Going to the well, literally?

My monograph was inspired by a mix of Lovecraft’s story The Colour Out of Space and taking a course on 20th century Russian history.  One day my brain made a connection between the Colour’s unnatural effect of corrupt growth then decay on its environment and, well, Stalinism.  Everything else stemmed from that concept and it is the anchor for the piece.

So, now that I am working to revise the monograph, I figure I should carefully reread, again, The Colour Out of Space… I’ll post more on that when I finish.

Any suggestions for other fiction that used the Colour well?


We can make it better than it was before. Better, scarier, faster

When I ponder revising my scenario “Machine Tractor Station Kharkov-37” (hereafter MTS or Project 1), I have several considerations to weigh.  Firstly, how do I improve on the scenario, which I was ultimately generally happy with, without exceeding my alloted word length or losing those key elements that I think are its strengths?  How to I craft it to be as appealing as possible to potential buyers?  How can I do these in as timely a manner as possible?

On the first question (and I’m assuming here you’re read the original otherwise go buy it now to support my Faberge Egg habit), I see several areas of possible improvement, namely:

  • Adjustments to pacing, either as options for the Keeper or built into the scenario itself (or both).
  • More guidance for Keepers; it’s a somewhat unusual scenario considering that most of the dangers are posed by other people compounded by the likely foreign quality of the setting (apologies if you’re well versed in the USSR circa 1930).  Most of the questions I’ve read posted at various places online touch on this issue so, at some point, I should probably get more feedback here.
  • Notes on running a campaign in the Soviet Union.  I know I can’t give it great detail, but a little material here goes a long way to increasing the book’s utility once the scenario has been played.

What the world needs now…

Is probably not a new blog, but since when has the wold been given what it needs, eh?

So, since I was using my other (semi-used) blog Reading the DMG to discuss my rpg writing projects, I decided it might be of use to craft a separate blog solely devoted to that topic and leave poor ‘Reading’ its own special, if not oft visited of late, place in the sun.

Here I will discuss projects I’m working on, muse on issues I’m pondering related to said projects, and otherwise keep interested parties abreast on my progress on various writing fronts.

This begs the question, “what are you working on, buster?”

Project 0 (I call it that because the writing portion is done) : The Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion.

My ‘go-to’ project since January of 2007, this monstrosity (over 200,000 words – yikes) is now in the hands of our able layout smith.  When there is more news (like a confirmed release date, or perhaps a preview) I’ll post a notice here.  Likewise, we’re releasing a few freebies for Patrons (note the ‘P’) of Yog-Sothoth.com, mainly consisting of bonus pre-generated characters, as created by Matthew Pook.

Project 1 : Machine Tractor Station Kharkov-37, version 2.0  (link goes to the current 1.1 version monograph on Chaosium’s site)

Shhh.  It has not been officially announced, but I’d like to get reader feedback while  I’m rewriting it to be, hopefully, turned into a real book.  This was originally planned to be done last year, but delays w/ Project 0 slowed me down so I’m only now turning my gaze back to it.  The core story (Mythos horrors in 1930s Russia) will remain, but I’m open to making changes that aren’t wholly cosmetic.

Project 2: Call of Cthulhu Sourcebook of unspeakable nature.

I’m just starting to craft the outline of this project in my head, so all I will say about it for now is that it is a sourcebook (rather than a campaign, scenario collection, or location guidebook) for Call of Cthulhu.  When I can say more, I shall.

Other stuff in the works:

I’ve got my inky fingers in several other pies, though these are projects I’ve contributed to and am not either editing or the primary author.

More Adventures in Arkham Country (from my friends at Miskatonic River Press) contains my scenario “Ghosts of the Florentina”, a Classic (1920s) era Lovecraft Country scenario featuring a haunted theater in the fog-shrouded city of Kingsport.  Pre-order it now (please?)

Ghouls: Eaters of the Dead, by Dan Harms, from Sixtystone Press. Need it be said this is a sourcebook on ghouls?  The vast bulk of this work is by the inestimable Dan Harms; my contributions are some minor bits and bobs, perhaps a short scenario depending on what Sixtystone decides to do with it.

Fury of Yig, also by Dan Harms from Sixtystone Press.  A modern day CoC campaign, focused on the machinations of Yig.  I did a wee bit more for this book, focusing on dressing up a few of the tomes one might find during his excellent campaign.