The rules say this in setup:

The players shuffle the Common Item, Unique Item, Spell, and Skill decks, then return them face down to their places next to the board. Whenever players draw cards, they draw them randomly from the tops of these decks.

There is no mention of the Ally decks, yet in one bgg contributor rulesheet I found here, it says the following in the setup box:

Distribute Allies. Assign any Fixed Allies to Investigators. Draw 11 Allies from remaining supply to create the Ally Deck. Assign any Random Allies to Investigators from the Ally Deck

Is there an official reference to what to do with the Ally cards that I overlooked? I didn't see it in the Rulebook or FAQ. I assumed the omission from the rulebook setup text was just an oversight, but seeing this snippet in the contributor rule sheet has me second guessing.

2 Answers 2


I think the reason for this may be because there's no circumstance I've run into* where you pull a random ally, except in the case of discarding then it specifically says in the rules:

For every point the terror level goes up, select one Ally card at random from the Ally deck and return it to the box.

So basically, it's not telling you to randomize them initially because there's no point. The other decks draw from the top and have reasons to look at the bottom as well. For the record, I generally randomize anyway but admit I end up having to look through during encounters and purchasing (or setup) to find the guy I want then re-randomizing. So...ignoring might be smarter=)

*: I don't have all the expansions nor have I read every card/encounter etc but I do have 3 expansions and have played this game several dozen times. But anyway, it's theoretical.

  • Your answer makes sense toward explaining why they do not ask you to shuffle the deck, but then what reason would there be for the description in the contributor rulesheet?
    – Joey
    Jul 1, 2015 at 4:10
  • @Joey Anything on any forum that's not from the creator of the game (which I've seen before from that forum), I consider unofficial "helping", same as here. What it says is logical (and maybe he knows more than I do (RE 'Random Allies')) and gives you a baseline in the event Qs occur (such as this one=)). It'd seem logical to me that either the game devs didn't consider it important enough to errata (or note in core rules) or it has no game impacts. There also are notes in every expansion I have on how it differs from core play. Further answer may also be there.
    – joedragons
    Jul 1, 2015 at 14:10

In the original rulebook, the ally cards were an investigator deck and you were told to shuffle and ready them.

In subsequent rulebooks, Dunwich Horror, and Curse of the Pharoah were the first two, the ally deck rule was expanded.

Determine Allies: Although five new Allies are included in this expansion, only 11 total Allies should be used in each game. When preparing the Ally deck, shuffle it and deal out 11 cards faceup, returning the others to the box. Players may examine the allies to see which ones will appear. Then turn the Ally cards facedown and shuffle them again. Allies that are taken as starting equipment in setup step 9 will come from this deck of 11 cards.

If a specific Ally is part of an investigator’s fixed possessions, then that Ally must be one of the 11 Ally cards used.

The assumption is that the designers wanted to provide some variety of new allies, but thought that the ally deck was a resource to be used. Specifically because you need to remove an ally from the game every time the terror level increased. By restricting the total number of allies, the available pool of them decreased to almost nothing as the terror level increased (to a max of 10) throughout the game.

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