Here was a nocturnal suicide in London, where a lone sleeper had leaped from a window after a shocking cry. Here likewise a rambling letter to the editor of a paper in South America, where a fanatic deduces a dire future from visions he has seen. A dispatch from California describes a theosophist colony as donning white robes en masse for some "glorious fulfilment" which never arrives, whilst items from India speak guardedly of serious native unrest towards the end of March. Voodoo orgies multiply in Haiti, and African outposts report ominous mutterings...
- The Call of Cthulhu, H.P. Lovecraft
Cthulhu's reach extends worldwide in an exciting new series of expansions for Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game , the Ancient Relics cycle of Asylum Packs!
In the Ancient Relics cycle, the perspective of Call of Cthulhu will shift from H.P. Lovecraft's weird New England, and head out into the wider world caught in the enveloping grip of the Ancient Ones . Investigators and cultists from around the globe will meet in the dark alleys of Cairo and the beaches of the haunted South Pacific to do battle for the fate of the world.
To give you some insight into this exciting upcoming series, we present this brief overview of Ancient Relics from the set's developer, Damon Stone:
The Many Cultures of Cthulhu
One of the things I was really interested in exploring with Ancient Relics was the idea of how other cultures would have been impacted by Lovecraft’s dark and uncaring mythos. This set me on the course of exploring the mythologies of different cultures through a “Lovecraftian” lens. I settled on six specific locals and focused on some of their myths, traditions, and history, both from the ancient past as well as from the 1910’s through the 1930’s. The Valley of the Kings, Hong Kong, the Yucatan, the South Pole, Athens, and the South Pacific all figure prominently in this cycle.
Once I knew the backdrop for the cycle I started doing research on these cultures and ideas starting pouring out. Out of my study of Egypt and the various expatriates and treasure hunters that made their way to Cairo and down to the Valley of the Kings, Magarta Kiss, Starry-Eyed Lover seemed like a natural fit. Margata came from my musing on how Egyptology became all the rage during the mysticism of the 1920’s, and how a dilettante may have ended up serving a cause darker than she may have been aware of.
Things Have Souls
Another aspect of Ancient Relics that took advantage of the global setting was the powerful Relic cards featured in this cycle. Each setting has its own history, religion, and culture and this is what inspired me to create a new type of support card. Going through Lovecraft’s works I ran across the opening line to his story, The Street, “There be those who say that things and places have souls...” This cemented the idea for me of what I really wanted to explore with relics. There are items, new and old, that by elder science, preternatural forces, or even through the sheer weight of humanity’s belief, gain power. The idea that relics, even when they are thought lost or destroyed, constantly resurface throughout our histories, is captured by the recursive nature of these cards.
The Order of the Silver Twilight funds expeditions around the world seeking knowledge to better guide their members, and protect their interests. In the frozen waste at the bottom of the world the Eon Chart is an example of their ability to use mystical items to further their agenda and control the fate of the world.
This cycle is not just about the Relic support cards, though. Each faction also receives a subtle twist on one or more of their core mechanics as they travel abroad, discovering new ways of doing old things, and in a couple of cases, old ways of doing new things. This helps create a new sense of chaos in the game, where you are always unsure of what your opponent is going to do next.
Thanks Damon! Watch this space as we reveal more of the darkened corners of the world while Ancient Relics unfolds. As the Ancient Ones' reach covers the globe, truly there is no place left to hide!
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.