|Call of Cthulhu LCG | Published 16 April 2010|
You've been running around Arkham, thinking shoggoths are more common than flies, and everyone is in on it. But your characters are the exception to the rule. General knowledge of the Cthulhu Mythos would be very, very dangerous; Widespread panic, explosive growth of cults and alien minds with no choice to react to the now-aware humans would bring civilisation to its end. Fortunately, The Agency tries to cover up Mythos activity everywhere.
But they are not the only one with a secret agenda relating to the arcane forces that creep up on society. Always showing up when things get strange, lurking in the shadows. Making notes, taking the artifact from a crime scene or just watching to see if things go acording to plan. His goals, motivation and allegiance are unknown.
Who is the The Red-Gloved Man? (Whispers in the Dark, F11) Is he a clever robot that chronicles Cthulhu Mythos events to a group of information-hungry cultists? A Mi-Go spy? An agent of Nodens? You don't know. You are just one microscopic cog in his catastrophic plan designed and directed by his red-gloved hand. And much like conspiracy cards, as far as you can tell a neutral force in the grand scheme of things.
Conspiracies are, as a card type, the last to enter the game. We had the characters, events and support cards since the beginning, but the conspiracies joined later. Before that happened their role was mostly taken by ‘attachment environment’ cards that sometimes change how stories work. The idea of what conspiracies can do in a game is getting pushed further and further.
The ‘problem’ with conspiracy cards that many competitive deck builders encounter is that conspiracies are mostly just an extra story card. Once in play it behaves neutrally towards both players. The risk of investing a card yields it’s rewards much later on in the game and there is little difference between playing a conspiracy and winning it, or winning a story that is already there. And to win it and use it, you’ll have to meddle with the most interactive phase in the game: the story phase – and the competitive player doesn’t want to interact, they just want to win.
Not all conspiracies lend themselves too well to make a comeback when you’re behind, and if they do it’s easy to see them as ‘win more’ cards – all they do is add flair to a victory that was already inevitable. Conspiracies help with the scattershot approach, rushing to as many stories as possible, hoping to spread the opposition thin so you’ll end up getting success tokens at least somewhere. But generally, having a card that develops your own strategy and is capable of directly impacting the game is better. The Red-Gloved Man is such a character. He is another ‘all rounder’ having willpower, and one of almost any icon. You also get to choose any conspiracy in your deck, depending on the situation, and put it into play. It gives some decks access to great effects they wouldn’t have otherwise and the Red-Gloved Man at least makes it even, card advantage wise.
It’s great to have access to say, Fountain of Youth (Terror of the Tides, F80) when your deck is centered around lunatics. And if for some reason it’s not useful to go there Whispers in the Dark has a good option, allowing your cultists to do something they don’t usually do: Excel at Investigation struggles! The Locked Door (Whispers in the Dark, F10) helps boost investigation, and the extra investigation struggle ensures that, if you embrace an all-out strategy where you risk your characters, you’ll be able to win it before your next turn comes. The Locked door will at the very least draw a lot of attention from the regular stories and when you’re pressed for time and on the verge of winning it may make the difference between victory and defeat.
Helping push conspiracies also adds some value to other conspirators like Conspiracy Theorist (The Path to Y’ha-nthlei, F117) forcing opponents to deal with the theorist, or deal with the conspiracy. Changing the neutrality of Conspiracies into a situation that favours your strategy more, without the loss of card advantage while helping you select the right card for the right situation. Even though you never truly know if the Red-Gloved Man is truly on your side. At least, during the Yuggoth Contract cycle, some answers will be given to those that pay close attention to him.
Special thanks to Marius Hartland, who provided this week’s Call of Cthulhu spotlight.
Based on the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft and his literary circle, Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game takes two players deep into the Cthulhu Mythos where investigators clash with the Ancient Ones and Elder Gods for the fate of the world. The Living Card Game format allows players to customize their gaming experience with monthly Asylum Pack expansions to the core game.
That is a pretty awesome card really. Not only can you 'tutor' for a conspiracy card, but it comes out for free. Great deal for 3 resources of any type.
Who is 'The Red-Gloved Man' ?
"He's a ghost, he's a god, he's a man, he's a guru."
Nice article Marius! I really enjoy the art of this card.
I feel that Conspiracies and Conspirators have fantastic
potential for flavor! All that is needed is a little effort to make
them more playable.
Nice! Nick Cave quote. Was that the inspiration for the card art or the card itself?