The dark and malevolent forces of the Cthulhu Mythos mostly ignore humankind. But these entities are also shrewd opportunists. Many of them see humans as a resource to be harvested, corrupted or enlisted for their dark plots. Humanity, with all its noble aspirations, has many flaws. Greed, lust, envy, hatred and fear are ripe fruits for these forces to exploit. Division and separation makes the humans easier to control. While the best of humankind fights for just laws and civilization, those who cling to power and privilege stand ready to quash protections for those who need them most. In the shadows of human injustice lurk loathsome, inhuman entities. As investigators square off against the worst aspects of mankind, they also find themselves entangled with the parasitic powers of the Mythos.
Welcome to An Inner Darkness, from Golden Goblin Press.
This is collection of Classic 1920’s era scenarios of 7th edition the Call of Cthulhu Roleplaying Game (published by Chaosium, Inc) with several goals in mind. We hope to present well researched, historically accurate and challenging adventures, with a slightly darker, harsher and more brutal tone than our fans might be used to. For Golden Goblin Press, this will be a more mature book, one focused on adult themes, designed to spark deep conversations among your players for years to come.
These scenarios will of course feature the malignant taint of the Cthulhu Mythos, but at the forefront of each will be one or more examples of social injustice, societal corruption, and mankind’s inhumanity to man. The 1920’s was a period of great social upheaval in America, when the borders between classes, races, and genders were changed. In this time of social upheaval and chaos, eldritch forces found fertile ground to exploit us. Mankind is never so vulnerable than when we are divided from within.
When this Lousy War is Over, by Brian M. Sammons – Arkham, Massachusetts, 1923. At the local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars association, men who fought in the “war to end all wars” gather together, seeking a bit of solace from those who’ve shared similar experiences. Many are wounded in body, in mind, and in spirit. Many suffer from horrifying nightmares, violent outbursts, disfiguring injuries, or alcoholism, but their pain and struggles are mostly ignored by society. They are reminded that the war is over, and told to just “get over it” by a public who finds it all too easy to judge. Then, chapter members start to mysteriously die in violent and terrible ways, with clues pointing to the occult, possibly involving a member of the association no less! Can the investigators find those responsible and stop them, before it’s too late?
They Are From Away, by Charles Gerard - Bangor, Maine, 1923. Maine has become a major battleground for the Ku Klux Klan. Protestant nativists have grown fearful about the recent influx of Catholic Immigrants, mostly Irish and French-Canadians. This provides the KKK with fertile ground for spreading their message of hate, division, and violence. Enter Eugene Farnsworth, a charismatic former stage magician, hypnotist and filmmaker, now known as King Kleagle, the head KKK recruiter for Maine. He hosts “wholesome” public events while spearheading an aggressive recruitment drive, making alliances with area politicians and heads of industry. Meanwhile, macabre, inexplicable and unnatural events begin to occur, aimed at humiliating and terrorizing the area’s Catholic citizens. Investigators must discover if there is a link between the two, and find a way to stop it if they can.
Fire Without Light, by Helen Gould - Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1922. Less than a year has passed since the Tulsa Race Massacre, when the wealthiest black community in the United States was destroyed and hundreds of innocent people were murdered by rampaging white mobs. Though most of the 10,000 black residents left Tulsa, some remained to rebuild their devastated community. Now tensions are on the rise once again. A new pastor and his wife have arrived, preaching hate and violence to the white population. Their congregation is growing at an alarming rate, and violence is spilling out from their church and into the streets. Strangely, even families and friends of the same race are turning against each other. Something very wrong is going on here. Investigators must tread carefully to discover just who - or what - is fanning the flames, pushing the citizens of Tulsa towards another wave of catastrophic violence.
A Fresh Coat Of White Paint, by Jeff Moeller - Los Angeles, California, 1931. Early in the Great Depression, the U.S. institutes its first mass deportation policy, supported by a cross-section of interests such as racist nationalists, eugenicists, paternalistic "charities", and labor unions "looking out for their own." This leads to a roundup of thousands of ethnically Mexican families, many of them U.S. citizens, carried out federal employees, local police, various "charities", and outright vigilante groups. The deportees were (sometimes) given summary hearings, detained in makeshift conditions, and then loaded onto trains. On the outskirts of Los Angeles, one such "charity" is refurbishing an old prison to "give the unfortunates somewhere to stay." However, this long abandoned facility has a dark past, which is quickly becoming a horrible, otherworldly nightmare for those interred there. Can the investigators get to the bottom of things in time to save the prisoners?
