Betrayal: Campaign Guide

Betrayal at the Mountains of Madness

“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

Contents

Additional Rules & Clarifications

Abducted

  • Some effects in this campaign can abduct Ally assets. When an Ally asset is abducted during a scenario, place it in an out of play pile of abducted cards. Sometimes a card will be abducted while face-down, in which case it is added to the pile face-down without being revealed. Players can look at the face-up abducted cards at any time, and count the face-down ones.
  • Creature assets cannot be abducted. Ignore any effect which would abduct a Creature asset.
  • Other copies of unique, face-up Ally assets that have been abducted cannot enter play.

Abductor (Keyword)

  • Whenever an Ally asset leaves play (such as by being defeated) at a location where any card has the “abductor” keyword, that asset is abducted instead. (Remember that Creature assets cannot be abducted.)
  • A card with the “abductor” keyword which does not remain in play is considered to be at the location of the investigator resolving it until its effects finish resolving.

Apparatus (Keyword)

  • When an enemy with the “apparatus” keyword enters play (including beginning the scenario in play), discard cards from the encounter deck until a card with an Apparatus clause is discarded. If the encounter deck runs out of cards without finding a valid card, find the bottommost valid card in the encounter discard pile instead. Attach that card to the enemy. As long as the card remains attached, treat the enemy as if it had the text listed under the Apparatus clause in its text box. The attached card still retains its card type while in play.
  • Sometimes you will need to resolve the apparatus keyword when the encounter deck hasn’t been created yet, such as during scenario setup or where the encounter deck is being manipulated by an agenda advancing. In such cases, resolve the keyword as soon as the deck exists and has been shuffled.
  • The Apparatus clause has no effect when the card is drawn under other circumstances.

Indestructible (Keyword)

  • An enemy with the “indestructible” keyword cannot be defeated or damaged by any means.

Patrol (Keyword)

  • An enemy with the “patrol” keyword moves like a hunter enemy, but rather than moving towards the closest investigator, it moves towards the location specified in brackets. If more than one location fits the criteria specified, the lead investigator chooses a location from amongst the eligible options.

Damage Types

  • Some effects that deal damage have a type of damage specified, for example “1 frost damage”.
  • Damage type has no implicit effect unless referred to on another card.
  • Damage without an explicit type is normal damage.
  • If an effect adds damage (such as the Vicious Blow card), any additional damage has the same type as the source it is being added to.
  • During this campaign all damage dealt by the Lightning Gun asset is considered lightning damage, and all damage dealt by the Flamethrower asset is considered fire damage. Be aware that this may not always be a good thing!

The Miskatonic Trait

  • The Miskatonic trait is referenced during this campaign.
  • During this campaign, the Ursula Downs and Wendy Adams investigators are considered to have the Miskatonic trait printed on their investigator cards.

Missing and Deceased

  • Some effects may cause names (and/or card titles which are treated the same as names) to be added to the “Missing” or “Deceased” headings in the campaign logs. Ally assets matching these names are not abducted for the purposes of game effects which reference abducted cards (abducted refers only to cards in the abducted pile).
  • When a name is added to the “Missing” or “Deceased” sections of the campaign log, any unique cards with that name must be removed from all investigator’s decks, and unique cards with that name cannot be added to investigator’s decks while those names remain in one of those sections.
  • When the card title of a non-unique card is added to the “Missing” or “Deceased” sections of the campaign log, the number of cards with that title that can be included in any investigator’s deck is reduced by 1. Card titles can be added more than once. (For example, if the card title “Beat Cop” is listed under “Missing”, then each investigator can only include one copy of Beat Cop in their deck. If the title were listed twice, no copies of Beat Cop could be included.) Any cards in excess of the allowed limit should be removed between scenarios. If the limit ever increases, such cards can be repurchased as normal.
  • (Remember that if your deck ever ends up with less cards than required in your deckbuilding requirements, you can add level 0 cards to your deck for free to reach the required minimum.)
  • A name listed in the “Deceased” section cannot be added to the “Missing” (or “Survivors”) section without first being removed from the “Deceased” section.
  • If an investigator is killed or driven insane, add their name to the “Deceased” section of the campaign log.

Investigator Allies

  • Some unique Ally assets in this campaign share a name with an investigator card.
  • An Ally card cannot enter play or be included in a deck if it shares a name with an investigator being played. An Ally card also cannot enter play or be included in a deck if it shares a name with an investigator who has been killed or driven insane during the campaign.
  • When choosing a replacement investigator during the campaign, players may not choose to play an investigator whose name is listed under “Missing” or “Deceased” in the campaign log.

Fire Tokens

  • Fire tokens are damage tokens placed on a location to represent a dangerous fire burning there.
  • At the end of the enemy phase, each enemy and investigator at that location takes 1 damage for each fire token on that location.
  • Investigators may attempt to evade fire tokens as if they were engaged enemies with an evade value of 2. If a fire token is evaded, discard it.

Campaign Setup

  1. Choose investigators.
  2. Assemble player decks.
    • Each investigator is a veteran of previous mythos events, and begins the campaign with 5 experience and their choice of 1 physical trauma or 1 mental trauma.
    • Investigators who are chosen later in the campaign to replace retired or fallen investigators also receive this experience and trauma.
  3. Choose difficulty level.
  4. Assemble the campaign chaos bag:
    • Easy: +1, +1, 0, 0, 0, -1, -1, -2, -2, -3, {Skull}, {Skull}, {Cultist}, {Elder Thing}, {Tentacle}, {Elder Sign}
    • Standard: +1, 0, 0, 0, -1, -1, -2, -2, -3, -5, {Skull}, {Skull}, {Cultist}, {Elder Thing}, {Tentacle}, {Elder Sign}
    • Hard: +1, 0, 0, -1, -1, -2, -2, -3, -4, -6, {Skull}, {Skull}, {Cultist}, {Elder Thing}, {Tentacle}, {Elder Sign}
    • Expert: 0, -1, -2, -3, -4, -4, -5, -6, -7, -8 {Skull}, {Skull}, {Cultist}, {Elder Thing}, {Tentacle}, {Elder Sign}

