occurs,” may be used once each time “X” occurs.
Action triggered abilities ()—An triggered ability may be triggered during a player’s turn in the investigation phase through the use of the activate action, and only if the player uses one action for each specified in the ability’s cost.
All triggered abilities are governed by the following rules:
Triggered abilities on a card a player controls are optionally triggered (or not) by that player at the appropriate timing moment, as indicated by the ability.
A triggered ability can only be initiated if its effect has the potential to change the game state, and its cost (if any) has the potential to be paid in full, taking active cost modifiers into account. This potential is assessed without taking into account the consequences of the cost payment or any other ability interactions.
Once an ability is initiated, players must resolve as much of the effect as possible, unless the effect uses the word “may”.
See Triggered Abilities.
A keyword is a card ability which conveys specific rules to its card.
Spawn instructions inform where an enemy spawns as it enters play.
Prey instructions inform which investigator an enemy pursues and/or engages if it has a choice.
Some abilities have bold action designators (such as Fight, Evade, Investigate, or Move). Activating such an ability performs the designated action as described in the rules, but modified in the manner described by the ability.
The act deck represents the progress the investigators can make in a scenario. The agenda deck represents the progress and objectives of the dark forces arrayed against the investigators in a scenario. Generally, advancing the act deck is good for the investigators, and advancing the agenda deck is bad for the investigators.
The act deck advances if the investigators, as a group, spend the requisite number of clues (as indicated by the act card). An act card may indicate a flat value (such as “4”) or a per investigator value (as indicated by the icon). This is normally done as a player ability. Any or all investigators may contribute any number of clues towards the total number of clues required to advance the act. If the act has an “Objective –” instruction, that instruction overrides or adds additional requirements to the spending of those clues.
The agenda deck advances if the requisite number of doom is in play (doom on the agenda card as well as doom on any other cards in play), as indicated by the agenda card. An agenda card may indicate a flat value or a per investigator value. If the agenda has an “Objective –” instruction, that instruction overrides or adds additional requirements to meeting this doom requirement.
The act/agenda on top of the act/agenda deck is referred to as the “current” act/agenda.
To advance the act deck or the agenda deck, follow these steps, in order:
Remove all tokens from the card to be advanced. If the agenda deck is advancing, remove all doom from each card in play.
Flip the advancing card over and follow the instructions on the reverse (“b”) side.
If the reverse side of the act or agenda is an encounter card, follow the rules for drawing that encounter cardtype. Otherwise, simply follow the instructions on the card.
Sometimes, the advancing act/agenda specifies which card becomes the next act/agenda. If it does not, the next card in the deck becomes the current act/agenda. As a new card becomes the current act/agenda, the advancing card is simultaneously removed from the game.
Some instructions in the act and agenda decks (as well as on other encounter cardtypes) contain resolution points, in the format of: “(→R#).” If a resolution point is reached, the scenario ends. Read the designated resolution in the campaign guide.
During his or her turn, an investigator is permitted to take up to three actions. When performing an action, all costs of the action are first paid. Then, the consequences of the action resolve.
If an investigator is instructed to lose 1 or more actions, he or she has that many fewer actions to take during that round.
For a complete list of the available actions, see section “2.2.1 Investigator takes an action, if able” in the investigation phase.
“Activate” is an action an investigator may take during his or her turn in the investigation phase.
When this action is taken, the investigator initiates an ability that specifies one or more icons as part of its ability cost. The number of icons in the ability’s cost determines how many actions the investigator is required to use for this activate action. When performing an activate action, all of that action’s costs are simultaneously paid. Then, the consequences of that action resolve.
An investigator is permitted to activate abilities from the following sources:
A card in play and under his or her control. This includes his or her investigator card.
A scenario card that is in play and at the same location as the investigator. This includes the location itself, encounter cards placed at that location, and all encounter cards in the threat area of any investigator at that location.
The current act or current agenda card.
The active player is the player taking his or her turn during the investigation phase.
Each time an investigator fails a skill test while attempting to evade an enemy with the “alert” keyword, after applying all results for that skill test, that enemy performs an attack against the evading investigator. An enemy does not exhaust after performing an alert attack. This attack occurs whether the enemy is engaged with the evading investigator or not.
Aloof is a keyword ability. An enemy with the aloof keyword does not automatically engage investigators at its location.
Asset cards represent items, allies, talents, spells, and other reserves that may assist or be used by an investigator during a scenario.
Some assets have health and/or sanity. When an investigator is dealt damage or horror, that investigator may assign some or all of that damage or horror to eligible asset cards he or she controls (see Dealing Damage/Horror).
Most assets take up one or more slots while in play.
Some assets have an encounter set icon and no level indicator. Such assets are known as Story Assets. Story Assets are part of an encounter set and may not be included in a player’s deck unless the resolution or setup of a scenario grants that player permission to do so.
If a card uses the phrase “attach to” it must be attached to (placed beneath and slightly overlapped by) the specified game element as it enters play. Once attached, such a card is referred to as an attachment.
The “attach to” phrase is checked for legality each time a card would be attached to a game element, but is not checked again after that attachment occurs. If the initial “attach to” check does not pass, the card is not able to be attached, and remains in its prior state or game area. If such a card cannot remain in its prior state or game area, discard it.
Once in play, an attachment remains attached until either the attachment or the game element to which it is attached leaves play (in which case the attachment is discarded), or unless a card ability explicitly detaches the card.
An “attacker” is an entity (usually an enemy or investigator) that is resolving its attack against another entity. The entity being attacked is referred to as the “attacked enemy” or the “attacked investigator.”
Each time an investigator is engaged with one or more ready enemies and takes an action other than to fight, to evade, or to activate a parley or resign ability, each of those enemies makes an attack of opportunity against the investigator, in the order of the investigator’s choosing. Each attack deals that enemy’s damage and horror to the investigator.
An attack of opportunity is made immediately after all costs of initiating the action that provoked the attack have been paid, but before the application of that action’s effect upon the game state.
An ability that costs more than one action only provokes one attack of opportunity from each engaged enemy.
An enemy does not exhaust while making an attack of opportunity.
After all attacks of opportunity are made, continue with the resolution of the action which instigated the attack.
Attacks of opportunity count as enemy attacks for the purposes of card abilities.
Some card or token abilities may cause a skill test to automatically fail or to automatically succeed. If a skill test automatically fails or automatically succeeds, it does so during step “ST.6” of the Skill Test Timing process.
If a skill test automatically fails, the investigator’s total skill value for that test is considered 0.
If a skill test automatically succeeds, the total difficulty of that test is considered 0.
Base value is the value of an element before any modifiers are applied. Unless otherwise specified, the base value of an element derived from a card is the value printed on that card.
The bearer of a weakness is the investigator who started the game with the weakness in his or her deck or play area.
If a card’s printed text box is considered “blank” by an ability, that text box is treated as if it did not have any of its printed content. Text and/or icons gained from another source are not blanked.
These are two new kinds of chaos tokens: bless () tokens and curse () tokens. By default, the chaos bag does not contain any or tokens. However, certain card effects can add these tokens or remove them from the chaos bag.
No more than 10 total tokens can be included in the chaos bag or sealed on cards in play at any given time.
= No more than 10 total tokens can be included in the chaos bag or sealed on cards in play at any given time.
or tokens revealed outside of a skill test have no effect on their own unless otherwise specified by a card effect.
Cards with the bonded keyword are linked to another player card. They have no level and therefore are not available as options when building your deck. Instead, the card to which they are bonded (which is listed in parentheses next to this keyword) will summon the bonded card into the game.
If your deck contains a card which summons one or more bonded cards, those bonded cards should be set aside at the start of each game.
If a weakness with the bonded keyword is added to an investigator’s deck, hand, threat area, or play area, it does not remain a part of that investigator’s deck for the rest of the campaign (unlike other weaknesses). It starts each game set aside with that investigator’s other bonded cards.
For example: Soothing Melody has the following keyword: “Bonded (Hallowed Mirror).” This means it is bonded to the card Hallowed Mirror. Soothing Melody has no level and is therefore not available as an option to include when building your deck. However, Hallowed Mirror summons 3 copies of Soothing Melody. Therefore, a player with Hallowed Mirror in his or her deck should set aside 3 copies of Soothing Melody at the start of each game. These cards are not part of that investigator’s deck, and do not count toward his or her deck size.
A campaign is a series of interrelated scenarios in which each player plays the same investigator from one scenario to the next. As a campaign progresses, the investigator gains experience and trauma, and this is reflected by changes in his or her deck. Each decision made in a campaign may have repercussions in a later scenario.
When starting a campaign, follow the instructions for that campaign’s setup in the campaign guide. After playing through a scenario during a campaign, record the specified results of that scenario in the campaign log.
After recording the results of a scenario, the investigators are ready to reflect on their experiences and purchase new cards for their decks. To do this, follow these steps, in order:
Count experience. Each investigator earns experience equal to the total victory value of all cards in the victory display plus or minus any bonuses or penalties indicated by the campaign guide for that resolution. This total is added to any unspent experience an investigator has recorded from previous scenarios in this campaign.
Purchase new cards. New cards may be purchased and added to a player’s deck by spending experience equal to the card’s level (denoted by a number of pips in the upper left hand corner of the card). While purchasing new cards, observe the following rules:
An investigator’s deckbuilding guidelines (found on the back of the investigator card) must be observed while that investigator is purchasing new cards. Only cards the investigator has access to may be purchased. The deck-size requirement must also be maintained, so that for each (nonpermanent) card purchased and added to a deck, a different card is removed from the deck. Weakness cards and cards that must be included in an investigator’s deck may not be removed while that investigator is purchasing new cards.
Each card costs experience equal to the card’s level, to a minimum of 1 (purchasing a level zero card still costs 1 experience). The number of pips beneath a card’s cost indicates the card’s level.
When purchasing a higher level version of a card with the same title, the investigator may choose to “upgrade” that card by paying only the difference in experience (to a minimum of 1) between the two cards and removing the lower level version of the card from his or her deck.
New cards are purchased (or upgraded) individually. If an investigator wishes to purchase more than 1 copy of a new card, each copy must be paid for separately, and one card must be removed from that investigator’s deck for each copy purchased.
The above processes, and any specific instructions provided by the campaign guide, are the only methods by which a player may modify his or her deck during a campaign.
Record unspent experience. Each investigator records any unspent experience on the campaign log. This experience may be spent at a later time during this campaign.
Trauma reflects permanent damage that has been done to an investigator’s health and/or psyche.
If an investigator is defeated in a scenario that investigator is eliminated from the scenario but not necessarily from the campaign.
If an investigator is defeated by taking damage equal to his or her health, he or she suffers 1 physical trauma (recorded in the campaign log). For each physical trauma an investigator has, that investigator begins each subsequent scenario in the campaign with 1 damage. If an investigator has physical trauma equal to his or her printed health, the investigator is killed.
If an investigator is defeated by taking horror equal to his or her sanity, he or she suffers 1 mental trauma (recorded in the campaign log). For each mental trauma an investigator has, that investigator begins each subsequent scenario in the campaign with 1 horror. If an investigator has mental trauma equal to his or her printed sanity, the investigator is driven insane.
If an investigator is defeated by simultaneously taking damage equal to his or her health and horror equal to his or her sanity, he or she chooses which type of trauma to suffer.
If an investigator is killed or driven insane, that player must choose a new investigator to use in the next scenario, and creates a new deck for that investigator. Investigators that are killed or driven insane cannot be used for the remainder of the campaign.
If a player attempts to choose a new investigator and there are no investigators remaining in the pool, the players have lost and the campaign ends.
An investigator may be defeated by a card ability. A defeated investigator is eliminated from the game. Should this occur, follow the instructions of the card ability to determine if there are any long-term repercussions of the defeat.
After completing a scenario, resolving its resolution, updating the campaign log, and purchasing any new cards, advance to the next scenario (sequentially) in the campaign, unless the scenario resolution explicitly directs the investigators to a different scenario.
Once a campaign has begun, players can freely drop in and out of the campaign in between scenarios.
If a player leaves the campaign, do not delete that player’s information from the campaign log, as he or she may re-join at any time between scenarios.
