Arkham News Round-up: March 2019
Hello everyone, I'm Nate, Lost in time and space, and welcome to this Month's Arkham news round-up. In this series I quickly highlight news and product releases that occurred throughout the previous month. March sees the release of new campaign settings for 7th edition Call of Cthulhu, the revealing of a new mythos pack for the Arkham LCG, along with some unfortunate news about the sinking city, and the loss of a prominent writer. As always if you're interested in learning more about the topics covered in this article links will be below. Without further ado let's hop right into it!
Not wanting to end the article on a down note, let's the bad news out of the way now. On March 8th, Frogwares games studio released a video on their youtube channel, in which they announce a new release date for the Sinking City. In this brief video they share some reasons for the delay. Later in the month during GDC however, Epic games announced a slew of games coming exclusively to the Epic games store, and you guessed it..Frogwares studio and bigben interactive publishing have signed an exclusivity deal with Epic games to have The sinking city released on the Epic game store. In the original video published by the developer, you can see the steam logo on the bottom of the screen on the ending slide. I'm not going to spend my time speculating as to exactly what transpired to make this deal possible, I'll let you come to your own conclusions, but at a surface level this looks extremely shady. I'm not alone in this regard either. While initial comments were mostly positive, mine included, public opinion quickly soured to this news. This to me feels like a blatant cash grab at the expense of the end user. Let me know in the comments what you think about this situation.
Moving from the shady to the just plain sad, Earlier this month, Larry DiTillio passed away at the age of 71. Best known in the mythos community for being the original author of the epic Call of Cthulhu campaign, “The masks of Nyarlathotep”. Larry worked mostly as screen writer for titles such as, He-man , Fat albert and the cosby kids, She-ra, beast wars, babylon 5, and many others. Mike mason of chaosium, wrote a great piece about Larry that I suggest you read. Additionally, over at Yog-sothoth.com you can find archived interviews with Larry about his work. To quote Mike Mason “Thank you, Larry, for your insight, your creativity, and your wisdom. You will be missed.”
With all of that out of the way let's move on to product releases. Chaosium this month published the hardcover of 2nd edition “Terror Australis” Call of Cthulhu in the land down under. As the subtitle suggests, this campaign setting takes place in 1920's Australia. The book provides keepers with tons of information to run a game or campaign in this setting covering topics like, resources, cities, the mythos and Alcheringa. Quote “Known to some as “the Dreaming” or “Dreamtime,” the Alcheringa chapter focuses on how to incorporate the wisdom and learning stemming from Aboriginal cultural traditions into games, “. The also includes 2 scenarios, the first “Long way from home” where the investigators look into a series of odd and unexplained meteor showers. The second “ Black water, White death” sees the investigators venture to Tasmania for an auction...this sounds awfully familiar (show the adventure “The auction”...purchasing this hardcover on Chaosium's site also gets a free copy of the PDF.
On the digital side of things, Chaosium released in March the PDF for their newest campaign setting “Berlin: The wicked city” Taking place in the aftermath of the Great War, this book presents an overview of 1920's Weimar Republic Berlin for keepers and investigators, detailing notable characters, locations and organizations. Unlike the prudish nature of 1920's New england, Berlin had a reputation for licentiousness, and as such, this book is intended for mature audiences. The book continues with suggestions on how to incorporate the mythos into your games and concludes with 3 scenarios, which i'll include descriptions to on screen now. You can purchase the PDF on chaosium's website and doing so gets you a coupon for the future printed edition.
Chaosium isn't the only publisher releasing campign settings this month. Modiphius released updated versions of Achtung! Cthulhu investigator and keepers guides. This update brings this WW2 setting to the Call of Cthulhu 7th edition ruleset. You can pick PDF copies on Drive-Thru RPG.
At the tail end of March, FFG announced the final mythos pack in the Circle Undone Cycle. Before the black throne sees the investigators of Arkham leaving their world behind for the infinite void of space. This scenario brings with it a new mechanic called the cosmos deck. Similar in function to the explore deck from scenarios past, this version has slight variations, rather than set connection markers, each location drawn from this new deck, such as dancer's mist, will have a triggered ability you must resolve before placing it. If you cannot place a location this way, you must shuffle it back into the cosmos deck and cancel your movement.
The article also spoils the new keyword Bonded. Quote “ some cards in this Mythos Pack feature the new bonded keyword, keeping them specifically linked to other player cards. These bonded cards do not have levels and they are not available as options when deckbuilding. Rather, the cards they are bonded to will summon them into play.” The article goes on to spoil some player cards in the mythos pack, giving an example of how the bonded keyword works in action. I'm excited to see what other bonded cards are in this pack,and if every faction will receive one.
March was a month of mixed emotions and great product releases. Berlin the wicked city seems like an awesome contrast to your typical Call of Cthulhu game and is the product I'm most excited for. I originally was excited for the release of the sinking city, but with shady business practices muddying the waters of Oakmont, I'm now hesitant. I want to hear from you. Leave your thoughts about this months news in the comments below. I want to thank you as always for reading, and have a great day.