Dateline: Lovecraft #1: Arkham, 1928 – Sean’s Pick, 092518

Today’s Horrific New Horror Week Pick is a special resource for anyone running any version of Lovecraftian horror, no matter the system. The folks at Cthulhu Reborn crafted this immersive prop that enables players to search through the articles and adverts to find valuable clues and tantalizing references, enhancing their in-game experience and while providing GMs more hooks to play off of.

Bring H.P. Lovecraft’s Arkham to Life with a Lavish and Detailed in-world prop: a full cover-to-cover issue of the Arkham Advertiser from 1928.

“It may be that centuries of dark brooding had given to crumbling, whisper-haunted Arkham a peculiar vulnerability as regards such shadows …” – H.P. Lovecraft, “The Shadow Out Of Time”

Arkham is one of H.P. Lovecraft’s most enduring creation, a witch-haunted town of clustering gambrel roofs, and home to the notorious Miskatonic University. It’s also a great place to set your investigative scenarios of Mythos-fueled darkness and horror. One of the best tools for bring such classic backdrops to vivid life is the use of “in-world” props and handouts. The act of receiving clues which evoke the rich tapestry of 1920s Arkham can draw players further into the setting and make everything seem that much more ‘real.’

Dateline: Lovecraft Issue #1 is a system-independent resource to help both Game Moderators and players of investigative horror games evoke a more nuanced and vibrant Arkham. The core of the package is a large and lavishly-researched and period-authentic newspaper prop, the full edition of the Arkham Advertiser for the day of Monday, 15 October, 1928.

Buried in the thousands of words of news, advertisements, editorials, columns, society pages, and other weirdness, lies a wealth of out-of-the-ordinary hooks which can be used as the basis for game scenarios. Picking up some of these strands, an imaginative Game Moderator can weave his or her own evocative Arkham tales of terror. Tales imbued with an authentic 1920s tone, and the unique quirky feel of H.P. Lovecraft’s brooding town.

The core broadsheet newspaper prop comprises 12 very large pages (each approximately 6 x US Letter / A4 sheets). In addition, the Dateline: Lovecraft Issue #1package contains a 58-page guidebook PDF which includes:

  • Detailed instructions on using the newspaper prop PDF to create physical handouts for players, with a variety of different effects;
  • A system of quickly finding relevant clippings from throughout the newspaper, and extensive indices of every person, place, and address mentioned anywhere in the paper;
  • Advice and ideas about using newspaper clippings as a springboard for adventures, or clues for investigation;
  • A campaign frame, “Inkhounds of the Miskatonic Valley”; and
  • A sample system-independent investigative horror scenario which ties closely into articles from the newspaper.

Sean Patrick Fannon
Writer & Game Designer: Shaintar, Star Wars, Savage Rifts, Freedom Squadron, and much more!
Please check out my Patreon and get involved directly with my next projects!

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