The near-cessation of February

As February winds down, it is time to post a few news updates here on ye old Tomes in Progress…

What I’ve been up to:

february_calendarFirst off I am working on the latest update to our Kickstarter campaign as well a items associated with that – updating previous issues, writing the remaining  stretch-goal rewards, keeping tabs on related work.  Things are not progressing as rapidly as I wished, but I hope I’m more disappointed than our backers about the pace of things and that folks have been generally kept up to date.

I’ve nearly finished up with the second episode of the Sentinel Hill Press-cast (and now you can see why I waited to add it to various podcast aggregation sites!).  I shall definitely keep the next episode’s historical piece more concise!

I’ve posted an audio report about two interesting book for our Patreon backers – The Horror Guide to Massachusetts and Rev. Moody: The Man and His Diary.  If you’re interested in joining in, there is still time to help me select what book I will be picking up next through the generosity of our backers.

Over on the Sentinel Hill Press blog I’ve posted two tales of odd New England – the strange case of J. Bruce (in which a young man vanished in 1824 Boston only to have his remains located, allegedly, by a “mesmerist”) and all about that sweet Marblehead treat, the Joe Frogger, a cookie made with both saltwater and rum, guaranteeing it will be loved by sailors.  Speaking of Marblehead, I am currently working on a renewed call for submissions for issue #4… look for that soon.

Meanwhile, I’ve posting some shorter items of interest (assuming you care a whit about New England history and folklore) to our G+ group- An overview of the Dogtown “witches”, Tituba and the Salem Witch Trials, a folktale of how New England became so rocky, a Vermont Public Radio interview with author Joseph Citro, Mary Dyer and her “monster” child, I ask for reader feedback to answer the question “What does ‘He was a witch-cat‘” mean?, solicit member feedback on the new film The Witch, an example heart-burning to fight tuberculous from Harvard, MA (the town, not the college), a history of the Massachusetts State Police, and  two methods to find your future husband (from Marblehead, MA).

Other news

  • Protodimension magazine has released a new issue, now following their “shorter but more often” release plan.
  • Chaosium have announced A Time to Harvest, a 6-part campaign for members of their promotional Keeper group “The Cult of Chaos”.  Perhaps most exciting to me is the fact that it is set in Lovecraft Country.

Podcasting mayhem!

Advertisements

Antecedant of the rodentine horror

What ho, chaps and, err… chapettes!  I want to get a jump on that prognosticating marmota monax, so let’s get to it…

First off, I’ve launched a Patreon page for myself to help fund my work for Sentinel Hill Press, in particular my research and perhaps eventually better equipment for our podcast.  We have 7 backers so far and are just a dollar or two away from our second funding goal – $25 dollars (aka “not as cheap books!”).  Backers will get updates about my various research projects that they helped fund and and some behind the scenes discussions of my work at Sentinel Hill Press and, at higher levels, periodic previews of our works in progress.  I’ve posted a quick overview of my research collection, as it stands, so that you can see what sorts of books I’ve collected so far (and check out my Amazon wish-list for possible future purchases), if you are curious.

Meanwhile, while I have neglected my “Year in Lovecraftian Gaming” duties, Dean Engelhardt has stepped up on Yog-Sothoth.com and highlighted how 2015 was a very good year, numbers-wise.

Some new books:

  • As Above, So Below (a 128 page sourcebook for their Laundry Files RPG, covering the Laundry’s military operations as well as the political machinations that guide that super-secret group).
  • Achtung! Cthulhu: Elder Godlike (a mashup of Modiphius’ Achtung! Cthulhu and Arc Dream’s Godlike, letting you mix your Pulp Lovecraftian and WWII super-hero style gaming to your heart’s content.)
  • (I realize I’ve missed releases for both the Laundry and A!C since neither are systems I play nor do they cover eras of which I am particularly interested.  Nevertheless, I am sorry for missing these lines in the past and hope to at least note their releases in the future.)

