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Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases» Forums » Variants

Subject: Arkham Investigations rss

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Airborne XO
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Morning all,

I was wondering about the interest for a fan-made game based on SHCD - nominally titled Arkham: Consulting detective. I fuses the gameplay of SHCD with the same structure and rules but changes the setting to HP Lovecraft's Arkham of the 1920s.

Freelancing for the Miskatonic University Head Librarian, the investigators will be delving into the horror, cultist activity and eldritch evil that stalks the streets of shadow-haunted Arkham.

The first case is being written now, A Grain of Evil, and will contain:

a) A casebook with introduction; around 50 location descriptions to gain clues from; the quiz to test your sleuthing and the solution.

b) A map of Lovecraft's Arkham.

c) A directory of Arkham (similar to the London directory).

d) A copy of the Arkham Enquirer newspaper.

As the saying goes the first one will be free to all, released here on BGG. This will test the water and help me shape the writing process, then future cases will be released for about £3-5 GBP per case, if successful.

Think thwarting cults, solving supernatural crimes and investigating creatures from beyond and how to banish them from this reality!

Watch this space, I think the first case will be finished by the end of Feb.

Cheers, Hal
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Ed Hughes
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Re: Arkham: Consulting Detective
Involving the supernatural in mystery stories is often problematic.

How can you 'eliminate the impossible' when anything is possible?
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James
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Re: Arkham: Consulting Detective
themanfromsaturn wrote:
Involving the supernatural in mystery stories is often problematic.

How can you 'eliminate the impossible' when anything is possible?

You might be surprised how well it can work. The RPG Call of Cthulhu is very similar to Consulting Detective, it plays most often as just that kind of clue gathering game, and is big heaps of fun. This could work well.
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Neil Christiansen
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Re: Arkham: Consulting Detective
I am not sure I agree that "anything is possible" just because supernatural elements are added. As indicated by by Brother Jim, Call of Cthulhu is very investigative.
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Airborne XO
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Re: Arkham: Consulting Detective
Thanks for the feedback. How does this grab you to whet your appetite?

Case introduction

A Grain of Evil

Arkham, Massachusetts - 31st June 1929

Responding eagerly to the telegram send by our new mentor, we rush to the Miskatonic Library in Arkham. There is a warm summer breeze rustling the trees gently and letting the dappled sunlight filter gently onto the streets of the Massachusetts town. We quickly cross the quadrant in the University to reach the gothic entrance of the great edifice.

Dr. Henry Armitage greets us at the heavy, polished wooden door to his office. He leans heavily on his cane, his wrinkled face cracking into a smile, “Well my young investigators, I have a interesting little problem for us to start with your education in tackling the eldritch powers seeking to devour our fragile world. Obviously there is a chance that the events that I will lay out for you this morning are nothing more than a simple crime. However, after my experiences of last summer, one can never be too careful.” He visibly shuddered, as he alluded to his experiences in the cankerous village of Dunwich, before settling down behind his heavy oak desk to lay out the facts for us...

Detective Garrison came to call on me over breakfast this morning and precipitated my note to your good selves. It seems he is at a loss, and requires our...ahem...somewhat specialist assistance. Last evening, as you may have already noted from the morning edition, a disturbance occurred in the streets around [French Hill]. It was a pleasant enough evening, as you remember, sun favouring our town for once; and at 7 o’clock the streets were relatively full. A young woman, well dressed and of seemingly good health collapsed to the sidewalk after emerging from the [French Hill Park] in a state of distress.

A small crowd of onlookers gathered quickly to assist the poor young lady. An orderly from the Hospital and his wife stooped to revive her and a constable was sent for. The orderly immediately noticed growing crimson stain seeping onto the woman’s white blouse. As the bloodstain blossomed and saturated the fabric, he slit the garment free with his pocket knife. At once a horrific nature of a wound in the lady’s chest was apparent and he stemmed the flow of blood and I’m happy to report that the disaster was averted by his quick thinking. An ambulance arrived in time to take her to the Hospital and stabilize her condition.

The Librarian paused to sip coffee from his delicate cup, before continuing. “Well the constable’s first thought was an attack from an unknown assailant, the motivation for which was unclear. That was until the woman regained momentary consciousness as she was being placed in the ambulance. She suddenly and shockingly raved nonsensical syllables before crying out that the trees were alive. Clearly the constable was one of Garrison’s as he referred the matter immediately to his superior.

The other fact that leads me to the conclusion of the constable’s good quality, is that whilst dealing with the mysterious lady, he was also sharp-eyed enough to spot a man acting suspiciously in the small crowd. The man was acting in a rather furtive way, watching the proceedings with a curious detachment. He was tall, over six feet, according to the constable with a worn brown suit and dark hair. The constable was also able to discern a distinctive blemish or birthmark under his left eye. When the constable called out to him, the man fled the scene with alarm in his eyes; being preoccupied with the lady, the constable was not in a position to pursue him and merely noted the description in his pocketbook.

