Arkham Horror

Arkham Horror is an adventure board game designed by Richard Launius, most recently published in 2005 by Fantasy Flight Games. A previous, different, edition was published in 1987 by Chaosium. Players take on the role of investigators in H.P. Lovecraft's Massachusetts town of Arkham. They must work together to hold back the horrors of the Great Old Ones, lest these outside forces destroy the world. It shares art and other elements with Fantasy Flight Games' other Cthulhu Mythos based game: Call of Cthulhu Collectible Card Game.


The game board is made up of locations in Lovecraft's fictional city of Arkham during the 1920's. Street, building and outdoor locations are featured, as well as otherworldly locations that investigators can venture into. As game play progresses, gates to these other worlds open and are represented by tokens placed on the board. Typically, this also involves special conditions occurring (weather or supernatural events) which affect die rolls or abilities, as well as causing monster tokens to be put into play. The eventual goal is to close these gates before a set event occurs, usually meaning that one of Lovecraft's fictional Great Old Ones has awakened to destroy the world. If the Old One awakens, investigators must defeat it directly or lose the game as they are each devoured.


An expansion entitled Curse of the Dark Pharaoh was released in June, 2006. This expansion added many new cards to the game, including items and encounters. The theme was that a travelling museum exhibit from Egypt has arrived in Arkham, bringing with it accursed artifacts and strange happenings. Heavy emphasis is placed on Nyarlathotep, one of Lovecraft's iconic Old Ones. If Nyarlathotep is the chosen Old One for the game, new effects are in place when using this expansion.

The second expansion entitled Dunwich Horror was released during Gen Con 2006. Based on Lovecraft's short story The Dunwich Horror, it includes a new board that is placed against the original Arkham Horror board. This new board features locations in the town of Dunwich. Investigators may visit Dunwich by travelling through the Train Station in Arkham or using certain vehicle items. In addition, the game includes new Encounter, Mythos and item cards as well as new mechanics & new Great Old Ones. When a character loses their last point of Sanity, they may take a Madness card which imposes restrictions on the character and restores their maximum Sanity, instead of being sent to Arkham Asylum. A similar Injury deck is provided for investigators who reach zero Stamina. Plus, a new monster, the Dunwich Horror itself, is provided as a special monster whose powers vary from combat to combat.

A third expansion, The King in Yellow, was confirmed in October 2006. It is expected to be released in June 2007. Like Curse of the Dark Pharaoh, it is a card-only expansion, which this time focuses on a mysterious play that is being performed in Arkham. Based on the Robert W. Chambers story The King in Yellow, this expansion is believed to focus on Hastur.

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