News for May 2014
The Sleeper Below
Announcing the Seventh Deluxe Expansion for Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game
Call of Cthulhu LCG | Published 05 May 2014

“I shall never sleep calmly again when I think of the horrors that lurk ceaselessly behind life in time and in space, and of those unhallowed blasphemies from elder stars which dream beneath the sea, known and favoured by a nightmare cult ready and eager to loose them on the world whenever another earthquake shall heave their monstrous stone city again to the sun and air.”
   
–H.P. Lovecraft, “The Call of Cthulhu”

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce the upcoming release of The Sleeper Below, the seventh deluxe expansion for Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game!

Hidden cults, dormant evils, and secret societies lie at the dark heart of The Sleeper Below. With its 165 cards (three copies each of fifty-five individual cards), roughly two-thirds of which focus on the Cthulhu faction, The Sleeper Below immerses players in a world of frantic struggles against a host of countless evils, forever roiling just beneath the superficial veneer of mundane existence. Do you dare open your eyes to the terrors that await those who break free of their placid ignorance? Will you quest for ultimate power and risk a spiraling descent into madness? Will you fight to save humanity or bring it to ruin? Discover horrors beyond comprehension in The Sleeper Below!

The Cult of Cthulhu

How you first became aware of the nightmarish cult, you can’t quite recall. Your precipitous descent through its horrifying secrets was utterly maddening. Yes, you may have learned powerful new truths, but at what cost? If you could, you would gladly return to a time before you learned of its sinister intents… If only you weren’t haunted nightly by alien vistas and dread, shadowy shapes lurking beneath the waves…

With a multitude of new Cultists and supporting effects, The Sleeper Below greatly extends the influence of the cult of Cthulhu. From the Antarctic to the streets of Arkham, Cthulhu’s Cultists perform insidious rituals and offer dark sacrifices. They dream of R’lyeh and the day their master will awaken. And their numbers are greater than anyone could have ever suspected…

No fewer than thirty Cultist characters (three copies each of ten different characters) join the Cthulhu faction in The Sleeper Below, and the synergies between these Cultists are greater than ever:

  • Serving as the cult’s harbinger, as well as one of the men responsible for its rapid growth, Gustaf Johansen (The Sleeper Below, 3) allows you to draw a card whenever a Cultist leaves play, up to a maximum of three times per turn.

  • Of course, to trigger Gustaf Johansen’s ability, you need a way to remove your Cultists from play, and you’ll want these methods to play to your advantage. Enter the Mariner (The Sleeper Below, 4). His ability allows you to commit all uncommitted characters to any story where your opponent has committed at least one character; then, at the end of the phase, you must sacrifice him. Still, in nearly any circumstance in which you’d trigger the Mariner’s ability, his is a sacrifice the cult of Cthulhu would be willing to make. The Mariner’s ability can force your opponent to overcommit his characters on a critical turn, making it easier for you to succeed at stories on your next turn. Moreover, his ability can also “cheat” one of the game’s basic premises, allowing you to commit sparingly on your turn and then respond to your opponent’s commitment by using the Mariner and all your remaining forces to lure all of your opponent’s readied characters away from your true goals… or to their doom.
  • Meanwhile, whenever they congregate in numbers, the expansion’s foul Cultists grant each other additional strengths. As an example, Asuilaak (The Sleeper Below, 9) grants each of your other Cultists an Arcane icon, so long as you control no non-Cthulhu cards.
  • Then, a host of support cards, like Horrific Statuette (The Sleeper Below, 20), further empower your Cultists and allow them to extend their influence throughout the struggles of Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game.

For a long time, the Cultists of Call of Cthulhu were isolated and overlooked, but there is no longer any denying the terrifying truths of their sinister intents. In The Sleeper Below, these Cultists arrive ready to reshape the world according to their designs.

Should the Sleeping Dreamer Wake…

“In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”
    –H.P. Lovecraft, “The Call of Cthulhu”

In addition to enhancing the cult of Cthulhu, The Sleeper Below introduces a new keyword, Dormant, which in many ways represents the horrifying awakening of unfathomable terrors like the great Ancient One, Cthulhu (The Sleeper Below, 19):

“During the operations phase, you may pay X to attach a card with the Dormant ability facedown to a story as a Dormant card. X is the number of success tokens you have at that story. Limit 1 per story per turn. When that story is won, you may play that card reducing its cost to 0.”

This keyword appears on five different cards in the expansion, all of which belong to the Cthulhu faction, and a sixth card, The Stars Are Right (The Sleeper Below, 33), expands any strategy that makes use of Cthulhu’s Dormant characters.

All told, Dormant cards add another layer of intrigue and tension to the resolution of the game’s stories, and your opponent will have to think carefully whether he’ll push to win a story with a Dormant card attached, or leave it alone until he’s in a better position to respond to whatever evils your Dormant card may unleash. Will the fear cripple him? Will he push ahead and accidentally unleash Cthulhu upon the world? If he does, can anything stop the great Ancient One?

The Support of Secret Societies

Since your discoveries, only one thing has given you solace, the realization that you are not alone. Perhaps it’s small consolation in the face of what you presume to be an inevitable doom, but there are others who have gazed into the abyss. Like you, some hope to shelter the world from these dread truths… Others, though, may desire to apply these secrets toward darker, more self-serving ends…

Though the majority of The Sleeper Below focuses on the cult of Cthulhu and its growing influence, the expansion also bolsters each of the game’s other factions with unique, new characters, including powerful Societies and a handful of characters drawn from the pages of H.P. Lovecraft’s classic short story, “The Call of Cthulhu.”

Miskatonic University gets one character that is both. Like each Society in The Sleeper Below, the US Archaeological Society (The Sleeper Below, 44) has its cost reduced by two for each story card in an opponent’s won pile. This means that, even though it starts at six cost, the US Archaeological Society can play for as little as two resources late in the game. Accordingly, the US Archaeological Society, like each of the other Societies in The Sleeper Below, is a card designed to help you fight back against the forces aligned against you and salvage a victory from the brink of defeat.

Additionally, the US Archaeological Society offers a powerful Response, which befits its role within H.P. Lovecraft’s eerie fiction:

Response: After you place 1 or more success tokens at a story at which US Archaeological Society is committed, put a Lost Civilization location into play from your hand or your discard pile.”

No matter which faction you prefer, you’ll find ways in The Sleeper Below to further immerse yourself into Lovecraft’s fictional world. Whether you explore Lost Civilizations with the US Archaeological Society, study snippets of ancient inscriptions, breed foul terrors, or seek entrance to the cult of Cthulhu, you’ll find new associates among the unique Societies and other characters available to all of the game’s factions, many of which are drawn directly from the pages of “The Call of Cthulhu.”

Even Death May Die

“That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die.”

    –H.P. Lovecraft, “The Call of Cthulhu”

The cult of Cthulhu rises to unholy prominence in The Sleeper Below. As the cult’s rituals and sacrifices threaten to wake the terrifying entities that lie Dormant, other forces seek to stop them… or to steal their secrets for themselves.

Who will win the desperate struggle for the fate of humanity? Learn more about The Sleeper Below from its description page. Then play your part in humanity's ruin or salvation when The Sleeper Below arrives at retailers in the third quarter of 2014!

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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