The web of connections runs pretty deep in The Investigators of Arkham Horror – come take a glimpse at the madness.
I hope everyone had a great holiday season because I sure did. My favorite present for Christmas this year has to be the copy of The Investigators of Arkham Horror my wife bought for me. It’s freaking awesome:
Lately, we’ve been delving deeply with Arkham Horror The Card Game and this book is an excellent companion to the entire Arkham Horror Files Universe that FFG has been slowing building up over time. The AHFU is the setting that all of Fantasy Flight Games take place in – everything from Mansions of Madness, to Elder Sign, to Eldritch Horror, and (of course) The Arkham Horror Board Game.
In that setting, FFG has developed a stable of Investigators, men and women from all ages and walks of life, who have taken up the cause to fight against the impending doom that most others don’t know exists. Many of these investigators were just regular folks but something happened to them directly or to someone they cared about and they decided to do something about it.
The book itself is composed of short stories for each of the investigators featured in the book. You’ll get a couple of pages for each investigator – just enough so that you get a better idea of who they are and what is driving them to push their own sanity to the brink.
When I started reading, I skipped around. I had a few favorite Investigators that I wanted to learn about so I just read their stories first. They were self-contained and fun reads. But the more I read, the more interested I became. I also noticed that the Investigators aren’t listed in alphabetical order. That made me curious! Wasn’t this book just a collection of all their investigator’s stories? Why wouldn’t this book be alphabetical then? Intrigued, I decided to start at the beginning. Turns out there was a lot more to this book than cool stories and pretty artwork…
I won’t spoil the entire book – but what you need to know is that The Investigators of Arkham Horror showcases how these investigators are loosely connected. Some of these connections are pretty obvious. Some of them are up for speculation. At the same time, not every single investigator has a direct-line to every other investigator – they don’t have a “Bacon Number” so to speak. There isn’t even a specific story thread that ties them all together, but hints at something just below the surface that has kept me guessing. It’s that subtle intrigue and gentle prodding that has me wanting more!
I touched on this briefly but I wanted to comeback and reiterate that his book is gorgeous. It’s packed full of amazing artwork in large, wonderful print. Just as an art book it’s fantastic. If you’ve played any of the Arkham Horror related games, you’ll recognize a ton of the artwork and characters. On top of that, each investigator’s pages are themed – some are newspaper printing, some are written like a journal, others are just plain text over a strange landscape or colorful wallpaper. This book has a amazing attention to detail.
If you’re a fan of the Arkham Horror games (any of them) or if you’re just looking for a fantastic coffee table book, I highly recommend The Investigators of Arkham Horror. After finishing all the stories I now have a much deeper appreciation of the world building that FFG has done with the AHFU. I feel like I understand who the investigators are, why they do what they do, the world they live in, and why they fight to protect it. If you get a chance to just flip through the book – do it! You can also pick up a copy for yourself or a friend and enjoy it anytime you want. It’s been out for a few months, but it’s absolutely worth it!
An essential tome for all the most daring fans of Arkham Horror, Eldritch Horror, Elder Sign, Mansions of Madness, and the other Arkham Horror Files games, The Investigators of Arkham Horrorcontains fifty-two short stories with full-color illustrations by more than forty of the industry’s most talented artists.
Discover the hidden secrets of the investigators who risk everything to save humanity from certain doom! With its lavish art and haunting stories, this gorgeous, 264-page, hardcover art and setting book delves deep into the lives of the investigators from the acclaimed Arkham Horror Files games. These men and women explore those parts of our reality that lie outside of what our senses and science can perceive, often confronting beings of such unfathomable power that simply beholding them can shatter the mind. With The Investigators of Arkham Horror, the tales of these heroic men and women gain new focus as they explore 1920s Arkham, the far-flung corners of the Earth, and the strange worlds of the Cthulhu Mythos.
This is tangentially related, but, if you’re wanting even more Arkham Horror in your life I can also recommend Ire of the Void. I picked it up in December and it’s a fast, fun read – but you might want to avoid places with right angles when you’re done…
One more thing – and I totally blame Arkham Horror the Card Game for this rabbit hole I’ve found myself exploring – but if you’re interested in more of H.P. Lovecraft’s Mythos and want to just learn more about it, I came across a podcast I have been devouring as fast as possible:
The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast isn’t new, but it’s well done and I’ve been enjoying the back catalogue for many weeks now. They cover all the works of Lovecraft (and more). I got hooked thanks to their Dunwich Horror breakdown series. If you listen to it before (or after) you play the Dunwich Legacy expansion for Arkham Horror the Card Game, then the entire gameplay experience is just much deeper. You’ll make a lot of connections between the Characters you meet, the stories you read, and the places you visit in game. Go check them out and tell them AdamHarry from BoLS sent ya! (Not that they know who I am, but tell them anyways!)
Any other Lovecraft fans out there? What games/books/media do you consume to fill your insatiable hunger for madness?