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SU3-ElderThing

From reaches beyond space and time come these incredible horrors, bent on... bent on... well we really don’t know, do we? Everytime Every time we learn a little bit, we go nuts. Perhaps its it’s the madness they cause that gives them power after all...

- The Obligatory Cthulhu Set rulebook (updated in The Bigger Geekier Box rulebook)

The Elder Things are one of the 4 factions from The Obligatory Cthulhu Set.

This faction specializes in driving other players insane, by making them draw madness cards. Sometimes they'll have a choice between drawing a madness card and giving you an advantage.

Other factions from the same set: Innsmouth, Minions of Cthulhu, Miskatonic University.

Cards Edit

Elder things

The Elder Things have the usual 10 minions and 10 actions. The total minion base power (not counting any abilities) is unusually high at 39 or an average of 3.9 per minion compared to the usual 30 and 3. However, there are some restrictions on playing the highest powered minions (Elder Thing and Shoggoth).

Among their actions, there are:

  • 1 play-on-minion action: Dunwich Horror,
  • 0 play-on-base actions,
  • 9 standard actions (2 that affect one or more minions, in bold): Begin the Summoning (2x), Insanity, Power of Madness (2x), Spreading Horror, The Price of Power, Touch of Madness, Unfathomable Goals,
  • 2 actions that directly increase a minion's power: Dunwich Horror, The Price of Power.

Minions Edit

1x Elder Thing - power 10 - Destroy two of your other minions or place this minion on the bottom of your deck. Ongoing: This minion is not affected by opponents’ cards. (errata'd by The Bigger Geekier Box) FAQ

2x Shoggoth - power 6 - You can only play this minion on a base where you have at least 6 power. Each other player may draw a Madness card. Destroy a minion here belonging to each player who does not do so. FAQ

3x Mi-go - power 3 - Each other player may draw a Madness card. For each other player that does not, you may draw a card. FAQ

4x Byakhee - power 2 - Each other player with a minion at this base draws a Madness card. FAQ

Actions Edit

2x Begin the Summoning - Place a minion from your discard pile on top of your deck. You may play an extra action this turn. FAQ

1x Dunwich Horror - Play on a minion. Ongoing: This minion gains 5 power. Destroy this minion at the end of the turn. (errata'd by The Bigger Geekier Box) FAQ

1x Insanity - Each other player draws two Madness cards. FAQ

2x Power of Madness - All other players reveal their hands, discard all Madness cards and then shuffles their discard pile into their deck. FAQ

1x Spreading Horror - Each other player discards cards at random until that player discards a non-Madness card. FAQ

1x The Price of Power - Special: Before a base scores, all other players with minions there reveal their hand. One of your minions there has +2 power for each Madness card revealed. FAQ

1x Touch of Madness - Each other player draws a Madness card. Draw a card and play an extra action this turn. FAQ

1x Unfathomable Goals - All other players reveal his or her hands. Each player who reveals a Madness card must destroy one of their minions. FAQ

Elder Things

Bases Edit

Clarifications Edit

Here are the official clarifications as they appear in The Bigger Geekier Box rulebook:

Elder Thing: After playing this, if you do not actually destroy two of your other minions in play, you immediately place it on the bottom of your deck. You cannot choose to do both.

The Price of Power: The power boost lasts until the end of the turn.

Shoggoth: You only destroy minions of other players. Your own minions are safe.

Mechanics Edit

Elder Things specialize in giving other players Madness cards, either by forcing them to draw one, or by giving them a choice between drawing one and giving you an advantage. Madness cards usually slow down the other players, forcing them to spend valuable action plays to get rid of them.

Some of your cards also get stronger the more Madness cards are in the hands of the players. Knowing that, the other players may want to get rid of their Madness cards before your turn comes. So you should keep track of which players managed to get rid of their Madness cards.

This faction also has some of the strongest minions in the game, including THE strongest minion in the whole game, Elder Thing. However, these minions are trickier to play, requiring some amount of setup to bring them to the board. Thankfully, slowing down the other players with Madness should give you the opportunity to set up your game.

External Strategy Guides Edit

FAQ Edit

Questions on Elder Thing Edit

Q: It lacks "Ongoing", so does it mean it's only immune on the turn it's played?

A: The Bigger Geekier Box rulebook errata'd it: it now says "Ongoing".

Rule: Check Elder Thing's erratum.

Q: I don't get its first ability. Why would I place it on the bottom of my deck?

