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The Arkham Gazette is a magazine for the Lovecraft Country setting of the Call of Cthulhu RPG. We are raising funds for our next issue.
The Arkham Gazette is a magazine for the Lovecraft Country setting of the Call of Cthulhu RPG. We successfully raised funding for issue #3.
The Arkham Gazette is a magazine for the Lovecraft Country setting of the Call of Cthulhu RPG. We successfully raised funding for issue #3.
241 backers pledged $6,910 to help bring this project to life.

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The Arkham Gazette #3, a Lovecraft Country RPG Magazine

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The Arkham Gazette is a magazine dedicated to exploring the Lovecraft Country setting for the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game (published by Chaosium Inc.).  Since August of 2013, we have released three issues on various topics: #0 the Aylesbury Pike, #1 Arkham, & #2 Innsmouth.  We are currently finishing up issue #3, which focuses on Witches and Witchcraft in Lovecraft Country. 

The Arkham Gazette is now a Chaosium licensed publication and, as such, we would like to pay our contributors for their work on this issue.  We're launching this Kickstarter to do just that, offering PDF copies of our earlier issues as well as issue #3.  Our plan is to have issue #3 ready on or about January 1st with revised versions of issues 1 & 2 released soon after.

About the Magazine

The Arkham Gazette is intended to be a resource for Keepers running scenarios or campaigns set in Lovecraft Country, the setting based on the writings of H.P. Lovecraft and developed by Keith Herber in book like Arkham Unveiled and Escape from Innsmouth.  We like to focus not just on the role-playing game elements, but on the fiction that inspired it as well as real-life events and legends that inspired the stories themselves.

Our previous issues have been well received (reviews of issue #1 and issue #2).  If you would like to take a look for yourself, issue #0 is available for your enjoyment.  (This links to the original version of issue #0; this will be replaced soon with a version matching our new layout scheme.)

A Note Regarding Editions

As the 7th edition of the Call of Cthulhu rules has only just been released, we have elected to not update this issue from the 6th edition rules set, as doing so would delay its release.  At some future point we will release an errata for any changes between the editions.

Issue #3, Witches and Witchcraft

Our third issue focuses on Lovecraft country (and real-life New England) and its history of witchcraft.  We cover a wide range of topics from a gaming perspective including the following:

  • Building a Better Witch - Tips of developing witch adversaries in your campaign, by Tyler Hudak.
  • Colonial Folk Magic - Just because there were no witches, at least a people like Cotton Mather imagined them, doesn't mean that no one was casting spells in New England; a look at the rituals and spells that common people employed.
  • Gods of the Witches- What Mythos god or gods might Lovecraftian witches worshiped?  By what names do they know these beings? What does that tell us about the origin of their witchcraft?  How would a Yog-Sothoth worshiping witch differ from one worshiping Nyogtha?
  • Goody Fowler- Daniel Harms provides this pseudo-historical article from Historical Sketches of Old Arkham all about this alleged witch, hanged by a mob in 1704.  This piece has been prepared as a handout by Dean Engelhardt.
  • Ibn Schacabao - The mysterious Arab writer (famously quoted in the Necronomicon - "...happy the town at night whose wizards are all ashes...") is profiled by Mike Daumen.
  • Marked by the Devil - Graeme Price explores the topic of witch marks from a medical and gaming angle.
  • New England's Alchemists- Witchcraft wasn't the only magic being practiced in New England.  This short article provides an introduction to the region's historical alchemists - men at the highest levels of society. You didn't think that Joseph Curwen and his friends were the only ones, did you?
  • Notes Regarding the Unpeopled Island- Our second prop document, also laid out by Dean Engelhardt; this time we provide the research notes, written by Chris Jarocha-Ernst, of a now-missing Miskatonic University student who took a dangerous interest in that ill-rumored islet in the Miskatonic River.
  • Of Evill Sorceries Done in New-England of Daemons in No Human Shape- A description of a Colonial-era pamphlet denouncing the alleged witch Richard Billington.
  • Rat-things and other Familiars - Chris Huth presents everything you didn't want to know about these human-faced rodent horrors and their nightmare brethren.
  • Touched by the Fairies - Christopher Smith Adair reveals the secret connection between witches and ghouls hinted at by Richard Upton Pickman.
  • Witches' Hollow- A new location just outside of Arkham, inspired by the short story of the same name by August Derleth.
  • The Queen of Night- An old Arkham family bears a taint dating from the time of the witch trials.  Can you stop the ancient evil from overtaking a new generation?  A scenario by Chris Huth.

