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Tabletop Game / Arkham Horror: The Card Game

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Arkham Horror: The Card Game is a cooperative living card game spinoff of Arkham Horror. Like its predecessor, AH:tCG is based on H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos and takes place in the 1920s. Players control investigators that try to penetrate the occult mysteries of Arkham, Massachusetts.

Play consists of investigators moving across a board created from connecting locations. The plot of each scenario is determined by "Act" and "Agenda" decks. The Act deck describes the actions that the investigators must complete to end the game favorably. Advancing in the Act deck is generally done with the collection of clues, though other actions are occasionally required. The "Agenda" deck describes the forces of evil and progresses slowly but surely as time goes on.

Depending on the actions of the investigators and the result of the Act/Agenda race, any given scenario will have multiple potential endings. Scenarios are generally linked together in a campaign, with the results of each scenario affecting the ones that follow. This being Lovecraft, happy endings are hard to come by.


Investigators are represented by decks that include their abilities, resources, and inventory. Cards are split into five roles that represent the broad archetypes of Lovecraftian protagonists, along with neutral, roleless cards:


Each player character has a special power that impacts play, as well as deck-building restrictions that limit them to particular cards and classes.

Several expansion campaigns have been released, in addition to one-off scenarios and custom fan made content.


  • Night of the Zealot: The ghouls of Arkham abandon the shadows and take to the streets - aided by their god, Umôrdhoth.
  • The Dunwich Legacy: A cult attempts to take vengeance on Dr. Armitage after the events of The Dunwich Horror.
  • The Path to Carcosa: The play The King in Yellow threatens the invasion of an alien world. Or are you just losing it?
  • The Forgotten Age: An expedition into the jungles of Mexico discovers a threat to the very fabric of time itself.
  • The Circle Undone: At a charity event hosted by the Silver Twilight Lodge, four people have utterly vanished, and the dead are strangely restless...
  • The Dream-Eaters: An intertwined double story as one group becomes lost in the Dreamlands, and another works in the waking world to return them home.

Standalone Scenarios:

  • Curse of the Rougarou: A cursed beast stalks the swamps of the New Orleans Bayou.
  • Carnivale of Horrors: The celebrants of the Carnivale of Venice are the sacrifices for a dark ritual.
  • The Labyrinths of Lunacy: The investigators must work together to escape a madman's deathtrap.
  • Guardians of the Abyss: A trip to Cairo reveals a sleeping sickness where no one will wake again.
  • Murder at the Excelsior Hotel: Murder occurs at the prestigious hotel, and investigators must solve this case before police arrives and possibly accuse them of this murder... or they become next victims.
  • The Blob That Ate Everything: A throwback to B-Movie horror with multiple groups trying to take down the giant critter.
  • Barkham Horror: The Meddling of Meowlathotep: Originally just April Fools' Day joke in 2019, this was announced later same year for real. This expansion is set in alternate universe, where evil cats become grave danger to the world, and now only one force is stands on their way – team of heroic dogs...

Arkham Horror: The Card Game features examples of:

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General tropes

     Game mechanics Tropes 

  • Arrange Mode: "Taboo rules" (provided in separate section of official FAQ) were released to nerf too powerful or overused cards or investigators, while also buffing unpopular ones. These rules are distinguished from House Rules in that while they are not mandatory to use (unlike updates to FAQ), if players decide to do so, they must use those rules in their entirety, without picking ones they like and ignoring the rest. Since March 16, 2020 updated cards are available for free download for anyone interested from "Player Resources" section of official site; they are marked with specific keywords in order to easily distinguish them from original cards.
    • "Chained" cards have their experience cost increased, without actually changing their level. Examples: "Machete" and "Elusive", despite being level 0 cards, both now cost two exp.
    • "Unchained" cards, conversely, have their cost decreased. Example: "Springfield M1903", which is level 4 card, yet has exp cost of level 3 one.
    • "Mutated" cards have different stats, keywords and/or effects than original cards. For example, Key of Ys gains "Exceptional" keyword, which doubles experience cost and disallows to use more than one copy per deck; and Rex Murphy now can use his signature "Reaction" ability only once per round.
  • Bonus Dungeon: Standalone scenarios (with some exceptions) can serve as this during "main" campaign. To access them, each investigator must pay experience points, but successful completion can earn them very valuable special cards, which do not count towards deck's size. Each scenario may be played this way only once, regardless of outcome, leaving investigators with only one chance to obtain those rewards.
  • Cap:
    • Investigators can't include more than 2 (3 for cards with "Myriad" keyword) cards with same name in their decks. If card has keyword "Exceptional", they may include only 1 copy of that card (besides also costing twice its normal cost).
    • When including cards which have other cards "Bonded" to them, investigators may only include as many copies of those "Bonded" cards as available in the pack where they were released, even if they have several copies of the "host" card; any excessive "Bonded" cards would be wasted.
    • When building decks for any scenario in standalone mode (as opposed to campaign mode), investigators may receive bonus experience for creating their deck. They may receive up to 9 points for free, after which they may (up to four times) receive even more by including additional basic "Weakness" cards (+1-10 points per card), but no investigator may receive more than 49 experience points this way.
    • By default, any investigator can have up to 8 cards in their hand (5 cards for Patrice Hathaway). While some effects may reduce it further, theres nearly zero ability to increase its size.
  • Challenge Run: Each Return to... expansion provides optional "Ultimatum" rules; players can use more than one at a time (theres even achievement for using three at once and win). Though theres some campaign-specific ones, most are recurring for all campaigns:
    • Ultimatum of Finality: If investigator is defeated by damage / horror, that investigator is eliminated instantly. Only for Campaign mode.
    • Ultimatum of Survival: invoked If investigator is killed or driven insane, their player is eliminated from campaign, meaning they can't just choose new one. Only for Campaign mode.
    • Ultimatum of Failure: Adds one more "Autofailure" chaos token in the pool.
    • Ultimatum of Broken Promise: Removes "Elder Sign" chaos token from the pool.
    • Ultimatum of Induction: invoked Investigators can't include cards of level 1 or higher in their decks, or earn/spend experience.
    • Ultimatum of Disaster: Each investigator starts with additional basic weakness.
    • Ultimatum of Dread: Players can't skip Mythos phase during first round of any scenario.
    • Ultimatum of Agony: When assigning damage or horror, investigators must assign as much damage and horror as possible to a single card before any excess damage or horror may be assigned to a different card.
    • Ultimatum of Chaos: Starting deck must be formed from randomly chosen eligible cards (not counting signature cards and weaknesses).
    • Ultimatum of Highlander: Investigators can't include more than one copy of each card (by name) in their decks (except for cards mandatory by deck-building rules).
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: Many of the more powerful card effects (such as instant defeat and blanking) are explicitly limited to "non-Elite" enemies. This often makes such cards a Useless Useful Spell.
  • Critical Failure: Autofailure chaos token; if it's drawn, any skill check is failed automatically, no matter how much investigator invested in it. Fortunately, by default there's only one such token in whole pool.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Zig-zagged.
    • For most campaign scenarios, if your character is brought down to zero health or zero sanity, you are defeated, not dead. You do, however, take trauma, which makes it easier to defeat you the next time; and if you accumulate too many traumas, you die for real.
    • Certain scenarios avert this, with any defeated investigators being instantly killed / driven insane. Since the game only reveals it after the scenarios's end, when you play through it the first time, you're never sure, though the final scenarios of any campaign universally has this happen.
    • Character death or insanity is permanent for a campaign... but that just requires you as a player to pick a different character that gets involved and build a new deck for them, starting from scratch for the next scenario.
  • Heroic RRoD: Trauma mechanic. Each time an investigator loses all of his or her Stamina or Sanity, they get defeated and eliminated from the current scenario, but otherwise they survive to fight another battle... but, depending on how they were defeated, they receive physical/mental trauma, which means they begin each scenario already damaged – which, in turn, makes it even easier for them to be defeated again. Once an investigator accumulates enough damage to be reduced to zero starting Stamina or Sanity, they are killed or driven insane, forcing the player to choose another investigator.
  • New Game+: After campaign completion, surviving investigators can be re-used in another one with all the cards they acquired before, including story assets. This is balanced by also carrying all traumas over as well.
  • One Steve Limit: Only one copy of any unique (marked with asterisk) card (by name) may be active at a time. This includes investigators (meaning each player must use different investigator), non-generic "Allies" (even if their level is different) and most in-story characters. While players may include same "Allies" in their decks or several copy of it in one , only one of them at a time can use them; this also applies to having multiple copies in one deck.
  • Point Build System: How experience works in this game.
    • Experience awarded mainly depends on "victory points" value of cards (usually defeated special monsters, or cleared from clues special locations) in "victory display". All currently played investigators receive reward, regardless of who actually acquired those points.
    • Level 0 cards cost 0 exp when acquired during creation of starting deck, or when replacing "exiled" cards, and 1 exp otherwise. Other cards' cost equal to their level (except for cards with "Exceptional" keyword, which always cost twice as much). Replacing any card also costs exp, though upgrading card to its higher level version requires to spend only level difference. No card can cost less than 1 experience, even if its cost somehow gets reduced. Any unspent experience can be spent later.
  • Random Event: The encounter deck will deal you random enemies, obstructions, and horrors every round. Notably, every scenario builds this deck differently, so the darkness will always fit your setting.

