Love in Innsmouth

Archipelago 3 by Matthjis Holter has become my “go to” game for oneshots. I might have only written one game for it (as it is) but when I get an idea for a story that might work as a game it is usually the first one to pop up in my mind.

Today I was thinking about a Solstice scenario and while listening to H.P.Lovecraft’s Historical Society’s excellent albums I began to wonder how could I capture the feeling of Shadow of Innsmouth in a way that all players could enjoy it. Aaaaaaand I was quite quickly thinking it in an Archipelago way.

I might not be able to write it all but here is the quicky summary (a draft at best) for “Love in Innsmouth” (or something).

by: Joel Harlow

by: Joel Harlow


  • “Narrator” (we might have a name, like Marsh or Olmstead or something) receives a letter from Innsmouth that call him/her/they to claim their heritage at Innsmouth (no additional info, just a linchpin to get the story started). The Narrator should have vague domains or possibly ability to adopt a domain and/or ability join a faction.
  • Four other characters that belong to one or two local factions.

Factions: (will overlay with each other)

  • Esoteric Order of Dagon: two members
  • Commoners: two members
  • Deepone hybrids: two members
  • Marsh family: two members


  • Marsh Refinery – craves for exercise of power
  • Esoteric Order of Dagon – craves for terror and fear
  • Shoreline – craves for revelation of secrets
  • Falcon Point – craves for visiting the past
  • Devil Reef – craves for death and waste
  • Gilman House Hotel – craves for betrayal
  • First National Grocerie – craves for sharing of ambitions

Main goal would/could be about all factions trying to recruit the Narrator to their side maybe by marriage or something. Personally I like secrets and paranoia and I think they might be suitable themes for things kind of a game. But it might go against the fundamental principles of Archipelago.

I did however add the following to my (not that surprisingly Mythos themed Archipelago hack “Insanity in the Time of Rome”):

Trust the players – not their characters.

This game is about political power, insanity and Cthulhu Mythos. Most characters are willing to sacrifice almost everything to gain more power. This game however relies on the players creating a memorable story together. So while the character you are playing would not agree to anything you as a player should be willing to let go.

This is just a preliminary thought and should be refined but I still think it could turn out as a good game. Most players are familiar enough with the Shadow over Innsmouth to enjoy it.

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