Prologue

SYMPOSIUM on the PARANORMAL
7.30 PM, October 12, 1935
Sever Hall, Harvard Yard, Cambridge, MA

Keynote Address by
Professor Henry Armitage
Dean of Academic Affairs, Miskatonic University
Author of ‘Supernatural and Preternatural Occurrences in New England’

Investigators with the Miskatonic trait should read the following:

Miskatonic University’s reputation for entertaining the paranormal has to lead in recent years to some ill repute amongst the Ivy League institutions, so for Harvard of all places to host a conference on the supernatural came as quite a surprise. Of course, you’ve seen things that defy any natural explanation, but it’s been the work of a lifetime to convince other respected academics of that. Perhaps this conference will be an opportunity to regain some prestige or, at the least, credibility.

With MU’s own Professor Armitage invited to give the keynote address, a large delegation of you set out for Cambridge this afternoon. Stepping out from the subway into Harvard Square, you are as surprised as always at the good weather – even on a twilit October evening, Cambridge lacks the dark and claustrophobic pressure that you are so used to in Arkham. With high spirits, you enter the building that hosts the symposium.

Investigators without the Miskatonic trait should read the following:

A conference on the supernatural being held at a respected institution of learning that isn’t the Miskatonic University is a rare thing indeed in these modern times. While not strictly speaking an academic, through your contact with Professor Armitage at MU you were able to book attendance. Too few people know the truth, and perhaps a more respectable academic interest in the subject will alert the world to the very real threats that face it.

You arrive in Cambridge, and fall in with the Miskatonic lot as they exit the subway and head for the building that hosts the symposium. Strange for a conference to begin in twilight. For the most part the academics seem in high spirits, speaking of their reputations and future knowledge exchanges. But one or two of them have a haunted look that you know well – the look of someone who has already seen too much. 

Scenario I: Boston Red Line

An hour of profoundly awkward networking and an introduction from one of Harvard’s deans later, Professor Armitage begins his speech:

“Ladies and gentlemen, it is an honour indeed to be invited to speak here at this august institution, the first and oldest in our great nation’s history. I would like to start by thanking the sponsors of this event, the Star Chamber Foundation of Cape Tow-“

He is interrupted by a series of loud bangs – all the doors to the hall have been slammed shut, and standing before them are armed men dressed like gangsters, or perhaps federal agents. People jump to their feet in confusion and begin shouting, but a burst of gunfire brings silence. At the front of the room Professor Armitage is pushed to join the crowd by one of the agents.

The man at the front speaks with a distinct Afrikaans accent. “The Star Chamber Foundation thanks you for your attendance. We recognise your great intellect and knowledge of the supernatural. Remain calm and you will not be harmed.”

The crowd does not remain calm. Several members of your group, including Professor Morgan, produce concealed weapons, and a firefight breaks out. The agents seem reluctant at first to fire on the crowd, and you are able to fight your way to an emergency exit in the confusion and break it open.

Academics flood out into the night in a chaotic stampede. The flight back to the subway is a blur, but you find yourself staring at a chained gate and the words ALL TRAINS CANCELLED mocking you while submachine gun fire is audible behind you. Professor Wilmarth somehow breaks open the chains, and you flee down the tiled steps.

You pause for a moment on the platform to catch your breath, but more gunfire drives you down onto the tracks to escape. Before you can stop them, the rest of your group have scattered into the darkness of the subway tunnels.

Setup Instructions (Paper Version)

  • Gather all the cards from the following encounter sets: Boston Red Line, Miskatonic Day Out, Agents of the Star Chamber, Alien Evils, Alien Activity, Alien Abduction, Swarming Rats, Loathsome Abominations.
  • Put all seven locations into play. Each investigator begins play at Harvard Station.
  • Prepare the story assets as follows:
    • Gather all the story assets in the Miskatonic Day Out set.
    • Find each card in the set which shares a name with any investigator being played, and remove it from the game.
    • Shuffle the remaining cards together to form the “academics deck”.
  • Each location begins play with one or more random cards from the academics deck placed face-down beneath it.
    • Place 1 random card from the academics deck beneath Harvard Station.
    • Place 2 random cards from the academics deck beneath each other location other than South Station Under.
    • Place all remaining cards beneath South Station Under.
  • Find the Star Chamber Overseer and put it into play at Harvard Station. Remember to trigger its apparatus keyword once you have shuffled the encounter deck.
  • Shuffle the remainder of the encounter cards to build the encounter deck.

Setup Instructions (Tabletop Simulator Version)

  • Remove all components from the scenario container.
  • Put all seven locations into play. Each investigator begins play at Harvard Station.
  • Prepare the story assets as follows:
    • Find the Miskatonic Day Out deck.
    • Find each card in the deck which shares a name with any investigator being played, and remove it from the game.
    • Shuffle the remaining cards together to form the “academics deck”.
  • Each location begins play with one or more random cards from the academics deck placed face-down beneath it.
    • Place 1 random card from the academics deck beneath Harvard Station.
    • Place 2 random cards from the academics deck beneath each other location other than South Station Under.
    • Place all remaining cards beneath South Station Under.
  • Find the Star Chamber Overseer and put it into play at Harvard Station. Remember to trigger its apparatus keyword once you have shuffled the encounter deck.
  • Shuffle the encounter deck.

The Ally Trait

  • Many cards in this scenario count or target Ally assets. Some of these cards only count or target specific kinds of Ally assets, such as unique assets, story assets or assets with or without particular traits. Be careful to only count or target the cards specified. Also, remember that cards with the Ally trait do not fill the ally slot unless they have an ally slot icon (the story asset allies in this scenario do not have ally slot icons).

