As most readers of this blog would be well aware, back in September Cthulhu Reborn published a newspaper-themed (system independent) product called Dateline: Lovecraft. Central to this product was a huge and realistically-rendered broadsheet newspaper — an entire issue of the Arkham Advertiser for the day of October 15, 1928. The basic idea of the product is that buried amongst the mundane news of the day — and often buried *within* that news — there are lots of weird little details that an enterprising GM could spin off into a plot point for a scenario of their making. Or gamers could just use the newspaper as a piece of period flavour to help establish Arkham as a unique “character” in its own right.
Until now, Dateline: Lovecraft has existed only as a virtual product — when you buy it from DrivethruRPG you get two PDFs: one containing the broadsheet newspaper itself, the other serving as a guidebook with helpful indices, campaign ideas, and a ready-to-run scenario.
Perhaps the most common piece of feedback we’ve received about this product is that yes, it is a very cool virtual newspaper, but wouldn’t it be so much cooler if you had the newspaper in printed form? We like this idea a lot, and have been looking into what it might take to get such a thing printed on realistic newsprint for an affordable cost. Believe it or not there are not that many printers who will print giant broadsheet newspapers like this, especially in low volumes. But … we found one such printer and had a small test print run made up.
We think the test prints look pretty awesome (pic below shows one with a recent Cthulhu box set from Chaosium, as a size comparison — the Chaosium product is itself slightly bigger than US Letter size).
While we still haven’t figured out exactly how we will offer these for sale, rest assured that when we have firm plans they will be posted here before anywhere else! One of the things we are debating in whether to sell just the printed newspaper as a product, or also create a printed companion book (the salient parts of the guidebook PDF plus the first couple of EXTRA scenarios that get released as free PDFs). If you have an opinion, feel free to use the voting form below to send it our way:
On the subject of the second free/PWYW Dateline EXTRA scenario … we are getting perilously close to the point where the profits from sales of the current Dateline: Lovecraft PDFs crosses the threshold we set to release this new PDF. All we need is to sell a couple of extra copies of the Dateline PDF (or have a generous benefactor drop by our donations page and throw some Christmas miracle dollars our way) and this will go into layout for immediate release. The scenario itself, by the talented Noah Lloyd (of ReckoningOfTheDead fame) is already written and mostly illustrated, so once the funding total is hit we hope to get it released within a short time — probably just a few days.
Noah’s scenario, “Smoke Green” revolves around a new factory that graces the riverfront skyline of Arkham’s East-town … where a curious new brand of cigarettes are being manufactured. It also has a lot to do with the political battle between the front-runners in Arkham’s looming mayoral election … and it somehow involves the scene depicted below (drawn by the perpetually awesome Reuben Dodd):