Objet. Relique. Maudit.

Cost: 3. XP: 2.
Test Icons:

Exceptionnel. Rapide.

: Attachez La clé Squelette à votre lieu. Si elle est déjà attaché à votre lieu, détachez-la et renvoyez-la dans votre zone de jeu à la place.

Fixez la valeur occulte du lieu attaché à 1.

Stanislav Dikolenko
Les Profondeurs de Yoth #270.
La clé Squelette
FAQs (taken from the official FAQ or FFG's responses to the official rules question form)
  • Q: How does The Skeleton Key interact with Obscuring Fog or Lantern? A: If an effect "sets" the value of a statistic, that overrides all other modifiers. In other words, if a 4 shroud location has Obscuring Fog and The Skeleton Key attached to it, its shroud would still be 1, no matter what, because The Skeleton Key sets its value to 1. It is worth noting that this answer would be different if it set its "base" value – the "base" value of something is the value before modifiers are applied, so that would allow it to be modified afterward. But here Skeleton Key sets its value to 1, AKA the total value after all modifications.

  • Erratum: This card's ability should read: "If The Skeleton Key is in your play area, attach it to your location…" - FAQ, v.1.41, October 2018
Last updated

TL;DR: Think of the key as a late-mission MP support Event, not an Asset. It competes with no slots, and you don't have to play it until/unless it's needed. If 3R and 1 action to trivialize an entire 3+ Shroud 8+ Clue location for EVERYBODY in your party seems worth it, then it doesn't matter when you draw your one copy- you'll always be happy to see it.


I recently completed a 3P Carcosa as Tony Morgan; the key here was a late upgrade in the "eh why not" vein after getting all his other needed upgrades. It ended up being a relief to see on each remaining mission.

Left me wondering why it never really got much in the way of reviews, but I think I can see why- it looks deceptively cumbersome. 3R to play, 2 actions to place & recover, only 1 per deck, Lockpicks exist, etc. But here's the thing: in 3-4 player MP, all of these become unimportant... a single use of the key will pay for itself.

  • Fast. No need to play it til you need it, and ultimately costs only 1 action to place it at a destination.
  • NO SLOT. Did you notice that? Some assume the key is an Accessory or Hand item at a glance, and thus in competition.
  • Item. You can tutor it with Backpack, which many Rogues enjoy running.
  • You likely want it late. High-shroud spots often reveal near end of mission. This reduces the 1-per-deck risk.
  • Scales hugely in MP.

That last one's the biggy. It's rare that a campaign doesn't have at least one location with 3+ shroud and 2+/Investigator clues. In SP you can clear that with an event or skills. In 4P though, the Skeleton Key becomes an 8-charge Flashlight that your whole party can use in addition to any other investigation skills they have.

If you can get the key to work on 1 hard room in a mission in 3-4 player MP, it's a terrific and reliable value. The uninstall/reinstall effect is neat, but distracts from the fact that it should pay for itself with a single use.

(FUN FACT: Preston & Dexter & Sefina aside, everyone who can take the Key has 3+ base INT, and is thus themselves now investigating at a minimum of +2 after using it.)

(edited to add Sefina to sub-3 INT investigators, thanks to all who noted this in comments!)