Armitage sits back, the leather of his chair creaking slightly. He steeples his fingers, “the identity of both the woman and this mysterious fugitive remain a mystery. Clearly there has been a crime committed, it is for us to determine if there are forces beyond mundane at work here.

Note - The square brackets indicate locations not as yet fixed.

Cheers, Hal
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Neil Christiansen
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Re: Arkham: Consulting Detective
Looks great!
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Ruben Rigillo
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Re: Arkham: Consulting Detective
Waiting for this!!!
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Mud Tusk
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Re: Arkham: Consulting Detective
Yes! This makes a lot of sense to me.

People have been trying to pair Doyle and Lovecraft's worlds together for decades and this may well present the most perfect solution!

I eagerly await your adventure.

K xx
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Charlie Theel
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Re: Arkham: Consulting Detective
This is very cool.
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Sean McD
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Re: Arkham: Consulting Detective
This is just what I was hoping for ever since SHCD appeared. A Lovecraft inspired variant with the player investigating strange disappearances and grisly murder. Can't wait to see how this plays!
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Tony Broad
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Re: Arkham: Consulting Detective
looking forward to this.....do we have a projected finish time for the first one?
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Airborne XO
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Re: Arkham: Consulting Detective
I am looking for a 28th of Feb completion date (ready for playtest) for the first case :)

As I said my intention was to release free but untested and get feedback from you the BGG community as to what works and what doesn't.

The mechanics are essentially a straight port from SHCD however I have introduced a additional penalty of -5 points for each location visited that contains an element of physical risk or mental trauma...these will be obvious and will not punish players unduly (hopefully). The cost reflects a trip to the hospital or asylum to get patched up.

So you need to balance whether going into that cellar where you know there is likely something lurking is worthwhile to find out 'exactly' what it is :)

Cheers, Hal
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Roland W. est. 1984
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Re: Arkham: Consulting Detective
Cool looking forward too
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Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
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Re: Arkham: Consulting Detective
themanfromsaturn wrote:
Involving the supernatural in mystery stories is often problematic.

How can you 'eliminate the impossible' when anything is possible?


"It is elementary itself, Watson. Shuggoths always leave trace amounts of ectoplasm wherever they tread. This is distinguishable from other secretions and effluvia due to its indescribable color and stench..."

IOW: Yes, I think you have a point... But it does sound like fun if it can be brought off.
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Airborne XO
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Re: Arkham: Consulting Detective


Who'd have thunk that drawing a map was so achingly slow!!! I've done my directory and half done the map (arrrgh it hurts my brain), the story is well under way as well.

Watch this space...

Cheers, Hal
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Airborne XO
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Re: Arkham: Consulting Detective
Now renamed Arkham Investigations :)

Directory sample pages:





Also ugh! Maps done, hand drawn versions based on the Arkham unveiled ones and then filled in using the computer (powerpoint can you believe!):

Full map -


Districts -


Cheers, Hal
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Airborne XO
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First case should be ready for release at the end of the month.

Here is a sneak peak of the rulebook:



The Map, Directory, Rulebook and first adventure will be released FREE :)

Cheers, Hal
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Andy Jenkinson
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I'm officially VERY EXCITED about this!

Neil Gaiman's (free) story "A study in Emerald" is a lovely fusing of the Sherlock Holmes and Lovecraftian mythos if you want any flavour/inspiration.

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Jacob Gunness
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Wow, looks very impressive. Obviously a lot of time and attention has gone into this!
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Benjamin Lynes
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I would certainly be interested in this and, if the quality and atmosphere of this first case is good, I'd be quite happy to pay GPP 3-5 for future cases.
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Neil Christiansen
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You might want to set up a way to take "donations"...
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Jim OFaerghul
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I am thrilled to see this project and really want to get my hands on your finished product. What you have done to date is gorgeous.I am an addict of both Holmes and Lovecraft. I have the original binder game and most supplements including the solution to Queens Park Affair.It was originally a contest and solution was not included in game materials. I also have a large number of original Call of Cthulhu modules from Chaosium and others including the Cthulhu by Gaslight boxed module. I have the slipcased annotated version of Sherlock Holmes by Baring-Gould that is the absolute last word for Sherlockian research.
I would be more than happy to lend you any of these items if you would desire to help your project along. I hope my level of enthusiasm shows.
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Airborne XO
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Thanks very much :) the playtest for 'A grain of evil' starts next weekend :)

Cheers, Hal
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Mud Tusk
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Yes, this is all looking very grand.

I wanted to offer you some assistance, if you needed it. I work in Illustrator and Photoshop which may be more versatile than Powerpoint. But, it looks like you're cracking along famously. So my offer is still extended, though it looks like you may not need it!

Great stuff.

Kxx
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Brad Venable
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I'm genuinely excited for this. Can't wait.
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