Arkham Unveiled

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Details

Publisher: Chaosium


1st Edition Front Cover

1st Edition

Product Code: 2325

Publishing Year: 1990

Pages: 160

Cover Price: $17.95

Author(s): Keith Herber, Mark Morrison, Richard Watts, L.N. Isinwyll, John B. Monroe

Artist(s): Lee Gibbons (cover), Tim Callender, Gus DiZerega, Carol Triplett-Smith (maps)

Format(s): Softcover

ISBN:' 0-933635-62-1


2nd Edition Front Cover

2nd Edition = "The Compact Arkham Unveiled"

Product Code: 2356

Publishing Year: 1995

Pages: 96

Cover Price: $18.95

Author(s): Keith Herber, Lynn Willis, John B. Monroe

Artist(s): Lee Gibbons (cover), Tim Callender, Carol Triplett-Smith (original maps), Malcolm Wolter (2nd edition maps), Gus DiZerega (town map)

Format(s): Softcover

ISBN:' 1-568820-49-6


3rd Edition Front Cover

3rd Edition = "H.P. Lovecraft's Arkham"

Product Code: 8803

Publishing Year: 2002

Pages: 248

Cover Price: $28.95

Author(s): Keith Herber, Mark Morrison, Richard Watts, Mervyn Boyd, L.N. Isynwill, John B. Monroe

Artist(s): Lee Gibbons (cover), Louis Cortez Real, Carol Triplett-Smith (maps), Gus DiZerega (maps), Andy Hopp (maps)

Format(s): Softcover

ISBN:' 1-568821-65-4


Setting(s): 1920s

Contents

The Arkham book is the first in Chaosium's series describing the core Lovecraft Country setting. As with all volumes in this series, the town is described in a nominal time frame of late 1928. This is shortly after the events of both Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror and The Whisperer in Darkness.

The book contains extensive background information about this New England town--written to be used by serious investigators as a base from which to further explore the mysteries of the Cthulhu Mythos. Pertinent buildings, useful people, and important locations are described in depth.

To date, Chaosium have published three editions of this sourcebook. While the nature and detail of the Arkham setting has not changed greatly between editions, each has included slightly different material as indicated below.



1st Edition

The original edition of Arkham Unveiled is a square-bound book that includes a bound-in 17x22" map and an Arkham Advertiser (large folded prop showing pages from the newspaper for Thursday Oct. 11, 1928). Besides the background on Arkham there are also four adventures.

The body of the book is organised into sections:

  • Introduction
  • Orientation
  • A Brief History of Arkham (including an extensive chronology of all significant events from HPL's tales set in "Lovecraft Country")
  • Town Directory
  • A Guide to Arkham
  • Scenario 1: A Little Knowledge
  • Scenario 2: The Hills Rise Wild
  • Scenario 3: The Condemned
  • Scenario 4: Dead of Night
  • Adventure handouts

The largest section, the "Guide to Arkham" is a gazeteer which divides the city (and surrounding region within several miles) up into a collection of regions and describes notable locations within each of those areas. The regions are:

  • Neighborhood 1: Northside (39 entries)
  • Neighborhood 2: Downtown (44 entries)
  • Neighborhood 3: Easttown (10 entries)
  • Neighborhood 4: Merchant (58 entries)
  • Neighborhood 5: Rivertown (13 entries)
  • Neighborhood 6: Campus (28 enties)
  • Neighborhood 7: French Hill (23 entries)
  • Neighborhood 8: Uptown (17 entries)
  • Neighborhood 9: Lower Southside (17 entries)
  • The Outskirts: 15 entries describing locations beyond the city limits but nearby (Billington's Woods, Snake's Den Cave, The Old Carter Mansion, University Athletic Field, Town Dump, Chapman Farmhouse, Meadow Hill, Clark's Corners, Goody Fowler Cottage, The Blasted Heath, Ammi Pierce, Crowninshield Manor, Arkham Airfield, Kingsport Head, Fenner's Road House)




2nd Edition, released under the title "The Compact Arkham Unveiled"

The 2nd Edition includes largely the same content as the first, with two important differences. The first is that this version omits all scenarios present in the first -- it contains no scenarios of any kind. The other main difference is in the way the maps are rendered: neighborhood maps are now based on the poster map. This has meant some locations have been repositioned. A poster map of Arkham and a four page newspaper (Arkham Advertiser) are tucked into the book.

