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I Love the Arkham Horror Universe

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02 Aug 2018 15:36 - 03 Aug 2018 12:07 #279053 by ubarose

Arkham Horror is it's own universe, inspired by, but distinct from the Lovecraft Universe.

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Last edit: 03 Aug 2018 12:07 by ubarose.
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02 Aug 2018 16:21 #279054 by Gary Sax
I feel the same way you do.

I think the reason people react is because it's attached to the very specific lovecraft name. Part of me feels like it would have been way better off being attached to some generic pulp horror vibe (would also jettison the ick racism Lovecraft association), but obviously the lovecraft stuff is what brought people on board initially...
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02 Aug 2018 16:26 #279055 by Shellhead
The Cthulhu Mythos offers a rich setting, but a game strictly based on Lovecraft's stories wouldn't be much fun. A real Lovecraftian game would be solitaire and slow-paced for the most of the game. The endgame would be brief, violent and impossible to win. The End.

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02 Aug 2018 16:33 #279056 by Shellhead
Another major difference between Lovecraft's stories and the Arkham Horror universe would be the scope of the setting. The world was a very interesting place in the 1920s. America had Prohibition and gangsters and early Hollywood. The world was recovering from a world war and a global flu epidemic. There were still many uncivilized locations that had barely been explored. Technology was ramping up, and jazz was a big deal. Lovecraft didn't care about most of that stuff. He was more interested in colonial New England and his own vivid nightmares. Arkham Horror offers the chance to play exciting characters like a gangster or a private eye or a flapper, but Lovecraft's characters were mostly quiet, bookish introverts.
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02 Aug 2018 16:45 #279057 by ubarose
@Shellhead

Yes, Arkham Horror is very much an exciting and romanticized version of the 1920's. Flappers and bootleggers, heiresses and jazz musicians. So many exotic, unexplored places. Plus magic, and mysteries and monsters.
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02 Aug 2018 17:01 #279058 by Motorik
The Lovecraftian aspect has little to do with what I like about the AH/EH setting. For me it's about the dark, pulpy, Sax Rohmer-y 1920s aesthetic. They could be fighting opium traffickers, the KKK or Capone's gang for all I care, with nary an ancient one in sight.

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02 Aug 2018 17:15 #279059 by ubarose
@Motorik

I feel that is especially true of Eldritch Horror. It's also why Eldritch Horror hasn't replaced Arkham Horror for me. AH is more mystical and creepy than EH. In AH I feel like the investigators are delving into arcane lore and the monsters and the influence of the GOOs feel more present. In EH the investigators are jetting around the world and may just as well be trying to find clues to bust up the opium trade as searching for clues to prevent ancient ones from destroying the world.
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03 Aug 2018 00:22 #279069 by dysjunct
For all that I’m pretty over the pop-Cthulhu thing, I can get behind this. I was pretty tickled when I first opened Arkham Horror and saw that Harvey Walters was a playable character. He was an iconic NPC in CoC that was used in the examples in the text. He was kind of hapless but undaunted. He danced at a fancy ball, then went to a castle, saw a byakhee, and went temporarily insane. Not a bad career.

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03 Aug 2018 00:28 #279070 by Michael Barnes
In EH the investigators are jetting around the world and may just as well be trying to find clues to bust up the opium trade

I would much rather play The French Connection: The Board Game, really.

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03 Aug 2018 01:55 #279072 by Deleted
I agree. I like the setting and themes. Lifelong Lovecraft fan. I’ve bought more of this genre than almost any other. I don’t think it’s an untoward criticism to wish my games had a more closely tied theme and setting with mechanics that are intuitive and integral to the theme and setting.

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03 Aug 2018 03:20 #279074 by Matt Thrower
No one ever forgets the motorbike riding nun who shotguns monsters in the face.

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03 Aug 2018 07:12 #279077 by KingPut
Nice post Uba. At the same time I kind of wish they set Arkham 3rd in the CoC 1880s / Sherlock London environment for a change of pace and to get a whole new set of characters. In CoC you have a choice of 1920s US or 1880s England.
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03 Aug 2018 07:51 - 03 Aug 2018 07:53 #279080 by Colorcrayons
I agree Ubarose.Good thread.

The setting is fairly well fleshed out, as one might expect from decades long work by Chaosium.

I played a couple Arkham related titles, and really obsessed over Call of Cthulhu LCG for a few years. I think even the card game was evocative and did a lot of justice to pulp horror.

I'll echo Shellhead's sentiments regarding the glamorization of that era. It's was the tail end of the age of discovery where there was still room to not be cynical.
Last edit: 03 Aug 2018 07:53 by Colorcrayons.

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03 Aug 2018 09:10 - 03 Aug 2018 09:10 #279086 by Shellhead

KingPut wrote: Nice post Uba. At the same time I kind of wish they set Arkham 3rd in the CoC 1880s / Sherlock London environment for a change of pace and to get a whole new set of characters. In CoC you have a choice of 1920s US or 1880s England.


Call of Cthulhu already had Cthulhu by Gaslight (1880s England), modern times, and the Dreamlands back when Arkham Horror 1st edition came out. Call of Cthulhu is now on its 7th edition, and includes settings where you can play during the Roman Empire, the Dark Ages, the Third Reich, or an apocalyptic future. I was really hoping for a big box Dreamlands expansion for Arkham Horror. Instead there was a very disappointing Dreamlands expansion for Eldritch Horror.
Last edit: 03 Aug 2018 09:10 by Shellhead.

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03 Aug 2018 09:53 - 03 Aug 2018 09:54 #279089 by ubarose

KingPut wrote: Nice post Uba. At the same time I kind of wish they set Arkham 3rd in the CoC 1880s / Sherlock London environment for a change of pace and to get a whole new set of characters. In CoC you have a choice of 1920s US or 1880s England.


The Horror Adventure Game set in the 1800's that I would like to see is a Penney Dreadful board game. That could be awesome.
Last edit: 03 Aug 2018 09:54 by ubarose.
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