There are a few organizations that exist, or are implied to exist, in the basic Arkham Horror game, though it takes a few expansions to give them a real presence. Each of them has a “Membership” card, which players can obtain. I made these organizations are a little more prominent in my revised encounters.

The Order of the Silver Twilight, exists right from the beginning, and is distinguished from the others by being the only organization with a main base of operations, which is simply, “The Silver Twilight Lodge.” Membership enables the player to have special encounters at the exclusive Inner Sanctum location.

The other two, the Sheldon Gang, and the Cult of One Thousand, are significantly less centralized. The Sheldon Gang has only a few meeting places where a character might gain membership, and the Cult of One Thousand has some pretty outrageous membership requirements. (Sacrifice an ally, lose Stamina, et ceteta.)

Contrasting with the Order, the Cult of One Thousand meets at the Unvisited Isle, the Black Cave, and the Woods, where a character has a “Cult encounter” instead of a standard location encounter. The Sheldon Gang, on the other hand, enables its members “to engage in some petty larceny” while in street areas.

When I revised the Arkham location encounters, I used these three organizations to determine what sorts of skills should prevail in which parts of Arkham. In areas where the Order is most active, Lore and Luck are good choices. Locations that have Cult activity see more use of Fight and Will. Gang territories prefer Speed and Sneak.

To try and capture the same feeling in The Ascalon Horror, I’ve been trying to come up with several organizations for players to join, which would lend themselves particularly well to defining skills for location encounters. I figured Arkham’s organizations would be a good place to start, so I tried to come up with criminals, cultists, and a wild card.

Throughout the development, a couple names have turned up for decent Pre-Searing organizations. There’s the enigmatic Order, which has little to no actual references or definition within the context of the game’s story. (According to the wiki, anyway.) There are also the Royalists, who pose a threat to travelers and adventurers.

Now, to me, I saw these as my wild card and cultist organizations, so I was looking for a criminal organization to complete the set. There wasn’t a good “cultist” analogue, so having the Royalists stand in for the Cult of One Thousand sounded like a reasonable compromise. Also, magic doesn’t play a significant role in Pre-Searing adventures.

I kept coming back to the bear hunters, though. I wanted to make them an organization of their own, but I didn’t see them as a real “criminal” element, so I dismissed them. It took several considerations to finally realize that Guild Wars is really different in tone than Arkham Horror. Hunting and wilderness survival play significant roles in the story.

Also, there’s a major character linked to “the Huntsmen,” and that’s Nicholas Sandford. While not a prominent participant in the plot, Nicholas is a major supporting character who fills an important role in bringing the world of Guild Wars to life in a unique way. Determining a form for his daily hunting quests is what finally swayed me.

So, in the northern area of the map, which includes Ascalon City, Green Hills County, and Barradin’s Estate, we have the areas where the Royalists hold the most sway. In Ashford, The Catacombs, and Wizard’s Folly, we have The Order. And in Lakeside County, Regent Valley, and Fort Ranik, we have The Huntsmen.