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Drew Whitmore
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Sapere Proibito


(from the official FAQ or responses to the official rules question form)
  • Moving secrets from Forbidden Knowledge to your resource pool does not count as 'gaining' resources, so can be used in situations where the investigator with Forbidden Knowledge may not otherwise gain resources (such as being at Trapper's Cabin or being engaged with O'Bannion's Thug).
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To pass on this gem with Carolyn Fern would just be Foolishness. This is so good on Carolyn with Peter Sylvestre in play. 2 resources every turn for 4 turns -- awesome. With Dr. Milan Christopher, this setup, Liquid Courage, and Teamwork, The Nerd Girl becomes killer support, and the bigger the group, the better. Before you know it, everyone's rolling in it. Have her hand a Dark Horsed Silas Marsh a St. Hubert's Key while you're passing out goodies, and they may as well start calling you Dr. Frankenstein, because you've just created a monster.

crymoricus · 233

TL:DR, avoid like the plague unless your options are limited or your name is Agnes Baker.

The faction is one of the two most resource starved groups in the game (the other being ), powerful economy cards are great but their cost may just be too great for you to pay for. Forbidden Knowledge is one such card, for the vast number of characters the horror is just too great and they perish quickly, Agnes Baker however LOVES this card.

  • 4 Resources is good, 4 horror is BAD, from what we can surmise at the moment two points of horror heal is worth a card and two resources, I.E the trade here is very inefficient, not to mention the greatly increased risks in the scenario. Almost no characters have the horror tank to endure this and those who do might want to look at other options, like Uncage the Soul and Emergency Cache, both of those grant similar resource benefits and at no horror cost.

  • Secrets rarely combo, there are just 2 cards in the game that interact with this resource type and those cards are bad on their own.

So, it kills you and compares terribly to other cards, so why does Agnes like it? Heck, this card might as well be her strength card, and a 2-off at that! The main reason Agnes loves it is the fact that she can trigger the trigger outside her normal turn. With generous application of spells and being buried in enemies something like this might happen:

Trigger Forbidden Knowledge in the Mythos phase, shoot something with Shrivelling and pull a , get punched in the enemy phase taking another horror. That's 3 triggers on her ability in one turn which is another 3 points of damage on top of her Shrivelling, enough to kill bosses in solo in one round! Of course, typically, you'll perhaps not draw a special token with the Shrivelling or draw horror inflicting effects in the mythos phase, Forbidden Knowledge is very flexible so you can usually adjust accordingly. To be able to pull off combos like these you absolutely need Fearless and might need to forego a copy, or even both copies, of Arcane Research.

Tsuruki23 · 2487
Carolyn also absolutely loves this card. She can run as much Horror healing as she wants, but sometimes needs ways of putting Horror on her to heal. The ultimate combo is of course putting the Horror on the boyfriend and getting 8 resources out of Forbidden Knowledge - all from free and reaction triggers. — Death by Chocolate · 1394
you take this for ther horror, resources are just a nice bonus. horror is GOOD (if you are desperate, or a Key wielder outside Carcossa). Dark Horse Jim likes this for instant resources too... — Adny · 1
I'd also give a special mention to Marie for this card. Her card pool is fairly expensive and ally dependent, and she needs to run allies who bring doom into play. FK gives her a means to pay for them as well as kill them on demand. I don't necessarily think it's the best method in her deck to get rid of doomed allies, but it's a method nonetheless. — StyxTBeuford · 12943
Agnes with Forbidden Knowledge and Painkillers can effectively deal 3 "free" damage a turn. Sure, it costs you 3 horror, but who doesn't have a couple upgraded Fearless to handle that?! I love the ability to do damage on demand. You have to watch your timing windows carefully, but in a single turn, you can use one of them in the investigator phase, one in replenish phase, take a hit in the enemy phase, and use one in the mythos phase. That's 4 potential damage to an enemy, on top of whatever else you're doing! In many cases that's enough to wipe the board and let you finish off a scenario! — Ergonomic Cat · 47
This was definitely a star when I tried playing Meat Cleaver Agnes. — Zinjanthropus · 225
@Ergonomic Cat How? You can only use Forbidden Knowledge and Painkillers once a turn since they exhaust. How does that amount to "3 free damage a turn"? — Jelonek · 1

