Arkham Horror LCG interview and stream resources

Game preservation/history is a very important topic that isn’t talked about enough. This is a running log of interviews from FFG representatives about Arkham Horror LCG.

If you have an interview to add to this page, contact us at hallofheroescontact(at)gmail.com

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Key Arkham Horror LCG staff:

MJ Newman – Lead Designer

Jeremy Zwirn – Designer

Daniel Schaefer – Designer

Nate French – Executive Game Designer

Evan Johnson – Former Marketing Manager

Mercedes Opheim – Former Card Game Manager

Brooke Robison – Former Marketing Coordinator

Brad Andres – Former Designer

Andrew Navaro – Former Head of Studio


2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019| 2020 | 2021


August 2016:

First FFG news post for Arkham Horror LCG

“Arkham Horror: The Card Game, more than any card game before it, is a blend of the traditional customizable card game and roleplaying experiences.”

Arkham Knights including Arkham LCG introductory post

“In this spirit of this haunting season, Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce Arkham Nights 2016, held this October 14th-15th at the Fantasy Flight Games Center in Roseville, Minnesota.”

Learning Arkham with Team Covenant with an FFG rep


October 2016:

Arkham Horror LCG Arkham Knights presentation with MJ and Nate


November 2016:

Board Games Reddit AMA with MJ

“In all honesty, I owe pretty much everything to my parents. My Dad single-handedly introduced me to the boardgame industry (he’s an accomplished game designer by the way, everybody!) and is also smart as all get out. My Mom is the smartest person I’ve ever met and helped drive me to do well academically, and think critically. I don’t think I’d be where I am were it not for them.” – MJ

“Our Arkham IP is inspired by the Lovecraft mythos, but there are a few tonal differences that take it in more of a pulp-horror direction. For example, in cosmic-horror stories there is an overwhelming sense of futility and hopelessness. But in the Arkham IP, there is hope, even if the odds are stacked menacingly against you. You can die, and you can go mad, and now that you know things you were never meant to know, you cannot live in blissful ignorance… But you can pick up a shotgun and go hunting Mi-Go. It’s warmer than Lovecraft, but still cold enough to get that Lovecraftian feel.” – MJ

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February 2017:

Mythos Busters interviews MJNewman and Nate French


March 2017:

Designing Cooperative Games Team Covenant interview with MJ


April 2017:

Bad Publicity interview with MJ and Brad


May 2017:

Path to Carcosa Team Covenant stream with MJ

Mythos Busters interview Team Covenant (not developer related)


June 2017:

Arkham Horror LCG Tutorial Video

ArkhamPi interviews MJ on the Core Set


July 2017:

Drawn to the Flame interview with MJ after Dunwich

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March 2018:

Calvin Wright introduction from MJ

“Our first iteration of Calvin dealt with weaknesses. His ability gave him a benefit whenever he drew a weakness, and his signature cards included several copies of a rather tame weakness. The idea was that Calvin was cursed to continually draw lots of weaknesses, but his ability made up for that drawback. While intriguing, this version was scrapped pretty early in the design process.” – MJ


April 2018:

Mythos Busters interviews MJ

Drawn to the Flame interview with MJ after Carcosa


June 2018:

The Return of the Designer Journal with Nate

So You Want to be a Game Designer… Designer Journal with Nate

State of the LCG with Nate, Mercedes, Andrew and MJ

Return to the Night of the Zealot Team Covenant playthrough with MJ


July 2018:

Arkhamtypes Designer Journal with MJ

“In today’s designer journal, I’ll be exploring the concept of player archetypes: a type of gaming personality, consisting of that player’s desires, goals, and motivations. These archetypes are useful to designers, presenting us with questions like, “Which type of player is going to enjoy this card/scenario the most?” or, “Do we have enough in this cycle to satisfy each player type?” Archetypes can also be useful to you as a player, helping you identify the spark that excites you, and how to best take advantage of that feeling.” – MJ

