User Guide

The tutorial on how to play the game can be found in this video, and in the Learn to Play and Rules Reference, all directly from FFG.

This guide is for how to run the game in OCTGN. Be sure to install OCTGN (and make an account), the Arkham Horror LCG plugin within OCTGN (Games Manager) and all desired image packs before proceeding.

1. Hosting the game room

Load up OCTGN, log in, create a room, wait for other players to join, then start the game session.

In case you want to play alone 2-handed, follow these steps:
1. Load up OCTGN (sign-in not required), then load up another instance of OCTGN. The program will ask if you want to close the first OCTGN window running, choose No.
2. Host a room in one of the two OCTGN windows and join in with the other. If your room doesn’t show up, click Join Unlisted.
3. Load up an investigator deck in one window, switch to the other and take control of the other window’s cards on the table and piles in that other window’s tab, and set the other window’s hand visibility to Everyone.
4. Now you can start playing in the window you’ve just switched to.

2. Loading up decks

Now that you’re in a room, load your investigator deck, then perform additional investigator-specific setup and mulligan and proceed to scenario set up.

To do this, in the game window, go to Game\Load Deck, then go to where you saved your .o8d file. For convenience, you can create a folder for AHLCG where Load Deck points to and save your decks there.

You can make your own investigator deck using OCTGN’s Deck Builder, or use ArkhamDB. ArkhamDB has a plugin that lets you download a deck as an OCTGN .o8d file that you can load in your games.

Load the scenario deck and the chaos bag. To do this, in the game window, open Game\Load Pre-Built Deck and select the scenario and difficulty you want to play.

Load Deck and Load Pre-Built Deck point to different folders in your computer. Scenario decks are located in the game database by default, while you can save your investigator decks pretty much anywhere else. The folder which Load Pre-Built Deck points to will reset whenever there’s a new update, so don’t save your decks in there. Save them where Load Deck points to instead.

After you make changes to the chaos bag during the game or in between scenarios by adding or removing chaos tokens (use OCTGN’s Deck Builder for this), remember to save the bag as a separate .o8d file where Load Deck points to and load from there in future games of the campaign.

Optional: There now is an option to use a Quick Setup save-file to help ease some setup work. In order to use these, you have to load the save-file for the scenario you’re playing by right-clicking on the table and select Saving Tool\Load Table State. More information on the Saving Tool itself below.

3. Setting up the game

First, you should open the campaign guide for the campaign you’re playing, which can be found in the Rules section on FFG’s website. Follow the setup instructions for the scenario you’re playing. This section will give you an explanation and the general setup procedure that applies to most scenarios.

Definition: All information in this section can be found in the Global tab, next to your player tab at the bottom of the game window. The Global tab is used for scenario cards. Inside, there are “Decks”, a.k.a. “Piles” that can be right-clicked to show all actions you can do with them, like shuffling or viewing all cards. All piles that have cards when you load the scenario deck will either be ordered or shuffled.