     Investigators and Player cards Tropes 

  • Action Survivor: Survivor-class investigators are not soldiers (like Mark Harrigan), or wizards (like Agnes Baker), or scientists (like Mandy Tompson), or skilled contrabandists (like Finn Edwards); they are just right people in the wrong place. But they compensate for lack of special skills with their savviness and determination, for lack of special equipment with improvisation, and for lack of specialisation with their unique gimmicks.
  • Batter Up!: "Baseball Bat" (Core game) is level 0 Survivor weapon card. It can be used as weapon, but doing so risks breaking it (forcing you to discard it).
  • The Big Guy: Guardian-class investigators generally have good Strength and hight Stamina (though there are exceptions), and their cards usually related to either fighting monsters head-on, or protecting their teammates (mainly Seekers).
  • Black Mage: Combat-oriented Mystics can use certain offensive spells to replace/amplify their Strength with their Willpower (besides usual damage bonus).
  • Boring, but Practical: Certain core game cards (particularly low-level) are extremely common in investigators decks, despite not having any particularly flashy abilities or effects.
    • The Machete. A level 0 Guardian "Weapon" card with only one special effect: it deals +1 damage when you are only engaged with your target. You can manipulate that one condition fairly easily, and the Machete never runs out of uses or breaks (barring encounter cards), so it's a staple in almost all early Guardian decks. It's telling that with Taboo rules, it now requires the expenditure of two experience points to include, although it's still treated as level 0 for deckbuilding rules.
    • The core set neutral skill cards. They give you a one time +2 bonus to a skill check, but they cost no resources or actions to use, can save you at key moments, and can give you a card draw.
  • Bulletproof Vest: "Bulletproof Vest" (Core game) is level 3 Neutral card, which can protect its wielder from up to 4 damage.
  • Burn Baby Burn: Kerosene (The Forgotten Age), a Level 1 Guardian card, which allows to burn recently defeated enemy, restoring Sanity for you and/or your teammates/allies.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Investigators and player cards are colour-coded depending on their class:
    • Guardian cards are blue.
    • Seeker cards are orange.
    • Rogue cards are green.
    • Mystic cards are purple.
    • Survivor cards are red.
    • Neutral cards are grey.
    • Multi-class cards (introduced in The Circle Undone expansion) have distinct yellow colour.
  • Combat Medic:
    • Most healing-oriented cards belongs to the Guardian class — along with various weapons and defence options, making Guardians fit for both combat and support roles.
    • Carolyn Fern, Guardian-class investigator (The Circle Undone) specialised at horror-healing, at the cost of combat abilities, though she has some access to Mystic-class cards.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Recurring theme of Rogue class, represented by backstabbing, Hidden Weapons, or other dirty tricks.
  • Death-or-Glory Attack: "Charon's Obol" (The Path to Carcosa), a Level 1 Rogue card, provides its wielder with bonus experience at the end of each scenario... but if they are ever defeated, it means instant death. While risky, it provides constant stream of "free" experience as long as its wielder keeps surviving.
  • Everyone Has a Special Move: Each investigator has at least one unique ability and signature card which only they may use, which makes playing as them different from any other investigator from the same class.
  • Fatal Flaw: Weakness cards. Each investigator starts with at least one "basic" weakness and one (in some cases two) unique for this specific character. During campaign playthroughs, it's possible to accumulate more weaknesses, including the occasional unique campaign-specific ones.
  • Four-Man Band: Maximum number of players in each scenario (excluding some multiplayer standalone scenarios). With this setup, players can construct maximally balanced teams.
  • Good Guns, Bad Guns: Most "bad" guns (like Sawed-Off Shotgun or ".45 'Thompson'" belongs to Rogue class, and have Illicit trait, though only certain Rogues can qualify as Token Evil Teammates themselves.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: "Encyclopedia" (Core game), a Level 2 Seeker Tome card, allows a choice to boost any skill by 2 points until the end of the round.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Recurring theme of the Guardian class:
    • Many Guardian-class "Ally" cards have a special ability that either triggers on damage/defeat or requires damage/discarding as a cost.
    • "I'll see you in hell!" (The Path to Carcosa) is level 0 event, which instantly defeats you and all non-Elite enemies at your location at the cost of lasting physical damage if not outright death.
    • "Self-Sacrifice" (The Dream Eaters) is level 0 event, which allows you to take all consequences of failing skill check instead of another investigator.
  • Hidden Weapons: Some Rogue-class Weapon cards are represented by hidden guns or switchblades, allowing investigators to put them in use during combat without becoming a target for attacks of opportunity.
  • Improvised Weapon: Most combat-oriented Survivor-class cards are some form of this:
    • All Survivor-class weapons are instruments with different purposes than slashing various monsters, like baseball bats, kerosene lamps, meat cleavers, and others. Because they are not intended to be used that way, there are often some downsides, like a risk of breaking them. Even only firearm is actually hunting, not combat, weapon.
    • "Improvised Weapon" (The Forgotten Age) is level 0 event card useful as a one-time attack against a monster, especially if you have no better options.
  • It Only Works Once:
    • Several cards may only be used once per scenario, after which they must be temporarily removed from your deck.
    • Any card which gets exiled from the deck not only gets removed from the play, but also must be re-purchased if you wish to use it again.
    • "The Council's Coffer" (The Circle Undone), a level 2 Neutral card, can only be played once per campaign; once any investigator played it, no one can play it again.
  • Kill It with Fire: "Flamethrower" (The Forgotten Age), Level 5 Guardian Weapon card. Damage dealt by it may be distributed amongst all enemies in your threat area. Two major downsides is that it may only be used against enemies in threat area, and that it takes no only both hand slots, but also the body slot.
  • Knife Nut: Several low-level Weapon cards can be used as combat knives:
    • Guardian: Machete (Core game), Trench Knife (The Path to Carcosa), Survival Knife (The Forgotten Age).
    • Rogue: Switch-blade (Core game).
    • Mystic: Spirital Athame (The Path to Carcosa), Spectral Razor (The Dream Eaters).
    • Survivor: Meat cleaver (The Circle Undone).
    • Neutral: Knife (Core game), Kukri (The Dunwich Legacy).
  • Laser Blade: Spectral Razor (The Dream Eaters) is level 0 Mystic "Spell" card. Unlike conventional knifes, it is blade made from pure magic energy, attached to spell-caster's arm.
  • Lightning Gun: "Lightning Gun" (The Dunwich Legacy) is level 5 Guardian Weapon card. It is powerful, but costs a whopping 6 resources to put in use, takes both hands and only has 3 charges.
  • Lucky Rabbit's Foot: Lucky Rabbits Foot (Core game) is level 0 Survivor card, which allows the user to draw 1 card after failing any skill check.
  • Machete Mayhem: "Machete" (Core game) is level 0 Guardian class Weapon card. It deals increased damage when used against enemy engaged with you (unless theres more than one).
  • Mechanically Unusual Class:
    • Survivors always have some gimmicks, like ability to play cards from discard pile (William Yorick) or gradually becoming stronger as they become more wounded (Calvin Wright).
    • Not counting campaign-specific investigators, there is exactly one Neutral investigator (Lola Hayes), who uses her "role" system to use 3–5 classes, depending on her deck composition.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: "I've had worse" (The Dunwich Legacy), level 4 Guardian-class event, allows to ignore up to 5 damage and/or horror received.
  • Police Are Useless: Averted with player cards. Some Guardian-class cards are police-related, particularly in the core game, and police-related allies can be helpful with fighting monsters.
  • Power at a Price: A focus of the Mystic class. Many of their card effects are exceptionally powerful, but come with a risk of losing cards, actions or sanity.
  • Reliably Unreliable Guns: Old Hunting Rifle (The Forgotten Age), level 3 Survivor-class Weapon card, depending on chaos token revealed, can potentially jam (automatically failing skill check), requiring spending additional action to fix it (which, in combat situation, makes you vulnerable to attacks of opportunity).
  • Revolvers Are Just Better:
    • ".32 'Colt'" (Core game), level 0 Guardian-class Weapon card. Is simple, but reliable combat option.
    • Roland Banks (Core game), Joe Diamond (The Circle Undone) and Tony Morgan (The Dream Eaters) all use revolvers as their signature cards.
  • Science Hero: Recurring theme of Seekers, both investigators and their player cards:
    • Many Seeker-class cards are science-related: scientific gear, special skills, science books, or actual scientists as allies.
    • Certain Seeker-class investigators (like Mandy Thompson or Norman Withers) worked as scientists before joining the team, and now using their skills to support their teammates.
    • Several expansions include certain setting-appropriate cards (nearly useless by default) which requires accomplishing specific tasks in order to "upgrade" them to something more useful, either by researching, deciphering, etc. All of them are Seeker-class.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: "I'm Outta Here!" (The Dunwich Legacy) is level 0 Rogue event which allows you to immediately resign. It only works if theres currently available Resign option, to prevent its use for Dungeon Bypass where it's not intended by design.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: Several variants. All of them have two shots only.
    • "Shotgun", a level 4 Guardian weapon, offers a great attack bonus, and scales its damage upward the better you test. It has one major downside, however: damage it deals greatly depends on the number of successes you gain during the skill check, with maximum output being hard to achieve without spending several other cards. Also, if you use it to attack a monster currently engaged with another investigator, and fail, the higher you fail, the more damage you deal to your teammate, instead of the monster.
    • "Lupara", a level 3 Rogue weapon (The Path to Carcosa), has lover damage than "Shotgun", but can be put into play without provoking attack of opportunity.
    • "Sawed-Off Shotgun", level 5 Rogue weapon (The Dream Eaters), works similarly to Guardian-class "Shotgun"; it doesn't provides bonus Strength during attack, but has greater max damage, and costs 2 resources less to put into play than "Shotgun" (3 instead of 5).
  • Sinister Switchblade: Switchblade (Core game) is level 0 Rogue-class weapon. Like many Rogue cards, it has "Illicit" trait.
  • Skeleton Key: Skeleton Key (The Forgotten Age) is level 2 Rogue card, which may be used to reduce shroud of any location to 1, as long as it is attached to it.
  • The Smart Guy: Seeker-class investigators have good Intellect and can either search for clues, or use their knowledge and skills to help their teammates.
  • The Sneaky Guy: Rogue-class investigators have good Agility (which is mostly used to avoid monsters) and an arsenal of dirty tricks, often Agility-based.
  • Spell Book: Several Mystic and Seeker cards are occult books containing spells or magic rituals for specific purposes.
    • "The Book of Shadows" (The Path to Carcosa), a level 3 Mystic Tome card, allows to recharge your spells.
    • "The Occult Lexicon" (The Circle Undone), a Level 0 Seeker Tome card, may be used to either accumulate more resources, or damage enemies through some blood rites.
    • "The Otherworld Codex" (The Dream Eaters), a level 2 Seeker Tome card, may be used to discard non-elite enemies from play.
  • Support Party Member: Seekers have not that many combat-oriented tools in their disposal (unless they also take some cards outside of their class), and mostly oriented towards seeking clues and supporting their teammates.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore:
    • Daisy Walker's signature weakness, "Necronomicon". If it enters play, it disables one of her Hand slots, until she suffers some horror to discard it.
    • De Vermis Mysteriis (The Circle Undone), a level 2 Mystic "Tome" card which allows you to play Spell or Insight events from your discard pile (with reduced price), but it's required to put 1 Doom on this card to use, and any event played this way gets removed from the game for the duration of the current scenario.
  • Unluckily Lucky: The Survivor class's shtick. Many of their card effects represent good luck getting them out of the horrible mythos-tinged situations they stumble into, including some cards which only work on failure of skill checks, essentially serving to provide comeback from otherwise hopeless situation.
  • Weapon of Choice: Certain investigators' signature card is their unique weapon. It always has some unique effects related to its owner's abilities or play-style.
  • White Mage: Support-oriented Mystics provide help to their teammates, with healing, protective or luck-manipulating spells and artefacts.