If a new player joins the campaign, he or she must choose an investigator not previously used during this campaign. That player begins as if it were his or her first scenario in the campaign, with no experience and no trauma.
Some card abilities can “cancel” other card or game effects. Cancel abilities interrupt the initiation of an effect, and prevent the effect from initiating.
Any time the effects of an ability are canceled, the ability (apart from its effects) is still regarded as initiated, and any costs have still been paid. The effects of the ability, however, are prevented from initiating and do not resolve.
If the effects of a treachery card are canceled, the card is still regarded as having been drawn, and it is still placed in the encounter discard pile.
The game’s cardtypes are presented with detailed card anatomies for scenario cards and player cards.
If an ability causes a card to change its cardtype, it loses all other cardtypes it might possess and functions as would any card of the new cardtype.
See also: Asset Cards, Enemy Cards, Event Cards, Location Cards, Skill Cards, Treachery Cards.
Chaos tokens are revealed from the chaos bag during skill tests, to modify or influence the results of the skill test.
—If any of these tokens are revealed for a skill test, resolve the effect for that symbol as indicated on the scenario reference card for the current scenario.
—This is the auto-fail token. If this token is revealed for a skill test, it indicates the investigator automatically fails the test.
—This is the elder sign token. If this token is revealed for a skill test, resolve the effect on the investigator card belonging to the player performing the skill test.
See also: Bless and Curse Tokens
If a revealed chaos token (or the effect referenced by a chaos token) has a numerical modifier, that modifier is applied to the investigator’s skill value for this test.
See “ST.3 Reveal chaos token” under Skill Test Timing.
Clues represent the progress the investigators can make towards solving a mystery, unraveling a conspiracy, and/or advancing in a scenario.
The first time an investigator enters a location, that location is revealed (turned face-up) and a number of clues equal to that location’s clue value are placed on that location (from the token pool). Most clue values are conveyed as a per investigator () value. This may occur during setup.
A clue at a location can be discovered by successfully investigating the location, or by a card ability. If an investigator discovers a clue, he or she takes the clue from the location and places it on his or her investigator card, under his or her control.
If there are no “Objective – ” requirements for advancing the current act, during any investigator’s turn the investigators may, as a group, spend the requisite number of clues (usually conveyed as a “per investigator” value) from their investigator cards to advance the act deck. This is normally done as a player ability. Any or all investigators may contribute any number of clues towards the total number of clues required to advance the act.
A card ability that refers to clues “at a location” is referring to the undiscovered clues that are currently on that location.
See also: Act Deck and Agenda Deck, Tokens, Running out of.
If an ability refers to a player’s collection (for example, “search the collection”), the collection of cards from which that player’s deck was assembled is used.
Example: Sean and Etienne are each using a deck built from Sean’s collection. If Etienne is instructed to “search the collection,” he searches Sean’s collection.
A copy of a card is defined by title. A second copy of a card is any other card that shares the same title, regardless of cardtype, text, artwork, or any other differing characteristics between the cards.
See also: Player Cards, Scenario Cards.
There are two types of costs in the game: resource costs and ability costs.
A card’s resource cost is the numerical value that must be paid (in resources) to play the card from hand. To pay a resource cost, an investigator takes the specified number of resources from his or her resource pool and places them in the token pool.
Some triggered card abilities are presented in a “cost: effect” construct. In such a construct, the aspect preceding the colon indicates the ability costs that must be paid and any triggering conditions that must be met to trigger the ability. The aspect following the colon is the effect.
If multiple costs for a single card or ability require payment, those costs must be paid simultaneously.
Only the controller of a card or ability may pay its costs. Game elements another player controls may not be used to pay a cost.
When a player is exhausting, sacrificing, or otherwise using cards to pay costs, only cards that are in play and under that player’s control may be used, unless the cost specifies an out-of-play state.
If a cost requires a game element that is not in play, the player paying the cost may only use game elements that are in his or her game areas (such as his or her hand or deck) to pay the cost.
If the investigators are instructed to pay a cost as a group, each investigator (or each investigator in the group defined by the ability) may contribute to paying the cost.
An ability cannot initiate—and therefore its costs cannot be paid—if the resolution of its effect will not change the game state.
If an investigator takes damage or horror as a cost and reassigns any of it to an asset, the cost is still considered paid.
There are two types of afflictions that may beset an investigator in the game: damage and horror. Damage afflicts an investigator’s health, and horror afflicts an investigator’s sanity.
When an investigator or enemy is dealt damage and/or horror, follow these steps, in order:
Assign Damage/Horror: Determine the amount of damage and/or horror being dealt. Place damage and/or horror tokens equal to the amount of damage and horror being dealt next to the cards that will be taking the damage/horror.
When an investigator is dealt damage or horror, that investigator may assign it to eligible asset cards he or she controls. To be eligible, an asset card must have health in order to be assigned damage, and it must have sanity in order to be assigned horror.
An asset cannot be assigned damage beyond the amount of damage it would take to defeat the card, and cannot be assigned horror beyond the amount of horror it would take to defeat the card.
All damage/horror that cannot be assigned to an asset must be assigned to the investigator.
Apply Damage/Horror: Any assigned damage/horror that has not been prevented is now placed on each card to which it has been assigned, simultaneously. If no damage/horror is applied in this step, no damage/horror has been successfully dealt.
Abilities that prevent, reduce, or reassign damage and/or horror that is being dealt are resolved between steps 1 and 2.
After applying damage/horror, if an investigator has damage equal to or higher than his or her health or horror equal to or higher than his or her sanity, he or she is defeated. When an investigator is defeated, he or she is eliminated from the scenario.
After applying damage/horror, if an asset has damage equal to or higher than its health or horror equal to or higher than its sanity, it is defeated and placed in its owner’s discard pile.
There are 4 main types of decks that appear in any game: the Investigator Deck, the Encounter Deck, the Act Deck, and the Agenda Deck.
The order of cards within a deck may not be altered unless a player is instructed to do so by a card ability.
When building a custom investigator deck, the following guidelines must be observed:
A player must choose exactly 1 investigator card.
A player’s deck must include the exact number of player cards indicated on the back of his or her investigator card as the “Deck Size.” Weaknesses, investigator-specific cards, and scenario cards that are added to a player’s deck do not count towards this number.
A player’s investigator deck may not include more than 2 copies (by title) of any given player card.
Each standard player card in a player’s investigator deck must be chosen from among the “Deckbuilding Options” available on the back of his or her investigator card.
Most investigators have 0 experience to spend at the beginning of a campaign, which means that they may only include level 0 cards in their decks. Some investigators, and/or some campaigns, may provide a player with additional experience at the beginning of a campaign, which can be used immediately to purchase higher level cards.
All other “Deckbuilding Requirements” listed on the back of a player’s investigator card must be observed.
Each required random basic weakness is added to a player’s deck at the end of the deckbuilding process.
Story Assets may not be included in a player’s deck unless the setup or resolution of a scenario grants that player permission to do so. These assets are indicated by the lack of a card level and the presence of an encounter set symbol.
During a campaign, players build a deck before playing the first scenario. In between scenarios, players can purchase new cards or upgrade cards in their deck following the rules found under Campaign Play.
Most player cards, including investigators, belong to one of 5 classes. Each class has its own distinct flavor and identity, as described below.
Guardians () feel compelled to defend humanity, and thus go out of their way to combat the forces of the Mythos. They have a strong sense of duty and selflessness that drives them to protect others, and to hunt monsters down.
Mystics () are drawn to and influenced by the arcane forces of the Mythos. Many have spell-casting abilities, able to manipulate the forces of the universe through magical talent.
Rogues () are self-serving and out for themselves. Wily and opportunistic, they are always eager for a way to exploit their current situation.
Seekers () are primarily concerned with learning more about the world and about the Mythos. They wish to research forgotten lore, map out uncharted areas, and study strange creatures.
Survivors () are everyday people in the wrong place at the wrong time, simply trying to survive. Ill-prepared and ill-equipped, Survivors are the underdogs, who rise to the occasion when their lives are threatened.
Some cards are not affiliated with any class; these cards are neutral. Generally, investigators only have access to cards from their class. Some investigators have access to cards from other classes. Refer to the “Deckbuilding Options” on the back of an investigator card to view which cards an investigator has access to.
Taking damage and/or horror may cause an investigator, enemy, or asset to be defeated.
If an investigator has as much or more damage on it as it has health (or as much or more horror on it as it has sanity), that investigator is defeated. An investigator might also be defeated by a card ability. When an investigator is defeated, he or she is eliminated from the scenario.
In campaign play, an investigator that is defeated by taking damage equal to his or her health suffers 1 physical trauma. An investigator that is defeated by taking horror equal to his or her sanity suffers 1 mental trauma. Taking trauma may cause an investigator to be killed or driven insane.
If an asset with a health value has as much or more damage than it has health, it is defeated. If an asset with a sanity value has as much or more horror than it has sanity, it is defeated. A defeated asset is placed on its owner’s discard pile.
Some abilities create delayed effects. Such abilities specify a future timing point, or indicate a future condition that may arise, and dictate an effect that will happen at that time.
Each delayed effect initiates automatically and immediately (as a forced ability) if its future timing point or future condition occurs.
A delayed effect affects all specified entities that are in the specified game area and eligible at the time the delayed effect resolves.
There are four levels of difficulty in Arkham Horror: The Card Game: Easy, Standard, Hard, and Expert. At the beginning of a campaign or standalone scenario, the players choose which difficulty level to use. The campaign setup section of that campaign or scenario’s Campaign Guide indicates which chaos tokens should be placed into the chaos bag when playing on each difficulty level.
When playing in Easy or Standard mode, use the “Easy/Standard” side of each scenario’s reference card. When playing in Hard or Expert mode, use the “Hard/ Expert” side of each scenario’s reference card instead.
The difficulty of a skill test is the target number an investigator is trying to equal or exceed with his or her modified skill value to pass that test.
When resolving a skill test created by a card ability, the base difficulty is indicated as a parenthetical value following the indication of which skill is being tested. For example: Intellect (3).
See Skill Test Timing for the full rules on skill tests.
If an ability causes a card to take direct damage or direct horror, that damage or horror must be assigned directly to the specified card, and cannot be assigned or re-assigned elsewhere.
Any time a card is discarded, it is placed faceup on top of its owner’s discard pile. Encounter cards are owned by the encounter deck.
Each discard pile is an out-of-play area.
Each investigator has his or her own discard pile, and the encounter deck has its own discard pile.
Each discard pile is open information, and may be looked at by any player at any time.
The order of cards in a discard pile may not be altered unless a player is instructed to do so by a card ability.
If multiple cards are discarded simultaneously, the owner of the cards may physically place them on top of his or her discard pile one at a time, in any order. If multiple encounter cards are discarded simultaneously, they are placed on top of the encounter discard pile in any order (determined by lead investigator).
Any ability that would shuffle a discard pile of zero cards back into a deck does not shuffle the deck.
Doom represents the progress the forces of the Mythos make towards completing foul rituals, summoning cosmic entities, and/or advancing a scenario’s agenda.
During each Mythos phase, 1 doom is placed on the current agenda.
If there are no “Objective – ” requirements for advancing the current agenda and the requisite amount of doom is in play (among the agenda and all cards in play), the agenda advances during the “Check doom threshold” step of the Mythos phase. Unless a card otherwise specifies that it can advance the agenda, this is the only time at which the agenda can advance.
Doom on cards other than the agenda (such as enemies, allies, locations, etc.) counts towards the amount of doom in play.
See also: Tokens, Running out of.
“Draw” is an action an investigator may take during his or her turn in the investigation phase. When an investigator takes this action, that investigator draws one card from his or her deck.
When a player is instructed to draw one or more cards, those cards are drawn from the top of his or her investigator deck and added to his or her hand.
When a player is instructed to draw one or more encounter cards, those cards are drawn from the top of the encounter deck, and resolved following the rules for drawing encounter cards under framework event 1.4 Each investigator draws 1 encounter card.
When a player draws two or more cards as the result of a single ability or game step, those cards are drawn simultaneously. If a deck empties mid-draw, reset the deck and complete the draw.
There is no limit to the number of cards a player may draw each round.
If an investigator with an empty investigator deck needs to draw a card, that investigator shuffles his or her discard pile back into his or her deck, then draws the card, and upon completion of the entire draw takes one horror.
