Betrayal at the Mountains of Madness

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Author/Creator : Tim Fletcher all credits goes to him.

“It is altogether against my will that I tell my reasons for opposing this contemplated invasion of the antarctic, and I am the more reluctant because my warning may be in vain. Doubt of the real facts, as I must reveal them, is inevitable; yet if I suppressed what will seem extravagant and incredible there would be nothing left.”
-HP Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness

There are places on earth yet unexplored and untamed. The most formidable of these is undoubtedly Antarctica, a forbidding, austral world where all the technology and arrogance of modern man means nothing against the neverending white expanse.

Betrayal at the Mountains of Madness is a full 8-scenario cycle for Arkham Horror: The Card Game. The first two scenarios are available to play now, and the rest are in development.

 

It is 1935
Ten years have passed. The world has moved on – gone are the roaring twenties, prohibition, speakeasies and the idea that things can only get better. In 1929 the stock market crashed, and America has yet to recover. Across the nation, there is only anger and blame for the widespread poverty and destitution. In Europe, fascism is on the rise and racial and national tensions are flaring across the continent.

But technology too marches on. Bigger and more efficient steamships are making the world smaller and travel more routine. The advent of the talking picture has seen the rise of Hollywood and widespread exportation of American culture. The incredible invention of the television promises to go even further, broadcasting “radio movies” to every corner of the globe.

The investigators of Arkham, meanwhile, are older, wiser, and scarred from their experiences in Dunwich, Mexico and the places beyond. Many survivors of the weird and horrific have congregated in Arkham and the Miskatonic University – Wendy Adams is majoring in art, Daisy Walker is the head librarian now that Professor Armitage has been promoted, and Amanda Sharpe is the youngest dean in the university’s history.

 

Unto the Utter South
In 1931 Miskatonic University sent an expedition to Antarctica, led by geologist William Dyer. After initial reports of incredible fossil finds, the expedition returned from the ice missing most of its scientists and explaining that the early reports had been fantastic exaggerations. Dyer himself spent the next two years trying to dissuade others from Antarctic exploration, and rumours abounded of fantastic claims he made in private regarding what he saw there.

Despite Dyer’s efforts, in 1933 two more expeditions set out for the south. The Starkweather-Moore expedition, also out of Miskatonic University, was led by famed explorer and adventurer James Starkweather and another geologist, Professor William Moore. The Barsmeier-Falken expedition meanwhile, led by Josef Barsmeier and Doctor Klaus Falken, was a private German endeavour, funded in large part by the Junkers and DELAG corporations.

Both expeditions ended very similarly. Early in 1934 the SS Gabrielle and the SS Wilhemina returned to civilisation without the majority of their expedition personnel, and without James Starkweather, William Moore or Klaus Falken. Josef Barsmeier took his own life later that year, and the expeditions were quietly forgotten about.

 

The Ahnenerbe
But things are changing in Germany. In 1933, the outspoken leader of the Nazi party, Adolf Hitler, took control of the country through ruthless – some say criminal – suppression of his political opponents. Now Nazi influence is spreading, and a reborn, nationalistic Germany seeks to prove itself a Great Power.

The Ahnenerbe, a politicised science institute attached to the SS, is funding yet another expedition to the Antarctic. Their goals are exploration, and to find biological or archaeological evidence of German superiority, though respectable academics scoff at what they could hope to find on the barren continent.

My verdict:

Background story:5 out of 5 stars (5.0 / 5)
Visual experience:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Overall experience:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Average:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

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David N
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David N

I’ve been unable to open the files. Do you know if there’s anything specific about them? Mac or PC? Is anyone else having difficulty?

Carsten
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Carsten

I just tested the zip file again, and it seems to work just fine? is it the image files? or where are you having problems?

David N
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David N

I get the zip files, and can then open them and see the png files. But I can’t get those png files to open. I’ve tried various programs and online png sites and nothing opens them for me. I can see your pdf files fine, but not the pngs. 🙁 I’m bummed, because this sounds like a great scenario!

Carsten
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Carsten

PNG files are fairly normal picture types …. Perhaps you could try and hold down CTRL and then right click the mouse on top of one of the PNG files. Once you do that navigate down to the OPEN WITH menu and pick the image viewer you normally use it should be able to open it. If you want to set it as default then you can choose USE ANOTHER APP and then pick one and set it as default, then it should use it everytime from now on 🙂 Let me know how it goes. Alternativily you can download… Read more »

Kos
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Kos

I must be dense but I don’t see the relevance of splitting into 3 separate zips. I just did png2pdf and intend to print all. Any suggestions?

Fredmans
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Fredmans

Hello Kos! I think the split in three is based on both production realities and the FFG campaign model for longer campaigns.

There is a ”generic encounter package” like what is provided in the deluxe campaign boxes, encounter sets used throughout the campaign. Then there are two ”scenario folders”, as in Mythos Packs, with all the cards used only in that particular scenario.

That is how we interpreted it.

/Fredmans

Kos
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Kos

about batmom-2: umm what’s the thing with the Aftercastle-1 cards (and the others)? Are they stacked? Could you increase the text a bit, it’s very tiny and the background is very dark as well. Hard to read from print. But also no idea how to use the (constructed) cards.

Also, are we supposed to play batmom-1 first? Is there any connection between the two stories? They seem kinda unrelated.

Fredmans
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Fredmans

We just had our first play-though of the first two scenarios. We played three players: Daisy, Sefina and Yorrick. We thought the campaign so far is really really promising. The scenarios all show marks of well thought-out and implemented game mechanics. Two of us love the Lovecraft novella, so we love what you are doing with it. The Nazis and Aliens makes it all something of Lovecraft meets Wolfenstein meets X-files. Spoiler alerts. We downloaded the campaign from your wordpress page, so we have not played the latest update. If anything is changed in this version, please disregard it. Boston… Read more »

Fredmans
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Fredmans

Edit: Now we realize that Lost in translation is meant to hurt the discard action. That is all fine, but two of our three investigators had high intellect, so only Yorrick needed this option. This was actually quite useful. He cleared the engine room in no time, since he wants his assets in the discard anyway. Apart from that location, he had no other investigation opportunities. For us, this card had a very limited impact only during a very short window of time. A mechanism discarding random cards would be an alternative that always has a consequence. We also thought… Read more »

GooberVA
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GooberVA

I played through the first scenario tonight and a few things (besides it was a lot of fun):
(1) It’s not obvious in the campaign guide whether Ally assets count towards an ally slot. I presume they don’t count and otherwise offer their skills. Maybe something to add to the comapaign guide.