     Recurring Tropes in campaigns 

  • Achievement System: Each Return to... expansion provides optional achievements, with checkboxes to track which ones are already completed. Most are campaign-specific, but theres always achievement for finishing on Expert Difficulty, and achievement for finishing with three or more Ultimatums active.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: It's a Cosmic Horror Story; even if you win, you'll be loaded down with trauma and extra weaknesses. In some cases, investigators may not live to see their victory.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Full spectrum of them, from Merged Reality to Time Crash. The ultimate goal of any campaign is to prevent it.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Minimum one per campaign, ranging from local monsters to Great Old Ones and Outer Gods.
  • Episodic Game: "Deluxe" expansion pack contain new investigators (usually five, one per class, excluding Neutral), a couple of new player cards (mostly low-level ones) and first two scenarios of new campaign. If you want to play the full story or receive additional cards (especially high-level, with level 4–5 usually appearing towards the end of cycle), you must also purchase six Mythos packs, each with one new scenario and a couple of additional player cards, including high-level ones. You can play any of them as a standalone mission, and the campaign guide contains special rules for each one. Complete set of expansions (Deluxe plus Mythos packs) is called Mythos Cycle.
  • Expansion Pack: Each campaign eventually gets a "Return to..." expansion, which alter rules, replace some scenario cards and add new ones for additional replay value and often additional challenge, making it worth it to, well, return to them and play again. Each one also contains new player cards (either upgraded versions of existing ones, or their low-level version).
  • Final Boss, New Dimension: Final scenarios of most campaigns happens not on Earth, but in some Eldritch Location appropriate for current Big Bad.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: There are often Resign actions included in the scenario cards, to give you an escape option. Losing often makes your next scenario worse, but if you were going to lose anyway, you can avoid a total loss or trauma penalties by resigning. Some scenarios outright kills (or drives insane) all defeated investigators, and death means you have fewer investigators to finish campaign, not mentioning investments which were wasted on perished character(s), so outside of really daring situations, such a "sacrifice" is rarely worth it. Some scenarios simply lack "win" conditions; you must achieve as much as possible and retreat while you can, and being too greedy can nullify all your achievements or cost you so much it becomes a Pyrrhic Victory.
  • Multiple Endings:
  • Once a Season: Any campaign (except for The Forgotten Age) has exactly one scenario involving indoor location infested with hungry and aggressive rats.
  • Our Ghouls Are Creepier:
    • Ghouls are recurring enemies starting from the core game (where they were main focus of very first scenario).
    • William Yorick (The Path to Carcosa) has group of ghouls as his signature weakness, meaning they haunt him regularly.
  • Religion of Evil: Almost all plots involve cult worshipping current antagonistic Eldritch Abomination, with "Dark Cult" being a recurring encounter set starting from the core game.
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: As universal rule, failure to achieve victory in the last scenario (and usually previous one as well) would result in death or insanity of all character roster (even not currently played ones) and immediate game over. By contrast, other scenarios usually merely penalise investigators in some ways (though losing access to the Golden Ending may be pretty harsh), or kill only currently played investigators at worst.
  • Total Party Kill: Certain scenarios would outright kill or drive insane any defeated investigators instead of merely penalising them with traumas or new weaknesses; often they would also "defeat" those who's still alive once final agenda advances. Final scenarios takes this one step further.
  • Timed Mission: Almost all scenarios are timed in one way or another. Most scenarios end when the final agenda's doom threshold is reached, but sometimes there may be other ways. While losing single scenario usually do not result in immediate campaign failure (though final ones always have this effect), consequences may include traumas, new weaknesses, worsening conditions in subsequent scenarios, and death/insanity for all not-resigned investigators.
  • Vertical Kidnapping: Several campaigns involve Night Gaunts who can (and will) abduct investigators and take them to different locations.
  • You Dirty Rat!: Rat swarms are recurring (but usually weak) enemies, who appears in every campaign (The Forgotten Age being the first exception) exactly once.

Campaign-specific Tropes

     Night of the Zealot Tropes 

  • Big Bad: Both ghouls and cultists are servants of Umôrdhoth, "The Devourer Below", whom they are trying to summon into Arkham.
  • Canon Foreigner: Umôrdhoth was created specifically for this campaign, instead of being based on one of existing entities from Mythos verse.
  • Fed to the Beast: Can happen to Lita Chantler to appease Umôrdhoth, should he rise.
  • Forced into Evil: Some of the cultists of Umôrdhoth. Ruth Turner, a mortician, had her family targeted, forcing her to provide corpses for the ghouls. Others let their occult studies get too deep until the cult would not let them leave.
  • Let the Past Burn: If you "win" the first scenario, you are presented this as one option for dealing with your ghoul-infested and corrupted home. It's not actually very helpful.
  • Noob Cave: Shortest and easiest of campaigns, mainly used to introduce new players to the game (particularly first scenario, The Gathering); campaign guide also provides some tips for them. This does not applies to Return to the Night of the Zealot, however, which increases difficulty of the game.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Lita Chantler. She betrayed the cult and destroyed the ghoul's larder, which appears noble. Every action she takes in the campaign, however, is about trying to dodge her personal consequences no matter what - sealing your home with you in it to stop the ghoul pack, roping you into unmasking the cult, and stopping the ritual, all of which is targeting her specifically. If you utterly fail, she flees Arkham and the risen Umôrdhoth will just begin hunting random locals, "searching" for her, and never end its hunger.
  • Our Ghouls Are Creepier: Main focus of first scenario, although they also returns in last one. They are servants of Umôrdhoth.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: The first agenda card in Midnight Masks mentions that even as you hunt the cult through Arkham, you feel hunted in return. Proven true once that card flips, and reveals the Masked Hunter, who immediately pounces on whoever has the most progress in revealing more members.
  • Total Party Kill: In The Gathering, if investigators fails to unseal the exit door, once final agenda advances, they all would die at ghouls' hands, forcing Lita to hire new team of investigators.
  • Trapped with Monster Plot: The Gathering scenario. You are trapped with ghouls inside your house, and must fine a way to escape before they defeat you with shear numbers.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: While you can sacrifice Lita to Umôrdhoth in order to quickly win the last scenario, the whole party is punished by acquiring new weaknesses; this is also the only ending in which investigators are not awarded any bonus experience (barring outright failure), with the other two awarding 5 or 10 points, respectively.
  • You Dirty Rat!: Investigators' house in The Gathering is heavily infested by rodents; they even aggressive enough to attack investigators themselves. Though ultimately rats are not the main problem here...

