Characters / Arkham Horror

A list of all of the Investigators that can appear in the Arkham Horror series of board games created by Fantasy Flight Games, including the Eldritch Horror and Mansions of Madness series, which shares characters and themes.

Tropes common to all investigators

  • Action Survivor: Some of the investigators have some training for what they are dealing with. But mostly, as is common for these types of horror stories, they are woefully out of their depth.
  • Magic Knight: Some are better at one than the other, but any character can wield weapons, cast spells, or both.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The characters come from varying occupations, social statuses, and different parts of the world. The only thing they have in common is that they are in the same place and are arrayed against the forces of darkness.

    open/close all folders 

    Arkham Horror Characters 

Sister Mary, the Nun

  • Badass Preacher: Being a woman of God in a Cosmic Horror Story, she makes no bones about how the Eldritch Abominations are no match for the One, True God.
  • Being Good Sucks: While she doesn't develop the attitude outright, failing her personal story has her start to suffer doubts of this kind.
  • Church Militant: Nothing stops her from wielding heavy weapons like everyone else.
  • Determinator: As seen in her losing condition.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Sister Mary has an extremely forgiving Personal Story, which is won by two people in the game being Blessed, and is lost by her being cursed (which is less likely to happen to her, because she starts the game as Blessed). If she succeeds, she gets Blessed again if she's not already and gets total immunity to curses. If she somehow loses, she outright No Sells the curse and becomes blessed instead.
  • Nuns N' Rosaries: One of a starting items is a cross.

"Ashcan" Pete, the Drifter

  • A Boy and His X: Duke, his faithful dog. Pete always starts with Duke and Duke will stick by him no matter what.
  • Homeless Hero: His backstory shows us he lives on the streets, and has done so for a long time.
  • Luck-Based Mission: The goal of his personal story is to get a Dreamlands trophy, with the fail condition being if the doom track hits 5. The problem is that opening gates typically advance the doom track, which means that absent somebody starting with the Control Gate spell or fortunately-timed monster surges, Pete's only real hope for passing his objective is if (a) the Dreamlands can be reached by one of the first two gates (very low chance), and (b) he can get to that gate quickly. Not easy with his maximum base speed of 3...
  • Undying Loyalty: Even if Pete loses all his other allies and companions (by failing his personal mission), ol' Duke'll stick by his side to the end.

Jenny Barnes, the Dilettante

Joe Diamond, the Private Eye

Dexter Drake, the Magician

Carolyn Fern, the Psychologist

Gloria Goldberg, the Author

  • Dreaming of Things to Come: She'd been plagued by visions since she was a girl. It's how she became a bestseller.
  • Rewriting Reality: She aims to do this by defeating the Ancient One.
  • Screw Destiny: Succeeding her personal mission has her take this attitude, boosting her Fight skill.
  • Write What You Know: Her ideas for her books came from her visions.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Failing her personal mission leads to her developing this mentality, hurting her ability to make Will checks.

Bob Jenkins, the Salesman

  • At Least I Admit It: Bob is not a villain, but he freely admits that the only reason he looks into these things is for the top dollar swag he can sell, and the fact that these cult folks have lots and lots of gold. As he puts it, nobility costs extra.
  • Boring but Practical: Bob gets to draw extra cards from the common deck. Items in that deck aren't as flashy as the tomes and fancy items in the Unique Item deck, but they're cheap and, nine times out of ten, he'll be able to solve whatever problem comes the player's way with them.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Probably what the moral is more likely to be, since his Gold Fever is sparked by gold coins inscribed with all sorts of occultic and Eldritch nastiness. Succeeding his personal story has him hit the "Jackpot" of coins, but he now realizes just what danger they represent. Not wising up in time makes him Cursed if he has ANY money on him, prevents him from being Blessed with ANY money on him, and he'll immediately lose being Blessed if he gets ANY money back.
  • Gold Fever: Having this excites him enough to get into the story. And it will bite him if he fails his personal story.
  • Greed: His potentially Fatal Flaw. Giving into it will leave him Cursed.
  • Stock Aesop: "There's more to life than money."
  • Sweet and Sour Grapes: Of course, after learning the Stock Aesop, he gets super rich and can spend that money on Clue Tokens.
  • Traveling Salesman: Is described as such in his bio — the only reason he hasn't already left Arkham is because he's suddenly become interested in some ancient gold coins...

Vincent Lee, the Doctor

Michael McGlen, the Gangster

Amanda Sharpe, the Student

  • Final Death: Gameplay-wise, this is effectively what happens if she fails her personal story.
  • Find the Cure: In her personal story, she has to find Unique Items that will help her cure herself of The Innsmouth Look, and prevent her from becoming a Deep One.

