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  • 1 Game Board
  • 1 Bag
  • 4 Player Figures
  • 26 Creature Cards
  • 6 "Great Old Ones" Cards
  • 12 Event Cards
  • Overview of the "Great Old Ones" Card
  • 1 Starting Player Card
  • 4 Player Aid Cards
  • 1 Witch of Salem Figure
  • 1 Necron Marker
  • 1 Loss Die
  • 32 Location Cards
  • 4 Player Boards
  • 4 Sanity Markers
  • 34 Item Markers
  • 8 x Portal Tiles

Object of the Game

America, early 20th century: the "Great Old Ones", horrible demons from another plane, are the ancient inhabitants of a world wrapped in darkness. Once these demons were kept under control of the even more powerful.

Now one of them is gathering its forces but is temporarily still confined in his magical prison, a pyramid built in the underwater city of R'lyeh deep down at the bottom of the ocean.

The servants of evil have already opened magic portals in different places of the city of Arkham, to allow evil access to our world. But Robert Craven, the powerful Witch of Salem (or Warlock), is gathering a group of brave scholars of the occult for their help in his fight against evil.

The players will first have to discover, with the help of magical glasses, the locations of open portals, and then close them using powerful magic seals.

At the same time, they must be careful not to inadvertently open new portals! At the moment we do not know the identity of the "Great Old One" imprisoned in R'lyeh, nor which weapons are needed to stop this demon.

The "Necronomicon", an ancient book of black magic and demonology, will help them to succeed. For the heroes, a dangerous adventure begins that will bring them to the verge of madness.

They must oppose hordes of terrifying creatures led by the evil magician Necron, the nemesis of Robert Craven, as well as hideous shadows of other "Great Old Ones". Will our heroes succeed in defeating the evil before the demon arrives at Arkham from the interdimensional abyss?

The players must work together to find and close all the portals that lead to the parallel dimension before Necron becomes too powerful and is able to open a dimensional rift. To win you must also use the magic items suitable to hold the prisoner "Great Old One" on R'lyeh. If the players fail to complete these operations at the right time, all participants will lose the game.


  • Before playing your first game, carefully punch out all the tiles. You only need one set of 8 portal tiles. The two extra sets are provided as replacements.

  • The board pictures the city of Arkham with seven locations (0 - 6), the underwater prison in R'lyeh, and the track which records Necron's strength.

  • Shuffle the 6 "Great Old One" cards. Place 5 of these cards face down next to the 5 numbered edges around R'lyeh. Flip the card on the first edge face up.

  • Place the 6th card face down on the R'lyeh space on the board. This 6th card is the "Great Old One" that the players must banish and defeat.

  • Place the overview of "Great Old Ones" card next to the board.

  • Choose a player to go first. Shuffle the 26 creature cards and place them next to the starting player. Place the starting player card next to the starting player with the side corresponding to the number of players face up. In a three-player game, place the side with 1 creature card pictured face up.

  • Shuffle the 12 event cards. Remove 4 and place them face down off to the side. These cards are not used initially. Place the stack of the 8 remaining event cards face down next to the player to the right of the starting player.

  • Take a set of playing pieces of the same color (a player figure, 8 location cards, a player aid card, and a player board). You should also take a sanity marker to mark your current sanity.

  • Place your sanity marker on your player board on space 6. lace your player figure on the Miskatonic University. Place the Witch of Salem figure on the Miskatonic University (on the "0").

  • Place the Necron marker at the beginning of the Necron track, the large space at the lower right of the board. Place the die next to the board.

  • Shuffle the 8 portal tiles (4 walls, 4 portals) face down. Place 1 tile on each location numbered 1 through 6 on the board. Return the 2 unplaced portal tiles, unseen, to the box. In each game, there will be between 2 and 4 open portals.

  • Place the 34 item markers in the bag. Draw 1 item from the bag and place it on your player board. Place any artifact on your single artifact space. Place any other item on one of your three minor item spots.

  • For each location on the board, draw three items from the bag and place them from left to right on the three-item spaces next to the location. After drawing for locations, place the bag next to the board.

Game Play

You and your fellow players are helping the Witch of Salem. Your goal is to stop the "Great Old One" in R'lyeh. To this end, you must close all the portals in town using the appropriate artifacts.

You may only close the portal on the Miskatonic University after you have banned the "Great Old One" in R'lyeh. You only have so much time, since Necron's power is growing uncontrollably.

As soon as the Necron marker reaches the last space on the Necron track (the dimensional rift), the game is over and you have lost. You also lose if the Necron marker reaches the demon space (in the lower right comer of the board) before the "Great Old One" in R'lyeh is revealed.

Steps in a game round:

A. Flip New Creature(s)

At the beginning of each round, the starting player turns over either one or two creature cards:

  • in a game with two players, one card
  • in a game with four players, two cards
  • in a game with three players, alternate between one and two cards, starting with one card

Each creature has two cards in the creature deck. There are also two special cards, the Necron and Robert Craven.