A Family Way, by Oscar Rios – New York, New York, 1925. The investigators must come to the aid of a dear friend, a student at Columbia University. She’s found herself "in trouble" after what should have been a harmless girls' night out. Her group ended up drinking and dancing with the wrong sort of fellas, the kind willing to slip them a mickey and take what they wanted from their unconscious victims. Now the girls need help, as the authorities won't act, or even take their stories seriously. These men have deep pockets, powerful allies, and dark secrets. When the men return with offers of marriage and gifts of strange, pale gold jewelry, it becomes clear they aren't the sort to take no for an answer. There aren’t many options for girls in their “condition”, and one of the few happens to be illegal. But your friend just wants this nightmare to be over, if such a thing is still even possible.
Dreams of Silk, by Christopher Smith Adair – Pennsylvania, 1922. The cosmetics industry is growing fast, as the public’s obsession with youth and beauty grows. As profits soar and businesses expand workers at such companies suffer due to lax regulations and poor conditions. At Hempstead Cosmetics, located in Brights Mill, Pennsylvania, a state infamous among labor advocates, conditions are especially bad. Local government turns a blind eye to protect their economic boom, ignoring any indiscretions or complaints against chemist and owner Mervyn Hempstead. Consumers marvel at their newest skin cream, promising to give a complexion as smooth as dreams of silk, and the youthful glow of Imelda Hempstead, Mervyn’s wife and chief model. Meanwhile, his employee’s bodies and minds deteriorate and their complaints of rashes and troubled sleep are ignored. But things are much worse than anyone can possibly imagine, as they are drawn into a web of literal nightmares as unspeakable horrors from beyond our reality are tied to Hempstead Cosmetics' “miraculous” secret ingredients.
We have some wonderful authors, editors, artists, cartographers, and designers who are already hard at work on this project. They are:
Brian M. Sammons - is a fiction editor for Dark Regions Press and Golden Goblin Press. He has penned stories that have appeared in a number of publications and has edited the books Cthulhu Unbound 3, Undead & Unbound, Eldritch Chrome, Edge of Sundown, Steampunk Cthulhu, Dark Rites of Cthulhu, Atomic Age Cthulhu, World War Cthulhu, Flesh Like Smoke, Return of the Old Ones, Children of Gla’aki, Dread Shadows in Paradise, and more. His game work is mostly for the Call of Cthulhu game and includes scenarios for Strange Aeons II, The San Francisco Guidebook, Doors to Darkness, The Things We Leave Behind, and more.
Why "When this Lousy War is Over"– War and horror and the horrors of war have always fascinated. Just see a fiction anthology I did called World War Cthulhu for proof. Or a Call of Cthulhu scenario I did for Strange Aeons II set in another forgotten war, Korea. And make no mistake, The Great War is largely forgotten today as are some of the barbaric treatments and practices used to patch up those mutilated by it in both body and mind. As for veterans, they have always been forgotten. For a country that seems so proud of its military might, the way America treats those who fought after the fight is over is just disgraceful. So I wanted to tell a tale of brave men, damaged men, marginalized and purposely forgotten men having to face the horrors of the everyday, and those from beyond, too.
Charles Gerard - is a Franco-American Mainer, writer and journalist based in New York City. Relentless curiosity is both his superpower and his fatal flaw. In the tabletop gaming realm, he has published work with Sentinel Hill Press, Cubicle 7, and the Dungeon Masters Guild, and has a scenario in Golden Goblin Press’ forthcoming Invictus scenario book, No Faith in Appearances. He is a co-host of the Miskatonic University Podcast, as Keeper Chad.
Why "They Are From Away" - I wrote "They Are From Away" to shed light on the intractable, repeating history of nativism, xenophobia, and bigotry against religious and ethnic groups. In this scenario, I am proud and honored to explore the heritage of my francophone, working-class grandparents and forebearers in my home state of Maine. They toiled as low-wage woodcutters, builders and mill workers during a time of great prosperity for the timber and manufacturing industries. But the French-speaking residents of Maine, along with other immigrant groups, faced discrimination, harassment, and humiliation by those who feared newcomers might upset a social order tilted heavily in their favor. That time in Maine’s history, with charlatans whipping up conspiracy theories, distrust, and intolerance of outsiders, strikes me as a crucial reminder that monsters of inhumanity thrive on forgetfulness, and they never truly sleep.
Helen Gould - is a black British writer and editor focusing on poetry, horror, and tabletop roleplaying. She's contributed to games from Black Armada; Rowan, Rook and Decard; Stygian Fox; and Graham Walmsley's Cthuhlu Dark. You can also listen to her playing Pathfinder over on The Rusty Quill gaming podcast.
Why "Fire Without Light" - I wrote this to explore the culpability of white women and the middle class in propagating racism. Too often, the image that people hold of a racist is an angry, working class white man, when the reality is that it is just as likely to be a well-spoken professional white woman or an educated white male professor. The scenario is also a response to the prevailing notion of racism as something done by people who don't know any better or who didn't really mean it. They do mean it, and the infantilising assumption that racism is an accident is incredibly dangerous.