Darrell Simmons, the Photographer

Monterey Jack Terwilliger, the Archaelogist

  • What an Idiot: In-Universe, this was quickly adopted as the explanation for his player's horrific luck with die rolls. As well as one very defining event. As the above thread says, just because you can use a bullwhip to snatch something out of a cultist's hands, doesn't mean you should. The something? Dynamite. Lit dynamite... It also became the reason for a 1st edition Arkham Horror house rule by the campaign master — Jack is always SAN 3 and STA 7 at the beginning. Come 2nd Edition, it became official for him...
  • Whip It Good: Starts off with a Whip as a starting item.

Mandy Thompson, the Researcher

Harvey Walters, the Professor

  • Badass Bookworm: He has a high Lore stat, decent Sneak skills, and a lot of Sanity points. His standard ability also reduces Sanity losses, making trips to the Asylum highly unlikelynote .
  • The Professor: Although it doesn't exactly take another Professor to figure that out.
  • Squishy Wizard: He's generally built around spell-casting, but those high Lore, Sneak, and Sanity ratings come with low stats in Hit Points, Willpower, and combat power.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Under normal conditions, his passive ability only reduces involuntary Sanity losses, not voluntary ones (e.g. from spells). However, if he successfully completes his personal quest, this expands to cover all Sanity losses, allowing him to use books and spells all over the place with few (if any) penalties at all. Built correctly, he can dual-wield Shrivelling spells and curbstomp almost any enemy that doesn't possess the Magical Immunity trait.

Kate Winthrop, the Scientist

  • Badass Bookworm: She's built for spells moreso than combat. But she's perfectly fine using that magic to destroy her enemies.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Constructing a Flux Capacitor, that can stop a monster or a Gate from spawning in her location? That's certainly something.
  • Hot Scientist: A wispy build, but makes a lab coat look sexy.
  • Humble Hero: Her backstory mentions she's very shy and is quite happy with the fact that none of her co-workers even know her name.
  • Magic from Technology: An interesting inversion: Kate's flux capacitor is based on magic, but it's purely scientific in nature, created through experimentation and the scientific method. However, it works against magic. Further, nothing stops Kate from casting spells like any other investigator, in fact she starts the game with spells.
  • No Sell: Monsters and gates cannot appear in her location. This only applies to the initial spawning, though. Monsters can move into her locations, and Kate will get pulled through gates if she walks into places with them.

    Dunwich Horror Characters 

Leo Anderson, the Expedition Leader

  • Heroic Sacrifice: Fail his personal story and he'll do this the next time he would lose an Ally...except that, since the player loses the Allies anyway once he does so, it's more of a Senseless Sacrifice.
  • Magnetic Hero: His Personal Story depends on him being this, by assembling a large enough party to investigate the horrors in Arkham.
  • My Greatest Failure: Led seven men into the Yucatan. Only two made it back, unless you count the guy who Came Back Wrong.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Does this if an Ally is lost after failing his personal story. Though he makes a Heroic Sacrifice to save them, by game rules his death means the player loses the advantage of the allies anyway, so from the player's perspective it's this.
  • Survivor Guilt: Goes into this if an ally gets devoured.
  • The Men First: He develops this tendency with suicidal results, if he fails his personal story.

Jim Culver, the Musician

  • No Sell: By passing his personal story, any "Undead" type monster simply fails to appear on the board.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: The Golden Trumpet, which belonged to his father.
  • Street Musician: He wasn't always one. But ever since he played at Widow Jenkins's funeral, he hasn't been able to get work. Probably because his magic trumpet made the widow get out of the coffin and join in the festivities.
  • The Fun in Funeral: The aforementioned dancing dead widow.

Jacqueline Fine, the Psychic

Mark Harrigan, the Soldier

Marie Lambeau, the Entertainer

  • The Chanteuse: Known as "Smoky Velvet", and has the outfit and personality to match.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Declares this when failing her quest.
  • Music Soothes the Savage Beast: She's able to remove doom tokens from the Ancient One's doom track. If she passes her personal story, she can do it twice.
  • Southern Belle: From New Orleans.
  • Third Eye: Her special ability is called this, although it doesn't manifest in game. It just gives her an extra hand to cast a spell with.
  • Witch Species: Her magic is in the blood, her grand-mere was also an accomplished witch.

Wilson Richards, the Handyman

Diana Stanley, the Redeemed Cultist

  • The Atoner: She feels so much remorse from what the Silver Twilight Lodge has done.
  • Defector from Decadence: After seeing just HOW horrifying some rituals of the Silver Twilight Inner Sanctum were, Diana desperately wants to attone for them.
  • The Mole: A trusted one. In fact, she cannot lose her Silver Twilight Membership, ever. Her successful personal story is titled this, and it's implied she becomes an official one for the police department regarding the Silver Twilight cult.

