"You don’t want to see real magic, kid. Nobody does.”
The year is 1926, and it is the height of the Roaring Twenties. Flappers dance till dawn in smoke-filled speakeasies, drinking alcohol supplied by rum runners and the mob. It’s a celebration to end all celebrations in the aftermath of the War to End All Wars.
Yet a dark shadow grows in the city of Arkham. Alien entities known as Ancient Ones lurk in the emptiness beyond space and time, writhing at the thresholds between worlds. Occult rituals must be stopped and alien creatures destroyed; before the Ancient Ones make our world their ruined dominion.
Only a handful of investigators stand against the horrors threatening to tear this world apart. Will they prevail?
Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce Arkham Horror Third Edition, the next evolution of the classic cooperative board game of cosmic horror for one to six players. Originally developed in 1987 by Richard Launius and re-released by Fantasy Flight Games in 2005, Arkham Horror has long been synonymous with thrilling, thematic, cooperative board gaming. Now, we invite you to return to the Lovecraftian-inspired nightmare again—or visit it for the first time!—with a modern take on the classic game. You can pre-order your copy at your local retailer or online through our webstore today, then read on to learn more.
A Light in the Dark
Arkham Horror Third Edition sees players taking on the roles of investigators in the bizarre town of Arkham, Massachusetts. Unspeakable evil waits in the space between moments and just past the veil of our existence, and investigators must work together to unravel the mysteries of the Ancient Ones, risking their lives and sanity along the way.
As the wall against the encroaching darkness, Arkham Horror Third Edition features twelve iconic investigators, each prepared, in their own way, to defend the world. Each investigator not only comes with a unique ability, but also a customizable starting kit, letting you choose how you want to outfit your investigator for the coming game. And ultimately, each investigator has their own history, and their own reasons for investigating the horrors of Arkham.
Although she may be a great lover of wealth and comfort, Jenny Barnes always had a curious and adventurous streak. While she adored the fashion and society of Paris and Venice, she was equally at home sport-shooting in rural Scotland or trawling the jazz clubs of New Orleans. She’d even funded an archaeological dig of her own, just for the fun of being the first one into the old tomb. So when she learned that her sister Isabelle was missing, Jenny came to Arkham to handle the matter herself. Perhaps a life of wealth and power had made her overconfident… or perhaps the rogues who’d taken her sister had just made their last mistake.
Jenny Barnes is one of Arkham’s most prolific and recognizable investigators, so it's only natural that she makes an appearance in Arkham Horror Third Edition! She's joined by eleven other investigators, many of whom will be familiar to players of Arkham Horror: the Card Game or Mansions of Madness Second Edition. It is these heroes who will provide a light in the darkness, who will stand against the terrors of the unknown, and if fortune favors them, will succeed in saving Arkham and the world.
The Approaching Doom
Each game of Arkham Horror Third Edition sees you and your friends exploring one of four different scenarios in the dark and deadly town. Each adventure brings your investigators to the edge of their sanity and beyond.
These scenarios see a race between the investigators desperately searching for clues across the city, and the forces of evil spreading doom to further their cause. Finding clues can advance the narrative of each scenario, inching you closer to victory. Spreading doom not only produces effects that will hinder you, but can lead to a very different conclusion… one where the world isn’t so fortunate.
While this push and pull between uncovered clues and impending doom will often determine how the narrative advances, other factors can come in to play, including choices made by the players. The fate of the world is in your hands. Do you have what it takes to succeed?
But what is all this madness in search of? What greater goal are the investigators trying to achieve? How will the unlucky few who know of these cosmic horrors discover a way to thwart them?
It's not simply a matter of closing gates to other worlds and hoping that the problem goes away. At the start of the game, the exact goals of your scenario are a mystery to investigators and players alike. As a scenario progresses, archive cards are added to a codex that sits above the board. Each of these cards advances the narrative and offers new objectives for the investigators to strive for, with victory eventually in sight. Finding clues may lead to favorable new archive cards, while the spread of doom may reveal cards that were best left unearthed. Ultimately, the choices that you make and the specific events of each scenario lead you down branching paths, encouraging you to explore the scenarios and determine the best way to achieve your unique goals!
No matter which scneario you're embarking upon, investigators will have to stay ever-vigilant. Moving around Arkham to discover clues will progress the scenario, but our heroes will also fight and evade monsters, gain resources, perform tests of skill, and more. Still, you won’t be alone; you and your friends will work together to defeat this unknowable evil and, by some miracle, you could come out victorious.
A Cycle of Chaos
Playing a game of Arkham Horror takes place over a number of rounds, each consisting of four phases. We’ll look at these phases in greater depth in later previews, but for now, they are:
- The Action Phase
- The Monster Phase
- The Encounter Phase
- The Mythos Phase
The Action Phase is the investigator’s chance to unravel the mysteries of Arkham. You can move around the town, attack monsters, discover clues, and more as you investigate Arkham like never before. Double-sided, modular hexagonal tiles (new to this edition) represent the different neighborhoods of this troubled city, and every scenario sees these neighborhoods arranged in a different way, offering a new look and a new piece of Arkham with every challenge.
But investigators won’t simply be walking around the city. Alien creatures encroach on Arkham, and fighting and evading these beasts will be essential to success. You must balance these encounters with researching clues and purchasing the new tools that will be vital to your survival.
After you've acted, the Monster Phase sees your darkest nightmares come to life. Monsters roam freely about the city, attacking investigators both physically and mentally, instilling fear and disrupting your carefully laid plans. Fans of Arkham Horror: The Card Game will instantly recognize this phase and understand the horror it brings.
On their character sheet, every investigator has two values representing the threshold of their health and sanity. Every attack can lower one or both of these values, and if either your health or your sanity hits zero, your investigator is removed from the game, physically unable to continue or driven to utter madness by the horrors they have discovered.
The Encounter Phase sees the world of Arkham come to life via encounter cards. Every neighborhood has its own full set of encounter cards, and players draw them one at a time to discover a new twist in their narrative based on their location.
Along with the encounter cards that are distinct to each neighborhood on the board, every scenario also offers different event cards that are slowly slotted into the encounter deck, providing a truly new adventure in every game. Maybe you find a weapon to defend yourself in a mysterious shop on the far side of town, or perhaps the police finally believe your mind-bending story. Every encounter reveals a new piece of your evolving story and a new piece of life in Arkham.
Many of these encounters will see your investigator performing attribute tests. Success can be a moment of respite from the horror surrounding you, but failure can see your investigator dive deeper into madness and despair. Every investigator can be distilled down to a set of five attributes: lore, influence, observation, strength, and will. Encounters see these skills put to the test, and they can lead your investigator closer to the truth, or to madness.
Finally, the Mythos Phase sees the town of Arkham growing and changing. During the Mythos Phase, players take turns pulling tokens out of a Mythos Cup. These tokens can do everything from inviting more monsters into the town, to spreading doom across the city, to triggering a terrible reckoning. As the cup is passed from player to player, the board shifts and changes. While many of these tokens will make the game harder for investigators, they are also one of the few ways to introduce more clues to the board, giving the investigators a goal to strive for.