News for May 2010
Let's Shake on It 8
A Look at Dark Pacts in Lurker at the Threshold
Arkham Horror | Published 17 May 2010

He promises poison, and then a cure
My fingers contort as I open his door
There’s no turning back from the power I hold
But the Reckoning will collect his payment in full
-A rhyme whispered in madness

New powers are stirring in the town of Arkham; powers that seduce and feed off the unwary. Dark promises echo in the minds of those who are lonely or desperate to stave off insanity and bodily harm. But this promised power comes at a deadly price. You just have to ask yourself...what do you have to lose?

The Lurker at the Threshold is waiting, anxious to bring about the demise of overzealous investigators. As this latest expansion for Arkham Horror prepares to descend on your tabletop this summer, it’s time for another preview of what lies ahead. Last time we explored the benefits of having friends join the fight with Relationship cards. Today, we’ll take a look at the lure of Dark Pacts.

New Heralds mean new problems, and this is no exception with The Lurker at the Threshold. We’ll take a closer look at this new Herald and its powers next time, but today we’ll focus on the Dark Pacts he offers to investigators in dire need of power.

Dark Pacts come in three different flavors: Blood Pact, Soul Pact, and Bound Ally. Each appears to be purely beneficial to investigators, but they also have powerful detriments that build up over time. At the start of any turn, an investigator may take a Dark Pact card from the Herald and immediately gain its benefits.

An investigator may only have one of each type of Dark Pact at a time, meaning they can never claim two Blood Pacts. But they are able to have one of each, which will make them exceptionally powerful, as well as much more in debt to the Lurker. But more on that later...

Dark Pacts can also provide investigators with Power tokens, another new addition to game. Power tokens aren’t useful on their own, but certain Dark Pact cards will give investigators the ability to spend Power as if they were Clue tokens, as well as substitutes for Stamina or Sanity loss. But be careful of hoarding power, as it might draw unwanted attention from watchful eyes.

In addition, Dark Pacts also act as great boons for spell-casters. Any time an investigator attempts to cast a spell, they may reduce the sanity cost of the spell to 0 and automatically succeed by taking a Dark Pact card. However, in doing so, they face immediate repercussions. After they claim their Dark Pact, they immediately draw and resolve a Reckoning card. These cards represent the debt owed to the Lurker for borrowed power.

Next time we pay the Lurker his due by exploring the Reckoning cards and the powerful abilities of this new Herald!

Arkham Horror is a board game of mystery and madness set in Arkham in the 1920's. 1-8 players cooperate to investigate the strange happenings about the town, and race to prevent ancient evil from surfacing.

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Comments (8)

Published: 5/18/2010 5:59:13 PM

Can't wait I will buy and play this the first day our store gets it. It does look like the Dark Pacts are a "better" corruption effect (outside of home brews) and I love it. And I have a feeling that there will be more disadvantages ot using these pacts than we are aware of at present.

Oh, and it does take a huge table to play with all the expansions. Ours is 8' by 4', with a side table for holding all the cards. :)

Published: 5/18/2010 1:58:12 AM

This new Arkham expansion looks really nice, interesting and fun. Another expansion for a BIG game. When You have the core set and all expansions You will new a really large table to play it. :D

Published: 5/17/2010 5:18:02 PM

 This looks fun and interesting but wasn't this game and all its expansions freakishly large to begin with (does set-up not take at least 30 minutes for anybody else)??  I'd still be on-board if another series of separate Arkham-related games were released!!

Published: 5/17/2010 3:37:35 PM

I can't wait!!! Relase it already!

Published: 5/17/2010 12:25:21 PM

Looks like a great idea - a couple of clarifications might be needed, though.

1) Michael McGlen takes a Blood Pact and a Soul Pact. In Upkeep, he loses 1 stamina (reduced to zero by his Strong Body) to take a power token. When Ithaqua attacks, he loses 1 stamina (2 reduced to 1 by Strong Body) which he spends the power token on instead.
Harvey Walters can do the same to Hastur.
Either can do it to Yig with only one pact - Blood for Michael, Soul for Harvey.

I'm guessing these should be *costs*, not losses, for gaining power. (or are these pacts discarded when the AO awakens?)

(Presumably it wouldn't work against Rhan-Tegoth, even if it's technically spending the damage from a different source rather than cancelling the damage, and presumably Nyarlathotep won't accept fake imitation clues)

2) How literally should "any time you gain any amount of stamina/sanity" be interpreted? Does it include the refill from taking a madness or injury, for instance (or even the one-point refill from being knocked out). Could you pay $2 for treatment at the hospital, and take the healed points into power instead?

3) Can you exhaust a pact in the same turn you get it? If so, what's [other than the usual nasty OW encounters] to stop a 6/4 or 7/3 character going through a gate with no clues, coming out, taking the appropriate pact (to refill their stamina/sanity), and then spending the power as clues to seal? (If you can't do this, and have to wait a turn, you can either take it the turn before you leave, or wait a turn afterwards and still have it be faster than picking up the clues off the board). A 5/5 could seal two gates with this method, and only need two real clues.

The disadvantages of these cards are going to have to be spectacular to avoid some massive exploits, so I'll be very interested to see the next preview.

Published: 5/17/2010 11:50:11 AM

 Exciting :')

Published: 5/17/2010 11:26:46 AM

 Can't wait to find out more about what the detriments are.  If done well, I can see this being a more popular herald to play with than the King in Yellow (currently my favorite).

Published: 5/17/2010 10:23:35 AM

Now this is how the Black Goat expansion should have worked! This give and take is more of what I expected from joining the cult. I enjoy the corruption cards (and a little more so from the way people have worked them into home brews), but the benefits never quite seemed like what I wanted.

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