Exciting news in the world of Dateline: Lovecraft! Today we are pleased to announce the release of our latest free add-on scenario supplement to allow owners of the core Dateline product to run exciting scenarios in and around Arkham, 1928. The new scenario is downloadable right now here on the Cthulhu Reborn blog.
This scenario is special for several reasons, not least of which is that it brings a brand new writer into the Cthulhu Reborn fold. Rachael B. Randolph is a well-known face on the Cthulhu RPG convention circuit, running fantastic original scenarios at several cons including NecronomiCon and GenCon. We have persuaded her to take a little time out from all that busy convention work to pen a brand new scenario which draws heavily upon multiple news articles in the Dateline: Lovecraft newspaper which relate to the town of Bolton. The result is a super-sized 36-page PDF scenario called “Bottoms Up!” (which is by far the largest free add-on to Dateline that we have released so far).
“Bottoms Up!” immerses investigators in the cut-throat world of 1920s soda manufacturing in and around the Miskatonic Valley. In particular it involves them in some rather intriguing developments that surround curious upcoming soda flavours advertised by the Bolton Brewing Company. The brewery is a much-loved Arkham-area institution that has fallen from its perch as being the region’s foremost supplier of sodas (or, more correctly in New England parlance, “tonics”). To survive in a competitive market-place and fend off behemoths like Moxie they have been forced to innovate.
Aficionados of Lovecraft’s writings might recall the fictional town of Bolton as a HPL creation mentioned in “Herbert West: Reanimator” — a factory town close to Arkham where the eponymous Herbert West briefly ran a medical practice. It’s not to be confused with the real town of Bolton, MA, which is in a different part of the state altogether. Beyond the scraps of information in Reanimator there’s not too much to describe Bolton, so Rachael was left with the task of bringing the industrial town to life … something she’s done admirably in her scenario.
If you’ve ever wondered why soda companies cannot resist the temptation to continually launch new and obscure flavour variants to one-up the competition, this is a scenario that gives you ONE answer. If you’ve always wished for Lovecraftian game scenarios with an abundance of take-charge female roles, “Bottoms Up!” is a scenario that gives you that in abundance. And if you’ve ever needed a scenario that lets you bring game-table drinks INTO the in-game action in the form of drinkable props … this is *definitely* the scenario for you!
On the last point, one of the fun challenges of producing this scenario as a fully-illustrated PDF was the ability to evoke the look-and-feel of the Bolton Brewery Oddball sodas by way of authentic vintage labels (like the one above). There are four such designs, scattered as illustrations through the scenario itself, and provided in larger form at the back for convenient prop-printing.
“Bottoms Up!” is our fourth free/PWYW scenario add-on to Dateline: Lovecraft, meaning there are now five fully-detailed scenarios which you can play with just the prop newspaper and guidebook from the core Dateline kit. We are still committed to our original plan of re-investing all profits from sale of the core product towards making new add-ons. This PDF supplement was largely “paid for” by excellent sales of the hard copy sets that are even now still available (in limited numbers) over on the HPL Historical Society web store. We have another Dateline add-on scenario currently being written, and outlines for a couple more that could be written. We plan to keep producing content based on the 1928 Arkham Advertiser issue for a while yet, so more sales of the hard-copy and PDF main title will keep us moving towards that goal.
In the meantime, though, we invite you to sit back, relax, and pop the top on a nice refreshing bottle of Djingula Bean Soda. Remember, nothing refreshes like Djingula Bean! Available from your local grocer to-day! Ozonized for your protection!
You can grab the free 36-page PDF for “Bottoms Up!” using the link below:
Or, if you are late to the soda-tasting-party and don’t yet have any of the free Dateline add-ons, you can grab the whole lot using the bundle link below: