- 176 pages Investigation Book
- 19 Requirement Cards
- Arkham Directory
- 8 Newspapers
- Map of Arkham
- Time-tracker and Markers
Object of the Game
In Mythos Tales, players investigate a myriad of strange occurrences set within the fictional town of Arkham, Massachusetts.
This volume chronicles your adventures performed at the behest of Professor Henry Armitage, guardian of the dangerous books held in the Restricted Section of the Orne Library.
In these investigations you will work independently of Armitage. The introduction to each mystery is all the information you need to set you off on your own.
Players work together, discussing aloud, as they follow leads, taking notes on anything and everything in order to answer the questions at the end of each mystery. To win, players need to successfully answer the most pertinent questions without taking too many penalties.
This is a game of surprises, so be prepared for anything.
After reading the introduction of an investigation aloud, players take turns choosing a lead player to continue the investigation. The lead player selects a letter and number combination of a location they hope is pertinent to the case.
Players, as a group and in cooperative manner, then "travel" to that location. There are no board pieces or game board. Everything is happening in the minds and voices of the players based on the game text read aloud from the Investigation Book and newspapers.
If a selected location (number and letter coordinate) is found in the Investigation Book for the location players selected to travel, that text is studied for possible clues or leads.
Players take turns becoming the lead player and make a determination where the group will travel next, and if a lead player does not wish to read from the book aloud, another player may elect to read for them.
Players together, however, should choose when they are ready to turn to the questions at the end of every investigation. However, they will not know what the questions are beforehand, so they must conduct as thorough an investigation as possible within the time allowed.
There is a Time-Tracker which may also force players to end their investigation and proceed to answering the questions. Players should answer the questions together, without rereading any materials in the book or newspapers (each case has a newspaper with the same date as the case). There are no penalties, in most cases, for incorrect answers.
Afterwards, the "Solution" section reveals the answers so players score their own answers and deduct penalties. Each investigation presents a minimum score necessary in order to "win" the investigation. Players may then compare their traveled path with the path of Armitage.
Bonus Tokens: You may notice that Mythos Tales contains additional tokens on the token punchboard that do not currently have a use in this game.
One current possible use for the magnifying glass tokens in any investigation is to place the tokens on the map to note important areas. The opposite side of the Time-Tracker is also not used in this set of investigations.
To prepare to play a Mythos Tales investigation, follow the instructions in this section. Although players may select any investigation they wish to play in any order, it is recommended they play investigations in order, starting with A Grain of Evil.
Choose an investigation to play and open the book to the page following the cover illustration.
Unfold the map of Arkham, Massachusetts and place it in the center of the play area for all players to reference.
Place the Requirement cards in a stack near the map. Each investigation will let you know if Requirement cards are used during that investigation.
Place the Time-Tracker next to the Requirement cards. Place the Time Limit X marker on the proper space as indicated by the chosen investigation. Place the Progress marker near the Time-Tracker. It will move to Day 1, Morning once players travel to first location.
Find the newspaper dated the same as the chosen Investigation and place it near the map. Also previously dated newspapers from previous investigations should be placed near the map - it's possible that those newspapers may contain clues to your current investigation.
Select a player to be the first player. If a decision cannot be made, determine the first player randomly. Give this player the Investigation Book, the directory, and the list of allies (back of this Game Manual).
You are ready to begin!
The following section describes how the game is played. Note that if you are playing the game solo, there are no changes to the gameplay except you are always considered the lead player.
Note: Some Investigations will introduce new rules. Those rules are not covered in this online-rules , such as Delay, Pursuit and Dreaming. They will be described in detail in the Investigation Book.
The game is played in two separate phases:
- Investigation Phase
- Solution Phase
The game concludes after the players complete the Solution Phase.
I. Investigation Phase
In the Investigation Phase, players may follow leads that they feel will reveal the most pertinent information. Leads are mentioned in the text or you may infer them by deduction. Beginning with the first player, each player in turn follows the steps below until it is time to move to the Solution Phase:
- Travel Step
- Encounter Step
If the Encounter Step ends and players have not moved to the Solution Phase, the next player in turn begins their Travel Step and the Investigation Phase continues.
Important: Players may voluntarily end their investigation at any time before the Progress marker advances to the 'X' space on the Time- Tracker. Ending the investigation earlier will help avoid penalties for visiting too many locations.
1. Travel Step
In this step, all players first discuss what location they think should be visited next. However, it should be noted that a majority vote is not necessary. The active player can go to any location he or she desires.
In order to find a location coordinate, which usually consists of a single letter followed by a number, the player can use the map of Arkham, the directory, or the ally list on the back of this game manual.
There are some situations where there is no reference from a lead to look up in the directory. Players may use the map alone in some instances to find a location to explore.
The directory is used to find the "address" of locations or persons of interest. An "address" is represented by a letter and a number.
The ally list, found on the back of this game manual, is a selection of people known for their expertise in a certain area. While they almost always have something to say (an entry in every investigation), only rely on the ones whose background can shed light on the current investigation.
