A list of all of the Investigators that 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.
- Everyone Has a Special Move: Every investigator has at least one active and/or passive ability, which makes playing as him/her different from any other. Characters in the basic game mostly have rather generic abilities like Damage Reduction or the ability to choose between several cards of a specific type (though there are exceptions), but expansions introduced some more exotic ones.
- Loyalty Mission: Each investigator has Personal Story related to his/her backstory and their personal problems and insecurities. If the story is successfully cleared, they receive various boons, often quite strong, which makes them even more effective; but if failed, they receive various penalties, up to and including being totally screwed, sometimes even in fatal ways.
- 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.
Carolyn Fern, the Psychologist
- Badass Bookworm: She's a learned woman, and is well suited for Lore and Will checks.
- Cash Gate: Her Personal Story requires her to collect $15, and spend them at Arkham Asylum (as a bribe to receive the specific information that she needs).
- 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.
- He Knows Too Much: The reason behind her patient's murder. And if she is too careless in her search for answers (by accumulating 6 or more clues at once), she will fail her Personal Story and her patient's murderers would start hunting for her, forcing her to lay low (penalizing all her Sneak checks).
- 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 Story has her get too close for the villains' comfort, and penalises all her Sneak checks as all of the villains focus their attention on her.
- The Shrink: Her job. Now, she uses her skills to help her friends survive eldritch horrors.
- Support Party Member: Can heal Sanity of other investigators in her location.
Gloria Goldberg, the Author
- Collection Sidequest: Her Personal Story requires her to accumulate 5 or more clues.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: She'd been plagued by visions since she was a girl. She actually put this to use to become a bestseller.
- Mechanically Unusual Class: Each time she enters an encounter in Other Worlds, she takes 1 encounter card more (with matching colour) than required, and then drops 1 of the cards taken, granting her a limited ability to choose which encounter to take.
- Screw Destiny: Succeeding her Personal Story 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 Story leads to her developing this mentality, hurting her ability to make Will checks. This happens if she ever gets driven insane.
Harvey Walters, the Professor
- Badass Bookworm: He has one of the best Lore stats in the game (up to 6, tied with Diana Stanly and Agnes Baker), decent Sneak skills, and a lot of Sanity points. His standard ability also reduces Sanity losses, making trips to the Asylum highly unlikelynote .
- Collection Sidequest: To pass his Personal Story, he must acquire 1 Unique item, 1 clue, 1 gate, and 1 monster trophy (he has the first two at the start, though he may potentially lose them).
- Damage Reduction: Any Sanity damage he receives gets reduced by 1 point (up to 0).
- Heroic BSoD: If he ever gets lost in time and space and fails his Personal Story, this experience breaks his spirit, restricting him to having no more than 5 clues at once.Slowly, numbly, Harvey pushed his chair back away from the desk. If this were true but no, it couldn't be!
- Shout-Out: "Harvey Walters" is the name of the sample character in Call of Cthulhu. The two are even similar in stats (good mental stats, bad physical).
- 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 Story, 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.
Jenny Barnes, the Dilettante
- Crimefighting with Cash: Her whole idea. While she has no particularly good stats in any of the games she appears in, she can compensate for it by buying some good items, or helping her teammates to acquire them.
- Fetch Quest: Her Personal Story requires her to accumulate 5 clues and spend them at Unvisited Isle.
- Finger in the Mail: How she figures out that she's failed her Personal Story:
- Guns Akimbo: In almost all games she appears in, she's depicted with a pair of "Colt" revolvers.
- Heroic BSoD: 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.
- Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: She's always depicted wearing fabulous dresses and jewelry. The 2018 re-release even gives her an optional "Dressed to the Nines" ability that boosts the effects of her Heroic Willpower.
- I Will Find You: Looking for her sister, Isabelle. If she passes her Personal Story, 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 she seems to think that 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: She must complete her Personal Story before the terror level reaches 3.
Joe Diamond, the Private Eye
- Big Guy: Has good Fight and Stamina, and his signature ability allows him to use clues in the fight with much better effectiveness.
- Captain Ersatz: Of Sam Spade from The Maltese Falcon
- Career-Ending Injury: Downplayed. If he fails his Personal Story, he gets violently injured by Carl Sanford's enforcers, lowering his maximum Stamina by 2; while he can still be played, this significantly reduces his effectiveness, since he is mainly a physical fighter.
- Gut Feeling: His special ability is hunches:
- In Arkham Horror, 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.
- Fetch Quest: His Personal Story involves searching for a stolen MacGuffin for Carl Sanford from Silver Twilight Lodge... and its thieves. To succeed, he must accumulate monster trophies worthing 5 toughness total, along with a Unique Item, and bring them to Sanford.
- Lightning Bruiser: Has good Fight and the best Speed stat in the game (up to 6, tied with Rita Young and Finn Edwards).
- Private Detective: That's his job, and how he got involved in this whole mess.
Mandy Thompson, the Researcher
- The Fatalist: Becomes this if she fails her Personal Story:"No matter what we do, the prophecies keep coming to pass. I'm afraid that the sequence of events is already unalterable".
- Hot Librarian: Her job is a researcher, and her outfits show off her cleavage.
- Luck-Based Mission: Her Personal Story 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.
- Timed Mission: She must complete her Personal Story before the terror level reaches 5.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Her failed Personal Story, where the gates keep opening up, no matter what she or anybody else does...
Monterey Jack Terwilliger, the Archaeologist
- Adventurer Archaeologist: Considering who he's an expy of, this is no surprise.
- All for Nothing: If he concentrates too much on researching why his father was killed (by collecting clues), he would miss his only opportunity to find his father's killers (and his father's antiquity collection they stole) before they lay low and fail his Personal Story; instead, he's supposed to hunt for monsters and collect trophies.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: He once used his whip as a weapon. He ended up getting dynamite.
- Collection Sidequest: His Personal Story requires him to accumulate 3 or more monster trophies (their toughness does not matter).
- 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.
Vincent Lee, the Doctor
- Fetch Quest: His Personal Story requires him to accumulate 5 clues and spend them on any street.
- Healing Factor: Dr. Lee can heal a point of Stamina to himself or another character in his location once a turn. If he passes his Personal Story, it will work for any investigator in the same neighbourhood.
- The Medic: He move to Arkham from Boston, hoping to work at St. Mary's Hospital. Its also his main role in the team.
- My God, What Have I Done?: His failure title says this almost word for word.
- Non-Action Guy: With 3 max Fight and 4 Will, he's not the best fighter in the team by any standards. The risk of failing his Personal Story (by accumulating more than two monster trophies) further discourages his players from taking active role in combat. Fortunately, he has good Sneak (up to 5), allowing him to easily avoid most monsters.
- Support Party Member: He is not very good at fighting, and acquiring more than 2 monster trophies will fail his Personal Story, so it's better to avoid fighting if possible. But his ability to heal other players can be crucial to team survival.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Due to his Hippocratic oath. If he recognise he broke this oath, he would not react well.
Amanda Sharpe, the Student
- And Then John Was a Zombie: If she fails her Personal Story, she will become a Deep One.
- Collection Sidequest: Her Personal Story requires her to find at least 3 Unique items total (including one she starts with, so really she must find just 2); it's not mandatory to keep them, just find them is enough. Items received from other investigators do not count.
- 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.
- Luck-Based Mission: The failure condition of her Personal Story is two opened gates to R'lyeh on a board at once; unfortunately, she has almost no control over this.
- Mechanically Unusual Class: Starts with two skills, and has limited possibility to choose which skills she takes, allowing her to more easily acquire more useful ones.
- Ordinary High-School Student: Well, ALMOST Ordinary High School Student...
- Recurring Dreams: She dreams about R'lyeh. There's a good reason for this.
- Tomato in the Mirror: Her Personal Story is all about averting this. Botch it and she permanently becomes a Deep One.
"Ashcan" Pete, the Drifter
- Canine Companion: 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)...
- Mechanically Unusual Class: He can take cards not only from the top, but also from the bottom of items/spells decks (and he can check what lies beneath those decks at any time).
- The Sneaky Guy: Has the best Sneak stat in the game (up to 6, tied with Wendy Adams and Trish Scarboro).
- Timed Mission: His Personal Story must be completed before the doom track reaches 5.
- Undying Loyalty: Even if Pete loses all his other allies and companions (by failing his Personal Story), ol' Duke'll stick by his side to the end.
Bob Jenkins, the Salesman
- Anti-Hero: Nominal Hero. His whole motivation to join the team? He sees an opportunity to earn a lot of money. Saving the world? Just an additional bonus.
- 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.
- Collection Sidequest: His Personal Story requires him to accumulate 5 or more clues.
- 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 realises 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 Fatal Flaw. This is what motivated him to join the investigation in the first place, and what may lead to his undoing if starts aggressively fighting for this gold (accumulating monster trophies in the process), instead of learning about its origin (by accumulating clues): he will fail his Personal Story, and be Cursed.
- Nerves of Steel: Has the best Will stat in the game (up to 6, tied with Luke Robinson and William Yorick).
- 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
Darrell Simmons, the Photographer
- All for Nothing: If he fails his Personal Story, all the evidence he accumulated would be damaged to the point of uselessness, and he will irreparably ruin his reputation (to the point that he will be forbidden to acquire Retainer or Bank Loan for the duration of this game). Darrel would even question if he would find a job ever again.
- Camera Fiend: He's seen with an antique camera, and his job is to get evidence of all of these goings-on in Arkham.
- Going for the Big Scoop: Would risk his life and sanity for his only chance to acquire real proof of anomalous activities in Arkham: those photos are just that important.
- Intrepid Reporter: Well, photo-journalist.