Then it Multiplied Designer Journal with MJ

“My hope is that the Arkham Horror: The Card Game community can use these challenges as a rallying point of sorts. You can use these challenges as discussion topics online, or you might use them as the basis for regular gaming sessions with your friends at your local game store.” – MJ


August 2018:

What’s in a Name, the art of naming cards with Brad Andres

“What a card represents in the game’s setting is an essential part of its identity, and the name is integral to establishing that representation within a player’s mind. A good card title can create a story of what happens when the card is played. A card from Arkham Horror: The Card Game, “Look what I found!” is a great example of this, as it takes the effect of turning failure into opportunity and turns it into a memorable game moment.” – Andres


September 2018:

Death Itself Designer Challenge from MJ

“This designer challenge will test your speed and your evasiveness. You have been trapped in the vast and labyrinthine catacombs of Paris, and an invulnerable specter of Death itself is hot on your heels. In order to play this challenge, you will need one copy of the Core Set, The Path to Carcosa deluxe expansion, The Pallid Mask Mythos Pack, and one investigator deck per player (note that there are some additional deckbuilding restrictions due to the ultimatums below). Good luck!” – MJ


November 2018:

Arkham Chronicle interview with Alex Watkins of Organized Play (OP)


December 2018:

Drawn to the Flame interview with MJ after The Forgotten Age

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January 2019:

Gaming Resolutions with MJ and Nate

“When I first joined the card game team in 2012, I had no idea how much fiction writing would become an integral part of my workflow. While creative writing has always been one of my core interests, I never thought I would have the chance to flex those muscles in a professional capacity. I’ve spent the last couple years trying to improve my writing skills as much as possible, not just for the sake of future Arkham products, but also for my own personal satisfaction.” – MJ

Marie Lambeau introduction from MJ

“When the new deluxe expansion releases, those of you who missed Marie the first time around will finally get to bring her along in their investigations. This means that The Circle Undone contains not one, but two Mystics, and six investigators in total!” – MJ

MJ Newman storytelling Designer Journal

“I’m a writer and a roleplayer at heart. I like to forge worlds, create characters, and then weave a narrative wherein those characters are placed in that world and tested. So, as you might imagine, my favorite kinds of games are those which tell a story through gameplay. Roleplaying games are an obvious type of game for crafting your own narrative, since they give players near-unmitigated control over the story. But what if you’re playing a card game?” – MJ


February 2019:

MJ and Brooke talk Joe Diamond with Arkham Chronicle


April 2019:

Arkham Horror Circle Undone stream with MJ, Evan and Brooke Part 1 (Part 2)


July 2019:

Arkham Horror Ghost Hunt with MJ and Nicholas

Deck Building stream with Evan and MJ

Miskatonic University Radio interview with MJ Newman


August 2019:

FFG Employee Art/Cameos Kotaku piece


September 2019:

Arkham Horror Dream Eaters stream with MJ, Evan and Brooke Part 1 (Part 2)

Lessons of Amateur Game Design from MJ, Jeremy and Nate

“I created a lot of games as a child. I mean a lot of games. Most of them were trashed in less than a week as I grew bored of them or became fixated on a new idea. I very rarely crafted something to a form that was actually playable, and even then, I usually just left it on my desk at home, never to be seen or played. However, there was one game I created in middle school that stuck with my friends and me for many months.” – MJ

Arkham Horror LCG Reddit AMA with MJ

“We don’t design or plan out replacement cards for investigators as we are designing them, since we don’t know which investigators might get novellas in the future and which won’t. That said, there’s definitely a lot of design space open for all of our investigators in terms of replacement cards!” – MJ

“After I graduated from law school in 2012, I was making my own homebrew content for Lord of the Rings: The Card Game when the job posting for an Associate Card Game Developer at FFG went live. By pure happenstance, they were looking for a Lord of the Rings developer, so I applied and thankfully got the job! But I’ve been a part of the tabletop industry pretty much since childhood. My father made board games for a long time as a hobby and my basement was always filled with various widgets and game components. I started making my own games when I was a child and never really stopped.” – MJ