The important thing to understand about this card is that it is a special purpose card, not a general resource card. It is only meant to be he used by characters who want to inflict horror upon themselves. Otherwise, the reward for this card is absolutely not worth the horror it inflicts upon you.

In the Core Set this was the special friend of Agnes Baker, I treated it practically as one of her signature cards. Then Carolyn Fern came along and added another user for it. If you are feeling a little wild you could try to use it to lower your sanity for cards that require sanity of 3 or less. But for ordinary characters, just ignore this card.

ChristopherA · 108
In a eldritch sophist or ariadnes twine build this card is a good secrets battery, more efficient than truth from fiction — niklas1meyer · 1
I don't disagree that the card has a "special purpose" but I don't consider it a card to be ignored. There are a number of very powerful advantages to the way this card can drip feed you resources, most notably if you are running Peter Sylvester, Dark Horse, Fire Axe, and/or any talents. It's more useful than Emergency Cache or any other resource generator in bulk because you can maintain the level of cash that you want far better than other cards permit. You also get a total of 4 resources so it's already more than more other resource generating one off's at level 0. Finally, Agnes and Carolyn both like it as you pointed out, but so does Jim who can heal with his trumpet and has access to survivor tech. Patrice falls into that as well. Sister Mary has a massive sanity pool and access to two healing classes. And if the card can find a home in so many investigators, I find it difficult to "ignore". — LaRoix · 1634
That's all well and good, LaRoix, but I think ChristopherA's review, which I think is generally right and is helpful for newer players. The fact is you shouldn't just throw this into your deck because you want a better economy. That's a trap for newer players as the horror is not worth it. And while there can be specific reasons (like Dark Horse) to prefer a steady stream of resources over a bunch at once (as in Emergency Cache), most of the time, the latter is better, another strike against this card. — CaiusDrewart · 3046
While I agree that Forbidden Knowledge shouldn't be taken naively by new players, I agree with LaRoix's counterpoints in their entirety. There are A LOT of situations where the four horror inflicted is negligible and the controlled drip of resources is useful. — Death by Chocolate · 1394
If the horror doesn't benefit you in some way, you may as well play Emergency Cache and get a free 4 horror heal for 1 resource. — suika · 9311
This card is also useful for anyone running Renfield as an "on demand" way to remove him from the board while making extra money. Can be used on Arcane Initiate as well but needs two turns. — Time4Tiddy · 240
It’s a secret battery for seekers (many of whom can take it), it acts as 8 resources for Carolyn with Peter Sylvestre out, it becomes 4 testless damage with Agnes, it destroys doom allies including the resource generating Renfield. There’s lots of reasons to run this card and I straight up disagree that it should be overlooked by new players or veteran players- cards like these are very much Johnny cards, and Johnny players like myself love using them. — StyxTBeuford · 12943
Another use is to put horror on yourself to activate low sanity triggers like Meat Cleaver and the Desperate skills. Forbidden Knowledge works well with Pete and Patrice for this reason. Dark Horse builds also vastly prefer on demand drip resources like this, Labranche, and Patrice’s Violin, over burst like E Cache, as it lets them feed the resources into something like a Fire Axe test when needed. — StyxTBeuford · 12943