Odds and ends:

  • If you do not follow the Sentinel Hill Press blog or our attendant G+ group, I’ve recently gathered up the more interesting links from the later (those of recent vintage at least) as well as an omnibus post on the SHP blog covering our short series highlighting odd animal tales from New England.  There were two ghost animals (or maybe just one?), a wooden fish, some odd tracks, a rabies outbreak, and a prescient cat.  The story of the Sacred Cod contains an annecdote of particular interest to detail-oriented Lovecraft Country Keepers. 🙂
  • Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion contributor (no, I don’t know when it will be released, sorry!) Hal Eccles has just launched a Kickstarter for his game “Mythos Tales”, a Lovecraftian take on the old Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective game.  The original free version were produced in a most lovely form by Dean Engelhardt – #1 (A Grain of Evil) and #2 (The King Cometh) – if you’d like a preview.
  • If you simply must have something Masks Companion related, you could back Stephanie McAlea’s Patreon; her backers get access to specially prepared color versions of the maps she produced for the book.
  • Here’s a collection of all the commercially produced Keeper’s screens for Call of Cthulhu (text in Spanish).  So many screens!
  • Chris Lackey (of the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast among other places) was one of the makers of this amusing (but perhaps less-than-reverent) take on “The Statement of Randolph Carter”:

New podcasts of note:

That is all for now, hopefully.

 

Hurtling into the void of a New Year

130227173855-black-hole-super-169(Technically we are always hurtling into a near void, as our solar system spins along on the outer edges of the Milky Way, itself tumbling ever outwards… maybe I shouldn’t have watched all those episodes of the Expanse last night?)

So, 2015 has come and gone and 2016 is rapidly piling up on my doorstep.  Happily with the new year comes actual progress on various fronts, some at a satisfactory speed, others at a rate that only a geologist could love.  Nevertheless, part of that work is updating ye old blog.  To that point I’ve updated a few bits and pieces here including:

  • Checking the various links on the right-hand side of the page.  I deleted a few defunct ones, noted the date of last posting if a personal blog’s not been updated in more than a year (in blogging terms that suggests a blog is dead, but that more an art than a science), and added a link to Hans-Christian Vortisch’s new blog “Shooting Dice” which is about RPGs and firearms… appropriate considering he’s the author of Investigator Weapons Vols 1 & 2 for Sixtystone Press.
  • I’ve also updated my list of Lovecraftian RPG products for 2015.  It is a rather idiosyncratic list of products and I am sure I’ve missed something, so I’ll probably update it at some near point.  I don’t know if I’ll run down the various books for 2015 at any point as I’ve not actually purchased all of them and my time is at a premium of late.

Golden Goblin Press unleashed one more product under the calendrical wire for 2015, making the scenario “Goblin on Bourbon Street” available via the GGP website for $5.  This is apparently a convention scenario the GGP crew has run multiple times and a not-quite-reached stretch goal from the Tales of the Crescent City kickstarter.  I don’t know the page count of the scenario or much beyond the blurb:

When four people turn up dead of an apparent wild animal attack in the French Quarter of New Orleans the police are quick to close this case. If that weren’t strange enough one of the dead is reported to be a Mordechai Whateley of Massachusetts. Could he be from the decayed line of the Dunwich Whateleys, rumored in certain circles to be a powerful clan of degenerate sorcerers? Things just don’t add up and nobody really seems to care. It’s clear, to the investigators at least, that something dark and dangerous is at work here. If they don’t get to the bottom of this mystery no one else will.

cydotanukaai4uy

I am oddly fond of this card…

In other gaming news, Squamous Studious is now offering the public a chance to buy their excellent and amusing card game ‘Feed the Shoggoth’.  In the game each player takes on the role of a cult leader (the cults being very familiar to Call of Cthulhu players I suspect) with the goal of being the last one standing once everyone else has been devoured by the titular shoggoth.  $20 (and shipping) gets you fine Lovecraftian amusement, perfect when some of your gaming group is late or you’re waiting in a crypt until the ghouls finally awaken.  I played it at Necronomicon 2013 and am a very satisfied Kickstarter backer.  Check it out.

Keeping a Festival all its own (for ten years now!) the Delta Green Mailing List had its annual Shotgun Scenario competition.  There were 12 entries this year and I look forward to seeing which one is chosen by the DGML readers as the winner.  Check out this year’s entries (and vote for your favorite) HERE.

And, finally, what madness has come up in the realms of podcastery since our last post?

Times of Daylight Saved

Oh geez, this blog has been left to go fallow for quite a while. I’m giving up on trying to recap all the news of the past two(!) months and will just hit the highlights of what I have been up to in these past few months.

