A Preview of Investigators in Eldritch Horror
November 20th. The fate of our world rests in our hands. The more I learn about the horrors pursuing us, the clearer it becomes. We are among the few who see that a desperate battle for the fate of humanity is drawing ever closer. Arcane forces are at work and dark omens portend global catastrophe. We have been following the signs, but I fear that our efforts will be futile in the end, as we are so few, and we stand against something so immense and terrible. Nevertheless, we must try. There are secrets yet to uncover, and knowledge that still eludes us, but I still hold hope that we will find a way to prevent the doom that seems, at times, inevitable. I often wonder how such an unusual group of people has become entangled in such dire circumstances, but I am happy that I am not alone in this fight.
In Eldritch Horror, a board game of mystery and terror, you and up to seven friends take on the role of globetrotting investigators who must must travel around the world, working against all odds to hold back the approaching horror. Foul monsters, obscure mysteries, and brutal challenges will take you to your limit and beyond. All the while, you and your fellow investigators must unravel the otherworldy mysteries scattered around the globe in order to push back the gathering mayhem that threatens to overwhelm humanity. The end draws near! Do you have the courage to prevent global destruction?
In today’s preview, we’ll take a closer look at the brave investigators tasked with protecting our world. From skills to starting equipment and special abilities, we’ll look at what makes up an intrepid investigator in Eldritch Horror.
Who Are They?
In Eldritch Horror, people from all walks of life must work together to defend our civilization from the rise of an Ancient One of unfathomable power. Some, like psychic Jaqueline Fine, or musician Jim Culver, have felt the impact of unseen forces, directing them to join the fight for humanity. Others, with access to government secrets, like spy Trish Scarborough and politician Charlie Kane, pieced together the horrific happenings across the globe and recognized them for what they were: warning signs of the coming calamity.
No two investigators are alike, but the one thing they all share is their dedication to preventing the end of the world. United in their goal, these brave investigators must travel around the world, working diligently to prevent the Ancient One from waking. Should they fail, humanity will fall.
The unlikely heroes of Eldritch Horror are ordinary people, who face an extraordinary task. With twelve different investigators, each with a unique backstory and skill set, you’re sure to find a favorite persona for saving the world.
In order to survive the horrors that await, each investigator has unique skills, assets, and abilities. During a game of Eldritch Horror, you’ll take the role of an investigator, and utilize these unique attributes as you work to save humanity.
Let’s take a closer look at the investigator cards in Eldritch Horror.
The back of each character card contains a personal history, which helps you delve into the mindset of your investigator, and gives context to the special abilities you’ll be using throughout the game.
For example, Leo’s personal history reads:
Leo Anderson has spent his whole life getting into the deadliest and most obscure corners of the globe. Along the way, he’s lost good people. Fever takes some; others are claimed by wild beasts. After a recent, disastrous venture into the Yucatan, Leo barely made it back to Buenos Aires alive. He’s sick of burying the people who trusted him. But the job’s not done yet. The world’s in danger, and crying in his drink won’t fix that. He’s picked up a little help here, and in the morning, he’ll head back out into the world.
The back of your character card also reveals your character's starting location and any starting assets your investigator possesses. Leo begins the game with a Hired Muscle ally asset.
Skills for Success
Each investigator has five skills, shown on the bottom of their character card. Leo’s are shown here:
Each skill is ranked one to five, with the skill level determining the number of dice you roll during a test. For example, during a test of Leo’s Observation, you would roll three dice. In order to succeed on a check, you must roll a five or six. Investigators can improve each skill up to twice during the game by successfully completing encounters, which we will cover in more detail in a future preview.
Each investigator has an Action listed in bold on the front of their character sheet. This is an ability, unique to your investigator, that you can perform during the Action Phase of the game (a later preview will give an in-depth look of everything a character can do during the Action Phase). Leo’s Action allows him to test his Influence skill in order to gain Ally assets, like his Hired Muscle. Allies such as the Arcane Scholar, or the Private Investigator will help your investigator throughout the game. Over the course of his many years as an expedition leader, Leo has friends and colleagues across the globe, and he’ll need all the help he can get in his efforts to save the world!
Each investigator also has a second ability on the front of their card. Again, each of the twelve investigators have a different ability. Some allow an investigator to move more efficiently across the board, while others help an investigator banish monsters. Others give investigators, and sometimes even their colleagues boosts to their skills during checks. For example, Leo’s second ability lets him add an additional die during skill tests when he is on a Wilderness space. Since he is an experienced outdoorsman, Leo is able to give other investigators a helping hand in the Wilderness as well - those sharing a Wilderness space with Leo may also roll an additional die during checks.
Health and Sanity
“Keep moving. You can die on your own time.” - Leo Anderson
Finally, the front of each character card displays each investigator’s health and sanity. Leo has six stamina and six sanity. These represent the amount of physical or psychological damage an investigator can withstand before becoming crippled, killed, or going insane.
The battle for the fate of the world is dangerous, and throughout the game, your investigator will be tested mentally and physically. Horrific events, terrifying monsters, and dangerous missions will often result in the loss of health and sanity. In the event that an investigator loses all of his health or sanity, you may choose a new investigator and continue playing from your new investigator’s starting locations. Your Incapacitated investigator is moved to the nearest City space on the board. Their character stand is lain on its side, as shown below, with a health or sanity token placed on it to indicate whether the investigator has become crippled or insane.
Leo Anderson has been crippled and is now Incapacitated. His character stand now becomes an encounter on the board. During the Encounter Phase (which will be explained in greater detail in an upcoming preview) any player, including your new investigator on the same space as Leo’s standee may resolve the text on the back of Leo’s character card. Incapacitated Leo’s personal narrative is now concluded as part of the overarching narrative woven throughout a game of Eldritch Horror.
Eldritch Horror is coming in the fourth quarter of 2013, and with it is twelve brave investigators, ready to defend the world from impending doom. Keep checking back for more news and previews of Eldritch Horror. Next time, we’ll take a look at the game's Action Phase, and the options available to our intrepid heroes. Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page for exclusive Eldritch Horror card spoilers!