Jeffrey Moeller - Is a cis-male, middle-aged Caucasian father of five who lives in Cleveland but considers Alaska home. He is the author of dozens of published Call of Cthulhu scenarios, is a frequent Golden Goblin Press contributor, and won a 2017 ENNIE for The Things We Leave Behind, along with Oscar and Brian.
Why "A Fresh Coat of White Paint" - If you want to blame someone for this collection, blame me; I pushed for it. My day job is immigration attorney, and I've represented detained immigrants before. Originally this was going to be set in the modern day, in a children's detention camp (administered as is often the case by a "charity") along the Mexican border. Oscar asked me to set it in the Classic era, and I was horrified to read about what went on in 1907 and 1931 Los Angeles, with itinerant populations, forced labor and the Mexican "repatriation". People think of California as a bastion of liberalism today, so a history lesson seemed in order.
Oscar Rios – This native New Yorker and Hispanic-American cosmic horror writer is the author of more than ninety scenarios for Call of Cthulhu, including the campaigns Ripples from Carcosa and The Legacy of Arrius Lurco. He is also the President of Chaosium licensee, Golden Goblin Press.
Why “A Family Way” – I wrote this scenario back in 2007, and have only run it a handful of times. I wanted to explore something truly horrific, namely rape, its aftermath, and the terrible choice a woman faces should a pregnancy result from the attack. Compound that horror with others taking that choice away from the victim, and the health and legal risks involved with getting an abortion in the 1920’s, and you find yourself in a very dark, very real place. I swore I’d never publish “A Family Way”, because I was afraid. There were arsonist attacks in Austin and Virginia Beach on women’s health clinics about the time I wrote this. I am ashamed, and the telling of this tale is long overdue.
Christopher Smith Adair – Christopher has written numerous scenarios and articles for Call of Cthulhu, both for Chaosium and a number of its licensees. This includes the upcoming Pulp Cthulhu campaign A Cold Fire Within. They are currently tinkering away on their own game-design ideas in what spare time remains.
Why “Like Dreams of Silk” – Work takes up an enormous part of our lives. It affects everything. Often, we do it simply for our survival and that of our loved ones, hoping that our sacrifice results in better days. Some are privileged to do something they love or that is meaningful. But too often the work we do to live is itself detrimental to our well-being. The history of labor is full of horror stories, and that continues to this day. The “workplace horror” sub-genre hasn’t been explored as much as it could be in fiction and, especially, roleplaying games. And while this isn’t the first time I’ve touched on this subject, I’ve been looking for the right opportunity to make it the centerpiece.
Mark Shireman - is a graphic design professional (and secret cultist of Nyarlathotep) with over 29 years of experience, and is currently GGP's acting Director of Design. He has also been a part of the Cthulhu LARP community, as well as the well-regarded TerrorWerks events held at Origins and Gen Con in years past. He has been covertly encoding summoning glyphs and sigils into his work, spreading the influence of the Crawling Chaos for nigh on two decades now, and his success is evidenced by the increasingly unstable reality of recent years. Feel free to visit his portfolio at http://www.markshireman.org to get a glimpse of his work.
Reuben Dodd – Reuben has been illustrating roleplaying games off and on again since 2005. At first, it was mainly on fantasy games, but since 2010 he has worked almost exclusively on Lovecraftian horror games, the bulk of which has been for Golden Goblin Press but also for some other publishers including Chaosium Inc., Miskatonic River Press and Stygian Fox Publishing. Illustrating Cthulhu Mythos themed RPGs has given Reuben the chance to indulge his artistic dark side and pay tribute to Weird fiction and horror imagery. Something that he is incredibly grateful for.
Gregory Shipp - Hello! My name is Greg and I make maps. I’m a relatively new member of the Goblins, working with them on Tales of the Caribbean, Cold Warning and Cthulhu Invictus, envisaging everywhere from the depths of a great ocean liner to the sewers beneath the great city of Ancient Rome. Outside of that, I’ve made maps of many kinds for DnD sessions, wedding gifts and plenty of fantasy and history authors!
In my spare time, I enjoy playing lots of tennis, watching films and looking after my pet snake, Tango. I’m currently playing Red Dead Redemption 2 and listening to Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino - both of which are well worth a look in! So if any of that floats your boat, I’m sure we’d get along just fine!
UNLOCKED! Stretch Goal #1, Expanded Interior Art (Additional $750 / Unlocked at: $20,750) – All scenarios get an additional interior illustration (to a total of four), and if necessary additional map and/or handout.
UNLOCKED!! Stretch Goal #2, Full Color Interior (Additional $1500 / Unlock Mark: $22,250) – Upon unlocking this stretch goal the layout of the book will become full color.
