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We are revising and expanding THE DARE, a Call of Cthulhu scenario by Kevin Ross wherein children face a terrible haunted house.
We are revising and expanding THE DARE, a Call of Cthulhu scenario by Kevin Ross wherein children face a terrible haunted house.
667 backers pledged $10,497 to help bring this project to life.

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The Dare - A Call of Cthulhu 1-shot, revised for 7th Edition project video thumbnail
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$10,497

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What are you?  Scared!?  

...You should be.

Welcome to the Kickstarter for THE DARE a scenario for The Call of Cthulhu™ role-playing game, as licensed by Chaosium.  Originally written by Kevin Ross and published by Triad Entertainments in 1996, we have revised and expanded the scenario for the 7th Edition rules.

What is it about?

"Children will always be afraid of the dark." - H.P. Lovecraft

Do you remember what it was like to be a kid?  When in every shadow there might lurk a monster?  When a nightmare might be escaped from by diving under your blankets?  When the morning light brought escape from all your fears... for a little while?

In THE DARE, players take the role of a group of average kids who are forced by their neighborhood bully to spend the night in the dreadful (and haunted!) Barnaker house.  This being Call of Cthulhu, there are actually things in the house far more dangerous than even the most terrified child might imagine.  The kids must then work together to explore the nightmarish old Barnaker house and investigate its mysteries if they hope to survive until the morning.

Draft of cover by Ian MacLean
Draft of cover by Ian MacLean

Who will enjoy it?

Hopefully you! THE DARE is a scenario ideally suited to a single session of play - for both experienced and novice players.  It can be a fun break from Cthulhian horrors your gaming group regularly faces or as an introduction to the game for newbies.  We're proud that Kevin Ross has given us the opportunity to resurrect and expand on his homage to the horror of Stephen King (among other authors) and are excited to share it with a new generation.

Who are we?

Sentinel Hill Press is a small press focusing on Lovecraftian Horror with an emphasis on New England's history and folklore; we're also a Chaosium Licensee.  We produce the Arkham Gazette, a magazine for the Lovecraft Country setting for The Call of Cthulhu™... and now this scenario.  More stuff to come, hopefully!

THE DARE's Features

Our revised and expanded version of THE DARE includes the following features:

  • Greatly expanded text (about 3 times the length of the original), updated to The Call of Cthulhu™ 7th Edition rules.  This includes an expanded description of the old Barnaker house, additional horrors and terrible encounters within, and advice for the Keeper in running the scenario to maximize fun.
  • Suggestions for how to run the scenario for players new to the game as well as for younger players - we're including notes on how to run the scenario as if it was an R-rated movie as well as  PG-13 one for younger players.
  • 10 pre-generated kid-investigators.  We've set the scenario's default era to be the 1980s; it is not just a nostalgia kick (though that helps), it also serve to keep thing simple when it comes to explaining the setting while not having to worry about certain irksome modern technology.
  • A simplified skill set, best suited to child investigators (and as an aid to new players).
  • New art by Ian MacLean; at a base level we will have a color cover, 6 ¼ page black and white illustrations, and 10 investigator portraits.  One stretch goal will double the interior art to 12 pieces!
  • New and improved maps by Richard LeDuc, included in the scenario and as a separate file for your ease of printing.

The scenario is about 20,000 words long (including pre-generated characters) and is estimated to be about 40 pages.  Our goal is to get the scenario in your hands as quickly as possible. The text of the revised version has already been written and backers at the $10 level and above will get a PDF copy of the draft of the scenario IMMEDIATELY upon the close of this 10-day Kickstarter.  While the finished product will likely not be ready by Halloween, you should still be able to run THE DARE while eating miniature candy bars and sipping apple cider. 

I've selected stretch goals that are straightforward - no tote bags! - and won't significantly delay this project's completion.  We want to get this out in your hands are rapidly as we can. 

Stretch Goals

Speaking of stretch goals...

