|Halloween with the Dunwich Denizens
A Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game spotlight by guest writer Marius Hartland
|Call of Cthulhu LCG | Published 28 October 2011|
Today’s spotlight for Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game by Marius Hartland features minor spoilers for H.P. Lovecraft’s story, “The Dunwich Horror."
Halloween with the Dunwich Denizens
On May Eve of 1915 there were tremors which even the Aylesbury people felt, whilst the following Hallowe'en produced an underground rumbling queerly synchronized with bursts of flame–'them witch Whateleys' doin's'–from the summit of Sentinel Hill. Wilbur was growing up uncannily, so that he looked like a boy of ten as he entered his fourth year. He read avidly by himself now; but talked much less than formerly. A settled taciturnity was absorbing him, and for the first time people began to speak specifically of the dawning look of evil in his goatish face.
–H.P. Lovecraft, The Dunwich Horror
A few days ago, you were reunited with a trio of investigators hailing from Miskatonic University, tasked by fate to stop the trouble brewing in Dunwich. But with Hallowe’en around the corner, let’s take a look at the other side: the Whateleys who are working with Yog-Sothoth and seeking a hidden page from the Necronomicon to finally cement his reign on earth.
As a story, The Dunwich Horror is a rather unique entry in H.P. Lovecraft’s universe in that the protagonists are more or less successful in thwarting the plot of the Ancient Ones in an action-driven storyline. This makes it very suitable to be used in a game, and what game better suits it than Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game. With a deck of 50 or more cards, you can recreate the story’s events… or alter them. Yog-Sothoth is the master of time and space, so this Halloween it’s time to rewrite history and let the Whateleys win!
The classic Dunwich Denizens Asylum pack follows up the Conspiracies of Chaos Asylum Pack and, with it, some new ideas on how to explore story cards. Conspiracies of Chaos features several variations on the Conspiracy card type, and Dunwich plays with the idea that a card can be a story, a character, and a conspiracy at once, at least by effect, if not by card type.
Wilbur Whateley (Dunwich Denizens, 73) is such a pivotal character, that he is the perfect fit for multiple roles within the story. Being part of a supernatural legacy and bound to an inter-dimensional entity makes him rather intelligent, putting him direct at odds with the investigators. Not only is he a cultist-sided character with investigation, but he can also function as that final story, should things not go your way quickly enough.
Yog-Sothoth can work quite elegantly together with Shub-Niggurath. One of the strengths of the Black Goat is that she can find characters in your deck and make them directly accessible. If you want to build your deck around the horrors that dwell in Dunwich, you want to find them quickly and often. Lavinia Whateley (Dunwich Denizens, 75) makes it easy to do so.
Better yet, she isn’t that opposed to finding you a Deep One either, or if you feel particularly cultastic, an Ancient One like Cthulhu himself! But the real star of the Dunwich Denizens isn’t a fish or a frog, although he might be a little bit like an octopus. We’re talking a gaint, tentacled invisible monster here. It is the Horror itself.
The Dunwich Horror
This classic Asylum Pack fuses a great number of the elements of the original Dunwich story with the game mechanics. The Dunwich Horror (Dunwich Denizens, 72) appears as a rampaging giant that smashes things and even gets out of control, which in the game is represented by it sometimes switching sides. But if you look, you find even more and more contrast layered into the cards. Professor Armitage (Dunwich Denizens, 65) becomes the lead protagonist and gains the Heroic keyword.
It wouldn’t make sense for Professor Armitage to investigate portals side by side with the Horror he confronted, and the story’s integrity all comes together with the Horror’s Villainous keyword. Even though its strange, primary ability allows it to change sides and target a character or support card for destruction, you can stop the destruction by keeping a hero in your service. This makes the Horror powerful, but gives it a weak spot that reflects the efforts of the heroes in the original story. All because you can’t control Heroic and Villainous characters at the same time… and this time, it can prove an advantage instead of a weakness.
This being Halloween, however, you can always put some Primal Fear (Secrets of Arkham, 27) into the heroes and then feed them to the Horror.
The Lurker of Liège
Don’t forget, if you’re planning to be in or around Liège, Belgium, this Halloween weekend, you can attend the Liège Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game championship tournament, where some of the top players are expected to invoke the Ancient Ones in new and exciting ways. If you think you might be interested in attending, you can find more info in the community forums.
May the best cultist or investigator win!
Based on the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft and his literary circle, Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game takes two players deep into the Cthulhu Mythos where investigators clash with the Ancient Ones and Elder Gods for the fate of the world. The Living Card Game format allows players to customize their gaming experience with monthly Asylum Pack expansions to the core game.
Unfortunately, it's pretty safe to assume this represents the final, printed version of the card.
Typos aside, I very much like the Whateley cards and welcome their return to the LCG. Wilbur is particularly nice because you can put his success tokens to different uses in a pinch.
Wilbur's name is spelled wrong in the card text. Is this a picture of the finished version?