Hot on the heels of my pick of At the Mountains of Madness as my favorite Lovecraft story, Fantasy Flight Games will be bringing the Antarctic to their hit game Eldritch Horror. The expansion is based of the novella and brings the ill fated Miskatonic Expedition to the gaming table. Mountains of Madness should arrive in Q4 this year and carry an MSRP of 49.95.
On a side note, if you haven’t listened to the BBC audio version of At the Mountains of Madness check it out right here.
“Little by little, however, they rose grimly into the western sky; allowing us to distinguish various bare, bleak, blackish summits, and to catch the curious sense of phantasy which they inspired as seen in the reddish antarctic light against the provocative background of iridescent ice-dust clouds… I could not help feeling that they were evil things – mountains of madness whose farther slopes looked out over some accursed ultimate abyss.”
– H.P. Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness
Inspired by H. P. Lovecraft’s novella about a Miskatonic University expedition that awoke ancient and deadly creatures, Mountains of Madness opens up to investigators the frozen expanses of Antarctica and releases horrors that have hibernated in the ice for eons. You may find in Antarctica solutions to many perplexing mysteries, but you will also encounter there profoundly disturbing sights and nightmarish new monsters. This expansion features a side board depicting locations throughout Antarctica, from the Miskatonic Outpost to the City of the Elder Things, where numerous and terrifying encounters await you. Two new Ancient Ones, including the very Elder Things that once dominated earth, threaten the end of humanity. Eight more investigators contribute their diverse skills and specialties to the struggle against the Ancient Ones. With their help you may be able to prevent the reawakened Elder Things from rising… or you may fall victim to the horror.
An Antarctic Expedition
The side board featured in Mountains of Madness allows players to follow the trail of the doomed Miskatonic University expedition. Your gateway to remotest Antarctica – and your last point of connection to the rest of the world – is the Miskatonic Outpost, where you can team up with an Antarctic guide or obtain life-saving medical supplies. You can then progress to the devastated Lake Camp where the cold preserves the grisly remains of Professor Lake and his colleagues. There, you may rescue the frightened sled dogs who survived their masters’ slaughter, or perform autopsies on the frozen bodies of the Elder Things. Beyond the immense and foreboding Snowy Mountains lay the megalithic City of the Elder Things and the mythical Plateau of Leng, where the unpredictable, transdimensional shifts of time and space may shatter your sanity.
Antarctica’s frozen climate makes it one of the most perilous regions of the world. Your Strength and Will may be tested as you are forced to dig through many feet of snow, restrain frightened dogs, or scrape ice off of your frozen airplane. A small mistake – or even sheer bad luck – can result in a Hypothermia Condition. Yet where humans struggle to survive, other creatures dwell comfortably. Innumerable monsters are insensible to the cold, and even animals that seem harmless may turn against you. Giant Penguins, seemingly innocent and friendly at a distance, can eagerly tear you limb from limb before you realize your danger.
The Rise of the Elder Things
When the first Miskatonic expedition uncovered frozen life forms, as tall as humans but grey, cylindrical, and crowned with starfish-like limbs, they assumed they had found corpses. The sled dogs knew better, and tried unsuccessfully to flee before the hibernating Elder Things woke up. One of two new Ancient Ones introduced in Mountains of Madness, the shrewd and ravenous Elder Things yearn to regain control of the planet that they ruled millions of years before humans walked the earth.
To defeat the Elder Things, you must search Antarctica’s icy wastelands for clues. Carved pictures in the city’s dark ruins may inform you about these creatures’ technology, culture, and ultimate downfall. The mutilated, dismembered bodies of the Miskatonic University expedition may reveal the Elder Things’ intentions towards humankind, while their tracks through the snow contain information about their shape, movement, and speed. Yet while knowledge may decrease your instinctive terror of the Elder Things, it will not lessen their malice.
Diamonds in the Rough
The eight investigators introduced in Mountains of Madness offer you intriguing new roles to play as you combat the increasing threat. Whether they earned their chops scouring libraries or fighting crime, practicng law or smuggling liquor, every one of them is equipped to go to the ends of the earth to fight the Ancient Ones. Many have unexpectedly useful skills: you wouldn’t suspect that a professional violinist would be adept at closing Gates, or that a waitress would be an expert in arcane lore.
Ursula Downs, for example, grew up climbing trees and exploring caves before delving into history, science, and archeology. Having spent years excavating the ruins of forgotten civilizations, she has the Strength to survive difficult climates, the Lore to understand the inscriptions of the Elder Things and the Observation to interpret subtle clues in any landscape. This combination of skills makes her excellently suited for a voyage to Antarctica, a trek through the Amazonian rainforest, or a visit to the archives of Istanbul. Ursula Downs can brave any terror imaginable and strengthen any team of investigators.
The Global Threat is Growing
Mountains of Madness focuses on Antarctica but leaves no corner of the earth untouched. This expansion spreads the horrors across the world, featuring additional Encounter and Research cards for every location and Gates that allow monsters to spawn in regions not before exposed to such horrors. New Assets, Spells, and Artifacts aid investigators in their struggles against the Ancient Ones. Whether you choose to defend humanity from the Elder Things or their enemy Cthulhu, whether you focus on fighting monsters or learning spells, Mountains of Madness will enhance your experience of Eldritch Horror.
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