The Innsmouth Papers: Call for players

[This thread will be moved to the appropriate category when it is set up]

“The Innsmouth Papers”, aka the Lovecraftian letter-larp, is officially seeking participants! Its a roleplaying game about writing letters, inspired by Stealing Cthulhu, De Profundis, and the works of H P Lovecraft. The players will write letters to one another, creating Lovecraftian stories. Due to the practicalities of the New Zealand postal service, it is open only to people in New Zealand.

The game will begin on July 1, 2019. It will be set in 1929, and the game date will be today’s date minus 90 years. The time of the game will follow our own time as it goes by, so just date your letters 90 years ago. The game will last for no more than a year, though that’s an upper limit set because I genuinely have no idea how long it will naturally last. You may bring your story to an end sooner or continue after that date if you wish.

To play, you must have:

  • pen and paper, or a typewriter or computer with a typewriter font if you are that way inclined, plus envelopes and stamps to actually post things with.
  • a digital camera, smartphone or scanner, to photograph or scan letters with.
  • a willingness to write and post at least one letter to each contact per month (so about one per week on average). You can write more if you choose, obviously.

If you are interested in participating:

  • Create a character using the rules in the rules document
  • Email your character’s details, including the answers to your questions, and your postal address, to the GM at
  • Post your character’s name, profession, location, tagline, public bio and desired contacts on the “characters” thread.
  • Email any lines and veils (content you do not want to deal with) to the GM at The GM will post a list to the forum before the game begins.

Characters are due by 17 June.

Once we have characters, I will assign each player 3-4 contacts. The game will begin on July 1.

The Diatribe forum (when it is set up) is the designated public out-of-character channel for communications (e.g. content negotiation). Beyond initial advertising, the GM will not be supporting this game through Facebook in any way. Participants are of course free to use whatever forum they prefer for private communications.

Safety: “The Innsmouth Papers” uses a system of lines and veils, as described in the rules document. These will be posted ahead of play, and participants are expected to respect them. Players are encouraged to use email or the game forum to check and negotiate game content as appropriate.

Privacy: As part of this game I will be collecting email and physical addresses. The first is required to communicate with you about the game. The second is required to play the game itself. Your postal address will be distributed to your in-character contacts to enable them to write letters to you. It will not be distributed to any other person.


I am here for this!

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So far we have 8 characters, and they all look interesting. My target is somewhere between 12 and 20 (with more being better, obviously), and I think we’ll get there.

I’m in too. It’ll just take me until the weekend to sit down and think about who I’m going to play.

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I also intend to play, and also am just mulling things over for a bit before drawing up a charcter.

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Bump. The character submission deadline is 17 June, so two weeks to go.

4 days to go.

I just realised something: Idiot, did you pick the IC year on purpose?

Obviously, but maybe not for the reason you think. It was largely about convenience for dates. If people want to draw on any interesting or mundane historical events for inspiration, that’s up to them.

Oh boy. My character’s from New York. I may have some reading in my future. :smiley:


We have 14 signups (15 if you count the person who has emailed but not posted), and I’ve begun looking at contacts. I’ve set up a spreadsheet, marked plausible options, but haven’t finalised anything yet. in the meantime, several of you have suggested you are thinking of relatives or friends as contacts. Its probably best for players to be involved in negotiating these, so if you’re seeking relatives, post here and see who bites.

I’ve assigned contacts and sent out the emails. If a contact doesn’t work for you, please let me know immediately and I’ll come up with an alternative.

For those curious about the process, I looked at what people said they wanted, shared interests and locations, and set up a spreadsheet which marked possible contacts. I then started with the people with the fewest possibilities, and built the web from there. People have either three or four contacts; if you have only three contacts, feel free to negotiate with someone to be a relative or friend, and add them to your web.

Sometimes it was obvious who should write to whom first. Where it wasn’t (usually where a contact was some sort of ongoing relationship), I rolled dice.

As noted, its perfectly possible to start new correspondences in game. You can always inquire with your contacts if they know anyone who can help, or place a discrete advertisement in the newspaper.

Hopefully I haven’t screwed it up too badly. if you have any questions or comments, post here, or email

I’m very happy with mine, thank you!

rubs hands Mwuahahaha… This is going to be awesome…

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For those that are playing in this game, I heard from my mother today that the price of postage is being raised by ten cents per item from the first of July.
If this is the sort of fact that instiled fear and horror within you, like it did me, you can buy them in bulk from stationary stores over the next week and they’ll keep their value.

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Oh, also, is a clarification available? We’ve got two recipients to send to for this first month, in most cases - will people be responding to the letters they receive each month within that timeframe as well?
For example, in July I’ll be writing to A and B, but C and D will be writing to me. Should I also be turning around letters to C and D in July, or will that happen in August while A and B are writing back to me?

Its up to you. There’s a general expectation that you’ll write to each contact each month (so respond to any letters they send you), but its not a strict deadline or anything. And while NZ Post promises a three working day service, if they take two weeks to deliver stuff, then things are obviously going to move slower.

(And on the flip side, if people get inspired, start turning their letters around quickly and staking out the mailbox to see when the next one arrives, that’s also up to you. Just remember that your counterparties will be moving at their own speeds :slight_smile:

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