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Arkham Horror: The Card Game» Forums » General

Subject: Literature to read before playing rss

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Emil Nygaard
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Hi Investigators

I would like to talk about the literature the scenarios are built upon, and I need some help to do this. I would like this to be a talk about what to read before going in to the scenarios, to "get" the references.

Example of why is that in Eldritch Horror you can get to meet Azathoth's council, or go insane from listening to a flute. These things don't make much sense without knowing the context.

I know this is somewhat spoilery, and I don't want a list saying "These references are from this and this". But more a "Read this literature to be prepared".

Most (if not all) of the H.P. Lovecraft fiction is free and can be found on YouTube/Spotify and as eBooks.

So here goes.

Personally I can only speak about the 1st Deluxe Expansion and it's mythos packs, The Dunwich Legacy.

From the Fantasy Flight Website we can gather that:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Several months ago, three Miskatonic University professors armed themselves with secret knowledge, traveled to Dunwich, and brought an end to the strange and terrifying creature that had been terrorizing the secluded village. Their heroic efforts brought peace to the region—for a while—but also left the men scarred by the horrors they had witnessed. Now, one of those professors, Dr. Armitage, has need of your assistance. His colleagues have gone missing, and he fears the worst…


This is exactly what happened in the short story:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
"The Dunwich Horror", where we follow Dr. Armitage and his buddies, but also get the entire prelude of how and why this happened.


Literature to read: "The Dunwich Horror"

In the first Mythos Pack, the Miskanotic Museum, I assume:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
We get to visit the Miskanotic Museum in Arkham, where the younger son of the ancient one from "The Dunwich Horror" died while trying to, illegally, obtain the Necronomicon. I assume this mythos pack will have something to do specifically with the Necronomicon, as the Miskatonic Museum has one of the only originals on earth.



Literature to read: "The Dunwich Horror"


The 2nd Mythos Pack, "The Essex County Express".
From the Fantasy Flight website we can gather:
Spoiler (click to reveal)

You'll also find a thrilling new scenario in which your investigations lead you outside the town of Arkham. While the train you take may offer the fastest transit to your next lead, it may not offer the safest…


Spoiler (click to reveal)
I assume this is more a filler than anything else. I assume that we find something in the Miskatonic Museum that leads us to Essex, which also is a place of power. The journey from Arkham to Essex basically. I don't think there are any specific references to this in the mythos.



Literature to read: N/A. I assume it's going to be "general Lovecraft/Filler".


If anyone can give us some advice on what to read up on before opening the Core Campaign, or just wish to discuss some relations between the Lovecraft literature and the Arkham Horror LCG, please do! It's all very exciting :-)
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Marco Donghi
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Near Milan
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For the first scenario of the core set campaign, I guess you'd have to be up to date with Lovecraft's ghouls, which are very different from, let's say, D&D's ghouls. I'd suggest The Dream-Quest for Unknown Kadath. It's a long story but I think the clearer represantation of ghouls is found there.
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Emil Nygaard
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I just read "The Outsider", which also touches upon the subject of Ghouls. Worth a read. It has inspired some of the tropes we see in horror today, among it "that plot-twist".
 
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Rick Oytoyt
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Also read 'Pickman's Model' for Lovecraftian ghouls. The first scenario also seems inspired by 'The Rats in the Walls'.
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Kelly B
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Not really what I'd call literature, but I found the pulp novels published by FFG very entertaining. Since our game revolves around FFG's stylings of Lovecraft lore, they are extremely relevant.
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Fed Aykin

Texas
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I'm popping in to mention that The Secret Cabal gaming podcast just did a radio drama adaptation of "The Dunwich Horror" that I really enjoyed. I've read the story before, and not only is it one of Lovecraft's best, but it's perhaps the most direct inspiration for FFG's vision of occult investigators desperately combating weird forces.
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Lynn Eades
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So what book should a non-Lovecraft reader begin with to get a good understanding and feel for the theme and background of Arkham Horror games such as this one?

I own several Cthulhu themed games I've enjoyed without ever reading any Lovecraft books. I have Arkham Horror LCG on order for my son as a gift. He also hasn't read any Lovecraft books. I would like to include one to go with the game.

 
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Andrew Keddie
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leades wrote:
So what book should a non-Lovecraft reader begin with to get a good understanding and feel for the theme and background of Arkham Horror games such as this one?

I own several Cthulhu themed games I've enjoyed without ever reading any Lovecraft books. I have Arkham Horror LCG on order for my son as a gift. He also hasn't read any Lovecraft books. I would like to include one to go with the game.



Depends how much you want to spend. The entire lovecraft fiction can be had as a collection for less than £15 (sorry, no idea how much that is on your side of the pond).
 
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Emily Dickinson
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leades wrote:
So what book should a non-Lovecraft reader begin with to get a good understanding and feel for the theme and background of Arkham Horror games such as this one?

I own several Cthulhu themed games I've enjoyed without ever reading any Lovecraft books. I have Arkham Horror LCG on order for my son as a gift. He also hasn't read any Lovecraft books. I would like to include one to go with the game.



The story The Dunwich Horror certainly makes sense to put near the top of the list, so any collection that includes it (you can also find the text online and Fedaykin98's recommendation sounds interesting as well). I really like The Annotated Lovecraft for context and help with the language.
https://www.amazon.com/Annotated-H-P-Lovecraft/dp/0440506603...
 
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Kevin
England
Hull
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But we have to change the rules because Monopoly's so boring!
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I'd agree with Kelly B all the Arkham horror pulp novels by FFG were really good.
I personally find Lovecrafts original writings very dry but the FFG modern style, move the reader along at a brisk rate and I found them a real please to read.
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Driss
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chainsaw_ash wrote:
I'd agree with Kelly B all the Arkham horror pulp novels by FFG were really good.
I personally find Lovecrafts original writings very dry but the FFG modern style, move the reader along at a brisk rate and I found them a real please to read.


I find your comparison between some modern poop fiction and one of the greatest writers of the 20th century deeply disturbing and troubling...
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