Searching for Carcosa… in Paris

Path to Carcosa

Hey everybody,
I’m trying to find the Path to Carcosa with furious abandon, and my search has now crossed the Atlantic and taken me to Paris! Following on from a pair of scenarios that explore classic locations from the Arkham Horror board game, we’re in uncharted territory next, as we move closer to the theme of The King in Yellow for the next scenario, A Phantom of Truth!

I said last time that Echoes of the Past was possibly my favourite scenario to date, but we have a strong contender here for that title, because of the sheer theme that comes through from chasing the Organist across Paris. Very strongly linked to In the Court of the Dragon from RW Chambers’ stories, it also has the interesting theme whereby doom in play subtracts from doom on the agenda. I haven’t come across that before, but of course I’m getting to see hundreds of different ways in which the designers have been playing with the now-traditional make-up of the game.

We also see the doubt and conviction theme come strongly to the fore, with game choices hinging on how much of each we have logged. However, I have to commend the designers again for the introductory blurb in the rules insert, which follows a dream sequence that determines our setup. It’s quite fun, in its way, and somehow fits perfectly with the source material. The amount of work that goes into these sorts of games must be phenomenal, though, when you think that each and every choice needs to have a logical path and conclusion!

Campaign Log
Not a lot to say about this one, really! I found Nigel’s home, and managed to chase down The Stranger once again. With 5 experience points in the bank, though, I’m plunging straight into the next scenario…

Up next is The Pallid Mask, where we find ourselves in the Catacombs of Paris. This one had a lot of hype from players on the Facebook group, but when it came down to it, I don’t think I was as impressed as perhaps I could have been! The game again plays slightly differently, as we start our search for The Man in the Pallid Mask but we aren’t sure where he’s going to end up. Locations here are linked orthogonally, and when you reveal a location from a specially-constructed deck, it tells you where to place the next location(s) in the sequence. So what starts with a fairly basic setup (above) will end up with a much more developed Catacomb!

I said that it wasn’t as good as I’d been led to believe, but I still enjoyed it, of course! There is a definite sense of stumbling around in the dark here, and I thought it was very well-done in how everything links together. I had a similar feeling to The Unspeakable Oath, where we need to explore specific locations to advance the story along, and I ended up needing to retrace my steps or, in this case, I had already fortuitously explored certain areas that allowed me to continue on quickly!

The feeling of whether this is all in your head definitely comes out in the middle two scenarios from the cycle, almost as if we’ve been imagining the malevolent Organist causing problems for us (as in the story), or maybe the Man in the Pallid Mask is just a figment of our imagination. Doubt and conviction are almost key here, and it seems interesting to me where my earlier choices were giving me doubt, I now find myself with more conviction than ever – almost like I’ve convinced myself that this is all real. Is this just a fever dream? I hope I don’t get to the final pack in the cycle, only for it to have all been a dream…

Campaign Log
So, this one was interesting. I opened a secret passageway, but more importantly, I know the site of the gate! Two more notches against chasing The Stranger, so I’ve got five points there now. What’s this for? No idea. I suppose there’s going to be some final showdown coming… Daisy managed to translate the glyphs that she picked up a while ago, so that’s handy, and we have 5 more experience points.

It’s time to upgrade those decks once again!

Daisy has now gained a Permanent card in the shape of Studious, which increases her opening hand size by 1. She’s also got her own Grisly Totem, as I think it was quite useful for Pete earlier. Speaking of everybody’s favourite drifter, he’s upgraded his Rabbit’s Foot (a sentence I never thought I’d see myself typing), and has switched out a couple of cards that had previously been a bit dead for two copies of Moonstone, an attribute buff card that can only be played by discarding it – you could say it’s a card that was made for Pete’s deck, as he needs to discard to ready Duke.

Okay, let’s not beat about the proverbial bush any more – come back tomorrow for game day, where the campaign draws to a close, and I’ll share some of my thoughts on the overall experience!

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