Or as discard bait from the E-deck. — MrGoldbee · 1419
Anyone that can take Forbidden Knowledge can take St. Hubert's Key, the much better enabler of Cleaver and Desperate strategies. And you still need a way to take the 3 horror after killing off Renfield with this if you want any value out of this card. — suika · 9311
I heavily disagree that Hubert's Key is a better enabler. It's significantly more expensive and takes an accessory slot. — StyxTBeuford · 12943
Desperate skill decks usually don't require too much resources, but more importantly St. Hubert's Key let's you be at the 3 sanity threshold without risk of dying to an autofail on Rotting Remains, whereas you'd need another source of soak if you're running Forbidden Knowledge. — suika · 9311
I would say, that depends on the character. I like "St. Hubert's Key" very much for Diana. But it is not enough horror on it's own to enable Desperate Skills early game, when she needs them. But with double "Arcane Research" this is a perfect pairing. Now for somebody like Patrice, being desperate early is less important, and "Arcane Research" less useful. So I can see, that "Forbidden Knowledge" might be the better fit. But that is hardly the question. I agree, that this is in general not a resource card. If you want it, you normally (outside of some "Dark House" decks) want it mainly for the horror, and take the resources as a bonus. But the comments have proven so far, that there can be quite a lot of reasons, you want the horror. I would agree with the review, that Agnes and Carolyn are probably the best users of this card, but there are others. — Susumu · 351
Also the Key is much less interesting for Patrice, because it just pushes her low 2 intellect base skill up to 3. For that, it is indeed wasteful with resources. — Susumu · 351
We're getting a bit off topic here (a lot of good contributions in this thread), but I'd just say that I think Patrice is an uncommon investigator who might want to work with a low Intellect stat even on high difficulty levels. Partially because she is a Survivor, but it's not just test reduction and fail to win stuff for her--she can use her abundance of icons to pass investigate checks straight up if she wants to. And she might want to, depending on what she's planning for her Arcane slots. — CaiusDrewart · 3046
*test difficulty reduction, I meant to say — CaiusDrewart · 3046
To derail it even further, two of the most common Patrice allies are the Hound and Doyle who would set her Int to 5. — suika · 9311
Yes. You've got to love how an all-animals build is not just a meme but actually really strong for Patrice. — CaiusDrewart · 3046
The possibility that you would want to use this card to intentionally get resources slowly, as in a Dark Horse build, is reasonable, though a little obscure. I see a lot of good suggestions in this thread for additional reasons why characters would intentionally want to take horror, beyond the specific ones I mentioned. But I remain unconvinced that the extra resource from this card (compared to emergency cache) is really worth 4 horror (and taking 4 turns to get it) just because you are a seeker with high sanity, or a survivor who might (but might not) draw a Peter to ignore it. Certainly not enough reason for me to change my general purpose deck-building advice. — ChristopherA · 108
I run this in my Alyssa Graham decks for the double duty. I don't run it often other than that except for the obvious decks like Carolyn or Agnes. — The Lynx · 971

