Mansions of Madness

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Mansions of Madness
Players 2 to 5
Age range 14 and up
Setup time 30-60 minutes
Playing time 2-4 hours
Random chance Medium
Skill(s) required Problem solving, cooperative gaming

Mansions of Madness is a tabletop strategy game designed by Corey Konieczka and published by Fantasy Flight Games in 2011. The players explore a locale filled with Lovecraftian horrors and must solve a mystery.


Mansions of Madness requires two to five players. One player takes the role of the "Keeper" and is responsible for the monsters and happenings of the game, while the other players take on the roles of investigators trying to solve the mystery. At the beginning of the game, the players pick a scenario to play and set up the map accordingly. The Keeper consults his rule book to make decisions about the story and to place clues and traps across the board. After setting up, the players begin at the starting point and take turns exploring. Each investigator may move two spaces and carry out one action. Each investigator has a Health and Sanity value that depletes as they are wounded or scared. Each time an investigator suffers damage, the keeper may play trauma cards that inflict further penalties. For instance, after being hit, an investigator might receive a broken leg and be unable to move as quickly as before, or they could develop nyctophobia after having an encounter with an eldritch horror. During the investigators' turns, the Keeper may play Mythos cards, attempting to injure them physically or mentally, degrade or destroy their items, or otherwise set them back.

After the investigators complete their turn, the Keeper then gets to react. He accumulates "threat" each turn, a resource required to use most of the Keeper's abilities. Playing these cards is a large part of the keeper's abilities, and they often cost threat to use.

The goal is hidden from the investigators until near the end of the game, while the Keeper knows the objective from the beginning.

The Investigators

Each of the investigators originates from Arkham Horror, another of Fantasy Flight's board games.

  • "Ashcan" Pete
  • Gloria Goldberg
  • Harvey Walters
  • Jenny Barnes
  • Joe Diamond
  • Kate Winthrop
  • Michael McGlen
  • Sister Mary

Included in the Forbidden Alchemy expansion:[1]

  • Carolyn Fern
  • Dexter Drake
  • Darrell Simmons
  • Vincent Lee

Included in the Call of the Wild expansion:

  • Amanda Sharpe
  • Bob Jenkins
  • Mandy Thompson
  • Monterey Jack


A number of expansions have been published:

  1. Forbidden Alchemy
  2. Season of the Witch
  3. The Silver Tablet
  4. Til Death Do Us Part
  5. House of Fears
  6. The Yellow Sign
  7. Call of the Wild
  8. The Laboratory

Forbidden Alchemy included three new scenarios, and new monsters, items, map tiles, and investigators. Fantasy Flight Games released six print-on-demand scenarios separately.[1]

Call of the Wild shifted the game's focus to outdoor settings, and included five new scenarios, which were designed to be less linear in order to give the players more choice into how to explore and investigate. Ally and NPC characters were introduced, and occasionally the Keeper has to find clues and solve puzzles.[2]


Mansions of Madness received favourable reviews at Eurogamer,[3] Penny Arcade,[4] and the Dice Tower podcast.[5] Criticisms include the complexity of the game, and the amount of time it takes to set up and play.[6][5] Praise is often directed at the amount of replay value, the Lovecraftian theme, and the uniqueness of the game.[7]

In the 2011 The Dice Tower Awards, Mansions of Madness won the "Best Production Values" class and was the runner-up for the "Best Game Artwork" award.[8]

Watch it played, a YouTube series, started out as a resource for Mansions of Madness.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Mansions of Madness: Forbidden Alchemy expansion, Forbidden Flight Games, retrieved 31 October 2013
  2. Mansions of Madness: Call of the Wild expansion, Forbidden Flight Games, retrieved 31 October 2013
  3. Smith, Quintin (2 April 2013). "Mansions of Madness review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  4. Groen, Andrew (1 July 2013). "Mansions of Madness is a board game where one player is out to royally screw you". The Penny Arcade Report. Archived from the original on December 11, 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Vasel, Tom (2 June 2011). "A Review of Mansions Of Madness". Dice Tower. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  6. Nardini, Enrico (29 March 2011). "Table Top Tuesday: Mansions of Madness". Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  7. Sadowski, Kaja (31 December 2012). "Starlit Citadel reviews Mansions of Madness". Starlit Citadel. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  8. "2011 Awards". The Dice Tower. 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  9. YouTube

External links