New Skill: Arcanum

Skill: Arcanum

Overcome: You can use Arcanum to overcome any obstacle that requires applying your character’s magical to achieve a goal. For example, you might roll Arcanum to decipher a spell formula, under the presumption that your character might have experience with similar spells at some point.

Create an Advantage: Arcanum provides a lot of very flexible opportunities to create advantages, provided you can research the subject in question. More often than not, you’ll be using Arcanum to get a story detail, some obscure bit of information about a cult ritual, magic writing or magical formula. Likewise, you can use Arcanum to create advantages to protect from the effects of Spells with ward or charms for example.

Attack: Arcanum isn’t used in conflicts.

Defend: Arcanum isn’t used to defend.


Character Creation #2: Touched by Shadows


For added the next aspect to your character, describe the main past experience where they have encountered something from the Shadows, this should include something that would help to define why your character is involved in the shadow world. Write down one aspect from this experience.


My grandmother always told stories of lizard people who lived in the sewers under the city. I didn’t believe her until my best friend was attacked by one.

Aspect: Grandma told me about this.

Use when you encounter something that is unexplained having to do with the shadow world or to help with horror checks when encountering a new monster.


I was doing research in the library when I happened upon a scrap of paper with strange writings. The more I studied it the more I became convinced it was not of this world. I followed whatever instructions I could have deciphered, I think that was not a good idea.

Aspect: Maybe that ritual wasn’t a good idea

You’ve meddles with otherworldly powers and now you’ve changed


My father abandoned our family when I was very young and my mother took with the “Family of Moons”. The took good care of us until the dear leader was arrested and locked up.

Aspect: Cult Family

Leverage this aspect to place other members of the cult in different positions within the game, “Detective Smyth let me off with a warning, we are family afterall.”

Next Step: Crossed Paths (click here)

Do you have more ideas or examples? Post them in the comments below!

Setting: Arkham, Massachusetts

What lay behind our joint love of shadows and marvels was, no doubt, the ancient, mouldering, and subtly fearsome town in which we live—witch-cursed, legend-haunted Arkham, whose huddled, sagging gambrel roofs and crumbling Georgian balustrades brood out the centuries beside the darkly muttering Miskatonic.

– The Thing on the Doorstep

Old Arkham 1813

About the City

Arkham is a city dating back to the 1800s. Its cityscape boasts a world famous Museum, College, Historic Buildings and a rich cultural history unlike any other. Maybe you’d like to visit the old Witch House for a ghost tour, or see Hangman’s Hill where over 100 executions were carried out. Modern Arkham still lives in the past. Things go on as they always have and all of the new “fangled” technologies, never seem to work just right.

Key Aspects

  • Populous is blissfully unaware
  • Hidden Truths and Dangerous Answers
  • Gremlins in the machines
  • Portals to other times and worlds

Twitter Gaming

I will be running a game via Twitter. Testing out locations, character creation and more. By default, the game will take place in and around Arkham, Mass in the current times.

How it’ll work:

We will be using the Fate Core Rules

I will post a seed (tweet) and then in the replies we will work through the scene.

Each scene will have a supporting blog post here that will give details and aspects.

A log will be posted to keep everyone on the same page

How to get started:

Follow RPG Pizzeria on Twitter

Create a Character

Post your character as a reply to this tweet.

Post comments below if you have any questions or comments.

Current Roster of Players

Rolf @JohnLeoPhoto – a bankrupt cultist who inherited a mysterious gem.

Boggles @terryocarroll – an extroverted fighter pilot who was attacked by something indescribable in the skies

Kevin MacLeod @landrasgembar – the extroverted clinical psychologist who feels things aren’t as they seem.

A patient came in with severe photophobia, and I mean true fear, not just sensitivity. After one session, I watched her go and saw something I could never quite focus on — it was almost as if it kept shifting form.

Jon @zenoProxy – an introverted priest who has been having disturbing dreams after reading from the Necronomicon

Once a man came to me, a recent immigrant and convert, from India, Amar. He said he needed my help as a man of God. That he’d no where else to turn. He claimed to dream every night of hells, claimed demons invaded his dreams and tormented him with visions of impossible worlds.

He asked me to pray for him, bless him, anything that would make it stop. I simply thought he was depressed and sick. I councelled him. I blessed him. I exorcised him. I went through the motions like I’d done for others before him, but unlike them,it did not make him feel better. It did not give him peace.

Then he stopped coming to me. I knew where he lived & went there, a small apartment and he lived alone. His landlord told me he’d left, that he was missing, he one day just upped & walked away. God knows where.

He let me look around Amar’s apartment. Amar didnt have much in life. But there a thick book on a table in his bedroom that caught my eye.

I took it home.