     The Dunwich Legacy Tropes 

  • Advancing Boss of Doom: In Lost in Time and Space, Yog-Sothoth, once awakened, pursues investigators until they escape or die. While it is possible (but is not advised, except probably for the challenge) to defeat him, what you are really supposed to do is run.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: In The Essex County Express the train is gradually consumed by transdimensional portal; your task is to reach train engine and restart the train before it consumes you as well.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Yes, you can beat Yog-Sothoth. But if you try this, it ends in a Total Party Kill.
  • Big Bad: Seth Bishop is the villain behind all events of campaign; depending on your point of view, he either went nuts from the strain of what he witnessed, or was a potential novice of Old Whateley all along. His research corrupted him. Now he's running the cult, kidnapping the original story characters to make sure they can't stop this new ritual. The new Brood are his successful attempts to replicate the Dunwich Horror, using a journal recovered from the Whateley farm. But everything of this was done in service to Yog-Sothoth, and the last part of his plan involves summon him on Earth — which still remains a risk even after Seth himself gets disposed of.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: While Seth Bishop is the leader of new cult and main force behind the whole story, even when he's dealt with, there are remains of his master who still may use portals opened by Seth to invade our world — none other than Yog-Sothoth himself.
  • Eldritch Location: For Lost in Time and Space, that's exactly what your party members are, lost in an extradimensional space beyond the rift, with locations and paths constantly in flux, and echoes of past failures coming back to haunt you.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Implied this happens to anyone who witnessed the Horror and stays in Dunwich. One version of the epilogue shows Curtis Whateley obsessing over the old Whateley farm, hoping to find something inside that would let him rationalize what he'd seen, and strongly suggesting the same thing happened to Seth Bishop.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: While Seth Bishop is main force behind story's events, all of this was done in service to Yog-Sothoth. Even when Seth himself is dealt with in penultimate scenario, one last task remains — to go on the other side of portal he opened, and seal the rift. This is extremely dangerous, because, besides various anomalies and eldritch monsters, you may attract the attention of Yog-Sothoth himself — who will not let you escape unpunished.
  • Here We Go Again!:
    • In Blood on the Altar, you find someone has tried to recreate the Dunwich Horror. By the next scenario, you know they succeeded, and there's more than one of them out there.
    • Either version of the epilogue. In one, Curtis Whateley starts obsessing over the family legacy. In another, some new investigators from the university checking out an abandoned Dunwich find evidence the cult is still around.
  • Karma Meter: If you make a questionable decision, the campaign will mark it by adding extra tokens to the pool, raising the risks of failing any given task. Such choices include keeping the risky MacGuffin instead of destroying it, letting innocents die when you could prevent it, and cheating at cards in a speakeasy.
  • Lord British Postulate: In Lost in Time and Space, it is possible, albeit very hard, to defeat Yog-Sothoth, despite this not being your objective. Instead of receiving some additional rewards or at least instant victory, you are "rewarded" with instant death of all investigators, including those who already escaped; at least, it still counts as victory.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: You spend much of Blood on the Altar trying to find your kidnapped key allies before they are sacrificed. Turns out the sacrifices were meant to appease the Brood or its master, and by rescuing all or most of the prisoners, you now have up to *five* expies of the Dunwich Horror pissed off and rampaging nearby.
  • Psychopomp: The soul-catching birds, whippoorwills, from the story return, both as encounter cards trying to trip you up, and lining the rooftops of Dunwich, eager to feast on the doomed village.
  • Puzzle Boss: In Undimensioned and Unseen, the many Brood of Yog-Sothoth are all immune to all damage except for a specific spell you recover early in the scenario. Even that spell won't land much, unless you find a way to trap the creatures, slow them down, or otherwise cut through their invisibility.
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: In Where Doom Awaits, if Seth successfully summons Yog-Sothoth, it's over.
  • Run or Die: In Lost in Time and Space you are not supposed to fight Yog-Sothoth; you must complete your task and reach portal to escape.
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • The campaign opens with one right away. The faculty you choose to look for first will be the only one you can potentially save. By the time you get to the second scenario, the kidnappers have come and gone. You can still do some good, but if you take too long, the cult will have the time to nab Armitage as well.
    • Extracurricular Activities ends on another. Save the students from The Experiment, or stick to your original mission—find Professor Rice. No third option available, other than failing one or both.
  • Schmuck Bait: Lost In Time and Space offers you possibility to fight Yog-Sothoth himself and even offer a unique ending if you win. While technically it is possible, albeit hard, to win this battle, what no one tells you is that no one survives it, not even those who managed to run away; and all of this is in vain anyway, because Yog-Sothoth runs away in the last moment.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: For the heroes of The Dunwich Horror, depending on the players' performance.
  • That's No Moon!: Yog-Sothoth in Lost in Time and Space.
  • Time-Limit Boss: In Extracurricular Activity, The Experiment, once unleashed, moves each time the last agenda reaches its doom threshold. Its destination? Dormitories. In order to win, investigators must either save the students, or find a way to defeat The Experiment before it reaches the dormitories, otherwise it ends in a bloodbath.
  • Train Job: Naturally enough on The Essex County Express, the train you're travelling on comes under attack by a tear in the sky trying to swallow the whole thing. While you certainly can be taken out, the evil's intent is to recover anyone or anything you rescued earlier in the campaign.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The Brood of Yog-Sothoth in Undimensioned and Unseen are not Elite, and are vulnerable to card effects which similarly threatening enemies are immune to—being blanked, insta-killed, and so on. This can be used to bypass their Puzzle Boss nature.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: In Where Doom Awaits, Seth will always be able to open the rift to summon Yog-Sothoth. Your choices before that point will determine how much time you have to enter and seal it, and whether Seth will still be around to stop you.
  • You Dirty Rat!: Club Clever is heavily infested with rats, who are unusually aggressive.

     The Path to Carcosa Tropes 

  • Bedlam House: The Unspeakable Oath is set in Arkham Asylum. While infiltrating it is relatively easy, escape is much harder. Any investigators who fails to escape become totally insane.
  • Big Bad: Hastur. All of this, from ill-fated plays to a dark ritual in Paris is part of his plan to escape from his prison, by merging Carcosa and our world.
  • Creepy Cockroach: Swarms of cockroaches are recurring enemies in Hastur's areas of influence.
  • Eldritch Location: Carcosa, city of King in Yellow.
  • False Reassurance: Very first scenario's final agenda, instead of usual "you are defeated and receive mental trauma" states "you take 100 horror". It may sound reassuring, until you remember what theres's no way to survive that much without being defeated and suffer mental trauma anyway. Justified, considering campaign's madness theme.
  • Glamour Failure: In The Last King, if the investigators take too long or bother them too much, certain party-goers mutate into monsters and become hostile.
  • Go Among Mad People: Your main mission during The Unspeakable Oath scenario is infiltrate Arkham Asylum. Anyone who fails to escape are driven insane if they fail to escape.
  • Here We Go Again!: The campaign epilogue, which can only be accessed if at least one investigator was still possessed by the end of Dim Carcosa, implies that those investigators will attempt to perform "The King in Yellow" again.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Your goal in The Last King scenario is not to "win" (in fact, this scenario lacks any win condition), or kill all monsters, but to gather as much info as you can, and retreat with it while you can. At least one investigator must retreat before it's too late, otherwise it's All for Nothing: you simply forget everything you gathered.
  • Nasty Party: Setting of The Last King scenario; to learn more about ill-fated play which they just survived, investigators infiltrated the party set by people related to it. Turns out, they are no longer even humans. Not what human guests, being violently insane, are any better.
  • Paranoia Fuel: invoked Invoked, as part of the madness theme.
    • Just as Hastur screws with his victims, the campaign screws with its players, forcing them to doubt if they do the right things at certain points by implying some possible dire consequences, which may or may not really occur later.
      • If you look at the reverse side of Act 1 in The Last King (there is no in-game reason to do so, so it was done either by mistake or out of curiosity), the game directly questions your sanity.
      • Do not be surprised if you spend a lot of time in attempts to realise where to find that "secret passage" mentioned by Ishimaru Haruko (if interviewed) in The Palid Mask; it doesn't exist, not even in Return to the Path to Carcosa.
    • In-Universe example is "Doubt/Conviction" system, which is essentially investigators doubting their own actions and decisions, especially during Dream Sequence in Phantom of Truth (which, to make it even more confusing, has all paragraphs shuffled randomly).
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: In The Last King scenario, investigators infiltrate a party and meet the people behind recent events. At first, they look (somewhat) normal. Then they start mutating, one by one. Each one of them, unless killed here (except Dianne Devine), appear as an (optional) Mini-Boss in subsequent scenarios.
  • Reality Bleed: Hastur's plot involves gradually merging Earth and Carcosa.
    • In areas plagued by Hastur's influence, weird things starts to occur, like bleeding walls or hostile ghost attacks.
    • In Black Stars Rise, this plan comes to its final stage when Hastur's followers managed to open the portal to Carcosa. The only way to stop it is to find a way to infiltrate Carcosa and confront Hastur himself.
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies:
    • In The Unspeakable Oath, if the final agenda advances, all involved investigators gets driven insane.
    • Hastur's plan involves merging our world with Carcosa. If he ever succeeds, humanity becomes his slaves. Allowing the final agenda to finish in any of the last two scenarios means instant defeat.
  • Speak of the Devil: If you heed Daniel's warning, each time an investigators says Hastur's name, they suffer 1 horror. Including during the scenario's setup.
  • Time-Limit Boss: In Dim Carcosa, the boss fight with Hastur must be completed before the final agenda advances, since Hastur's plan is nearly completed and you have little time to stop him.
  • Total Party Kill: If investigators fails to escape Arkham Asylum in time, they all would be driven irreversibly insane by sudden visions in their minds, and stay here forever, as patients. If all investigators goes insane, investigation would continue with new team.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: You can kill all party guests. While this guarantees that they would never appear again in subsequent scenarios, Hastur later uses the investigators' hidden sense of guilt against them, giving all investigators 1 mental trauma.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: If Dianne Devine survives The Last King, she never appears again.
  • You Dirty Rat!: The Miskatonic Playhose in Curtain Call is infested with rats, who attack any nearby investigator.

