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.
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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 (but only that one time).
- Nuns 'n' Rosaries: One of her 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 failure 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
- Finger in the Mail: How she figures out that she's failed her personal mission...
- Guns Akimbo: All characters can, if they have the guns. But Jenny does so in her character art.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Failing Jenny's Personal Story (which results in Isabelle's corpse being dumped on her doorstep in a box) hits her with this BIG-TIME, where she either takes a Madness card, or loses 2 Max Sanity.
- I Will Find You: Looking for her sister, Isabelle. If she passes her personal mission, she finds her in one piece and gains her as an Ally card. If not, she technically finds her... Just not in one piece.
- Rich Bitch: Her backstory has her turn her nose up when she's not in places like Paris. Granted, this may be a side effect of going to a place where an Apocalypse Cult has just kidnapped her sister...
- Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Starts out very wealthy (and gains money every turn), but seems to think rushing headlong to a place full of terror is a good idea.
- Socialite: She has no job other than being an heiress. And she moves in high society.
- Timed Mission: Automatically fails once the terror level reaches at least 3.
Joe Diamond, the Private Eye
- Guns Akimbo: Seen in his character profile.
- Gut Feeling: His special ability is hunches: Whenever he tries to spend a Clue Token for a die roll, he gets two dice instead of one. In Mansions of Madness, his clues convert two successes instead of one.
- Hardboiled Detective: Everything about him marks him as one of these.
- Private Detective: That's his job, and how he got involved in this whole mess.
- Whole Plot Reference: The Maltese Falcon
Dexter Drake, the Magician
- All Magicians Are Wizards: Interestingly, he was a magician before he was a wizard.
- Badass Mustache: A thin, pencil-like one.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Always longed to discover real magic, until he found a fragment of the Necronomicon.
- Captain Ersatz: Of Mandrake the Magician. Similar in name, identical in appearance.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: Takes this attitude if he fails his personal story, swearing off "real" magic for good.
- Stage Magician: His career after serving in World War I.
Carolyn Fern, the Psychologist
- Badass Bookworm: She's a learned woman, and is well suited for Lore and Will checks.
- Glasses Girl: She'd have to be intelligent to be a psychologist, and she sports a pair of frames.
- Healing Factor: Once a turn, she may restore a point of Sanity to herself or someone sharing her location.
- Properly Paranoid: After her patient was brutally murdered for sharing his dreams, Carolyn knows that people will come after her if she isn't careful with how she proceeds in her investigation. Failing her personal quest has her get too close for the villains' comfort, and penalizes all her Sneak checks as all of the villains focus their attention on her.
- She Knows Too Much: Essentially what happens when she fails her Personal Story.
- The Shrink: That's her job, but mechanically, Dr. Fern can help restore her own or others' Sanity.
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. (She started writing to cope with said 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 in 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
- Combat Medic: Although it's not a good idea to delve into this too much: See Heroic B.S.O.D. below.
- Healing Factor: Dr. Lee can heal a point of Stamina to himself or another character in his location once a turn.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: If he kills too many monsters and fails his Personal Story.
- My God, What Have I Done?: His failure title says this almost word for word.
Michael McGlen, the Gangster
- Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!: He's certainly fond of it.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: His buddy Louie was a pal, and Michael will do what it takes to avenge him.
- The Irish Mob: The O'Bannion Gang.
- Justice by Other Legal Means: Making more than $5 in one go has him fail his personal story, as he gets accused of Tax Evasion. He permanently loses all the money he has, and is prevented from making any more money for the game. (This also means that taking a loan before passing his personal story is a spectacularly bad idea.)
- Made of Iron: His Strong Body ability gives him reductions to Stamina damage.
- More Dakka: Starts the game with a Tommy Gun. Fitting, considering who he is.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After his pal Fast Louie Farrell is drowned by a Humanoid Abomination, McGlen intends to make each and every one of those monsters sleep with the fishes, too...
- Smoking Is Cool: Has a cigarette (or possibly cigar) firmly wedged in his mouth on his character portrait.
- Villain Protagonist: While the monsters & old ones are much worse, he's still a mobster (and an unrepentant one at that) working with allies such as a magician, a student, an archaeologist, and a detective.
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.
- Half-Human Hybrid: The Innsmouth Look, though unlike Silas, it's not immediately apparent.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: All her stat tracks are the average 1-4 type. With her high Focus as well, she can adapt very quickly to game situations.