UNLOCKED!!! Stretch Goal #3, Bonus Sixth Scenario; Dreams of Silk by Christopher Smith Adair (Additional $2,500 / Unlock Mark: $24,750) - Upon unlocking this stretch goal a sixth scenario will be added to this collection!
UNLOCKED!!!! Stretch Goal #4, 8 x 10 Color Art Prints (Additional $750 / Unlock Mark: $25,500) – Upon unlocking this stretch goal every backer receiving a physical book directly from Golden Goblin Press will also receive a color 8 x 10 of our cover art by Reuben Dodd.
Stretch Goal #5, Shadows of an Inner Darkness / Fiction Companion (Additional $4,500 / Unlock Mark: $30,000) - Upon unlocking this stretch goal every backer receiving a digital and physical reward will get a PDF or E-Pub download of this collection. Backers getting a physical reward directly from Golden Goblin Press will have the option of adding on a physical copy to their rewards through the Backerkit store when filling out their survey at the end of the campaign. Backers getting only digital or Print on Demand rewards will not have the option of adding on a physical copy.
The Parkland Experiments by William Meikle – When a Doctor begins performing chemical and surgical eugenics experiments on prisoners at Parkland Correctional Facility, the results take an unexpected and otherworldly turn, resulting in horrific consequences.
A Ghastly Industry by Lee Clark Zumpe – A couple fleeing from a lynch mob in central Florida takes unlikely refuge in a moldering manor. However, they land in the middle of a family dispute between a desperate young man and his ancient undying grandmother.
By Unknown Hands by Ed Erdelac – When a pair of murderous conmen, making a living by killing Native Americans to gain rights to their property, set their sights on a reclusive woman named Hope they get much more than they bargained for.
Carrion Crows by Pete Rawlik – In the aftermath of a terrible hurricane, John Crow is pressed into service with a work gang to recover the dead and bury them in mass graves. The terrible experience changes him, quite literally, forever.
The Last Appointment by Oscar Rios – An Arkam doctor is kidnapped after performing an illegal medical procedure on a terribly deformed man from the shunned town of Innsmouth. His patient’s family has some questions and his life depends on the answers.
Heart Mountain by Glynn Owen Barrass – With Executive Order 9066, young Aiko and her family are forcibly taken to Heart Mountain, a detention camp for Japanese Americans. There she discovers a hidden diary and learns the camp has been used before.
Man of the House by Christine Morgan – A fabulously wealthy man rules over a houseful of his female relations. He controls their fortunes and keeps them prisoners to his abhorrent desires. But it’s a New Age; women have the vote now, and the time has come for a change.
Stretch Goal #6, Bonus Seventh Scenario; The Blood Red Mill by Scott David Aniolowski (Additional $500 / Unlock Mark: $30,500) - Upon unlocking this stretch goal a seventh scenario will be added to this collection! We are setting this funding goal VERY low because we'd really like to make it this far.
The Blood Red Mill, by Scott David Aniolowski – Arkham, Massachusetts, 1920. Administration at Miskatonic University has uncovered homosexual students on campus and has convened a Secret Court to investigate and flush out the “deviants.” Those identified are publicly exposed and expelled from the university. One such student, traumatized by the expulsion and humiliating publicity, has committed suicide. Now members of the Secret Court are being found gruesomely murdered inside a fairy ring at an old red cider mill on the Miskatonic River. The investigators must discover who is behind the grisly murders and what the connection is to the dead student. The answers harken back to a mythical time and a foe from the Investigators’ childhood…
Stretch Goal #7, New Investigator Organizations (Additional $750 / Unlock Mark: $31,250) -Upon unlocking this stretch goal we will create three brand new investigator organizations your characters can be working with. They will be fully detained groups ready to drop into your campaign, who are both dedicated to fighting for justice as well as protecting mankind from the forces of the Cthulhu Mythos.
But as they say, that’s not all! We have loads of further stretch goals planned for this project. They include:
- Shadows of an Inner Darkness book marks.
- Additional short stories for “Shadows of An Inner Darkness”.
- A pre-generated Investigator collection uniquely suited for play in An Inner Darkness.
- A guideline on how to run the scenarios of An Inner Darkness as a linked campaign.
- Custom period advertisements from our friends at the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, including one for a certain New York bookstore created by Robert E. Howard.
We’ll start talking in more detail about each of our stretch goals after we pass the 50% funded mark.
Call of Cthulhu is the Registered Trademark of Chaosium Inc., and is used with their permission. www.chaosium.com
Risks and challenges
As with any Kickstarter campaign, unless we fund this project won't be produced. Our date of projected delivery is our hopeful estimate and delays are possible due to unforeseen circumstances which are often out of our control. Specific authors and artists may change as well, due to same said unforeseen circumstances.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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