Tabletop games Wargaming

Mansions of Madness

Players 2 to 5
Age range 10 and up
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.

Included in the Forbidden Alchemy expansion:

Included in the Call of the Wild expansion:


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.

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.


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

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.

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