A: The intention is that when you play Elder Thing, you must destroy two of your other minions. If you fail to do that, either because you chose minions that are immune to destruction, or because you don't have enough minions to destroy, then you must place Elder Thing on the bottom of your deck. In some rare cases, you may actually not have a choice to place it on the bottom of your deck.

Rule: Check Elder Thing's clarification.

Q: Why would I play it if I can't destroy two other minions?

A: Some rare abilities may force you to play it despite not having minions to destroy. (e.g. Secret Volcano Headquarters)

Rule: N/A

Q: If I only have one minion to destroy, do I still destroy it?

A: No, if you cannot satisfy the destruction requirement, you don't destroy any minions.[1]

Rule: Do exactly what the card official answer says.

Q: If I only have two minions, one that's indestructible and one that's not, I will have to place Elder Thing on the bottom of my deck no matter what, but do I or can I still destroy that one destructible minion?

A: No, if you cannot satisfy the destruction requirement, you don't destroy any minions.[1]

Rule: Do exactly what the card official answer says.

Q: It tells me to destroy "two of my minions". Can I destroy minions I own that I don't control?

A: No. "Your minions" are minions you control, whether or not you own them. A minion you own but don't control isn't yours.

Rule: "Your minion" means "a minion that you control".

Q: An opponent has Elder Thing in play. Can I play Curse of Imprisonment or Potion of Cowardice to remove its immunity?

A: No, or rather if you try, your actions will be discarded without effect. Their Elder Thing cannot be affected by your cards, and playing an action on it counts as affecting it, so it won't work.

Rule: Definition of "affect". Playing an action on a minion counts as affecting the minion.

Q: Can I play Elder Thing with Last Call or Rude Awakening without having to destroy minions?

A: Yes. You play it, then immediately cancel its ability until the end of the turn. At the end of the turn, its immunity is restored and you can ignore the destruction part because it's only resolved when Elder Thing is played.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: I play Bear Hug (or Unfathomable Goals, Griefer, Out of Sight) and an opponent chooses to destroy (or return) their Elder Thing, claiming that it can't be destroyed (nor returned) by my card and therefore survives. Is that correct?

A: Yes. Elder Thing is immune to any effect caused by other players' cards, as long as the effect is included in the definition of "affect", such as a destruction or a return.

Rule: Definition of "affect".

Q:I play a standard action in order to affect an opponent's minion on Elder Thing's base. An opponent uses their Dancing King to copy that effect and have Elder Thing be affected as well, but Elder Thing is protected, right?

A: No. Elder Thing is protected from being affected by other players' cards. Firstly, what Dancing King does is copy the effect onto Elder Thing, which itself doesn't count as affecting the minion. Secondly, Elder Thing is now considered as indirectly affected by your action, which Elder Thing isn't protected against.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.


Questions on Shoggoth Edit

Q: If I play Shoggoth, only the other players get a choice whether to draw a Madness card or not, not me. Yet, it tells me to "destroy a minion here belonging to each player who does not do so." It says "each player who does not do so", not "each other player who does not do so" (especially compared to Mi-go), so am I included among the players? Do I have to destroy one of my minions because I didn't draw a Madness card?

A: No, you only destroy the other player's minions.

Rule: Check Shoggoth's clarification.

Q: Can I play Shoggoth with Last Call or Rude Awakening on a base where I have less than 6 power?

A Yes, those cards actually cancel the play restriction.

Rule: Check Last Call and Rude Awakening's clarification.

Q: With Disguise, if I have minions on the same base for a total power of 6 or more, can I play Shoggoth there before returning one of them because of Disguise?

A: Yes, Disguise's extra minions must be played immediately before the chosen minions are returned, so you've managed to meet Shoggoth's requirement.

Rule: Check Disguise's clarification.

Q: I have a Mimic on a base with power 3 (for example). Can I play Shoggoth on its base? It will be power 6 because of Shoggoth after all.

A: No. Mimic will only be power 6 after Shoggoth is in play. Before that, it's still power 3 and therefore Shoggoth can't be played there because you don't have enough total power, and in fact, if you still try to play it there, it will be discarded without effect.

Rule: If conditions prohibit playing a chosen card, discard it instead.


Questions on Mi-go Edit

Q: The other players allow me to draw cards, but that would bring my hand to over ten cards. What happens then? Do I draw until I have ten? Do I discard any remaining cards once I have ten cards in hand? Or do I draw all required cards and immediately discard down to ten?

A: You draw all required cards and don't discard any until your upcoming Draw 2 Cards phase. At that point, you will indeed need to draw two cards and discard down to 10 if you have more than 10. That's the only moment where you must discard down to 10. At any other time, you keep your hand of cards.

