News for March 2012
Tomes of Dark Knowledge
Damon Stone introduces the new Call of Cthulhu tournament rules and FAQ
Call of Cthulhu LCG | Published 20 March 2012

Salutations, cultists and investigators!

We are swiftly approaching the beginning of the 2012 Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game Regional Championship tournament season and have been hard at work getting the Tournament Rules 2.0.1 and Frequently Asked Questions 2.1 documents updated.

If you’ve already read the Call of Cthulhu Tournament Rules 2.0.1 (pdf, 4.3 MB), you may have noticed two big changes: the mulligan rule is no longer in the document, and the list of legal cards for tournament play is laid out explicitly.

The mulligan rule

The mulligan rule has been removed from the Tournament Rules and has, instead, been placed in the new FAQ 2.1. We feel that the increased chance of a decent start to a game as tactically intricate and rich as Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game is fundamentally important. As such, this rule belongs in the FAQ where it effectively becomes an inclusion in the rulebook itself rather than an addendum for use only during tournament play.

Visions of the future

The Tournament Rules 2.0.1 document defines all the cards legal for tournament play as of this moment, but this current list is not intended to govern the entire season. We will from time to time update the Tournament Rules document to include Asylum Packs that have been released and become readily available for tournaments. We expect to include Asylum Packs that have been available 3-5 weeks before a Regional Championship event. However, the local Tournament Organizer (T.O.) has the final say about which of the new packs are legal. To avoid any confusion, please contact the T.O. to verify which packs will be legal at a Regional Championship.

Combing the archives

Meanwhile, we’ve also updated the FAQ (version 2.1). FAQ 2.1 (pdf, 16.7 MB) addresses a few important issues of which all players hoping to play in a tournament should be aware. Please pay special attention to the red text, which indicates new material or a substantial change.

One of the foremost changes this FAQ includes is an errata to The Large Man (The Shifting Sands, 28). The much-discussed combination of The Large Man and An Offer You Can’t Refuse (The Order of the Silver Twilight, 4) threatened to dominate local play and potentially warp competitive play, so we felt it needed to be addressed. Those of you who are unaware of the combo can refer to our forums where it has been discussed at length. Forum members also detail several ways of playing and breaking the combo. Rather than completely destroy the combo, we decided to limit The Large Man’s effect to once per phase. This change extends the time the combination needs in order to win to the point where it becomes a tool in a discard deck, rather than the entire engine.

We also made several changes to the restricted list, removing one card and adding three others. Lord Jeffrey Farrington (The Order of the Silver Twilight, 18) has been removed from the restricted list. Silver Twilight has received some very interesting cards that create new dynamics within the game. At first, Farrington was added to the list because he represented a method of attack with which players were unused to dealing and players caught unaware could find the experience highly discouraging. Since then, the player base has adapted wonderfully, and the Silver Twilight’s powers and effects are being taken into account in deck-building. That said, one of the new additions to the restricted list is the Initiate of Huang Hun (Curse of the Jade Emperor, 40). This card’s ability to disrupt and control the game’s tempo has been causing a lot of headaches for players. Rather than have one card define the regional experience, when supplemented by the powerful cards already on the list, we decided to restrict the card to promote deck diversity.

The last two cards added to the restricted list are Negotium Perambulans in Tenebris (Dunwich Denizens, 80) and Khopesh of the Abyss (The Shifting Sands, 16). Again, both of these cards were added to the list to promote deck diversity. They can create, separately or together, an environment extremely hostile to most of the human faction decks.

Piercing the veil

The updated FAQ also clarifies two issues with the game’s timing. The first clarification states that when a passive ability would alter an action, that passive ability is first resolved completely, and then the action, now altered, is initiated and resolved. This means, for example, that if a passive effect causes you to draw an additional card when you draw a card, you would attempt to draw 3 cards during your draw phase action. Anything that would respond or disrupt that draw does so with the altered draw.

The second clarification regards the checks that are taken when initiating an effect. The FAQ timing structure has been expanded to shed further light on the step in which players must check play restrictions. This occurs when all cards or players to be affected are verified and designated or targeted, before costs are paid. This prevents cards that change play states as part of their costs from being affected by their own effects, and removes the potential they would have to create infinite loops.

Drawing power from uncovered secrets

I personally really look forward to this tournament season. The deck designs and play level of Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game have been improving continually since the creation of the game, and I am excited to see what factions and decks rise to the top, especially given the new Story Cards from the Ancient Relics cycle that will reside at the center of contention.

Best of luck to all of you!

   –Damon Stone, Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game Lead Developer

The Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game FAQ version 2.1 is also available in a print-friendly format on the game's support page.

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.

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