“We playtest at all player counts! We have several groups that test exclusively at solo or 2 player and many that play 3-4 players, so we have a wide range of feedback.” – MJ

Drawn to the Flame interview with MJ after The Circle Undone


November 2019:

Arkham Horror Murder at the Excelsior Hotel stream with MJ

Mythos Busters interview with artist Andreia Ugrai

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January 2020:

The Great Old Ones Gaming interview with MJ

February 2020:

Arkham Horror AMA with MJ and Jeremy

“I try not to play too many of them [custom scenarios] so I don’t inadvertently steal any ideas that fans may have had, I have played a handful of them. I think one of the things that’s really cool about Arkham is that it’s very easy for players to make their own scenarios, even if they’re not making their own encounter cards, even an act and agenda can sell the flavor.” – MJ

“We definitely are always keeping apprised of the community, and I try to be on Reddit and the forums, and read what people say all the time. As far as decks…I don’t know…we typically see what people are using in playtesting. Occasionally we are surprised, yeah.” – MJ

“If any investigator in the IP [could work at FFG], and don’t take this as tacit confirmation that she is coming, I would pick Gloria Goldberg. She is a writer. She’s an author. And she has dreams and foresees horrible stuff.” – MJ

“It’s worth noting that this [MJ and Zwirn] isn’t like a brand new arrangement. He’s been [Zwirn] on the Arkham team for…eight months, now? So it’s kind of like the amount of responsibilities Jeremy has had has grown over time? It’s split…pretty evenly? I’m still writing the story, and what we’re doing to do, but as far as the card count, we’re…splitting it.” – MJ

“I can’t give you an estimation [for the end of Arkham Horror LCG] because…we didn’t plan an end. We’re just gonna keep going, until, you know…keep supporting the game and hopefully we’ll keep doing it. The cycle after Dream-eaters is 100% done. Yeah [we’re like two cycles ahead]…the game is doing…really really well. We even have some other surprises.” – MJ


March 2020:

Investigator Starter Decks announcement stream

Team Covenant interview with FFG’s Steve Horvath that touches on LCGs


April 2020:

Innsmouth Horror announcement stream


May 2020:

Play Together While Apart blog


June 2020:

Innsmouth Lore stream with MJ, Katrina and Phil

Miskatonic University Radio interview with MJ Newman and Jeremy Zwirn


July 2020:

Drawn to the Flame interview with MJ after The Dream-Eaters

July 2020 InFlight Report

Whisperer in the Darkness interview with Richard Lee Byers (novella author)


August 2020:

GenCon Online 2020: Arkham Horror LCG Design a Card stream


September 2020:

Barkham Horror Scenario Gameplay (Starts at 9:00)


October 2020:

Innsmouth Conspiracy stream with MJ, Evan and Jeremy


November 2020:

Behind the Curtain: Enemies, from MJ Newman

“When Nate and I first started working on Arkham, we built its foundation on The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, and while enemies in that game can most certainly be quite lethal, one of the pillars of that game is its epic and grandiose tone. You aren’t just one character; you control a fellowship, with each of your characters likely to be able to handle different elements of gameplay, including defending against and dispatching enemies.” – MJ


December 2020:

Mythos Busters “meme stream” with MJ Newman

Behind the Curtain: Scenarios, from MJ Newman

“In the early days of Arkham LCG, Nate and I were pretty much flying blind when it came to scenario design. We had LOTR to build upon, of course, but after 80+ LOTR quests, we knew Arkham had to be versatile enough to support a wide variety of different objectives. So, it was designed from the ground up with this purpose in mind.” – MJ

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January 2021:

My Formative Gaming Moments (part I) with MJ Newman

“If you’re a fan of Arkham LCG, you’ve likely seen this same sequence before, because I just love it that much. I can’t resist it. I just keep coming back to it. And if you’ve read The Key and the Crescent, you will recognize my love of Super Metroid there as well.” – MJ

February 2021:

