26 January 2015 | Call of Cthulhu LCG

What Secrets Reside Beneath the Cover Up?

A Preview of For the Greater Good for Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game


“The stir of the Suydam investigation made it certain that these unauthorised newcomers were flooding Red Hook in increasing numbers; entering through some marine conspiracy unreached by revenue officers and harbour police.”     –H.P. Lovecraft, The Horror at Red Hook

The Agency-focused deluxe expansion, For the Greater Good, is nearly here. In our last preview, we explored some of what its new government characters and conspiracies may soon add to the faction and to Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game as a whole. Their new synergies and abilities look to significantly strengthen humanity’s ability to fight against the dark and evil cults that seek to plunge the world into chaos.

However, Call of Cthulhu and its eerie fictional setting are full of dark secrets and terrifying twists, and many of the valiant men and women who serve the government, believing they’re working for the greater good, may in fact be advancing the far-sighted designs of some nefarious cabal.

In Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game, it’s just as easy to mix two factions together as it is to make a deck that uses only a single faction, and you can readily build a deck that features some unholy alliance between factions that no one may have ever suspected of working together. These alliances, in turn, lead to countless deck types, inhabiting alternate worlds, and they may include two factions, or three, or even more. There’s no limit to the decks that players can create, but each new deck reveals its own secrets.

Accordingly, as we continue exploring For the Greater Good and the conspiracies it introduces to Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game, we turn our attention to two outwardly similar Agency decks:

  • One is pure Agency, relying upon the efforts of its operatives to explore the eerie circumstances surrounding three copies of Eldritch Nexus (Core Set, 154), shielding humanity from the horrors by wrapping them up within an elaborate conspiracy, The Blackwood Initiative (For the Greater Good, 35).

  • The other deck is also an Agency deck and shares twenty-three of the same core cards, but as it hides the truth within the layers of its conspiracy, we begin to recognize a darker influence. In this second deck, the Agency’s operatives are being subtly manipulated by a cabal of powerful conspirators and the cult of Shub-Niggurath.

Heroes of the Agency

The Eerie Circumstances:

Eldritch Nexus x3

The Conspiracy:

The Blackwood Initiative x2

The Cover Up:

Cover Up x3

Dr. Christine Maire x1

Local Sheriff x3

Officer Gibson x3

Paul Lemond x3

Shotgun Blast x3

The Foundation x2

Humanity’s Secret Defenders:

Abbess Allegria Di Biase x2

Beneath the Burning Sun x3

Church Operative x3

General Edward Irving x1

Lt. Wilson Stewart x3

Marshall Greene x1

Military Attaché x2

Red Tape x2

San Marco Basilica x3

Shotgun x3

Special Agent Clarkston x2

Trial Judge x2



Plunged into Darkness

The Eerie Circumstances:

Eldritch Nexus x3

The Conspiracy:

The Blackwood Initiative x2

The Cover Up:

Cover Up x3

Dr. Christine Maire x1

Local Sheriff x3

Officer Gibson x3

Paul Lemond x3

Shotgun Blast x3

The Foundation x2

The Government Conspirators:

Karl Heinrich x2

Terrible Old Man x3

The Nefarious Cabal:

Descendant of Eibon x1

The Claret Knight x1

The Mage Known as Magnus x1

The Red-Gloved Man x1

The Cult of Shub-Niggurath:

Black Dog x3

Book of Iod x3

Grasping Chthonian x3

Hungry Dark Young x3

Savio Corvi x3

Shocking Transformation x3


The key card in this deck is The Blackwood Initiative, which forces players to discard a card in order to resource a card. Given that players only draw two cards in the draw phase each turn, The Blackwood Initiative forces your opponent into some painful decisions early in the game as he decides whether he’ll forfeit an entire turn’s worth of card draw in order to resource a domain, or if he’ll forfeit the opportunity to resource a domain in order to hold onto the cards he’s just drawn.

In the meantime, you have to make the same decisions, but you have a strong early game built around your one-cost characters, Officer Gibson (For the Greater Good, 4) and Paul LeMond (Core Set, 4). Equipped with a Shotgun (Core Set, 14), Officer Gibson is capable of taking on nearly any foe, and Paul LeMond can copy any icons in play, provided you have the domains open to pay for them.

As the game goes on, you should be able to reduce the pain that resourcing would cause you by reducing the cost of your characters with Special Agent Clarkston (Aspirations of Ascension, 61) and Lt. Wilson Stewart (For the Greater Good, 16).

The two can help you build into late-game characters like General Edward Irving (For the Greater Good, 18) and The Foundation (For the Greater Good, 20).

Finally, the deck features a number of synergies built around its government traits, day mechanics, and the presence of its conspiracy:

Military Attaché (For the Greater Good, 15) provides nearly universal Arcane icons.

After The Blackwood Initiative forces your opponent to discard cards in order to resource, your Church Operatives (Terror in Venice, 3) compound your opponent’s suffering, forcing him to discard cards in order to target your Agency characters with any detrimental effects.

While secretly performing her sworn duties, Conspirator Abbess Allegria Di Biase (Terror in Venice, 1) will not be cowered by any terror nor slowed by anyone seeking to wound her. Not even the dread Khopesh of the Abyss (The Shifting Sands, 16) can harm her.


In this deck, the many layers of the conspiracy, The Blackwood Initiative, carefully conceal the fact that a nefarious cabal of conspirators and the cult of Shub-Niggurath have infilitrated the Agency’s highest ranks and have been manipulating government officials in order to advance their diabolical plot.

Duplicity is critical to their success, so they rely upon the powers of Shocking Transformation (Core Set, 140) in order to ensure the pieces fall into play without anyone the wiser.

The deck’s restricted card, Shocking Transformation allows you to quickly bring into play such powerful characters as The Claret Knight (Seekers of Knowledge, 38), The Foundation (For the Greater Good, 20), and Karl Heinrich (For the Greater Good, 17).

In fact, Karl Heinrich doesn’t just appear as some naive dupe in this deck. Quite the opposite, he comes across as a twisted and cruel sadist who is all too eager to discard the resources for which your opponent has had to sacrifice so much.

So long as you can destroy your opponents characters in Combat struggles – any Combat struggles, not just the ones in which Karl Heinrich participates – the haunted commander roots characters out from your opponent’s domain.

Accordingly, even after The Blackwood Initiative forces your opponent to discard to resource, Karl Heinrich demands that your opponent resource non-character cards, or risk seeing his resourced characters bleed out from under his domains. This means you’re less likely to face any nasty surprises, even if you don’t play Dr. Christine Maire (For the Greater Good, 6), who simply eliminates all speculation about what your opponent might have in his hand.






Layers Within Layers of Dark and Deadly Secrets

The sample decks above illustrate but two of the nearly infinite ways the new Agency cards from For the Greater Good can be put to use for good… or for evil.

Will you grab your shotguns and fight back against the forces threatening to unmake all of human civilization? Or will you manipulate endless troops of unwitting government officials, using them all to advance some dark ritual or open portals to other worlds?

Among all the ways that Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game evokes the eerie fiction of H.P. Lovecraft, perhaps the most terrifying is that the characters in your deck never truly know if they’re the heroes, or if they’re merely being played to some nefarious end.

Dozens of the Agency’s most noble men and women will soon put their lives on the line, not just the overburdened detectives like the King John (For the Greater Good, 8), but also the Overworked Bureaucrats (For the Greater Good, 3) and forensic psychologists like Dr. Christine Maire. How will you use them all? If you haven’t already pre-ordered your copy of For the Greater Good, go pre-order it at your local retailer today!


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