- Lightning Bruiser: Has good Speed and Fight stats.
- We Need to Get Proof: His Personal Story revolves around proving to his superiors that something big and freaky's going down. Accumulating at least 2 gate trophies means success, but becoming too greedy with collecting clues will lead to all evidence being destroyed, resulting in failure.
Dexter Drake, the Magician
- All Magicians Are Wizards: Interestingly, he was a magician before he was a wizard.
- 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.
- Collection Sidequest: His Personal Story requires him to find at least 2 Tomes total; it's not mandatory to keep them, just find them is enough. Items received from other investigators do not count.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: Takes this attitude if he fails his Personal Story, swearing off "real" magic for good:"Is it really magic?" The boy gazed up, his eyes wide.
"You don't want to see real magic, kid. No one does".
- Stage Magician: His career after serving in World War I.
- Took a Level in Badass: If he succeeds in his Personal Story, the Sanity cost for all spells will be reduced by 1 (to a minimum of 0).
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.
- Collection Sidequest: Her Personal Story requires her to find at least 2 gate trophies.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Constructing a Flux Capacitor that can stop a monster or a Gate from spawning in her location? That's certainly something.
- Heroic BSoD: She will suffer this if she fails her Personal Story in Eldritch Horror. This will also reduce her maximums Sanity by 2.
- History Repeats: Her story was kickstarted by death of her friend and mentor, Professor Young. In Eldritch Horror, the death of another friend will finally break her.
- 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.
- Timed Mission: Her Personal Story must be completed before the doom track reaches 6.
Michael McGlen, the Gangster
- Anti-Hero: Nominal Hero. His motivation to fight is to avenge his fallen friend, Fast Louie Farrell. It just so happens what whatever killed Louie is also related to the current Big Bad.
- Big Guy: Has the best Fight stat in the game (up to 6, tied with Mark Harrigan and Silas Marsh), and can tank tons of damage.
- Crippling Overspecialization: While he is one of the best fighters, he has only 3 Sanity. And if you heavily invest in his Fight, you will end up with few points of Will. Some of the most dangerous monsters are horror-based. He gets better if he passes his Personal Story; his Sanity will raise to 4, and he will heal 1 Sanity each time he beats monsters in combat.
- Damage Reduction: Any Stamina damage he receives gets reduced by 1 point (up to 0).
- 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: He is a member of the O'Bannion Gang, one of the two major gangs of Arkham.
- 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 remainder of 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.
- Token Evil Teammate: 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.
- 20 Bear Asses: His Personal Story requires him to accumulate 5 or more monster trophies (their toughness does not matter), to avenge his dead pal, Louie.
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.
- Born Lucky: She has the best Luck stat in the game (up to 6, tied with Tony Morgan and Tommy Muldoon).
- 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: When she fails her Personal Story, even though she realises just how bad this world really is, she still finds enough strength to get going (and even lift that Curse which caused that failure, replacing it with A Blessing).
- Fetch Quest: One of the ways to pass her Personal Story is to accumulate enough trophies and just "buy" blessings in South Church, which is not exactly cheap (this may be done by any investigator, since it does not matter which investigator gets blessed); otherwise, you must rely on random encounters.
- 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 (by being Cursed), she outright No Sells the Curse and becomes Blessed instead (but only that one time).
- Mechanically Unusual Class: She is only character who can't be lost in time and space; instead, she will instantly return to Arkham (the specific location varies depending on the reason why this happened). This comes in handy when playing against Yog-Sototh, since this allows her to survive his signature ability.
- Nuns 'n' Rosaries: One of her starting items is a Cross.
Diana Stanley, the Redeemed Cultist
- The Atoner: She feels so much remorse over what the Silver Twilight Lodge has done.
- Cult Defector: After seeing just how horrifying some rituals of the Silver Twilight Inner Sanctum were, Diana desperately wants to atone for them.
- Fetch Quest: Her Personal Story requires her to accumulate 5 clues and bring them to the Police.
- Reverse Mole: A trusted one. In fact, she cannot lose her Silver Twilight Membership, ever. Her Personal Story requires her to collect enough evidence (clues) the for police to finally interfere, implying that she becomes an official one.
- Squishy Wizard: Interesting variant. She has the best Lore stat in the game (up to 6, tied with Harvey Walters and Agnes Baker) and good Stamina (6)... but low Sanity (4), which makes her vulnerable to horror-based attacks (unless you sacrifice most of her Fight stat in favour of more Will), and generally reduces her effectiveness as a spellcaster.
- Timed Mission: Her Personal Story must be completed before the doom track reaches 4.
Jacqueline Fine, the Psychic
- Dreaming of Things to Come: Has Recurring Dreams about the future... and they are not pretty.
- Psychic Powers: She is, after all, called a psychic. This is more prominent in Eldritch Horror, where she can peek at unflipped Condition cards.
- Screw Destiny: If her Personal Story succeeds, she realises there is still hope. She also reduces the doom track by 1, which sometimes may mean the difference between a win and a loss.
- The Power of Friendship: Completing her Personal Story involves finding 2 Ally cards.
- Timed Mission: Her Personal Story must be completed before the terror level reaches 3.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Acquires this mindset if her Personal Story fails:"There's no way out. We're doomed".
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.
- The "Fun" in "Funeral": He accidentally raised the corpse of a dead widow at her own funeral with his music. After that incident, finding a new job became problematic.
- 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.
- Music Soothes the Savage Beast: He can use his music to instantly defeat any Undead monster. If he passes his Personal Story, any such monsters would simply fail to spawn on the board at all, automatically transferring to him as monster trophies.
- 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.
- Timed Mission: His Personal Story must be completed before the terror level reaches 4.
- 20 Bear Asses: His Personal Story requires him to accumulate 3 or more monster trophies, amongst them at least 1 trophy of Undead.
Leo Anderson, the Expedition Leader
- Escort Mission: Variation. He must ensure the survival of all other investigators besides himself until he succeeds in his Personal Story, otherwise he will fail it.
- 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.
- The Men First: He develops this tendency with suicidal results if he fails his Personal Story.
- My Greatest Failure: Led seven men into the Yucatan. Only two made it back, unless you count the guy who Came Back Wrong.
- The Power of Friendship: His Personal Story requires him to find at least 3 ally cards (he starts with 1 by default).
- Survivor Guilt: Goes into this if another investigator gets devoured. This may potentially lead to his own death.
- Timed Mission: His Personal Story has two failure conditions; besides one of the investigators being devoured, he also fails if the terror level reaches 4.
Marie Lambeau, the Entertainer
- The Chanteuse: Known as "Smoky Velvet", and has the outfit and personality to match.
- Collection Sidequest: Her Personal Story requires her to find at least 2 spells (wether she keeps them or not). She must find them by herself, spells received from other investigators do not count.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Declares this when failing her Personal Story.
- Music Soothes the Savage Beast: She's able to remove doom tokens from the Ancient One's doom track once per game. 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.
- Timed Mission: Her Personal Story must be completed before the doom track reaches 5.
- Witch Species: Her magic is in the blood; her grand-mere was also an accomplished witch.
Mark Harrigan, the Soldier
- Big Guy: Has the best Fight stat in the game (up to 6, tied with Michael McGlenn and Silas Marsh).
- Determinator: You can't delay him, and he can't be arrested.
- Heroic BSoD: He already has nightmares about his wife's death, but it becomes even worse if he fails his Personal Story:He could still hear her screaming. It used to be every night, but it was worse, now. He could hear it sometimes when he was awake.
- Kill It with Fire: Two items he starts with; a Molotov Cocktail, and the Flamethrower.
- Luck-Based Mission: His Personal Story requires him to collect a R'lyeh gate trophy. Problem is, there's no guarantee that one would spawn at all in the current game (or that he would succeed in closing that gate), while the failure condition is for him to be reduced to 0 Sanity (and Mark only has 3 at both Sanity and Will, making him rather vulnerable).
- The Lost Lenore: His wife, Sophie, was eaten from inside by some unknown monsters. He doesn't take it well.
- 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. To pass his Personal Story, he must acquire at least 1 gate trophy of R'lyeh.
- 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.
Rita Young, the Athlete
- Affirmative Action Girl: She's faced racism all her life. 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...
- Lightning Bruiser: Has the best Speed stat in the game (up to 6, tied with Joe Diamond and Finn Edwards), and (similarly to Joe Diamond) she also has a good Fight stat.
- Luck-Based Mission: Her Personal Story requires not just random monster trophies, but specifically at least 1 Cultist (or an enemy counted as a Cultist) amongst them. All enemies (at least those she may claim as a trophy) spawn randomly, and if the Ancient One or some other gameplay factor grants Cultists the Endless ability (preventing them from being claimed as trophies), she's screwed.
- Normally, I Would Be Dead Now: He special ability allows her to ignore a second copy of any injury/madness she has. For any other investigator, having two matching injuries/madnesses would be fatal.
- 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/Madness cards (which would normally kill the investigator).
- 20 Bear Asses: To pass her Personal Story, she must accumulate 3 or more monster trophies, including at least 1 trophy of a Cultist.
- Her Personal Story can't be completed while playing against Abhoth (because he removes Cultists from the game) or Rhan-Tegoth (because with him, they never spawn on the board).
- Downplayed with Nyarlathothep. There are ways to ignore the "Endless" keyword, but they are very hard to obtain and would rarely come into play.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: She thinks that the hooded thugs harassing her and her friends are part of The Klan. Unfortunately, these guys are WAY worse than your usual Politically Incorrect Villain...
Wilson Richards, the Handyman
- Badass Biker: Starts off with the Motorcycle card.
- Cash Gate: To pass his Personal Story, you must spend $15 during Upkeep; and no, you must not have an active Bank Loan, so you must have done that legitimately.