Rita Young, the Athlete

    Kingsport Horror Characters 

Wendy Adams, the Urchin

  • Kid Hero: Notably, her being a minor prevents her from getting a Bank Loan, or being the Deputy of Arkham.
  • Missing Mom: ...and she's in the asylum.
  • No Sell: As long as she is in a street area, Wendy succeeds at evasion checks automatically.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: An Elder Sign given to her by her parents.
  • Street Urchin: On of her skills is even called Streetwise.

Lily Chen, the Martial Artist

Lola Hayes, the Actress

  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: An Inversion - she KNOWS that she starred as the leading lady for a play, but can't find anybody else who remembers seeing the play - the fact that every other member of the cast and staff of that play was either dead or simply vanished wasn't helping her case. Probably because the play in question was The King in Yellow...
  • Luck-Based Mission: She has kind of the same problem that Pete has (although even less time — her fail condition is the doom track reaching four). In her case, she needs to get an Ally to pass her personal story. The problem is that short of getting a nice amount of monster/gate trophies (not likely to happen in the short span of time she has to pass), she needs to get lucky with whichever location encounters can elicit the current game's Allies. Oh — whereas Pete's fail penalty is pretty minor (he can't get any more Allies, besides Duke), Lola's fail penalty is losing a point of maximum Sanity. Suffice to say she never wants the Herald to be Ghroth.
  • The Power of Acting: She can change skills whenever she wants.
  • The Power of Friendship: Lola loves an audience, and having an Ally makes her pass her Personal story and nets her a boost to any skill.
  • Wistful Amnesia: Her goal is to find her "biggest fan" to confirm that she DID star in The King in Yellow, and that she didn't just imagine the whole thing.

Charlie Kane, the Politician

Tony Morgan, the Bounty Hunter

  • Bounty Hunter: A VERY descriptive term for his line of work.
  • The Determinator: He went after his bounty (which was implied to be a friggin' Deep One!!) straight into the river, armed with only a knife, and wrestled with it until he passed out.
  • Fission Mailed: His "failed" personal story is the only one with a benefit to it (gain 1 Clue Token for each monster killed), and the narrative makes this seem like the better option - it's clear that Morgan's client probably isn't up to any good with the monster corpses, but if Tony goes through with the deal, he's none the wiser about the Evil Plan said client is about to use them for...
  • Guns Akimbo: In his art.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Only this time, he's hunting creatures far more dangerous than mere humans...
  • Unwitting Pawn: In his personal story, getting enough clue tokens makes him realize this, "failing" it. However, both outcomes for his story involve losing all his current monster trophies in exchange for a boon, so whether this is really a failure depends on whether you want money right away ("pass") or more clue tokens in the future (the alleged "fail").

Rex Murphy, the Reporter

  • Born Unlucky: Is given a Cursed card at the start.
  • Chew Toy: Just read his personal story...
  • The Determinator: It takes a special kind of thickheaded to keep going despite all of his setbacks.
  • Hereditary Curse: Family Curse is the name of his bane, after all. Unlike everyone else, he can't dispel it through a lucky die roll.
  • Intrepid Reporter: He seeks to get all of the information he can. Of course, his curse just makes it difficult.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Rex gets a lot of weapons, spells, and other useful tools right out of the gate, and has some decent stats. But the curse makes it difficult to properly use. At least until he gets rid of the curse.
  • We Need to Get Proof: Has never been able to hold onto proof long enough before...

Luke Robinson, the Dreamer

  • Dream Land: Starts off in the Dream Lands.
  • Wistful Amnesia: Is searching for an old friend he vaguely remembers from before he entered The Dreamlands.

Daisy Walker, the Librarian

    Innsmouth Horror Characters 

Agnes Baker, the Waitress

  • Cast from Hit Points: If she wants, she can substitute Stamina for Sanity when casting spells.
  • Easy Amnesia: Inverted; falling and hitting her head jogged memories of her past life.
  • History Repeats: In her past life, she fought against 'the creature' and lost. Getting knocked out or driven insane fails her personal quest.
    • Screw Destiny: He succesful personal quest "Not This Time", where she blasts the creature that killed her in her past life.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: She was one, in a past life. If she wants to survive this one, she better become one.
  • Reincarnation: Of a Hyperborean witch.
  • Visions of Another Self: She has dreams of her past reincarnation.

