The Investigators of Arkham Horror

“We shall see that at which dogs howl in the dark, and that at which cats prick up their ears after midnight. We shall see these things, and other things which no breathing creature has yet seen. We shall overleap time, space, and dimensions, and without bodily motion peer to the bottom of creation.”
–H.P. Lovecraft, From Beyond

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A number of us here at the Australian Tabletop Gaming Network office are big fans of H.P. Lovecraft, his written works, those who expanded the Cthulhu Mythos (such as August Derleth), and ultimately Chaosium and Fantasy Flight Games with their tabletop game adaptations. So while one might argue that a review of The Investigators of Arkham Horror is nothing more than a book review that doesn’t belong on a gaming site, give me a moment and I’ll prove you wrong.

TIOABook005Much like the numerous Warhammer titles on the market that provide a back story and setting for all the miniatures action that takes place on the table, likewise The Investigators of Arkham Horror supplies an incredible amount of information for those playing any of FFG’s Arkham Horror Files or indeed the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game from Chaosium.

The hard cover, 264 page book is the size of any good role-playing manual and contains 52 short stories and some truly amazing artwork. For those of you enjoying the FFG titles these stories will flesh out the characters you play, their personal motivations, goals and fears. The stories also allow you to experience the city of Arkham in a way we’ve not sampled before, this proving not only enjoyable to those playing the FFG titles but exceptionally useful for those playing the roleplaying game. The index at the back of the book is simply divine with it not only supplying page numbers for people but also for locations, perfect for those wanting to research a location for their roleplaying game.

TIOABook004All gaming aside, it’s also just a damn good read, whether you’ve read Lovecraft before or not. I found The Investigators of Arkham Horror to be something akin to ‘bedtime stories for grownups’. Often I get home late from work and a single story (or sometimes two) is enough for me before I’m sound asleep. With longer novels I’m always trying to figure out where I was up to last and what was happening in the story.

I won’t lie though – it isn’t the cheapest book on the market. The Australian recommended retail price is $70. For those who play the Arkham Horror Card Game (which I do) there is also a Premium Edition (which I bought) with a limited edition playmat, promotional cards and some fantastic looking posters.  This will set you back an almighty $150 however, and as of print I believe it is sold out at a wholesaler level so you may struggle to get your hands on a copy. However, you should have little trouble grabbing just the regular edition of the book.

TIOABook003The Investigators of Arkham Horror is available now.  Check out the official FFG product page here.

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