Written by Gladwin J. Singh
Spoiler alert: This article contains scenarios from the Dunwich cycle. Read at your own discretion.
Awhile back, I was able to purchase The Dunwich Legacy deluxe expansion, and each month after that, I was scouting for the 6 Mythos packs. I was able to collect all of it by April to begin a new campaign.
Not to forget, I’m one more pack away from completing The Innsmouth Conspiracy so yea… once I have that, I can finally finish that campaign as well. In the mean time, the horrors of Dunwich will have to make do.
The Dunwich Legacy
In The Dunwich Legacy (TDL), investigators are called upon by the infamous Dr. Henry Armitage to investigate the disappearances of his colleagues. Although not stated earlier in the campaign, Dr. Armitage and his colleagues from Arkham defeated an evil monstrosity that plagued the town of Dunwich several months earlier. The backstory of that serves as a connection to the disappearances of his colleagues in this cycle. Here’s an overview of the 8 scenarios:
|1 or 2||Extracurricular Activity||One of Dr. Armitage’s colleague was last seen in the university. You head on there after teaching hours to find him. Wandering around the big campus after teaching hours…what could go wrong?|
|2 or 2||The House Always Wins||One of Dr. Armitage’s colleague was last seen in the Clover Club. You head on there, hoping to find him, but will you have luck on your side?|
|3||The Miskatonic Museum||Your investigation takes you to the museum in search of an ancient artifact that has relations to the events in Dunwich. Whatever horrors you have encountered while searching for the missing colleagues may be on their way to the museum too.|
|4||The Essex County Express||Your next lead is to head over to Dunwich Village. Whatever it was that Dr. Armitage and his colleagues tried to stop several months ago is coming back again and these monstrosities first stop is on board the Essex County Express. All aboard!|
|5||Blood on the Altar||The missing colleagues may be in Dunwich, but you fear the worst, that they might have been kidnapped, but for what purpose? Your search for them takes you deep into the town itself.|
|6||Undimensioned and Unseen||The monstrosities are on the loose all over the Dunwich town. You have to stop as many of them as possible.|
|7||Where Doom Awaits||Your investigation takes you to a hill, known for its pagan rites. There is a bright light, almost like a portal seen above the hill. Whatever it is that’s summoning those monstrosities must be up there and you need to stop it.|
|8||Lost in Time and Space||The final task to end this nightmare once and for all can only be completed in a different realm, where the great Old One, Yog-Sothoth dwells. Nothing makes sense anymore.|
I have to admit. After playing The Path to Carcosa and the first four campaigns of The Innsmouth Conspiracy, I wasn’t as thrilled playing The Dunwich Legacy. Don’t get me wrong. It’s still a great campaign filled with a few adrenaline rushed scenarios. I just think that I started playing Carcosa first and it happened to be one of the most favourite cycles according to the Arkham Horror community. Also, I’m a sucker for narrative and Dunwich could not beat Carcosa and Innsmouth in terms of that. Some may argue that a shorter narrative is a good thing so that we could get straight into the game. To each their own I supposed.
Nonetheless, I enjoyed it for what it was. I had fun running around the university in search of the missing prof. I enjoyed the bar and club like feel in the House Always Wins scenario. There was a lot of thematics in terms of the actions we could take such as ‘cheating’ on our chaos bag and ‘drinking’. Of course there were consequences. Next, exploring the museum dead at night with only one enemy spawning from the void at all times and tailing you was the definition of anxiety. Oh, and speaking of anxiety, I now understand why the train scenario of The Essex County Express was the widely talked scenario of the Dunwich cycle. Mannn it is a tough one. Having to gain clues to move to the next train car while a freaking vortex was sucking in train car after train car, ANXIETY MAX! Though I survived and got to the engine car to start the engines again, it was really tensed. Unlike other Dunwich scenarios, this is the only scenario without a ‘Resign’ ability. By hook or crook, I had to make it out alive. Also, Charon’s Obol. That’s why.
