It has been two months now since your good friend Dr. Crawford Tillinghast berated you angrily, called you a fool, and ejected you from his home and laboratory in a fit of fanatical rage. His outburst came as a surprise to you, since he was not a man prone to anger, especially when the cause was your awed and frightened line of query about a strange machine he envisioned during the course of his metaphysical research. The doctor took your questions as criticism, and lashed out in response.
You have not spoken to the doctor since that day…
Inspired by the characters and themes of From Beyond , one of H.P. Lovecraft’s most terrifying short stories, The Laboratory challenges players to shut down Crawford Tillinghast’s strange machine before the mad genius manages to merge our world with another dimension and all its horrors. Of course, otherworldly terrors feature prominently in The Laboratory , as you’ll have to close portals to other realms during your exploration of Tillinghast’s mansion home. Can you survive the terrors you’ll encounter? Can you find the clues you need to deactivate Tillinghast’s arcane device?
Designed by Samuel Bailey and Richard Launius, the creator of Arkham Horror , The Laboratory is a fantastically free-form adventure, chock-full of the themes and mechanics that make Mansions of Madness a uniquely satisfying entry into the world of H.P. Lovecraft’s eerie mythos.
For more about what makes The Laboratory an exciting addition to your Mansions of Madness experience, we turn to co-designer Samuel Bailey.
Co-Designer Samuel Bailey on The Laboratory
Welcome to The Laboratory , where Dr. Tillinghast and his nefarious machine are not only warping the reality of his mansion home, but also warping some of the basic concepts of Mansions of Madness itself!
I have been a fan of Mansions of Madness and the possibilities that it presents since it was first released. When I was told I would be working on a new scenario with Richard Launius, I was understandably excited and determined to infuse The Laboratory with theme and innovative mechanics. I wanted it to drip with Lovecraftian ichor, and I wanted to explore new levels of freedom within the scenario that I felt would lead to great replayability.
In this scenario, pulled straight out of the pages of From Beyond , investigators must scramble to find vital clues hidden among Exploration cards, while closing the portals to other worlds that the keeper is opening up around the house in his gambit to merge our world with another, darker dimension. However, in The Laboratory , the keeper gains unprecedented freedom to manipulate the mansion and even reality itself.
In most other scenarios, Exploration, Lock, and Obstacle cards must be placed within specified rooms, but in The Laboratory , the keeper randomly distributes half of his Exploration cards and then has free reign to place all remaining cards as he wills. As the keeper, do you want to make it difficult for the investigators to get into a certain part of the house? Place all your Locks and Obstacles over there. Do you want to try to bluff the investigators into wasting time and resources? Place the clues they need right next to the starting space, where they’ll be certain you’ve placed a hidden trap.
The realities that have bound the keeper through so many Mansions of Madness scenarios continue to break down throughout the course of play. The keeper has seven Portal Cards at his disposal, each with a unique effect that he can trigger to slow the investigators or get rid of them forever. The difference between the keeper’s ultimate victory or defeat may be determined by which Portal Card he places at a critical juncture, and where. Do you place the portal to Yuggoth in a room with a vital clue and use it to spawn a multitude of monsters? Or do you place the portal to the Dreamlands as far as possible from the investigators to speed your way to victory?
Each portal placement is an important decision for the keeper, as each portal supports a different strategy and play style.
The investigators also find new freedoms in The Laboratory . They may find the clues that they need hidden in any room, and none of the scenario’s Locks require a specific key. While there is only a single objective, deactivating the deranged Tillinghast’s ghastly machine, the ways you might seek to outwit the keeper are many. Do you rush about the house, exploring each room to find the clues you need to shut down the machine before it tears apart the world? Or do you play it slow and steady, focusing on closing each portal that opens to limit the harm it causes you reality? Which team of investigators works the best? When should you move quickly, and when should you watch out for the many traps your keeper has at his disposal? Where has he hidden the clues that you need to ensure your victory?
The Laboratory is a dynamic and open scenario which offers plenty of play sessions for even the most experienced Mansions of Madness players. After each fast and furious session, you will want to play again to try some new strategy you thought of as the keeper, or play with that optimum group of investigators you are sure will guarantee victory this time around. The possibilities are as infinite as the realities that threaten to merge with our own!
Live the Terror Today
“Do you fancy there are such things as form or matter? I tell you, I have struck depths that your little brain can’t picture! I have seen beyond the bounds of infinity and drawn down daemons from the stars… I have harnessed the shadows that stride from world to world to sow death and madness… Space belongs to me, do you hear?”
Pick up your copy of The Laboratory today to step into the pages of H.P. Lovecraft’s classic From Beyond and face terrors beyond mortal comprehension. This terrifying expansion for Mansions of Madness is now available !
The Laboratory is not a stand-alone product. A copy of Mansions of Madness and the Forbidden Alchemy expansion are required to play.
Mansions of Madness is a macabre game of horror, insanity, and mystery for two to five players. Based on the beloved fiction of H.P. Lovecraft, Mansions of Madness tells a story in which one player takes on the role of the keeper, a malevolent force working to complete a sinister plot, and all other players take on the roles of investigators, the unlikely heroes who gather to oppose him.