  • Chaos Bag Pile: Your loaded chaos bag .o8d file goes here. Any additional chaos tokens you add during the game should be put in here before continuing.
  • Agenda & Act Piles (ordered): You can find all Agendas and Acts of the scenario listed here. If the setup instructions tell you to choose and remove certain Agendas and Acts from the game, you have to look at all those cards and remove them manually.
  • Location Pile (shuffled): Scenarios that call for a specific type of location deck (i.e. catacombs, unknown places, cosmos, etc.) will have those relevant locations put here. Any special location that goes in there but mentioned in the setup instructions will be put on the table instead. This pile can also be used for selecting random locations by shuffling it and look at the top card. When you use it as Exploration deck, remember to set its visibility to “Nobody”. Additionally, if this pile is unused, you can use it to shuffle other cards.
  • Encounter Pile (shuffled): All encounter cards that are in use at the start of the game are here. When the last card is drawn, this pile will automatically its discard pile back into it. Remember to fully resolve a player’s encounter card before drawing another one.
  • Encounter Discard Pile, Victory Display Pile, Agenda & Act Discard Pile, Location Discard Pile: Nothing special.
  • Special Pile (shuffled): This is used mainly for any other secondary deck the scenario needs, with its corresponding Special Discard Pile, for example the Spectral Encounter Deck in The Wages of Sins, or the Infestation Bag in Waking Nightmare (this one in particular, don’t double click, one chaos token will go into the chaos bag and one will go on the table). If this pile is unused, you can use it to shuffle other cards.
  • Second Special Pile (ordered): This is used to store any cards to be set aside. When the game mentions any set-aside cards, bring up this pile. Generally they are ordered in the order in which they will appear during the course of the scenario. For example, chaos tokens from the Infestation Bag in Waking Nightmare can be put here. (They can also be sealed and left on the table if you’re too lazy to place each one here)
  • Second Special Discard Pile: This is used to store any cards that are removed from the game. Set-aside cards that is removed from the game can be left in the Second Special Pile if you’re too lazy to move them around.
  • Setup Pile: All cards in this pile are put on the table when you load the scenario deck. Don’t put anything in here.

General setup procedure:

Anything that start in play at the beginning of the game will be on the table. If you need to choose card among multiple versions during setup, they will be put on the table as well. There will be exceptions, of course, such as when you have to choose spoilery cards at setup, they won’t be on the table and you can find them in Second Special Pile.

A small example: in Black Stars Rise, you have to choose between 2 sets of 4 cards, they’re all given on the table when you load the deck. After choosing, put the cards in their respective piles.

To randomly choose, you can use any of the empty Location Pile or Special Pile, or right-click on the table and choose any of its Random functions (at the bottom of the drop-down). Alternatively, you can ask other players to randomly choose for you.

Set-aside cards can be found in Second Special Pile. In it you will find whatever the scenario setup instructions tell you to set aside: encounter cards, locations, assets, agendas & assets, etc. Check Location Pile & Special Pile to see if there is anything else to note.

Follow the setup instructions carefully and you’ll have everything you need.

4. Playing the game

Generally you can click around and experiment with the game’s various functions by clicking and right-clicking on everything (the cards and the table). However there are a few things to note that will probably make your game run more smoothly:

