Windwalker Map

Three of the Windwalker sites activate entities which power the three mystic glaciers. The entities are the Wendigo, the Gnoph-Keh, and Rhan-Tegoth. Simply place the appropriate card on the relevant glacier to indicate this. When Rhan-Tegoth’s Elder Sign is unlocked, in addition that player’s Priest ability is flipped face-up, so it can be used a second time. If the player has not yet used his Priest ability, this site provides no additional benefit. (In our example of play, the player who did manage to flip his Priest card face-up then failed to actually re-activate it before the game ended.)

Once a glacier is activated, it provides its rewards for all players in every preparation phase. This makes the end of the Windwalker board a sort of race to completion. Near the end (usually for only 1-2 turns) all players are getting 2 treasure, 2 blood, and 2 magic each turn!

Please note that the Wendigo and Gnoph-Keh Monster cards have nothing to do with the Wendigo and Gnoph-Key Windwalker cult board cards. They have the same art, but different text, and the cult board cards do not have the monster deck background (they are the same on both sides), so that you won’t accidentally shuffle them in amongst your monster cards. 


Federal Agent

It’s the Feds!

How do unique Investigators work?

If you have The Blood Ceremony expansion (part of the Dunwich Pledge Level), then you already are on track for getting 10 special investigators. To use these, at the game start, you randomly shuffle your 11 investigators together (the 10 from Blood Ceremony, and the Federal Agent once we reach her), then pull the top 3 cards and arrange them on your card display. The card display should be showing three investigators, three monsters, and three chambers.

Above the three investigators are numbers – respectively 1-2, 3-4, and 5-6. When a raid happens, the activating player must roll 1d6 and compare it to these number ranges. For example, if the Federal Agent is under the 5-6 section of the display, and a 5 or a 6 is rolled, then she’s the attacker! Post-raid, replace her with another investigator, drawn from the top of the deck. If a 1-4 is rolled, some other investigator will be the attacker. However, the Federal Agent stays on the card display – an everpresent threat.

In this way, you have an idea of which investigators are lurking in the sunlight, waiting to descend upon you, but you can’t be sure exactly which one is imminently on the way.

The Federal Agent’s Menace

The Federal Agent has two strings to her bow. First, because the wheels of the feds grind slowly and bureaucratically, your cultists in the asylum and escape space block 2 raid strength each, instead of 1. The idea here is that the feds are lulled into quiescence when they see that so many of your guys are locked up or on the run.

Second, she introduces the new Post-Raid ability, which is shared by a number of investigators. This ability is generally controlled by the player who is responsible for launching the raid, and is an extra bonus or incentive for him. In this case, after the raid is resolved, the player (with luck, you), gets to choose an opponent, who then has to bump an acolyte from the pool to the escape space, basically meaning that he has 1 less action he can take that turn.


Undead and Byakhee

Undead and Byakhee

Refresher – How do unique Monsters work?

If you have The Blood Ceremony expansion (part of the Dunwich Pledge Level), then in that set you get 12 Monsters. Additionally, there are 2 in the Dark Ritual box (also part of the Dunwich Pledge Level), the Dark Young and Undead. Soon, we will add the Byakhee!

To use these, at the game start, first, set aside the 15 “generic” monsters you got in the core game. You won’t need those. Then, randomly shuffle your 15 unique monsters together (once we get the Byakhee), then pull the top 3 cards and arrange them on your card display. The card display shows three investigators, three monsters, and three chambers.

When you gain a monster, by whatever means, you get your pick of the three monsters on display. Once you choose one, place it in one of your monster lairs, and flip over another monster – there are always three on display.

The Undead

Naturally, Herbert West has brought a little buddy along with him – it’s our Undead!

Something clearly went horribly wrong in the reanimation process (just look at the picture!) but our Undead monster is still really useful for defensive purposes.

When you sacrifice it against a raid, it counts for 5 defense, like many other monsters. But it doesn’t then go away – instead, you flip it upside-down, and now you can use it a second time, against another raid later on. Of course, parts of it were knocked off in the first raid, so it’s only worth 3 defense, but hey, that’s 8 total defense spread out over two raids.

Some caveats – you cannot use the Undead twice against the same raid. Also, if you are sacrificing the Undead for some site reward (for example, the Black Goat site that lets you trade in a monster for 2 spellbooks), this eliminates the entire Undead even if it hasn’t been flipped upside-down yet.

But just look at his adorable smile. He’s so happy to be back in the land of the living. Er … semi-living.

The Byakhee

The Byakhee can be used two different ways. First, you can simply sacrifice it like any other monster to help block an investigator raid. Used this way, it is worth 5 in defense.

