|Elder Sign | Published 19 July 2011||Rating||18 votes|
Now Atal, slipping dizzily up over inconceivable steeps, heard in the dark a loathsome laughing, mixed with such a cry as no man else ever heard save in the Phlegethon of unrelatable nightmares; a cry wherein reverberated the horror and anguish of a haunted lifetime packed into one atrocious moment.
–H.P. Lovecraft, “The Other Gods”
The Ancient One stirs in its realm beyond mortal imagination, moving slowly and inexorably toward our world. If it arrives through the portals opening in the museum, madness and devastation will follow. Elder Sign allows 1-8 players to send investigators racing through the museum’s rare exhibits to discover the eldritch symbols necessary to seal the Ancient One away forever.
As they struggle to uncover the last of the Elder Signs, the investigators must fight off cultists and otherworldly creatures. Should they fail, the Ancient One hungers…
The march to oblivion
In Elder Sign, players constantly race against the Ancient One’s Doom track. During the game, Mythos cards and Adventure consequences (and rewards) may direct you to place tokens on spaces along the track, representing the Ancient One’s progress toward our world. As the Ancient One grows nearer the final portals and its influence spills into the world, it changes the base conditions for the game. Each of the eight possible Ancient Ones stamps its own agenda on game play. Shub-Niggurath, for example, adds an extra terror dice result to each monster, making them all harder to defeat (and, in turn, making it harder to complete the Adventures to which they are attached).
The Ancient One’s advance may usher monsters into the world as well. Each time you place a token on a space with a monster token, a monster is released into the museum! You must also attach a monster to one of the museum’s Adventures, making it harder to find enough Elder Signs in time to halt the Ancient One’s approach.
Example of a Doom track's monster icon.
When a Doom token is placed on the last space of an Ancient One’s Doom track, the Ancient One awakens! Immediately, it seeks out every investigator in the museum to attack.
Each of the eight possible Ancient Ones possesses maddening power, and each is capable of devouring unwary investigators whole.
Battling an Ancient One
If the Ancient One awakens, the investigators lose whatever time they thought they had to find Elder Signs. Instead, they must employ every weapon, every spell, and every trick in their arsenals to drive the Ancient One back out of the mortal realm while it is weakest.
Each turn an Ancient One is awake, all the investigators must move to it and attack. You roll dice against the Ancient One’s combat task, listed above its name, and each success a player scores removes one counter from the Doom track. In order to resume their quest for Elder Signs, investigators must drive the Ancient One from our world by removing all tokens from its Doom track.
But an Ancient One is not easily bested! Each time the Clock strikes midnight, the Ancient One attacks, and every investigator must take drastic actions, discarding items, spells, or sometimes trophies; otherwise, he is devoured!
If your investigator is devoured during combat with an Ancient One, you are eliminated from the game. You can still win if your partners are able to drive the Ancient One away and seal it off with the necessary Elder Signs, but if all investigators are devoured, the Ancient One wins!
Infinite abysses of nethermost confusion
Eight different Ancient One cards let you face new madness and horrors with each game of Elder Sign. Each Ancient One features a unique Doom track, combat task, and special ability. The number of Elder Signs required to win the game also varies from Ancient One to Ancient One, but no matter how many or how few you have to find, you can be certain the effort will be filled with terror and peril!
That leering, tittering shantak coursed on impetuous and relentless, flapping its great slippery wings in malignant joy, and headed for those unhallowed pits whither no dreams reach; that last amorphous blight of nethermost confusion where bubbles and blasphemes at infinity’s centre the mindless daemon-sultan Azathoth, whose name no lips dare speak aloud.
–H.P. Lovecraft, “The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath”
The time will come to confront the chaos in the third quarter of 2011! Until then, research our community forums for arcane knowledge, and check back here for future updates.
Elder Sign is a fast-paced, cooperative dice game of supernatural intrigue for one to eight players by Richard Launius and Kevin Wilson, the designers of Arkham Horror.
I hope the rules are posted soon! I am running one of these events at Gen Con, but have not seen the rules yet! Looks like a lot of fun...
I've played AH before, but just got into board game recently. I am glad I held off on getting myself a copy. Elder Sign looks to be more up my alley. I can't wait for the rules to post.
It shouldn't be too long to wait now. Just pity the people who were waiting for Gears of War all those years!
Warghuul is right. If you can move at relativistic speeds, you can return to Earth in "the future" to see the game's release. Just be aware that if you're out for a little too long, it may be sold out on your return.
@wrongwrongwrong: time machine!
@rodrigo695: What is the alternative? :)
Can´t wait anymore for this!