You can see that I am having a hard time getting to the point, probably because I really dread getting to the point; but the upshot of the matter is that I have certain evidence that monstrous things do indeed live in the woods on the high hills which nobody visits. I have not seen any of the things floating in the rivers, as reported, but I have seen things like them under circumstances I dread to repeat. I have seen footprints, and of late have seen them nearer my own home [...] than I dare tell you now. And I have overheard voices in the woods at certain points that I will not even begin to describe on paper.
–H.P. Lovecraft, The Whisperer in Darkness
Call of the Wild, the newest expansion for Mansions of Madness, is now available at your local retailer and on our webstore! Venture outdoors with five new scenarios and eleven double-sided board tiles featuring the untamed wilderness surrounding Arkham. Lovecraft often preyed on man’s fear of the unknown, and Call of the Wild plunges investigators into the heart of an uncharted wilderness, shaking the foundations of Mansions of Madness by taking the game outdoors and introducing a host of new gameplay mechanics. A more secretive keeper must solve puzzles and seek out clues, a focus on outdoor maps encourages non-linear exploration, and Allies assist in combat and driving the macabre narrative.
Explore the Treacherous Terrain
Careful exploration of this new terrain is the only way for the investigators to navigate the new, non-linear scenarios that Call of the Wild introduces. The eleven new board tiles in Call of the Wild introduce untamed copses and treacherous swamplands that will challenge the investigators as they explore. Gathering the right clues and rumors is not an easy task in the frightening and fetid forest. Pits and brackish pools can damage heroes as they travel the terrain, and rivers can block off an avenue of retreat when being chased by some dark denizen of the forest. Players must take care to use the terrain to their advantage, lest the untamed woods wreak havoc on the hapless investigators!
Scenarios in Call of the Wild focus on a non-linear method of story progression, placing a greater emphasis on exploration of your surroundings. Players no longer hunt down a set of clues in a specific order, but are instead given a brief Investigator Strategy by the keeper at the outset of each game that hints at how they should begin their exploratory investigations. The strategies are the only guide the investigators have as they strive to stop the keeper, who has his own designs for the forests outside of Arkham.
The Keeper’s New Tricks and Challenges
Taking the keeper outside of the walls of the mansion has made him no less of a formidable opponent. The keeper has an added level of secrecy he can leverage, and he has even more options when it comes to his strategy for foiling the investigators. The keeper can now construct his own custom hand of Keeper Action cards, allowing him to create a uniquely terrifying and difficult experience for his opponents. What’s more, the keeper’s hand is held in secret in the Call of the Wild scenarios; his opponents won’t know what tricks await them until the first time a Keeper Action card is played.
The keeper and his minions are not merely resting on their laurels as the investigators comb the woods. In some scenarios, the keeper must seek out and collect various grotesque items of arcane power. Sometimes these items will simply be scattered about the wilderness, but in other scenarios, the investigators can work to hide the horrific components from the keeper. Once the keeper gathers them, these items can be used in a special ritual puzzle that the keeper must complete as part of his nefarious plan.
Friends in the Forest
Not everything in the wilderness is out to get the investigators. New Ally characters are specific to the stories in Call of the Wild, and each one has his own deck of special cards. Allies work as neither investigators nor monsters, but can participate in combat, have conversations with investigators, or give special tasks to be completed for rewards. The Allies can be key in providing investigators with Rumors, bringing them ever closer to whatever malign truth the players are working to uncover. Players should be wary of how much horror their compatriots are exposed to, however, as the keeper can use the Allies against the investigators if the Allies’ sanity should fail.
Each scenario of Call of the Wild twists players’ expectations as they wander the woods in search of a way to stop the nefarious keeper. Gain assistance from Allies, guess at the keeper’s cards, foil or complete rituals, and explore the great outdoors. With all of these new challenges to confront, the keeper and investigators alike will have their hands full as they contend with new terrain and terrors on the outskirts of Arkham. Pick up your copy of Call of the Wild from your local retailer today and challenge the unknown and unnatural horrors that lurk in the outdoors!