- 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. His Personal Story involves saving a little girl from a loan shark from O'Bannion's gang and get her out of town. Unfortunately, he has limited time to do so...
- Mechanically Unusual Class: He has unlimited focus (for the purpose of other game effects, his focus is set to 4, which is still more than for any other investigator).
- Renaissance Man: He picks up work around town for money.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Starts with one.
- The Tramp: He drifts from one place to another, and survives by taking whatever job he can find.
- Timed Mission: His Personal Story must be completed before the doom track reaches 6.
- Up to Eleven: He's the only investigator to have a Focus stat of 4, but this is only relevant when the game explicitly refers to his focus; otherwise, he may reassign his stats freely, as if his focus was unlimited.
- Would Hurt a Child: Fail his Personal Story and he gets to be witness to this, seeing the little girl he wanted to save led away in handcuffs while the cruel loan shark from the local gang who'd been chasing her just watches (with the implication that he did something to get the kid in trouble with the law), and the kid's mom (who was previously showed to be really ill, while her dad is already dead) is nowhere in sight.
Charlie Kane, the Politician
- Cash Gate: To pass his Personal Story, he must spend $15 during Upkeep while being in Newspaper. Most likely, it was spent on his re-election campaign.
- 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 unsavoury 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 the outcome of his Personal Story, Kane can end up on either side of one, to the point that even his personal assistant Bonnie would lose hope in him:Bonnie couldn't meet his face. "Sir, I have a confession. I didn't vote for you."
- Reasonable Authority Figure: As the Mayor. And the people recognise 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
- Timed Mission: His Personal Story must be completed before the terror level reaches 4.
- Ultimate Authority Mayor: ...not quite, but he tries.
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.
- Collection Sidequest: To pass her Personal Story, she must accumulate 6 or more clues.
- 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: Subversion. Other characters lose Sanity from reading tomes, but Daisy can avoid all such Sanity losses. It gets a double subversion if she fails her Personal Story, with her mind getting permanently shattered after she recklessly reads the Tome of Eldritch Lore she's been looking for. However, this only reduces her maximum Sanity; she retains her ability to No-Sell Sanity losses from tomes.
- 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.
- Unwinnable: Her Personal Story can't be completed when playing against Yib-Tstll, because she can't wield more than 5 clues.
Lily Chen, the Martial Artist
- Action Girl: One of the strongest in the game.
- Armor-Piercing Attack: If the Ancient One awakens, she passes her personal story and she can immediately remove doom tokens from it without rolls (as long as she hasn't been knocked out or driven mad in that game).
- The Chosen One: Unlike everyone else, her birth was heralded. The only requirement for her Personal Story is to survive until the Ancient One's awakening and meet it face to face (without ever being defeated beforehand).
- 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 BSoD: If she's knocked unconscious 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. This also fails her Personal Story.
- Mechanically Unusual Class: She can spend focus to change the balance of her stamina/sanity.
- 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: Was trained by ones to become the defender of our world against the forces of evil.
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 her skills once per round.
- 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.
- Timed Mission: With the strictest time limit in the game. Her Personal Story must be completed before the doom track reaches 4.
- 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.
Luke Robinson, the Dreamer
- All Just a Dream: If he fails his Personal Story (this happens when there's at least 4 seals on the board), he starts doubting if his long-lost friend ever existed in the first place, or it was just a dream. Unfortunately, he also starts doubting the reality of "real" allies, too, restricting him from acquiring any more.
- Collection Sidequest: His Personal Story requires him to accumulate at least 3 gate trophies.
- Dream Land: Starts off in the Dream Lands.
- Nerves of Steel: Has the best Will stat in the game (up to 6, tied with Bob Jenkins and William Yorick).
- Squishy Wizard: Has very low Stamina (only 3), and bad Strength (up to 3).
- Wistful Amnesia: Is searching for an old friend he vaguely remembers from before he entered The Dreamlands.
Rex Murphy, the Reporter
- Blessed with Suck: His signature ability becomes his bane when playing against Ghathanothoa, since each time he would receive clues, he will trigger the Ancient One's ability, practically guaranteeing that he will be devoured sooner or later.
- Born Unlucky: Is given a Cursed card at the start. Unlike other investigators, he can only get rid of it by getting Blessed.
- Chew Toy: Just read his Personal Story...
- Determinator: It takes a special kind of thickheaded to keep going despite all of his setbacks.
- Despair Event Horizon: He will pass this if his investigation comes to a dead-end and he fails his Personal Story. He no longer can be Blessed, and if he ever gets Cursed while already being Cursed, he will be devoured.
- 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.
- Unwinnable: His Personal Story can't be completed when playing against Yib-Tstll, because he can't wield more than 5 clues.
- We Need to Get Proof: Has never been able to hold onto proof long enough before. Now, to pass his Personal Story, he must bring at least 10 clues to Newspaper (fortunately, each time he receives one clue, he receives an additional one for free). But if he ever loses all his clues, his Personal Story will end in failure.
Tony Morgan, the Bounty Hunter
- Born Lucky: Has the best Luck stat in the game (up to 6, tied with Sister Mary and Tommy Muldoon).
- Bounty Hunter: Outright stated to be one, though instead of humans, he hunts for monsters.
- 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.
- Fetch Quest: His Personal Story requires him to either accumulate 4 or more monster trophies and get paid for this, or to accumulate at least 5 clues (and realize that this deal is not worth it); depending on the way his Personal Story was done, he receives different rewards.
- 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: On his art, he's depicted with two guns.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Only this time, he's hunting creatures far more dangerous than mere humans...
- Nominal Hero: He's in this for revenge against the Deep One who nearly killed him, and for profit. It just so happened that he and the other investigators have a common enemy.
- Token Evil Teammate: One of the few outright criminals amongst the investigators, and feels zero remorse about it.
- Unwitting Pawn: In his Personal Story, getting enough clue tokens makes him realise this, "failing" it. However, both outcomes for his story involve losing all of 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").
Wendy Adams, the Urchin
- 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. For some reason, she still can become Deputy of Arkham, though.
- No-Sell: As long as she is in a street area, Wendy succeeds at evasion checks automatically. And as long as she keeps her Elder Sign, she also can't become cursed or arrested.
- Orphan's Plot Trinket: An Elder Sign given to her by her parents. This is not merely some toy; it contains actual magic, and may protect her from being cursed or arrested, and in dire situations, may be used to seal any gate (but unless she wants to fail her Personal Story, she must keep it intact until her dad is found).
- Parental Abandonment: He dad is Lost at Sea, and mother is in the asylum.
- The Sneaky Guy: Not only does she have the best Sneak stat in the game (up to 6, tied with Ashcan Pete and Trish Scarboro), she can automatically avoid any monster on a street, without even bothering to do Evade checks.
- Street Urchin: One of her skills is even called Streetwise.
Agnes Baker, the Waitress
- Black Mage:
- Used to be a great Hyperborean witch back in her past incarnation. Now, when her old enemies are after her again, her only chance of survival is to put her old power to use.
- In gameplay terms, she has the best Lore stat in the game (up to 6, tied with Harvey Walters and Diana Stanley), combined with reasonable Fight. This is good, because only way to pass her Personal Story is by confronting and defeating monsters.
- 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. Now it has come for her again. Whether she manages to defy this or not depends on the success of her Personal Story.
- Reincarnation: Of a Hyperborean witch.
- 20 Bear Asses: To pass her Personal Story, she must collect 3 monster trophies.
- Visions of Another Self: She has dreams of her past incarnation.
Akachi Onyele, the Shaman
- Collection Sidequest: Her Personal Story requires her to accumulate 3 or more gate trophies.
- 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.
- Press X to Die: Until she passes her Personal Story, she must avoid spending any gate trophies (this applies to other investigators as well).
- 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.
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.
- Fragile Speedster: Downplayed. He has good Stamina, but abysmal Fight and Will. Fortunately, he has the best Speed stat in the game (up to 6, tied with Joe Diamond and Rita Young).
- Nominal Hero: He only joined the team for revenge against the cultists who tried to kill him. Otherwise, he couldn't care less about their common goal or his teammates.
- No-Sell: Nothing can force him to discard his items or clues against his will.
- 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 Story, though he doesn't quit the game.
- The Sneaky Guy: Can evade monsters with a special ability, and has a secret stash for holdouts. He also has a good Sneak stat.
- Timed Mission: His Personal Story must be completed before the terror level reaches 3.
- Token Evil Teammate: 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.
- 20 Bear Asses: His Personal Story requires him to accumulate 3 or more monster trophies, including at least 1 Cultist.
- His Personal Story can't be completed while playing against Abhoth (because he removes Cultists from the game) or Rhan-Tegoth (because with him, they never spawn on the board).
- Downplayed with Nyarlathothep. There are ways to ignore the "Endless" keyword, but they are very hard to obtain and will rarely come into play.
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.
- Non-Action Guy: He has very low Stamina and Fight, and will fail his Personal Story if he ever gets defeated. Unfortunately, to pass his Personal Story, he must acquire at least one monster trophy specifically, of a Cultist enemy. Fortunately, they are (usually; it depends on the specific Ancient One) relatively weak, too.
- Retirony: He planned to stop practicing law, buy a boat, and sail around the world with his beloved Maria. Plans changed.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: His motivation to join the team involves killing the men who burned down his home and killed his wife, Maria. To pass his Personal Story, he must acquire a monster trophy of a Cultist enemy.
- His Personal Story can't be completed while playing against Abhoth (because he removes Cultists from the game) or Rhan-Tegoth (because with him, they never spawn on board).