There are also summaries discussing both the real-world history of witchcraft in New England as well as the fictional witches from Lovecraft and previous Call of Cthulhu RPG material.  As with our previous issues, we will include an annotated list of scenarios dealing this issue's topic. 

Art for this issue has been provided by Chris Huth, Ian Maclean, and Joshua Meadows.

Stretch Goals

As this is our first Kickstarter, we have elected to keep things simple and not offer a lot of miscellaneous add-ons, instead focusing on expanding and improving issue #3

  • $2000 - A Print on Demand release of issue #3 will be made available.  We will amend the backer levels to allow those interested to obtain a POD copy of the Gazette in addition to a PDF copy. -- UNLOCKED!
  • $2250 - What a scoop!  A PDF Bonus pack by Dean Engelhardt (of Cthulhu Reborn) will be released to all backers at Citizen of Arkham level and above  The pack includes the mastheads of the newspapers of Lovecraft Country - the Arkham Gazette, the Arkham Transcript, the Kingsport Chronicle, the Innsmouth Courier, the Aylesbury Transcript, and the Bolton Republican. -- UNLOCKED!
  • $2500 - The autopsy of Walter Gilman; a prop document from the pen of Graeme Price. -- UNLOCKED!
  • $3000 - The Wizard of Kingsport: Kevin Ross (Kingsport: City in the Mists, Escape from Innsmouth) will provide a short (c. 7500 word) scenario for backers about a notorious and mysterious figure from Kingsport's witch-haunted past. -- UNLOCKED!
  • $3500 - A Print on Demand version will be made available for issue #1. -- UNLOCKED!
  • $4000 - A Print on Demand version will be made available for issue #2. -- UNLOCKED!
  • $4250 - Additional PDFs from Dean Engelhardt; improved handouts for issues #1&#2 and perhaps other pseudo-historical documents. -- UNLOCKED!
  • $4500 - The 'Witch' Seminar - a Miskatonic University professor has been offering a special course on comparative religion... uncovering certain dangerous secrets.  Backers will receive a PDF containing a profile of the professor and several students as well as notes for using the group as NPC allies, enemies, or even the nucleus of a witch-focused Lovecraft Country campaign. -- UNLOCKED!
  • $5000 - What Lies Between the Library Walls? - a Scenario by Alex Moore, set at Miskatonic University.  All Backers at the Citizen of Arkham level and beyond will receive a PDF of this scenario.
  • $6500 - All backers at the $20 level and above will get a PDF copy of issue #4, when it is ready.

Add-Ons

AG Backer Add-On Table
AG Backer Add-On Table

We will be happy to provide a Print on Demand copy of issue #3 to any backers at the Miskatonic Valley Gleaner and above for an additional $8 dollars (US), $9 (UK), $10 (CAN), $11 (EU), and $15 (AUS/MEX).  If you are outside of these countries, please contact me directly to work out your total cost.  The cost for an issue is based on the printing costs on DriveThruRPG (about $4) and the shipping costs (starting at $5 in the US and rising elsewhere).

I'm happy to also offer copies of our release The Graveyards of Providence, a visitor's guide to the city's cemeteries and burying grounds, with a particular focus on their connection to H.P. Lovecraft; this is not an RPG product.  Copies cost $5 (US), $7 (CAN), and $9 (Everywhere else).  Click HERE for more information.

Chris Huth has also agreed to provide additional 4" x 3" digital illustrations for a backer increase of $30 a piece.  This illustrations will be completed after all the backer illustrations from the Curse of Brown Jenkin and Lovecraftian Horror levels.

