Mythos (card game)

Mythos (card game)
An example of a typical Mythos in-game setup.
Designer(s) Charlie Krank
Publisher(s) Chaosium
Players 2+
Age range 10+
Playing time Approx 45 min
Random chance Some
Skill(s) required Card playing
Basic Reading Ability

Mythos is a collectible card game (CCG) published by Chaosium. It is based on the Cthulhu Mythos stories of the horror author H. P. Lovecraft, as well as on Chaosium's own Call of Cthulhu role-playing game.



In 1996, Chaosium decided to join the on-going CCG-boom and published Mythos, designed by Charlie Krank. It received critical acclaim, winning the 1996 Best Card Game award at Origins[1] and initially sold well.[2] Later expansions however, most notably the non-collectible Standard Game Set, did much more poorly and forced Chaosium to discontinue Mythos.[2] The production was stopped to New Aeon in 1997, only a year after the game's heyday.

In 1999 Pyramid magazine named Mythos as one of The Millennium's Best Card Games.[3] Editor Scott Haring said "Mythos was a very deserving game, with great art and gameplay that involved more than just monsters fighting each other."[3]

Game play

Mythos was designed towards high player interaction in the vein of some traditional card games like rummy.[4] Its game play somewhat borrowed from previous CCG titles, but also managed to introduce new, innovative mechanics.

The game is playable by two players, but is really intended to be a multi-player experience, where trying to complete your adventures becomes more important and viable strategy than just disrupting your opponent's game. Mythos tournament games are carried out in tables of four.[5]

Like in most collectible card game titles, a Mythos player constructs a deck from available cards using certain rules and card limits. A player chooses an investigator card to represent him or her as a character. Each investigator has special abilities and numerical attributes, most notably sanity. Certain cards can lower an investigator's sanity, and when it reaches 0, he or she is eliminated from the game.

The main objective of the game is to collect points by completing adventures. Adventures are cards that include certain keywords consisting of different card names and types. Once you have the required cards in your story deck or on the table, you can play the adventure and receive its points. When a player reaches the agreed amount of adventure points (usually 20), the game ends after the current round and the winner is decided.

Each player can normally play only one card at a time, after which the turn is passed to the next player. This continues until a certain number of players have passed instead of playing anything.



A double-sized card played on the table at the start of the game to represent the player. Examples: Adventurous Dilettante, Obsessed Agent in Mi-Go Braincase.


An Adventure card consists of a short story, in which certain key phrases are highlighted and need to be completed to play the Adventure card. Some Adventures are of general type, some try to recreate famous events from Lovecraft's stories. Examples: The Dunwich Horror, Summon Great Cthulhu.


Allies (as well as all other card types) are used to satisfy different Adventure requirements and know languages that make comprehending foreign Tomes possible. They also protect your Investigator from Monsters and other cards. Examples: Edgar Allan Poe, Randolph Carter.


Artifacts are items that can be found at Artifact Locations. They help the Investigator in myriad ways or give bonuses to his or her Allies. Examples: Jewelry of the Deep Ones,Tommygun.


Events represent calamities, phobias, weather conditions, day-night cycle and other surprising things that can happen to one or more investigators or cards. Examples: Eclipse of the Sun, Townsfolk Riot.


During the game, investigators travel to different locations by walking or by using different methods of transportation (by playing Event cards such as Train). In true Lovecraftian spirit, some Locations are real while others are fictitious. Examples: Massachusetts State Hospital, R'lyeh


Monsters are played into one's directed threat, where they attack against other Investigators and their allies at the end of round. Most are drawn from Cthulhu Mythos and some are Great Old Ones or Outer Gods with powers that affect every Investigator. Examples: Colour out of space, Nyarlathotep.


Spells can be found in Tomes. Some corrupt allies can also know Spells. Casting spells costs your Investigator sanity, but can help you or hinder you opponent in many ways. Examples: Create Gate, Thirty-five Abominable Adulations of the Bloated One.


Arcane literature that contains Spells. Reading Tomes costs sanity. Examples: Necronomicon, Unaussprechlichen Kulten.


Mythos was available in boosters and starters, which contained a fixed number of common, uncommon and rare cards distributed randomly. The Mythos Standard Edition Set deviated from this practice.

Cards are illustrated by various artists using very various styles, some cards being photo-realistic paintings, some computer-generated and some examples of modern arts.

Mythos Limited Edition

Mythos Limited Edition (1996) was divided into starters, which also contained a random investigator, and into 3 different boosters:

  • Expeditions of Miskatonic University
  • Cthulhu Rising
  • Legends of the Necronomicon.

Mythos Standard Edition Set

Mythos Standard Edition Set (1997), unlike other Mythos sets, did not have boosters. Instead it came in two pre-constructed, out-of-the-box playable decks packed together.

Mythos: The Dreamlands

Mythos: The Dreamlands (1997) introduced the concept of a different dimension, Dreamlands, with all new Investigators, boosters and starters.

New Aeon

New Aeon (1997) was a stand-alone expansion distributed in the same way as The Dreamlands. The setting was modern age, with a lighter, popular culture overtone in illustration and card design. Due to the game's cancellation, New Aeon had a far lower print run than preceding sets (especially The Dreamlands), and sold out quickly after it became known that the game was discontinued.

See also


External links

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