“Ah,” she said, “to come is easy and takes hours; to go is different—and may take centuries.”
In a not too distant future, humanity has begun travelling to the other planets of the solar system, searching for a new haven, and escaping the tendrils of what had happened on Earth. A cacophony of decay and madness is spreading throughout the solar system, from the distant echo of distress beacons, to the mysterious signals originating from the strange moons of Saturn and beyond. This future holds many secrets, and not everything may be as it seems – including your own memories.
I’m proud to announce Dark Matter, a fan-made scifi-horror campaign for Arkham Horror: The Card Game for 1-4 players!
In Dark Matter, you have just woken up from cryo-sleep in a seemingly abandoned space ship – The Tatterdemalion. From there on, you are thrown into a deep space adventure across the solar system to prevent the extinction of the human race. Heavily inspired from Call of Cthulhu supplements Ripples from Carcosa by Oscar Rios and End Time by Dr. Michael C. LaBossiere, Dark Matter explores a potential glimpse of the future of humanity in a vast and unknowable universe.
Space may not be too hospitable to humans, but the technology of the future certainly helps. In this fantastical world of tomorrow, almost all machines and tools are powered by electronics, and most everyone owns personal assistant devices that will help with many tasks. To represent using technology and advancted tools to search or probe an area or digital interface, Dark Matter introduces the Scan ability. Each Scan ability, such as the one on the LR-02 ‘Hali’ enemy, indicates a particular location icon you are seeking to find. Then, you must search through the scanning deck one card at a time until you discover a card with a matching icon on its back, and draw it.
You may recognize this ability as a modification of the Explore ability from The Forgotten Age. There are many subtle differences, and a majority of this campaign focuses on exploring the unique mechanics that the design space of the Scan ability and its new card format offers.
While you investigate the strange matters throughout the solar system – you will also eventually come to realize that you may be more involved in this conspiracy than you might think. Throughout Dark Matter, you may encounter several opportunities to recall Memories while exploring. These Memories will be recorded in the Campaign Log individually and are not shared among investigators. Gathering memories is crucial, as they may help you keep your head straight in the increasingly bizzare and mind-bending situation you are in. In light of the psychological horror and madness brought on by this dark future, the Hidden keyword from the Path to Carcosa campaign also makes a prominent return, spreading distrust and suspicion among the investigators.
Dark Matter has been in production since the early summer of 2020, and has gone through several phases of beta playtesting since it’s original conception as a 3 scenario campaign. Now, the campaign is split into three parts which must played in order.
Part 1 consists of the first two scenarios, in which you explore an abandoned ship and try to deal with its insane cybernetic AI before it’s too late: [Tentative Release: October]
- Scenario 1: The Tatterdemalion. [Public Playtest 1.1]
- Scenario 2: Electric Nightmare. [Public Playtest 1.1]
Part 2 consists of a set of three scenarios which can be played in any order, in which you visit three possible leads for your investigation across the solar system: [Tentative Release: November]
- Scenario 3a: Lost Quantum. [Public Playtest 1.1]
- Scenario 3b: In the Shadow of Earth. [Public Playtest 1.1]
- Scenario 3c: Strange Moons. [Public Playtest 1.1]
Part 3 consists of the finale of the campaign, a 3 scenario journey into the depths of many kinds of space. [Tentative Release: December]
- Scenario 4: The Machine in Yellow. [Public Playtest 1.1]
- Scenario 5: Fragment of Carcosa. [Public Playtest 1.1]
- Scenario 6: Starfall. [Public Playtest 1.1]
How to play:
You can play the entire campaign (all complete and playtesting scenarios) on Tabletop Simulator following this link and the instructions there. It is also on the most recent version of the SCE mod.
- There are no print-and-play files created yet – check out the tentative release dates to see when they will be.
This could not have been done without the wonderful feedback by all of those who have played. Immeasurable thanks to all of you. For those looking to dive in, I hope you enjoy! Please let me know how it goes, or if you have any comments or remarks!