Story Assets

  • During this scenario, investigators may gain control of story assets. They control these assets, but do not “own” them because they are not part of their decks. Remember that if a story asset is defeated, discarded or returned to hand, but it wasn’t part of its controlling player’s deck, it is discarded to a special discard pile that belongs to the scenario. It is not placed in any player’s discard pile or the encounter discard pile.

DO NOT READ until the end of the scenario

If no resolution was reached (each investigator resigned or was defeated):

Proceed to Resolution 1.

Resolution 1

Each investigator who was defeated reads the following:

Lost and scattered in the dark, you somehow find your way to an unguarded exit. A voice calls down to you from above.

“This way, quickly. It’s safe for now but they will return soon.

You drag yourself upwards to safety.

All investigators read the following:

You emerge onto the concourse at South Station to a scene of carnage. Multiple dead agents are heaped onto the ground, and standing calmly among them is the man you heard call out. He looks wild and unkempt, obviously having been living rough, and is holding a military rifle.

One of the Miskatonic academics gasps. “William? William Dyer?”

The stranger grunts.

“What the devil happened to you, man? Where have you been? And what’s going on?”

The stranger, evidently Miskatonic University’s famous missing geologist William Dyer, looks over your small group of survivors.

“I told Moore,” he says, more to himself than any of you, “I told him not to go poking around down there. I pleaded. And now look at what he’s stirred up.” He looks each of you directly in the eyes. “These attacks aren’t going to stop unless we cut them off at the source. You can come with me, and help me deal with them, and perhaps we can rescue some of our colleagues. Or you can keep running until they catch you. Are you coming? We need to leave immediately.”

Confused, you ask where to.

“Where’d you think?” Dyer replies, “Antarctica.”

  • In your campaign log, record the investigators escaped the agents of the Star Chamber in Boston.
  • All remaining cards beneath locations are abducted.
  • If there are at least eight cards in the rescued pile, add a {Cultist} token to the chaos bag for the rest of the campaign. Otherwise, add an {Elder Thing} token to the chaos bag for the rest of the campaign.
  • If there is at least one story asset in the scenario discard pile (likely due to being defeated without being abducted), add a {Skull} token to the chaos bag for the rest of the campaign.
  • Each investigator earns experience equal to the Victory X value of each card in the victory display. In addition, each investigator earns 1 additional experience for every card in the rescued pile beyond the first 4.

The investigators must choose:

  • “Wait, the abducted academics must still be in the city. We have to try to rescue them.” Proceed to Resolution 2.
  • “There’s no time to lose.” Skip to Resolution 3.

Resolution 2

The rest of the night passes in a blur of gunfights and empty warehouses. By dawn you are convinced that the Star Chamber have left the city, but you intercept one unmarked van. There is not a shred of useful evidence, but in the back you find several of the abducted academics, bound and still alive.

  • Each investigator may pay 1 xp to choose one card in the abducted pile and move it to the rescued pile.
  • If there are fewer than two {Cultist} tokens in the chaos bag, add a {Cultist} token to the chaos bag for the rest of the campaign.

Proceed to Resolution 3.

Resolution 3

With little time to prepare, you leave Boston harbour on board a steam ship, bound for Argentina.

  • Record the title of each card in the abducted pile (even non-story assets) in the campaign log under “Missing”.
  • Record the name of each story asset in the scenario discard pile (likely due to being defeated without being abducted) in the campaign log under “Deceased”.
  • Record the name of each story asset in the rescued pile in the campaign log under “Survivors”.
  • For the rest of the campaign, each investigator may include one of the story assets listed under “Survivors” in their deck. It does not count towards deckbuilding limits. Between scenarios, investigators may freely add and remove story assets listed under “Survivors” to and from their deck as long as no more than one is included in each deck. If a story asset is no longer listed under “Survivors” at any point it must immediately be removed from the deck.
  • For the rest of the campaign, when choosing a replacement investigator, if a player chooses to play an investigator whose name is listed under “Survivors” in the campaign log, that investigator immediately earns 4 bonus experience for every scenario that has been completed so far during the campaign.

Proceed to Interlude I: Rendezvous in Argentina.

Designer’s Note: I want these scenarios to be as good as they can be, so any feedback you have would be gratefully received. A good place would be the Arkham Central page.

Interlude I: Rendezvous in Argentina

“We are heading for Argentina,” Dyer tells you, looking over the handrail at the passing coast. “If I have calculated the dates correctly, there we will meet up with an expedition who are scheduled to collect supplies on their way to the Weddell Sea. I have already made contact and I am sure they will welcome our involvement.”

On the way, Dyer gives you what seems like a heavily abbreviated summary of the situation. In 1931 he was part of Miskatonic University’s Pabodie Geological Expedition to the Antarctic, during which he saw things which resulted in a firm belief that no one should ever explore the continent in detail. You think back to the news reports of the time, when the expedition reported with great excitement absolutely incredible fossil finds which would certainly trigger a complete re-evaluation of models of life’s evolutionary history on Earth. On his return to the US however, Dyer publicly denounced the earlier reports, and stated that the finds had in fact been not nearly as interesting as initially thought. You ask Dyer what it is that he saw.

“I saw… I cannot bear to speak it aloud, even now. I documented it all soon after returning. I will loan you a copy to read on the journey. I gave it to the university – they dismissed it as the work of a fragile mind, shattered by a traumatic experience. The irony!”

In 1933 a second Miskatonic expedition led by Professor Moore set out in pursuit of the initially reported discoveries and in defiance of Dyer’s pleas to the contrary. Neither Moore, nor his co-leader James Starkweather, ever returned from the ice.

“I knew Moore, you know,” adds Dyer. “He was a student of mine before the war, and a colleague afterwards. He helped organise my expedition, although he was unable to participate – and I think he never forgave me for refusing to explain what really happened, not to mention to making every effort to cancel his expedition. And of course I was right, though it gives me little comfort.”

That same year, the Barsmeier-Falken expedition out of Germany also visited the Antarctic, and returned after a terrible accident killed nearly four-fifths of the expedition’s personnel, including Falken. Disgraced and ruined, Josef Barsmeier killed himself in 1934.