Rule: On your Draw 2 Cards phase, if you have more than 10 cards in your hand after drawing, discard until you have exactly 10 cards left in your hand.

Q: Another player already has ten cards in their hand. I play a Mi-go. What happens if they decide to draw a Madness card? I suppose they don't draw any because they already reached the limit of cards in hand, right? Or do they draw one and immediately discard it in their discard pile? Or do they draw it and choose which card to discard?

A: They draw the Madness card and don't discard any card until their next Draw 2 Cards phase (so not any Draw 2 Cards phase!). At that point, they will indeed need to draw two cards and discard down to 10 if they have more than 10. That's the only moment where they must discard down to 10. At any other time, they keep their hand of cards.

Rule: On your Draw 2 Cards phase, if you have more than 10 cards in your hand after drawing, discard until you have exactly 10 cards left in your hand.


Questions on Byakhee Edit

Q: Another player already has ten cards in their hand. I play a Byakhee to make them draw a Madness card. What happens? I suppose they don't draw any because they already reached the limit of cards in hand, right? Or do they draw one and immediately discard it in their discard pile? Or do they draw it and choose which card to discard?

A: They draw the Madness card and don't discard any card until their next Draw 2 Cards phase (so not any Draw 2 Cards phase!). At that point, they will indeed need to draw two cards and discard down to 10 if they have more than 10. That's the only moment where they must discard down to 10. At any other time, they keep their hand of cards.

Rule: On your Draw 2 Cards phase, if you have more than 10 cards in your hand after drawing, discard until you have exactly 10 cards left in your hand.


Questions on Begin the Summoning Edit

Q: It doesn't say to reveal the card you place on your deck, so I don't have to reveal it if I don't want to, right?

A: No. Discard piles are "public knowledge", so you can check which cards are in any player's discard pile at any time. If you take a card out of the discard pile, players are supposed to know what card was taken out. So, you should reveal it. Otherwise, how are you supposed to prove that you didn't put an action instead of a minion?

Rule: Anyone may look through any discard pile at any time.

Q: How does this interact with the Disco Dancers' mechanic and Funky Town's ability?

A: It doesn't interact with them at all, because Begin the Summoning doesn't affect any minions in play and so its effect can't be copied.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.


Questions on Dunwich Horror Edit

Q: The card is a bit unclear. Does the minion have +5 power forever (assuming it survives the destruction) or only the turn it is played?

A: The Bigger Geekier Box rulebook errata'd it: it now says "Ongoing".

Rule: Check Dunwich Horror's erratum.

Q: Is the minion destroyed before the base scores?

A: No. It is destroyed at the end of the turn (phase 5), which happens later than the Score Bases phase (phase 3).

Rule: "At the end of the turn" means "during the End Turn (phase 5) of the current turn".

Q: I know that if I play this on Brownie, I have to discard two random cards. But at the end of the turn, Brownie is destroyed (which counts as affecting it), do I discard two more random cards?

A: No. Brownie's ability only triggers immediately after you play a card that affects it. When Brownie is destroyed, the card is already in play.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: How does this interact with the Disco Dancers' mechanic and Funky Town's ability?

A: It doesn't interact with them at all, because Dunwich Horror says "Play on a minion", which means that it is not a standard action.

Rule: Definition of "standard".


Questions on Insanity Edit

Q: Another player already has ten cards in their hand. I play Insanity to make them draw Madness cards. What happens? I suppose they don't draw any because they already reached the limit of cards in hand, right? Or do they draw them and immediately discard them in their discard pile? Or do they draw them and choose which two cards to discard?

A: They draw the Madness cards and don't discard any card until their next Draw 2 Cards phase (so not any Draw 2 Cards phase!). At that point, they will indeed need to draw two cards and discard down to 10 if they have more than 10. That's the only moment where they must discard down to 10. At any other time, they keep their hand of cards.

Rule: On your Draw 2 Cards phase, if you have more than 10 cards in your hand after drawing, discard until you have exactly 10 cards left in your hand.

Q: How does this interact with the Disco Dancers' mechanic and Funky Town's ability?

A: It doesn't interact with them at all, because Insanity doesn't affect any minions in play and so its effect can't be copied.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.


Questions on Power of Madness Edit

Q: If a player reveal a card owned by another player, what happens?

A: Nothing, the card stays in their hand. That's because, while the other players can see who owns the card, the card is merely revealed and doesn't change location.

Rule 1: Cards you don’t own that are merely revealed in your hand or deck stay there.