My Formative Gaming Moments (part II) with MJ Newman

“You can see this influence [breaking the fourth wall], of course, in The Path to Carcosa campaign in Arkham LCG—Hastur’s influence is the perfect excuse to break the fourth wall, allowing me to have some fun toying with the player’s minds without breaking their sense of immersion. In fact, a good fourth wall break only adds to the immersive experience!” – MJ

March 2021:

MJ Newman lightly muses on a few Arkham topics in a Mythos Busters 100 Episode Special

Los Archivos de Arkham interviews MJ Newman

“We’re getting a lot more solo testing…” – MJ

“Lord of the rings came out in 2010, and immediately I saw the potential for custom scenarios. Thankfully someone, Tom Howard, actually, created templates for Lord of the Rings cards. So I grabbed those and started tinkering around, and making my own cards…so it’s large because of Tom Howard, one of the early Mythos Busters, that I actually have a job with FFG at all, which is pretty funny.” – MJ

“They just said they were going to do a co-operative Arkham LCG…they decided that. It was Nate because he was our senior most designer, as opposed to developer. He makes games from scratch, that’s like his whole thing. And me, because I was basically…really into the setting, and really experienced with co-operative games at that point, and Caleb was already continuing with Lord of the Rings, so he couldn’t do it…I kind of made it my baby. I kind of took a little ownership of that.” – MJ

“It’s important to note that he’s [Jeremy Zwirn] been an important part of Arkham since the very beginning. He was a playtester all the way back in the core set. He’s been instrumental to shaping how the game flows, all the way back in 2016. It was kind of a natural fit him joining the game, because he already knew it inside and out.” – MJ

“Usually we’re at least a full year ahead…whatever is being released. The stuff I’m working on now, won’t see the light of day, or won’t even be announced, for a full year. If not longer. Production takes six to nine months. The product that got announced today [Return to The Circle Undone] for example, I’ve been done with, for over a year.” – MJ

“We use InDesign [to design cards].” – MJ

“We have a pool of art, called ‘pick up art’ that is taken from previous games in the Arkham universe. And we have a giant folder…which I’ve just labeled MJ’s pickup folder, and we’ll go through and find pieces that work for each cycle. That can be our repository of art we can use… we don’t have to though. We don’t use around half of it. Everything else we do, we commission. Every time we commission a piece, I write a description of what that piece is going to be. ” – MJ

“I’m really into tarot cards. So I was like, how can we take these cards that are traditionally depicted, and how can we Arkham-ify them?” – MJ

“So there’s actually four different kinds of readings, that you can do. I won’t describe precisely what they are. Because I want to wait for players to see for themselves. But there’s four different readings with differing complexity. It’s just like real life, there’s a really simple one where you draw one or two or three cards or something, or there’s really complex ones like the Celtic cross-spread. So I kind of wanted to recreate that same thing with the tarot cards…what’s cool is that they’re all optional, you can choose to use it or not. And you can even recreate your own readings, and share them online. They’re very flexible, you can kind of use them in every way you want to.” – MJ

“So this is really tough, I’m not sure if this is my favorite favorite [art]. Jacqueline’s signature card…Arbiter of Fates. The close up of her eye and you see the strings of fate and one of them is snapping. I adore that art. Any art where I get to write a person’s mind is figuratively and literally exploding.” – MJ

“Typically, and this is something we learned from Lord of the Rings…the encounter deck, you know, the person you’re playing against and you’re sitting across from, then they need a win condition. The same way in a competitive game your deck would have its win condition. So we think about how the scenario is trying to win…usually the answer to that question is right there in the narrative. We’ll make a decision based on what’s happening. So In Too Deep for example…you’re trying to get from Point A to Point B…so it makes sense that the way the encounter deck beats you is to block you…and then surround you with enemies and then murder you.” – MJ