“No one really knows what happened to either expedition. I believe both had access to my report, and while my purpose was to dissuade further investigation, I fear it may well have had the exact opposite effect.

“And now there is this new threat, this so-called Star Chamber Foundation. I believe them to be nothing more than another cult, unwitting slaves of our alien enemy that lurks in the south. Either my expedition stirred up this evil, or some further foolishness in ’33 did.

“So we must go there ourselves and try to put a stop to this. I know that you and my erstwhile colleagues have some facility with these matters, but if I am right then this may well be a threat on a scale you have not yet experienced. I can only hope we, and our allies in Argentina, are enough to meet it. Now go, read my report, and get some rest.”

The investigators are given a ragged, typed manuscript. If they wish to read it, they should peruse the novella At the Mountains of Madness which contains the full text.

The rest of the trip to Argentina passes in uneventful, brooding calm. When the ship docks at Buenos Aires, you find the city even more bustling than you expected. Two obvious reasons for this are clearly visible from the ship: the first is a zeppelin, looming over the city and casting its immense shadow. The second is the ship docked alongside yours. It is an icebreaker steam ship, seemingly brand new, but what stands out about it are the bright red flags that hang from it – flags that proudly display the icon of Germany’s new ruling party – the Nazis.

You confront Dyer immediately.

“There are no other expeditions this year, and we do not have the resources to organise one of our own,” he replies. “I am sure that the Germans have some dark purpose in Antarctica – doubtless they seek to exploit the very powers that I warned of in my report. If that is so, then it seems to me it is better to be well-positioned to confront and stop them than to leave them unobstructed.”

The Germans clearly recognise Dyer from his expedition, and at his recommendation welcome your party aboard their ship, the Herman Wirth. They proudly announce that they are the first large-scale expedition funded by the Ahnenerbe, an archaeological society dedicated to the pursuit of evidence of Aryan – and specifically Germanic – superiority. Exactly what they hope to discover in uncharted Antarctica they are less clear about, but you can’t help wondering if their eagerness to welcome Dyer has something to do with it.

With the last supplies aboard within a week, you set sail for the Antarctic.

Proceed to Scenario II: The Voyage South.

Scenario II: The Voyage South

Herr Schmidt, the expedition leader, gives you a tour of the Herman Wirth on your first day at sea. It is an impressive ship. The most distinctive feature is the massive mooring mast that rises from the aftercastle for the convenient docking of the zeppelin that looms overhead, keeping pace nearby. Your inquiries about visiting the airship are rebuffed – the attempt would be hazardous while at sea, and only to be even attempted in an unimaginable emergency.

Other than the mooring mast, the ship seems to be something of a hybrid of cargo and  passenger ships, with an unusually large number of staterooms and an oversized superstructure. Huge loading cranes are tied down on the deck, ready to unload onto the ice upon arrival. Your group have been assigned shared cabins in the aftercastle with the engineering crew – poor quarters, but you’ve slept in worse places.

“The ship was built to our exact specifications,” explains Herr Schmidt proudly as you walk along the deck in the bright sunlight, “We have the latest steam-powered, turbo-electric drive. The Ahnenerbe anticipates many such expeditions to the forlorn areas of the globe in search of our ancestry and… perhaps even greater things. But you would know more about that than me, I am sure.”

Schmidt does not seem to be a man of science, but rather a political figure within the Nazi party attached to the Ahnenerbe. He is approachable, but gives away little or nothing in conversation, instead constantly probing you for information regarding your previous exploits. 

An oversized platoon of soldiers openly armed with machine pistols and carbine rifles accompanies the expedition. Bringing soldiers to the Antarctic at all, let alone an entire platoon, is highly unusual. They are led by a colonel named Gunter Gunther, a dashing hero of the Great War sporting a pencil moustache and a bellowing laugh. The soldiers guard sensitive areas of the ship, although most of them seem lax so far from Europe even with foreigners aboard.

A dozen scientists of many specialities form the core of the expedition. Most have set themselves up with experimental apparatus of one sort or another to occupy the six week voyage. The dominant personality is Herr Doctor Lange, an Ahnenerbe ethnologist who seems to spend his time arguing with the others in favour of exploring any pursuits of his own. You also hear of an occultist, Frau Voigt, but she must keep mostly to herself.

The four massive holds of the ship hold the vehicles and supplies for the expedition. Schmidt explains that even two years of food and fuel barely scratches the ship’s capacity.

On the bridge you meet the captain, Simon Roth, engaged in heated conversation with a stern-looking officer in a black uniform with a red armband. You’ve read newspaper stories about the secret police in Germany and this would seem to be their agent on the expedition. The man turns to regard you with cold eyes.

“SS-Colonel Bauer, at your service,” he says, not extending a hand. He turns to Schmidt, “I was surprised to be informed that we had let a group of foreigners aboard.”

“It should come as no surprise to you that the Reich welcomes any and all assistance from esteemed experts in any field, kamerad,” replies Schmidt, “For are we not all explorers and adventurers on this journey of discovery?”

“The security of the expedition-“

“The security of the expedition will, I’m sure, be quite fine in your capable hands, colonel. Which is not to mention the very large number of soldiers we have accompanying us. You are dismissed, kamerad.”

With a click of his heels, Bauer salutes and leaves.

“The Sicherheitsdienst,” says Schmidt with a dismissive wave, “They are trouble. I doubt they’ll last too much longer now that Germany is safely under control. And now I must leave you, for there are many matters that require my attention. I do recommend that you keep yourself confined to the aftercastle and superstructure. We are not the SS American, yes? Anything does not go here. Good day.”

While the stated purpose of the expedition is mapping and exploration, you still suspect other motives. The journey to the Antarctic will take at least six weeks, so you have that long to uncover what you can on the ship – if you can avoid being shot first.