Sentinel Hill Press:

  • We had our second annual ‘October-ganza‘ on the Sentinel Hill Press blog, covering topics relating to Call of Cthulhu and/or New England, including New England’s Islands, Boston’s ‘ghoulish’ history, and Native Americans in New England.
  • Issue #3 will be ready any day now – I am awaiting my printer proof copy to confirm that the layout is correct, and once that happens, copies will start going out to our Kickstarter backers, and it will become available for purchase on DriveThruRPG and at Chaosium’s online store just after.  The crew at the Cthulhu Breakfast Club flipped through an earlier proof copy recently on their show if you want to see a real life copy… in video.
  • We continue to look for submissions for future issues of the Arkham Gazette – likely topics include Kingsport, Dunwich, and ‘Law and Crime’ but we are interested in anything Lovecraft Country related.
  • For more about what’s coming next for Sentinel Hill Press, see this blog post.

Delta Green:

  • I was very pleased (and frankly flattered) to have a revised version of my Shotgun Scenario “Last Things Last” used as part of the free Quick-start rule set for the new Delta Green RPG, which completed a very successful Kickstarter campaign ($360k+).  I’ve set up a separate page on the blog here to collect all the real play recordings, actual play reports, and Handler advice (and hopefully some commentary from me on the genesis of the scenario) all in one place.  (I also pitched them a couple scenarios, but I’ve not heard back on those yet.)

Blog news:

  • I have been adding more information and making corrections to my Bibliography of New England Gravestone Carvers.  I think I’ve caught all the articles from Markers (the Association for Gravestone Study’s journal), up through issue #24 (as well as the first volume of the AGS’s newsletter, up through 1990).

Projects in development:

  • I am still (sorry!) revising my scenario “The Smoking Heart” for the Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion kickstarter backers.  Happily it will be released separately from the print copy of the Companion so my delays aren’t holding that project back.  I am sorry for the delays.  I’ve made a few stabs at the thing but keep being dissatisfied with the results and have torn it apart again.  My apologies to the all of the Kickstarter backers.
  • I am working on a scenario for a scenario collection.  Slow going, but my deadline is the end of the year, so I keep plugging away, an inch at a time.
  • I am also revising an old project, about which I cannot say anything else, at least at this time.

Other News:

  • Adam Gauntlett, one of my favorite RPG authors, has launched a Patreon account to fund his creation of more RPG materials.  Let’s see if we can boost that pledge level, shall we?
  • Yog-sothoth.com is running its 10th (!) annual Secret Shoggoth Yuletide gift exchange.  Members should definitely sign up.  I’ve done it every year and it is always a lot of fun.

Hopefully I will have more news soon!

What I’ve been up to, Lovecraft Country links, and a podcast roundup

July’s past the midway point and the gaming goes ever on…

I’ve been working on the finishing touches for issue #3 of the Arkham Gazette.  it’s not ready yet, but I will definitely be finished soon.  I’m excited and more than a little relieved.  Sorry it took so long.  The issue issue will be done sooner!  (If you’re interested in writing for the Gazette check out our most recent call for submissions.  We’ve already had two!)  I’ve also been slowly picking my way through the Jackson Elias scenario for the Masks Companion kickstarter backers.  Lastly I’ve tinkered at the giant bibliography of New England’s gravestone carvers, adding a few new references and links to academic articles we can find online.

Speaking of Lovecraft Country, here are some recent links from the Sentinel Hill Press blog and our G+ group:

In more general Call of Cthulhu news, Chaosium have restarted their Keeper promotions program and GoKeeper promotions programlden Goblin Press have received the print copies of De Horrore Cosmico; shipping starts tomorrow.

“But what of recent Lovecraftian podcasts?” you whisper, stroking an snow-white long-haired cat:

ENnie voting, Interviews, and Gravestone Carvers galore

First off – I’ve put out a new call for submissions to the Arkham Gazette for our fourth (!) issue.  Please give it a read and consider submitting something.  The Gazette lives by the aid of many hands. 🙂

If you’ve somehow not heard, ENnie nominations have been announced, including a whole host of Lovecraftian-related projects have honored:

Vote now!

Speaking of of the MUP, I had a great chat with Keepers Jon and Murph of the Miskatonic University Podcast about the soon-to-be-released next issue of the Arkham Gazette, long-forgotten witch trails of New Hampshire, and Colours Out of Space.  I’m always glad to talk to the MUP crew and it was a special treat to talk a bit about one of my favorite of Lovecraft’s creations.

What else is new in podcast land?