Roland Banks, the Fed

George Barnaby, the Lawyer

  • Amoral Attorney: Downplayed, although he can get a genuine crook out of jail, the people he's against are worse by far.
  • Badass Grandpa: Unlike the other characters, he's quite aged.
  • Retirony: Planned to stop practicing law, buy a boat, and sail around the world with his beloved Maria. Plans changed.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: His involvement in the story involves killing the men who burned down his home and killed his wife, Maria.

Ursula Downs, the Explorer

  • Action Girl: Mentioned in her back story, that she was always the active, exploring type.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Rare female version of one.
  • Blue Blood: She's got a hefty inheritance, but she used it to set up her work. Notably, in game she starts with some of the lowest money in the game.
  • Glasses Girl: You can see her holding them in her artwork.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Downplayed when compared to Rex or Darrell, but she writes for magazines.
  • Spirited Young Lady: It's not certain whether she's in the usual age range now (she looks like she could easily be in her late 20s), but she was definitely this during that age range (and before), and she hasn't lost her passion for adventure.

Finn Edwards, the Bootlegger

Patrice Hathaway, the Violinest

  • Cursed with Awesome: Her violin allows her to help out the other party members, but it's heavily implied that the power of an Eldritch Abomination is responsible for this...
  • Magic Music: Her music can allow other Investigators to spend her Clue tokens, even if they're not in the same location as she is.

Silas Marsh, the Sailor

  • Half-Human Hybrid: The Innsmouth Look, as if his name wasn't a big honking clue.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: If he succeeds with his personal story, he's sacrificed, but he will permanently seal any opened gate.
  • In the Blood: As a member of the Marsh family, he has the Innsmouth Look. Views this as a Hereditary Curse when he passes his story.
    • It can happen normally through Innsmouth Look events too, and in fact Silas is more likely than anyone else to fail these events.
  • Metamorphosis: If he fails his personal story, he becomes a Deep One; from a gameplay perspective, he's Killed Off for Real, a powerful monster spawns in his location, and the Deep One Uprising track increases, bringing the game closer to a Nonstandard Game Over.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Though it's pretty obvious to the player that he's a Deep One.

Tommy Muldoon, the Rookie Cop

Akachi Onyele, the Shaman

  • Determinator: Nothing can stop Akachi from sealing Gates. Even the "Nothing can Help You Now" effect fails to stop her.
  • Ethnic Magician: An explicit version of one, since her shamanistic powers are the reason for her gifts.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: If a Gate Token before Akachi can complete her Personal Story (regardless of who spends it), she fails it. She invokes this trope by saying how the Earth has suddenly gone silent, and that "Our actions must have offended it somehow"
  • Magical Negro: An Up to Eleven example, what with her Hollywood Voodoo shtick, and her Darkest Africa appearance.
  • Religion Is Magic: Played with. Her shamanic magic is based on her ethnic religion, although aside from her special talent of always sealing gates and her Personal Story, Akachi uses the same spells as everyone else.

"Skids" O'Toole, the Ex-Convict

  • An Axe to Grind: He starts out with one.
  • The Corpse Stops Here: When his cellmate burst into flames one night, the cops accused him of causing it, but couldn't get the charge to stick.
  • Epic Fail: His special ability takes advantage of this: Once a round. he can reroll two dice anytime a 1 is rolled
  • Face of a Thug: Thanks to his "Criminal Record" ability, he can't become a Deputy of Arkham, or take out a Loan from the Bank of Arkham.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: One under his eye.
  • Man on Fire: His motivation to come to Arkham was when his cellmate, Brad, spontaneously combusted one night.
  • Reformed Criminal: He really was only robbing banks to try to save his mother from her illness. Since she passed, he gave up on that life.

Minh Thi Phan, the Secretary

Zoey Samaras, the Chef

  • Knight Templar: A modern example. She's an unassuming chef who is actually a killer working under the orders of God.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The setting is deliberately vague as to whether or not benevolent entities like "God" exist within its setting, and with the lovecraftian tendencies for insanity taken into account, it's never clear whether Zoey actually IS hearing orders from God telling her to kill, or if she's simply mentally ill; either way, it works out, since the ones she's being told to kill in this case happen to be horrible monsters and insane cultists.
  • Mission from God: Her motivation for coming to Arkham.
  • Serial Killer: An extremely rare benevolent example. She poses as an ordinary chef at a diner, but she's a zealot who believes she hears the voice of God telling her to kill His enemies; ordinarily a prime recipe for a serial killer, if not for the fact that "His enemies" in this case happen to be cultists and eldritch monsters trying to awaken an ancient evil.
  • Weak, but Skilled: She is not as physically strong as some of the other fighters, but she can ignore physical/magical resistance, and brings immunity down to Resistance.