A card effect is any effect that arises from the resolution of ability text printed on, or gained by, a card. A framework effect is any effect that arises from the resolution of a framework event.
Once initiated, players must resolve as much of each aspect of the effect as they are able, unless the effect uses the word “may.”
When a non-targeting effect attempts to interact with a number of entities (such as “draw 3 cards” or “search the top 5 cards of your deck”) that exceeds the number of entities that currently exist in the specified game area, the effect interacts with as many entities as possible.
All aspects of an effect have timing priority over all “after…” triggering conditions that might arise as a consequence of that effect. (For example, if an effect reads “Gain 3 resources and draw 3 cards,” resolve both aspects of the effect (gaining resources and drawing cards) before initiating an ability that reads “After drawing a card…”)
See also: Delayed Effects, Lasting Effects, Simultaneous Resolution.
A player is eliminated from a scenario any time his or her investigator is defeated, or if he or she resigns. The only manner in which eliminated investigators interact with the game when establishing per investigator values. Any time a player is eliminated:
For the purpose of resolving weakness cards, the game has ended for the eliminated investigator. Trigger any “when the game ends” abilities on each weakness the eliminated investigator owns that is in play. Then, remove those weaknesses from the game.
The cards he or she controls in play and all of the cards in his or her out-of-play areas (such as hand, deck, discard pile) are removed from the game.
All clue tokens that player possesses are placed at the location the investigator was at when he or she was eliminated, and all of that player’s resource tokens are returned to the token pool.
All enemies engaged with that player are placed at the location the investigator was at when he or she was eliminated, unengaged but otherwise maintaining their current game state.
All other cards in the eliminated investigator’s threat area are placed in the appropriate discard pile.
If the lead investigator is eliminated, the remaining players (if any) choose a new lead investigator.
If there are no remaining players, the scenario ends. Refer to “no resolution was reached” entry for that scenario in the campaign guide.
An empty location is a location with no enemies or investigators at it.
The encounter deck contains the encounter cards (enemy, treachery, and story asset cards) the investigators may encounter during a scenario.
If the encounter deck is empty, shuffle the encounter discard pile back into the encounter deck.
An encounter set is a collection of encounter cards, denoted by a common encounter set symbol near each card’s cardtype.
Enemies represent villains, cultists, ne’er-do-wells, terrible monsters, and unfathomable entities from alternate dimensions or the cosmos beyond.
When an enemy card is drawn by an investigator, that investigator must spawn it following any spawn direction the card bears. If the encountered enemy has no spawn direction, the enemy spawns engaged with the investigator encountering the card and is placed in that investigator’s threat area.
See section “1.4 Each investigator draws 1 encounter card” of the Mythos phase.
While an enemy card is in play, it is either engaged with an investigator (and placed in that investigator’s threat area), or it is unengaged and at a location (and placed at that location). Each enemy in an investigator’s threat area is considered to be at the same location as that investigator, and should the investigator move, the enemy remains engaged and moves to the new location simultaneously with the investigator.
Any time a ready unengaged enemy is at the same location as an investigator, it engages that investigator, and is placed in that investigator’s threat area. If there are multiple investigators at the same location as a ready unengaged enemy, follow the enemy’s prey instructions to determine which investigator is engaged. There is no limit on the number of enemies that can be engaged with a single investigator.
For example, a ready unengaged enemy immediately engages if:
It moves into the same location as an investigator,
An investigator moves into the same location as it.
An exhausted unengaged enemy does not engage, but if an exhausted enemy at the same location as an investigator becomes ready, it engages as soon as it is readied.
The Enemy phase is the third phase in the round sequence and is divided into four framework events:
This step formalizes the beginning of the enemy phase.
Resolve the hunter keyword for each ready, unengaged enemy that has the hunter keyword.
Resolve engaged enemy attacks in player order, with each player resolving all of his or her engaged enemies before advancing to the next player.
Each ready, engaged enemy makes an attack against the investigator to which it is engaged. When an enemy attacks, deal its attack (both its damage and its horror, simultaneously) to the engaged investigator. Upon completion of dealing the attack (and all abilities triggered by the attack), exhaust the enemy. If an investigator is engaged with multiple enemies, resolve their attacks in the order of the attacked investigator’s choosing.
After an investigator has resolved the attacks of the enemies he or she is engaged with, return to the previous player window. After the final investigator resolves enemy attacks, proceed to the next player window.
This step formalizes the end of the enemy phase.
After this step is complete, play proceeds to the beginning of the Upkeep phase.
“Engage” is an action an investigator may take during his or her turn in the investigation phase.
To engage an enemy at the same location (for example, this could be done to engage an exhausted enemy, an aloof enemy, or an enemy engaged with another investigator), an investigator places the chosen enemy in his or her threat area. The investigator and the enemy are now engaged.
An investigator may perform the engage action to engage an enemy that is engaged with a different investigator at the same location. The enemy simultaneously disengages from the previous investigator and engages the investigator performing the action.
An investigator cannot use the engage action to engage an enemy he or she is already engaged with.
The phrase “enters play” refers to any time a card makes a transition from an out-of-play area into a play area.
If an ability (either on the card itself or from another card) causes a card to enter play in a state different from that specified by the rules, there is no transition to that state. It merely enters play in that state.
“Evade” is an action an investigator may take during his or her turn in the investigation phase.
To evade an enemy engaged with an investigator, that investigator makes an agility test against the enemy’s evade value.
If the test is successful, the investigator successfully evades the enemy (see below). This occurs during step “ST.7” of the Skill Test Timing process.
If the test fails, the investigator does not evade the enemy, and it remains engaged with him or her.
If an ability automatically evades 1 or more enemies, no skill test is made for the evasion attempt.
Any time an enemy is evaded (whether by an evade action, or by card ability), the enemy is exhausted (if it was ready) and the engagement is broken. Move the enemy from the investigator’s threat area to the investigator’s location to mark that it is no longer engaged with that investigator.
Event cards represent tactical actions, maneuvers, spells, tricks, and other instantaneous effects at a player’s disposal.
If an event card does not have the fast keyword, it may only be played from a player’s hand by performing a play action during his or her turn. You must follow all play permissions/restrictions that card has.
A fast event card may be played from a player’s hand any time its play instructions specify.
If the effects of an event card are canceled, the card is still considered to have been played, and its costs remain paid. Only the effects have been canceled.
Playing an event card from hand (or not playing it) is always optional for a player, unless the event uses the word “must” in its play instructions.
An event card cannot be played unless the resolution of its effect has the potential to change the game state.
Exceptional is a deckbuilding keyword ability.
Occasionally, a card ability or game step will cause a card to exhaust to indicate it has been used to perform a function. When a card exhausts, it is rotated 90 degrees. A card in this state is said to be exhausted.
An exhausted card cannot exhaust again until it is ready (typically by a game step or card ability).
Some player cards must be exiled when they are used. When a card is exiled, it is removed from the game and returned to your collection. During campaign play, a card that has been exiled must be purchased again with experience points (between scenarios) if you wish to re‑include it in your deck. If exiling 1 or more cards would reduce your deck below your investigator’s deck size, when purchasing cards between scenarios, you must purchase cards so that a legal deck size is maintained (when purchasing cards in this manner, you may purchase level 0 cards for 0 experience cost until a legal deck size is reached).
Some abilities are identified with an Explore action designator. Such abilities are generally used to find new locations to put into play, and are initiated using the Activate action.
Explore abilities instruct you to draw the top card of the “exploration deck,” which is a separate deck that is constructed during the setup of some scenarios. This deck consists of several single-sided locations and treachery cards.
Each Explore ability indicates a particular type of location that you are seeking to draw. If a location of that type is drawn, it is put into play, and you move to that location. This is considered a “successful” exploration.
If any other location is drawn, place it next to the exploration deck, and draw the next card from the exploration deck. Repeat this process until a location of the indicated type is drawn, or a treachery is drawn. After this action has ended, shuffle each location next to the exploration deck back into the exploration deck.
If a treachery card is drawn, it is resolved as normal. If it is discarded, place it in the encounter discard pile as you would normally. There is no discard pile for the exploration deck. This is considered an “unsuccessful” exploration.
Example: Agenda 1a—“Expedition into the Wild” has the following ability: “: Explore. Draw the top card of the exploration deck. If it is a connecting location, put it into play and move to it.” Ursula Downs is at the Expedition Camp and wishes to find a new location to travel to. She spends her first action to explore, drawing the top card of the exploration deck. The card she draws is Circuitous Trail. Because Circuitous Trail is a location that is not connected to the Expedition Camp, it is placed next to the exploration deck, and Ursula draws the next card in the exploration deck. This time, she draws the Low on Supplies treachery card, which she resolves as normal and places in the encounter discard pile. Her exploration is unsuccessful, and she must shuffle the Circuitous Trail that she drew previously back into the exploration deck. Ursula decides to explore one more time, spending a second action. This time, she draws Path of Thorns, which is connected to the Expedition Camp. Her exploration is successful. Path of Thorns is put into play with clues on it equal to its clue value, and Ursula immediately moves from the Expedition Camp to the Path of Thorns.
Fast is a keyword ability. A fast card does not cost an action to be played and is not played using the “Play” action.
A fast event card may be played from a player’s hand any time its play instructions specify. If the instructions specify when/after a timing point, the card may be played as if the described timing point were a triggering condition for playing the card. If the instructions specify a duration or period of time, the card may be played during any player window within that period. If the instructions specify both a when/after timing point and a duration or period of time, the card may be played in reference to any instance of the specified triggering condition within that time period.
A fast asset may be played by an investigator during any player window on his or her turn.
Because fast cards do not cost actions to play, they do not provoke attacks of opportunity.
“Fight” is an action an investigator may take during his or her turn in the investigation phase.
To fight an enemy at his or her location, an investigator resolves an attack against that enemy by making a combat test against the enemy’s fight value.
If the test is successful, the attack succeeds and damage is dealt to the attacked enemy. The default damage dealt by an attack is 1. Some weapons, spells, or other special attacks may modify this damage. This occurs during step “ST.7” of the Skill Test Timing process.
If the test fails, no damage is dealt to the attacked enemy. However, if an investigator fails this test against an enemy that is engaged with another single investigator, the damage of the attack is dealt to the investigator engaged with that enemy.
An investigator may fight any enemy at his or her location, including: an enemy he or she is engaged with, an unengaged enemy at the same location, or an enemy engaged with another investigator who is at the same location.
Flavor text is additional text that provides thematic context to a card and/or its abilities. Flavor text does not interact with the game in any manner.
The word “gains” is used in multiple contexts.
If a player gains one or more resources, the player takes the specified number of resources from the token pool and adds them to his or her resource pool.
If an investigator gains an action, that investigator is permitted one additional action to spend during the specified time period.
“Gained” characteristics are not considered to be printed on the card. If an ability refers to the printed characteristics of a card, it does not refer to gained characteristics.
A ‘game’ consists of a single scenario, not an entire campaign. In a campaign, the beginning of a new scenario marks the start of a new game.
Several common grammatical words take on special meaning in regards to game rules.
When used to describe a condition, the words “a” or “an” are satisfied if one or more of the conditional elements are present. For example, an investigator with 3 resources will satisfy the condition of “Each investigator with a resource.”
The word “after” refers to the moment immediately after the specified timing point or triggering condition has fully resolved.
(For example, an ability that reads “After you draw an enemy card” initiates immediately after resolving all of the steps for drawing an enemy—resolving its revelation ability, spawning it, etc.)
See also: Ability, Simultaneous Resolution.
The word “cannot” is absolute, and cannot be countermanded by other abilities.
The word “instead” is indicative of a replacement effect. A replacement effect is an effect that replaces the resolution of a triggering condition with an alternate means of resolution.
If multiple replacement effects are initiated against the same triggering condition and create a conflict in how to resolve the triggering condition, the most recent replacement effect is the one that is used for the resolution of the triggering condition.
The word “would” is used to define the triggering condition of some abilities, and establishes a higher priority for those abilities than abilities referencing the same triggering condition without the word “would.” (For instance, “When X would occur” resolves before “When X occurs.”)