But it also has another, more sinister purpose. Before you place a cultist (i.e., when it’s your turn), you can discard the Byakhee to steal an opponent’s spellbook. You may be thinking to yourself “not much of a trade.” Except that you are actually depriving your enemy of that spellbook as well as gaining it yourself. It’s almost like earning two spellbooks. Also remember you get the spellbook when you discard the Byakhee, which means your placed cultist can immediately use it.

Byakhee Tactics

The old Bait-and-Switch – when it’s your turn, steal someone’s spellbook. Then immediately place your cultist on the Silver Twilight Lodge and spend that spellbook for a monster and a chamber. Lo and behold your hated enemy is down a spellbook, and you are up a room (plus while you lost the Byakhee, you gain another monster, so you’re not even down one). Nice work if you can get it.


Shriek of the Byakhee – no one thinks you can unlock that next Elder Sign, because you don’t have a spellbook. But with the Byakhee, you do. Steal that spellbook, then use your cultist to unlock the Elder Sign. No one will be ready for the Investigator Raid you just surprised them with!


Game Over, Man! – let’s face it. Monsters are worth 0 victory points, and spellbooks are worth 5. If you still have a Byakhee near the game’s end, use it to bump up your points!


Herbert West

Herbert West & Priests

How do Priests work?

If you have The Blood Ceremony expansion (part of the Dunwich Pledge Level), then you already are on track for getting 10 unique priests. To use these, at the game start, you randomly shuffle your priests and each player draws one. Place it on the Priest slot on your player board. (It’s marked with a friendly Cthulhu face).

Like all the sites on your priest board, only your priest meeple can be used to activate these. More importantly, you only use your priest power once per game! They are very powerful, but timing them right is key to their successful use.

Herbert West’s power

Of course he is most famous for his appearance as the antihero of Herbert West: Reanimator, which though one of Lovecraft’s lesser efforts, was made into a fabulous movie in 1985, directed by Stuart Gordon. His ability in-game is that when he is used, you immediately rescue two cultists. This is a pretty huge benefit, and as such is tempered by a restriction, namely that you cannot use Herbert until you have a spellbook.


Please note that you don’t have to spend the spellbook to rescue your two cultists. You only have to have one in your possession! This typically means that you cannot use Herbert until the second action phase at the earliest, and usually not till the third. Some such requirement is normal for the more powerful priests, which means you must plan ahead to gain this great benefit, and may fall behind in the early game, compared to those who have more immediately-useful priests. For example, Abednego Akeley gives you 2 Magic, with no restrictions. On the other hand, once Father Akeley has shot his bolt, he’s done. But Herbert West’s 2 cultists are useful for a long long time after you take them.



Time for the Ancients

We are now announcing the new Ancients cult board! (Hmm, “New Ancients” is quite the oxymoron.) It will be included in the Dark Rituals stretch goal box, for everyone at the Dunwich pledge level. It’s not a “stretch goal” per se. Just a fun bonus for you all.

Thematically the Ancients don’t actually have a Great Old One to release, so your success on the Ancients cult board means you have successfully powered the Ancients dread machinery to enable them to rise en masse and conquer the surface world. As a reward for assisting them, they appoint you their High Priest administrator of the remains of humanity.

How do the Ancients work?

Unlike every other cult board, the Ancients do not provide any branching paths – you must follow a single straight line to the end. And, we are on the path of this Kickstarter to automatically arrive at the point of unlocking their cult board!

The standout feature of this board is the new Atomics resource. This resource is ONLY used on the Ancients board, and is gained by several of the sites, as well as an automatic gain when you shatter certain of the Elder Signs. For completeness, we are therefore automatically adding plastic versions of the atomic resource to the Artifact Pack!

The Atomic resource is necessary for unlocking some of the Elder Signs, but it is also usable as a resource on the “trade” sites. For example, you can trade 5 Atomics for 3 Magic at the Athenaeum on the Town board. (Of course you can also mix and match – 3 atomics, 1 treasure, and 1 blood for 3 Magic, for instance.)

The Ancients board is not particular lethal when it comes to attacks, but it also doesn’t provide you with any access to defenses or cultists, with two “sort-of” exceptions – two sites lets you trade a bunch of resources for spellbooks, and of course you can use a spellbook to get a monster (& chamber). The first lets you exchange 5 resources for 1 spellbook, the other, in the late game, trades 9 for two spellbooks (that second one is so close to the game end that it is important to be able to use, so try to get First Player once it unlocks so you can seize it). Five or nine resources for 1-2 spellbooks might seem like a lot, because normally it only costs you 3 resources at Miskatonic University, but on the other hand it is really flexible. Particular with the useful trading areas where you can trade 1 resource for 3 atomics, or 3 resources for 7 atomics (less efficient, but uses less cultist actions).