“The idea for the vehicles came from…a long time ago, all the way back in Dunwich, we had scenarios where it would make sense for there to be a vehicle. And I say no, we can’t do vehicles as player cards, because then it would narratively break certain scenarios. So I made the decision early on…if we ever did vehicles, it would be in a scenario designed around the fact that you’re in a vehicle. So when we got to Innsmouth I knew I wanted to do a boat scenario. So we had this longstanding deal where we definitely wanted to do vehicle scenarios. And in my scenario outline, I had the investigators travel in a car to the lighthouse. And I said this could be a car scenario. And I said that out loud, and our intern, Duke, who ended up doing a lot of our foundation work on Light in the Fog, said ‘Horror in High Gear’ and I said that’s it, that’s the scenario.” – MJ

“So we could do vehicles again, in the future. That being said we’re always very wary of compounding too many new mechanics on top of one another. “I believe very strongly that a new campaign should have a few new things, but not pulling from every cycle we’ve ever done. So we might go back to it. Just like we’ve come back to alert for example. It might not be immediately, it might not be ever. I’ll only use it if it makes sense.” – MJ

“Nowadays the design team in general has a lot of creative freedom. I generally pitch every new product that we make. The starter decks were a little bit of a collaboration. There was a desire to have another entry point into the game. It was more of a task that was given to the game. [We] decide what that is. The exact implementation of how the starter decks work, was entirely me and Jeremy. With approval, from management. Originally there was a lot more ‘this is what you’re doing next,’ and now we have a lot of freedom. But there was always collaboration since the beginning. We’re all on the same page.” – MJ

“It’s not as simple as saying this card is too good, so it’s going on the Taboo list. We need to both have an idea of which cards to put on and what to do with them. There’s a couple of cards I want to put on the Taboo list, but I haven’t thought of a solution for them. So they’re not on there. It’s not just a matter of…there’s a lot of steps, we also have to playtest the new versions. And explain why they don’t like them or why they’re not working. So it’s a much longer process than I think people might assume. And there’s also a consideration that we don’t ever want it to get too bloated, or impossible to have memorized or print out. If this were a digital game that would be one thing…we could snap our fingers and they could change. With Taboo lists and errata it has got to be laser focused. We have to decide that here are the cards we want to do.” – MJ

“All the Barkham cats and pups were all employee pets. We had a big folder where everyone sent their pets in. Bark Harrigan is also our producer’s [pet]. Evan Johnson, his dog in real life is Vito.” – MJ

[Which cycle have you enjoyed designing and playing the most. And what would be the most difficult to design?] “The one I had the most fun designing was the Dream-Eaters. It’s just so wacky and cool. And the flavor is so whimsical. I was really able to break free of that [basic fear writing], with…schemey and manipulative [tones]. Playing, I think…that’s tough because I don’t get to play often. I think Innsmouth…I had someone else designing multiple scenarios, Jeremy designed two, Duke did the foundational design for one [Light in the Fog]. So I said ‘I actually get to play Arkham’! The same is true for the Dream-Eaters. Daniel Schaefer did two of the scenarios in the Dream-Eaters. Most difficult? I would say the content that is after Innsmouth, that I can’t tell you about. That was the hardest to design, so far.” – MJ

“Sometimes we try to achieve replayability in different ways. So the map is one. Also the location of the keys. For Innsmouth in particular, I suspect most groups aren’t going to get every flashback. I suspect most groups won’t even get half of the flashbacks…hopefully, if I’ve done my job right.” – MJ

“Typically no, as a policy [to not play custom content]. Not because I don’t want to. I’d love to sit down and play all of them…not knowing what to expect. I try not to. I don’t want to accidentally take someone’s design and do something similar to what they’ve done. So they know everything I’ve come up with is original. So if we do come up with the same idea, it’s great minds think alike.” – MJ

“All of our game lines are very collaborative. There’s not a single product we work on that doesn’t get attention in some way. When we did L5R, I actually worked on the Phoenix clan. When we worked on Conquest, people were helping each other with different factions. The same is true for Arkham. We’ve had different developers touching different investigators. Brad Andres was instrumental in the Blob that Ate Everything. The concept was almost entirely his. That’s kind of how it went with Marvel. There was a lot of work to get done. I basically was like I’ll take Black Widow.” – MJ