After revealing a creature card, there are two possibilities:

  1. The other creature card with the same picture is NOT already on the board.

    In this case, the revealed creature is placed on the board at the first empty location clockwise from the Witch of Salem. Place the very first creature drawn on the Sanatorium. Never place Necron or Robert Craven on the board. Never place a creature card on the Miskatonic University.

    Important: If each of the 6 locations already has a creature, the new card is discarded without effect.

  2. The other creature card with the same picture is already on the board.

    In this case, the creature activates. You and the other players suffer the effects listed by the text at the bottom of the creature card. Each different creatures causes a different type of loss.

Example 1: The Undead is revealed. The other card with the same picture is already on the board. The Necron marker moves 3 spaces forward toward the dimensional rift.

Example 2: Deep One. The players must collectively discard two magic glasses items.

Example 3: Lava Worm. The players must collectively discard 4 minor items (not artifacts). The discarded items can be of any combination.

If you and the other players must discard items, you must decide how many each player will give up. Discarded items are placed next to the board.

On some cards, a red arrow is shown above the items to be discarded.

In this case, if you and the other players cannot completely meet the requirements of the card, you must discard all available items of the required type and move the Necron marker towards the dimensional rift to the next spot depicting Necron.

You may not choose to move the Necron marker and keep your items.

If a creature is activated, discard the creature card that was drawn. The matching creature remains on the board.

Special Creature Cards

Necron: Advance the Necron marker one space toward the dimensional rift for each creature on the board. If a "Great Old One" is present at Miskatonic University, move the Necron marker an additional two spaces.

When finished, shuffle the Necron card and all discarded creature cards (including the Robert Craven card if it has been discarded) back into the creature deck.

Robert Craven: Place the Witch of Salem figure and all player figures on Miskatonic University. You and the other players retrieve all of your played location cards and return them to your hands.

If there is a "Great Old One" on the shadow space at Miskatonic University, you do not suffer any losses. When finished, discard the Robert Craven card and draw a new creature card.

B. Player Actions

Starting with the starting player and proceeding clockwise, each player performs the following actions in order.

1. Play a location card and move

  • Select one of your location cards in your hand and lay it face up in front of your- self. Then place your player figure on the location indicated by the card.

  • If you play your secret passage location card, you may move to any location. You may not, however, remain at the same location. In addition, you must lose 1 sanity when playing your secret passage. The secret passage is the only way to get to R'lyeh to banish the "Great Old One".

  • When moving to the Miskatonic University location, retrieve all previously played location cards. As usual, next turn you must play a new location card.

2. Trade with another player

  • If there is another player at your new location, you may give one non-artifact item to him or her, and/or he or she may give one non-artifact item to you.

  • If multiple players are at the same location, you may give and receive non-artifact items with one and only one of those players.

Note: Artifacts may never be traded or given away.

3. Encounter a creature or shadow

If there is a creature at your new location (or a shadow at the university), you must roll the die to see what you lose.

Lose a non-artifact item. You must lose the item depicted on the die if you have one. If you do not have any, there is no further penalty. If you have more than one, you just lose one.

Lose a sanity. If this reduces your sanity to 0, you are out of the game.

Move Necron one space toward the dimensional rift.

Important: If you move to the Witch of Salem's current location, you do not need to roll the die for any creature at that location (or shadow at the University).

After suffering any losses indicated by the die roll, you may attempt to defeat the creature. You may defeat a creature even if you did not have to roll the dice (because the Witch of Salem was at your location).

To defeat a creature, you must have in your possession the 2 (or 3 for a shadow) items listed at the top of the creature card. You do not need to discard the items used to defeat the creature.

Exception: "Thul Saduun" -this creature requires you to discard an artifact in order to defeat it.

Defeated creatures are placed in the creature's discard pile. Defeated shadows are returned to the box.

4. Use one item

You may use one item. After using the item, discard it near the edge of the board.

Magical glasses: You may look at the face-down portal tile at the location your figure is in. After looking at it, return it face down to the board. Now you know if there is a portal or not at this location.

Important: You may not tell your fellow players what was on the portal tile.

ou may not perform this action at Miskatonic University since there is no portal tile there; instead, there is an open portal that is visible at the beginning of the game.

Necronomicon: You may reveal the next "Great Old One" card (around R'lyeh) card. Since the card on edge 1 is revealed at the start of the game, the first time this action is taken, the card on edge 2 is revealed, then the one on 3, and so on. Finally, the card on R'lyeh itself is revealed.

Elixir of Nus: You recover one sanity. If you are in the location with the Witch of Salem, you recover 2 sanity instead. Your sanity may never go above 6 however.

Dagger of the N'gaa: If you are in a location with the Witch of Salem, you f may defeat the creature at that location. You may also defeat the shadow at the university in this way.

Artifacts: If you have the artifact pictured next to the portal tile, you may place the artifact on the portal tile to indicate that it has been closed.

Warning: If at the end of the game you discover that an artifact was placed on a wall, you and the other players lose. The portal at Miskatonic University may be closed with any artifact, but only after the "Great Old One" in R'lyeh is revealed.

Any artifact may also be used to defeat the "Thul Saduun" creature. When used in this way, the artifact is discarded near the edge of the board.