- Downplayed with Nyarlathothep. There are ways to ignore the "Endless" keyword, but they are very hard to obtain and will rarely come into play.
Hank Samson, the Farmhand
- Disappeared Dad: "Pa" Samson goes missing at the start of the game, as he went to complain about how his luggage went missing. Hank 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 realise something is an Eldritch Abomination until he's had time to mull it over.
- Fetch Quest: To pass his Personal Story, he must collect 5 clues and bring them to Train Station.
- Leeroy Jenkins: In his backstory, Hank is explicitly noted to act before he thinks (which is the primary source of his Fearless Fool status).
- Up to Eleven: Other investigators summarily have 10 Stamina/Sanity (with the exception of Wendy Adams, who has only 8, with both stats at 4); Hank has 11 (6 Stamina and 5 Sanity).
- 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.)
Minh Thi Phan, the Secretary
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: She is ethnically Korean, but her name is Vietnamese. This is finally explained in her bio in 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.
- These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: If she ever gets driven insane and fails her Personal Story, she develops this mindset, and refuses to read any weird books ever again.
- Tome of Eldritch Lore: What previously killed her boss. Now, to pass her Personal Story, she must read it herself, to learn more; in gameplay terms, she must read any tome(s) at least 3 times in total.
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 Eldritch Abominations as much as the other heroes.
- Badass Beard: By far the longest beard of the cast.
- Collection Sidequest: To pass his Personal Story, he must accumulate at least 3 gate trophies.
- Heroic BSoD: If he ever gets lost in time and space and fails his Personal Story, he is so terrified of this experience, he loses faith in his ability to ever understand the Ancient One, lowering his Focus by 1.
Patrice Hathaway, the Violinist
- Collection Sidequest: Her Personal Story requires her to find at least 2 Unique items total; it's not mandatory to keep them, just find them is enough. Items received from other investigators do not count.
- 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 Stamina 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.
Roland Banks, the Fed
- By-the-Book Cop: Was this his whole life... but becomes a Cowboy Cop if his Personal Story is completed.
- Collection Sidequest: To pass his Personal Story, he must accumulate at least 5 clues.
- 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 by being driven insane or arrested, and his boss forces him to take a vacation, costing him access to his Expense Account note ability for six turns (which often means "until the end of the game").
Silas Marsh, the Sailor
- And Then John Was a Zombie:
- If he fails his Personal Story, he would become a Deep One.
- He has a greater risk of this happening via the Innsmouth look mechanic than other investigators, because of his ancestry: every time he must draw such cards, he must draw an additional one.
- Badass Beard: Of the Seadog Beard variant.
- Big Guy: Has the best Fight stat in the game (up to 6, tied with Michael McGlenn and Mark Harrigan).
- 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 Personal Story. It can happen normally through Innsmouth Look events too, and in fact, Silas is more likely than anyone else to fail these events.
- Tomato in the Mirror: Though it's pretty obvious to the player that he's a Deep One.
"Skids" O'Toole, the Ex-Convict
- An Axe to Grind: He starts out with one.
- Collection Sidequest: To pass his Personal Story, he must collect 5 clues total (it's not mandatory to keep them, it's just collecting them that matters).
- The Corpse Stops Here: When his cellmate Brad 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.
- Evidence Scavenger Hunt: His Personal Story involves him searching for answers on what really happened with his former cellmate Brad. If he manages to obtain enough information (by collecting clues), he passes; if there are too few clues on the board, he loses the trail and fails.
- 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.
- Luck-Based Mission: The failure condition of his Personal Story is if there's less than 3 clues on the board. Considering that clues only spawn in unstable locations (where gates may spawn), and every time a gate opens in locations with clues, they get discarded, the more aggressively he pursues the answers, the easier it is for him to accidentally leave himself without the means to progress.
- 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.
Tommy Muldoon, the Rookie Cop
- Born Lucky: Has the best Luck stat in the game (up to 6, tied with Sister Mary and Tony Morgan).
- Heroic Sacrifice: The only way to pass his Personal Story is to perform one, by being devoured.
- I Am Your Opponent: One of his powers involves calling over monsters to his position on the board.
- I Call It "Vera": Calls 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.
- Timed Mission: His Personal Story must be completed before the terror level reaches 5.
- 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.
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 additional point at the cost of one point of stamina or one point of sanity. This ability becomes stronger if she passes her Personal Story (she may make one additional move for free), and becomes weaker if she fails it.
- Luck-Based Mission:
- The only way to pass her Personal Story is to acquire 2 or more clues at once; besides some specific encounters, this only happens after lucky clues spawn in location which already has clue in it.
- Conversely, the failing condition of her Personal Story is when 2 or more clues gets removed from the board at once which most likely happens if a gate opens in any location where clues have previously spawned, something she has no means to predict or stop.
- Mechanically Unusual Class: Normally, you must chose which stat from each pair (Speed and Sneak, Fight and Will, Lore and Luck) you want higher, while another stat would be lower (the better is one of them, the worse is another). In Trish's case, each pair will raise together (Fight and Will, for example). But each round, at the beginning of Upkeep, they will reset to the far-left positions. From here, you can upgrade chosen stats as if you have 5 focus. And, if it's not enough, you can spend your stamina or sanity to gain up to 3 more upgrades.
- 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.
- The Sneaky Guy: As befits her occupation, she has the best Sneak stat in the game (up to 6, tied with Ashcan Pete and Wendy Adams).
Ursula Downs, the Explorer
- Action Girl: It's mentioned in her backstory that she was always the active, exploring type.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: She has a passion for adventure and archaeology.
- Blue Blood: She's got a hefty inheritance, but she used it to set up her work. Notably, she starts with some of the lowest money in the game.
- Collection Sidequest: To pass her Personal Story, she must collect 3 monster trophies and 3 clues.
- 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.
- Timed Mission: He Personal Story must be completed before the terror level reaches 3.
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 Eldritch Abominations 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. Be aware, however, that if a monster tries to spawn and none are available in the cup, the Ancient One will awaken immediately.
- Fetch Quest: To pass his Personal Story, he must become Blessed. Unless you want to rely on random encounters, that only way to do so is to accumulate enough trophies to spend in South Church. Be aware that either way, if he gets defeated, his Personal Story will be failed.
- Meaningful Name: He's a grave digger, and he aspired to be an actor (specializing in Shakespeare's plays) before finding that he couldn't support himself with that job
- Nerves of Steel: Has the best Will stat in the game (up to 6, tied with Bob Jenkins and Luke Robinson). Now take another look at his name.
- Starving Artist: He wanted to be a Shakespearean Actor, but as his backstory attests, "dramatic monologues didn't put bread on the table."
Zoey Samaras, the Chef
- Armor-Piercing Attack: Her attacks ignore resistance, and immunity is bumped down to resistance.
- Chef of Iron: Cooks during a day, kicks asses during a night. While she's not very strong, she compensates for it with her unique ability, which becomes handy when she faces some specially dangerous enemies.
- Despair Event Horizon: If she gets arrested or loses her Cross (thus failing her Personal Story), she falls in despair, thinking that God abandoned her.
- 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.
- No-Sell: Defied. She can ignore enemies' resistances, and "downgrade" immunities, allowing her to use weapons and spells against monsters and Ancient Ones usually immune to them (the only exception is Lloigors, which has unique Weapon Immunity).
- 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.
- 20 Bear Asses: To pass her Personal Story, she must accumulate 5 monster trophies.
- 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.
Second Arkham League
Calvin Wright, the Damned
- Awesome, but Impractical: Has basic Fight capped at a whopping seven. Cool? Cool. But his basic Will is capped at 3, which, combined with him having only 4 Sanity, makes him very vulnerable to horror-based monsters, like the infamous Hound of Tindalos.
- 11th-Hour Ranger: He joined the team as a playable investigator at the last scenario of the Second Arkham League.
- Flat Character: Lacked either backstory or Personal Story in his first appearance. He received both when he was reintroduced in subsequent games.
- Mechanically Unusual Class: His stats can't be reduced (including Stamina and Sanity). When they should be reduced, he instead heals 1 Stamina or 1 Sanity. But he starts with reduced maximum Sanity (only 4 instead of the expected 5). He can trade his Stamina and Sanity to another investigators, like if they were items.
- Obvious Rule Patch: His ability is not supposed to protect him from Cthulhus attacks. Later errata specified this.
- Protagonist Without a Past: He simply lacked any backstory when he was first introduced. It was fixed in subsequent games, although it's still not very detailed.
- Race Lift: Was caucasian when first introduced. He became black in all subsequent games.
- Up to Eleven: Most investigators have their basic stats capped at 5 at most. Several investigators have one stat being capped at 6. Calvin can set his basic Fight to 7.
Second Spanish League
Bernard Nawas, The Scientist
- Agent Scully: Doesn't believe in paranormal activities, thinking there's always some scientific explanation for it.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: His signature ability, "Pure Logic", allows him to analyse eldritch events in Arkham from a scientific point of view and succeed.
- Doing In the Wizard:
- Smart Guy: He can, actually, put his scientistic skills to good use, and obtain additional clues. He also has a good Lore stat.
Francis Sailor, The Lord
- Crimefighting with Cash: He starts with $10, and receives free $1 each turn.
- Self-Insert Fic: He is a writer, who bases his heroes on himself and his adventures throughout the world. At first, his heroes were miserable, just like himself. Then he moved to New England and switched to mystery stories. Now, he joined the team in hopes to receive an interesting plot for a brand new story.
Hanna McKinley, The Antiquarian (and ex-cultist)
- Big Brother Is Watching: The Silver Twilight Lodge is after her, meaning there's no place where she is safe in Arkham they would find her everywhere. In gameplay terms, this works by penalising all her skill checks in Arkham.
