|Enter the Museum, Explore the Horror Within
A Preview of Unseen Forces, an Expansion for Elder Sign
|Elder Sign | Published 05 April 2013|
“Little by little, the shrouded hints begin to coalesce into a clear vision of the nightmares that have taken root in this museum.”
In Unseen Forces, the upcoming expansion for Elder Sign, daunting new adventures and horrific new monsters await. Meanwhile, mysterious powers conspire to bestow blessings and cast curses upon the investigators, who are trying to prevent the Ancient Ones from awakening.
Previously, we snuck a peek at the exciting Blessed/Cursed mechanic, new to Unseen Forces. In this preview, we will venture into the museum by way of the newly remodeled entrance cards, and explore some of the dangers that wait within in the form of new Adventure and Other World cards. Along the way, we will touch on the new rewards and penalties offered in Elder Sign: Unseen Forces.
Enter Through the Gift Shop
Investigators begin their foray into the museum through the Souvenir Shop, one of four newly designed entrance cards that together replace the Entrance sheet from the base game. As before, investigators may move to any Adventure or Other World card that they wish. They may also move to any of the Entrance cards in order to resolve the ability on the chosen card.
Trophies burning a hole in an investigator’s pocket? At the First Aid Station, brutalized investigators may spend trophies in order to gain stamina and sanity. The Souvenir Shop offers items like clue tokens and spells; these souvenirs aren’t just mementos of the investigators’ trip to the museum, however. They may be critical in helping them escape with their lives.
Similar to the entrance in Elder Sign, at the Lost & Found, investigators can find clues and items, or lose sanity and stamina based on the roll of a die. The new Lost & Found card allows investigators to roll up to three dice when searching its hidden treasures.
Investigators weary from their harrowing experiences inside the museum may seek solace in the new Chapel card. The Chapel allows investigators to take fate into their own hands, and offer trophies to benevolent forces in exchange for a blessing for themselves or a friend.
Of course, the assistance that the Entrance cards provides the investigators is not always available. At the whim of the powers that be, any or all of the Entrance cards may be closed for a round or for the remainder of the game. Mythos cards, such as the Lost . . . or Found card shown to the right, close down Entrances. When an Entrance is closed, it is turned facedown and its ability can no longer be used.
Finally, forces at work in the museum have eliminated the opportunity to buy Elder Signs, which means investigators must be even more shrewd, and spend their trophies wisely to aid them during their time in the museum.
Find Your Way in the Darkness
“Although I could hear nothing, my senses were screaming at me that something was wrong . . . very wrong.”
Crumbling displays, hidden rooms, and the occasional monster encounter are just a few of the many secrets concealed within the museum walls. Investigators work to seal the gate that keeps the Ancient One from rising by completing tasks in forty new Adventure cards.
Some Adventure cards, such as Up On the Roof, now contain Entry Keywords, as shown below. These are marked with Entry: and must be resolved immediately upon an investigator moving onto the card. In the example shown below, once an investigator moves onto the card, a monster must be placed on the monster task (if one is not already present) before the investigator may attempt the adventure. If a monster is already in place, nothing happens, and the adventure continues as usual.
Along with new adventures, two new rewards have been added to offer new incentives to investigators, while two new penalties serve as a warning. These new effects are Blessed, Cursed, Reprieve, and Clock. While the Clock has been seen as an Adventure task requirement, as well as a Monster task in the base game, it is now a penalty in the Unseen Forces expansion.
When an investigator successfully completes the Just Sign Here adventure, he may open a portal to an Other World adventure. He may also take one spell. Unfortunately, success comes at a cost, because this investigator must also take a Cursed card.
The Test of Faith Adventure card has a Blessed icon as a reward for successfully completing the adventure. The investigator who completes the tasks on the card may take a Blessed card. Test of Faith also has a Cursed penalty should an investigator fail the adventure. An investigator who receives a Cursed penalty must take a Cursed card. See our preview of the Blessed/Cursed mechanic to learn more.
Once an investigator has completed the Up On the Roof adventure, he is rewarded with a spell and an Elder Sign. Unfortunately, a monster also appears. The Up On the Roof card also has the Reprieve symbol as a reward, which means the investigators may remove one doom token from the doom track.
Another World is Revealed
“In the darkness between worlds, between dimensions, it was there that my quest nearly ended. Horrid things of nightmare clutched at me, unseen.”
Throughout the course of their trials in the museum, investigators may open portals to Other Worlds. Another Time, a new Other World card in Unseen Forces, has the Clock symbol on each of its tasks. In addition to obtaining the necessary die results for each task, investigators must advance the clock once per task in order for it to be completed, as per the rules in the base game. Successfully completing the adventure rewards the investigator with two Elder Signs and two clue tokens. The Clock symbol is shown as a penalty for failure. An investigator who cannot complete this task must lose one stamina and advance the clock once. Should the clock strike Midnight during the completion of the adventure, the Midnight effects on any Adventure and Mythos cards are resolved at the end of that players turn, before advancing the clock as usual.
In the next preview, we will get to know two of the new investigators. We will also take a look at one of the fearsome new Ancient Ones, coming soon in the Elder Sign: Unseen Forces expansion!
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.