Forbidden Knowledge is the definition of Risk-Reward that makes Mystic a tricky faction. 0 cost for 4 resources is great, 4 Horror is not so great. Agnes Baker can use this to her advantage by dealing damage when she receives Horror, but you are limited to once per Phase. During your investigation phase you can take a free resource, take a horror, and deal a damage. If you're in a really tight spot where you need to eliminate an enemy, you have a player window during the Mythos phase after encounter cards are drawn and immediately before enemies attack. That's a total of 3 damage dealt, 3 resources gained, but also 3 horror taken in a single round, without having to make a skill check.

This is a useful asset, but you should only use it when absolutely necessary, or you'll find yourself dropping out of scenarios from sanity loss. Unless you're with friends that can patch you up with First Aid, you're going to be saving your second copy for the Intellect icon, or replacing it with leveled up cards as a campaign progresses.

PaxCecilia · 404
Something I messed up too, this card exhausts when you use it, so it is once per round. It still works great with Agnes though. — Kamalisk · 303
Yep, scratch a large portion of the review, but it's still a very strong card out of Agnes. Actually found it to be strong in Daisy if you don't have Dr. Chris out yet for cash. — PaxCecilia · 404
Don't forget you can take the horror on an asset, which improves survivability. This pays for, say, Elder Sign with 2 resources to spare, and it can sink 4 horror. — BD Flory · 239
I think this card is better when played with Jim, as with his trumpet out he can recover without using actions, thus preserving the action less bonus of forbidden knowledge — arkham · 1

I can see the appeal of this card in a Carolyn deck running Peter, but even if you do include it, I think it's a card that's due to get replaced pretty quickly. Depends if you're planning to go with Ancient Stones. If you do, you don't need this card once Ancient Stones (Healing Horror version) is up and running by scenario 3. Which begs the question...if it's going to take up a slot, why not find something more interesting to put in there? You'll make money with Peter solo anyway in the meantime. And if you're running Painkillers, this makes this card even less appealing. Carolyn deck building can be tight, but I favour trying out some esoteric cards that could help now and down the road...maybe a True Grit for versatility or Inspiring Presence to heal up and ready Alice Luxley if she's in your deck. In short, this card feels like 'immediate gratification' and even a bit superfluous, and would be neat to try other strategies with Carolyn.

Krysmopompas · 353
I dont follow as to why this card is redundant with Ancient Stone. It doesn’t take up a hand slot and Ancient Stone can heal the horror this dishes out if Pete isn’t around. I’d argue if you’re going Stone that it’s Pete who becomes redundant, in which case Carolyn could afford to run Xavier or Alice instead. — StyxTBeuford · 12943
I just ran Carolyn through Return to DL and TCU, and using Charisma with the Alice/upgraded Pete combo early gives a nice +1 to Will and Intellect, as well as the Agility bonus. That's more of a boost than 4-8 resources for me....with Pete doing double duty on stat boosts and sanity heals, plus Ancient Stone healing everyone, the resources were starting to roll with scenario 3 both times. I didn't miss this card from then on, although depending on your strategy I can see a case to add them in the early going. But I had a couple of Delve too Deeps in there instead; the 15 max seeker/mystic cards were a factor in weighing best fit. — Krysmopompas · 353
I still disagree. This alongside Pete or Ancient Stone is equivalent to Lone Wolf. You spend one card and one action for 8 resources across a scenario, about what you would expect net from Lone Wolf most of the time. Less potential than Lone Wolf, but twice as fast so drawing it late game is still good. The question becomes where you spend the resources, not if you need them. Dynamite Blast is resource hungry, and there's always Keen Eye. — StyxTBeuford · 12943
I also feel that I need to clarify you weren't taking resources every time Carolyn healed, She gives resources to the person being healed, therefore not always to herself. Forbidden Knowledge + Stone/Sylvestre is great for generating your own resources. — StyxTBeuford · 12943
You generaly NEVER take this card because it generates resources. You take it because it deals you horror. — Adny · 1
Painkillers also deals horror, maybe not as fast though. And it heals you at the same time. For the resource problem I just pick up one Emergency Cache that will eventually go on Stick to the Plan. One action = 3 Resources, 2x Let Me Deal with This to let you take the will tests of your colleagues, and the general horror of many scenarios and I'm still in the camp of not missing this card. — Krysmopompas · 353
Painkillers are very nice. But Forbidden Knowledge works without using an action, which is huge. There are action windows in every phase, so this card lets you trigger a damage during any phase that you want. But really free actions are the strongest thing you can have in the game, so the fact that you don't have to use an action to take the horror is huge! — Ergonomic Cat · 47
I dont see why I would ever run E Cache over this. 2 resources basically right now and then for 3 turns afterward versus just 3 now. It’s not even close to the same. — StyxTBeuford · 12943
Also it is worth noting that Painkillers also work without spending an action. There’s not really a good reason to not run both though for people who want horror. — StyxTBeuford · 12943
you have to be hurt to use Painkillers. — Adny · 1
Yes, that's true. Partly why I prefer Forbidden Knowledge over Painkillers. — StyxTBeuford · 12943