If a replacement effect that uses the word “would” changes the nature of a triggering condition, the original triggering condition is replaced with the new triggering condition. No further abilities referencing the original triggering condition may be used.
The word “may” indicates that a specified player has the option to do that which follows. If no player is specified, the option is granted to the controller of the card with the ability in question.
If an investigator is instructed that he or she “must” choose among multiple options, the investigator is compelled to choose an option that has the potential to change the game state.
In the absence of the word “must” while choosing among multiple options, any option may be chosen upon the resolution of the effect—even an option that does not change the game state.
If the effect of an ability includes the word “then,” the text preceding the word “then” must be successfully resolved in full before the remainder of the effect described after the word “then” can be resolved.
If the pre-then aspect of an effect does successfully resolve in full, the post-then aspect of the effect must also resolve.
The post-then aspect of an effect has timing priority over all other indirect consequences of the resolution of the pre-then aspect. (For example, if an effect reads: “Draw an encounter card. Then, take 1 horror,” and a player controls an ability that reads “After you draw an encounter card,” the post-then “take 1 horror” aspect occurs before the “After you draw an encounter card” ability may initiate.)
If the pre-then aspect of an effect does not successfully resolve in full, the post-then aspect does not resolve.
The word “when” refers to the moment immediately after the specified timing point or triggering condition initiates, but before its impact upon the game state resolves. The resolution of a “when” ability interrupts the resolution of its timing point or triggering condition. (For example, an ability that reads “When you draw an enemy card” initiates immediately after you draw the enemy card, but before resolving its revelation ability, spawning it, etc.)
See also: Priority of Simultaneous Resolution.
A Revelation ability that references “you” or “your” refers to the investigator who drew the card and is resolving the ability.
While resolving an ability initiated by the activate action, “you” or “your” refers to the investigator performing the action.
If the text of this Rules Reference directly contradicts the text of the Learn to Play book, the text of the Rules Reference takes precedence.
If the text of a card directly contradicts the text of either the Rules Reference or the Learn to Play book, the text of the card takes precedence.
If players are unable to find the answer to a rules or timing conflict in this Rules Reference, resolve the conflict in the manner that the players perceive as the worst possible at that moment with regards to winning the scenario, and continue with the game.
Haunted is an ability that appears on some locations. Each time an investigator fails a skill test while investigating a location, after applying all results for that skill test, that investigator must resolve all “Haunted –” abilities on that location.
A location is “haunted” for the purposes of other card effects if it has at least one “Haunted –” ability (printed or otherwise).
“Heal” is an instruction to remove the indicated amount of damage or the indicated amount of horror from a card.
If a card is healed for more damage or horror than it currently has on it, remove as much of the indicated amount as possible.
Health represents a card’s physical fortitude. Damage tracks the physical harm that has been done to a card during a scenario.
Any time a card takes damage, place a number of damage tokens equal to the amount of damage just taken on the card.
An asset card without a health value is not considered to have a health of 0, cannot gain health, and cannot have damage assigned to it.
A card’s “remaining health” is its base health minus the amount of damage on it, plus or minus any active health modifiers.
See also: Direct Damage, Direct Horror.
Hunter is a keyword ability. During the enemy phase (in framework event 3.2), each ready, unengaged enemy with the hunter keyword moves to a connecting location, along the shortest path towards the nearest investigator. Enemies at a location with one or more investigators do not move.
If there are multiple equidistant investigators who qualify as “the nearest investigator,” the enemy moves towards the one of those who best meets its prey instructions. If none do, or if the enemy has no prey instructions, the lead investigator may choose an investigator for the enemy to move towards.
If a hunter enemy would be compelled to a location to which the move is blocked by a card ability, the enemy does not move.
If a card is immune to a specified set of effects (for example, “immune to treachery card effects,” or “immune to player card effects”), it cannot be affected by or chosen to be affected by effects belonging to that set. Only the card itself is protected, and peripheral entities associated with an immune card (such as attached assets, tokens placed on, or abilities originating from an immune card) are not themselves immune.
If a card gains immunity to an effect, pre-existing lasting effects that have been applied to the card are not removed. If a card loses immunity to an effect, pre-existing lasting effects of that nature are not applied to the card.
Immunity only protects a card from effects. It does not protect a card from costs.
The cards that a player controls in his or her play area are considered in play.
The current act, the current agenda, each location in the play area, and each encounter card in a investigator’s threat area or at a location, are all considered in play.
Out of play refers to the cards in a player’s hand, in any deck, in any discard pile, in the victory display, and those that have been set aside and/or removed from the game.
If the players are instructed to perform a sequence “in player order,” the lead investigator performs his or her part of the sequence first, followed by the other players in clockwise order. The phrase “the next player” is used in this context to refer to the next player (clockwise) to act in player order.
“Investigate” is an action an investigator may take during his or her turn in the investigation phase.
Each time an investigator takes this action, he or she makes an intellect test against the shroud value of that location.
If the test is successful, the investigator has succeeded in investigating the location, he or she discovers one clue at the location. This occurs during step “ST.7” of the Skill Test Timing process.
Any time an investigator discovers a clue from a location, that player takes the clue from the location and places it on his or her investigator card, under his or her control.
If the test is failed, the investigator has failed in investigating the location. No clues are discovered during step “ST.7” of the skill test.
The Investigation phase is the second phase in the round sequence and is divided into five framework events:
This step formalizes the beginning of the investigation phase.
The investigators may take their turns in any order. The investigators choose among themselves who (among the investigators) will take this turn, and making this choice begins that investigator’s turn. The investigator taking his or her turn is known as the “active investigator.”
Once an investigator begins a turn, that investigator must complete the turn before another investigator may take his or her turn. Each investigator takes one turn each round.
During his or her turn, an investigator is permitted to take three actions. An action can be used to do one of the following:
Investigate your location.
Move to a connecting location.
Draw (draw 1 card).
Resource (gain 1 resource).
Play an asset or event card from your hand.
Fight an enemy at your location.
Engage an enemy at your location.
Attempt to evade an enemy engaged with you.
The three actions an investigator performs during his or her turn may be any of the above, in any order, and may even be the same action three times in a row.
Important: When an investigator is engaged with one or more enemies and takes an action other than to fight, to evade, or to activate a parley or resign ability, each of those enemies makes an attack of opportunity against the investigator, in the order of the investigator’s choosing.
After an investigator takes an action, return to the previous player window. An investigator may end his or her turn early if there are no other actions he or she wishes to perform. If the investigator does not or cannot take an action, proceed to 2.2.2.
Flip the active investigator’s mini card to its colorless side to show that the investigator’s turn has ended. If there is an investigator who has not yet taken a turn this round, return to 2.2. If each investigator has taken a turn this round, proceed to 2.3.
This step formalizes the end of the investigation phase.
After this step is complete, play proceeds to the beginning of the Enemy phase.
Investigators stand against the horrors threatening to tear this world apart.
A player’s Investigator card occupies the center of his or her play area. An investigator mini card indicates an investigator’s current location and when an investigator’s turn has ended.
A player’s “investigator deck” is the deck that contains that player’s asset, event, skill, and weakness cards. A reference to “your deck” refers to the investigator deck under your control.
A keyword is a card ability which conveys specific rules to its card. Each keyword has its own rules which can be found in the keyword’s own section of the glossary. The keywords in this game are: aloof, bonded, fast, hunter, massive, peril, retaliate, surge, uses.
There are also two deckbuilding keywords: exceptional and permanent. Deckbuilding keywords affect deck customization while building and/or leveling up a deck. They have no effect during gameplay. There are no exceptional or permanent cards in the core set—each of these keywords will be presented in future expansions.
A single card that has and/or is gaining the same keyword from multiple sources functions as if it has one instance of that keyword.
During campaign play, investigators who are killed or driven insane must be recorded in your campaign log and cannot be used for the remainder of the campaign.
An investigator may also be killed or driven insane by card ability, or during a scenario’s resolution.
When playing a standalone scenario, there is no practical difference between being killed, driven insane, or defeated.
Some card abilities create conditions that affect the game state for a specified duration (for example, “until the end of the phase” or “ for this skill test”). Such effects are known as lasting effects.
A lasting effect persists beyond the resolution of the ability that created it, for the duration specified by the effect. The effect continues to affect the game state for the specified duration regardless of whether the card that created the lasting effect is or remains in play.
If a lasting effect affects in-play cards (or cards in a specified area), it is only applied to cards that are in play (or the specified area) when the lasting effect is established. Cards that enter play (or the specified area) after its establishment are not affected by the lasting effect.
A lasting effect expires as soon as the timing point specified by its duration is reached. This means that an “until the end of the phase” lasting effect expires before an “at the end of the phase” ability or delayed effect may initiate.
A lasting effect that expires at the end of a specific time period can only be initiated during that time period.
The lead investigator is sometimes required to make important scenario decisions. At the beginning of a scenario, the investigators choose a lead investigator. If they cannot agree on a choice, a lead investigator is chosen at random.
If there are ever multiple valid options for a choice or decision that must be made (for example, a hunter enemy that could move in two different directions), the lead investigator is the final arbiter in choosing among those options.
If the lead investigator is eliminated, the remaining players (if any) choose a new lead investigator.
The phrase “leaves play” refers to any time a card makes a transition from an in-play state to an out-of-play state.
If a card leaves play, the following consequences occur simultaneously with the card leaving play:
“Limit X per [period]” is a limit that appears on cards that remain in play through the resolution of an ability’s effect. Each instance of an ability with such a limit may be initiated X times during the designated period. If a card leaves play and re-enters play during the same period, the card is considered to be bringing a new instance of the ability to the game.
“Limit X per [card/game element]” is a limit that appears on attachment cards, and restricts the number of copies of that card (by title) that can be attached to each designated card or game element.
Unless stated otherwise, limits are player specific.
A “group limit,” however, applies to the entire group of investigators. (For example, if an investigator triggers an ability that is “group limit once per game,” no other investigator may trigger that ability during that game.)
“Max X per [period]” imposes a maximum across all copies of a card (by title) for all players. Generally, this phrase imposes a maximum number of times that copies of that card can be played during the designated time period. If a maximum includes the word “committed” (For example, “Max 1 committed per skill test”), it imposes a maximum number of copies of that card that can be committed to skill tests during the designated period. If a maximum appears as part of an ability, it imposes a maximum number of times that ability can be initiated from all copies (by title) of cards bearing that ability (including itself), during the designated period.
If the effects of a card or ability with a limit or maximum are canceled, it is still counted against the limit/maximum, because the ability has been initiated.
Location cards represent the places the investigators may explore during a scenario.
Use each investigator’s mini card to indicate which location he or she is at.
Locations enter play in an “unrevealed” state, so that the side with no shroud value and/or clue value is faceup. Do not read the “revealed” side at this time.
The first time a location is entered by an investigator, that location is revealed by turning it to its other side and placing a number of clues on it equal to its clue value (this may occur during setup). Most clue values are conveyed as a per investigator () value.
A location with its shroud/clue value side faceup is in the “revealed” state.
Massive is a keyword ability. A ready enemy with the massive keyword is considered to be engaged with each investigator at the same location as it.
An exhausted enemy with the massive keyword is not considered to be engaged with any investigators.
An enemy with the massive keyword cannot be placed in an investigator’s threat area.
When an enemy with the massive keyword attacks during the enemy phase, resolve its (full) attack against each investigator it is engaged with, one investigator at a time. The lead investigator chooses the order in which these attacks resolve. The massive enemy does not exhaust until its final attack of the phase resolves.
When an enemy with the massive keyword makes an attack of opportunity, that attack only resolves against the investigator who provoked the attack.
A massive enemy does not move with an engaged investigator who moves away from the massive enemy’s location.
If an investigator fails a combat test against a massive enemy, no damage is dealt to the engaged investigators.
Some abilities cause values or quantities of characteristics to be modified. The game state constantly checks and (if necessary) updates the count of any variable value or quantity that is being modified.
Any time a new modifier is applied (or removed), the entire quantity is recalculated from the start, considering the unmodified base value and all active modifiers.
When calculating a value, treat all modifiers as being applied simultaneously. However, while performing the calculation, all additive and subtractive modifiers are calculated before doubling and/or halving modifiers.
Fractional values are rounded up after all modifiers have been applied.
