Certainly, we were in one of the strangest, weirdest, and most terrible of all the corners of the earth’s globe.
–H. P. Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness
Mountains of Madness is the second expansion for Eldritch Horror , a cooperative game of terror and global adventure for one to eight players. Inspired by H. P. Lovecraft’s novella about an ill-fated Antarctic expedition, Mountains of Madness opens the desolate and eerie expanses of Antarctica, where lie the ruins of the Elder Things’ primeval civilization. Hidden there are the clues and artifacts you need to prevent the Ancient Ones from rising, but the ice also conceals inhuman, terrifying creatures, recently awakened and thirsty for blood.
You will find in Mountains of Madness a side board depicting six different Antarctic locations. Two new Ancient Ones threaten humanity in unprecedented ways, and eight investigators join the international effort against them. Additional gates spawn monsters in previously safe locations and a plethora of Assets, Artifacts, Conditions, Spells, and the Focus Action become available for use in the struggle against impending doom.
Antarctica’s Frozen Horrors
The side board featured in Mountains of Madness allows you to follow the route of Professor Lake’s doomed Antarctic expedition from the bustling Miskatonic University outpost and the remnants of Professor Lake’s ravaged camp to the megalithic City of the Elder Things and the mythical, otherworldly Plateau of Leng. Since Antarctica is so very different from any other place on earth, Outpost and Mountain cards, as well as Antarctic Research cards, give investigators adventures unique to that continent. Those encounters are often shaped by Antarctica’s treacherous climate, which can prove just as deadly as any monster. You may find yourself stumbling through snowdrifts, struggling against hunger and hypothermia, or fighting to subdue companions maddened by the isolation and the cold. Even if your efforts against the Ancient Ones do not lead you into Antarctica, you may nevertheless discover the Heart of Winter , meet a survivor from the Miskatonic expedition , or be attacked by a monster creeping north from the thawing Antarctic ice.
Lurking in the Antarctic ice are the Elder Things, one of the Ancient Ones introduced in Mountains of Madness : creatures that ruled the earth long before humans were a sapient species. Frozen and dormant, their tall, star-shaped bodies seem monstrous but not harmful, strange and exotic like coral. When they awaken, however, the Elder Things kill every living thing around them without pausing to think. Not only are they capable of quick and cold-blooded slaughter, they are tremendously intelligent creators of technologies beyond human conception. Were they to rise again, these Elder Things would destroy – or worse, enslave – mankind. Can you destroy these brilliant and ruthless monsters before they become too powerful to overcome?
A Skilled but Motley Crew
Mountains of Madness includes eight investigator sheets, increasing the number of roles that players can take on. Hailing from places as distant as Australia, India, and the Heart of Africa, these investigators bring a panoply of skills to the battle against the Ancient Ones. One, having retired from his legal career, now seeks justice for his murdered wife. Another waited tables at a diner in Arkham until memories of a past life suddenly flooded her mind. One investigator has spent her life learning ancient languages and exploring ruins of prehistoric empires, another has just joined the police force and now finds himself protecting Alaskan settlers against monsters from another world.
Whether you prefer to pour over tomes of mythology in London’s museums, secure funding for the Antarctic expedition in San Francisco, or seek Other World Encounters across the globe, there is among these investigators an absorbing and vivid role for you to play in Eldritch Horror.
Tools of the Trade
Exploring Antarctica requires provisions, guides, sled dogs, and other Assets that you would not need if traveling more populated regions, but, should you venture to Antarctica, you will find priceless and powerful Artifacts to protect you against both the Ancient Ones and the brutal cold in those far reaches of the world.
Two types of Assets are introduced in Mountains of Madness : Task Assets and Unique Assets. Task Assets are only different from other Assets in that they can be used only once and are activated as a result of an investigator’s activities, rather than within an encounter. Unique Assets form their own deck and some, similar to Conditions and Spells, contain effects on the back that must be resolved when the Unique Asset is used. However, unlike Conditions and Spells, the effects on the back of a Unique Asset are reliably positive: you may gain another clue, or find a sudden Ally.
If you anticipate a particularly challenging encounter, Mountains of Madness allows players to use an Action to gain a Focus token, which you can spend during a test to reroll a die instead of spending a Clue. A Focus token could prove to be the difference between improving a skill and gaining a horrible condition, or between defeating a monster and losing your sanity.
The Struggle Continues
While offering players the chance to make Antarctica a critical battleground in humanity’s war for survival, Mountains of Madness brings hideous horrors to every continent and raises the stakes of every investigation. No matter the shape or location of your struggle against the Ancient Ones, Mountains of Madness takes the adventure of Eldritch Horror to another level.