We have the new big box expansion for Eldritch Horror, Under the Pyramids, which is set in Egypt!
This is like the Antarctic expansion, it has a new map, new ancient ones, new investigators and loads of new cards.
The add-on map covers the whole of Egypt, with locations for Cairo, Alexandria, the bent pyramid, the Sahara, the Nile, etc. We have actually been to all these places. They are also some of the key settings in the classic Call of Cthulhu RPG adventure ‘Masks of Nyarlathotep’. I should re-read that adventure to get in the mood.
Because Egypt is obviously smaller in scale, the locations here are all considered ‘local’ so you can move around without spending an action. I would imagine this would make Egyptian adventures much more frantic.
Just as important as the new board, we also get ten more investigators.
Eldritch Horror has been sort of counting backwards in investigators compared to those in the original Arkham Horror, starting with the investigators from the later Arkham expansions, and now Eldritch is giving us some of our classic favourites from the first game.
Returning to help defeat the forces of the outer void are the private eye Joe Diamond, the professor Harvey Walters, the archaeologist Monterey Jack, the nun Sister Mary, and our all-time favourite Mandy ‘Reroll’ Thompson. Disappointingly, Mandy does not have a reroll in this incarnation. Boo.
You can add lots of new cards into the various decks to add variety to the game, but you only use this new board if you are playing with the evil pharaoh Nephron-Ka and the specific Egypt setup. This means that all the Egypt mysteries and adventures are built around and tie into the new locations.
This expansion also has a special multi-part Egyptian side adventure the investigators can follow to get special rewards. This involves helping one of the new allies, Erich Weiss, who has been framed for a museum theft. Erich Weiss is better known as Houdini.
You may not know that H.P. Lovecraft actually ghost-wrote a horror story for Houdini. This was the great ‘Imprisoned with the Pharaohs’, which has Houdini being kidnapped by Egyptian cultists and having to escape from the pyramid catacombs while unspeakable monsters carry out unspeakable rites.
Houdini was a big fan of Lovecraft. He enjoyed the story and went on to commission lots of other writing such as articles criticising astrology and other superstitions.
‘Imprisoned with the Pharaohs’ was also published the title ‘Entombed with the Pharaohs’, but the original working title was ‘Under the Pyramids’!