Even a visit to Armitage might only reveal clues you already have and some gruff remarks about how you are wasting your time.
After selecting which location players will travel, advance the Time-Tracker by moving the Progress marker one space down if it is Morning or Afternoon, or across to the Morning of the next Day if the marker is on Evening.
Note: if this is the players first turn of the game, the grey Progress marker is not yet on the Time-Tracker. In this case instead place the Progress marker on Morning of Day 1.
Each time players move to a location to read a new encounter for a new turn, players must advance the Progress marker on the Time-Tracker even if they have previously visited that location.
Players advance the Time-Tracker even if they discover that there is no corresponding printed coordinate in the book for the selected Location (empty location). It takes time to travel to a location, even if there is nothing of importance there.
Advancing the Time-Tracker in this step represents time spent for movement, not time spent at the location, so even if you advance to the 'X' space on the Time- Tracker, you still read the encounter at that location. This will be the players' last read encounter.
They may not voluntarily advance past the 'X' to move again. However, their current encounter may instruct players to advance the Time-Tracker (due to a circumstance out of their control, such as getting knocked out and waking up at a later time). This may result in a penalty as described in scoring.
2. Encounter Step
After the active player announces the location that the group will travel and advances the Time-Tracker, they then read aloud the encounter based on the location coordinate. The letter represents a district in Arkham.
The number indicates a specific lot or building or room within a building. It is worthwhile to note that a reference to a particular location is the same no matter which investigation you are playing. Note that the players' traveled path should be documented during the course of play.
It is important to keep detailed notes. Players will be answering questions at the end of their investigation.
Example: The below investigation, as determined by this Time-Tracker, will conclude after reading the encounter at the location traveled to on Day 5, Evening.
Tracking Time: When players travel to a location, they advance the Progress marker (Hourglass Token) one space. Exception: The first time players travel to a location in any investigation they instead will place the Hourglass marker on Day 1, Morning.
The marker either moves down one space to the row underneath or to the next 'Day' column if moving from Evening of the previous Day column. In this way, players progress through the Morning - Afternoon - Evening cycle of a single day before moving to the next day.
After advancing the Time-Tracker, the active player turns to the corresponding coordinates in the Investigation Book and reads the entry aloud. If there is not an entry for the chosen location, there are no
relevant clues at that location. In this case, the same player may select another location. The Progress marker (Hourglass) is immediately advanced another space on the Time-Tracker.
No Location Coordinate in Book It is important to note that if players travel to a location without an encounter, they do not count that location in the final count of locations when scoring penalties at the end of the investigation. This is important to remember.
It is also important to note that when reading a location's entry, the active player should focus on the selected entry and not peek at other entries on the same page.
In addition, some entries might have the active player do something unexpected. Follow all directions in the text. If an entry instructs a player to stop reading, the player does not continue reading.
An entry might also have the player read a different entry depending on the situation, such as a Supplemental Encounter, which they do so immediately. Another encounter may instruct players to advance the Time-Tracker an additional space for lost time.
If this advances the Progress marker to the last space with an 'X' then the investigation ends after reading the current encounter, since players can no longer travel to a new location.
An entry might also ask if a Requirement card is in the group's possession. If any player has the correct Requirement card (Requirement Cards are considered to be possessed by all players), this condition is considered fulfilled and the instructions are followed.
II. Solution Phase
As a group, players proceed through the following steps in order:
- Question And Answer Step
- Scoring Step
1. Question And Answer Step
The Questions section contains a list of questions that can be answered based on information obtained during the investigation. For each question, players should decide on the best answer based on notes they have taken and information they recall. Encounters and Newspapers may not be reread at this time.
Normally, questions are answered as a group based on consensus. Players may, however, agree before the start of the investigation to answer questions independently and privately. They may do this in order to compare scores at the end of the game.
It is strongly recommended that each player has materials to take notes. The only mandatory information that must be documented are the locations that have been visited. Other helpful items include:
The turn a lead is followed up on
Evidence pertaining to the investigation
References to follow-up on (usually gained from the Arkham Directory)
General notes of cryptic elements or other information.
2. Scoring Step
In the Scoring Step players determine their score by comparing their answers to the ones found in the Answers section.
They also assess sanity penalties to their score as well as penalties for not being as efficient as Armitage, as revealed in the "Path of Armitage".
Armitage's path will not always allow him to answer all questions, and in some cases Armitage's Path is only representative of an efficient path players could have taken in order to answer most questions.
Players compare the answers they gave to the questions to those listed in the Answers section. Correct answers score the number of points shown. Be sure to record the points for each correct answer.
Players then adjust their score based on the Sanity Penalties section. This section might assess a penalty to your score if you visited a particularly dangerous or haunting place. Many things you see cannot be unseen so be careful where you go!
In the unlikely event an encounter forced players to advance the Progress marker beyond the 'X' marker on the Time-Tracker, players deduct 1 point for each space advanced beyond the 'X' marker.
The Locations Visited section tells players how many locations Armitage visited during his investigation. Players do not need to visit the same locations as Armitage - only the number of locations he traveled is important.
