The unique mechanics in Mummy's Mask include a whole bunch of things you've never seen before. One of my favorites is the Trigger trait, which turns the most basic of activities—reading cards—on its head, maybe forever.
The general theme of this Adventure Path (at least early on) is that you're exploring a magically protected tomb that's built for adventurers to ransack, but not without danger. We wanted there to be lots of tricks and traps, the kind of things you want to know about before they go off. Many of our players pick characters with examination powers—Alahazra, Estra, and Zadim in this set—to scout out those surprises. Lots of boons get you help along those lines. Even some banes.
Three very different ways to examine cards.
With all that examining going on, we don't want examiners to be invulnerable to our surprises. Hence, we needed a way to nail them too. So we came up with powers on cards that go off when you peek at them. We first seeded a version of this into Wrath of the Righteous Adventure Deck 4: The Midnight Isles, on the card Blasphemy Demon.
Everyone's favorite Wrath card!
It worked well there, so Liz, Paul, and Gaby built it out in full in Mummy's Mask. To make sure you don't miss these powers, we've given these cards the Trigger trait, and because we want you to know it's there the second you look at the card, we've put it at the top of the list and highlighted it in red. When you examine such a card, you'll find that the first power begins "When you examine this card," and quite often, the words after that are meant to cause you pain.
Here are some examples of that sort of pain.
Fun fact: We didn't make up the word "bonecrusher." It's a real type of hyena!
Those are all horrible. I mean, in a good way. Okay, mostly in a horrible way. It's not all bad, though! Plenty of cards have a Trigger that you might like! Or at least might not hate so much.
I dunno, she still looks pretty wrapped to me.
And do you think we'd send you into that blender alone? Nah, we've got some cards that can take the sting off the Trigger trait for you.
So what's really going on here? Is the goal of the set to stop you from examining cards? No! We give you lots of ways to examine cards before you explore, and we expect you'll want to use them. But we just want to put a little fear of the gods into you before you do so.
All of that examine-and-encounter might also seem frightening, but wait! That's a free exploration. It's not a free exploration you can control, mind you, but any port in a sandstorm, right?
As you can see, it's a balance. As you'll see in later blogs in this series, just about everything in Mummy's Mask is a balance. After all, if you're walking around a tomb full of traps and treasures, it's best not to get too overconfident.
Adventure Card Game Lead Designer