Its a big day for those of us here at Cthulhu Reborn … our first-ever commercial PDF product (Mutable Deceptions, Volume 1 – Jazz Age Newspapers) has just been released. It’s available for sale at both the RPGNow and DrivethruRPG online stores.
I’ve already written a bit of a blurb about this product back when it was announced on 9 January … so feel free to jump back to that previous posting if you want the basic info on what it’s all about.
Essentially, though, the idea is that for a modest investment (US$5.95) you get a collection of fourteen double-sided templates for 1920s/1930s news articles. Each is formatted with fonts and layout which give them the right look & feel for the era (and come pre-populated with weird and wonderful real-world articles from the period). Surrounding the main article there’s clips from other news items, period advertisements and other newspaper junk from the era. The same is true for the reverse-side of each article template which features loads of additional period-colour.
You can use these templates to make as many different newspaper props as you’d like … and you can save your modified templates for later use.
So How Would I Use This?
How might someone use such a thing? Well I guess that’s largely up to the initiative and creativity of the gaming public (and there is a LOT of both), but I can easily imagine these templates being handy in these situations:
- You have written a new homebrew scenario that you’d like some nice handouts for;
- You have a published scenario but don’t like the look of its props;
- You’ve modified a published scenario and now need some of the facts modified in its handouts;
- You are an evil referee who likes making things difficult for your players by adding “red herring” clues to vex them;
- During play the characters do something noteworthy (aka blow up something) that is newsworthy …
It’s worth mentioning that there really isn’t anything about the newspaper templates that limits them to only being useful for Lovecraftian roleplaying (which, to be fair, uses a LOT of newspaper clues). If you play other games set in the 1920s or 1930s — maybe gangster or pulp games or weird alternative reality games — these would also be useful for such a game. And if you run a modern game which includes old newspaper articles as props or clues (e.g., the recently-discovered contents of Al Capone’s newspaper clipping archive), then they might be useful for that too!
Generally, Mutable Deceptions Vol 1 is a self-contained package that includes everything you need to get going (well, except for the Adobe Reader software, but you can get that free from Adobe for most modern OS-es). But I have also put together a “product support” page which has extra stuff that might be helpful to prop-makers or other folks curious about Mutable Deceptions generally.
At the moment this includes a download link for all the (free) fonts which were used to make these highly-authentic newspaper articles … and a higher-res version of the full 12-page instruction booklet that comes with the package. If you want to know what you can (and can’t) do with the product, downloading the latter might help you decide if it’s for you.
Make Amusing Headlines!
Finally, I’ll leave you with some humour from one of the testers who we asked to put the newspaper templates through their paces before publication. Reanimator, indeed!