“I’d like to branch out more. I think my specialty lies in card games, or narrative games. Before I joined the company I used to always think that RPGs would be my primary…I probably played more RPGs than I did board games. But I’d say now…I’m known as the co-operative LCG person…I’d love to do more, it’s more about finding that time. I certainly could not work on a brand new game, while also working on Arkham. That’s basically why after the core set it was basically just me. Nate went on to work on L5R after that. Nate was pretty hands off, because he was too busy with L5R to possibly work on both at the same time.” – MJ

April 2021:

Behind the Curtain: Investigators (part 1), from MJ Newman

The Great Old Ones Gaming interview with MJ during Horrors without Borders

June 2021:

Mythos Busters interview MJ Newman for the Edge of Earth expansion

“It was kind a long-standing….among FFG and pretty much everyone was involved. Every facet of FFG had to be on board. The mythos pack model helped the game in its early life, getting people invested in the story, feeling like a monthly chapter in this ongoing living story. But over time, as everyone knows, there have been quite a few products. It becomes sort of a burden. It bears down its weight on the product line. Over time, it definitely becomes an issue. Stores find it hard to carry the products. It’s good for the retailers, it’s easier for us and distribution and shipping. And lets us on the developer side do some funky stuff that we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. Anytime you make any change, it’s always a challenge. For marketing, graphic design, to get the message across.

Especially if you’re a new player, coming in right now, asking why is everyone talking about this chance. Big changes like this require a…imagine you’re steering a huge ship and you’re off course. There’s a lot of discussions, debates, preparations…dozens of people have to be on board…and help to steer the ship. For what it’s worth I was one of the people who was the most worried…I was one of the biggest proponents of the mythos pack model. For me I find one of the coolest things about the mythos packs is that the player was engaged in the story…gone are going to be the times where it’s like ‘what do you think is going to happen next?’ I liken it a lot to Netflix and traditional serialized television. WandaVision would have never had the impact it did if it was released all at once.

That being said, it’s clear the advantages of the new model outweigh all that. There will always be parts of the mythos packs I miss.

[The model] is also good for groups. Now it’s like you just buy one copy of the campaign expansion and four copies of the investigator box. It also lets us do some pretty cool stuff with the box. I can tell you, the campaign box is similar to the new Marvel core set. It has a plastic tray insert, so you can hold your campaign inside of it. The campaign guide inside is spiral bound. The campaign guide also has some new features in it: it has a table of contents…an achievement list built in. I think the achievements in [this box] are my favorite.

[The insert] is similar to the Marvel one but it’s a little taller. I actually haven’t seen it in person…held it in my hands. My producer has.” – MJ

“It might be more challenging…for you [content creators] and YouTubers to spread that content. I want to be upfront about it…because I know there’s somewhat of a challenge for what people call a content drought. I hope there’s enough there to play it many many times and get their fill before the next one comes out. I want everyone to plan for that…there’s going to be a longer gap between content. It’s roughly the same amount [of time] as a full cycle before.” – MJ

“If you’re a keen-eyed observer we dropped a clue hinting toward Edge of the Earth in Circle Undone. With the card Crack the Case. When Dream-Eaters was released, that was originally the plan for Edge of the Earth. I was super excited to do Dream-Eaters…and this story is better told in a big box than mythos packs. There was nothing pressing me to do it after Innsmouth or before Innsmouth or anything like that. We had some campaigns outlined from the very beginning, but we’re way past that. We’re in the zone where we’re flying by the seat of our pants now. This being another expedition campaign, the further it is away from [TFA] the better. Forgotten Age is telling the story of this pariah, like an underfunded, scrappy expedition, doomed really from the get-go. This one is very different. You’re not going to have to worry about stuff like supplies. There are supplies that show up but it’s not the same thing. By comparison Edge of the Earth is like ‘we got this, we got everything we need,’ then slowly being whittled down. ” – MJ