A quantity on a card (such as a stat, an icon, a number of instances of a trait or keyword) cannot be reduced so that it functions with a value below zero. Negative modifiers in excess of a value’s current quantity can be applied, but, after all active modifiers have been applied, any resultant value below zero is treated as zero. (For example: Danny tests agility and reveals a –8 chaos token. When applied to his agility of 4, this would reduce his skill value to –4. However, his agility cannot be reduced so that it functions with a value below zero. While the –8 modifier still exists, his agility is treated as zero. If Danny were to play “Lucky!” to receive a +2 bonus to the test, this bonus would not be applied to the functioning skill value of zero; but rather, it is applied in conjunction with all active modifiers. Danny’s agility would then be calculated as follows: base skill 4, –8 from chaos token, +2 from “Lucky!” for a total of –2, which is still treated as zero.)
Any time an entity (an investigator or enemy) moves, transfer that enemy card or investigator’s mini card from its current location to a different location.
See also: Move Action
Unless otherwise specified by the move effect or ability, the moving entity must move to a connecting location. Connecting locations are identified on the location card representing the entity’s current location, as shown below.
Any time an entity moves, it is considered to leave the previous location, and to enter the new location, simultaneously.
If an entity is “moved to…” a specific location, the entity is moved directly to that location, and does not pass through other locations en route.
If an investigator moves to an unrevealed location, that location is revealed by turning it to its other side, and placing a number of clues on it equal to its clue value. Most clue values are conveyed as a “per investigator” () value.
If an enemy moves to an unrevealed location, that location remains unrevealed.
Game elements (tokens or cards) may also be moved by card abilities from one card to another, or from one game area to another game area.
When an entity or game element moves, it cannot move to its same (current) placement. If there is no valid destination for a move, the move cannot be attempted.
“Move” is an action an investigator may take during his or her turn in the investigation phase.
When an investigator takes this action, move that investigator (using his or her mini card) to any other location that is marked as a connecting location on his or her current location.
After a player draws a starting hand during setup, that player has a single opportunity to declare a mulligan on any number of the drawn cards he or she does not wish to keep in his or her starting hand. These cards are set aside, and an equivalent number of cards are drawn and added to the player’s starting hand. The set-aside cards are then shuffled back into the player’s deck.
Players take or forgo the opportunity to mulligan in player order.
An investigator may include up to three copies of a player card with the myriad keyword in their deck (by title), instead of the normal limit of two copies. Additionally, when you purchase a myriad card for your deck, you may purchase up to two additional copies of that card (at the same level) at no experience cost.
During the first round of the game, skip the mythos phase.
The Mythos phase is the first phase in the round sequence and is divided into five framework events:
This step formalizes the beginning of the mythos phase. As this is the first framework event of the round, it also formalizes the beginning of a new game round.
The beginning of a phase is an important game milestone that may be referenced in card text, either as a point at which an ability may or must resolve, or as a point at which a delayed effect resolves or a lasting effect expires.
Take 1 doom from the token pool, and place it on the current agenda card.
Compare the total number of doom in play (on the current agenda and on each other card in play) with the doom threshold of the current agenda. If the value of doom in play equals or exceeds the doom threshold of the current agenda, the agenda deck advances.
When the agenda deck advances, remove all doom from play, returning them to the token pool. Turn the current agenda over, read the story text, and follow any advancement instructions. Unless otherwise directed by the advancement instructions, the front side of the next sequential agenda card becomes the new current agenda, and the advancing agenda is simultaneously removed from the game.
Note: Unless a card otherwise specifies that it can advance the agenda, this is the only time at which the agenda can advance.
In player order, each investigator draws the top card of the encounter deck, resolves any revelation abilities on the card, and follows the instructions below based on the card’s type.
Each time an investigator draws an encounter card, perform the following steps, in order:
Draw the card from the encounter deck.
Check for the peril keyword on the drawn card. (If the card has the peril keyword, the investigator who drew the card cannot confer with the other players. Those other players cannot play cards, trigger abilities, or commit cards to that investigator’s skill test(s) while the peril encounter is resolving.)
Resolve the revelation ability on the drawn card.
If the card is an enemy, spawn it following any spawn instruction the card bears. (A spawn instruction is any text bearing a “spawn” precursor.) If the encountered enemy has no spawn instruction, the enemy spawns engaged with the investigator encountering the card and is placed in that investigator’s threat area.
If the card is a treachery, place the card in the encounter discard pile unless otherwise instructed by the ability.
If the drawn card has the surge keyword, the investigator must draw another card. Restart this process at step 1.
This step formalizes the end of the mythos phase.
The end of a phase is an important game milestone that may be referenced in card text, either as a point at which an ability may or must resolve, or as a point at which a delayed effect resolves or a lasting effect expires.
After this step is complete, play proceeds to the beginning of the Investigation phase.
Some card abilities reference the “nearest” entity. Nearest refers to the entity of the specified kind at a location that can be reached in the fewest number of connections, even if one or more of those connections are blocked by another card ability. The path to the nearest entity is the “shortest” path to that entity.
A card’s owner is the player whose deck (or game area) held the card at the start of the game.
A player controls the cards located in his or her out-of-play game areas (such as the hand, deck, discard pile).
The scenario controls the cards in its out-of-play game areas (such as the encounter, act, and agenda decks, and the encounter discard pile).
Cards by default enter play under their owner’s control. Some abilities may cause cards to change control during a game.
If a card would enter an out-of-play area that does not belong to the card’s owner, the card is physically placed in its owner’s equivalent out-of-play area instead. The card is considered to have entered its controller’s out-of-play area, and only the physical placement of the card is adjusted.
Some abilities are identified with a Parley action designator. Such abilities are initiated using the Activate action.
Some enemies have the patrol keyword. During the enemy phase, each ready, unengaged enemy with the patrol keyword moves to a connecting location along the shortest path toward the designated location (as described in parentheses next to the word patrol).
When the symbol appears after a value, that value is multiplied by the number of investigators who started the scenario.
Text that uses the phrase “per investigator” also counts the number of investigators who started the scenario, and is applied before all other modifiers.
If investigators have been eliminated from the scenario, they still count toward “per investigator” values.
Peril is a keyword ability.
While resolving the drawing of an encounter card with the peril keyword, an investigator cannot confer with the other players. Those players cannot play cards, trigger abilities, or commit cards to that investigator’s skill test(s) while the peril encounter is resolving.
Permanent is a deckbuilding keyword ability.
A card with the permanent keyword does not count towards your deck size.
A card with the permanent keyword still counts as being part of your deck and must therefore adhere to all other deckbuilding restrictions.
To play a card, an investigator must pay the card’s resource cost and meet any applicable play restrictions and conditions. Most cards can only be played by taking a play action.
A card with the fast keyword is not played during a play action. Such a card may be played any time its specified triggering condition is met or, if it has no triggering condition, during an appropriate player window.
Any time an event card is played, its effects are resolved and it is then placed in its owner’s discard pile.
Any time an asset is played, it is placed in the investigator’s play area and remains in play until an ability or game effect causes it to leave play. Most assets take up one or more slots while in play.
Skill cards are not be “played.” These cards are committed to a skill test from a player’s hand in order to use their abilities.
See also: Initiation Sequence, Play Restrictions, Permissions, and Instructions.
“Play” is an action an investigator may take during his or her turn in the investigation phase.
When an investigator takes this action, that investigator selects an asset or event card in his or her hand, pays its resource cost, and plays it.
Many cards and abilities contain specific instructions pertaining to when or how they may or may not be used, or to specific conditions that must be true in order to use them. In order to use such an ability or to play such a card, its play restrictions must be observed.
A permission allows a player to play a card or use an ability outside the timing specifications provided by the game rules.
A play instruction describes the timing point at which, and/or time period during which, an event card may be played.
Player windows are points within skill test timing and during the round sequence when players may use free triggered abilities ().
Given the opportunity, some enemies will pursue a defined investigator. These enemies are identified with the bold word “prey” in their text box, followed by instructions on whom they should engage.
If an enemy that is about to automatically engage an investigator at its location has multiple options of whom to engage, that enemy engages the investigator who best meets its “prey” instructions (if multiple investigators are tied in meeting these instructions, the lead investigator may decide among them).
If an enemy that is moving towards the nearest investigator has a choice between multiple equidistant investigators, that enemy must select among those investigators the one who best meets its “prey” instructions. (If multiple equidistant investigators meet the prey criteria, the lead investigator decides among those investigators. See Hunter.)
If an enemy’s prey instructions contain the word “only,” that enemy only moves towards and engages that investigator (as if it were the only investigator in play), and ignores all other investigators while moving and engaging. Other investigators may use the engage action or card abilities to engage the enemy.
Prey has no immediate effect on where an enemy will spawn.
The word “printed” refers to the text, characteristic, icon, or value that is physically printed on the card.
Some card abilities cause a card to be “put into play.” Such abilities place the card directly into play from an out-of-play state.
Unless otherwise stated by the put into play ability, cards that enter play in this manner must do so in a play area that satisfies the standard game rules associated with playing or drawing (for encounter cards) that card.
If card text includes a qualifier followed by multiple terms, the qualifier applies to each term in the list. (For example, in the phrase “each unique ally and item,” the word “unique” is a qualifier that applies both to “ally” and to “item.”)
A card that is in an upright state so that its controller can read its text from left to right is considered ready.
The default state in which cards enter play is ready.
When an exhausted card readies, it is returned to the upright state. It is then said to be in a ready state.
A ready card cannot ready again (it must first be exhausted, typically by a game step or card ability).
A card that has been removed from the game is placed away from the game area and has no further interaction with the game in any manner for the duration of its removal.
If there is no specified duration, a card that has been removed from the game is considered removed until the end of the game.
Some abilities are identified with a Resign action designator. Such abilities are initiated using the Activate action.
“Resource” is an action an investigator may take during his or her turn in the investigation phase.
When an investigator takes this action, that investigator gains one resource by taking it from the token pool and adding it to his or her resource pool.
Resources represent the various means of acquiring new cards at an investigator’s disposal – supplies, money, tools, knowledge, spell components, etc.
In order to play a card or use an ability that costs resources, an investigator must pay that card or ability’s resource cost by taking the specified number of resources from his or her resource pool and returning them to the token pool.
Resources can be gained by performing the Resource action.
Investigators acquire one resource during each Upkeep phase (see “4.4 Each investigator draws 1 card and gains 1 resource”).
See also: Tokens, Running out of.
Retaliate is a keyword ability.
Each time an investigator fails a skill test while attacking a ready enemy with the retaliate keyword, after applying all results for that skill test, that enemy performs an attack against the attacking investigator. An enemy does not exhaust after performing a retaliate attack.
This attack occurs whether the enemy is engaged with the attacking investigator or not.
A revelation ability may appear on encounter cards or on weakness cards.
When an investigator draws an encounter card, that investigator must resolve all “Revelation –” abilities on the card. This occurs before the card enters play, or in the case of a treachery card, before it is placed in the discard pile.
When a weakness card enters an investigator’s hand, that investigator must immediately resolve all revelation abilities on the card as if it were just drawn.
Sanity represents a card’s mental and emotional fortitude. Horror tracks the harm that has been done to a card’s psyche by exposure to the Mythos.
When a card takes horror, place a number of horror tokens equal to the amount of horror just taken on the card.
A card’s “remaining sanity” is its base sanity minus the amount of horror on that card, plus or minus any active sanity modifiers.
An asset card without a sanity value is not considered to have a sanity of 0, cannot gain sanity, and cannot have horror assigned to it.
See also: Direct Damage, Direct Horror.
As an additional cost for a card with the seal keyword to enter play, its controller must search the chaos bag for the specified chaos token and place it on top of the card, thereby sealing it. If there is a choice of which token to seal, the card’s controller chooses. If the specified token is not in the chaos bag, the card cannot enter play.
A sealed chaos token is not considered to be in the chaos bag, and therefore cannot be revealed from the chaos bag as part of a skill test or ability.
When a chaos token is “released,” it is returned to the chaos bag and is no longer considered sealed. If a card with one or more chaos tokens sealed on it leaves play for any reason, any chaos tokens sealed on it are immediately released.