     The Forgotten Age Tropes 

  • All of Time at Once: In Shattered Aeons, you can travel to different location in different times, including Atlantis right before its demise, the ancient world and a devastated city in distant future long after humanity's extinction.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Investigators must fight with Valusians and the Brotherhood, who're both hunting for the Relic of Ages. Although ultimately they are the lesser of your problems.
  • Cosmic Keystone: Unsurprisingly, Relic of Ages turns out to be this. It is key component to stabilise space/time continuum, and in ''Shattered Aeons" it becomes humanity's last and only chance for survival. And to get the best ending, you must not only to keep it intact, but also do some specific choices in order for it to reach its full potential.
  • Demonic Possession: Alejandro is controlled by the Yithian, likely since the point when he was abducted by the Brotherhood in Threads of Fate. Depending on how you play campaign, he can either remember everything, or remain hostile to you. Unfortunately, it is not possible to save him on the path to the epilogue.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: The Vengeance points mechanic. Some actions (like killing certain snakes or his followers, or desecrating his temples) enrage Yig, "awarding" you with vengeance points. Certain game elements become more dangerous if you accumulate too many points, and Depths of Yoth provide you with progressively less time and more enemies if you test Yig's patience too much.
  • Endless Game: Depths of Yoth in standalone mode has no victory condition, as the game doesn't end once the 5th floor is reached. Instead, the game continues further and further until all investigator are defeated. The whole point is not to "win", but to set a new survival record.
  • Enemy Mine: In Shattered Aeons, you can side with either Valusians or Yithians, and save their civilisation, while dooming our own.
  • Escort Mission: In Shattered Aeons, if an investigator with the Relic of Ages gets eliminated (or it permanently leaves play for any other reason), the whole party loses. While they get their job done, their teammates must ensure their survival.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Ichtaca and Alejandro are helpful at first, but both of them would betray you at certain points of campaign. Depending on investigators' actions, one of them may commit Heel–Face Turn later, but it's not possible to save both (or, on the path to Golden Ending, even one of them).
  • Foreshadowing: There is a good reason why you receive additional chaos tokens every time you side with Ichtaca or Alejandro.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: In Shattered Aeons, the Formless Spawn; it's a... formless blob of... something, it's not related to either Valusians or Brotherhood, and there's almost no explanation in story just what it is. Most likely, it was added to give players a Final Boss even if they miss Golden Ending.
  • Golden Ending: If you do everything just right throughout whole campaign, you can go back in time and prevent the whole plot from happening.
  • Identity Amnesia: The main threat of The City of Archives. The investigators have been kidnapped by Yithians, and their minds are placed in Yithian bodies. As the agenda progresses, they gradually forget more and more, until they forgot it completely.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em:Threads of Fate has three separate act decks. None of them is mandatory to finish the campaign ( though Relic of Ages must be secured if you plan to reach Golden Ending), but completion of at least act 1 of each deck rewards investigators with bonus experience, and each deck on completion reward you with some bonuses. While tempting, being too greedy may results not only in failure to reach those goals, but also mental trauma for each not-resigned investigator once the agenda deck is finished. Instead, investigators must effectively use their limited time and resources to achieve as much as they can and retreat when there is no more time left to take further risks, while prioritising those goals which are most desired for subsequent scenarios.
  • Mental Time Travel: In The City of Archives investigators have been kidnapped by Yithians, and their minds are placed in Yithian bodies in ancient Pnakotus. Now they must find a way to escape, and return to their time and their bodies. Problem is, they suffer from Identity Amnesia.
  • Mutually Exclusive Party Members: If you side with Ichtaca, Alejandro will not work with you, and vice versa.
  • No Points for Neutrality: Due to their recruitment requirements (one of them is accumulating 3 chaos tokens of a specific kind, depending of character), you must chose who you want in your team (Ichtaka or Alejandro), and stick with them to the very end. However, choosing to ally with none of them, which makes the campaign even harder, not just because both of them are hostile to you, is actually required to achieve Golden Ending.
  • Non-Standard Game Over:
    • In Depths of Yoth, if the investigators are defeated, they fall to the Depths of Yoth, and their survival depends on how far (e.g. from each "level" they fell) this fall is. If they fall from the first level, they die and instantly lose. Levels two and three injures them (leading to 2 and 1 physical traumas, respectively), but it's not instantly fatal, unless all investigators have already accumulated too many traumas. If all currently played investigators die after the fall, it also ends in a Game Over, even if there are still unused investigators left.
    • Shattered Aeons has two:
      • If investigator with the Relic of Ages gets eliminated, or otherwise permanently loses it, the whole party loses, because it is the key to stabilise the space/time continuum.
      • While formally it's still treated as "win", if you side with Ichtaca or Alejandro and help them to save Valusia/Pnakotus respectively, humanity is no more, and you can't transfer your investigators to a new campaign, so it may as well be Game Over.
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: In Shattered Aeons, if investigators take too long or failed to protect the Relic of Ages, time itself dissolves, and people's minds are too weak to survive this. Same result is achieved if the investigators take too long to defeat Yig during the Epilogue scenario.
  • Skippable Boss:
    • Throughout many campaign scenarios, you are pursued by the Harbinger of Valusia. It is a particularly tough enemy, but it can't heal its wounds between scenarios, so if you keep fighting it, eventually it dies. However, fighting it is not worth it: while you do save yourself some trouble by eliminating it, not only does it not award any experience, it also "awards" you with whopping 5 vengeance points, which can make your life much harder than if you simply avoid it.
    • In Depths of Yoth, if you manage to accumulate a low vengeance score during the campaign, Yig does not appear at all. Even if he appears, he may be avoided (and, despite him awarding a lot of bonus experience, it's usually preferable, since your actual goal has nothing to do with fighting giant snakes, and you have little time to waste.
  • Snake People: Majority of your enemies are servants of Yig, who all resemble some sort of hybrid between human and snake, ranging from human-sized to really enormous ones. Surprisingly (or not), Ichtaca turns out to be one as well, though depending on your previous actions, she may or may not commit a Heel–Face Turn and reject her snake heritage.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: Besides Snake People, several scenarios contain actual snakes, from "normal" ones to enormous man-eating ones called "Basilisk". All of them are hostile to investigators. And no snake is more sinister than Yig himself.
  • Starfish Aliens: The Brotherhood cultists are not even humans, but rather Yithians.
  • Take a Third Option: If you choose to forge your own path, instead of siding with Ichtaca or Alejandro. It's actually mandatory to achieve the Golden Ending.
  • Time Crash: By the time of Shattered Aeons times itself starts to collapse, and now it's up to the investigators to save it before it's too late.
  • Time-Limit Boss: In Turn Back Time, the boss fight with Yig must be completed before the final agenda advances, otherwise it would all be for nothing.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: [[spoiler: Towards the end of game, Ichtaca starts hearing voices in her head and realises her true Valusian heritage. Wether she would betray you or reject Yig depends on the trust between her and investigators developed in the previous scenarios, but it's not possible to prevent her betrayal on the path to the Epilogue.
  • Total Party Kill: In the The Doom of Eztli, if investigators accumulated too many vengeance points (four is enough), any defeated investigators would die, killed off by angry snakes. If investigators takes too long, this would happen with all of them.
  • True Final Boss: Yig, if you successfully go back in time, is the final boss of the Epilogue scenario.