The last five Elder Signs on the Ancients board all require Atomics, so if you have been slacking off on gathering this resource in the mid-game, you might find yourself in a straitjacket near the end. So beware.

We really enjoyed creating and playing the Ancients board. I hope you like it as much as we do.


Black Goat

Black Goat

But First, Let’s Talk About Custom Dice

Well I have to say that I, Sandy Petersen, am not the biggest fan of custom dice. I was opposed to doing the custom dice in the very first Cthulhu Wars campaign (clear back in 2013), for example (obviously, I lost that fight in spades, given the fact that literally every game we produced since then has had custom dice). However, I am a big enough man to realize that many many people disagree with me, and think that custom dice are the bomb. Certainly I’ve spoken with folks on Discord, BGG, and conventions who love custom dice.

So, anyway here are the custom dice for Evil High Priest. Really they’re just normal 6-sided dice, since all the numbers are used.

What are the dice used for? Also a few points about raids.

If you haven’t read the rules, you may wonder why there are dice. They are only used to determine the strength of an investigator raid. All raids are 1, 2, or 3 dice in strength. You roll the dice, add them together, and that’s the raid*.

So this is a random element, BUT it is also an equalizer, because the raid strength is the same for every single player in the game! Even if I am the person who triggered the raid (which only happens on the cult board), then I get attacked by that same raid, so I need to be ready for it. Sometimes this means I don’t dare unlock a particular Elder Sign, because I couldn’t stand up to the raid it produces. Of course, some other player may make the calculation that the raid would hurt me worse than it does him, and launch the raid before I get to it! That’s life when you’re trying to become the Evil High Priest!

*Although, the advanced way to play the game is to only ever roll 1 die anyway. It’s 1d6 for a 1 gun raid. 1d6 + 6 for a 2 gun raid, and 1d6 + 12 for a 3 gun raid! Look at the alternate rule at the end of the rulebook. It’s the ONLY WAY to play, if you’re a REAL cultist 😉


Okay, now we’re getting into the meaty stretch goals. Once we hit $60,000 in funding, the Black Goat cult board will be included in the CORE GAME as an alternative cult to play with (rather than Cthulhu)!

Just before we launched the Kickstarter, we also released a Black Goat playthrough video, so check it out if you’re interested (it’s on the main KS page, or you can click here). I like it better than the Great Cthulhu video, because I totally won the Black Goat game (but went down to humiliating defeat in Great Cthulhu).

This stretch goal is for EVERYONE who pledges. You don’t need to be on the Dunwich level to gain this board.

How does Black Goat work?

Notable obvious differences from Great Cthulhu are, first, that there is no cult Shoggoth, no Deep One track, and there are two separate Start sites.

Another big difference is that all of the Investigator Raid sites (except two) also give the player who activates them a free monster. Unfortunately, you don’t get the monster till after the raid is resolved, so it can’t be used to protect you! On the other hand, you’re somewhat protected against the next raid!

In general, the Black Goat board gives you lots of cultists (2 cultists for just 5 treasure) and monsters (a monster for just 1 magic), but also, later on, gives you wants to trade in those cultists and monsters for prizes. For example, you can turn in a cultist for heaps of resources, or, late in the game, turn in a monster for two (2) spellbooks! That’s 10 victory points.

One of the Black Goat board considerations is that two of the reusable sites are only available late in the game, and can probably be used only once or twice. One of these is the aforementioned “trade a monster for 2 spellbooks”, which can really skyrocket you to victory, and the other is the infamous Cult Skulk. In our playthrough, we didn’t get to it (in fact, it was the last elder sign we unlocked, thus ending the game), but I have seen it used plenty of times. Here’s what it’s for – it lets you skulk another location on the Black Goat board, and this board’s sites are SO useful, that it is highly worth activating. You could use it to double-up on playing the “trade a magic for a monster” site, thus protecting you against the last attack. Or if you have enough monsters, you can double up on the “trade a monster for 2 spellbooks”. Since cultists aren’t really useful in the last turn or two, you can also just use the “trade a cultist for resources”, since this actually gives you the equivalent of 4 victory points for a cultist, plus 3 cash, which sometimes is enough to give you the most cash, worth another 5 victory points! The only real limitation is that the Cult Skulk is unlocked so late in the game, you usually won’t need it for the “pay 5 cash for 2 cultists” site. But that site is terrific in the early game!

I really like Black Goat. I hope you do too.