Hank Samson, the Farmhand

  • Disappeared Dad: "Pa" Samson goes missing from the start of the game, as he went to complain about how his luggage went missing...
  • Dumb Muscle: Well, more foolhardy than downright stupid.
  • Farm Boy: No heritage, though, he really is just a boy from a farm...
  • Fearless Fool: Makes horror checks after fights — and then only if he loses or runs — because he's too thick to realize something is an Eldritch Abomination until he's had time to mull it over.

Trish Scarborough, the Spy

  • Action Girl: As a spy, she's like this.
  • Deadly Upgrade: One of her special abilities allows her to raise her stats by one point at the cost of one point of stamina and one point of sanity.
  • Rogue Agent: From an agency that led her to believe was part of the U.S. government, but appears to be nothing of the kind.

Norman Withers, the Astronomer

William Yorick, the Gravedigger

  • Beware the Silly Ones: Yorick loves to talk like a Shakespearean actor and act dramatic, but when push comes to shove, he'll put any horror in the dirt.
  • Creepy Mortician: Subverted. Yorick himself looks fairly average (although plenty scraggly), and is a hero who puts EldritchAbominations in their graves.
  • Deader Than Dead: Yorick's special ability revolves around monster trophies. When he spends them, he can remove them from play instead of returning them to the monster cup when he spends them. This doesn't apply to monsters that aren't taken as trophies, such as Spawn type monsters. But particularly nasty monsters like the Hound of Tindalos can be permanently removed.
  • Meaningful Name: He's a grave digger...
  • Starving Artist: He wanted to be a Shakespearean Actor, but as his backstory attests, "dramatic monologues didn't put bread on the table."

    Penny Arcade Adventures Characters 

Jonathan "Gabe" Gabriel

  • Bare-Fisted Monk: The highest Fight score in the game, but he can't equip Weapons (see below).
  • Noodle Incident: He fought the Devil. And Tycho no longer allows him to use weapons.

Tycho Erasmus Brahe

     Mansions of Madness Characters 

Agatha Crane, the Parapsychologist

  • Badass Bookworm: Her Lore skill is very high, and she's willing to do what it takes for her field.
  • For Science!: Or Parapsychology, at least.
  • Friendless Background: Her field isn't considered "respectable", so she's got few friends. She's working to change that.
  • Insistent Terminology: She dabbles in the occult, but calls it "parapsychology" to remove the stigma of associating with a socially distasteful field.
  • Little Old Lady Investigates: Her whole shtick. Particularly since her Observation and Lore are so high.

Carson Sinclair, the Butler

  • Badass Grandpa: He's at least sixty years old, enough to be a grandfather to his wards. And he can fight hard if pressed.
  • Battle Butler: He's going to have to be to handle what horrors the Lovecraftian world has in store.
  • Friend to All Children: His wards were cheated out of their inheritance, and for their sake, Carson seeks to investigate.
  • Support Party Member: He can grant an extra action to another investigator.
  • Undying Loyalty: To the Webb family. He served as a footman, then as butler.
  • You Have to Believe Me: As it turns out, no one believed Carson when he said Master Webb disappeared into a temporal vortex.

Father Mateo Castile, the Priest

  • Badass Bookworm: Downplayed. He is better at spells than fighting, but he can fight if needed.
  • Badass Preacher: He'll fight and fight hard.
  • Church Militant: He can wield weapons and occult magic like anyone else. In fact, he's one of the best suited for it.
  • Crisis of Faith: Mentioned in the backstory, he wonders how a kind God can allow such a horrible cult to do things to people.
  • Next Tier Power-Up: He can invoke this to give other characters a power up.
  • Sexy Priest: He is one attractive man.
  • Support Party Member: Downplayed. His special ability allows characters to get a power up, but his high Lore and decent strength make him no slouch when fighting his own monsters.

Preston Fairmount, the Millionaire

  • Badass Mustache: A thin wiry one, and a decently strong fighter.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Preston eagerly accepted the invitation of a young lady who promise him "an experience of a lifetime." Then he got to meet his father's ghost.
  • Coattail-Riding Relative: He's a rich boy who lived off of daddy's money. Never bothering to care about little things like the Silver Twilight Lodge.
  • Non-Idle Rich: He might be wealthy, but he goes around investigating. He wasn't always like this though.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Notable inversion. Because he has so many connections, he's actually very scrupulous about the rules.
  • Upper-Class Twit: At first. He didn't care about the occult, he just liked the money.
  • Waistcoat of Style: Matches the time period, after all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/ArkhamHorror