- Cult Defector: Former member of Silver Twilight Lodge. Now, when she is the Lodge's enemy, there's no place safe for her in Arkham, so she receives a penalty to all skill checks while in the main map; this is compensated by her receiving bonuses to all skill checks while in Other Worlds.
Lizzy Oswald, The Maid
- Born Lucky: Can raise her basic Luck stat up to 6.
- Sticky Fingers:
- She is kleptomaniac. This is what caused her to lose her previous job, and what motivated her to stay in Arkham even when weird things started to happen.
- Each time she receives Common or Unique items, she must receive an additional one, but then pass a Sneak check. If she fails, she is arrested and loses half of her items.
Lonny T. West, The Psychopath
- Gollum Made Me Do It: Lonny is schizophrenic, which previously led to him killing many innocent people, including his own mother. This same schizophrenia now threatens to destroy what little sanity he has.
- Mechanically Unusual Class: Lonny starts with two skills, but each turn must discard and replace one of them with a new one from either the top or the bottom of the deck (he may check what lies on the bottom any time he wishes). If the deck is empty, he is devoured.
- Sanity Slippage: He's a schizophrenic in the Cthulhu Mythos. Madness is to be expected.
Lydia Guver, Bookstore owner
- Badass Bookworm: Her abilities are specifically attributed to her erudition. She also receives 1 bonus clue each time she successfully reads tomes (in addition to their usual effect). To put that ability to best use, she may replace random Unique or Exhibit item she receives with a random tome from corresponding deck.
- Crusading Widower: Carl Sanford from the Silver Twilight Lodge is somehow related to her husband's disappearance, and she will find out how and avenge him.
- Magic Librarian: Bookstore owner with good Lore stat.
Paul J. Red, The Accomplice
- Bald of Evil: He is an unrepentant gangster who is completely bold (and rather ugly).
- Big Guy: Can raise his basic Fight stat up to 6.
- Nominal Hero: Only reason why he bothered to join the team is because some random beast grabbed one of his fellow gangsters, and unless he kills it, no one would believe him. It's not even for revenge.
- Token Evil Teammate: He is an unrepentant gangster, who only joined the team for selfish reasons.
- Revolvers Are Just Better: Always starts with a revolver.
- Vertical Kidnapping: His involvement in the story started when some flying beast (implied to be Night Gaunt, who actually may do this to investigators) abducted one of the members of his gang.
Peggy Green, The Inheritor
- Book Worm: Since she obtained her grandfather's hidden library, she spent most of her time reading. Because of that, she has good Will and Lore stats, but bad Fight.
- Crimefighting with Cash:
- She starts with $10 and receives free $1 each turn.
- Once per game, she can receive free $10 in Bank of Arkham.
- Non-Idle Rich: Decided to put her inheritance to good use and help save Arkham and the world.
- No Social Skills: Because she spent most of her free time reading books, she rarely interacted with other people and has no friends to relate on.
Tony Harding, The Bounty Hunter
- Agent Scully: Doesn't believe that there's something paranormal in Arkham even though the guy he just shot in the leg ran away from him like nothing happened, without leaving any blood behind.
- Armor-Piercing Attack: He can ignore Physical Resistance.
- Bounty Hunter: He makes money by catching runaway criminals and delivering them to the police.
- Good Counterpart: To Tony Morgan, another Bounty Hunter who kills humans for money.
- No-Sell: He is immune to "Nightmare" effect.
- Punch-Packing Pistol: As long as he uses his starting pistol during Combat checks, he may pass them on 4-6 result, not just 5-6.
Warren Kulidge, The Mad Cultist
- Cast from Experience Points: He can pay for spells (with fixed price) with 1 monster or gate trophy (which you receive from defeating monsters / closing gates respectively) instead of spending his Sanity (he has only 3 points of it).
- Cult Defector: He is a member of the Silver Twilight Lodge, but, due to visions of the terrible future he saw, he realized that he must oppose the Lodge's schemes.
- No-Sell: When he is driven insane, when it's considered how many items he has, all spells are ignored, meaning he must discard less items in total (if any).
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 a 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
- 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.
Daniela Reyes, The Mechanic
Tropes common for all Ancient Ones
- Big Bad: The current Ancient One is the force behind all Cults you face, monsters you fight, and Gates which tears up barriers between worlds. Each of them also favours either Cultists or other monsters with additional buffs, and has some Powers they use to alter gameplay in a specific way.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Averted once the Ancient One awakens. If investigators are reduced to zero Stamina or Sanity during the final battle, they instantly get devoured and are eliminated from the battle.
- Final Boss: The Ancient One is the last and toughest enemy you can face, but defeating one will award the whole team with victory. However, it is possible to prevent the Ancient One from awakening and win the game before they show up (and it is downright necessary for Azathoth).
- Increasingly Lethal Enemy:
- No-Sell: Almost all Ancient Ones have either Immunities (prevents use of specific items whatsoever against them) or Resistances (halves bonuses from those cards).
- Time-Limit Boss:
- Almost all Ancient Ones have some way to limit the number of turns you may survive fighting them. Specific ways vary, but usually it may be put under one of the following categories:
- Explicit time limit; defeat them under a set number of turns or die (though anything that may prevent the Ancient One from attacking also prevents time from advancing).
- One-Hit Kill attacks with limited possibilities to pass saving throws (usually by discarding some of your limited resources you can't restore in the combat).
- One-Hit Kill attacks with No Saving Throws whatsoever; it is a question of who will die first, your whole team or the Ancient One.
- There are optional "Epic Battle" cards which will make the battle even harder by altering conditions of each round of battle. There's two sets of cards, green and red ones (red are usually more dangerous, but enter play only when all green ones are depleted); one of the red cards is appropriately named "End of Everything", which instantly ends battle in defeat. There's exactly 8 green and exactly 8 red cards, meaning no battle may go longer than 16 turns.
- Almost all Ancient Ones have some way to limit the number of turns you may survive fighting them. Specific ways vary, but usually it may be put under one of the following categories:
- Skippable Boss: Baring some specific scenarios and leagues, Ancient Ones are never mandatory to face in battle; it's quite possible to win long before they awaken.
- Special Attack: Each Ancient One (except for Azathoth and Daoloth) has three "Sinister plots"; in most cases, it's either even more damaging attacks, some additional penalty for investigators, or some defensive/self-healing options. Sinister plots are only useable with optional "Epic Battle" cards.
- Stalked by the Bell: Each Ancient One has a Doom threshold. When the doom threshold reaches it, the Ancient One immediately awakens, forcing you to face it in battle in order to win (which is not guaranteed at all).
Introduced in Arkham Horror
- Ax-Crazy: Since Azathoth does not promise his followers anything but utter destruction, only madmen would worship him. Fittingly, he boosts Maniacs, by increasing their toughness.
- Mechanically Unusual Class: Azathoth is the only Ancient One to lack a last battle because letting him awaken is an instant Non-Standard Game Over.
- Non-Standard Game Over: Unlike other Ancient Ones, if Azathoth ever awakens, it's immediately Game Over.
- Press X to Die: It goes without saying that the "Call Ancient One" spell must not be used against Azathoth under any circumstances. Yet nothing in the game actually prevents you from trying it.
- Rock Falls Everyone Dies: If Azathoth ever awakens, this means The End of the World as We Know It.
- Timed Mission: Azathoth is only Ancient One to not have a Last battle. You either defeat him before he awakens, or you lose.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Azathoth lacks any flashy gameplay-altering mechanic, and has the biggest Doom track in the game, but any game against him is a Timed Mission, since his awakening means instant game over. Almost all expansions, especially Innsmouth Horror, introduce some ways to accelerate Doom increasing, which significantly boosts his danger.
- Critical Hit: One of his Sinister plots allows him to restore 3 Doom tokens after his attack instead of 1. Another one replaces his usual attack with dice roll, with the result being his current damage (it may be divided between Stamina and Sanity).
- The Dragon: Has special rules when paired with Dagon and/or Hydra, who serves him.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Many of his worshippers have the infamous "Innsmouth look", which makes them so ugly, they become dangerous to investigators' Sanity.
- Maximum HP Reduction: For duration of the game, each investigator has their maximum Sanity and Stamina both reduced the by 1. This is also his only form of attack; each investigator must reduce max Sanity or max Stamina by 1 after each attack.
- One-Hit Polykill: One of his Sinister plots is to devour (in the literal sense) 1D6-1 investigators in one attack.
- Time-Limit Boss: Unless you defeat him first, each investigator will eventually be reduced to either 0 max Sanity or 0 max Stamina, both of which are fatal, because there's no way to restore this loss back, let alone during a fight.
- Took a Level in Badass: His Arkham Nights version.
- Vampiric Draining: If at least one investigator is damaged by his attack, Cthulhu restores 1 Doom token.
- Airborne Mook: All his Cultists ride on Byakhee, becoming flying monsters and increasing their combat stats.
- Cool Gate: When playing against him, all Gates become more resistant to sealing, requiring 3 clues more than usual (eight instead of the normal five).
- Critical Hit: One of his Sinister plots doubles his damage for one attack.
- Dynamic Difficulty: His battle rating depends on the current Terror level at the start of the battle, and thus may range from (0) to (-10).
- Increasingly Lethal Enemy: With each turn, the saving throw (Luck check) to avoid damage from him becomes harder.
- One-Hit Polykill: One of his Sinister plots allows him to instantly kill any investigator with less than 3 Sanity left. This does not affect investigators who have more.
- Took a Level in Badass: His Arkham Nights version.
- Instead of increasing the cost of sealing a gate in clues, Hastur now forces investigators to sacrifice 1 point of their max Sanity (even if it would kill them).
