Nightmare Dares

Introducing the Week of Horror 2023 Designer Dares


Do you consider yourself an Arkham Horror Files master? Think you can take on any challenge the Mythos throws at you? Well then, the time has come to prove your mettle.

Game designers Philip D. Henry and Waleed Ma’arouf have provided us with some dastardly designer dares for Arkham Horror and Arkham Horror: The Card Game respectively. Read on for some words from the designers and a sneak peek at what these challenges entail. Then, when you think you’re ready, feel free to take on the dares themselves!

Arkham Horror Designer Dare by Philip D. Henry

Ever since I started working on the Arkham Horror game line back in 2018, there is one scenario I have never beaten: Echoes of the Deep. In every attempt, an early gate burst sparks an anomaly, puts doom on the scenario sheet, and drops an epic monster on the board before we’ve even begun to put the clues together. We scramble desperately to claw our way back to some kind of pyrrhic victory, but the result is always the same: 

A perpetual cycle of madness, failure, death, and truly abhorrent dice rolls churns the investigators into shattered wrecks. Our fair city is destroyed in a crush of black water and cataclysmic fire and Cthulhu looms over the wreckage. Mocking me. Every. Time.

So I dare you, intrepid investigators, to challenge this scenario—my white whale—with all the weight of my own failures dragging you down like an anchor into the fallen city of R’lyeh.

Phantoms of the past recite a litany of failure and despair.

There is no respite from the clangorous toll of inevitability.

Many before you have tried. All have fallen, lost and forgotten.

The wicked dreams of some malignant force writhe in the darkest shadows.

The careless whims of fate cut as keenly as any blade.

Arkham Horror Designer Dare: Echoes of the Deep Nightmare Mode

—Philip D. Henry

Arkham Horror: The Card Game Designer Dares by Waleed Ma’arouf

As the newest designer on Arkham Horror: The Card Game, I am honored to provide a unique perspective to this much-beloved and impactful game line. Arkham Horror: The Card Game’s strength lies within its narrative. Each decision you make creates ripples throughout the game and alters your overall experience. We, as designers, hope that our stories give you a place to immerse yourself, making you feel like the last bastion of sanity in a sea of cosmic horror.

With this, I would like to place my sacrifice onto the pyre of Week of Horror 2023. As I mentioned before, we want to create captivating worlds that you get lost in. But (surprisingly) there are limits to what we have the power to do. So that is what I want you all to think of as spooky season is upon us. What can you do as players to create a more immersive and meaningful experience playing Arkham Horror: The Card Game?

I dare you—no, I double-Duke dare you—try one or more of my ideas out. These are designed to create a more immersive experience and to help you connect to your co-investigators (or that gorgeous person in the mirror if you’re solo; we see you!) in unique and exciting ways. Each of these dares can be taken up by themselves, or mixed and matched for ultimate enjoyability. 

In addition to my dares, I have also provided expert Arkham LCG players with a new scenario challenge for The Gathering. In this version, Lita Chantler is missing, and all you are left with is the dreaded fangs of the Ghoul Priest.

What better way to grow acquainted with one another than through The Gathering, the first scenario in Arkham Horror: The Card Game. As the walls in your home (or your parent’s home, Wendy) melt away, you are left to deal with this gruesome scourge as they crawl their way out of the dirt beneath your feet. But have no fear, for the zealot is … here. Wait, where is she? Has anyone seen Lita? 

Arkham Horror: The Card Game Designer Dares + The Gathering Nightmare Mode

If you took on one of my dares, let me know! We want to hear all about your experiences using these dares, so please let us know your choices and tell us about your journey. Moreso, we want to know how you play Arkham! Do you have a go to soundtrack? What’s the perfect number of people to play with? Who’s your go-to investigator?

Once again, I am honored to be on a team of passionate designers and developers all focused on creating the most immersive experience we can. I thank you for your time and look forward to seeing you in the streets of Arkham for many years to come.

—Waleed Ma’arouf

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