     The Circle Undone Tropes 

  • The Atoner: If Anette gets possessed by Keziah and survives the events of In the Clutches of Chaos, she offers her help in saving the world, to atone for unwillingly causing all of this; unlike Sanford, she actually recognises that this is her fault. You can accept it, or try to arrest her]].
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Most of campaign consists of a conflict between the Coven (lead by witch Anette Mason), and the Silver Twilight Lodge (lead by wizard Carl Sanford), until the end of In the Clutches of Chaos, when their whole conflict becomes insignificant in the face of Azathoth's possible awakening.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Both parties in Big Bad Ensemble, in their own ways.
  • Bookend:
    • First (second, if counting prologue) scenario starts with you encountering fortune teller Anna Caslow. Penultimate scenario, In the Clutches of Chaos (which is also last still-on-Earth scenario) ends with her meeting investigators again, and even allows to include her in the deck as Neutral-class "ally".
    • First non-prologue scenario starts with lead investigator accepting or rejecting their fate. Very last thing they do in the ''Before the Black Throne is to follow through with this decision, either sacrificing themselves (accepting fate) or defiantly follow through hard and costly ritual (rejecting fate) in order to save Earth.
  • Dark World: The Spectral Realm (at least, those parts you may visit) copies the "real" world, but is much more dangerous and inhabited by hostile ghosts and other spectral monsters.
  • Deal with the Devil: If you can't complete the ritual and lead investigator is unfit to pull a Heroic Sacrifice (or you refuse to do either of these), the only remaining option (besides dooming the whole Universe is to make a deal with Nyarlathotep.
  • Decoy Protagonist: In the prologue scenario, you are introduced to four new characters, who are your PlayerCharacters for this scenario. Then they all get kidnapped and/or killed.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: While Carl Sanford and Anette Mason are the main threat for the most of campaign, no matter who wins in their conflict, they are dealt with before the final scenario, Before the Black Throne, and the final threat to our world is Azathoth, The Daemon Sultan.
  • The Dragon: Josef Meiger to Carl Sanford, and Erin to Anette Mason; of them, only Josef can be fought and slain.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: Take the "right" decisions at several plot points and lead the Silver Twilight Lodge to utter triumph over the Coven, then stay loyal to it even when directly questioned, and the investigators side with Lodge in their "mission". Unfortunately, if you knew what happens in the next scenario, you would also know how Sanford's plan would end. This resolution is also specifically the only one to lack an experience reward (even failing has it), and very specific wording just screams what something is wrong.
  • Eldritch Location:
    • Spectral Realm, the shadow version of our world, inhabited by hostile ghosts and spectral monsters.
    • The Last battle does not occur on Earth, but in the center of Universe, before the Black Throne of Azathoth.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: If Azathoth ever awakens, it is the end, not just for our world, but for all of the Universe.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • In Union and Disillusion you either side with Anette Mason against the Silver Twilight Lodge, or vice versa. No matter which side you chose, it leads to same events later on, though you do face different bosses in the penultimate scenario depending on who wins in this confrontation.
    • In In the Clutches of Chaos, if Anette/Sanford survives the mayhem they caused (which happens if the investigators managed to stop them before they advance too far with their plans), they offer help in saving the world. You can accept it or try to arrest them.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Carl Sanford wishes to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence, but vastly overestimates his ability to control the forces he used for this. Ultimately, this may result in him bringing humanity and the whole Universe to the edge of destruction, and quite possibly causing his own death before the story would even conclude.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: The prologue flat-out tells you at the beginning that it's only going to end once all four of its investigators are defeated; you just need to get as many clues as possible to influence the main campaign itself. How those investigators get defeated determines if, in Union and Disillusion, they're still alive, dead, or neither.
  • Four-Man Band: Investigators in prologue scenario:
  • Greater-Scope Villain: While Azathoth is the ultimate threat to humanity, Azathoth himself is asleep (in fact, if he ever gets awakened, it causes The End of the World as We Know It); his sleep gets disturbed by either Anette Mason, or Carl Sanford. The final task is not to fight him (he is invincible), but to ensure that he continues sleeping.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose:
    • In Union and Disillusion, no matter which side actually wins (and whether you supported the victors or losers), they betray you (the loser abandon you while the Coven/Lodge battle causes massive destruction and injure any investigator present there; while the winner simply turns on you once you cease to become useful, though you do at least leave unharmed), and whoever prevails in the Coven/Lodge conflict, escalates previous problems to near-apocalyptic level, either through Mason's rituals, or through Sanford's incompetence, leading to the events of the In The Clutches of Chaos scenario, only differing in which enemies you face.
    • In In the Clutches of Chaos, whether you stop Anette/Sanford or not, their ritual disturbs Azathoth's sleep, bringing the Universe to the edge of destruction. The only thing that actually changes is whether they survive this or not.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: One of the three possible endings: t lead investigator sacrifices themself and joins the demonic pipers to put Azathoth to rest once again.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: Unlike Carl Sanford, Anette Mason fights for her people, who was hunted and killed during Salem "trials", and she has no personal hatred for investigators, her main target is Silver Twilight Lodge. But, (unknowingly to her) her mysterious ally, Keziah Mason, serves Azathoth and intends to bring The End of the World as We Know It. She actually admits her mistakes if she survives, and offers her help with fixing at least some of them; her close supporter, Erin, was also unimpressed by results of her plan and calls her out on it]].
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Conflict between Anette Mason and Carl Sanford ultimately disturbs Azathoth in his dream. If he awakens, it means The End of the World as We Know It.
  • No Points for Neutrality: Zig-Zagging Trope. In Before the Black Throne, if you accepted your fate, you may sacrifice yourself to protect Universe, and if you rejected it, you may conduct hard and costly ritual in order to do the same thing. Both paths requires precise preparations, though there is a way to be able to choose any of them at will. While theres is alternate, not game ending way (deal with Nyarlathotep), and it even provides double bonus experience than other two, it also provides both sets of traumas (and is much worse story-wise, due to you now being indebted to Eldritch Abomination), while other two provides only Mental and only Physical, respectively.
  • Non Standard Game Over: In Before the Black Throne, if, at any point, there are ten or more doom tokens on Azathoth, he immediately awakes and devours the Universe. It's possible for this to happen even before the agenda deck finishes, if there are too many doom on cultists enemies in play, since Azathoth "consumes" their doom each time the agenda advances.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: According to Anette, Carl Sanford is this, since the only thing he cares about is to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence; all his speeches about "helping humanity" is simple demagogy. At least he is willing to provide some support in your mission against Azathoth, to fix some of his mistakes.
  • Predecessor Villain: Many of the campaign's events can be traced back to Keziah Mason.
    • The whole point of The Secret Name is to uncover as much information about Keziah Mason as possible, and learn if she's related to Anette Mason and her Coven.
    • In The Wages of Sin, investigators go to Hangman's Hill — the place of the Witch Trials' executions — in hope to find ghosts of other old witches and learn something about Keziah from them. While they fail at this, they learn that the Spectral Watcher — who, as it turns out, is not bounded to the Silver Twilight Manor — is somehow related to the Lodge.
  • Psychopomp: The island in ''The Union and Disillusion" is inhabited by the soul-catching birds, whippoorwills.
  • Puzzle Boss: In Before the Black Throne, you can't defeat Azathoth; he simply lacks any stats besides damage whatsoever. Instead, you must find a way to pacify him.
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: In Before the Black Throne, like in any game he appears in, if at any moment Azathoth awakens, it's an instant game over.
  • Stalked by the Bell: In Before the Black Throne, investigators must find a way to pacify Azathoth before he awakes, otherwise it would mean The End of the World as We Know It. This threat is measured by Doom tokens on Azathoth; each time the agenda advances, Azathoth takes all doom tokens from cultist currently in play, and when the agenda deck ends, instead of immediate failure, the game will continue, but any further doom is put directly on Azatjoth. Once there are at least ten doom tokens of Azatjoth, it's an immediate game over.
  • Tarot Motifs:
    • The first agenda in each scenario's agenda deck is named after different Tarot cards.
    • There are also new Tarot assets, one for each class, including neutral, plus a new basic weakness. They take separate Tarot slots.
  • Total Party Kill: In At Death's Doorstep, Once you enter the Spectral Realm, only way out is blocked; actual goal at this point is to find one, all while being attacked by hostile ghosts. Until escape way is secured, if entire team gets defeated, they all die. Subsequent scenarios actually have different intros in the case if investigators have perished in the Twilight Estate, and investigation was followed by the new team.
  • Unreliable Expositor: Both Anette Mason and Carl Sanford claims that they are a Well-Intentioned Extremist who wants to use their power for good of humanity, while the other one is the main cause of all the current problems; while Anette did summoned the Spectral Watcher, at least she was just as unaware about its true intentions or true nature as everyone else, while Sanford probably just lies to cover his real agenda – Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence.
  • Unwitting Pawn: The Spectral Watcher, Anette's "mysterious ally" in the war against the Lodge, turns out to be the spirit of her evil ancestor, Keziah. After Anette completes her task, Keziah proceeds to possess her.
  • Void Between the Worlds: Before the Black Throne happens at the center of Universe. Void is both a common obstacle and a lethal threat; any investigator who are defeated herefall into an endless space void, forever alive, leading to them being driven insane.
  • Wicked Witch: Besides Anette Mason and her Coven, there are ghosts of victims of the Salem Trials, and Keziah Mason herself.
  • You Dirty Rat!: The Witch House in The Secret Name is full of them, including Brown Jenkin himself.

     The Dream Eaters Tropes 

Due to expansion containing two campaigns with two storylines (dividing story in two half, four scenarios each), which can be played either together (with two separate sets of investigators for each) or completely separately, tropes are divided to make distinguishing them easier. Tropes presented in both storylines or tropes about expansion in general are mentioned separately for convenience.

Tropes in both storylines

  • Absurdly Long Stairway:
    • In Beyond the Gates of Sleep, Seventy steps and Seven Hundred steps.
    • In Thousand Shapes of Horror, there is a very long staircase which leads to the Underworld (which is part of the Dream Land). Thanks to The Unnameable's influence, it may become much longer than it seemed at first.
  • Actually Four Mooks: Swarm mechanic allows one monster to impersonate several copies of itself, but they can't separate from each other.
  • Aloof Ally: Black Cat aids you, but it does it more for the sake of Virgil (in The Dream Quest) or because you are only ones who can prevent both worlds' destruction (in The Web of Dreams). Even then, it may suddenly leave you. When directly asked for anything, its answers are rather enigmatic.
  • Ambiguously Evil: The way how game describes Black Cat in the beginning of campaigns makes it unclear if it's a good idea to trust it, clearly stating what it has some hidden plot, and providing opportunity to refuse aid. If you actually trust it, in following scenarios Black Cat actually provides promised aid, and "hidden plot" turns out to be weird case of Randolph Carter existing in both worlds simultaneously, which it tries to research.
  • Based on a True Story: Virgil's "Tales from Nevermore". Of course, no one believes this. But then, things he described starts to occur to other people for real...
  • Big Bad Ensemble: While simultaneous, each story has different antagonists, but they do not interact with each other in any way, and have separate goals and minions.
  • Cats Are Mean:
    • The Black Cat acts in rather enigmatic way, making it unclear if it is really worth trusting (game helpfully provides opportunity to refuse its aid), and if Randolph Carter in "The Web of Dream" campaign dies, states what "problem solved itself"; it reacts in the same manner if Randolph Carter dies in The Dream Quest, while his copy in ''.
    • In The Search for Kadath, enrage Cats of Ulthar, and they will attack you; and no, they are not your common stray cats, they are dangerous.
    • In Dark Side of the Moon, one of possible enemies are evil cats from Saturn, who only vaguely resemble cats. If the aforementioned Cats of Ulthar were antagonised in the previous scenario, they leave the investigators to die fighting cats from Saturn when asked for help.
  • Dream Land:
    • The Dream Quest story is set in Dream World, and involves people getting stuck here against their will. Whatever caused this, and whatever may end this, it is certain that the only place where investigators can receive their answers is Unknown Kadath.
    • The Web of Dreams story involves the Dream World and "Wake World" (Earth) gradually merging together, which, if not prevented, will destroy both worlds. To stop this agenda, the investigators must find another way into the Dream World and through it, into the realm of the Eldritch Abomination that caused all of this.
  • Forced Sleep: Group that dwells into Dreamland was supposed to just prove its reality and go back, but for some reason get stuck there. According to Randolf Carter, this is not normal, because Dreamers are capable to awake just by willing so. Something forces them to stay... And this "something" gradually kills them.
  • Life Imitates Art: invoked In-Universe: This is what kickstarted whole plot. When things described by Virgil start occuring to other people, team of investigators decided what there can be some truth behind this after all. One group was put in dream to investigate this, while another stays in "wake world" to guard them and control the experiment.
  • Me's a Crowd: It's not a coincidence what both campaigns have separate self-aware version of Randolph Carter, but specific reason behind this is not yet known. Even Black Cat is unsure what's the reason behind this, but implies what it's part of somebody's agenda.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: Gugs. They are big, four-armed beasts with vertical slit-like mouth. They would kill and eat anything too weak to fight back and too slow to run, up to and including humans.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Randolph Carter (whoever of two his versions is "real" one) may die at certain points in both storylines. This is after he survived so much in previous stories he appeared in.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Expansion was designed in a way which allows either play two stories separately, or combine them together in this manner. Downside is what each half would be only four scenarios long. If you play campaigns together, each part has separate campaign log, chaos bag and pool of available investigators. Despite being "separated", during interludes two teams contact each other and their interaction can alter chaos pull for both campaigns; certain events, once occur in one campaign, would affect them both.
  • Zerg Rush: New Swarm mechanic. Each "swarm card" on "swarm" enemy means individual copy of it; fortunately, they can't separate from each other, and can be fought all at once, since any excessive damage would transfer to another copy.