  1. The player who load the scenario .o8d deck should be the “game manager”, as in tracking phases, move cards in & out of the Global tab. This is due to how card/pile control works in OCTGN.
  2. F1-F7 keys: Click on a card on the table, hover your mouse over it and press F1-F6 or Shift + F1-F6 to add/remove tokens, and F7 to change the card state:
    • F1: resource
    • F2: clue
    • F3: damage
    • F4: health
    • F5: doom
    • F6: action
    • F7: exhaust/ready
  3. F9-F12: These keys change the table state:
    • F9: show/hide cards in piles you control, including piles your in investigator tab, and piles in the Global tab if you control it.
    • F10: reset zoom. You can zoom by scrolling with the mouse wheel, and pan by press-holding the wheel, or space + left-click.
    • F11: full-screen/window
    • F12: next phase. Pressing F12 will move the phase tracker (which you can open by clicking on the Round counter on the top right), and enable upkeep automation & doom placement.
      • A note on Phase tracking: After finishing setup, the room owner (who usually should be the setup person/game manager) can press F12 to start the game. This will be recorded in the log at the bottom left of the screen. Any subsequent phase change will be recorded there and you can use that as timestamps to backtrack.
      • DO NOT press the “Play” button on your personal tab, it will skip other phases and mess up the automation.
  4. Hover over a card and press Delete will send it to its corresponding pile. (Note that you have to ‘focus’ on the table first by clicking on it. Clicking on the tabs while managing your hand, for example, will pull the focus away from the table.) Be careful when you want to send something to a specific place, like the Victory Display or the Special Discard Pile.
  5. Card operations, as well as keyboard shortcuts can be found when you right-click on cards, decks (piles) and empty space on the table.
    • NOTE: An encounter card from the Special Pile will automatically go to the normal Encounter Discard Pile if you discard it normally. Remember to move it to the corresponding Special Discard Pile or use the correct keyboard shortcut for it.
  6. Shift + Click a card will target (highlight) a card and this will show up for other players as well. Shift + Click and drag a card to another will temporarily connect the two cards with an arrow. Use this to communicate with other players better. You can also highlight a card with different colors using Ctrl + 0-9.
  7. Draw hidden encounter card: Shortcut Ctrl + H to add the encounter card to the table faced down, then move it to your hand. This function is used mainly for hidden encounter cards. However, you can employ this in your other games to improve suspense, or to train yourself for games when actual hidden cards are used.
  8. Seal: Right-click on a chaos token (OCTGN considers everything on the table a “card”) and select Seal Token to seal it. To unseal it, just move the chaos token to the Chaos Bag Pile or discard it.
  9. Add card: Right-click on an empty space on the table and select Add Card, or Ctrl + A. You can use this function to create any card that you need, or extra tokens, or whatever not mentioned in the setup instructions but referred to before setup/during play.
  10. Joe Diamond’s hunch deck/other future investigators’ secondary decks: Right now you still have to separate the secondary decks by hand and move the cards to the Secondary Deck Pile. However, we will try to automatically separate secondary decks when using ArkhamDB decks in future updates.
  11. Bless/Curse token: You can right-click on the table and select Add Bless/Curse and one will be added to the Chaos bag. Shortcuts are Ctrl+1 for Bless, and Ctrl+2 for Curse.
    When you add a Bless/Curse into the Chaos bag, there will be a counter for how many Bless/Curse is inside the bag. When you pull one out, it will just stay put on the table. If it goes away like during a test, you delete it. If it goes back into the bag, you drag and drop the token back into the Chaos pile in the Global tab, and the Chaos bag counter will update the next time you pull from it. Remember the controller of the piles in the Global tab is mainly the room owner, so more work for you there.
    If you don’t do anything to the Bless/Curse token after pulling it, it’ll just stay there where you pulled it. So remember to actually put it away (delete it and it’ll disappear) or put it back into the bag. You can also seal it as with normal Chaos tokens, though this is not necessary because of the aforementioned reason.
  12. Other tokens: These will be added as they are released. At the time of writing this, Flood tokens are added with Ctrl+3.

5. Scenario setup example

For the scenario The Wages of Sin:

  1. Inside the game room, go to Game\Load Pre-Built Deck\5 – The Circle Undone\4 – The Wages of Sin.o8d
  2. You have a main encounter deck in Encounter Pile.
  3. You have the Spectral Encounter Deck in Special Pile.
  4. To select one version of the location cards, you can put each pair in Location Pile to shuffle them and pick the one on top and discard the other. Alternatively, you can use the Random function by right-clicking on the table.
  5. The Heretics, while required shuffling at start, is spoilery, so they are put in Second Special Pile with the rest of the set-aside cards. When instructed to bring them into play, they can be shuffled by putting them into Location Pile (now empty) and shuffle there, or use the Random function.

6. Saving tool

Sometimes when you have to stop in the middle of the game, you can save the state of the game by using the saving tool, now properly working. Right-click on the table and select Saving tools.

How to use Save/Load:
1. Save the table state. This will save all state of everything in the game (cards of each player, cards on table, all piles, clues, doom, everything).
2. When you load your save file, everything comes back, meaning now you can stop your game and come back later.
3. If your save file’s name ends with “Setup.json”, on load the game will read that as it’s initial setup , and all auto-clue will trigger as if you were loading the scenario deck for the first time.

Autosave: The module also comes with an autosave feature, which saves the game state at the beginning of the current phase. If for some reason your game disconnects in the middle of a session, you can open a new lobby and load the autosave as above.

Now that you’ve made it this far, you’re pretty much ready to play the game without any problem. Remember to check the FAQ & Errata in the Support section often so you won’t miss any important information while playing the game.

If you have any issues or concern, we can be reached the most easily through the Mythos Buster’s Discord server.