Q: How does this interact with the Disco Dancers' mechanic and Funky Town's ability?

A: It doesn't interact with them at all, because Power of Madness doesn't affect any minions in play and so its effect can't be copied.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.


Questions on Spreading Horror Edit

Q: Spreading horror does not specify that the discard has to come from the players' own hands... Is this the case?

A: Yes. When a card tells you to discard a card, it comes from your hand unless it says otherwise.

Rule: Unless otherwise specified, discarding cards refers to cards in your hand.

Q: How does this interact with the Disco Dancers' mechanic and Funky Town's ability?

A: It doesn't interact with them at all, because Spreading Horror doesn't affect any minions in play and so its effect can't be copied.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.


Questions on The Price of Power Edit

Q: It gives power to "one of my minions". Can it give power to a minion I own that I don't control?

A: No. "Your minions" are minions you control, whether or not you own them. A minion you own but don't control isn't yours.

Rule: "Your minion" means "a minion that you control".

Q: A base scores, another player uses The Price of Power to give a minion some power, then I move that minion with some special action (ex.: Some Day My Prince Will Come). Does this minion still have the bonus in the following turns or not?

A: The Bigger Geekier Box rulebook now clarifies that it expires at the end of the turn.

Rule: Check The Price of Power's clarification.

Q: How does this interact with the Disco Dancers' mechanic and Funky Town's ability?

A: - If Diva copies it, Diva is considered as indirectly affected by the action and gets the same amount of power boost as the minion that was directly affected by the action.
- If Dancing King copies it onto a minion (it can be itself), that minion is considered as indirectly affected by the action and gets the same amount of power boost as the minion that was directly affected by the action. Note that while the action is limited to a minion controlled by the action player, the copy can be applied to any minion, even one not controlled by the action player. Even in that case, the amount of power is the same; you don't make the opponents of that minion's controller reveal their hand to decide it because that part has already been resolved before the power boost was copied and so the amount of power is already set.
- If We are Family copies it, the minion it is on is considered as indirectly affected by the action and gets the same amount of power boost as the minion that was directly affected by the action. Note that while the action is limited to a minion controlled by the action player, the copy can be applied to any minion, even one not controlled by the action player. Even in that case, the amount of power is the same; you don't make the opponents of that minion's controller reveal their hand to decide it because that part has already been resolved before the power boost was copied and so the amount of power is already set.
- With Funky Town, you can only copy it if you're the one who played the action, but if Funky Town does copy it, the minion is considered as indirectly affected by the action and gets the same amount of power boost as the minion that was directly affected by the action.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.


Questions on Touch of Madness Edit

Q: Another player already has ten cards in their hand. I play Touch of Madness to make them draw a Madness card. What happens? I suppose they don't draw any because they already reached the limit of cards in hand, right? Or do they draw one and immediately discard it in their discard pile? Or do they draw it and choose which card to discard?

A: They draw the Madness card and don't discard any card until their next Draw 2 Cards phase (so not any Draw 2 Cards phase!). At that point, they will indeed need to draw two cards and discard down to 10 if they have more than 10. That's the only moment where they must discard down to 10. At any other time, they keep their hand of cards.

Rule: On your Draw 2 Cards phase, if you have more than 10 cards in your hand after drawing, discard until you have exactly 10 cards left in your hand.

Q: After playing this card, I (somehow) have more than 10 cards in hand, do I immediately discard down to 10?

A: You don't discard any card until your next Draw 2 Cards phase (so not any Draw 2 Cards phase!). At that point, you will indeed need to draw two cards and discard down to 10 if you have more than 10. That's the only moment where you must discard down to 10. At any other time, you keep your hand of cards.

Rule: On your Draw 2 Cards phase, if you have more than 10 cards in your hand after drawing, discard until you have exactly 10 cards left in your hand.

Q: How does this interact with the Disco Dancers' mechanic and Funky Town's ability?

A: It doesn't interact with them at all, because Touch of Madness doesn't affect any minions in play and so its effect can't be copied.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.


Questions on Unfathomable Goals Edit

Q: An opponent plays Unfathomable Goals and I have a Madness card in my hand. Can I choose to destroy a minion in my hand instead of in play?

A: No. The card specifically tells you to destroy one of "your minions", which by definition refers to "minions in play that you control".

Rule: "Your minion" means "any minion you control". (and a minion is only controlled if it's in play)

Q: An opponent plays Unfathomable Goals and I have a Madness card in my hand. Can I choose to destroy a minion that cannot be destroyed? Even if I have another minion that's not immune?

