It was not the all-covering dust and cobwebs of immemorial aeons, the fluttering winged things, the shriekingly loathsome sculptures on the walls, the bizarre form of the many basins and braziers, the sinister pyramidal altar with the hollow top, or the monstrous, octopus-headed abnormality in some strange, dark metal leering and squatting broodingly on its hieroglyphed pedestal, which robbed him of even the power to give a startled cry.
- H. P. Lovecraft and Zealia Bishop, The Mound
Nowadays it’s hard to believe that at one time, the Hastur faction was deemed one of the weaker factions. At the time the classic Spawn of Madness came out, the faction did have some strengths, like being able to cancel triggered abilities, but it had a hard time creating a presence on the table that could withstand an onslaught of characters going after stories. All characters worth their salt had willpower or terror to protect them from insanity and while Hastur has tools to get rid of opposing terror, willpower is a touchy subject for the faction that works on corrupting those of weak will.
Spawn of Madness did offer a great incentive to work the insanity angle, though. Altar of Madness ( Spawn of Madness , F10) offers great power to cultists that dedicate themselves to spreading madness in the form of cost reduction. Now that the spawn is returning to Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game , the Altar is brought back with it, albeit in a slightly different form.
Going Through The Changes
The first change is the cost, which went up to three. Now, cost on a card that reduces cost sort off cancels itself out. You pay three, then use it to abuse opposing insane characters to boost that lonely resource on another domain. More important is that the “minimum of one” clause is added, as functioning like a virtual all-faction domain would be crazy. Last, but not least, the reduction is now only for events.
You don’t have to limit yourself to Hastur-faction events though. Just one splashed resource is enough to satisfy even the most loyal, resource-hungry events when you have brought sufficient insanity to your foes. Besides, the altar pays for itself when you follow it up with Painful Reflection ( That Which Consumes , F106).
Some People Just Want To Watch the World Burn
A while back we saw what a Catastrophic Explosion can do. Since you’re able to exploit the Null Hypothesis to avoid wounding insane characters, you can take out the willpowered characters in a big explosion, without damaging your Altar potential. And there are bound to be even more insane events that will benefit heavily from the reintroduction of the Spawn – and Altar – of Madness.