- Metamorphosis: If she fails her personal story, she turns into a Deep One.
- Ordinary High-School Student: Well, ALMOST Ordinary High School Student...
- Tomato in the Mirror: Her personal story is all about averting this. Botch it and she permanently becomes a Deep One.
Darrell Simmons, the Photographer
- Camera Fiend: He's seen with a antique camera, and his job is to get evidence of all of these goings on in Arkham.
- Going for the Big Scoop: His whole plot motivation.
- Intrepid Reporter: Or photographer.
- We Need to Get Proof: His personal quest revolves around proving to his superiors that something big and freaky's going down.
Monterey Jack Terwilliger, the Archaelogist
- Adventurer Archaeologist: Considering who he's an expy of, this is no surprise.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: He once used his whip as a weapon. He ended up getting dynamite.
- Expy: Indiana Jones, as an insanely reckless goofball.
- His story in Arkham Horror also evokes a plot involving his father...
- 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
- Hot Librarian: Her job is researcher, and her outfits show off her cleavage.
- Luck-Based Mission: Her personal story. It depends on gates opening on top of sealed gates which means the right mythos cards have to be drawn and players have very limited ability to control the mythos cards.
- Screw Destiny: Her successful Personal Story, where her research helps to disrupt the gates that are trying to wake up the Eldritch Abomination, and bring The End of the World as We Know It.
- Support Party Member: Her ability allows any player once a round to reroll all failed dice in a skill check at any time. She can use it herself, but her average stats makes it a better choice for someone with more dice, as it affects all failed dice.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Her failed Personal Story, where the gates keep opening up no matter what she or anybody else does...
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. Furthermore, 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
- Brown Note: Averted at first; his music raises the dead, but it's not inherently evil, and in fact, if he succeeds in his personal story, he manages to turn it around and use it to his advantage. Played horribly straight if he fails, though...
- Demonic Possession: Fail his personal story, and this happens every time he goes insane or falls unconscious, raising the Terror level.
- Dark Is Evil/Evil Is Not a Toy: How his personal story plays out determines which tropes apply to his music. Succeed, and he can use it to instantly defeat any undead monsters that appear. Fail it, and the music possesses him whenever he hits 0 Sanity or Stamina; it's not explicitly stated what happens when this occurs, but whatever it is, it raises the Terror level...
- Jazz Musician: His story repeatedly mentions how he is one.
- Magic Music: Magic enough to make corpses dance at their own funerals.
- Must Have Caffeine: Loves his coffee.
- 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
- Dreaming of Things to Come: In Eldritch Horror, she can use her gifts to peek at the effects of Conditions.
- Psychic Powers: She is, after all, called a psychic. This is more prominent in Eldritch Horror, when she can peek at unflipped Condition cards.
- Screw Destiny: If her personal story succeeds.
- The Power of Friendship: Completing her story involves needing to find 2 Ally cards.
- You Can't Fight Fate: If her personal story fails.
Mark Harrigan, the Soldier
- Determinator: You can't delay him, and he can't be arrested.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: If he fails his story.
- Kill It with Fire: Two items he starts with are a Molotov Cocktail, and the Flamethrower.
- The Lost Lenore: His girl, Sophie.
- My Girl Back Home: Sophie, who believed him about the monsters he saw in the war. She believed him because one of them was eating her from the inside out.
- No-Sell: Only very specific circumstances can stop him from his tasks, and he cannot be stuck in jail.
- Preemptive Apology: He starts in the South Church at the Confessional, praying for forgiveness for the MANY sins he's about to commit this night...
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: His personal story involves fighting a creature in R'yleh, as the one that devoured Sophie was from there.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Most people think that Mark didn't take the war very well. Ironically, his story makes it clear that it wasn't the war that got to him, thanks to Sophie believing everything he wrote back to her about the monsters he encountered fighting in the trenches. It was only AFTER he came home, and found Sophie being Eaten Alive by an Eldritch Abomination that he went over the edge...
- Smoking Is Cool: Knocking back one in his profile. By lighting it with a flamethrower. Also gets a victory smoke if he passes his Personal Story.
- World War 1: Is a veteran of the war.
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
- Badass Biker: Starts off with the Motorcycle card.
- Jack-of-All-Trades: He can do odd jobs for money, and has unlimited focus, so he can switch his stats around to prepare for anything.