Now I wish I hadnt. It was an english translation of an occult arabic text, the Necromomicon. I read it, I read it without stopping, till half the night was through. Then I slept, and as I slept I dreamt.

Just as he had described them, glimpses of the impossible worlds. The abysses between filled with a chaos of colors, the sound of pipes.

The next day I burned the damn book. I couldnt read it anymore, it must be a lie the raving of a madman. God help us if it isnt. But some nights I still have those dreams. And sometimes when I wake from those dreams I feel. that those dreams are reality and this life I’ve woken up into is the dream.

Johaan Filnan @markllama – a skeptical grave digger who recently discovered his mother was secretly a Romani witch.

Sure, some of Mata’s family were a bit creepy, but they’re all just bunch of hoods, crooks and shysters preying on the gullible Gran and her Seances, talking to widows’ dead husbands, making chairs bump, and Uncle Milo with his evil eye and his heavy drinking.

Noelle @EwokGirl – a curious private eye who has latent psychic abilities

My Grandpa told me stories of his own combat the shadows and how I came from a long line of shadow hunters. I have a duty to battle these abominations.

Dan Marquardt @dkmiller – a curious brawler whose partner went missing.

Dan & Laz get answers for their clients. Laz finds the target; Dan “closes.” Laz said current target is weird. Where’s Laz now?


Interior – Main Gathering Hall
The Ryder Tavern is located on Lich Street between Garrison Street and Parsonage Street. The imposing architectural features of the structure, together with its original interior woodwork, stenciling and hardware make it one of the least altered and best documented examples of a wayside tavern of the Federal period in New England.


Work began in early 1791 on the 90 foot long by 35 foot wide, two story building. Bradford Shedlock, a local innkeeper and distiller, planned that this new inn would be the finest building in all of Arkham. To help him in building the new tavern he formed a partnership with a local businessman, George Crowley.

On October 18, 1793, during the construction of his new tavern, Shedlock died from injuries sustained in a fall from the third story roof of the uncompleted building.

In October, 1795, Crowley brought the construction work to completion after being named administrator of Shedlock’s estate.

The Tavern continues to be run by the Crowley family to this day. The current owner, Michael Crowley, prides the Tavern as the most outstanding historic building in the Town of Arkham.

Zone and Aspects

Zone: Bar Area

  • Local rumor mill
  • Free flowing spirits (alcoholic)

Zone: Hostel

  • Rest and relaxation

Character Creation #1: Choose High Concept with a Twist

A good high concept should define the setting your character is part of, as well as the circumstances that bring them into the the world of Into The Shadows. This aspect will give you quirks, grant you skills, a reason for being, and sometimes complicate your character’s life. It is up the GM to approve the available options and aspects to make their game work they way they intend.

For you high concept, finish this sentence:

I am a [Adjective] [Vocation] who(se) [Character Twist].


I am an Extrovert Researcher who Found a Hidden Magic Book

I am a High Society Archeologist whose Partner Went Missing

I am an Obsessed Alienist who has Terrible Nightmares from Beyond

For help thinking on your high concept or to generate a character quickly, use the following chart as reference. For Quick Gen Characters, Roll on this chart, once for each column (Adjectives, Vocations and Twists)

4dF Adjectives Vocations Twists
4 High Society Criminal > Cat Burglar Uncovered an ancient book
3 Arrogant Faithful > Priest Inherited a mysterious gem
2 Obsessed Fighter > Soldier Has terrible nightmares from beyond
1 Extrovert Academic > Professor Attacked by something indescribable
0 Curious Academic > Student Feels things aren’t as they seem
-1 Introvert Academic > Clinical Psychologist Accidentally interrupted a dangerous cult
-2 Absentminded Fighter > Brawler Partner went missing
-3 Selfless Faithful > Cultist Uncovered a dark family secret
-4 Bankrupt Criminal > Grifter Discovered a cursed book of magic

Next: Creating Characters #2: Touched by Shadow

Book Update

First things first: The game is not going to be sailing on its way to your doors this month. I won’t go into all the details, but it turns out writing a game is not a part time job, and speed bumps have a tendency to turn into brick walls that require a full detour. Now that being said I have been playing and reading up on all types of Fate Core games (Jadepunk anyone?) and watching a few amazing cartoon; Scooby Doo: Mystery Incorporated and Gravity Falls:

Seriously, this is a kid’s show!

Each day I am dedicating a part of it to working on the project, and little by little it’s finding it’s way. I’ll be posting bits and pieces as I go here on this blog. Make sure to subscribe to keep updated. On the right side of this page are options to follow the blog by subscribing or via email. You can also post comments at the bottom.

I sure hope the lunar alignment doesn’t open some type of portal…

In the mean time, how about a simple cipher? Brx duh jrlqj wr iuhdn rxw!