Mythos phase

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The term Mythos may also refer to Mythos cards, or to the Cthulhu Mythos, the literary source of Arkham Horror and The Call of Cthulhu

The Mythos phase is the last phase of each turn. It is also performed as the final phase of game setup, before the game proper starts.

During the Mythos Phase, the first player draws a mythos card and performs the following actions:

  1. Open Gate and Spawn Monster
  2. Place Clue Token
  3. Move Monsters
  4. Activate Mythos Ability

Each of these actions is performed in order as explained below.

Open Gate and Spawn Monster

Main Article:Gate The first player begins by looking at the lower-left corner of the mythos card he has drawn to see where the dimensional forces are assaulting Arkham this turn. One of three things happens, depending on whether there is an open gate, an elder sign marker, or neither at that location.

If Location Has No Elder Sign or Gate

If there is neither an open gate nor an elder sign marker at the location, a new gate opens and a monster emerges from it. This means that the following things happen, in order:

The Doom Track Advances

The first player places a doom token with the eye symbol face up in the first available space on the Ancient One’s doom track.

If the marker is placed in the last available space on the doom track, the Ancient One Awakens and the end of the game has begun. If the Ancient One awakens, you do not need to complete the rest of the Mythos Phase; proceed immediately to the Final Battle.

A Gate Opens

The first player draws a gate marker from the stack of gate markers near the board and places it face up on the location. Discard any Clue tokens that were on the location: The investigators have missed their opportunity to follow up on those leads.

If this gate exceeds the maximum for the number of players, the Ancient One Awakens and the end of the game has begun. If the Ancient One awakens, you do not need to complete the rest of the Mythos Phase; proceed immediately to the Final Battle.

If A Gate Opens On Investigators

If a gate opens at a location that contains one or more investigators, they are immediately drawn through the gate to the first area of the corresponding Other World. As a result of the sudden disorientation caused by the gate swallowing him, the investigator or investigators are delayed. Place their investigator marker on its side. Those investigators will not move during the next Movement Phase (see Delayed Investigators).

A Monster Appears

The first player draws a monster marker from the cup at random and places it on the location. If this would bring the number of monsters over the Monster limit, the first player places the monster in the Outskirts instead, and resolves any consequences of the monster being placed in the Outskirts.

Exception: If there are five or more investigators playing, then draw and place two monsters instead of one.

Important: Unlike investigators, monsters are never drawn through gates.

If Location Has an Elder Sign

If an elder sign token has been placed at the location, nothing happens. No gate opens and no monster appears. The elder sign has permanently sealed the gate at this location, and no new gates can open here.

No doom token is added to the Ancient One's doom track.

Exception: If the location on the card is shaded in red, that indicates a gate burst. The elder sign is removed from the board, and a new gate opens at that location. Add a doom token to the Ancient One's doom track. In addition, in the monster movement phase, all flying monsters move regardless of the dimension symbols on their cards.

If Location Has an Open Gate

If there is already an open gate at the location, a monster emerges from every open gate currently on the board. This is called a monster surge. A monster surge does not add a doom token to the Ancient One's doom track.

When a monster surge occurs, the number of monsters drawn and placed is equal to the number of open gates or the number of players, whichever is greater. The first player draws monster markers from the cup at random and places them on each location with an open gate. When placing monsters, they should be divided as evenly as possible among the open gates, with no gate having more monsters placed on it than the gate where the monster surge occurred this turn.

If there are more monsters to be placed than allowed by the monster limit, the players should decide where monsters will be placed. The players must make this decision before monsters have been drawn from the cup. If the players cannot agree where the monsters are to be placed, the first player decides the placement.

Place Clue Token

Most mythos cards indicate a location where a Clue token appears. Place a Clue token on the indicated location unless there is an open gate there. If one or more investigators are at that location, one of them (they should decide among themselves) may immediately take that Clue token. If the players cannot agree on who gets the Clue token, the first player decides.

If a gate is already present, no Clue token is placed.

Move Monsters

See main article at Monster movement

Although monsters start out in locations as they emerge from gates, they soon leave those locations to roam the streets of Arkham.

In order to determine monster movement, the first player looks at the lower-right corner of the Mythos card he has drawn for the turn. This area describes which monsters move during the turn as well as the direction they move on the board.

Each Mythos card has two movement areas on it, represented by black and white boxes. Each location and street area on the board likewise features a black or white arrow (sometimes both, see below). Each movement box on a mythos card also has one or more Dimensional symbols printed in it. Each monster marker likewise features such a dimension symbol on its movement side.

Monsters currently on the board (and not in the Outskirts) whose dimensional symbols are listed in either movement box on the Mythos card move to a connected location or street area, as follows:

  • If the monster marker's border is black, it follows an arrow leading out of its current area:
    • If its dimensional symbol is listed in the white movement box, it follows the white arrow.
    • If the dimensional symbol is listed in the black movement box, it follows the black arrow.
  • If the monster marker border is yellow, it is stationary; it never moves.
  • If the monster marker border is green, blue, red, or orange, the monster moves in a special way as explained in Monster movement.

Important: The arrows leading out of some locations are black on one side and white on the other. These arrows count as both a black arrow and a white arrow, so monsters whose symbols appear in either the black or the white movement box of the Mythos card follow the arrow.

Monster Movement and Investigators

A monster that already shares a location or street area with one or more investigators does not move and remains in place. Certain monsters move several times; see the description of “Fast” monsters at Special Monster Movement. When such a monster enters an area that contains one or more investigators, it must immediately stop moving. No encounter with the monster takes place during this phase, but the investigators will be forced to evade or fight the monster during their next Movement Phase.

Activate Mythos Ability

Finally, the first player looks at the special text on the mythos card, examining the trait listed at the top of the card. The various traits indicate different types of mythos cards, and they are resolved in different ways as described below.

  • Headline: The first player immediately resolves the special text of a Headline mythos card. He then discards the mythos card face down to the bottom of the mythos deck.
  • Environment: The special text of an Environment mythos card remains in play until another Environment card is drawn to replace it, possibly even until the end of the game. The first player places the card face up next to the game board, discarding any previous Environment mythos card face down to the bottom of the mythos deck. This means that only one Environment mythos card can be in play at a time.
  • Rumor: The special text of a Rumor mythos card remains in effect until either the Pass or Fail condition on the card is met, at which point the card is resolved and is discarded face down to the bottom of the mythos deck. Only one Rumor can be in play at once. If there is already a Rumor mythos card in play, ignore the special text of the newly drawn Rumor and discard it face down to the bottom of the mythos deck after resolving its other effects for the turn (such as gate opening and monster movement).
  • Other Effects: Additionally, the mythos card may call for one or more “activity” or “closed” markers to be placed on specific locations. Simply place the respective markers on the locations indicated by the card. If the card leaves play, remove the markers from the locations as well.