|The Lengthening Shadow of the Monolith
A Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game spotlight by guest writer Marius Hartland
|Call of Cthulhu LCG | Published 13 January 2012|
When age fell upon the world, and wonder went out of the minds of men; when grey cities reared to smoky skies tall towers grim and ugly, in whose shadow none might dream of the sun or of Spring's flowering meads; when learning stripped the Earth of her mantle of beauty and poets sang no more of twisted phantoms seen with bleared and inward looking eyes; when these things had come to pass, and childish hopes had gone forever, there was a man who traveled out of life on a quest into spaces whither the world’s dreams had fled.
–H.P. Lovecraft, Azathoth
The Maori creation myth tells of how the world was created by a primordial couple, two gods whom we might consider aspects of Shub-Niggurath. Rakinui and Papatuanuku, the sky father and the earth mother, lay locked together in a tight embrace at the beginning of time. In their mad procreation, they spawned countless children who were forced to live squeezed in the darkness between them. Some of these offspring planned to kill their parents in order to free themselves, but Tane, the god of the forest, suggested an alternate solution and used the strength of his legs to push his parents apart, allowing the offspring to spread across time and space.
Then Tane fathered the first people, and those descendants of Tane who still worship these old Maori gods hide in the Shadow of the Monolith, guarding a sacred Relic called The Mask of Rakinui (Shadows of the Monolith, 120). They use Tane’s dark, forgotten magic to repel intruders, as the mask grants its wearer both vast mystical powers and limited control over space and time.
Adding fuel to the fire
One of the powers still held by Maori mystics is the ability to create homunculi out of wood to serve their people as guardians. While these creatures are often more frightening than dangerous, they are not without their uses.
When destroyed, a Wooden Homunculus (Shadow of the Monolith, 119) can form an Eldritch Nexus (Core Set, 154). Such freshly created domains serve Tane’s faithful best as fuel for cheap, repeatable effects like those on Y’Golonac (Core Set, 122) or Feasting Ghouls (The Wailer Below, 73), which can use the Homunculus’ power to quickly grow into a powerful army of terrible ghouls that can stop most relic hunters dead in their tracks. Alternately, you can fuel the cheap and repeatable effect of a Mind Eater (The Horror Beneath the Surface, 35) to further compound your control over the story cards. Nothing quite expresses your true power like the ability to eat Investigation icons and then use them to win a story with the Mask of Rakinui before the other struggles resolve.
Rakinui and Papatuanuku still yearn for the intimate closeness they once shared, one that would close off all light and life. As the Shadow of the Monolith lengthens, the Mask of Rakinui and other forgotten Maori magic may be the only powers standing between you and a prison of eternal darkness.
The Shadow of the Monolith grows ever longer, and its influence will soon stretch across Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game. Look for this Asylum Pack to arrive soon at your favorite local retailer!
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.
Carioz > For the second part I am positive the effect lasts: from the faq: "Once an effect has been initiated it must be resolved (unless it is a triggered effect that has been canceled by a disrupt)."
>> Yes, of course. But the effect also specifies "while X". If X isn't met anymore, what happens ?
Cthugha has a similar effect "While Cthugha is committed to a story, all other characters committed to that story do not count their [combat] icons." If Cthugha was removed from the story, even as a result of a struggle, all other characters would count their combat icons again. Similar things happen with Kirby O'Donnell, Steve Clarney, Hunting Horror, Dreamland Messenger, Sweet Old Lady, etc.
"While" shouldn't be taken as "When", or cards like The Keeper of the Silver Sphere, Devious Architect, Confident Rookie, or Blackwood Jr (etc, etc) could gain their bonus multiple times in a row quite easily. Thus, "while" isn't just a "when does the effect trigger" element, it's also a condition to keep the effect.. effective and to stop it whenever the condition isn't met anymore.
To be frank, the same question could be asked about the Professional Counselor.
Still the opinion I formed since about, hmm, Dunwich Horror (the black border version) that commitment tricks are a waste of player's money, developer's time and a headache rules wise holds true.
For the first part I guess you decide all at once, as the passive ability is triggered (yeah, I know, bad choice of words) on the char being committed at the story. If it were possible to trigger it multiple times on the same insance, the same would happen for chess prodigy.
For the second part I am positive the effect lasts: from the faq: "Once an effect has been initiated it must be resolved (unless it is a triggered effect that has been canceled by a disrupt)."
Still this card would deserve a faq entry.
About the new mask :
Since it's "while <> is committed, you decide the order", I guess you're actually choosing the next struggle one step at the time. You choose Arcane, you resolve Arcane, you choose now the next one. Correct ?
Another question : What happens when the character with the Mask is suddenly killed during the resolution of one struggle. Let's say, I chose Arcane, then Combat and my attached character died because I lost the combat struggle. Since, unlike the Chess Prodigy, there is "while" condition in the effect and that condition is no longer respected, the effet can't be applied anymore. How do we continue the resolution ?
Excellent cards. I can definitely find a use for the Mask of Rakinui.
Ancient Relics has turned out to be one of my favorite AP cycles. Not only have the cards from this cycle added some interesting elements to the game, but the artwork has been stunning. It may seem a bit shallow, but the consistent quality of the art is probably the reason I decided to invest so heavily in this game in the first place.
Yeah, Shub/Miskatonic was the first thing that came to my mind. And that's just one trick that that card can do. Even something simple as switching the combat and terror can have a huge difference on how the story phase will turn out in the end.
Some nice creative cards, I like 'em.
I think the mask is going to have some cool tricks, I'm thinking about re-readying a character at a story by putting Arcane earlier so he can exhaust to use his ability again before the Combat/Terror struggles take place. That kind of thing. Obviously a Shub/Miskatonic deck could be made to put Investigation first and be a real story threat without having to require as many sacrificial weenies as usual too.
Wow, both of those cards are lovely, and at least the Homunculus might find it's way into a deck. I'm really looking forward to this pack :)