Setup Instructions (Paper Version)

  • Gather all the cards from the following encounter sets: The Voyage South, Swarming Rats, Dark Dreams, Agents of the Star Chamber, Alien Activity, Alien Abduction, Loathsome Abominations
  • Put the location cards into play as follows:
    • Each of the seven locations has three stages.
    • For each location, place the three stages in a pile with stage III at the bottom and stage I at the top. Only stage I begins in play.
    • Each investigator begins play at the Bridge.
  • Set the following cards aside, out of play: Star Chamber Commander, four copies of Star Chamber Vanguard, three copies of Massacre, and all cards from the Agents of the Star Chamber, Alien Activity, Alien Abduction and Loathsome Abominations encounter sets.
  • Find SS-Colonel Bauer (Exposing Disloyalty) and put him into play at the Staterooms.
  • Shuffle the remainder of the encounter cards to build the encounter deck.

Setup Instructions (Tabletop Simulator Version)

  • Remove all components from the scenario container.
  • Put each of the seven stacks of locations into play. Each stack should comprise of three locations, with the stage I location on top. Each investigator begins play at the Bridge.
  • Find SS-Colonel Bauer (Exposing Disloyalty) and put him into play at the Staterooms.
  • Set aside the container labelled “set aside”.
  • Shuffle the encounter deck.

Staged Locations

  • Each location in this scenario has three stages. These locations enter play revealed and so should have clues immediately placed on them. If a staged location leaves play, the next stage of that location immediately enters play and is revealed (the investigator counts as revealing it). Staged locations have story cards on their reverse side. For the best experience, do not read the other side until instructed to.

DO NOT READ until the end of the scenario

If no resolution was reached (each investigator resigned or was defeated):

If it is Act 1:

The last thing you see is SS-Colonel Bauer’s grinning face and the barrel of his pistol.

  • How did you manage that?
  • In your campaign log, record the investigators were executed by the SS.
  • The investigators lose the campaign.

If it is Act 2:

Incapacitated, you are powerless to prevent the aliens from completing their objectives and evacuating the ship.

  • For each location without a horror token on it, flip that location and resolve any instructions regarding the campaign log.
  • Skip to Resolution 3. 

Resolution 1

The remains of the alien commander are a grisly sight. The huge, barrelled torso is surmounted with a grotesque, splattered wound where the head seems to have been hideously sucked from the body.

  • Record in your campaign log that the commander’s headless corpse was recovered.
  • Skip to Resolution 4.

Resolution 2

The remains of the alien commander look relatively undamaged. 

  • Record in your campaign log that the commander’s largely intact corpse was recovered.
  • Skip to Resolution 4.

Resolution 3

Taking stock of the situation, the expedition is in dire straits indeed. With many of the crew and most of the specialists and equipment abducted or stolen, things seem hopeless. The fuel tanks are full and the engines are undamaged, so there is nothing to prevent the Herman Wirth from turning around and heading straight back to South America. The first officer, now in command of the ship, begins preparations to leave Antarctica.

Then Herr Schmidt appears, a small pistol in his hand. “Leave? Are you insane? Look at what we have! Proof of nonhuman beings, here, on Earth! The power, the technology, this is exactly what we came here for! Yes, our supplies are depleted, but so is our need for them. The scientists who came here to study the weather and lick the snow are gone, but the LZ 125 is intact. We press on!”

The first officer looks like he’s going to object, and then drops his head.

“Good. You are captain now,” says Schmidt, “And your ship is a mess. Clean it up. As for you,” he points at your group, “Come with me. You are experts on the supernatural, or you claim to be, I have something supernatural for you.”

  • Record in your campaign log that the ship survived the alien’s attack… barely.
  • Record the title of each card in the abducted pile (even non-story assets) in the campaign log under “Missing”.
  • If SS-Colonel Bauer is in the victory display, record his name in the campaign log under “Deceased”.
  • Each investigator earns experience equal to the Victory X value of each card in the victory display.
  • Skip Interlude II: The Autopsy and proceed directly to Scenario III: Cold Heart.

Resolution 4

Taking stock of the situation, the expedition is in bad shape. Crew, soldiers and scientists are dead, wounded or missing, supplies have been stolen and equipment damaged. But Herr Schmidt seems jubilant.

“This is excellent!” he says, “Proof of nonhuman beings, here, on Earth! Such power! I am more confident than ever in the value and rightness of this expedition. You!” he points at your group, “Come with me. You are experts on the supernatural, or you claim to be, I have something supernatural for you.”

  • Record in your campaign log that the ship survived the alien’s attack.
  • Record the title of each card in the abducted pile (even non-story assets) in the campaign log under “Missing”.
  • If SS-Colonel Bauer is in the victory display, record his name in the campaign log under “Deceased”.
  • Each investigator earns experience equal to the Victory X value of each card in the victory display.
  • Proceed to Interlude II: The Autopsy.

Designer’s Note: I want these scenarios to be as good as they can be, so any feedback you have would be gratefully received. A good place would be the Arkham Central page.

Interlude II: The Autopsy

The Autopsy 1

Herr Schmidt leads you to the medical bay, where the huge body of the alien commander is laid out over four metal tables which have been pressed together. The smell is atrocious, and it takes you several attempts to fight off the nausea and enter the room.

“We were unable to recover any of the other alien corpses,” says Schmidt, “But we have one, which is all the proof we need that our efforts here are well invested. Herr Dr Seidel is a qualified biologist, but this is of course an important scientific and historical matter. Are any of you better qualified to handle the knife?”

If Vincent Lee is one of the investigators:
It’s been a while since you had to perform an autopsy, and even longer since you performed one on something so strange. You roll your sleeves up and get to work.
In your campaign log, record that Vincent Lee autopsied the alien commander.

Otherwise, if Dr Milan Christopher is in any investigator’s deck:
Dr Christopher, who has taken apart a monster or two over the years of your association, pushes his glasses up on his nose as he inspects the body.
“Well, it’s no insect,” he says, “But I’ll do my best.”
In your campaign log, record that Dr Milan Christopher autopsied the alien commander.

