Arkham Sanitarium Patient No. 1652: Carter, R.
Case file: March 1, 1925.
Transcript of handwritten note found in empty cell.
Patient missing, whereabouts unknown.
Mankind’s oldest fear is fear of the unknown. While the familiar and the mundane offer comfort and safety, the Other always lurks menacingly at the edges of our thoughts. The unknown can be found in many places, in strange streets where the faces are unfamiliar and no one meets your gaze, or in dim-lit grottos where eerie fungi grow and the air is heavy with a miasma that clouds the mind, or on bleak cold-swept plains where nothing has ever grown nor ever will and yet the shrill cries of unnamed birds echo disturbingly, or in cosmic voids of limitless space where the Outer Gods play and laugh and dance to the thin hideous piping of a nightmare flute.
They say I did things, but I do not believe them.
I should not have opened that door in the shunned house where no light has been seen in living memory. I should not have looked in that carven cabinet. I should not have read those accursed pages.
Now the gibbous moon leers mockingly through the bars of my cell and the padded walls glow in the cold witch-light.
I can hear scratching at the window. The night-gaunts are here. They are here to carry me away on leprous wings to otherworldly vistas where dreams emerge from reality and what is known becomes unknown and I shall join the ranks of the eternal dreamers outside of space and outside of time, forever.
When beginning with the Call of Cthulhu card Game, FFG recommend throwing together two decks each made up of all the core set cards for two factions. This is a great way to get a feel for the kind of abilities each faction has, but does tend to be a bit random.
So I have built two proper decks to play against each other. One is a combination of the Miskatonic University (MU) and Hastur factions, and the other is The Agency with Shub-Niggurath.
The Miskatonic University faction is made up of scholars, professors and explorers all based out of that venerable New England institution.
Hastur is the Great Old One associated with madness, who resides on the alternate plane of Lost Carcosa. He is also known as The Tattered King, and his name must never be spoken. His acolytes are all barely sane, and the forbidden play The King in Yellow contains cryptic hints that drive insane anyone witnessing it.
The Agency is a loosely-organised cooperation of police, private detectives, and government officials who can bring the weight of their organisations to bear on the stories.
Shub-Niggurath, also called The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young, is another Great Old One who leads legions of forest monsters.
So that is a bunch of university students and professors teamed with insane members of the society set, versus detectives and government agents who have tame monsters in tow.
I tried to build each deck around a theme or mechanic.
The MU/Hastur deck is based on rushing the stories with extra investigation struggles. With ‘Open for Inspection’ you get two extra investigation struggles and this can let you win a story in one turn. You get one success token for having the highest skill total, a bonus token if the story was unopposed, and then three tokens for the three investigation struggles.
This is supported by effects that remove or change the other struggles, since the MU characters tend to be light on combat and willpower. The Hastur cards provide a little resilience against terror and insanity.
The Agency has a lot of combat and wounding, and I made sure to select characters with willpower so they won’t go insane. Then the Shub creatures have more combat, with some recursion and tutoring. This is a slower deck, relying on building up a large army to overrun the opposition rather than tricks during the story phase.
Here are the deck lists:
Total Cards: (50)
3x Whitton Greene (Seekers of Knowledge)
3x Alternative Historian (Seekers of Knowledge)
3x Anthropology Advisor (Core Set)
3x Student Archaeologist (Core Set)
3x Mad Genius (Core Set)
3x Byakhee Servant (Core Set)
3x Shrieking Byakhee (Conspiracies of Chaos)
3x Feathery Watchers (Dunwich Denizens)
3x Victoria Glasser (Core Set)
3x Open for Inspection (Core Set)
2x Mask of Sthenelus (Into Tartarus)
2x Medico Della Peste (Terror in Venice)
2x The King In Yellow Folio (Lost Rites)
2x Polar Mirage (At the Mountains of Madness)
2x The Guzheng (Curse of the Jade Emperor)
2x Misinformation (Secrets of Arkham)
2x Daring Buju (Seekers of Knowledge)
2x Agoraphobia (Core Set)
2x Scotophobia (Core Set)
2x Hamu XX 15:14 (Seekers of Knowledge)
I particularly like Whitton Greene who is a relic hunter and an investigator. She looks cool and has an awesome bunch of abilities. Her skill and icons are good value (for a cost of 3 she has a total of six icons and skill) and she adds an investigation struggle which fits in my strategy for this deck. She is vulnerable to terror but has toughness to help with combat. In addition to all of this, she can grab a tome from my deck.
Another key card in this deck is Alternative Historian. She has the ability to turn off an icon struggle, which is great for avoiding insanity. She is listed as ‘restricted’ in the FAQ which means if I include her in my deck I cannot include any other card also listed as restricted. This is a neat mechanism for helping to limit overpowered decks in tournaments. I shouldn’t really have to worry about this for my decks, but do I plan to try and respect the restricted list so I can pretend my decks are valid.
The MU characters are mostly powerful in the investigation struggle,and weak in the terror and combat struggles, so I have added in some terror and combat from the Hastur faction, such as Victoria Glasser and the byakhees. I also added some support cards, such as the Mask of Sthenelus which gives a character willpower and invulnerability.
Total Cards: (50)
3x Government Exorcist (The Spawn of the Sleeper)
3x Undercover Security (Core Set)
2x Pious Carabiniere (Terror in Venice)
2x John & Jessie Burke (The Shifting Sands)
3x Paul LeMond (Core Set)
2x The Company (Seekers of Knowledge)
3x Black Dog (Words of Power)
3x Degenerate Ghoul (Core Set)
3x Ya-te-veo (The Unspeakable Pages)
3x Budding Dark Young (The Sleeper Below)
3x Hungry Dark Young (Core Set)
2x San Marco Basilica (Terror in Venice)
2x Lightning Gun (Secrets of Arkham)
2x Book of Iod (Ebla Restored)
2x Under the Porch (The Horror Beneath the Surface)
3x Small Price to Pay (Core Set)
3x Shotgun Blast (Core Set)
3x Hanyatl’s 7:13 (Seekers of Knowledge)
3x Burrowing Beneath (Core Set)
In this Agency/Shub deck, the emphasis is on willpower to control the terror struggle along with plenty of combat and wounding to remove opposition characters. The Agency characters also have some investigation, although this is not a major theme. The Dark Young all support each other with their recursion and ‘put into play’ effects.