5. Pay for and receive one item at your location

  • At the end of your turn, you may take one of the items at your location and add it to your player board. If you already have three non-artifact items or an artifact, you may discard one to make space.

  • After taking an item, you must pay the price (if any) for that item. The price is based on the one or two symbols above the space the item occupied. Depending on where the item was located, you must:

Move the Necron marker one or two spaces toward the dimensional rift.

Reduce your sanity by one or two.

Reveal and resolve the top creature card.

Reveal and resolve the top event card.

  • You are not required to take an item.

  • If you take an item, it may not be used until your next turn.

  • If the last item from a location is taken, draw three more items from the bag and place them from left to right on the item spots at the location.

  • If there are no more items in the bag, gather up the discarded and used items near the game board and return them to the bag.

C. Draw an Event Card

After each player has taken his or her player actions, the last player draws and reveals the top event card.

Move the Witch of Salem figure along with the locations a number of spots equal to the number on the event card. From location 6 (The Church-"Kirche"), the Witch moves to location 0 (Miskatonic University). The Witch's special abilities help players at the same location. The Witch's special abilities allow the players to:

  • Defeat a creature with the Dagger of N'Gaa.
  • Recover 2 sanity when using the Elixir of Nus
  • Do not need to roll the die when moving to a location with a creature

Then follow the instruction given on the event card. If the event deck is exhausted, shuffle all 12 event cards together, remove 4, and place the remaining 8 next to the last player for next round.

Next Round

The starting player begins the next round by drawing one or two creature cards.

The starting player never changes.

Shadows of the "Great Old One"

  • There are six different "Great Old Ones" in the game. The five that are placed around R'lyeh at the beginning of the game can only appear at Miskatonic University as shadows through the effects of event cards.

    If you go to Miskatonic University and there is a shadow there, you must roll the die and suffer the indicated loss.

    The shadow may be defeated by possessing the three items indicated at the top of the "Great Old One" card (the items do not need to be discarded).

    As long as the shadow is in play at Miskatonic University, the text on its card is in effect.

  • If, due to an event, a new shadow is placed on the University, remove the current shadow and return it to the box. If there are no "Great Old One" cards around R'leyh, nothing happens.

  • You must reveal all "Great Old One" cards before Necron reaches the demon field in the corner of the board.

    If you do not, the game is lost.


  • As soon as the card in R'lyeh is revealed, you know which "Great Old One" must be banned.

    As long as this card is face-up (and the "Great Old One" is not currently being banned), the text on its card is in effect.

  • In order to win, one player must travel to R'lyeh and ban the "Great Old One" there. Until that "Great Old One" is banned, the portal at Miskatonic University may not be closed.

  • In order to travel to R'lyeh, you must play your secret passage card (remember to lose a sanity), you must place your player figure on the banning space in R'lyeh, and you must have in your possession the required items listed on the "Great Old One" card. You do not need to roll the die when traveling to R'lyeh.

    Note: For Cthulhu, three identical items are required, while for Dagon any three different items are required.

    This banning nullifies the power of the "Great Old One" for the time being-the text on its card is not in effect while it is being banned. However, from now on, on your player turn, you lose one sanity.

    If you are reduced to zero sanity, you are out of the game, and a different player must travel to R'lyeh to ban the "Great Old One".

  • If you are banning the "Great Old One", you no longer take a player action.

    You are also not affected by creature activations or event cards.

  • The "Great Old One" player aid indicates what items are required to ban each of the "Great Old Ones".

Sanity Drops to 0

If your sanity ever drops to 0, then you have been driven insane and are out of the game. Your equipment is discarded.

End of the Game

There are several ways to lose the game, but only one way to win.

The game is lost if:

  • Necron reaches the demon space on the track before "Great Old One" in R'lyeh is revealed.

  • Necron reaches the dimension rift at the end of the track

  • When all but one player has been eliminated by being reduced to 0 sanity-you cannot close the portal at Miskatonic University by yourself (one player must be banning the "Great Old One")

The game is won as soon as the "Great Old One" is banned and all portals are closed. This assumes you did not accidentally open a portal by placing an artifact at a location with a wall.

After the portal at Miskatonic University has been closed, reveal all the portal tiles and verify that every portal has been closed with the appropriate artifact and that no artifacts were placed where there is not a portal.

If all the portals are closed and no new ones have been opened, you have won, otherwise, you have lost.


If desired, your overall success can be calculated. Count the number of spaces remaining on the Necron track.

Add the total number of items (artifact and non-artifact) and the sanity each player possesses. The result is your score.

Higher Difficulties

In order to raise the difficulty for experienced players, some or all of the following can be used:

  • Players start with only 5 or 4 sanity
  • Start Necron 3 spaces along the track
  • Remove one pair of creatures from the creature deck

Playing Cooperatively

At the beginning of each round, it may be useful to discuss strategy. Just remember that you are not allowed to discuss what you know about portal tiles.

However, if the group decides to go for banning the "Great Old One" and closing the portal at Miskatonic University, you are allowed to say that there are still portals open in Arkham.

Similarly, you are allowed to say that you do not know of any more open portals in Arkham.

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