For each location - in number - visited beyond the number that Armitage visited, the players are assigned a penalty of 1 point for each.
For example, if he visited 8 total locations and you visited 12 total locations (revisits to the same locations are not counted, nor are locations that did not contain a printed coordinate letter/number), you would deduct 4 points from your score.
Example: if players traveled to the location coordinate L67 but there is no L67 location number/letter, thus no encounter, printed in the book, L67 is not counted in your final location count when comparing your final location count to that of Armitage.
Alternatively, if there is an L67 location coordinate printed in the book; but if there is a coordinate in the book and for some reason the encounter text states that you cannot read the encounter, this does count as a location travelled in your final location count.
Revisiting the same location more than once still only counts as one location in your final location count, although each time you revisit a location you must advance the Time-Tracker.
If you are satisfied with your score and do not want to play the investigation again, read the Solution section, which outlines the Path of Armitage.
Keep in mind that Armitage himself may not answer every question. He tries to keep things as efficient as possible and find answers to the primary questions of the investigation. You can therefore out-score Armitage but it is difficult!
Professor Henry Armitage tells you sternly. "Now before you are tasked with solving your first case, I must give you a list of people and places that will prove invaluable, I am sure.
Visiting these allies is a great way to find new leads and steer your investigation back on track if you find yourself in a bind. However, choose carefully. You can't visit many of them in any investigation, unless it is your goal to waste precious time".
Special Location: Armitage's Office is inside the Library (C23). He is rarely, if ever, inside his office once an investigation has begun.
Nonetheless, you may visit his office from the Library without advancing the Time-Tracker (since the office is inside the Library). This is the only location that has such benefit. Armitage's office will still count as a unique location visit in your final location count.
Dr. Vincent Sutton is a trauma surgeon and Chief Pathologist at St. Mary's Teaching Hospital (C11). If any of your investigations involve injuries or victims, he is the man to visit.
Miskatonic's Professor Leonore Robinson (C17) is a great source of information on all matters historical. She is an expert on the oral history of the Miskatonic Valley and is also well-versed in folklore.
Emilia Sergant is a librarian at the Orne Library (C23). She can assist you with any research. She also has access to the Restricted Section of the library, home to writings too dangerous to be accessed by the public.
William Coffin is a shady fellow, but some of your investigations might take you to some unsavory places he will know something about. He is at the Fleetwood Diner (D2) so often you would think he might live there. Coffin has his fingers in a lot of pies, so to speak. He will gladly give you information for the right price.
Nicolas Staltonstall is one of the most overworked civil servants in public service. He is the keeper of various legal documents, such as birth, marriage, and death certificates, as well as deeds to local properties. He's at the Arkham Town Hall (D21).
The Arkham Police Station (D32) is home to many fine detectives, head up by Inspector Morris Garrison.
Herbert Corbett (D45) is our local criminologist. As long as he has the evidence to examine, his forensic expertise is unmatched.
Friendly and verbose, Arlo Hoppin is a dispatcher and cabbie for the Arkham Yellow Cab Company (D34). You'd be surprised who he meets during the course of his normal workaday job. He also is quite the talented musician, as I'm sure he'll tell you.
Dorothy Davis with the Arkham Historical Society (L1) has a knowledge of family history that Professor Robinson lacks, and has extensive genealogical records that can reveal surprising family connections.
For all things on the occult when you can't find good information at the library, Pasquale Fenton (L4) is Arkham's resident occultist and spiritualist. Pasquale meddles in forces he would be better off to avoid. His knowledge of the so-called Great Old Ones is extensive, and on occasion you may be forced to team up with him, much to the chagrin of Armitage.
Sebastian Lyman is a member of the Order of the Silver Twilight (L18), but he is also a mole. He is a member of this cult in name only, and works secretly for Armitage providing information on the Order and its mysterious leader, Carl Sandford.
The Arkham Advertiser (N28) has its finger on the pulse of this town, and Donnie Clarke is its star reporter. He has a zeal for grabbing people's attention, and seeks the truth, insofar as it can be found.
If you find yourself in need of information about the privileged class, or the entertainment circle, Ambrose Checkley (U18) is the person to see. He's a notorious gossip hound and high-society mogul, and is eager to share any tawdry stories he comes across.
Armitage takes a puff of his pipe".There are also two notable locations in town where you can gather information. Arkham Sanatorium (D1) may provide you with some unique perspectives on your cases.
With the right kind of ears, you may find insight by listening to the ranting of the patients there". Armitage leans forward, conspiratorially. "I'm not saying that I'd ever frequent such an establishment, and in these times, I'd even deny it existed, but the Speak- easy (N4) can be a valuable location to visit.
As a common, if secret, gathering place for all types, someone is bound to have heard something. Plus, the libations there cause folks to be more forthcoming than normal".
Armitage empties his pipe, and rises from his armchair. "Of course, you can always see me if you are stymied by an investigation. I can be found at my home (U8) or my office (C23A). I wish you the best of luck in your investigations, and will summon you as soon as I need your assistance".