Some cards (with or without the seal keyword) may also have abilities that seal one or more chaos tokens as part of their effect. This is done following the same process as above: searching the chaos bag for the specified token, removing it from the chaos bag, and placing it on the card. If the specified token is not in the chaos bag, the effect fails.
Some scenarios instruct the players to set aside specific cards. Set-aside cards have no interaction with the game until they are referenced by instructions within the scenario or by a card ability.
When a player is instructed to search for a card, that player is permitted to look at all of the cards in the searched area without revealing those cards to the other players.
If an effect searches an entire deck, the deck must be shuffled upon completion of the search.
When resolving a search effect, a player is obligated to find the object of the search should one or more eligible options be found within the searched area.
While cards are in the process of being searched, they are not considered to have left their game area of origin.
When a card’s ability text refers to its own title, it is referring to itself only, and not to other copies (by title) of the card.
Self-referential abilities using the word “this” (e.g. “this card”) refer only to the card on which the ability is located, and not to copies of that card.
If an effect affects multiple players simultaneously, but the players must individually make choices to resolve the effect, these choices are made in player order. Once all necessary choices have been made, the effect resolves simultaneously upon all affected entities.
If two or more forced abilities (including delayed effects) would resolve at the same time, the lead investigator determines the order in which the abilities resolve.
If two or more constant abilities and/or lasting effects cannot be applied simultaneously, the lead investigator determines the order in which they are applied.
Skill cards represent innate or learned attributes or character traits that improve an investigator’s skill tests.
Skill cards are not played from a player’s hand. In order to resolve their abilities, skill cards must be committed to a skill test. If a skill card is committed to a skill test, its ability may be used during the resolution of that skill test, as specified on the card.
A number of situations in the game require an investigator to make a skill test, using one of his or her four skills: willpower (), intellect (), combat (), or agility (). A skill test pits the investigator’s value in a specified skill against a difficulty value that is determined by the ability or game step that initiated the test. The investigator is attempting to match or exceed this difficulty value in order to succeed at the test.
A skill test is often referred to as a test of the specified skill. (For example: “agility test,” “combat test,” “willpower test,” or “intellect test.”)
See Skill Test Timing.
Each investigator has a number of specific slots that can be filled at any given moment. Each asset in an investigator’s play area or threat area with a slot symbol is held in a slot of that type. Slots limit the number of asset cards the investigator is permitted to have in play simultaneously.
The slots normally available to an investigator are:
1 accessory slot
1 body slot
1 ally slot
2 hand slots
2 arcane slots
If an asset has no slot symbols on it, it does not take up any of the above slots. There is no limit to the number of slot-less assets an investigator can have in play. The following symbols (on an asset) indicate which slot(s) that asset fills:
If playing or gaining control of an asset would put an investigator above his or her slot limit for that type of asset, the investigator must choose and discard other assets under his or her control simultaneously with the new asset entering the slot.
Some enemies, when drawn from the encounter deck, spawn in a particular location, indicated by a bold “spawn” instruction in the text box.
An enemy’s spawn instruction resolves as the enemy enters play, regardless of how it entered play.
If an enemy has no spawn instruction, it spawns engaged with the investigator who drew it.
If an enemy has no legal location to spawn at (for example, if its spawn instruction directs it to a specific location that is not in play, or if no location in play satisfies its “spawn” instruction), it does not spawn, and is discarded instead.
If an enemy’s spawn instruction has multiple valid locations, the investigator spawning that enemy decides among those locations.
If a card ability instructs the players to spawn an enemy in a particular location (for example: “Search the encounter deck for an Acolyte and spawn it in Southside”), treat the ability causing the card to enter play as the enemy’s spawn instruction, overriding any other spawn instruction.
When playing a standalone game (i.e., playing a single scenario as a one-off adventure, removed from its campaign), the following rules apply:
When building a deck for a standalone game, an investigator may use higher level cards in his or her deck (so long as they observe the deckbuilding restrictions of the investigator) by counting the total experience of all the higher level cards used in the deck, and taking additional random basic weaknesses based on the following table:
A player cannot include 50 or more experience worth of cards in a standalone deck.
After choosing a scenario to play, refer to the Campaign Guide for the campaign that scenario is a part of, starting at the setup for that campaign, and continuing on to the first scenario for that campaign. Read through that scenario’s introduction, then skip directly to that scenario’s resolution and choose a resolution that is amenable to you. You may choose any resolution you wish. (For an added challenge, choose resolutions that put the investigators in an unfavorable state). If the players are unsure which resolution to choose, or are indifferent, choose Resolution 1. Record the results of the chosen resolution in a Campaign Log as if you were playing through in campaign mode, except do not count experience points.
Repeat this process for each scenario up to the scenario you wish to play. Then, setup and play that scenario as normal.
If a story decision would occur during gameplay, choose the outcome and record it in your campaign log.
Do not apply trauma for having been defeated during gameplay, but if trauma is inflicted during a scenario resolution, apply it.
If a scenario weakness or asset is earned that is in an expansion you do not own, simply continue without that card.
Story cards serve as an avenue for additional narrative and typically appear as the reverse side of another scenario card. When you are instructed to resolve a story card, simply read its story text and resolve its game text.
At certain points throughout a campaign, investigators may be given the opportunity to choose supplies to bring on their expeditions. These supplies are recorded in the Campaign Log, under each investigator’s “Supplies” section.
Supplies are purchased with supply points, which are granted to investigators whenever they are given the opportunity to purchase supplies. Leftover supply points are not recorded, and are lost.
An investigator’s supplies will determine the possible options available during gameplay and throughout the story of a campaign. Each supply has no effect on its own. Some card effects, story options, and resolutions may change or become available depending on the supplies carried by the investigator(s).
Surge is a keyword ability.
After drawing and resolving an encounter with the surge keyword, an investigator must draw another card from the encounter deck.
If a card with the surge keyword is drawn during setup, the surge keyword does resolve.
An enemy with the swarming X keyword is actually a pack of enemies operating in unison. After you put an enemy with the swarming X keyword into play, place the top X cards of your deck facedown underneath the enemy as swarm cards, without looking at them. The enemy they are underneath is called the “host enemy.” Some scenario card effects may also instruct a player to add swarm cards to an enemy. This is done using the same process.
If it is ever unclear which investigator should add swarm cards, the lead investigator does so.
Each swarm card underneath the host enemy acts as a separate instance of that enemy for most purposes. Each swarm card has the same values and text as its host card. (For example, if an investigator is engaged with a host enemy with 2 swarm cards underneath it, that investigator is engaged with 3 enemies in total.)
Each swarm card can be attacked or dealt damage separately, but the host enemy cannot be defeated while it still has swarm cards underneath it. When a swarm card is defeated, any excess damage may be dealt to another swarm card underneath the same host enemy or to the host enemy itself. (For example, Tony Morgan uses a .41 Derringer to attack a Stealthy Zoog with 2 swarm cards. The attack deals 2 damage. The first point of damage defeats 1 of the 2 swarm cards, so the excess point of damage may be dealt to another swarm card, defeating it as well.)
“Take X damage” is shorthand for “deal X damage to your investigator.” “Take X horror” is shorthand for “deal X horror to your investigator.”
See Dealing Damage/Horror.
The term “choose” indicates that one or more targets must be chosen in order for an ability to resolve. The player resolving the ability must choose a game element (usually a card) that meets the targeting requirements of the ability.
If an ability requires the choosing of a target, and there is no valid target (or not enough valid targets), the ability cannot be initiated.
If multiple targets are required to be chosen by the same player, they are chosen simultaneously.
An effect that can choose “any number” of targets does not successfully resolve (and cannot change the game state) if zero of those targets are chosen.
A card is not an eligible target for an ability if the resolution of that ability’s effect could not change the target’s state. (For example, an exhausted enemy could not be chosen as the target of an effect that reads, “choose and exhaust an enemy.”)
An investigator’s threat area is a play area in which encounter cards currently engaged with and/or affecting an investigator are placed.
The cards in an investigator’s threat area are at the same location as the investigator.
There is no limit to the number of tokens (of any type) which can be in the game area at a given time. If players run out of the provided tokens, other tokens, counters, or coins may be used to track the current game state.
Most cards have one or more traits listed at the top of the text box and printed in bold italics.
Traits have no inherent effect on the game. Instead, some card abilities reference cards that possess specific traits.
Treachery cards represent curses, afflictions, madnesses, obstacles, disasters, or other unexpected occurrences an investigator may encounter throughout the course of a scenario.
When a treachery card is drawn by an investigator, that investigator must resolve its effects. Then, place the card in its discard pile unless otherwise instructed by the ability.
See “1.4 Each investigator draws 1 encounter card” in the Mythos phase.
A triggered ability is an ability that is optionally triggered by a player. A triggered ability can be identified by one of the following icons.
The icon indicates an action-costed triggered ability.
The icon indicates a free triggered ability that does not cost an action and may be used during any player window.
The indicates a reaction triggered ability that does not cost an action and may be used any time its triggering condition is met.
See also: Initiation Sequence.
A triggering condition indicates the timing point at which an ability may be triggered. Most triggering conditions use the word “when” or “after” to establish their relation to the specified timing point.
Each eligible ability that triggers in reference to a specified timing point may be used once each time that timing point occurs.
If multiple instances of the same ability are eligible to initiate, each instance may be used once.
A card with the symbol before its card title is a unique card. There can be no more than one instance of each unique card, by title, in play at any given time.
The Upkeep phase is the fourth and final phase in the round sequence and is divided into six framework events:
This step formalizes the beginning of the upkeep phase.
Flip each investigator’s mini card back to its colored side. This indicates that the investigator’s actions have been reset for his or her next turn.
Simultaneously ready each exhausted card.
In player order, each investigator draws 1 card. Once those cards have been drawn, each investigator gains 1 resource.
In player order, each investigator with more than 8 cards in hand chooses and discards cards from his or her hand until he or she has 8 cards remaining in hand.
This step formalizes the end of the upkeep phase.
As the upkeep phase is the final phase in the round, this step also formalizes the end of the round. Any active “until the end of the round” lasting effects expire at this time.
After this step is complete, play proceeds to the beginning of the Mythos phase of the next game round.
Uses is a keyword ability.
When a card bearing this keyword enters play, place a number of resource tokens equal to the value (X), from the token pool, on the card. The word following the value establishes and identifies the type of uses this card bears. The resource tokens placed on the card are considered uses of the established type, and are not considered resource tokens.
Each card bearing this keyword also has an ability which references the type of use established by the keyword as a part of its cost. When such an ability spends a use, a token of that type must be removed from the card bearing the ability.
Other cards may reference and interact with uses of a specified type, usually by adding uses of that type to a card, or using uses of that type for other purposes.
A card cannot bear uses of a type other than that established by its own “Uses (X type)” keyword. (For example, a card with “Uses (4 ammo)” cannot gain charges.)
Some encounter cards are worth vengeance points. The text Vengeance X indicates that a card is worth X vengeance points.
Like Victory X, when an encounter card with Vengeance X is overcome by the investigators, it is stored in the victory display until the end of the scenario. However, unlike victory points, vengeance represents the awareness and animosity of the Mythos, and it is generally a good idea to avoid accruing vengeance points whenever possible.
Vengeance points in the victory display have no impact upon the game unless specifically referenced by another encounter card.
As an enemy with Vengeance X is defeated, place the card in the victory display instead of in the discard pile.
At the end of a scenario, take each location with Vengeance X that is in play, revealed, and has no clues on it, and place it in the victory display.
As a treachery card with Vengeance X completes its resolution, place it in the victory display instead of in the discard pile.
Cards worth vengeance points are not also worth victory points unless the card has both Victory X and Vengeance X.
Some encounter cards are worth victory points. The text Victory X indicates that a card is worth X victory points.
An encounter card worth victory points that is overcome by the investigators is stored in the victory display until the end of the scenario. The victory display is an out-of-play game area shared by all players. Upon completion of the scenario, the cards in the victory display provide experience, which can be used to upgrade an investigator’s deck (see Campaign Play).
As a victory point enemy is defeated, place the card in the victory display instead of in the discard pile.
As a victory point treachery card completes its resolution, place it in the victory display instead of in the discard pile.