  • $3500 - Introduction by Kevin Ross; Kevin will write about his inspiration for THE DARE, give some background for the scenario, and perhaps suggest some instructive viewings for the Keeper before running the scenario.
  • $4500 - More illustrations! More money means I can pay Ian to create even more terrifying illustrations.  The base scenario will have 6 ¼ page illustrations plus cover and investigator portraits; if this stretch goal is reached, we will double the interior art to 12 ¼ page images!
  • $5500 - Modern Day setting notes and Investigators,  While the default era of THE DARE is the 1980s, is we reach this stretch goal we will add notes to the scenario about running it in the modern day and we will create an additional PDF of our ten child-investigators updated to the present day.  Now your kid-investigator can Instagram their terrifying demise!
  • $6500 - Haunted House Scenarios in the Call of Cthulhu RPG; I will write a bibliographic essay about every "haunted house" scenario ever written for the Call of Cthulhu RPG, totaling about 5000 words.  More than just a list of "haunted house" scenarios, I'll dive into the qualities that make certain scenarios unique and, hopefully, inspirational.  Backer at $10 and higher will get a PDF of the essay.
  • $7500 - 1920s setting notes and investigators.  Not interested in the 1980s or the modern day?  While not hurtle yourself back to yesteryear and play the scenario as it might have been in the 'Classic era' of Call of Cthulhu, the 1920s.
  • $8250 - Archaic Secrets!  If this stretch goal is reached, all backers at "Halloween Party Goer" and up (aka $10+) will receive a PDF copy of Kevin Ross' original notes for the scenario.
  • $9000 - 'Lovecraft's Circle' and 'Pulp creators' as investigators.  Dive into the meta-textual experience of playing as H.P. Lovecraft, his friends, and other Pulp writers/artists as children trapped in the Barnaker House!  We've found an author just mad enough to transform 10 Pulp authors and artists into kid-investigators, letting you live out your heretofore unknown dream of adventuring as Howie Lovecraft, a 'tween Clark Ashton Smith, or Miss Maggie Brundage tangling with horrors from beyond. 
  • **$12,000** - "Horrors Yet to Come".  If we reach this insane height, all backers at $20 or higher will get a preview of Kevin Ross' (as of yet untitled) sequel to THE DARE, set 30 years after the events of the scenario.  What nightmares does the future hold for THE DARE's survivors?  Timing of this reward is TBA. 

A Note About Shipping

You will note that none of the Print On Demand options including shipping.  This was intentional.  We have elected to leave shipping costs to POD buyers; you will get a notice that Sentinel Hill Press has provided you a copy of THE DARE via DriveThruRPG and will, at that point, pay for shipping.

The reasons for this are two-fold, which we hope our backers will view as beneficial.  The first is simplicity - the Kickstarter will not have to set up any differing pledge levels for other locations, or have add-on costs you need to calculate.  Most locations in the US, Canada, the UK, and EU will probably have a shipping expense of only a few dollars (my current estimate is around $4 US).  The second benefit is that by excluding these costs, you won't have to pay a premium by paying Kickstarter's fees on your shipping costs, which are roughly 10% of the money we raise. 

So - you will pay the shipping cost of THE DARE, but you will ultimately pay less.

Important Licensing Note and Credits

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

Header image illustration by Ian MacLean.

Header image composite by Chris Huth.

Our video was prepared by Charles Gerard.

Video elements:

Risks and challenges

Like anyone else, life can happen. In my case, I am a caregiver to my parents and kids. They come first. There are also some outstanding items for our previous Kickstarter that I am working on but these pieces are mostly being worked on by others and, while they are important to me, I am able to devote my attention to getting THE DARE out to you in a timely way.

What I promise you is that A) you will get the draft text for the scenario (in a playable but unrefined state) after the KS ends and the money has been received, and B) I will always keep you regularly informed on my progress. If there is a delay, you will know about it.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Fraidy-cat

    Just want to watch how the Kickstarter goes? Here's your opportunity to keep tabs on our progress.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Halloween party-goer

    A PDF copy of THE DARE, including any additional investigator sets and other stretch goals.

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    Trick-or-Treater

    A print copy and PDF copy of THE DARE, ncluding any additional investigator sets and other stretch goals. Additional investigator sets and other items are PDF only.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Bag full of candy

    A print copy and PDF copy of THE DARE, including any additional investigator sets and other stretch goals.
    Backer also gets a fillable version of THE DARE character sheets and, if our $12,000 stretch goal is reached, a preview of Kevin Ross' yet untitled sequel to THE DARE. (Additional investigator sets and other items are PDF only.)

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Meddling Kid

    Print copy and PDF copy of THE DARE (as per "Trick-or-Treater" above) plus you can be immortalized as one of the young investigators. You'll need to provide a photograph of you around age 10.

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    Reward no longer available 9 backers
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    More Meddling Kids

    Print copy and PDF copy of THE DARE (as per "Trick-or-Treater" above) plus you can be immortalized as one of the young investigators in our modern investigator set. You'll need to provide a photograph of you around age 10-12.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The Picture in the (Haunted) House

    A print copy and a PDF copy of THE DARE (as per "Trick-or-Treater" above) plus your choice of a draft of one of Ian Maclean's original illustration from the scenario.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    The Body

    You will be immortalized as the vagrant whose remains can be found in the haunted house of our scenario; your portrait will be used for that of the deceased. You also will get a print and PDF copy of THE DARE (as per "Trick-or-Treater" above). You will need to provide a current photograph.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    You're an Ace!

    Roger, the bully who has forced everyone to visit the haunted house, has an even meaner older brother - Ace. While he appeared in name only in the original scenario, our updated version includes a scene in which Ace makes an appearance. You will be immortalized as Ace; your face will be used for Roger's meaner older brother. You also will get a print and PDF copy of THE DARE (as per "Trick-or-Treater" above). You will need to provide a photograph of yourself as a late teen.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    The Barnaker Estate

    A print and PDF copy of THE DARE (as per "Trick-or-Treater" above) along with a hand-colored pen and ink version of the scenario's cover, by Ian MacLean.

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Funding period

- (10 days)