The body of the book generally follows the same structure as that of the 1st Edition.




3rd Edition, released under the title "H.P. Lovecraft's Arkham"

The 3rd Edition no longer bears the "Lovecraft Country" imprint. It was produced as a dual-statted sourcebook, containing details for using the setting in either traditional Call of Cthulhu (BRP) games or using the d20 Call of Cthulhu rules. Most of the d20 material is included in an appendix to the main body of the book (which also includes new character creations options).

This edition of the book reinstates three of the scenarios from the 1st Edition book and adds one new scenario. It also adds fiction, in the form of Lovecraft's story The Dreams in the Witch House. Once again there is a poster map of Arkham tucked into the book as well as a newspaper (Arkham Advertiser) prop. The latter of these has been redesigned for this release.

The body of the book is organised into the following sections:




Scenarios: A Little Knowledge (1st Edition only), The Hills Rise Wild (1st and 3rd Editions), The Condemned(1st and 3rd Editions), Dead of Night (1st and 3rd Editions), The Books of Uncle Silas (3rd Edition only)


1st Edition Front Cover Text

A New England Haven for Investigators & 4 New Scenarios

1st Edition Back Cover Text

ARKHAM UNVEILED

The Faces & Places of Arkham
Four Terrifying Adventures
Fold-Out Players Map

"Behind everything crouched the brooding, festering horror of the ancient town ... the changeless, legend-haunted city of Arkham, with its clustering gambrel roofs that sway and sag over attics where witches hid from the King's men in the dark, olden days of the Province."
"It was always a very bad time in Arkham . . . . "
-- H.P. Lovecraft

Hamlet of Horror!

Arkham is a small town along the Massachusetts coast - the setting favored by author Howard Phillips Lovecraft in his tales of monstrous horror.

All in all a quiet place, Arkham is best-known as the home of Miskatonic University, an excellent school becoming known for the collection of esoteric and disturbing volumes residing in its library's restricted collection. These tomes form the foundation of all current efforts to thwart the dire desires of the Mythos legion.

ARKHAM UNVEILED contains extensive background information about this New England town - written to be used by serious investigators as a base from which to further explore the mysteries of the Cthulhu Mythos. Pertinent buildings, useful people, and important locations are described in depth. A 17"x22" Players Map of Arkham is bound into the back, and four new, thrilling adventures complete the package. These sinister tales make full use of the background materials and provide the utmost challenge to the players' roleplaying and investigatory skills.

2nd Edition Front Cover Text

The Classic New England Town Revisited

2nd Edition Back Cover Text

THE COMPACT ARKHAM UNVEILED

The town of Arkham is the home of Miskatonic University. The town and it's inhabitants are like a beacon that casts the best of civilization into the darkness and mystery beyond. Not far away, The Color Out Of Space landed and sapped the land.

To the Northwest, The Dunwich Horror terrified the farmers until Arkham's intellectuals fought the thing and vanquished it. To the Northeast lurks the decaying town of Innsmouth and its tainted, guilty, sullen inhabitants. Hoary gambreled Kingsport, seaport of dreams, is a few hours' walk to the East.

But in Arkham, all is normal and peaceful. Faith, family values, and decency thrive along the banks of the Miskatonic -- or so the townsfolk believe ...

AN ESSENTIAL SOURCE BOOK FOR CALL OF CTHULHU

This book presents a panoply of Arkham, circa 1928. It's businesses, scholars, skills, tomes of power, costs, relationships, criminals, cultists, and ordinary honest people are lovingly detailed and located with frequent references to H.P. Lovecraft's writings. The Compact Arkham Unveiled is a home, perhaps the most fitting home, for Call of Cthulhu investigators, yet the interest and scope of its text makes fascinating independent reading.

This is a revised second edition of the award-winning original Arkham Unveiled. All of the original source material is here, corrected and redesigned for clarity, including the pull-out map of Arkham and special edition of The Arkham Advertiser. 96 pages, 16" x 21" newspaper, large town map, many illustrations, plans, keyed neighborhood maps, directories, etc.

Scenarios from the original Arkham Unveiled are not reproduced in this volume.