HanoverFist · 294
When I learned about Skeleton Key I was really excited because it could pair with the Ornate Bow and make the loss the Lockpicks not that big of a deal. But I only play 2 handed solo so it just didn't have the payoff since there just aren't enough clues at one location to justify using it. It might still work in some Rogue decks that have a bunch of extra actions like Leo DeLuca, Haste, Quick Thinking or other free action cards. Maybe I will design a deck with that in mind and make Skeleton Key an element of the cluegetting. — TWWaterfalls · 697
Smart thinking! The key goes nicely w/ 2H rogues who like the Bow, Typewriter, or .45 Thompson. But yeah, in 2P it may still be a tossup as to whether you'd want it, or another copy of something like Followed to scoop clues from high-shroud spots. — HanoverFist · 294
everyone who can take the Key has 3+ base INT, and is thus themselves now investigating at a minimum of +2 after using it.) — MrGoldbee · 512
Not Sefina! — MrGoldbee · 512
Preston, Sef, and Dex. — StyxTBeuford · 11737
Of course, Preston and Sefina can use Lola Santiago, who still likes the reduced shroud; and Sefina and Dex can use spells to investigate at 4 or 5 vs 1. — Yenreb · 9
Lola combo is CLUTCH. — MrGoldbee · 512
  • Can other investigators use the keys ability to move it to their play area when it's attached and later attach it themselves?
  • If not, what happens when this card is moved to another player's play area with Teamwork? Is the new controller the only one you can attach and detach it? Or is the owner the only one who could detach it, after the new controller attached it?
Django · 2996
This is all covered in the official FAQ under “(1.14) Control of Attachments”, and I recommend checking that out for details, but the short answer is: No other players can’t use the Key’s action ability. If control is transferred with Teamwork, the new controller is the only one who can attach/detach it. — Death by Chocolate · 581
I should have included reference to “(1.2) Triggered Abilities” which specifies what triggered abilities people can activate - relevant here: NOT triggered abilities on player cards which you don’t control. — Death by Chocolate · 581
Thanks — Django · 2996
Do we know what happens to the SK if a location leaves play? — PanicMoon · 2
Attached cards are discarded if the base card leaves play. — Django · 2996

Skeleton Key might be a strong "maybe" purchase for Rogues and off-Rogues in multiplayer, but I'm a little surprised no one has mentioned how excellent it is for Ursula Downs.

  • Seekers love this card to begin with, as it makes their job easier, so being able to include it in a deck is fantastic.
  • Dr. Elli Horowitz and the rest of the deck searching powers of the card pool mitigate the Exceptional restriction.
  • Ursula's action compression allows her to budget the needed for moving the key.
  • Her upgrade pool is pretty limited, so not too much competition beyond the big-ticket upgrades.
Maybe? Ursual really doesn't need it, though. It's pretty easy to get her Intellect (or Investigate at least) to 6 with a few static boosts, then she doesn't need to spend 4 XP, a card slot and some number of actions to investigate. There are some scenarios with stupid high shrouds or a lot of clues, and that might help the non clue-getters to do their part, but in most campaigns? — LivefromBenefitSt · 221
I also disagree a bit about the usability of this for Ursula. It still requires 3-4p due to the number of actions to attach and detach. Ursula's action compression is best used get in and get out of a location quickly. Even in 3-4p it doesn't make much sense to use it on 1 clue/investigator location unless they are 4+ shroud. Ursula has a huge upgrade pool. I didn't start running out of stuff to upgrade in TFA until I have at 50+ XP. One of my favorite upgrades in Ursula that functions similar to Skeleton Key is Arcane Insight. It takes up an unused slot, is actionless, can be used by anyone at your location and it actually reduces the shroud to zero. I can't see many situations where I would choose Skeleton Key instead. — TWWaterfalls · 697
As someone pointed out on mythos busters, it kindof antistacks with Ursula because you want to be moving to investigate a new location every turn, and you can't attach the skeleton key to a new location until after your free investigate opportunity — NarkasisBroon · 1
I see everyone's points! I'll concede that the key's usefulness is directly tied to player count and the number of high-shroud high-clue locations. It happened to come in clutch in the last couple scenarios of our Dunwich campaign, but Arcane Insight probably would have been better. — MiskatonicFrosh · 39
We've used skeleton key Ursula to absolutely crush PtC in 4p. She can dash in, drop the key when the shroud is high, and dash back out. Then anyone in the party can get clues, even our Tony. In isolation the combo might not work great but with the right group composition it's extremely powerful. — FarCryFromHuman · 1
Yeah, like it’s been said- 4p this card is amazing. — StyxTBeuford · 11737
I understand the value of Skeleton Key in 3-4 player campaigns, definitely. I'm about to play a 2 player campaign as Winifred. I'll be upgrading her to Ornate Bow to leverage her high Agility. Will Skeleton Key + Lola Santiago in 2-player provide enough value/clues? Or is it the Key really only good in 3-4 player games? — VanyelAshke · 119