Otherwise, if Francis Morgan is a Survivor:
Professor Morgan is no stranger to engaging with the mythos in a very personal manner, whether it be with a scalpel or a shotgun. With a gulp of whisky for his nerves and another for luck, he sets to it.
In your campaign log, record that Francis Morgan autopsied the alien commander.

Otherwise, if Herbert West is a Survivor:
You all look at each other, each unwilling to admit the obvious truth – that Dr West is by far the most appropriate choice for this task. With a look of determination, he brandishes his knife and sets about his grim business.
In your campaign log, record that Herbert West autopsied the alien commander.

Otherwise:
As none of you possess the medical skills required, the task falls to Dr Seidel, the Ahnenerbe biologist. He seems confident, but unused to performing medical procedures on such a large creature, and quite unnerved by the nature of the thing.
In your campaign log, record that Dr Seidel autopsied the alien commander.

Although they have been hunting you for several months now, it is still strange to see one of the great creatures so close. The rippling, flagellant movement of the thing is gone, leaving only a heap of grey leathery flesh which puts you in mind of ragged clumps of seaweed carelessly tossed onto the shore by the tides.

The limbs of the thing you have already observed in motion. The five arms around its middle that conjure images of the snowflakes of Helge von Koch or the bizarre triangle patterns of Sierpinski in the way they divide and divide again to form a forest of tentacles. The five leg-like appendages that end in great paddles or fins over a foot long.

The examination of the wings answers a question that has been puzzling you since your first encounter in Boston. The thing has five wings, each neatly folding into the vertical recesses on its ridged torso. You are sure you have seen them aloft on only two of the great membranes.

A subtle detail is found on the leathery skin of the torso. An elaborate pattern is inlaid into it, curves and angles of no apparent meaning, resembling nothing so much as an abstract form of tattoo. The effect is especially pronounced around each of the ridges, but still difficult to detect from a distance. The method of application is unclear, but it may have been cut or burned into the skin, or applied with an unknown chemical substance.

Check the campaign log. If the commander’s largely intact corpse was recovered, proceed to The Autopsy 2. If the commander’s headless corpse was recovered, skip to The Autopsy 3.

The Autopsy 2

The head of the thing has five eye-tentacles and five mouth-tentacles, and after some digging, the neck is found to be covered in long and elaborate gill-like organs wrapped tightly around it. The great glassy eyes stare unblinking, and there are so many of them there is nowhere in the room that readily escapes their accusatory gaze.

“How long is the torso?” asks Dyer suddenly. A figure of seven feet and one inch is reported, and in reply to Schmidt’s inquiry, Dyer replies that he merely wished the record to be as accurate as possible.

The punctures and rents sustained during the fight have largely stopped oozing the stinking, thick, greenish fluid that apparently passed for blood within its alien body, but this is the limit of the detail that can be determined without a more invasive examination.

After several unsuccessful attempts with surgical implements, industrial tools are requisitioned from elsewhere on the ship, and the dissection begins in earnest. A powerful electric saw, intended for cutting ice, is applied to the thing’s corpse, its immediate success attested to by the grotesque spray of ichor which coats the ceiling, two walls and most of the observers, including you.

The thing’s interior is bewildering, and as it is gradually mutilated into smaller and smaller parts, the questions only grow. Although the Germans seem initially reluctant to accept it, it is clear that the thing is part of no known terrestrial order of being. You can locate no internal vulnerabilities, and you learn little of value that will help you to defeat them in battle.

Staring into one of its severed eyes is, however, strangely demystifying. To see one of the monsters brought so low, to see its constituent parts laid out like choice cuts in a butcher’s shop –  these are no eldritch beings of quasi-matter who walk from strange places beyond space and time. Alien as they are, powerful as they are, these are merely creatures of flesh and blood, and you have faced far worse and lived to never speak of it.

For the remainder of the campaign, each Elder Thing enemy has -1 horror (to a minimum of 0).

In your campaign log, under “Elder Lore”, record 2 tally marks.

Skip to The Autopsy 4.

The Autopsy 3

The neck of the thing is a ruined mess, the impossibly tough flesh having been ripped almost effortlessly by the grotesque and many-eyed assassin as it beheaded its prey. A massive quantity of the stinking, thick, greenish fluid that apparently passed for blood within its alien body was disgorged onto the deck where it fell, and it continues to leak now into a bucket carefully placed to catch it.

Around the neck are remnants of gills – clearly there were originally five, but four were ripped away along with the head. Only one remains intact, perhaps two feet long, its delicate fronds caked with the fluid.

“How long is the torso?” asks Dyer suddenly. A figure of seven feet and one inch is reported, and in reply to Schmidt’s inquiry, Dyer replies that he merely wished the record to be as accurate as possible.

After several unsuccessful attempts with surgical implements, industrial tools are requisitioned from elsewhere on the ship, and the dissection begins in earnest. A powerful electric saw, intended for cutting ice, is applied to the thing’s corpse, its immediate success attested to by the grotesque spray of ichor which coats the ceiling, two walls and most of the observers, including you.

The thing’s interior is bewildering, and as it is gradually mutilated into smaller and smaller parts, the questions only grow. Although the Germans seem initially reluctant to accept it, it is clear that the thing is part of no known terrestrial order of being. You can locate no internal vulnerabilities, and you learn little of value that will help you to defeat them in battle.

In your campaign log, under “Elder Lore”, record 1 tally mark.

Proceed to The Autopsy 4.

The Autopsy 4

Schmidt turns to Dyer. “This is one of your aliens, is it not? You believe them to have come from elsewhere, another planet perhaps, some time in prehistory?”

“Yes,” replies Dyer, “They are the ones referred to in certain awful texts as the Elder Things. They are what I warned everyone of.”

Schmidt waves his hand dismissively, “And as you can see, we have defeated them! The German Reich is not so easily dissuaded as isolationist America. Now we will press on, and seize their secrets for ourselves!”