Weakness is a card sub-type. These cards represent character flaws, curses, madnesses, injuries, tasks, enemies, or story elements that are part of an investigator’s backstory, or that are acquired over the course of a campaign. Weakness cards are resolved differently depending upon their cardtype.
When an investigator draws a weakness with a player cardtype (for example, an asset, an event, or a skill weakness), resolve any Revelation effects on the card, and add it to that investigator’s hand. The card may then be used as any other player card of its type.
If a weakness enters an investigator’s hand in a manner that did not involve drawing the card, that investigator must resolve the card (including any Revelation abilities) as if he or she had just drawn it.
The bearer of a weakness is the investigator who started the game with the weakness in his or her deck or play area.
If a weakness is added to a player’s deck, hand, or threat area during the play of a scenario, that weakness remains a part of that investigator’s deck for the rest of the campaign. (Unless it is removed from the campaign by a card ability or scenario resolution.)
A player may not optionally choose to discard a weakness card from hand, unless a card explicitly specifies otherwise.
Weaknesses with an encounter cardtype are, like other encounter cards, not controlled by any player. Weaknesses with a player cardtype are controlled by their bearer.
Some card and game text references a “basic weakness." A basic weakness can be identified by the presence of the words “Basic Weakness” and the basic weakness symbol (see figure).
Each scenario has a number of different possible endings.
The act deck represents the progress of the investigators through a scenario. Some instructions in the act deck (as well as on other encounter cardtypes) contain resolution points, in the format of: “(→R#).” The players’ primary objective is to advance through the act deck until a (hopefully favorable) resolution point is reached. Should the act deck invoke a resolution, the players have completed the scenario (they may even have “won!”). Instructions for resolving the designated resolution are found in the “do not read until end of game” section of the campaign manual.
The agenda deck represents the objectives and progress of the malicious forces pitted against the investigators in the scenario. Some instructions in the agenda deck (as well as on other encounter cardtypes) also contain resolution points, in the format of: “(→R#).” Should the agenda deck invoke a (usually darker) resolution, the players have lost the scenario. Instructions for resolving the designated resolution are found in the “do not read until end of game” section of the campaign guide.
Should the scenario end with no resolution being reached (for example, if all investigators have been eliminated or have resigned), instructions for resolving the scenario can be found in the “do not read until end of game” section of the campaign guide.
If playing in a campaign, players will proceed to the next scenario in the campaign regardless of the outcome of the scenario. Even if players “lose” a scenario, they still continue their campaign (although with some negative consequences from their failure).
When playing a standalone scenario, players either win or lose the scenario. They win if they complete a resolution on an act card. Any other resolution is considered a loss.
The value of the letter X is defined by a card ability or a granted player choice. If X is not defined, its value is equal to 0.
For costs involving the letter X, the value of X is defined by card ability or player choice, after which the amount paid may be modified by effects without altering the value of X.
These are corrections to player cards and investigator deck weaknesses. See also: Scenario Errata.
This card has no level (instead of being level 0).
This card’s Forced ability should read: “Forced – After you play an event or discard an event from play:…”
These are corrections to errors in scenario cards and rules. See also: Player Errata.
The third bullet point should read:
“Put 5 Witch-Haunted Woods locations into play as follows:
In player order, each investigator puts 1 random Witch-Haunted Woods location into play in front of him or her, until there are exactly 5 Witch-Haunted Woods locations in play (see “Lost and Separated,” below). For example: In a 1-player game, there should be 5 Witch-Haunted Woods in front of that investigator. In a 2-player game, there should be 3 Witch-Haunted Woods in front of the lead investigator and 2 Witch-Haunted Woods in front of the other investigator. In a 3-player game, there should be 2 Witch-Haunted Woods in front of the lead investigator, 2 Witch-Haunted Woods in front of the next investigator, and 1 Witch-Haunted Woods in front of the final investigator. In a 4-player game, there should be 2 Witch-Haunted Woods in front of the lead investigator, and 1 Witch-Haunted Woods in front of each other investigator.”
The first line should read:
“If no resolution was reached and at least one investigator resigned: Proceed to Resolution 1.”
The two instructions on this card should be reversed, as follows:
“Remove all clues from each location in play. The arcane presence masking the path further up the hill has faded. Reveal Ascending Path.”
The effect of this sidebar should read:
“Each investigator begins this scenario with 2 fewer cards in his or her opening hand.”
After the game text in this intro, add the following text:
“In your Campaign Log, cross off the investigators found the missing relic and record the relic is missing.”
The effect of this sidebar should read:
“Depending on your difficulty mode, add the following chaos token to the chaos bag for the remainder of the campaign: Easy: −3, Standard: −4, Hard: −5, Expert: −7”
The first part of this interlude should read:
“If an investigator resigned with the asset version of Daniel Chesterfield under his or her control, proceed to Daniel Survived.
If the enemy version of Daniel Chesterfield was in play when the scenario ended, proceed to Daniel Was Possessed.
If neither of the above are true, proceed to Daniel Did Not Survive.”
Add the following bullet point to the resolution of this scenario:
If the Harbinger of Valusia entered play during this scenario:
If it is in the victory display, cross out “the Harbinger is still alive” in your Campaign Log.
If it is still in play or is set aside, next to “the Harbinger is still alive” in your Campaign Log, record in parentheses how much damage is on the Harbinger of Valusia, replacing the number that was previously in parentheses.
This section provides answers to a number of common questions that are asked about the game. The entries are presented in a question and answer format, with the newest questions at the end of the list.
Yes. You can investigate a location even if there are no clues on it. However, you won’t be able to discover any clues there, because there are no clues on the location to discover. Investigating a location with no clues might still be useful to trigger card abilities such as Burglary ( 45) or Scavenging ( 73).
No. Generally speaking, cards (such as investigators, assets under your control, enemies in your threat area, etc) are “at” a location. Clues are only “at” a location if they are physically on that location (“Clues,” Rules Reference, page 7).
No. Both terms have the same meaning and are used interchangeably.
No. Abilities with a bold action designator (like Fight, Evade or Investigate) count as an action of that type. In this case, since Backstab counts as a Fight action, no attacks of opportunity are made, because Fight actions do not provoke attacks of opportunity. The same goes for Fight abilities on assets, like .45 Automatic ( 16).
Paying the cost of the ability is enough to initiate the action designated. There is no need to spend an additional action.
No. Each ability is a separate action that must be resolved in full before you have the opportunity to take another action.
Yes. Unless the ability has a printed limitation on it, you may use it as often as you like, provided you are able to pay the ability’s cost each time.
Any clues or cards at an unrevealed location remain where they are when the location is revealed. This includes clues physically placed on the location, enemies or assets at that location, and cards attached to that location. Clues that are placed on the newly revealed location from its clue value are simply added to the clues that were already on that location when it was revealed.
No. “Heal X damage/horror” is shorthand for “Heal X damage/horror from your investigator.” If a card simply reads “Heal X horror” or “Heal X damage,” you can only use it to heal horror or damage from your investigator. Cards that allow you to heal other investigators or assets will specify that.
Generally speaking, the player who committed the skill card gets the effects of any ability on that skill card. In your example, you would draw the 1 card, not the investigator performing the skill test. However, if a skill card changes or adds to the results of the skill test itself, the investigator performing the test receives the benefit of that ability. For example, if you committed Deduction ( 39) to another investigator’s skill test, that investigator would be discovering the additional clue, not you, because you are altering the effects of his or her skill test.
Yes. When you perform a standard evade action, you may only attempt to evade enemies engaged with you. However, card effects (such as Stray Cat or Cunning Distraction ( 78) may alter or supplant this limitation.
You would take 1 horror immediately as you reveal the symbol, during “ST.3 Reveal chaos token” (“Skill Test Timing,” Rules Reference, page 26). If you had any reactions to taking that horror (such as Agnes Baker’s ability), you would trigger it then, before resolving the rest of the attack.
No. No matter what, if you automatically fail a test, you have failed the test, regardless of how your skill value and the difficulty compare.
Anytime players are instructed to search for a random basic weakness—be it during deck construction, during a scenario’s setup or resolution, or during a scenario itself—players should use the same pool of weaknesses, which is constructed using all of the basic weaknesses from only 1 copy of each product they own. If each investigator has their own collection of cards, they should each use their own pool of weaknesses constructed in the same manner, so as to avoid players’ cards getting mixed together accidentally.
For example: Damon and Kelsy have each constructed decks using Damon’s collection, which consists of 2 copies of the Core Set. During deck construction, they each included 1 random basic weakness from a pool of weaknesses consisting of only the 10 weaknesses in a single copy of the Core Set. This leaves a pool of 8 weaknesses remaining. If they are later instructed to each search the collection for a random basic weakness, these weaknesses would be taken from that remaining pool of 8 weaknesses.
The effects of a successful skill test are applied during step 7, and Double or Nothing causes each of these affects to be resolved twice. Dr. Milan Christopher’s ability is a reaction to succeeding at a skill test, and therefore is triggered and resolved during step 6, after success is determined. During step 7, the game result of the investigation (discovering 1 clue), and the “if this test is successful” result of Perception are both resolved twice due to Double or Nothing’s effect.
Terror from Beyond can cause weaknesses to be discarded, even if you are the one making the choice. Terror from Beyond instructs an investigator to choose a card type, and then all investigators are obligated to discard all cards of the chosen card type. In this case, you aren’t optionally choosing to discard 1 or more cards; you are selecting a category of cards to be discarded, and the discard is mandatory.
You cannot. When you flip to the b-side of an act or agenda and it is an encounter cardtype (typically a treachery, enemy or location), you should follow the rules for drawing that encounter card solely for the purposes of figuring out how that card enters play and for resolving any appropriate revelation effects. You should not be able to trigger effects based on having “drawn” that card, as it was not actually drawn, and it is not clear who is doing the drawing in such an event.
Yes. If during the resolution of an ability, your turn ends (“immediately” or otherwise), you will still resolve the remainder of that ability. The rest of that ability is not canceled. Note, however, that any “until the end of your turn” effects would still expire at this time, since your turn has ended, but you’ll still continue to play out the remainder of Duke’s ability.
A “skill test on a card” is any ability that directly prompts a skill test, either through the template “test skill (X),” or by initiating an action that is, in itself, a skill test (for example, any card with Fight, Evade, or Investigate action designators).
Yes, but only if there are no other eligible locations with a vaild path to your location. If there are other locations with a valid path to your location, the nearest or farthest of those must qualify as the “nearest” or “farthest” to your location.
Even if it has no valid path to an investigator, an enemy can still qualify as the “nearest” enemy if there are no other enemies in play that are nearer. That said, an effect that require an enemy to track a path to an investigator (such as Dance of the Yellow King) would not cause an enemy to move if there is no valid path.
To the extent that cards can be returned to the same state they were in before, they should be. For example, if you used Scrying ( 61) to reorder the top 3 cards of the encounter deck, and then an investigator played Time Warp, you should go back and reorder those 3 cards to their original order. Likewise, if you drew 1 card and then played Time Warp, the card you drew should be returned to the top of your deck. If you are unable to return the game state to exactly the way it was before the action was performed, the effect fails.
However, if a deck was searched and/or shuffled, there’s no way of knowing the exact order of the cards as they were beforehand, so keeping the deck shuffled is fine. You still don’t know the order of the cards in the deck, so the game state is effectively the same. For example, let’s say you used No Stone Unturned ( 26) to search your deck for a card, draw it, and shuffle your deck. In this case, if an investigator played Time Warp, it is fine to simply shuffle the card you searched for back into your deck. As far as the game state is concerned, your deck is in the same state it was before No Stone Unturned was played.
If a skill test both automatically succeeds and automatically fails, the automatic failure takes precedence, and the test automatically fails.
Not unless an effect explicitly allows you to do so. Generally cards are only removed from your deck if you purchase a new card and must swap out an existing card in order to reach your investigator’s deck size. However, since Permanent cards do not count towards your deck size, they cannot be swapped out in this way. There is no rule which allows you to remove cards from your deck at will.
By default, an “engaged enemy” is an enemy currently engaged with you. If a card allows you to interact with any enemy engaged with an investigator, it will specify that.
Only once. The word “additional” in the second healing effect denotes that the two points of healing should be lumped together into one healing effect, not treated as two separate instances of 1 healing each.
