Arkham Horror – Dusty Tomes and Riding the Rails

As with my previous post covering the opening scenarios of The Dunwich Legacy, I’ll ensure there are no story spoilers here.
In my last post, at the end of the Dunwich box set scenarios, I had suggested that we may go back and re-play those scenarios before moving on to the first of the new scenario packs.

After more thought and discussion with my playing partner, we decided to carry on with the story. Each scenario provides resolutions depending on how you’ve ended each scenario.  There could be bonuses, in terms of additional cards for your investigators deck and experience points which you can spend to improve other cards in your deck.  However, there can also be penalties from the outcome, resulting in negative cards being added to your deck, or an impact to your sanity or health. And these negative impacts likely stay with you into the future scenarios.

Again, this is all very similar to a role playing game, where in most systems you’re playing to gain experience points, which are then used to improve your characters abilities.

So, based on all this we decided to take whatever consequences, and continue with the campaign.  That way every story was fresh and new.

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Miskatonic Museum

After the first scenarios encounters in and around Miskatonic University, the story now directed us to the Miskatonic Museum to further research the strange goings on in the valley.

This is the first of the 6 “Mythos packs” that, along with the box set at the start of the campaign, will make up the full Dunwich Legacy story line.  As with the box sets, each scenario can be played on it’s own, but you will get much more enjoyment if you play the scenario as part of the continuing story.

And this is where Arkham Horror excels; story telling.  You’re being presented with a role playing style of game without the dice rolling, table checks, and the need for someone to take on the role of Games Master.   It’s role playing lite.  And as I’ve pointed out in previous posts, the flavor text on the cards and the text you read out during play, all add to the atmosphere of the game.

Unfortunately I went into the investigation suffering mental trauma from the previous encounters.  Dean’s investigator was going in full strength.  So, we investigated.  Our aim, get our hands on a translation of the dreaded Necronomicon.  A book of unspeakable secrets and ancient rites.  Creeping around the various exhibit halls in the dark, jumping at every shadow and noise, wondering what lurks behind each locked door.  As you can tell, I love the atmosphere!

We make it to the end and a resolution…which I won’t disclose.  Suffice to say, we survived.  Although this time I suffer some physical trauma which I’ll carry into the next scenario.  Damn my bad luck!

 

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Essex County Express

OK, this one really surprised.  These scenarios just keep getting better!  We’re still in the early stages of the Dunwich story line, and the descent into the insanity that is the Cthulhu Mythos is stepped up a few gears.  So far, each scenario has been quite different in terms of the story it tells and the mechanisms used to advance it.  We’re certainly not bored or seeing any repetition in the encounters.

Essex County Express sees the continuing investigation moving from Arkham to Dunwich Village.  And this adventure takes place on board the train en-route, and very quickly the feeling of claustrophobia sets in as you realise you’ve only really got 2 directions to go – to the front of the train or the back of the train.  The scenario uses an excellent story mechanic to get the adrenalin going as you attempt to uncover clues as to what the hell is going on during your rail trip.  Along with the claustrophobia you’ll also have to deal with your fellow passengers.

Wow, what a trip! I’m thinking more Disney World Thunder Mountain than 1920’s sedate train trip into the country!  This was a pacy adventure and we found ourselves quickly at a resolution.
It maybe didn’t go quite as planned, but hey, we had survived, albeit slightly traumatised from our trip.  Next time we reach Dunwich Village, and whatever horrors await us!

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