|What Lies in the Shadow of the Monolith?
A Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game spotlight by guest writer Marius Hartland
|Call of Cthulhu LCG | Published 30 December 2011|
There had been aeons when other Things ruled on the earth, and They had had great cities. Remains of Them, he said the deathless Chinamen had told him, were still to be found as Cyclopean stones on islands in the Pacific. They all died vast epochs of time before men came, but there were arts which could revive Them when the stars had come round again to the right positions in the cycle of eternity.
–H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu
With 2012 on our doorstep and threatening to end the world, there is no time to lose in our exploration of the secrets hidden in the Shadow of the Monolith. In this final Asylum Pack of the Ancient Relics cycle, our quest for powerful artifacts brings us to the South Pacific, where the great city of R’lyeh is hidden somewhere beneath the waves… until the day the stars are right and the Ancient Ones are released from their aeons-old slumber.
European explorers and Western civilization couldn’t find a lot of useful resources in this part of the world, and left it well alone for a very long time. Only in the mid-18th century did the British explorer Captain James Cook make a concerted effort to explore the area. However, he was stabbed to death on his third expedition, and his body was dragged away from his ship, his bones were cleaned and preserved, and in this way, Captain Cook was turned into a relic himself at the end of the Makahiki festival. Where he fell, an obelisk now stands.
Whatever secrets lie near the obelisk that marks the site of Cook’s death, and lurking within the growing shadow of the monolith, there are many who conspire to keep them hidden. Among them are the agents of Hastur. The cult of the King in Yellow has gained much influence within the world of Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game. While he used to depend on cultists like Performance Artist (Core Set, 87) and effects fueled by sacrifices, his unwitting lunatics and their descent into madness are nowadays enough to trigger effects–or to cancel them.
As the star Aldebaran moves toward its final position, the Lunatics of Hastur gain more and more power and flexibility in their abilities. Accordingly, the Painter of Delusion (Shadow of the Monolith, 113) can access part of Performance Artists' ability not only by going insane himself, but by forcing other Lunatics to go insane, making him a dreaded lord of the lunatics.
A method to the madness
The Painter of Delusion reveals many interesting new implications on how to play a Hastur faction deck. Not only can you repeatedly shut down characters with powerful triggered abilities, like those of Diseased Sewer Rats (Secrets of Arkham, 44) and The Large Man (The Shifting Sands, 27), but you can do this by using any of your Lunatics. This means that all your Lunatics like Crazed Arsonist (Whispers in the Dark, 5) gain extra functionality, which can be quite handy when there are no location cards around to burn down.
With multiple Lunatics in play, you’ll have decisions to make about which Lunatic goes insane for the Painter’s ability. If you drive the Painter of Delusion insane, his ability is switched off until he is restored, leaving others unable to go insane for the effect. It's a minor detail when you built a deck around Lunatics, but one to keep in mind. With enough Lunatics, and a few copies of Arkham Asylum (Core Set, 146) you may be able to shut down some ability-based strategies altogether.
Shadow of the Monolith is coming soon. Until it arrives, keep checking our site for other omens and portents of the coming madness.
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.
I really like granting all Lunatics an additional use, especially in cases like the arsonist who were previously a bit more situational. Looking forward to getting the new pack in a few weeks.
A potent ability - but too easy to get rid of the Painter due to its skill of 1. A nice article, though!
Wow. I sense the arrival of bona fide control decks in the very near future.