Madness cards were introduced in The Obligatory Cthulhu Set. It is a separate deck which belongs to no one and can only be accessed through specific abilities. Every faction in The Obligatory Cthulhu Set includes cards that interact with Madness, and no other factions mention Madness. The Madness deck should be included in any game played with factions from that set.

While they can be played like any regular cards, they actually have a much stronger impact on the game: at the end of the game, for each pair of Madness cards that you have in your hand/deck/discard pile, you lose 1 VP.


All the Madness cards are identical actions.


30x Madness - Draw two cards OR return this card to the Madness deck.


Main article: Rules


Prepare the Madness DeckEdit

Gather all the Madness cards together to form the Madness deck. There are thirty Madness cards in total. No need to shuffle this deck because those are thirty copies of the same card.

Place this deck to the side within easy reach so if one player needs one, it can be drawn or passed to them. While not stated in the rules, you should put this deck face-up to avoid confusion with a regular player deck.

Unlike the base deck and the player decks, there isn't a Madness discard pile as the only way to get rid of a Madness card is by returning it to the Madness deck.

Drawing Madness cardsEdit

The phrase "draw a Madness card" means put a Madness card from the Madness deck into your hand.

As any other abilities, if the ability says "you may draw a Madness card", you don't have to do it. But if the ability says "draw a Madness card", you must do it. If the Madness deck ever runs out, you're supposed to use cards from an used faction as proxies.[1][2]

Madness cards can go into your deck just like cards you own (e.g. shuffling your discard pile into your deck).

Playing Madness cardsEdit

Madness cards are all actions. So you can play one by spending one of your action plays, either your free action play, or an extra action play.

When you play a Madness card, you have a choice between two abilities: either drawing two cards from your deck, or returning the Madness card you played to the Madness deck. If you choose to draw two cards, then the Madness card is discarded into your discard pile afterwards.

Discarding Madness cardsEdit

After you've played a Madness card and chosen to draw two cards, you have to discard it into your discard pile, not back to the Madness deck. Likewise, if an ability tells you to discard a Madness card, it goes to your discard pile, not back to the Madness deck.

Returning Madness cardsEdit

To return a Madness card to the Madness deck, an ability has to instruct you to do so explicitly (e.g. the Madness card itself).

End GameEdit

Games played with Madness cards still end when, at the end of a turn, one player has more victory points than all other players and that player has at least 15 victory points. However, that player isn't necessarily the winner.

At the end of the game, each player searches their hand, deck, and discard pile and counts their Madness cards. Every 2 Madness cards gives you -1 VP (e.g. 5 Madness = -2 VP). After resolving the Madness card penalties, whoever has the highest total of points wins, even if that total is less than 15.

The Obligatory Cthulhu Set's rulebook does not say how to resolve ties caused by Madness VP penalties. The Science Fiction Double Feature set adds a rule that ties are resolved favoring the player with fewer Madness cards.[3] Ties are still possible, however. For example, if all 3 players are tied at 14 VP, one player has 4 Madness cards, the others have none, and the player with the Madness plays an Invader. The Cease and Desist rulebook mention that any further ties "share the win!"

Possible Resolution: Madness Deuce: Keep track of how much Madness each player has (which is never a secret). Don't end the game unless there are no ties.[houserule]

FAQ Edit

Questions on Madness Edit

Q: If I use a card's ability to discard a Madness card (e.g. Librarian, ... It Just Migh Work, Madness Unleashed), do I discard it into the Madness deck?

A: No, you discard it into your discard pile.

Rule: If an ability tells you to discard a Madness card, it goes to your discard pile, not back to the Madness deck.
Q: If I play another player's Madness card from their hand (e.g. Min-Maxing), from their deck (e.g. Mass Enchantment) or from their discard pile (e.g. Word of Recall) and choose to draw two cards, where is it discarded?
A: You played it, so it's discarded into your own discard pile, not theirs.

Rule: After you've played a Madness card and chosen to draw two cards, you have to discard it into your discard pile.
Q: If I want or need to draw a Madness card, but the Madness deck is empty, what happens?
A: The Madness deck isn't finite. If you ever run out of Madness cards, you must use the cards from an unused faction as replacements.[1][2]
Rule: Do exactly what the card official answer says.
Q: At the end of the game, if I have an odd number of Madness card, do I lose -0.5 VP from the single remaining Madness card?
A: No, if you have an odd number of Madness card, the one that's left out doesn't make you lose any VP.

Rule: Every 2 Madness cards gives you -1 VP.

Trivia Edit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1
  2. 2.0 2.1
  3. Science Fiction Double Feature rulebook page 16 section "Additional Rules"

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