- Friend to All Children: Wilson has a soft spot for kids, and getting a kid out of town is his personal story.
- Renaissance Man: He picks up work around town for money.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Starts with one.
- Would Hurt a Child: Fail his personal story and he gets to be witness to this, seeing the kid he wanted to save led away in handcuffs while the cruel loan shark who'd been chasing said kid just watches, and the kid's mom is nowhere in sight.
Diana Stanley, the Redeemed Cultist
- The Atoner: She feels so much remorse over 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 atone for them.
- Reverse Mole: A trusted one. In fact, she cannot lose her Silver Twilight Membership, ever. Her successful personal story is titled "The Mole", and it's implied she becomes an official one for the police department regarding the Silver Twilight cult.
Rita Young, the Athlete
- Affirmative Action Girl: Rather blatantly, she complains about racism all the time. It only comes up in her personal story; she's never refused service anyplace.
- The Hunter Becomes the Hunted: At least, that's what she plans to do with the cultist thugs who kept harassing her...
- Police Are Useless: She starts at the Police Station, having just discovered they weren't going to help her out.
- Super Toughness: She can ignore the results of getting two Injury cards (which would normally kill the investigator).
Kingsport Horror Characters
Wendy Adams, the Urchin
- Disappeared Dad: He's Lost at Sea...
- I Will Find You: She is searching for her father. If she passes her personal story, she finds him. If she fails, she finds him dead.
- 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
- Action Girl: One of the strongest in the game.
- Armor-Piercing Attack: If the Ancient One awakens, she can immediately remove doom tokens from it without rolls.
- The Chosen One: Unlike everyone else, her birth was heralded.
- Gender Misdirection: Downplayed, but mentioned in her backstory. The monks who were sent to take her to the monastery were briefly surprised to find out she was a girl, but they took her in and trained her regardless.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: If she's Knocked Out or Driven Insane, she undergoes one, thinking that even The Chosen One will be brushed aside like the rest of the Puny Humans when the Eldritch Abomination brings The End of the World as We Know It.
- No-Sell: If Azathoth gets all of his doom tokens, she can stop him for one turn.
- Training from Hell: She's had lots of martial arts training that encompassed arts from all over the world.
- Warrior Monk: She's described as such.
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
- Corrupt Politician: Granted, he genuinely cares for the people, and his actions and policies are for The Greater Good, but he's implied to be willing to do some unsavory things to remain in power, and this is demonstrated in-game; the way to pass his Personal Story is to outright bribe the local newspaper to make a political ad frenzy.
- Landslide Election: Depending on whether he passes or fails his personal quest, Kane can end up on either side of one.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: As the Mayor. And the people recognize this, so he's very good at preventing panic. His leadership is especially effective against Hastur.
- Skewed Priorities: He honestly worries about the election almost as much as the Ancient One about to reawaken and spell The End of the World as We Know It. Of course, he really does need the power of his position to keep the public calm, and thinks they have the Skewed Priorities for trying to push an election at a time like this...
- Ultimate Authority Mayor: ...not quite, but he tries.
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 beside Sister Mary's 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 (and the pass strips him of his Clue tokens as well), 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
- Badass Bookworm: She is built around using a Tome of Eldritch Lore, but Daisy's stats make her extremely capable of destruction when it comes to spells.
- Girls Are Really Scared of Horror Movies: Inverted. She's a huge fan of horror stories, with Edgar Allan Poe and Dracula being name-dropped in her backstory. But the Necronomicon is too much even for her.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: Averted. Other characters lose Sanity from reading tomes, but Daisy can avoid all such Sanity losses.
- Magic Librarian: Not more than anyone else in the game, but she is one of a few who starts with spells. She also loses less Sanity from spellcasting by default (compare to Walters, who needs to pass his personal story to obtain a similar ability).
- Tome of Eldritch Lore: Her involvement in Arkham is kicked off by the Necronomicon, and her personal story revolves around recovering an unnamed tome before it can cause any mischief.
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: Her successful 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'd better become one.
- Reincarnation: Of a Hyperborean witch.
- Visions of Another Self: She has dreams of her past incarnation.
Roland Banks, the Fed
- By-the-Book Cop, but becomes a Cowboy Cop if his Personal Story is completed.
- Cowboy Cop: Not at first, but if he passes his Personal Story, he throws out the rulebook and just goes with his gut instead. This makes his special ability even more effective.