- Each time an investigator is driven insane or devoured, the Terror level gets raised by 1.
- Instead of dynamic battle rating, now Hastur starts with stable (-5). Though the old version potentially can have a higher rating (up to (-10)), it was rarely an achievable outcome.
- Critical Hit: One of his Sinister plots doubles his damage for one attack.
- Cult: All his Cultists are much tougher than normal.
- Geo Effects: When playing against him, if you finish your turn on a street, in Mythos phase your investigator receives 1 point of Stamina damage (due to deadly frost).
- Hostile Weather: When playing against him, Arkham gets hit with deadly frost, damaging any investigator who stays on the streets during Mythos phase. This effect prevents any other Weather effect from taking place.
- Increasingly Lethal Enemy: With each turn, the saving throw (Fight check) to avoid damage from him becomes harder.
- No Item Use for You: At the start of the battle, each investigator must roll one die for each of his/her items; on a loss, this item must be discarded. One of his Sinister plots allows him to repeat this effect.
- One-Hit Polykill: One of his Sinister plots allows him to instantly kill any investigator with less than 3 Stamina left. This does not affect investigators who have more.
- Wendigo: Ithaqua often associates with them, and the description of his worshippers implies that this is the case behind his Cultists' toughness.
- Armor-Piercing Attack: One of his Sinister plots allows him to instantly remove all but 1 clues from each investigator, ignoring the usual saving throw.
- Cult: Has countless worshippers all around the world. So many of them, in fact, you literally have no chance to wipe them all out: all Cultists under his guidance have the Endless trait.
- Elite Mooks: While playing against him, you must add all Mask enemies in the monster pool. They are often very dangerous, and some of them have One-Hit Kill abilities.
- FaceHeel Turn: One of his Sinister plots is to suggest investigators (one by one, starting from first player) to join him; only one may agree. The traitor would be removed from the battle, and Nyarlathothep will become stronger. If Nyarlathothep crushes the investigators, the traitor will win; otherwise, he will be the only one to lose.
- HP to 1: One of his Sinister plots is to instantly remove all but 1 clue from each investigator.
- Increasingly Lethal Enemy: With each turn, the saving throw (Lore check) to avoid damage from him becomes harder.
- One-Hit Polykill: One of his Sinister plots forces investigators to draw 1 random monster for each Doom token on Nyarlathothep's list. For each Mask they draw, one investigator will die, up to all of them if you're especially unlucky.
- Time-Limit Boss: Instead of dealing damage, Nyarlathothep removes 1 clue from each investigator who fails their saving throw; investigators without them instead die. Each investigator has a limited supply of clues and no means to acquire more during the last battle.
- Armor-Piercing Attack: One of her Sinister plots allows her to instantly remove 1 monster trophy from each investigator, ignoring the usual saving throw. If they have no trophies to discard, they die.
- Cult: With The Black Goat from the Woods expansion, you may infiltrate her cult in hopes to find something valuable.
- Increasingly Lethal Enemy: With each turn, the saving throw (Sneak check) to avoid damage from her becomes harder.
- Mother of a Thousand Young: Trope Namer. When playing against her, Dark Young become endless, meaning you never can deal with them for good. She also raises the toughness of every monster in the game, making them harder to defeat. One of her Sinister plots forces each investigator to fight Dark Young (they can't evade them) until death. If they succeed, this would actually damage Shub-Niggurath, removing 1 Doom token for each one defeated.
- Time-Limit Boss: Instead of dealing damage, Shub-Niggurath removes 1 monster trophy from each investigator who fails their saving throw; investigators without them instead die. Each investigator has a limited supply of trophies and no means to acquire more during the last battle.
- Critical Hit: One of his Sinister plots allows him to roll 4 dice per investigator, dealing 1 damage (to either Stamina or Sanity) on each success.
- Increasingly Lethal Enemy: With each turn, the saving throw (Speed check) to avoid damage from him becomes harder.
- Luck Manipulation Mechanic: At the start of the battle, Yig Curses all investigators; while being Cursed, they only succeed at any skill check if they roll "6". Any investigator who is already Cursed instead immediately dies. One of his Sinister plots allows him to repeat this attack, with potentially even more devastating effect.
- One-Hit Polykill:
- Instantly kills any Cursed investigator at the start of the battle. This may potentially happen again thanks to one of his Sinister plots, which allows him to repeat his "Start of battle" ability by Cursing all players and killing each already Cursed (and lifting Curse before that is already a Luck-Based Mission by itself).
- Another Sinister plot allows him to instantly kill any investigator with less than 2 Stamina and/or Sanity. This does not affect investigators who have more.
- Snake People: All his Cultists are actually disguised snake people. Thanks to their poison, they are four times more damaging than regular cultists.
- Took a Level in Badass: His Arkham Night version.
- Each time a Gate opens (including starting one), investigators must pass a Sneak check, or be Cursed. The Sneak check becomes harder for each already opened Gate.
- If an investigator rolls at least 2 "1's" during Yig's attack ("Snake Eyes", yeah), they immediately lose 1 Stamina and 1 Sanity (even if they pass that skill check).
- Weak, but Skilled: While he is often considered to be one of the weaker Ancient Ones, he has some notable traits which actually may become fatal for ill-prepared (or simply unlucky) investigators. He has the shortest Doom track, which means he has the lowest "health", but also the shortest time until awakening, and it gets only shorter when any cultist gets defeated, or an investigator gets lost in time and space. Also, all investigators start the battle being Cursed (which means, only "6" on any dice counts as success), and those who were already Cursed instead get immediately devoured.
- Armor-Piercing Attack: One of his Sinister plots allows him to instantly remove 1 gate trophy from each investigator, ignoring the usual saving throw. If they have no trophies to discard, they die.
- Cool Gate: When playing against him, every gate requires 1 success more than usual to close, and in the last battle, your gate trophies are used to protect you from his attacks.
- Increasingly Lethal Enemy: With each turn, the saving throw (Will check) to avoid damage from him becomes harder.
- No Saving Throw: Any investigator who's lost in time and space instead gets devoured.
- His Cultists, just as Yog-Sothoth himself, have Magic Immunity.
- One of his Sinister plots gives him Physical Immunity for one round, before investigators have a chance to attack, reducing them to bare fists.
- Time-Limit Boss: Instead of dealing damage, Yog-Sothoth removes 1 gate trophy from each investigator who fails their saving throw; investigators without them instead die. Each investigator has a limited supply of trophies and no means to acquire more during the last battle.
Introduced in Dunwich Horror
- Blob Monster: Abhoth is a big, amorphous mass of some grey slime, resistant to physical damage. His Childs qualifies too, since they actually used to be part of him.
- Critical Hit: One of his Sinister plots forces an investigator to discard exactly 3 clues, 3 trophies, or 3 items; no combining is allowed.
- Cult: Abhoth is the only Ancient One to explicitly have none (at least amongst humans). When playing against him, you must remove all Cultists from the game.
- Elite Mooks: During each Monster Surge, the gate which caused the Surge would spawn one of three Childs of Abhoth a quite nasty (both to look at and to deal with) Blob Monster. If there's no Childs to spawn, instead Doom increases by 2 and Terror by 1.
- Eyes Do Not Belong There: Both Abhoth himself and his "childs" have countless eyes, often in weird places.
- No-Sell: One of his Sinister plots provides him with Physical Immunity for one round.
- Time-Limit Boss: In last battle against him, when Abhoth attacks, each investigator must discard in total 3 clues, items, or trophies (of any kind), otherwise they would instantly die (he deals no actual damage). Actual time is limited by amount of resources you can spare, and there's no way to obtain more during last battle.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Glaaki resembles an enormous black snail, with big, sharp spikes.
- Critical Hit: One of his Sinister plots doubles the amount by which Terror level raises on this attack.
- Heroic Sacrifice: One of his Sinister plots allows the first player to, instead of attacking, sacrificing himself and roll one dice. On success, this lowers the Terror level by 3, on failure only by 1.
- No Item Use for You: Downplayed. Each Servant of Glaaki forces you to only discard one card (specific type differs between Servants)... but this may include even (hard to obtain) Skills. One of Glaaki's Sinister plots allows each currently active Servant to activate their spawn ability once again.
- Time-Limit Boss: Glaaki has no actual attack, but instead increases Terror level by 1. If it ever reaches 10, it's over. Depending on your performance, your time supply at start of the battle may vary, up to and including starting on 10 right away.
- The Undead: All his Cultists are undead. And each time any ally gets discarded or leaves the game, Glaaki spawns one of his undead Servants, who, on their spawn, debuffs investigators in different ways. If all Servants are already on the board, instead of spawning another one, Glaaki immediately awakens.
- King Mook: For Chtonians. Under his leadership, they will attack investigators more often.
- Non-Standard Game Over: If you ever must discard a Rubble token, but can't, Arkham instantly gets destroyed and all investigators die. This may happen either during normal play or during the last battle.
- No-Sell: Two of his Sinister plots provides him with either Physical or Magical Immunity for one round.
- Regenerating Health: One of his Sinister plots allows him to restore 1 Doom token after each attack (but not during the attack where it activates).
- Sand Worm: Biggest Chtonian over there. If small ones, when move, can injure investigators all across Arkham, a worm of this size can (and would) ruin the whole city...
- Time-Limit Boss: In the last battle against him, instead of dealing damage, with each attack, he discards 1 unused Rubble token. There's exactly 7 of them, and if there's ever not enough of them to discard, he destroys Arkham in a massive earthquake.
- Blob Monster: Not himself, but his servants, Formless Spawns. Under his leadership, they receive bonus toughness and become hunters.
