“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 four 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.
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.
Scenario 1: Boston Red Line
In the first scenario, the investigators must escape hostile agents in the Boston subway tunnels.
Scenario 2: The Voyage South
In the second scenario, the investigators travel south to the Antarctic in the dubious company of a Nazi scientific expedition.
Scenario 3: Cold Heart
In the third scenario, the investigators must race the Germans to find a lost base camp across hostile antarctic terrain.
Scenario 4: Frostbound Cenotaph
The the fourth scenarios, the investigators must explore a silent and abandoned base camp for clues as to what wiped out 75% of the last expedition.
How to Play
The easiest and best way to play these scenarios is through the Arkham Horror (Super Complete Edition) mod for Tabletop Simulator. This avoids all the hassle of having to format, print and proxy all the cards, not to mention that it’s basically impossible to assemble a custom scenario without spoiling it.
A submod containing the scenario components can be found here. You can save the bags containing the cards and then import them into the super complete mod from your saved objects menu. I’m also happy to host games for anyone who wants to try them out.
If you’d prefer to print out and play a paper version, you can find the appropriate files here. You’ll need the general encounter sets to play any of the scenarios. It’s likely that with the release of future versions, I’ll have to make changes to the general encounter sets.
Please let me know if there are any problems with the printable files, and I’ll get them fixed ASAP.
Scenario development status, as of December 2019:
- 1 – Boston Red Line – Playable
- 2 – The Voyage South – Playable
- 3 – Cold Heart – Playable
- 4 – Frostbound Cenotaph – Playable (only on TTS)
- 5 – Mainline to the Mountains of Madness – Final playtesting
- 6 – City of the Elder Things – Early development
- 7 – The Dark Tower – Concept
- 8 – The End of the Earth – Concept
(Although these scenarios have been extensively playtested, any assets are still subject to change.)