What on earth possessed me to get a dice game? Those of you who’ve read some of my previous posts will know that dice and I simply don’t get along. From Necromunda to Risk to Snakes and bloody Ladders, dice love to troll me to the maximum possible extent. It must, therefore, have been a moment of true madness when I picked up Elder Sign, an Arkham Horror offshoot from Fantasy Flight that is played with cards and dice. Dice! What was I thinking? Well, as you’ll no doubt be aware I’m a fan of the Lovecraftian mythos. I’m also a big fan of Fantasy Flight’s take on it via Arkham Horror and Mansions of Madness. It seems like a logical step to grab another Lovecraftian game, right? …Right?
Elder Sign is a co-operative game for one to eight players in which you take the part of an investigator attempting to stop a Great Old One – a horribly powerful creature from another dimension – from breaking in to our world. You do this by collecting spells, items and clues, by defeating monsters and by searching for the mythical Elder Signs which will allow you to seal away the Great Old One for good. So far, so Arkham Horror. Indeed, if you’ve played Arkham Horror or Mansions of Madness you’ll instantly recognise the playable characters and their accompanying artwork. You’ll also be familiar with the notion that each of them has a stamina and a sanity rating.
Where Elder Sign begins to differ from its big brother is that it’s a much more focused setting.