The public autopsy concluded for now as Dr Seigel settles in to conduct more specific tests on the various pieces of organ and offal, you clean yourselves as thoroughly as possible and reconvene in a quiet corner of the mess hall.

“Were you paying attention?” Dyer demands in a forceful whisper.

You inquire what to.

“The details! The details were wrong. The size of the feet, did you see them?” he rummages in his document before showing you a particular paragraph. “Here. Lake says they were about eight inches long, but these were fourteen! And the size of the body, it was seven feet and it should have been over eight. And the gills. Did you see the gills? They were huge, far larger than they should have been.”

You ask Dyer what he is getting at.

“Something has been bothering me since even before Boston, when I started tracking the activities of the Star Chamber Foundation. You read my document, yes? Lake unearthed fourteen of those creatures. I found six buried at Lake’s camp, and four more in the… tunnels beneath the city. That leaves only four survivors at most, assuming any were able to escape that terrible place.

“But all of the Star Chamber teams seem to be accompanied by at least one, and I think there may have been as many as six or more during the recent assault. Where are these creatures coming from? The autopsy confirms my suspicions. I do not believe these things are the ones Lake recovered, the explorers lost a hundred million years out of time – I believe these things are from here, today, now. They are living, extant beings from deep beneath the sea.

“The gills, the feet, the reduced size – these show both the degeneration I observed over time within the city, but also modest adaptation – adaptation to an underwater state of being. And the… the markings on the skin, the tattoos. Did they not communicate a singularly primitive state of being? These must be decadents, the ones who fled the city and have lived in hiding beneath the sea ever since.

“As to why they have emerged now… I cannot say. Is it connected to the awakening of those ancient ones? Was it some doing of Moore’s? Is it a strange coincidence?”

Dyer falls silent. Tomorrow, the ship will arrive in Antarctica, and the expedition will finally begin.

Add one {Tablet} token to the chaos bag for the remainder of the campaign.
Proceed to Scenario III: Cold Heart.

Scenario III: Cold Heart

The ship arrives at the ice on the afternoon of December 16th, 1935. The looming cliff of the Filchner Ice Shelf rises well over three hundred feet from the sea, far too high and far too dangerous to make a conventional landing. As you approach, about a mile to the north you witness a huge chunk of ice, bigger than the ship itself, crash down into the water and bob slowly away.

The landing is accomplished with the aid of the undamaged zeppelin, LZ 125, which with an elegant lack of alacrity ferries the expedition’s supplies and vehicles up onto the top of the ice shelf. A base camp is established several miles inland beyond the risk of fracture and collapse, and everything is gradually moved there from the ship. It is tedious and exhausting work, with hundreds of crates and pallets and barrels to unload and sort.

Time on the ice is everything you’ve been warned about. It is strangely difficult to maintain a sense of perspective and distance, you are constantly slipping over, and you must guard vigilantly against frostbite caused by sweating. The penguins at least offer some relief, flocking around the expedition members fearlessly and charming you all with their inquisitive antics. It takes nine days of hard work before the job is done and the Herman Wirth can back away from the ice into the comparatively safer waters of the Weddell Sea.

Herr Schmidt announces the expedition’s main objective – to locate the base camp of their predecessors, the Barsmeier-Falken Expedition or BFE. The real coordinates of the abandoned base camp have been lost or concealed, and so exploration teams escorted by soldiers will divide up to search the ice shelf and nearby land for hints as to its location. Each team has been assigned a new, prototype machinegun called an ‘MG34’. You are expected to assist in this endeavour, and will be assigned dog sleds for this purpose, although apparently you will have to provide your own weaponry.

Professor Dyer takes you back to the partially buried cabin where you have quartered. He opens his satchel and rummages around in it, and for a moment you catch sight of something odd – a huge black-bound book, clearly a mythos tome of some sort, and something about it looks familiar. Before you can clearly identify it, he closes the satchel and moves to the table with a folder overflowing with papers. He pulls out a large photograph and lays it on the table for your inspection. It seems to show a roughly circular shape covered in lines that radiate from a single point near the edge of the shape.

“I never understood this picture,” says Dyer, “This is Antarctica, I believe, at some point in the aeon-dead past when its boundaries were different. And these lines… I am not sure what they represent, but this nexus point where they meet, this must be their city. And if that is the city, then this line,” he points to one which runs across the continent, to the opposite coast, “Must run from the city to an area somewhere near the ice shelf. Before we can even think about these Star Chamber cultists, we cannot allow these Nazis access to whatever the BFE found. We must get there before them, at any cost.”

You prepare to set out.

“There are one hundred thousand square miles of ice shelf,” adds Dyer, “We can’t possibly explore that by dog sled. We’re going to need a plane.”

Setup Instructions (Paper Version)

  • Gather all the cards from the following encounter sets: Cold Heart, Antarctic Cold, Frostbite, Agents of Yuggoth, Dark Dreams, Alien Evils, Alien Activity
  • Put the Expedition Base Camp (A Welcome Respite) location into play. Each investigator begins play at the Expedition Base Camp.
  • Shuffle the nine Neverending White Expanse locations and put them into play.
  • Put the LZ 125 (An Elegant Means of Transport) and Junkers JU-52 (Workhorse of the Reich) assets into play at the Expedition Base Camp.
  • Put one copy of Exploration Team (Heavily Escorted) into play for each investigator. Put each Exploration Team at a different Exposed location. Remove the other Exploration Team assets from the game.
  • Each investigator begins the scenario with an Antarctic Supplies (Fully Stocked) asset in their play area. Remove the other Antarctic Supplies assets from the game.
  • Set the following cards aside, out of play: the four Frostbite weaknesses, the Barsmeier-Falken Base Camp location and the Munitions Crate asset.
  • Shuffle the remainder of the encounter cards to build the encounter deck.

Skip to Additional Setup.