Tropes in The Dream Quest storyline

  • Big Bad: Nyarlathotep, The Crawling Chaos, is somehow related to whole Forced Sleep problem, and directly opposes investigators in their search for Kadath. Also, both Corsairs and Moon-Beasts serves him.
  • Eldritch Location: Dream world is... strange place, which does not abide the rules of Wake World, and is inhabited by all sorts of weird (and often dangerous) creatures.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: It becomes obvious almost immediately what Nyarlathothep is involved in whole Forced Sleep plot... but not what this plot is purposed to achieve. All the answers to both why this happened and how to revert it are hidden on Unknown Kadath.
  • Fed to the Beast: In Dark Side of the Moon, if investigators fail to escape from the Moon and get captured by Moon beasts, they would recognise Randolph Carter and feed him to moon lizard. Last what can be heard of him is his scream.
  • Hope Spot: In Dark Side of the Moon, if you fail to escape the Moon, lead investigator would awake at the last moment, seemingly escaping both Moon-Beasts' trap and Dream Land... only to realise what this is part of another nightmare. Then they awake from it, still being in capture, and things only goes downhill from here.
  • Only the Worthy May Pass: To enter Dreamlands, investigators must pass Nasht and Kaman-Tah's trials.
  • The Quest: Once Virgil was found, main goal of campaign becomes to find Unknown Kadath, where investigators may actually found answers to their questions about Dream Lands.
    • Main point of The Search for Kadath is to identify Kadath's coordinates, by investigating several crucial points of Dream Lands. This eventually attracted Nyarlathotep's minions' attention and lead to Virgil's – and, depending on their performance, investigators' as well – capture.
  • Rescue Arc: Whole point of Dark Side of the Moon is to rescue Virgil (and Randolph Carter, if he was abducted too), who was abducted by Corsairs in previous scenario and now imprisoned in the city of Moon-Beasts.
  • Temple of Doom: "The Temple of Unattainable Desires". King Kuranes specifically warned investigators what once they enter, they risk to never leave; while temple itself bears no particulate danger (at least in gameplay terms), it's home for some of more dangerous enemies in this scenario.
  • Unstable Equilibrium: "Alert" mechanic in Dark Side of the Moon; certain monsters, hazards and tasks become progressively harder the more Alert investigators accumulate, which, in turn, accumulates when certain negative events occur, like agenda advancement or failing certain Random Encounters. Having low Alert is mandatory to enter White Ship and convince its Captain to smuggle you from the Moon (it's possible to argue with him with high Alert once you actually enter, but good luck to pass a test with difficulty of 5 or more), but theres only limited opportunities to do so, with only one stable option towards very end. High Alert also greatly increases team's chances to being caught on attempt to escape from the Moon once final agenda advances.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: No matter how The Search for Kadath ends, Virgil would be captured, either together with other investigators, or when he briefly separates from them, forcing investigators to go to rescue him... to the Moon.

Tropes in The Web of Dreams storyline

  • Abandoned Hospital: Setting of Waking Nightmare is (almost) abandoned St. Mary's hospital. Suddenly, spiders start attacking in masse, and most personal are either dead or missing. It goes back to normal in the end regardless of outcome, with one exception: if Doctor Maheswaran dies here, she is not restored.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: In A Thousand Shapes of Horror, The Unnameable can't be defeated; you must run from it (at first, it can only harm you directly in very limited area). But you may damage it, and to progress further in scenario, you must deal it some damage.
  • All Just a Dream: In ''Waking Nightmare If you don't stop spider infestation from spreading, and let the hospital be overrun, when you return in the morning, it looks like nothing happened, and people continue to work as usual... except doctor Maheswaran now missing.
  • All Webbed Up: No spider-themed horror would be completed without this. If you fail to defend St. Mary's from dream-lands spiders, it would end like this for all its inhabitants.
  • Big Bad: Atlach-Nacha. As usually, she tries to create bridge between Dreamlands and Waking world, and if she succeeds, then it would mean destruction for both worlds.
  • Cobweb Jungle:
    • One of the treachery cards in spider-infested places. You can even stuck in it.
    • In Waking Nightmare, if infestation spreads out of control, cobwebs eventually covers entire building.
  • Genius Loci: In A Thousand Shapes of Horror, The House with no Name and The Unnameable are one and the same... and are not happy to see unwelcome guests. And the longer scenario goes, the more dangerous The Unnameable becomes.
  • Giant Spider: Stronger minions of Atlach-Nacha, specifically Leng Spiders.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: Despite all spiders and their webs are gone by the end of scenario even if you fail to defeat them by yourself, if Doctor Maheswaran is dead, she would not return, and no one knows where she is now.
  • Our Ghouls Are Creepier: Ghouls returns as common enemies in Thousand Shapes of Horror. Besides them, there are also similarly looking ghasts.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: In Waking Nightmare, orderlies are controlled by spiders inside their bodies.
  • Put on a Bus to Hell: In A Thousand Shapes of Horror, if investigators fail to retrieve Silver Key, Randolph Carter gets taken away by The Unnameable. It is ambiguous if he survived it or not, but if he does, whatever awaits him, it certainly wouldn't be pleasant, judging from his last scream. In any case, he would not proceed with investigators to their next destination.
  • Reality Bleed: Dream Land gradually merges with "Wake world". If process would not be stopped, consequences would be catastrophic, for both of worlds.
  • Spider People: Some of the most dangerous Atlach-Nacha's minions looks like weird hybrid of human and spider. This is also how Atlach-Nacha herself is pictured, both on deluxe expansion's box art and in game.
  • Spider Swarm: One of the weakest, but most numerous minions of Atlach-Nacha.
  • Survivor Guilt: If Doctor Maheswaran dies (which happens only if you either takes her with you and then fails to protect her, or if the hospital gets overrun), lead investigator suffers mental trauma.
  • That Was Not a Dream: Last doubts what this night's events really happened are shattered by strange patient you met in St. Mary's Hospital that night... Randolf Carter.
  • You Dirty Rat!: In A Thousand Shapes of Horror, rat swarms return, this time combined with "Swarm" mechanic, meaning there are even more of them.

Standalone Scenarios Tropes

     Curse of the Rougarou tropes 

     Carnevale of Horrors tropes 

  • City of Canals: The story is set in Venice.
  • Combat Tentacles: Venice is attacked by Cnidathqua, an enormously big tentacled beast. It's so huge, it doesn't even need to move to attack you.
  • Masquerade Ball: It is another carnival in Venice... until an Eldritch Abomination hungry for blood shows up, and things go to hell.
    • Since this is a masquerade, it's hard to tell innocent bystanders apart from local cultists until it's too late.
    • If you manage to prevent a bloodbath, you are rewarded with magical carnival masks.

