The boundaries between worlds have drawn perilously thin…
Arkham Horror: The Card Game is a cooperative Living Card Game® set amid a backdrop of Lovecraftian horror. As the Ancient Ones seek entry to our world, one to two investigators (or up to four with two Core Sets) work to unravel arcane mysteries and conspiracies.
Their efforts determine not only the course of your game, but carry forward throughout whole campaigns, challenging them to overcome their personal demons even as Arkham Horror: The Card Game blurs the distinction between the card game and roleplaying experiences.
Enter the Mythos
In Arkham Horror: The Card Game, you become one of the unlikely group of investigators living and working in or near the quiet New England town of Arkham. You might assume the persona of Federal Agent Roland Banks, or you might slip into the role of street urchin Wendy Adams.
Regardless of which investigator you become, you'll begin play with a number of different strengths and weaknesses. Some of these are indicated by your double-sided investigator card. Others are built into your deck.
This is because, as with Wendy Adams (Core Set, 5), each investigator comes with deckbuilding requirements that include two character-specific cards and a weakness. In Wendy's case, this means her deck will always include Wendy's Amulet (Core Set, 14) and Abandoned and Alone (Core Set, 15), as well as a basic weakness—possibly Amnesia (Core Set, 96) or Paranoia (Core Set, 97).
You'll have a good measure of freedom in the design of the rest of the deck. You can load it with different gear you might equip, allies that you'd like to accompany you, spells you might cast, weapons to help you battle the strange monsters you encounter, talents you can develop, and events that might grant you valuable momentary advantages. However, no matter which cards you build into your deck, you'll have to remain cognizant of your physical limitations.
Even if you're fighting monsters that defy explanation, you're still only human. That means you've only got one neck, one body, and two hands. It also means that your mind can only withstand so much strain before you go mad. Accordingly, in Arkham LCG, your investigator can only equip a limited number of items. And you'll count yourself lucky to find even one ally bold enough to accompany you along the way.
Layers of Mystery
In Arkham Horror: The Card Game, after you've assumed your role as investigator and prepared your deck of resources, you're ready to embark upon a series of strange and mysterious adventures.
Instead of trying to defeat other players, the goal of Arkham LCG is to successfully unearth the secrets of the Ancient Ones, their minions, their cults, and the unfathomable evils that they're perpetrating within the streets of Arkham. In order to do this, you must find a way to gather enough clues that you can solve the mystery immediately before you. This is done by exploring locations, discovering the clues they hold, and using those clues to advance the act deck.
However, you have to move quickly, because you and your companions aren't the only active parties in this game. In addition to the act deck, there is also an agenda deck. While you and your companions are conducting your investigation, the forces of evil are advancing their agendas.
A Gateway to Other Worlds
Beware! Once your eyes have opened to the terrifying realities of our world, you can never unsee what you have seen…
You can, if you wish, play Arkham Horror: The Card Game as a series of standalone adventures, but you may find that your early investigations lead to as many questions as answers. And for those who dare continue, there's more to your investigation. The game's adventures are designed as parts of larger campaigns, and the choices that you make in one adventure will have consequences later on in your campaign. You may suffer mental or physical trauma. Your enemies may gain strength. Or you may reduce their number, recruit valuable allies, and gain valuable experience with which you can "level up" your deck.
Some of the game's cards feature pips beneath their cost that indicate their level. Although you cannot include any of these cards in your deck at the beginning of a campaign, you can use the experience you earn from your adventures to add them to your deck, swapping them in for other cards.