Setup Instructions (Tabletop Simulator Version)

  • Remove all components from the scenario container.
  • Put the Expedition Base Camp (A Welcome Respite) location into play. Each investigator begins play at the Expedition Base Camp.
  • Shuffle the nine Neverending White Expanse locations and put them into play.
  • Put the LZ 125 (An Elegant Means of Transport) and Junkers JU-52 (Workhorse of the Reich) assets into play at the Expedition Base Camp.
  • Put one copy of Exploration Team (Heavily Escorted) into play for each investigator. Put each Exploration Team at a different Exposed location. Remove the other Exploration Team assets from the game.
  • Each investigator begins the scenario with an Antarctic Supplies (Fully Stocked) asset in their play area. Remove the other Antarctic Supplies assets from the game.
  • Set aside the container labelled “set aside”.
  • Shuffle the encounter deck.

Proceed to Additional Setup.

Additional Setup (Paper & Tabletop Simulator Versions)

  • Check the campaign log. If essential tools and supplies were stolen:
    • Flip each Antarctic Supplies asset to its (Low on Supplies) side. (This will remove 1 supply from it.)
  • Check the campaign log. If Herr Doctor Lange is not Missing:
    • Several of the friendlier expedition scientists assist you in your preparations for the ice and share survival tips.
      Each investigator puts the top card of their deck face down in their play area. Treat this card as an asset with 2 health which can only be assigned frost damage.
  • Check the campaign log. If spare engine and boiler parts were stolen:
    • The unloading was all the more difficult due to the lack of parts onboard the ship.
      Each investigator begins this scenario with 2 fewer resources.
  • Check the campaign log. If Gunter Gunther is Deceased:
    • Without Colonel Gunther’s moderating leadership, the soldiers are instinctively distrusting of the foreigners, seemingly blaming you for the expedition’s troubles so far.
      Place 1<per> clues on Act 1c.
  • Check the campaign log. If Captain Roth is Missing:
    • Without the captain’s experienced guidance, several mishaps during unloading caused additional delays.
      Place 2 doom on Agenda 1a.
  • Check the campaign log. If Frau Voigt is not Missing:
    • Before you depart, the expedition occultist visits your cabin. “Last night I dreamed of a place I believe to be your destination. I informed Herr Schmidt, but he did not seem interested, and so I turn to you. I saw a square place, like a fort in the snow, and inside there was blood, and dogs with skin as black as the stygian abyss. There are answers there, but also great danger. It lies to the north, I think.”
      Each investigator gains 1 clue (from the token pool).
  • Check the campaign log. If the expedition aircraft were sabotaged:
    • The mechanic Fritz Muller finds you suspiciously poking around the expedition’s only functioning plane.
      “You need to get away from there,” he cautions.
      You attempt to reason with him, but he tries to call the soldiers. He tries to grab a wrench, and you try to take it from him. Things get out of hand, and a few minutes later you are doing your best to bury the body in the snow.
      Record the name ‘Fritz Muller’ in the campaign log under ‘Deceased’. Flip the Junkers JU-52 asset to its (The Last Plane) side.
  • Otherwise:
    • You approach the mechanic Fritz Muller about the use of an airplane. It takes some convincing and a little subtle bribery, but you are able to get your use of the plane officially approved.

Three Act Decks

This scenario has three act decks, lettered a, c and e. Act deck a is the investigators’ act deck which they advance as usual. Act decks c and e belong to the German expedition, and the investigators cannot advance them.

No Connections

None of the locations in this scenario have connection icons. This means that no locations are connected, which makes normal movement impossible, which includes movement from cards such as Shortcut. Movement is only possible via effects on cards which move to particular locations or to any location.

Revealing Chaos Tokens

Some effects during this scenario require a chaos token to be revealed on behalf of enemies or uncontrolled story assets. When this happens, no investigator is considered to have drawn the token (even though a player needs to physically perform the action). This means that effects that trigger when “you reveal” a chaos token (such as Grotesque Statue) will not trigger. However, effects which do not specify an investigator such as Premonition still work.

Phase Triggered Effects

This scenario includes several cards with Forced triggers that go off at certain times during the round. Here is a list to make it easier to remember them:

  • At the end of the investigation phase, check Antarctic Supplies.
  • At the start of the enemy phase, check LZ 125.
  • At the end of the enemy phase, check Act 1c.

DO NOT READ until the end of the scenario

If no resolution was reached (each investigator resigned or was defeated):

You are helpless to prevent the Germans from plundering the base camp for their own purposes. As the blizzard rolls in across the ice shelf they retreat temporarily to their own camp, and you take advantage of their absence to investigate for yourselves.

  • In your campaign log, record that the Germans recovered X pieces of evidence from the BFE base camp. X is equal to the number of players times 5.
  • In your campaign log, record that the Germans were forced to retreat from the BFE base camp by the blizzard.
  • Each investigator earns experience equal to the Victory X value of each card in the victory display.
  • Proceed to Scenario IV: Frostbound Cenotaph.

Resolution 1

Perhaps now you can find out what wiped out the Barsmeier-Falken Expedition, and whatever it is that Herr Schmidt thought was so valuable.

  • In your campaign log, record that the investigators reached the BFE base camp ahead of the Germans.
  • Each investigator earns experience equal to the Victory X value of each card in the victory display.
  • Proceed to Scenario IV: Frostbound Cenotaph.

Resolution 2

Perhaps now you can find out what wiped out the Barsmeier-Falken Expedition, and whatever it is that Herr Schmidt thought was so valuable.

  • If Act 2e is in play with at least 1 clue on it, record in your campaign log that the Germans recovered X pieces of evidence from the BFE base camp. X is equal to the number of clues on Act 2e, to a maximum of 5 per player.
  • In your campaign log, record that the Germans retreated from the BFE base camp.
  • Each investigator earns experience equal to the Victory X value of each card in the victory display.
  • Proceed to Scenario IV: Frostbound Cenotaph.

Designer’s Note: I want these scenarios to be as good as they can be, so any feedback you have would be gratefully received. A good place would be the Arkham Central page.

Scenario IV: Frostbound Cenotaph

To be continued…

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