     The Labyrinths of Lunacy tropes 

  • Acid Pool: Second obstacle for "Group B" is room filled with highly corrosive poison. To neutralise it, one of them must must go inside and turn machine off; if he was injected with antidote, he would survive, otherwise, he would die. If no one does this in time, all investigators would be pulled here by force.
  • Alternate Universe: Each group exist in separate universe, meaning they can include same investigators, which is normally forbidden. But there is only one Eixodolon for all of them.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: In "Single Group" mode, since first two acts can't be advanced until corresponding agenda advances too, rules specifically allows to manually advance doom on current agenda in case players feel they completed what they wanted and just need to finish everything quickly.
  • Big Bad: Eixodolon, the... being who abducted you and many others for his sick pleasure.
  • Control Room Puzzle: First task of "Group C" is find which one of three levers would open the door, then one of them must pull the lever. If he pulls wrong one, he dies. If no one pulls lever in time, investigator closest to levers would die (and if there is more than one candidate, they must chose who would die). Either way, surviving member would proceed to Act 2.
  • Deadly Gas: Several variations:
    • Poisonous gas is one of common treacheries.
    • This is how "Group B" would be killed if they fail their first task.
  • Death Trap: Full spectrum of them: containers slowly filling with water, gas traps, dangerous gears, etc.
  • Drowning Pit: First task of "Group B" is free one of them from big glass container, which slowly gets filled with water.
  • Emotion Eater: Eixodolon becomes stronger as he consumes his victim's pain.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: This place looks like it was designed by John Kramer, and just as deadly. Gas traps and big, deadly gears are just most common dangers.
  • Golden Ending: Each time Eixodolon gets defeated, he gets weaker. To finally kill him, all three groups must survive; if even one of them dies, Eixodolon survives and would continue his... "games".
  • Ground by Gears: Another common treachery is being stuck in some dangerous mechanism and being slowly crashed by it.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: If none of "Group B" investigators has been injected with antidote, whoever would go inside Chamber of Poison, would die. One of them must do this, otherwise whole team would be pulled here (and dies anyway).
  • Lock and Key Puzzle: First task of "Group B" is find a key and open the gate. If they fail, they die.
  • Malevolent Architecture: This place was called "Labyrinths of Lunacy" for a reason. It looks like one big sadistic experiment... and you and your friends are the lab rats.
  • Poison Is Corrosive: Whatever it is in Acid Pool in second group's Act 2, it's capable to quickly dissolve human flesh, unless you have and antidote.
  • Timed Mission:
    • Notably, first two Acts for any of three groups are timed; if they fail to perform required tasks before Agenda advances, minimum one member of the group would die.
    • In "Epic Multiplayer" mode, players may impose real-time limit for agenda (rules suggests use 60 minutes limit by default); past this point, players may play until next Mythos phase, after which agenda would be advanced immediately.
  • Trapped with Monster Plot: "Group C" second task requires them to get rid of Eixodolon's "pet" before Agenda advances. If they fail, beast gets released. While it's not instant failure, beast is not an easy target.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Second task of "Group A". In this place, time moves... differently. They must find a way to deactivate effect, otherwise, when it would be activated in full force, they would rot away in mere seconds.
  • You Wake Up in a Room: Each group starts like this.

     Guardians of the Abyss tropes 

  • And I Must Scream: Victims of sleeping curse are perfectly aware of their condition, while suffer from eternal nightmares.
  • Big Bad: Xzharah, "Chosen One" of Brotherhood of the Beast.
  • Burning the Ships: In Eternal Slumber, once the train is sabotaged, there is no escape; you must win together or die together. This is only way to catch and interrogate one of cultists.
  • Dark Messiah: Xzharah is "Chosen One" of Brotherhood of the Beast, cult of followers of Dark Pharaoh Nefren-Ka.
  • Dream Land: Titular "Abyss" is part of Dream world. This is actually how "dream curse" works, by forcibly putting victim's mind into Abyss, while their comatose body remains in "waking world".
  • Enemy Mine: It is possible to make alliance with Xzharah in The Night's Usurper. This rewards your with unique weapon, but all victims of sleeping curse (including your friends) would remain asleep forever...
  • Forced Sleep: In first scenario, Eternal Slumber, citizens of Cairo, Egypt just suddenly fall asleep, one by one, and not one can help them or understand reason behind this; now, team of investigators arrived to find a source of this "epidemic" and possibly stop it.
    • This same fate can occur to investigators or their allies, through "taken by Abyss" mechanic. Any ally who is "taken by Abyss" is removed from the game for duration of current campaign, while for any investigator it is equivalent of being killed or driven insane; and if investigators takes too long to accomplish their task, they would all become victims of this curse. This condition is reversible, but only in "good" endings for both scenarios.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Each victim of sleeping curse empowers Brotherhood's "Chosen One", Xzharah.
  • Religion of Evil: Brotherhood of the Beast, cult of Dark Pharaoh Nefren-Ka's followers. They are behind whole sleeping curse plot, for the sake of empowering their chosen one, Xzharah.

     Murder at the Excelsior Hotel tropes 

  • Anti-Frustration Features: In the case investigators failed to solve the case, they can replay this scenario once, for free.
  • Clear My Name: Whole point of scenario is prove your innocence in murder that occurs that night. Lead investigator did commit that crime, but it was done under evil influence. If you manage to prove it, police would leave you alone. If you didn't, you would be released before they manage to charge you with anything, and receives another chance to solve this case... or give up, and chose to run (which means, receiving new weaknesses, either Detective or Madness ones).
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Not for investigators, but for Excelsior Hotel itself. There are five possible culprits behind recent murders; each one would be behind this depends on which leads investigators find (they are randomised, and after you acquire two of them, you are forced to progress further, cutting other three out). This includes: Cult which attempts to interact with other dimension; Vengeful Ghost of murdered woman; Mi-Go involvement; formless goo-like Eldritch Abomination which came here to eat; and some evil brain in the jar with psychic powers.
    • Besides that, there are also two variations for each threat, depending on which two leads are used (one lead is always the same for both variations, while second one would differs; for example, Vengeful Specter would always use "Time-Worn Locket", but second lead would be either "Alien Device" or "Sinister Solution".
  • My God, What Have I Done?: No matter the outcome, lead investigator did commit that murder, and it would haunt them for the rest of their life. In gameplay terms, this works as appropriately named "What have you done" weakness.
  • No Points for Neutrality: In order to recruit Sergeant Monroe, you must either leave everything as is and instead collect additional evidences, or clear every trace of your involvement. Anything in between would make Sergeant Monroe suspect you.
  • One-Hit Kill: Each time Dimensional Shambler deals damage to investigator, they must reveal chaos token, and if they reveal auto-failure one, they would be snatched by creature and immediately defeated (creature disappears, too, but it probably wouldn't make you feel any better).
  • Police Are Useless: Until investigators decided to investigate on their own, police spend over a month in futile attempt to solve this case. And depending on outcome of this scenario, they can either help you, or go after you.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: While sceptical initially, Sergeant Monroe would believe in your story and side with you, if you collect enough evidences of anomalous activities (including most recent murder which was done by you), or, oppositely, hide anything pointing this murder to you (in which case he would ask you for help, instead, but otherwise outcome would be the same). In both cases you also must avoid spilling any more innocent blood, including, of course, other cops.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Lead investigator for whatever evil force is behind those murders; in fact, most recent murder was done by lead investigator under that power's influence. If you provoke it to reveal itself, but fails to stop in time, they would use you to commit even more murders.

     The Blob That Ate Everything tropes 
  • Abstract Eater: Blob can "eat" things like precision (this sets basic Strength to 0), curiosity (sets basic Knowledge to 0), versatility (investigator can't use cards not matching his/her class), or concept of language (you may only speak in gibberish).
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Blob really can eat everything. Amongst other things, it may eat precision (sets basic Strength to 0), curiosity (sets basic Knowledge to 0), versatility (investigator can't use cards not matching his/her class), or concept of language (you may only speak in gibberish).
  • Serial Escalation: First expansion to add possibility for multiple teams in the same game, The Labyrinths of Lunacy, was able to sustain up to 3 four-investigators teams. This scenario can easily sustain up to 96 investigators total.

     Barkham Horror: The Meddling of Meowlathotep tropes 
  • Alternate Universe: Expansion explicitly set in alternate universe, where instead of humans, Earth must be protected from forces of evil... by (sapient) domestic dogs. Forces of evil, in turn, are no one else but evil cats.
  • Cats Are Mean: Up to Eleven; they are not just mean, they are outright evil and serves dark god... called Meowlathotep. Also, since they are actually Always Chaotic Evil in this -verse, you can't include any cats in your deck.
  • Fake–Real Turn: It started as April Fools' Day joke about fake "expansion", "The Dogwich Legacy", but due to fans demands real expansion with same theme was announced later same year.
  • Joke Level: Instead of team of investigators fighting some eldritch horrors, this expansions is centred about team of dogs fighting some evil eldritch cats (aside from "this is alternate universe", there's no explanation, why; and do you really need it, anyway?). Originally just April Fool's Day joke in 2019, but due to fans' demands real expansion was developed and announced later same year, with actually playable "investigators" and working (yet not without some humour in their description) mechanics. This expansion may only played in standalone mode and only with dog characters provided with this expansion (this expansion's player cards also can't be transferred to non-dog scenarios; but, unless otherwise specified, you may use "normal" player cards when creating decks for dog investigators; for example, adding any cats is explicitly forbidden, for obvious reasons). Of course, developers are aware what players would try and use their favourite investigators anyway, which was directly acknowledged in announcement.
  • Mythology Gag: In every game he appears in, Ashcan Pete is accompanied by his dog, Duke. His counterpart in this expansion is (now playable) Duke... with "friendly human" Ashcan Pete as his signature ally. His stats are also inverted: Ashcan Pete had good Will and Agility, but bad Strength and Intellect (without Duke's help); as investigator, Duke has good Strength and Intellect, but bad Will and Agility.
  • Pun-Based Title: Barkham Horror.
  • Punny Name:
    • Main antagonist is cat called Meowlathotep.
    • Every investigator is based on existing Arkham Horror character, but with name slightly changed to something setting-appropriate, since all of them are now dogs (like Bark Harrigan, or Kate Winthpup).
  • Something Completely Different: Story set in Alternate Universe, with heroic dogs fighting against forces of evil cats lead by Meowlathotep. Not something you expect from Arkham Horror, right?


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