Alone in a World of Madness
Preview the Investigators of Signs of Carcosa
Along the shore the cloud waves break,
The twin suns sink beneath the lake,
The shadows lengthen
–Cassilda’s Song in The King in Yellow, Act I, Scene 2
You are alone in a city gone mad. All around you, suited businessmen and glittering socialites walk freely, passing through the vaulted archways of Rome as they move between dazzling galas and theater shows. They affect that nothing has changed; they act like nothing is wrong. But you can see the madness that crawls behind their eyes, looking for any egress. You know it well, for you, too, have looked upon the Yellow Sign. And you will stop at nothing to destroy it and its servitors.
Signs of Carcosa is the fifth expansion for Eldritch Horror, and it challenges you and a few other investigators to battle the might of Hastur, the Unspeakable One, whose very approach slowly drives the entire Earth mad. Today, we’ll take a closer look at two of the investigators who would dare strike out against the abomination of Aldebaran!
A Promise of Power
In a simpler time, before madness rained down from ill-formed, gibbous moons and seeped up from dark pools, the O’Bannion gang sent out Michael McGlen whenever they needed to send a message. When Michael’s business associate Fast Louie Farrell was dragged beneath the choppy waves by creatures that swarmed out of the ocean, McGlen took it personally. The word has spread through the underworld: McGlen has loaded up his Thompson and set out for revenge. Everyone else had best get out of the way.
Michael McGlen’s criminal connections and his willingness to work outside the law can offer quite the advantage to your party of investigators in a game of Eldritch Horror. Do you need an Item or Service asset from the reserve, but you can’t muster the influence to acquire it through legal channels? Michael McGlen can get it for you at the cost of taking a Wanted condition. Wanted prevents Michael from acquiring assets until he can shake his tail, but fortunately, Michael McGlen has plenty of experience with that. While playing as Michael, you can reroll a die when you’re resolving a Deal or Pursuit condition, such as Wanted.
As the Unspeakable One continues to wend closer to our pitiful dimension and your allies abandon you or fall to madness, even Michael McGlen may be forced to search for power in places he once swore he would never go. The forces that you bargain with may fill you with dread and disgust, but when weighed against the entire world, isn’t your immortal soul a small price to pay?
With the release of Signs of Carcosa, you and your fellow investigators are forced to make even more difficult choices. For instance, you may choose to pay a fearful price in exchange for a Promise of Power . This condition can be discarded to reroll any number of dice during a test, but if you choose to wait, your patience may be rewarded. During a reckoning, if the course of fate is in your favor, you can flip Promise of Power and see what your sacrifices have bought you.
Michael McGlen is a man who grew up hard and fast—born for adversity and more than willing to take down his foes with a hail of bullets. Not every investigator in Signs of Carcosa is so battle-hungry, however. Some, like Wendy Adams, are simply searching for truth in a world that’s capsizing under the weight of madness and despair.
Wendy Adams should have been placed in an orphanage as far as the state was concerned. Her father was gone and her mother was clearly insane. Only Wendy knew that her mother drew arcane sigils and chanted in strange tongues to stay hidden from the nightmares that had taken her father. In the orphanage, Wendy knew she was vulnerable and exposed. The only way to find her father and keep herself safe was to escape.
Life on the streets has taught Wendy a few things about staying alive—and the most important lesson she’s learned is that you always need a way out. When you’re playing as Wendy Adams, you can simply choose not to take an Impairment token or a non-Deal condition, keeping you free from any harmful influences that might tie you down. Wendy has also learned to simply take what she needs to survive: as an Action, you can gain a Trinket from the reserve or the discard pile.
Wendy also picked up some other skills while living on her own, including a natural elusiveness that stems from staying three steps ahead of Hastur’s nightmarish creatures. To that end, she begins play with one of the new Talent conditions introduced in Signs of Carcosa: Elusive. Unlike many other conditions, Talents offer unique special abilities that your investigator can tap into, though you’ll still need to face the consequences of your actions. If you know you’ll lose sanity whenever you use your Talent, you’ll have to decide exactly how far you want to push your luck. After all, madness is nothing more than taking one step past where you should have stopped.
Do You Trust Yourself?
In a world suffused with insanity, even your own goals must surely be called into question. After all, which is harder to accept: a monstrous being from outside time and space worming its way through the fabric of dimensions, or the fact that you might not be as mentally stable as you once thought? Do you really need to look beyond the surface to explain a criminal gone rogue or an orphan with dreams of a higher purpose? You’ll need to investigate further to discover the truth.
Stay tuned for more previews, and pre-order Signs of Carcosa at your local retailer today!