"…So numerous are the recorded troubles in insane asylums, that only a miracle can have stopped the medical fraternity from noting strange parallelisms and drawing mystified conclusions."
– H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu
Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce the upcoming release of The Unspeakable Oath, the second Mythos Pack in The Path to Carcosa cycle for Arkham Horror: The Card Game!
It was always going to come to this… You're finally headed to the asylum.
Something about the mysterious play, The King in Yellow, had nagged at the corners of your mind before it arrived in Arkham, and you began investigating. You learned madness and disaster followed the play everywhere it went. And still you dug deeper.
You attended the performance. You came face to face with terrors that still haunt you. And then—having barely survived your earlier encounters, and hanging onto the remnants of your tattered sanity—you went to the Arkham Historical Society in search of even more information.
Now, as you look to carry forward through The Path to Carcosa campaign, you may find yourself wracked by Doubtand surrounded by Lunatics. And, still, you'll catch hints of deeper and darker secrets.
What Madness Compels You?
With the new scenario coming in The Unspeakable Oath, Arkham Horror: The Card Game continues and deepens its exploration of the mystical realms between the traditional roleplaying and card game experiences.
First of all, you have the strong sense of place that's exceedingly rare among card games. You're not wandering the streets of Arkham, nor the wooded New England hillsides. Instead, you're wandering the hallways of an eerily quiet asylum—perhaps punctuated, at times, by mournful howls or manic laughter—and need to gain passage through several locked doors.
The fact that doors can be locked against you is important in the sense that it allows the adventure to unfold at the same sort of pace with which a Game Master might walk you through an adventure. And it matters because you can only act upon objects and information in your investigator's location. Moreover, if you and your fellow investigators split your company, you might cover more ground… or you might render yourselves vulnerable.
Next, you have the different ways the scenario preys upon the game's cooperative nature and the relationships you try to maintain with your fellow investigators. After The Path to Carcosa introduced the Hidden keyword, which forces you to hold cards in your hand—and keep them hidden from the other investigators—The Unspeakable Oath adds more of these cards, so that your experience of the game might not match that of the other players. And none of them will understand you.
Your secrets will isolate you from your companions. In the depths of an asylum.
Think about that…
Finally, the scenario breaks away from the traditional customizable card game experience by forcing you to live with the consequences of other games.
Yes, you can play and enjoy The Unspeakable Oath as a standalone adventure, but for those who dare to look more deeply, The Unspeakable Oath comes to life most fully as part of The Path to Carcosa campaign. It is, in fact, the fourth chapter in that campaign, and it represents the nexus of many possible paths through time and space. But those paths are not all equal.
Normally, when you sit at your table to play a customizable card game, you start fresh. There's nothing imposing itself upon your starting hand or the resources with which you might start the game. But in the Arkham LCG®, the choices you make in earlier adventures may come back to haunt you later on. The game's basic structure is the campaign, as in an RPG, and you are often given choices to make in your games—and between them—that aren't clearly about winning or losing, but just about how your investigator would respond to a given situation.
And in The Unspeakable Oath, these choices already come back with profound ramifications, literally restructuring the adventure depending upon the consequences of your earlier investigations. Choices you make in your games—the people to whom you choose to speak and the ways you interact with powerful artifacts—will impact the structure of the adventure's act deck, as well as the composition of its encounter deck.
You're Never Truly Alone
Along with its new scenario, The Unspeakable Oath introduces twenty-four new player cards (two copies each of twelve different player cards) that allow you to "learn" from your mistakes. As you gain experience, you can use that experience to enhance your deck with cards like Forewarned (The Unspeakable Oath, 150) and A Test of Will (The Unspeakable Oath, 156).
Alternatively, you may forge an alliance with one of the Mythos Pack's new Patrons, Charles Ross, Esq. (The Unspeakable Oath, 149) and Dario El-Amin (The Unspeakable Oath, 151). Naturally, as Patrons, both of these gentlemen come with valuable connections.
Charles Ross, Esq. helps you gain access to a whole host of powerful Items, reducing their costs by one each time he exhausts. You can think of him as your personal connection to the Disc of Itzamna (Core Set, 41), making it easier to afford and discard—and then to afford again. While your investigator has a limited number of body slots to which these Items can be assigned, meaning there's a limit on the total financial benefit you can derive from recruiting the services of Charles Ross, Esq., it's worth noting that that limit is a great deal less restrictive than it might first appear.
First of all, there's the fact that you might choose to discard one Item in favor of another—or just because discarding it is in your best interests. Many of the game's most powerful Items, like the Disc of Itzamna, are discarded when you use them, and Charles Ross, Esq. lends significant value if you intend to use these items over and over—such as you might if you're playing Rex Murphy (The Dunwich Legacy, 2) with Scavenging (Core Set, 73).
Perhaps more importantly, there's the fact that the Arkham LCG can support as many as four players, and Charles Ross, Esq. works with any investigator at your location, not just yours. If you and your teammates can coordinate your purchases, Charles Ross, Esq. can easily save your group at least one resource each and every round.
Meanwhile, the unscrupulous Dario El-Amin can provide you access to an astonishing array of benefits, all of which should certainly help you find your way out of the asylum. As a single action, Dario El-Amin allows you to claim two resources. He's also more than willing to offer bonuses to both your Willpower and your Intellect—provided you can meet his demands.
Dario El-Amin may be a Patron of the arts, but it's clear that he's looking less to prop up struggling artists than to invest in characters and endeavors with records of proven success. The permanent attribute boosts that Dario El-Amin can provide are fantastically valuable, but the Patron requires you to sit on a stockpile of no fewer than ten resources if you want those bonuses.
Fortunately, that's not too much of a problem for Rogue investigators like Jenny Barnes (The Dunwich Horror, 3), who can gain resources fast with cards like Burglary (Core Set, 45), Hot Streak (Core Set, 57), and Lone Wolf (Blood on the Altar, 188). And once you have all those resources at your disposal, it'll be good to know that Dario El-Amin will be, at least, a little invested in seeing you make your way out of the asylum.
Adversity Breeds Adventure
It's a good thing that Arkham Horror: The Card Game isn't real life. We don't really want to stare down unspeakable horrors, suffer grievous internal injuries, and feel our minds fracturing with the burden of all we've witnessed.
But it makes for great fiction. And in the Arkham LCG, it makes for great adventure.
Soon, you'll have your chance to enjoy yet another of these horrifying adventures. In The Unspeakable Oath, you'll find the world closing around you. You'll be stuck in the asylum. Surrounded by Lunatics. Threatened by monsters and madness… And your games couldn't be better!