Anxiety max of a scenario but I actually enjoyed the thrill…but maybe only because I survived…haha
Onwards to the remaining 4 scenarios, Blood on the Altar might just be my favorite scenario of the cycle. Partly because it was taking place in the town of Dunwich itself, and the scenario really created this tensed, gloomy and unwelcoming atmosphere of the town. I got to move around to search for the missing professors. But when it came to the next scenario, although it was made as if I was supposed to go hunting for broods of Yog-Sothoth, I think they were hunting me instead and yea, not exactly my favorite. Funny enough, the better your resolution in the previous scenario, the more broods be spawning and chasing you in the next scenario. Up next, going to Sentinel Hill to stop a ritual from happening was just pure hardcore with the thralls always chasing me. These things are hard to kill and my Jenny deck did not come fully equipped with powerful weapons for extra damage. Time ran out and I lost.
I used Jenny Barnes as the investigator for this campaign. Surprisingly, I did really well in terms of the resolutions I achieved, such as obtaining the Necronomicon and The Powder of Ibn Ghazi. I rescued quite a number of the professors and doctors. I successfully resigned from getting mauled by the Broods of Yog-Sothoth in ‘Undimensioned and Unseen.’ In this first attempt, I took Jenny all the way to ‘Where Doom Awaits’ and we were savagely destroyed by the Thralls. It was a tough scenario with tons of enemies and limited locations making it hard to evade all the time. And just like that, Yog-Sothoth had claimed dominion over Earth and Jenny was driven insane. Tough luck.
Learning from my mistakes, I restarted the campaign. This time however, I did not do so well in terms of resolutions. Not only did I fail to save the professors, I did not retrieve The Powder or The Necronomicon either. I remember resigning for at least 2-3 scenarios. It didn’t feel good to resign but it kept me alive and also prevented me from taking any trauma. Still, I knew what to expect for ‘Where Doom Awaits’ and I prepared my deck accordingly to deal with the enemy threats as well. With a little bit of luck on my side, I was able to head to the final location to stop the ritual and with that, I was now lost in time and space, one step closer towards Yog-Sothoth.
Two brutal scenarios with tough enemies to take down
The final scenario was pretty epic in terms of the interstellar explorations, since I was actually lost in time and space. The idea of traveling to different dimensions was something very surreal and I quite enjoyed it. Hard, of course. Though the ending came off short (again, mostly because of the shorter narrative in comparison to Carcosa), I thought this was a challenging and space-sorta themed scenario worth trying out as a standalone. Unlike the finale scenario of Carcosa, Lost in Time and Space allows for investigators to traverse in what I would partly argue as outer space, but through different dimensions. The adventurous feel into the unknown was there and I love the artwork for the different dimensions too. Having the locations shuffled into the encounter deck was an interesting take on the overall game mechanics too for the final scenario.
I was two locations away from advancing the final act. When my turn ended, I was defeated by Yog-Sothoth. Fortunately, my resolution came out as a win in a way. Although Jenny was now forever lost in time and space, she had prevented the great Old One from entering Earth
I hope you enjoyed reading my personal take on the Dunwich Legacy. I tried my best to minimise on the content of the scenarios in case you may or may not have reached similar resolutions as I did. All in all, this cycle has:
1. A great replay value. There are many resolutions and many objectives that I have yet to fulfill especially for the earlier scenarios. The fact that you get to decide which of the 1st and 2nd scenario to start as your actual first was pretty dope.
2. Versatile Player cards: I believe this cycle is mostly known for its good variety of player cards for each class. Ahem… Lighting Gun!!! Higher level Shrivelling!!! Double or Nothing!!! Deciphered Reality!!! Many more.
3. Stronger investigators: At least 4 of the investigators have a total of 15 health and sanity as compared to the core set investigators who only have 14. Not to forget, their triggered abilities are very rewarding. I’m looking at you Rex!
4. Worthy stand alone scenarios: If I had to run a standalone scenario, I would choose any of the Dunwich scenarios. I would say that the lack of narrative makes it more standalone worthy. Unlike Carcosa, I’m always compelled to play a full cycle since I just love the story telling and progressing through it.
On a side note, I am looking forward to the release of a new Arkham Horror Files game next week. I hope you are too.
Till the next time all 🙂