- Lazy Bum: In two of his Sinister plots he... simply does nothing and allows investigator to freely attack him. The third one, however...
- Mix-and-Match Creatures: He is a big fat toad/bat-thing.
- No Item Use for You: At the start of battle, you must discard all your clues.
- No Saving Throw: One of his Sinister plots is to instantly swallow the first player before they have a chance to attack.
- The Plague: Tsathoggua's Power. In gameplay terms, it disables the special ability for any location besides Arkham Asylum, St. Mary's Hospital, Train Station, or any of the three shops in Arkham (though random encounters at thus locations are not disabled). This also overwrites any Urban mythos cards.
- Time-Limit Boss: In the last battle against him, each time he attacks, you must discard two monster trophies and 1 gate trophy which are in limited supply or be devoured (in his case, in the literal sense). Once resources run out, the next attack will be fatal.
Introduced in Kingsport Horror
- Cool Gate: When playing against her, Gates will always breach seals, making it virtually impossible to win by seals. Though if you intend to use Epic Battle rules, it's better to seal at least some gates, just in case.
- Giant Spider: Atlach-Nacha herself and her minions, Leng Spiders.
- King Mook: For Leng Spiders. Under her guidance, they become fast, and double their toughness.
- No Item Use for You: One of her Sinister plots is to kill all allies in play, by eating them. This is particularly bad, since discarding one ally prevents her from killing one of the investigators during her attack.
- No Saving Throw: One of her Sinister plots allows her to kill the investigator with most items. If there's a tie, first player must decide.
- One-Hit Kill: Each turn, she kills one investigator, unless anyone discards one ally.
- One-Hit Polykill: One of her Sinister plots forces each investigator to roll as many dice as there are seals on the board. Unless they roll at least one success, they will die. If they never bothered to seal any gates or were unlucky enough to lose all seals to breaches, well...
- Reality Bleed: Atlach-Nacha draws a web between our world and Dream Land, which damages barriers between worlds (and makes seals useless, since they would not protect against gates' openings). If she ever finishes, she would invade Earth directly. This also prevents any Mystic mythos from playing.
- Time-Limit Boss: Since she kills one investigator per attack, the battle must be won before she kills everyone. You may buy more time by bringing allies, since one of them may be discarded instead of an investigator being devoured.
- Chest Burster: Each time an investigator defeats a Cultist or seals a gate, they receive 1 Brood token. Each time an investigator receives such tokens, they must roll a dice, and if the result is lower than the number of tokens, they get devoured. The seventh token is always fatal. What's worse, any time an investigator gets devoured, their Brood tokens gets moved on Eihort's list, where they're equal to Doom tokens even if this would exceed his normal Doom threshold.
- Critical Hit: One of his Sinister plots allows him to attack every investigator at once, not just the current first player.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Anyone who dies from Brood is explicitly eaten alive from inside out. This may happen to your allies because of one of Eihort's Sinister plots; this completely removes them from the battle.
- Increasingly Lethal Enemy: Combines this with Time-Limit Boss. At the start of the battle, each investigator receives 1 Brood token. Each time an investigator receives such tokens, they must roll a dice, and if the result is lower than the number of tokens, they're devoured. Since the game uses 6-sided dice, the 7th token will be instantly fatal. Fortunately, outside of the start of battle and his Sinister plots, he only attacks investigators one at a time.
- No Item Use for You: One of his Sinister plots is to kill all allies in play, by injecting them with his Brood. For each ally discarded this way, he receives 1 Brood token.
- No Saving Throw:
- Any investigator who accumulates 7 or more Brood tokens dies instantly (because there's no way to counter that with one 6-sided dice).
- One of his Sinister plots allows him to instantly kill the first player; however, because he simply crushes them, this does not allow him to add their Brood tokens to his list.
- Time-Limit Boss: No investigator may survive more than 6 Brood tokens (and this if they're extremely lucky), and Eihort adds 1 token with each successive attack to the current first player (plus everyone receives one right at the start of battle).
- Blob Monster: Formless black mass of... something, coupled with countless eyes.
- Brown Note Being: Under her guidance, Night Gaunts deal thrice as much Sanity damage as usual.
- Dynamic Difficulty: Her battle rating depends on the number of clues on the board at the start of the last battle.
- Eyes Do Not Belong There: Countless eyes all around her... body.
- Luck-Based Mission: Her entire boss fight works on this. When she attacks, you must roll as many dice as the amount of Focus you have, and if you roll no success, you die.
- No Item Use for You:
- At the start of last battle, investigators must discard all their clues.
- To a lesser degree, during normal gameplay as well; investigators are limited to only having up to 5 clues at once.
- No Saving Throw: One of her Sinister plots is to kill all non-Blessed investigators. Fortunately, her own attack mechanic allows investigators to receive Blessing right in the combat... but it won't work for investigators with only 1 Focus.
- The Omniscient: Yib-Tstl is all-seeing, and you have no place to hide. All Evade checks require one success more to pass than usual.
- Demonic Possession: Can possess his followers, altering their forms to fit his tastes. They return to default form once they die.
- Fat Bastard: Extremely fat, extremely vile.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In one of his Sinister plots, the first player may choose to be devoured instead of attack. This resets Y'Golonac's damage back to just 1.
- Increasingly Lethal Enemy: The longer the battle goes, the higher his damage is.
- No Saving Throw: One of his Sinister plots allows him to instantly kill the first player after their attack.
- Speak of the Devil: Y'Golonak's name has this effect when written. Because of that, when playing against him, each time an investigator draws a tome (no matter if they keep it or not), the doom track gets increased by 1. This does not include starting equipment.
- This Was His True Form: Y'Golonac possesses his cultists, deforming them in his image, but when they die, they return to their true, human form. This scares citizens, raising the Terror level by 1 each time this happens.
- Tome of Eldritch Lore: His domain. Each time an investigator draws (it does not matter if they keep it or not) a Tome, the doom track increases by 1 (except when it happens when you take starting equipment). One of his Sinister plots allows him to deal 1 Sanity damage to each investigator for each Tome/Spell they have.
Introduced in Innsomouth Horror
- Dynamic Difficulty: His battle rating depends on the number of Beings of Ib alive (it would be twice as high). Also, each one of them would provide him with different bonuses.
- While Bokrug still sleeps, each Being of Ib provides a different permanent debuff for investigators... until you kill it.
- One of Bokrug's Sinister plots is to resurrect one inactive Being of Ib, instantly restoring its bonuses.
- Frog Men: Beings of Ib resemble some extremely ugly and deformed toads.
- No-Sell: Two out of four Beings of Ib, if still alive when Bokrug awakes, provide him with Immunities to either physical or magical damage (by default, he has only Resistances, which are downplayed versions), easily making him impervious to any weapons or spells investigators could have.
- Rock Falls Everyone Dies: Besides the inevitable loss after his usual time limit of 8 turns runs out, one of his Sinister plots forces players to discard 4 Epic Battle cards; if "End of Everything" is among them, the game ends in defeat immediately.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When playing against Bokrug with use of Epic Battle cards, one of his Sinister plots is to just leave Arkham alone. This is considered to be a win for the investigators, but in case they use the scoring system, they are penalized by 4 points, since it is unknown if it was a genuine retreat, some scheme, or Bokrug just considered the investigators to be Not Worth Killing.
- Time-Limit Boss: Instead of dealing damage, he adds 1 clue on his list. If there's 8 clues, you lose. Any Being of Ib still alive counts as 1 clue, and there's 4 of them.
- The Undead: Whoever those "Beings of Ib" were in life, now they are dead, resurrected with their god's will.
- Cult: Not amongst humans, but amongst Tcho-Tchos, who receives a bonus to their toughness.
- Damage Reduction: He can't lose more than 3 Doom tokens in one turn; all further damage is ignored. This is a particularly nasty ability, considering his One-Hit Kill attacks.
- Holy Is Not Safe: When playing against him, any investigator carrying an Elder Sign or in the same location as a seal takes a -1 penalty to any skill checks.
- No Saving Throw:
- One-Hit Kill: Unless you discard some clues or an ally, you will die.
- Time-Limit Boss: The only way to prevent him from killing you is to discard 3 clues or an ally, and both are limited resources. Once they run out, he will quickly kill the investigators one by one.
- Critical Hit: One of her Sinister plots doubles the number of dice she throws during this attack (they determine the damage she deals).
- Energy Being: Cthugha herself and her servants, Fire Vampires.
- Hostile Weather: When playing against her, Arkham gets hit with deadly heat, damaging any investigator who spends too many move points in one turn (move points spent on reading books does not count). This effect prevents any other Weather effect from taking place.
- It Only Works Once: Any Weapon used against her gets destroyed after use, and must be discarded.
- King Mook: For Fire Vampires. Under her guidance, they double their toughness and deals +1 Stamina damage.
- Luck-Based Mission: Her attacks depends on a dice roll, and forces each investigator to sacrifice X Stamina, Sanity, and/or clues, where X is the roll's result. Depending on dice rolls, she will either kill you outright in few turns, or be weaker than some lesser monsters.
- No Item Use for You: One of her Sinister plots allows her to instantly vaporise all weapons in the investigators' possession, not just those they used against her.
- One-Hit Polykill: One of her Sinister plots allows her to instantly kill any investigator with only 1 Stamina, Sanity, and/or clue.
- Playing with Fire: An enormous sphere of fiery death who came to Arkham from distant stars.
- Her powers cause extreme, near fatal heat in Arkham, and if she ever awakens, she will use them to incinerate those who opposes her.
- Any weapon used against her gets destroyed after use, because of sheer heat; after the skill check is finished, any such weapon must be discarded.