A: Sure.

Rule: The card you target may be immune to the effects of the ability you are performing, but it is still a valid target.

Q: An opponent plays Unfathomable Goals and I have more than one Madness card in my hand. Do I still have to destroy one of my minions? The card says "a Madness card". If I have to, do I destroy one minion per Madness card?

A: You have to destroy one minion in total. The card meant to say "at least one Madness card".

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Q: It tells me to destroy "one of my minions". Can I destroy a minion I own that I don't control?

A: No. "Your minions" are minions you control, whether or not you own them. A minion you own but don't control isn't yours.

Rule: "Your minion" means "a minion that you control".

Q: I play Unfathomable Goals and an opponent chooses to destroy their minion on Field of Honor. Who gets the VP?

A: Your card made another player destroy the minion, so it's that player who did the destruction. Therefore, your opponent gets the VP because Field of Honor rewards the player who destroys it.

Rule: If a card specifies another player to carry out an effect, that player gets the credit for the effect, not the card player.[2]

Q: I play Unfathomable Goals and an opponent chooses to destroy their Awesome Guy, claiming that it can't be destroyed by my card and therefore survives. Is that correct?

A: No. There's a subtle nuance. When you play Unfathomable Goals to make another player destroy a minion, the minion is considered both "destroyed by your card's ability" and "destroyed by that player". So the cause of the destruction is your card's ability, but the person who carried out the destruction is that player. A card that can't be destroyed by "other players' abilities" is only immune to destruction if the cause is another player's ability. However, a card that can't be destroyed by "other players" is only immune to destruction if the person who does the destruction is another player. So Awesome Guy is not immune to destruction if it's destroyed by its own controller, even if the destruction was caused by another player's card.

Rule: If a card specifies another player to carry out an effect, that player gets the credit for the effect, not the card player.[2]

Q: I play Unfathomable Goals and other players are forced to destroy their own minion. Can I activate Mako's ability and play it?

A: No. Mako's ability can only be triggered after you destroy a minion. When you play Unfathomable Goals, you make other players destroy their minions, so they are the ones who destroyed them, not you. On the other hand, if your opponent played a similar card as Unfathomable Goals (e.g. Bear Hug) and made you destroy one of your minions, then you can activate Mako's ability.

Rule: If a card specifies another player to carry out an effect, that player gets the credit for the effect, not the card player.[2]

Q: How does this interact with the Disco Dancers' mechanic and Funky Town's ability?

A: - If Diva copies it, Diva is considered as indirectly affected by the action and is destroyed.
- If Dancing King copies it onto a minion (it can be itself), that minion is considered as indirectly affected by the action and is destroyed. Note that while the action is restricted to each other player who has revealed a Madness card, the copy effect can be applied onto any minion, even one not controlled by the same player, one controlled by an opponent who didn't have any Madness card in hand, or even the action player themself.
- If We are Family copies it, the minion it is on is considered as indirectly affected by the action and is destroyed. Note that while the action is restricted to each other player who has revealed a Madness card, the copy effect can be applied onto any minion, even one not controlled by the same player, one controlled by an opponent who didn't have any Madness card in hand, or even the action player themself.
- It is impossible for Funky Town to copy that action's effect because you can only directly affect an opponent's minion, which won't trigger Funky Town.

Rule: Do exactly what the card says.

Trivia Edit

  • The artist is Alex Konstad.
  • In the Touch of Madness, the play is a reference to "The King in Yellow".

In other languages Edit

Language Name
French Grands Anciens
German Fremde Wesen
Italian Gli Antichi
Russian Старцы
Spanish Antiguos


The Obligatory Cthulhu Set

Factions: Elder Things  •  Innsmouth  •  Minions of Cthulhu  •  Miskatonic University
Mechanics: Madness  •  Titans (optional, since the TITANS Event Kit)

Sets

Main: Core Set  •  Awesome Level 9000  •  The Obligatory Cthulhu Set  •  Science Fiction Double Feature  •  The Big Geeky Box  •  Monster Smash  •  Pretty Pretty Smash Up  •  Smash Up: Munchkin  •  It’s Your Fault!  •  Cease and Desist  •  What Were We Thinking?  •  Big in Japan  •  That ’70s Expansion  •  The Bigger Geekier Box  •  Oops, You Did It Again
Promotional: All Stars Event Kit  •  Smash Up Sheep Promo  •  TITANS Event Kit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 https://boardgamegeek.com/article/15662994#15662994
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 https://boardgamegeek.com/article/22554680#22554680