- FBI Agent (Well, BI Agent; they weren't the Federal Bureau until 9 years after Arkham Horror's timeframe.)
- Lampshade Hanging: From his personal story: "This case has weird cults, magic spells, and the apparent end of the world. All it needs is some demented fish-men or something, and I'll have all the makings for a best-selling novel."
- Reassigned to Antarctica: Fail his personal story, and his boss forces him to take a vacation, costing him access to his Expense Account note ability for several turns.
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.
- 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: It's mentioned in her backstory 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
- Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!: Well, more like Bootlegger, but Finn Edwards is just about as happy with his current take in life as Michael McGlen is with being a mobster.
- Best Served Cold: The name of his successful personal mission.
- It's Personal: He notes how hard it is for him to usually hold a grudge, but he makes an exception for a cult that intends to use him as a Human Sacrifice.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Finn was a normal bootlegger until the night some cultists tried to sacrifice him to a dark god. Now, he wants revenge.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: His mindset if he fails his personal mission, though he doesn't quit the game.
- Street Smart: Can evade monsters with a special ability, and has a secret stash for holdouts.
- Villain Protagonist: He is trying to save the world (and will do so if he succeeds), but he is still a bootlegger, only getting involved for personal reasons. Even the other Villain Protagonist, McGlen, is after the monsters for killing his best pal Louie Farrell, but Edwards is only in it to get even with the Cultists who tried to sacrifice him to a dark god.
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.
- Power at a Price: What happens if she fails her personal story; any time she uses her power, she has to sacrifice either her health or sanity to do so.
- Support Party Member: Even moreso than Mandy. Mandy's reroll applies to everyone, including herself. While there may be someone else more suited than her, she can still use it. Contrariwise, Patrice's ability is only useful for others, as all Investigators can spend their own clue tokens.
Silas Marsh, the Sailor
- Badass Beard: Of the Seadog Beard variant.
- Cool Sword: Starts off with a Cavalry Saber — although, considering his sailor shtick, it's probably supposed to be a stand-in for a cutlass...
- 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. He 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 Non Standard 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
- Heroic Sacrifice: His story revolves around him pulling one.
- I Am Your Opponent: One of his powers involves calling over monsters to his position on the board.
- I Call It "Vera": Call his rifle Becky.
- Officer O'Hara: He's portrayed like this in his brief appearance in Ghouls of the Miskatonic. Not surprising, given his overtly Irish name.
- Weirdness Magnet: He reflects on this, saying he always finds the oddballs.
- Why Couldn't You Save Them?: Failing his Personal Story has the townsfolk accusing him of this, which drives him mad with guilt.
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 is spent 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
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: She is ethnically Korean, but her name is Vietnamese.
- This is finally justified in her bio of Eldritch Horror (which was released over six years after her first apperance) — her father was Vietnamese (back when it was just Indochina under French Occupation), and he moved to Korea while it was occupied by the Japanese.
- Sexual Extortion: She's worried her boss might try to pull this sort of thing on her. He's actually a harbinger of a different kind of problem.
- Support Party Member: Played with. She gives a party member a boost to any and all skill checks if she is with them. But it works both ways, as that Investigator gives Minh the same boost to her own skill checks.
Zoey Samaras, the Chef
- Armor-Piercing Attack: Her attacks ignore resistance, and immunity is bumped down to resistance.
- 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...
- He finds him if he passes his Personal Story.
- 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.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: "Pa" Samson's fate if Hank fails his personal story. (He gets off lightly compared to Isabella Barnes and Wendy's dad.)
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 it was part of the U.S. government, but appears to be nothing of the kind.
Norman Withers, the Astronomer
- Armor-Piercing Attack: Similar to Lily Chen, as he can immediately remove doom tokens from the Ancient One if it awakens. However, Norman's is luck-based, and requires die rolls (although he can potentially do more damage).
- Badass Bookworm: Despite being an astronomer (and not a physically strong one at that), Norman is willing to stand up against the EldritchAbominations as much as the other heroes.
- Badass Beard: By far the longest beard of the cast.
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
- Fantastic Science: Scholar of Apocalyptic Studies.
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
- 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.
- When Elders Attack: He's at least sixty years old, enough to be a grandfather to his wards, and he can fight hard if pressed.
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 terrible 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 promised 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.
Arkham: The Card Game characters
Sefina Rousseau, the Painter
- Meaningful Name: She is named after Henri Rousseau, a post-impressionist French painter.