Review written after the full Path to Carcosa (And Return To Path of Carcosa) has been released:
Archaic Glyphs and it's counterparts Strange Solution and Ancient Stone are pseudo-weaknesses that detract from achieving your objectives in whatever scenario you play, and that's the point; the cards that Archaic Glyphs upgrade into are, as a result, more powerful for their resource and exp costs. Essentially, you're trading away your deck's effectiveness in the early scenarios for more effectiveness in the later ones. That is a strong reason to include this card, because like Delve Too Deep, you have the power to mitigate the amount of a drawback having this card imposes on you by:
- Playing it when your ahead and can afford to lose a few actions.
- Playing and completing it just before you end the scenario, where your additional actions don't matter.
- Playing and using it while clue gathering isn't the current objective and your actions aren't that valuable.
- Playing it as Daisy Walker.
- Playing it in a secret deck with Truth from Fiction and Enraptured.
- Or just NOT playing it because none of the above is true, and committing it to a skill test instead.
I re-iterate that this card is bad and that's the point. Judging it by comparing to other non-quest cards is a mistake. Instead, let's go through the investigators that can take this card, and see how easily they would complete this card's quest, and how desirable the upgraded versions are to them:
- Daisy Walker: Yes. Her additional action on Tome cards means she can knock out the quest without losing any actions, and Archaic Glyphs: Guiding Stones pairs especially well with her alongside Encyclopedia.
- Rex Murphy: No. Rex already has a powerful 'if you succeed an investigation by x' effect built into his character. He doesn't need a second, and every icon discarded hurts his ability to trigger his own.
- Minh Thi Phan. Yes. She will generally have a surplus of and icons in her deck to trigger her ability; extra ones can be sacrificed to Archaic Glyphs without much loss.
- Ursula Downs. Maybe. Completing the quest will hurt her more than Daisy or Minh, but her ability to take an investigate action after moving also covers investigate actions on cards, which all three upgraded versions have, and Archaic Glyphs: Prophecy Foretold pairs ESPECIALLY well with her.
- Joe Diamond: No. You cannot commit cards from his hunch deck, and his actual deck will have fewer icons than most due to competition from guardian cards.
- Mandy Thompson. Yes. Mandy will be drawing cards like there's no tomorrow. Surplus cards can be sacrificed to the un-upgraded version of Archaic Glyphs, or rapidly played from hand with the newest version of Archaic Glyphs: Markings of Isis.
- Norman Withers. NO. Norman CANNOT take any upgraded version of quest cards, making them useless to him.
- Akachi Onyele. No. 2 is going to struggle to get value from the upgraded version of Archaic Glyphs, as they all test intellect.
- Marie Lambeau: Maybe. Marie's arcane slots will be heavily contested, and the upgraded versions will have to compete with the likes of Rite of Seeking and Sixth Sense. However, they have natural synergy with her ability and do fulfil roles outside of investigating.
- All other non-seeker investigators that can take this card. No. Same reason as Norman Withers.