3rd Edition Front Cover Text

Dual System 1920s

Unveiling the Legend-Haunted City

3rd Edition Back Cover Text

"Behind everything crouched the brooding, festering horror of the ancient town ... the changeless, legend-haunted city of Arkham, with its clustering gambrel roofs that sway and sag over attics where witches hid from the King's men in the dark, olden days of the Province."
"It was always a very bad time in Arkham . . . . "
-- H.P. Lovecraft

Arkham is a small town along the Massachusetts coast - the setting favored by author Howard Phillips Lovecraft in his tales of monstrous horror.

All in all a quiet place, Arkham is best-known as the home of Miskatonic University, an excellent school becoming known for its esoteric and disturbing volumes residing in its library's restricted collection. These tomes form the foundation of all current efforts to thwart the dire desires of the Cthulhu Mythos.

H.P. Lovecraft's ARKHAM contains extensive background information about this haunted New England town -- written to be used by serious investigators as a base from which to further explore the mysteries of the Cthulhu Mythos. Pertinent buildings, useful people, and important locations are described in depth. A 17"x22" players' map of Arkham is bound into the back, and four thrilling adventures complete the package.

<also contains an advertisement for both the BRP and d20 editions of Call of Cthulhu>

<also contains an advertisement for Chaosium's line of Call of Cthulhu fiction>

Comments / Trivia

Dedicated by Keith Herber to "my father. It was he who took me to those early movies that gave me so many nightmares."

In producing a coherent setting filled with evocative characters, Herber has taken a few liberties with the precise events of Lovecraft's stories. According to strict chronology, the late 1928 setting would see Walter Gilman (of Dreams in the Witch House) already deceased; for this setting he is still alive. Similarly the events of The Thing on the Doorstep are altered slightly to better integrate with the setting.

One of the scenarios in the 1st and 3rd edition of this book -- 'The Hills Rise Wild' -- is also the name of Pagan Publishing's CoC board game. Neither is a copy of the other, rather both derive from a phrase taken from one of Lovecraft's stories.

Despite the fact that the 3rd Edition cites Richard Watts as an author, none of his material is actually included in the book. His contribution to the 1st Edition (the scenario "A Little Knowledge") was dropped from this edition but apparently his name was left on the cover as an oversight.

Links

Spoilers - Keepers Eyes Only

Players should not read any further.

Gazeteer References

References to Mythos creatures, tomes, artifacts, and Lovecraftian locations that appear within this book's scenarios are described in the pages detailing these scenarios. There are, however, numerous such references made in the gazeteer section (and thus not associated with a specific scenario). These references are detailed below.

Locations: Many sites in Arkham (including Miskatonic University), Celaeno, Billington's Woods

Creatures: Goody Fowler's Ghost, Greg the Monster, Nyarlathotep

People: Dr. Henry Armitage, Professor Rice, Wilbur Whately, Ephraim Waite, Professors Dyer, Pabodie and Professor Lake (from the upcoming Antarctic exhibition), Professors Peaslee (senior and junior), Keziah Mason, Goody Fowler, Obed Marsh, Nahum Gardner, Lavinia Whately, Laban Shrewsbury, Professor Wilmarth, Akely, Randolph Carter, Edward Derby, Asenath Waite

Tomes and Artifacts: Necronomicon, Celaeno Fragments, Sussex Manuscript, Zanthu Tablets, Eltdown Shards, Cthulhu in the Necronomicon, An Investigation into Myth Patterns of Latter-Day Primitives with Especial Reference to the R'lyeh Text, The R'lyeh Text, Cultes des Goules, People of the Monolith, Thaumaturgical Prodigies in the New England Canaan, Azathoth and Others, The Golden Bough, Witch-Cults in Western Europe, Unausprechlichen Kulten, Book of Eibon, Pnakotic Manuscripts, Liber Ivonis, De Vermiis Mysteriis, Book of Azathoth, Book of Dzyan, G'harne Fragments, Revelations of Glaaki, Zekerboni (new, stats given), Ponape Scriptures, Al-Azif -- Ye Booke of ye Arab (new, stats given), Goody Fowler's Grimoire (new, stats given), Bridewell Nameless Cults

Gazeteer New Rules

New Spells: Perceive Text, Call the Lurker at the Threshold

New Skills: Hypnosis (unofficial)

New Creatures: The Lurker at the Threshold (a form of Yog-Sothoth), Colour Out Of Space (stats borrowed from the scenario The Killer Out Of Space)

Comment here to Keepers about this book. Comments on specific Scenarios and Campaigns go on their respective pages. Keep DISCUSSION on the talk page.