Timing

The issue is mostly written at this point (current word count 42,000 words), art submissions are coming in, and layout has begun.  We intend to complete all writing before this Kickstater concludes (and I'll be sure to offer status updates as the issue progresses), so that backers will received a PDF preview of issue #3 on or around January 1st, 2015, the the regular PDF version available soon after.  The Print on Demand version would then follow in February. Additional add-on materials will follow on after that.

About the issues #1 & #2

Issues #1 & #2 were previously freely released online.  I have withdrawn them from circulation.  They are being redone with new layout, by Chris Huth and will have some relatively minor text amendments, correction of typographical errors, and updates to the annotated scenario lists.  In the case of issue #2, a new article providing more information about the cancelled Chaosium projects Horror at Innsmouth and Children of the Deep, will be included

Future Plans

I do not want to put the gigantic shell before the tentacled abyssal monstrosity, but in case your are interested in Sentinel Hill Press' future plans...

  • The Arkham Gazette #4: no topic chosen as of yet
  • The Graveyards of Lovecraft Country: a guidebook for Call of Cthulhu Keepers, all about the history, layout, operations, ...and contents of Lovecraft Country's (and New England more generally) burying grounds. 
  • Stranger Still, a series of linked scenarios set in Lovecraft Country featuring the malign influence of Hastur.

Credits and Miscellaneous Notes

Kickstarter music - St. James Infirmary by the Harlem Hot Chocolates (1930).  Video includes artwork from Chris Huth, Galen Pejeau, Joshua Meadows, and Ian Maclean.  Thanks guys!

Call of Cthulhu is the Registered Trademark of Chaosium Inc., and is used with their permission.

You've read all the way to the bottom.  Congratulations!.

Risks and challenges

Well, I could be eaten by a shoggoth. More seriously we have more than 80% of the issue written and layout has started. We have produced three issues previously - one trial issue and two regular ones - so we have some experience in crafting the Gazette.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

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    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Million Favored One: You have our thanks, we have your dollar.

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    Citizen of Arkham: Backers receive a PDF copy of issue #3 of the Arkham Gazette.

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    Native Arkhamite: Backers receive a Print on Demand and PDF copy of issue #3.

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    Miskatonic Valley Gleaner: Backers Receive a PDF copy of issues 1, 2, & 3 of the Arkham Gazette.

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    The Curse of Brown Jenkin: Backers receive a 4x3 digital portrait (by the artist Chris Huth) of themselves (or another subject of their choosing) as a vile rat-thing as well as all the benefits of the Miskatonic Valley Gleaner level.

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    Lovecraftian Horrors: Backers receive a 4x3 digital portrait (by the artist Chris Huth) of themselves (or another subject of their choosing) as a Cthulhu Mythos horror of their own selection as well as all the benefits of the Miskatonic Valley Gleaner level.

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    Murder Most Foul: Backers can choose the name of one of the victims of the witch in our scenario from this issue. They will also receive a 4x3 digital portrait (by the artist Chris Huth) of themselves (or another subject of their choosing) as the unfortunate deceased as well as all the benefits of the Miskatonic Valley Gleaner level.

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    Miskatonic University Student: Backers receive a custom article (within the remit of the Arkham Gazette's subject area) of up to 2000 words. Article may be released to the Sentinel Hill Press blog or in a future issue of the Arkham Gazette with the consent of the backer. Backer also receives PDFs of issues 1, 2, & 3 of the Arkham Gazette.

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    Miskatonic University Professor: Backers receive a custom scenario (within the remit of the Arkham Gazette's subject area) of up to 10,000 words in length. Scenario may be released to the Sentinel Hill Press blog or in a future issue of the Arkham Gazette with the consent of the backer. Backer also receives a POD copy of issue 3 and PDFs of issues 1, 2, & 3 of the Arkham Gazette.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Randolph Carter: This backer receives a custom issue of the Arkham Gazette, on a topic of their choosing (within the remit of the magazine). Said issue will be at least 40,000 words long, include a scenario related to the topic, and our usual mix of history, Lovecraft, and gaming. This issue will be made available generally after completion. Backer also receives a POD copy of issue 3 and PDFs of issues 1, 2, & 3 of the Arkham Gazette.

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Funding period

- (28 days)