“I wanted to capture the feeling of a horror movie and you start with a big cast. Then you get to admire them and learn about them, then slowly watch them [laughs]. That’s one of the things about the replayability of this campaign, you might learn more about them. We were finishing up Edge of the Earth [around September]. Making a shelter in a hostile environment…that’s a plot point. Mountains of Madness is really cool…by the end of it you learn these awful fates. I love that tone. Read At the Mountains of Madness before this campaign. The Elder Things are such an interesting faction, if you can call them that. They’re not straight-up bloodthirsty monsters. The prologue does sort of…summarizes At the Mountains of Madness. If you haven’t read it you’ll be fine. But if you have read it you’ll see lots of cool stuff.” – MJ

“I think this campaign revolved around the mechanics more than anything. Especially the deckbuilding restrictions, which I won’t say what they are. I want Norman to be with a crew that makes sense with him. That’s all I’ll say. I’ll tell you what the article says: [Lily] has access to high-level Guardian cards.” – MJ

“We want each investigator to fill a role. It could be a big archetype everyone is familiar with, or a unique niche. Lily rewards you for finding that niche for yourself. And finding out how you want to play Lily. Right off the bat you’re customizing your version of Lily, and you get more disciplines as you level up. I like to do a high agility and high combat Lily. Where you’re doing like a Monk in D&D. I’ve seen other Lily builds that are totally different…one of our playtesters had a sick bless Lily build with Holy Spear, things like that. Lily is a lot of different things to different people.” – MJ

“For those people in the back…Norman starts as a seeker, but he only has access to 1-5 mystic cards. You’re telling the story of Norman from cold hard science to esoteric mumbo jumbo. The rules for multi-class are very specific. So it was this unfortunate side effect. I can confirm, you’ll see it in the next version of the FAQ, the Norman in the novella will have ‘other,’ and this version will just be this way. This isn’t a change to multiclass cards, it’s really a Norman errata. Norman’s signature card you see: essentially they were prototyped all the way back then [novella]. I basically play with all of them [signature cards] with everyone. Dexter they definitely combo…Norman…even Roland.

[Out of the box], Lily is probably my favorite. But I also really love Bob. Bob is chef kiss, so much fun. There’s a playstyle there where it’s like ‘what?” and you can’t help but just laugh and smile. The back of the box, where it says you wheel and deal with Bob as you play, that’s accurate.” – MJ

“Dream-Eaters had bonded and more things going on. Innsmouth had bless and curse. We weren’t going to put multi-class in there, that was too much going on. We didn’t want to just repeat [multi-class]. If there was a level 4 guardian/mystic card Norman could take it. What you want see is cards for split-off: that was more of a TCU version. There’s a decent amount of multi-class cards in this set. We want to be like ‘seeker/survivor cards are like this.’ ” – MJ

“Pro: you get all the cards are once. Con: you get all the cards at once. You can’t use them all at once in a single campaign. There’s a higher risk that a card will get left behind. If you’re a hardcore Arkham player, it’s common to have three campaigns running at the same time…or more. If you’re just playing Edge of the Earth and Iron Man it…I think what I would do is find a portion of the card pool that interests you. The next time you play, pick a different subset.” – MJ

“60 cards per pack is one thing [that can be limiting with the old model]. The eight scenario structure is another thing. Sometimes you really had to work…I think the story as a result [in this new cycle] is a bit tighter. We can do some cool stuff. I wrote down all of the things we could do now that we couldn’t do before. Scenarios that go in a non-linear order. We’re doing one thing in this campaign…and maybe new things in the future. One thing we’re doing here is a variable length campaign. Four and 10 game sessions. Depending on the choices you make and how long you want to go. Edge of the Earth does have a linear story. The numbers are scenario 1, 2, 3, 4 and scenario ?, ?, ?. ” – MJ

“[On the feelings board for this cycle there was] loneliness. Hostility. The idea of…one of the cool things is that we don’t really know a lot about the entities that are found there. So that gave me the liberty to do some interesting stuff. We’ll get more articles.” MJ