Yes, you can. When you use multiple effects that replace “revealing a chaos token” with something, else, you must first declare your intention so you are reacting to what you draw from the bag, because each of these effects are meant to be triggered before you draw tokens from the bag.
If you declare you’re going to trigger Olive’s ability first, you should then declare which of the 3 tokens you’re about to reveal from Olive’s ability will be turned into 2 tokens from the statue (For example, “I’m going to reveal 3 tokens using Olive, and for the first token, I’m going to reveal 2 instead of 1 using my statue). Then you’ll ignore one of the 2 statue tokens, and be left with 3 total tokens, which you’ll then ignore 1 of. (All of these tokens are considered to be revealed simultaneously, so you are not allowed to reveal the first 2 tokens with Olive, and then decide whether or not to use the statue).
If you instead trigger the statue’s ability first, you would do the same thing, declaring your intent. (For example, “I’m going to reveal 2 tokens using my statue, but for the second token, I’m going to use Olive’s ability to reveal 3 instead of 1”.) Then you would choose between resolving the first token or the 3 Olive tokens. (Here this may seem a little strange, because Grotesque Statue says “Choose 1 of those tokens to resolve, and ignore the other,” which implies that you only get to resolve 1 token and ignore 1 token, but for the purposes of resolving these types of effects, the 3 tokens revealed from Olive’s ability should be treated as 1 revealed token.) If you decide to resolve the 3 Olive tokens you would then choose 2 to resolve and resolve the other, as usual.
Dark Pact is returned to your collection, but should not be returned to the pool of available weaknesses when it is swapped out — this ensures that you can always swap between Dark Pact and The Price of Failure without it being unavailable later. Same goes for Doomed ( 40) if it is swapped out.
Yes. Ursula’s reaction allows you to take any investigate action, including those performed via the activate action or via the play action.
Yes. If an ability allows you to “take an action,” it is as though you are gaining an action and immediately spending it to perform that action. This is different from reaction or free triggered abilities that simply perform the effects of an action directly, such as the reaction on Survival Knife ( 17).
No. Both of these cards are played after you or another investigator draw a non-peril encounter card, but before resolving that card’s effects. Weaknesses with an encounter cardtype (such as enemies or treacheries) are considered to be encounter cards while they are being resolved and once they have entered play, but are not considered to be encounter cards yet at the time that these cards are played. Therefore, at the time these cards would be played, they are still player cards and are not legal targets.
No. Enemies only exhaust after attacking if they perform an attack during step 3.3 of the enemy phase. Unless otherwise noted, all other enemy attacks do not cause that enemy to exhaust.
In general, “your cards” are the cards you currently control. If you own a card but do not control it, it is not “yours” for the purposes of abilities.
Yes. The “before enemies engage you” part of the ability is just referring to the timing point at which enemies would engage you; it is not specifying that there must be an enemy there in order to trigger the ability.
Anytime you draw one or more cards, the card draw occurs simultaneously unless the effect uses the phrase “one at a time.” Then, once all of the cards have been drawn, you must resolve all Revelation abilities on those cards (in an order of your choosing).
No. Hidden cards cannot be discarded from hand by any means except for those described on the card.
Zero is an even number, so cards with 0 cost have an even cost.
Skill cards and cards with a “–” cost do not have a cost at all, so their cost is neither even nor odd.
Yes. Each swarm card counts as a separate copy of its host card and can have its own tokens on it.
Search effects typically instruct you to resolve an effect using the card(s) targeted by the search. For example, if you used an effect to “search the top 3 cards of your deck for a card and draw it,” drawing the searched-for card would be resolving the target of the search. If you used Mandy’s reaction here, you could either search the top 6 cards of your deck for a card and draw it, or search the top 3 cards of your deck for 2 cards and draw them both. (You must decide which before initiating the search.)
No. Cards with a cost of “–” have no cost that can be paid, and therefore cannot be played. For example, if Pendant of the Queen ( 22) is discarded from play and then shuffled back into your deck and drawn, you would be unable to play it from hand. (Cards that put it directly into play bypassing its cost would be able to put it into play, however.)
Cards with a cost of “–” that are played as a copy of a different card, such as Eidetic Memory ( 306), use the resource cost of the copied card, and therefore bypass this restriction.
No. and tokens revealed outside of a skill test have no modifier or value.
You perform as much of the ability as you can, adding or tokens until there are none left to add.
If the cost cannot be paid, the card/ability therefore cannot be played/triggered.
It still enters that play area—it only remains beneath Amanda if it would otherwise be discarded (such as at the end of the skill test).
In general, unless otherwise specified, players can “return” such a card from any play area, so long as it is in an area that allows the card to be found and identified. For example, if Cheap Shot is in the discard pile or attached to another card (such as a Crystallizer of Dreams ( 24) and you are able to find it, you may return it to your hand from that area. However, if it is in a place where its position is impossible to determine (such as shuffled into your deck) or facedown in a place where you are not allowed to look at its other side (for example, as a swarm card), you would be unable to return it to your hand, and therefore that aspect of the effect would fail.
Additionally, if Cheap Shot is removed from the game, unless specifically stated otherwise, no game effects can interact with it in any way until the end of the game.
No, and tokens do not carry over from scenario to scenario.
The bonus icon granted by Grisly Totem does not specify a duration, so this effect should remain until the committed card leaves play. The real question is: when does the committed card enter or leave play?
Generally speaking, cards placed beneath other cards (such as the card beneath Amanda Sharpe) are out of play. Cards committed to tests never really “enter play,” but while they are committed to a test, their icons are added to the investigator’s relevant skill and their text is active. So, while the card beneath Amanda is committed to a test, its icons and text should be alterable by game effects (as if you had committed it from your hand), just like any other in-play card. But as soon as that test ends, it returns to its out-of-play state, and any lasting effects would drop.
TL;DR: The bonus icon granted by Grisly Totem would only apply for the test during which Grisly Totem is used, after which the card returns to its out-of-play state, and the bonus icon would drop.
Although swarming enemies move and engage together as a single entity, each swarm card is its own separate enemy. If a swarming enemy engages Zoey, each of its swarm cards are also enemies that have engaged Zoey. Therefore, she may trigger her ability once for each of them.
Unless an effect states otherwise, investigators are allowed to look at the other sides of facedown cards beneath or attached to cards they control, such as Ancestral Knowledge, Backpack ( 37), and Diana Stanley ( 4). If you are given the ability to draw, play, or interact with one of those cards, you may look at them to know which one you wish to draw or play.
This is not true for facedown cards that are attached to encounter cards or placed facedown via a scenario effect, such as swarm cards, empty space, or tomes beneath locations in the challenge scenario Read or Die. In these instances, players cannot look at the other side of those cards unless instructed otherwise.
The following questions contain light spoilers for “Blood on the Altar.”
The “pile of potential sacrifices” (and cards underneath the agenda deck) should be considered to be in play for the purposes of game rules, but these cards are under no player’s control. (Since the cards are facedown, you should try to remember which unique allies were kidnapped and added to the pile of potential sacrifices without having to look at it.) Additionally, the cards in the pile of potential sacrifices and underneath the agenda deck cannot be affected by player card effects or investigator actions.
Thus, if a unique asset is Kidnapped! ( 220), an investigator cannot play another copy of that asset. Additionally, if a player resigns or is defeated, any cards he or she owns that are in the pile of potential sacrifices or facedown underneath the agenda deck will remain as such.
If a required card (such as Duke) is permanently removed from your deck, it also removes the requirement of including that card. If for whatever reason Duke cannot be included in “Ashcan” Pete’s deck, that requirement is considered to be removed, and Pete may continue without Duke.
Of course, since this is a significant handicap, you may also choose to optionally retire Pete and continue using a new investigator at 0 experience.
The following questions contain light spoilers for “The Unspeakable Oath.”
Yes, it is correct, and no, there is no way to trigger it (in this reality).
The following questions contain light spoilers for scenarios in The Forgotten Age campaign.
In such a case, the exploration simply ends. It is neither successful nor unsuccessful. All locations drawn during the exploration should be shuffled back into the exploration deck, and the investigator’s action ends.
Yes to both. If the previous resolution or interlude affects “the next scenario,” or if the scenario introduction affects “this scenario,” it should be construed to mean any playthrough of that scenario, including multiple playthroughs if the players are forced to replay it.
No; these effects refer only to the next scenario in the natural order of the campaign (for example, Scenario II: “The Doom of Eztli” after playing Scenario I: “The Untamed Wilds”). Additionally, for the purposes of these effects, Scenarios V–A and V–B are two separate scenarios.
Charon’s Obol’s effects occur “When earning experience during the resolution of a scenario…” Therefore, Charon’s Obol will not trigger when you are instructed to replay a scenario, because such resolutions state that “No experience points are earned from your previous game.”
However, in between Scenarios V–A and V–B, experience is earned, so Charon’s Obol will indeed trigger, even though players are not allowed to spend those experience points until after they have played Scenario V–B.
The following questions contain light spoilers for “The Wages of Sin.”
When such a location flips from one side to its other side, the location does not leave play. Therefore, all tokens that were on that location remain on its new side, all attachments remain attached, and all enemies, investigators and assets that were at that location remain as well.
No. Only Heretics with the Heretic side faceup count. (However, note that Unfinished Business cards in an investigator’s threat area will not count their victory points, either, as normal.)
The following questions contain light spoilers for “Before the Black Throne.”
Yes. Empty space serves as a method to judge the distance from one location to another, and as a place for certain enemies to spawn or move through; it is not required that there be an empty space in the spot where the location is placed or moves to.
These are important terms that serve a precise function in the game. The terms are presented in alphabetical order.
These are additions and clarifications to the core game rules. Each entry is presented with a unique number so it can be easily identified when making rulings, answering questions, or otherwise referring to the entry.
They should be used in conjunction with the Rules Reference to establish the rules of play. If the text in these rulings directly contradicts the text of the Rules Reference, the text of these rulings takes precedence.
The List of Taboos is a list of Arkham Horror: The Card Game cards with optional deckbuilding restrictions or text changes. This list is designed to craft a healthy balance between investigator power and scenario difficulty, and to enforce shifts in deckbuilding environments over time.
Adhering to The List of Taboos is completely optional. Investigators are not forced to adhere to the restrictions on this list, but if an investigator chooses to do so, they must do so in full (an investigator cannot pick and choose which restrictions to use).
Cards from this list have their experience cost increased or decreased by the amount listed below. Each card’s level remains the same—only the experience spent to purchase the card is altered. This experience adjustment should also be taken into account when upgrading to or from a card that is on this list.
Cards from this list have additional or altered text, as described below.
Cards from this list cannot be included in your deck.
This site is an unofficial rules reference for Arkham Horror: The Card Game published by Fantasy Flight Games and inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos stories by H.P. Lovecraft and others.
This site is great for finding a specific rule quickly. It is intended to supplement the rulebook, not replace it.
The best ways to learn the game are to use the Learn to Play guide included in the box, watch a how-to-play video, or have someone teach you. This site is also a great teacher’s aid for any of those methods.
Back & Forward Nav: Think of each rule entry as a separate webpage. If you want to jump back, hit your Back button.
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Fantasy Flight Games created Arkham Horror: The Card Game: © 2016-2020 Fantasy Flight Games. Arkham Horror, Fantasy Flight Games, the FFG logo, Living Card Game, LCG, and the LCG logo are ® Fantasy Flight Games.
Jans Carton designed and created this fan website: © 2020 Jans Carton
Anthony Ross created the page background: Abstract background via Wikimedia Commons.
21 Aug 2021—Incorporated changes from the official FAQ (V.1.9 June, 2021)
16 Mar 2021—Reorganized navigation. Added entry for Bless & Curse tokens.
Added expansion rule entries for Alert, Bonded, “Campaign mode only” basic weaknesses, Exile, Explore, Haunted, “Multiplayer only” basic weaknesses, Myriad, Seal, Story Cards, Supplies (campaign), Swarming X, Tarot slot, and Vengeance X.
Incorporated rulebook errata from the official FAQ (V.1.8 October, 2020)
Added entry for Investigator Cards.
Removed glossary entries that simply referenced other entries. They are now only in the index.
Shortened several glossary terms in navigation to improve layout, particularly on smaller screens.
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