- Brown Note Being: Just by seeing Ghatanothoa's true form, you would be damned forever. Even a sufficiently similar image may be dangerous, so by acquiring more than 1 clue at once, an investigator puts themselves at risk. In gameplay terms, this works by forcing the investigator to reveal one of several Visage tokens. All of them except for one are safe; but if you reveal that one, you're devoured. One of his Sinister plots is to force each investigator to reveal Visage tokens one by one until only 1 token is left.
- Damage Reduction: Ignores the first success from each attack.
- Luck-Based Mission: In this case, the actual Luck stat is involved. One of his Sinister plots is to force each investigator to pass a Luck check, or be devoured.
- Starfish Alien: Ghatanothoa is worshipped by Lloigor and Mi-Go; in return, he increases their toughness.
- Taken for Granite: Every time an investigator receives 2 or more clues at once, they must reveal one of the Visage tokens, potentially risking seeing Ghatanothoa's true form. The fate of any unfortunate victim who has seen the gaze of Ghatanothoa is to forever become a half-petrified mummy. All of this while being perfectly alive and aware.
- Time-Limit Boss: In the last battle against him, each turn, investigators must spend some move points; the longer the battle goes, the more points are required. The specific number of turns you have may vary depending on your maximum Speed, but sooner or later, you will be devoured, because there's no way to obtain more during battle.
- Blob Monster: Black formless mass of... something.
- Combat Tentacles: Tendril of Nyogtha replaces all other monsters during Random Encounters.
- Duel Boss:
- For the first player, Nyogtha has Battle rating of (-3), but for all other players, it's a whopping (-8), making it hard to even scratch it. The first player is also the only one to be in danger when Nyogtha attacks.
- It becomes averted during one of its Sinister plots, allowing each investigator to attack it with (-3) battle rating... but they must roll a dice and lose that much Sanity.
- More straight example with Nyogtha's Tendril, since any investigator who faces it will be forced to fight it alone.
- Luck-Based Mission: Survival of the first player during Nyogtha's attack is only determined by one dice roll. You fail, you die, that's it.
- Time-Limit Boss: Not Nyogtha itself, but its Tendril (so it's a Time Limit Mook). It must be defeated in less than 3 turns, or the investigator who fights it will be instantly killed. You can't run from it once battle actually starts, because of its "Ambush" keyword.
- No Saving Throw: If he attacks you, you die. The one and only way to prevent it is to either prevent him from attacking (this is hard to do and has limited uses), or to somehow finish him in one turn. One of his Sinister plots is to kill a random other investigator in the same way.
- No Item Use for You: At the start of the last battle, you must discard all your allies. Also, since he has both Magical and Physical Immunity, all of your weapons and spells are useless, so you may as well not bother to bring them at all.
- No-Sell: Notably the only one to have both Physical and Magical Immunity by default.
- Reduced to Dust: When playing against Quachil Uttaus, his Dust deck works this way. Each turn, the first player must discard 2 clues, or draw the top-most card of the Dust deck. The Dust deck has 3 levels, with progressively harsher effects; the first two levels contain cards which either allows the deck to be restored, or drops the current level entirely. The third one contains a card which will outright kill the investigator, and can't be restored, meaning you would be killed unless you spend clues. For obvious reason, changing of the first player is disabled until the current one dies.
- Quachil Uttaus himself attacks this way in the last battle, insta-killing the current first player with each attack without any chance to survive, unless his attacks are somehow prevented.
- Time-Limit Boss: Like Atlach-Nacha, Quachil Uttaus kills one investigator per attack. Unlike her, there's no way to buy more time by sacrificing allies, limiting you to eight turns at best (not counting any attack prevention items), depending on the number of players.
- Cult: Has some weird cult, who believes that they must awaken him... by sacrificing themselves to him. For this reason, instead of spawning, they instantly die, increasing both Doom and Terror level. You then must draw a replacement.
- Devour the Dragon: Rhan-Tegoth likes to eat his cultists. Each cultist he consumes brings his awakening closer.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: One of his Sinister plots is to use a high-pitched scream; this slightly damages the Sanity of all investigators.
- No Saving Throw: If Rhan-Tegoth actually manages to attack at all, you can't reduce or prevent his damage by any means.
- Vampiric Draining: Rhan-Tegoth sucks the blood of his victims (or followers, it does not matter for him). Each time he does it, it raises Doom and Terror level by 1. This is also his form of attack; the more Stamina he sucks up, the harder it will be to defeat him.
- One of his Sinister plots is to draw 10 random monsters and heal 1 Doom token for each Cultist.
- Wendigo: Favours Gnoph-Keh, who greatly resemble stereotypic Wendigo. Under his guidance, they receive trait "Nightmarish 1".
- Barrier Change Boss: At first, you must face Zhar, who has Magical Immunity. Then you must face his brother Lloigor, who has Physical Immunity instead. They do not share Doom track, which means you actually must remove 22 Doom tokens total.
- Combat Tentacles:
- Conjoined Twins: This is actually conjoined twin monsters Zhar and Lloigor. The second brother is never called by name, likely to avoid mistaking him with the "Lloigor" enemy from the same expansion.
- Cult: Not amongst humans, but amongst Tcho-Tcho, who receives trait "Overwhelming 1".
- Mechanically Unusual Class: The only Ancient One who must be defeated twice.
- No Saving Throw: Unless you prevent them from attacking, they first disables one hand of the current first player, and on the next turn kills them off.
- Numerological Motif: Two. They're Conjoined Twins (two monsters merged together), must be killed twice (each time with different immunities, and with total life meter of 22), kill you on the second attack (first they grab, then they kill), and their Power is to roll two dice each time a Gate opens, and if both have the same result, play two mythos cards. And that's only intentional examples.
- One Steve Limit: "Zhar" is actually Conjoined Twins Zhar and Lloigor. But since there's also "Lloigor" monsters (who are unrelated to them), the second brother's name is omitted from the description.
Other Ancient Ones
DaolothBonus Ancient One for attenders of Arkham Night 2010
- Boss Arena Urgency: Daoloth attacks by drawing Mythos cards. If thecard instructs to open a gate in a sealed location, the seal is removed; if it's not sealed, the first player dies. If it does not instruct to open a gate at all, Daoloth instead heals 1 Doom token. It's not hard to guess that the fewer seals you have, the higher chances for somebody to die.
- Cool Gate: After each Monster Surge, he replaces all opened gates with new ones. While this does not count as new openings (for the purpose of either sucking investigators inside, or increasing Doom), those gates no longer count as explored, and if investigator currently is in Other World, they can't return to the gate which does not correspond with the World they're currently in.
- One-Hit Kill: Barring some luck with card drawing or attack prevention, he kills one player per turn.
The UnknownSpecial "Ancient One" used only in Third Spanish League. Its unique idea is that players don't know who they're dealing with, until they either investigate local cults to find the real culprit, or the Ancient One awakens. This is worked via a unique "Followers" deck, representing the Ancient One's followers; if you reach the last card, the corresponding Ancient One replaces The Unknown for the rest of the game (or the game ends here and now, depending on current Doom). Instead of having one constant Power, The Unknown has a "Lethargy" deck, which represents the currently active Power (it does not repeat Powers of original Ancient Ones); it changes each time the terror level increases; the last card can't be discarded. While it is possible to adjust for lacking certain Ancient Ones from expansions with house rules, for the best experience, it's preferable to include the whole set (except for Daoloth).
- Elite Mooks: If Nyarlathothep's Followers card gets discarded while not investigated, you must add all Mask enemies in the pool for the rest of the game.
- HP to 1: If Quachil Uttaus's Followers card gets discarded while not investigated, the current Stamina of all investigators drops to 1.
- Luck-Based Mission: How quickly Followers cards get replaced depends on the order in which Process cards enter play; normally, you have no control over it. And when the Ancient One awakens (or there's only one card left), which card is currently active may mean difference between life and death, since if the current Doom is higher than the Doom threshold for the Ancient One which must enter play, it's instant game over.
- Not Me This Time: Followers cards represent the currently suspected Ancient One, and effects they provide to certain monsters. Those cards get discarded each time a new Process mythos card enters play; if they were "investigated" (the way to accomplish this is unique to each card), there's no ill effect, otherwise, there will be some sort of penalty, depending on the card discarded. The last card can't be discarded; instead, you're supposed to replace The Unknown with the corresponding Ancient One.
- No Item Use for You:
- If Atlach-Nacha's Followers card gets discarded while not investigated, all allies get removed from the game.
- If Ithaqua's Followers card gets discarded while not investigated, his start-of-battle ability activates, putting you at risk of losing most or all your items.
- No Saving Throw: Certain Lethargy cards may result in investigators being instantly devoured.
- Path of the Madness card instantly kills any investigator who fails to discard a Curse under 4 turns.
- Dreadful Whisper card instantly kills any investigator who gets lost in time and space while in Dreamlands, Abyss, or Leng Plateau.
- Sleeping Musk card forces investigators to move each turn; they can't stay in same location for two or more turns. If they can't leave, they die.
- Soul Destroyer card; each time an investigator is Cursed, another investigator (to the left from him) gets devoured.
- Rock Falls Everyone Dies: If you reach the last Followers card or the Ancient One awakens, The Unknown gets replaced by one of the original Ancient Ones, depending on the current Followers card. If the current Doom is lower than the Doom threshold for that Ancient One, the game continues, if equal, it awakens as normal, but if it's higher, all investigators gets devoured.
- Timed Mission:
- In order to avoid penalties for discarding a Followers card, you must "investigate" it, by completing a specific task first.
- One of Lethargy cards makes discarding a Curse one. In Upkeep phase, a cursed investigator must put 1 clue on their Curse card; if there's 4 clues, the investigator is devoured.