“Hm…[vehicles]…not in the way that we saw in Innsmouth, but yes.” – MJ

“I would say…I almost feel like silence makes the most sense for the beginning [for campaign music]. Put on wind and snow. One of the cool things about Antarctica…the art directors knocked it out of the park…getting the most out of the different biomes…there’s a particular kind of enemy in this set, that’s kind of new to this IP. And they really knocked it out of the park.” – MJ

“[Was Lily influenced by Spectrum?] Not…particularly. That’s funny, I think we did develop them in tandem. I would say in the end they work pretty differently. [With disciplines] you start with one and gain more. Spectrum is just amazing out of the gate. Lily is just like, building up and up over time. More than any other investigator Lily is the main character of Arkham…in a way.” – MJ

“This is the way moving forward. This is not just Edge of the Earth, this is the model…the two-box model. If you think the cool stuff in Edge of the Earth is cool, you haven’t seen anything. [As for old cycles using the new model], I can’t say anything. But stay tuned to our website.” – MJ

“If you look at Lord of the Rings. One of the greatest strengths of that game is that it had a lot of hands. Each developer had a hand in like 20-50 scenarios, depending on who you talked to.

The benefit that I have is the team to help me out. I have the time and resources to spend so much time on each of those scenarios. I have a graphic design team dedicated to this game. Custom creators don’t have that. I mean goddamn. Some of that talent is extraordinary.” – MJ

“So we work pretty far in advance. If you take all that into account, we decided on this change [the cycles] a long time ago. Months before COVID. I would say COVID dropped right in the middle of Edge of the Earth’s development. There were huge shifts in our work environment. Working from home, new technology, things I’m not at liberty to say. Things will never be the same, for me, for Arkham, for work. It shook things up, it was hard to adapt.” – MJ

“The game does extraordinarily well. It does better every year than the year before. We are confident it can be even crazy better, the numbers can be even higher. Veteran players…this attachment rate we call it…that number is pretty high. We want to get even more new players on board. Make this game one of the company’s flagship titles.” – MJ

“This is literally my favorite part of the job. Getting the announcement out there, watching people react. Asking ‘can we announce it in March, April, May?’ I basically took the day off and watched the reception. Partially because that’s part of my job.” – MJ

Drawn to the Flame interview MJ Newman for the Edge of Earth expansion

July 2021:

Miskatonic University Radio interviews MJ Newman and Jeremy Zwirn

August 2021:

Behind the Curtain: Investigators (part 2), from MJ Newman

Jim Cartwright comments on the state of the LCG in 2021

Drawn To The Flame interviews Andrew Navaro

“By the time we were working on Arkham Horror the Card Game, MJ was mostly working on that design…during development, my involvement really, I was essentially brought in to give it a…tapped to give the game my seal of approval, because everyone was feeling really good about it. And it was so good, I was so excited after that first playtest, I was really blown away by it.

Really the bulk of the horror I did on Arkham, was steering the art, on the core set. Going forward…doing that for the billion expansions we did for Arkham Horror. My biggest contribution was the Return tos, doing something similar to the Nightmare decks…what if we, just changed out a few cards and gave people a different experience…to return to those things, and we can give them an awesome box. I remember talking to MJ thinking do you have time to do that, and she never says no to work. The production values of the Return tos, are much much higher.

From my perspective I don’t even get a cycle until the Return to box is out.” – Navaro

“There are a few things in Arkham I really enjoyed. The feel of it…it creates a sense of narrative and excitement. Mechanically I love the player turn structure…very similar to Netrunner which is my favorite game of all time.” – Navaro

“That’s always been kind of like my biggest beef with the fail forward mechanics in Arkham Horror…you’re always getting so beat up and getting so much worse at the game, and it’s so hard to continually fail and to invest all that time that it takes to play all those sessions and have this like, really depressing narrative…I’m just not into it.” – Navaro

Miskatonic University Radio interviews MJ Newman and Art Director Jeff Lee Johnson

September 2021:

Game Design Round Table interviews MJ Newman on LOTR and Arkham LCG

October 2021:

Revised Core Set gameplay with MJ Newman, Jeremy Zwirn, and Josh/Alicia


Future Streams:

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