In other news have Pelgrane Press revealed the subject of their recent countdown – Cthulhu Apocalypse, The Doomsday Edition, which collects the previously released Apocalypse Machine, the Dead White World,  and Slaves of the Mother and adds on eight new short scenarios.

Cubicle 7’s World War Cthulhu: Cold War Kickstarter continues to recruit assets, crossing over $40k.

FeltonI have been doing research on New England’s Colonial gravestone carvers, and drawing upon that research, I’ve put together an annotated list of all those carvers known, including the related sources about each carver.  If that pique’s your interest, give it a look.  It is still very much a work in progress – I need to regularize all the citations and start adding more links

Let’s conclude with a projects update:

  • The Arkham Gazette #3 – issue save scenario is done and laid out (I guess I need to write an intro though); out scenario author Chris Huth is revising “The Queen of Night”.  When that it ready, be assured I’ll trumpet the news here.
  • My Jackson Elias scenario for the Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion backers is still in progress.
  • My unnamed scenario for an unannounced project is in the earliest draft stages – outline only currently, waiting for me to finish the two projects above.
  • Our first stretch-goal scenario for the Arkham Gazette Kickstarter backers is done and waiting layout.  The other scenario is being worked on and the bonus article is still being written.  The former will be released in the near future.
  • I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but those projects are what has been on my mind of late.

A Major Shake-up at Chaosium

As a backer of the Chaosium Kickstarter for the revised Horror on the Orient Express, I received a most unexpected update to that project last night:

The Great Old Ones have returned!

Greetings to all our Patient Backers,

We have pressed the reset button…
In 1975 Chaosium started out as a quirky boutique game company. We were all about creativity, artistry and craftsmanship. With every game we provided you with new realms of imagination and entertainment. Over the last few years we forgot that, and lost our way.

The Great Old Ones have Returned…
Greg Stafford, founder of Chaosium and creative force during its heyday, is now President. Sandy Petersen, world renowned game designer who brought Cthulhu into the light three decades ago, has rejoined the team as well.

Greg says: “Chaosium is part of my legacy. My intent is to restore it to its rightful place in the world of gaming. Something we can all take pride in, and something that fans will look forward to.Where ‘what’s next?’ is answered with ‘I can’t wait’.”

The Stars are Right…
Sandy says: “I am excited to return to active participation in the Call of Cthulhu line, and I’m eagerly looking forward to working directly with Greg again. We are Chaosium’s original team from the 1980s. My first focus is going to be the Call of Cthulhu 7th edition Kickstarter campaign.”

Our main plan is simple (but will be a lot of work):

  • Quickly sift and sort through the current company problems
  • Immediately ship the remaining Horror on the Orient Express backer rewards
  • Focus on the Call of Cthulhu 7th edition Kickstarter backer rewards
  • Return to regularly making awesome new games.

We offer new hope, and ask only for your patience.”

Please visit Chaosium.com for regular news and updates. Contact us with questions, kudos, curses, or kindness. We are listening, and we will respond.

Greg Stafford, President and CEO of Chaosium Inc.
I’m puttin’ the band back together.

A little digging turns up that this notice was posted (publicly) to both of Chaosium’s Kickstarters, but not the Chaosium website or any of their social media sites.  While that seems to simply be the announcement of two former Chaosium greats’ return, anyone familiar with the troubles they’ve had in both of their Kickstarter projects, easily read between the lines to see that there must be some serious issues in Denmark, err, Hayward, which was confirmed earlier to day when Sandy Petersen posted this update to Yog-Sothoth.com:

Hey all, this is Sandy Petersen of course.

I’ve been keeping my head down for a while, working on other matters, but I wanted to drop a note about what happened at Chaosium yesterday. You guys ought to know.

1) Charlie Krank is no longer President of Chaosium.

2) Greg Stafford is President of Chaosium. (again).

3) Ben Monroe, whose name many of you may recognize, is assisting Greg in managing Chaosium’s physical facilities, its warehouse, material, etc.

4) I am now involved with Chaosium (again). My current status is VP of the Board of Directors (Greg is President).

5) I cannot speak for Greg, but my number one concern is seeing that the Call of Cthulhu 7th edition gets out to the backers.

One way of looking at it is that the old Chaosium team is back again. Personally I think this is cause for rejoicing not worry but there you have it.

Yog-Sothoth Neblod Zin

Sandy Petersen

That is some major news.  I will post more when I learn more.