Sunday, April 01, 2018

The Lovecraftian Thing a Day (2018) No.91: The Dirge of Reason

The Dirge of Reason is the most recent in Fantasy Flight Games’ series of novellas which tie-in with their Arkham Horror Card Game. Unfortunately, whilst sporting very high production values, The Dirge of Reason - like the previous volume in the series - falls short of the mark in being a rather uninspired addition to the mythos.

This may be, I suspect, a consequence of these works being meant as accessible entry points into the Cthulhu mythos for gamers with only a passing familiarity with Lovecraft’s work, and are thus not intended as nuanced contributions to the genre. Whilst this may have merit in terms of drawing new readers into the mythos, I think it also does a potential disservice to those readers in presenting them with a somewhat pedestrian vision of the milieu. Whilst tabletop gaming has played an enormous role in the popularisation of Lovecraft’s work, more recent ‘gamified’ iterations of the Cthulhu mythos such as The Dirge of Reason do sometimes feel as if they are contributing to a dilution of its central philosophical tenets.

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