Jib Jabber from Beyond

Tempus fugit, eh?  The longer I go between updates, the longer posts take to write.  I’m sure there’s a mathematical function to chart that problem, but you’ll have to work it out for yourself.

I thought it might be a useful exercise (for me at least) to put down in pixels exactly what I’m up to (or was up to, or should be up to) on the writing front, but first, let’s recap what’s been going on in the wider Lovecraftian Gaming world:

Gaming news:

  • The dust has (hopefully) begun to settle at Chaosium.  Communications, with their Kickstarter backers and with the wider gaming community, have been much improved, and European backers of the Horror on the Orient Express Kickstarter have actually started receiving their long-promised copies.  I think the change, at least so far, has been for the good.  As far as I can tell their warehouse-clearing sale (up to 50% off certain whole lines, including monographs and licensee products) is still going on, so snag a copy of whatever you might have been waiting to pick up.
  • Cubicle 7 has launched their Kickstarter for World War Cthulhu: Cold War.  If you thought fighting the Mythos was too easy in the Roaring Twenties, have fun trying to slip something past Section 46 in the 1970s.  It has already blasted past its initial stretch goals, so who knows where things will end up. 
  • Pelgrane Press is hinting about some announcement in four days, give or take.  I’ve no clue what they are announcing – they’ve said it is unrelated to “Cthulhu Apocalypse” or even if it is Lovecraftian, but I’ve got to make some assumptions I suppose.

    Look kids – Big Ben, Parliament!

  • Golden Goblin Press have released the PDF of De Horrore Cosmico to their Kickstarter backers. Excelsior!

What about all the Lovecraftian Podcasts?

Necronomicon (or is that NecronomiCon?) 2015’s schedule is now available for your plotting and planning.  I’m still up in the air when it comes to attending.  Sorry!

Moving from news to… err… me, here are the projects I’ve got in and around my plate:

  • Finishing Issue #3 of the Arkham Gazette.  On my end, this is editing and slimming down our featured scenario “The Queen of Night”; who knew a scenario with dozens of NPCs set all over Arkham and beyond would be so large?  I’m still hoping to get the final text of the issue, albeit in rough form, out to backers by the end of the month.  Chris Huth, who is doing our layout work, has been otherwise handling similar tasks for Pelgrane Press’ Dracula Dossier, so he has been otherwise occupied, but the Gazette is next on the to-do list, happily.
  • Prepping call for submissions for future Arkham Gazette issues.  Like a true masochist, I cannot wait to get to work on future issues of the Gazette.  I’m preparing to solicit articles for future issues of the Gazette, with suggestions for articles and general encouragement for contributors.  I think we are going to offer two or three main topics for our next issue(s), since topics help get submissions it would seem, but I’m not fixed on any particular one.  Ready your (virtual or otherwise) pens!
  • Kickstarter stretch goals: We’ve already put several out to Kickstarter backers – including the autopsy of Walter Gilman and a giant handout all about the Unvisited Island – but there are still two scenarios, a scenario seed, and the revamped versions of our first two regular issues of the Gazette to go.  The scenarios are both written, with one being readied for layout and the other in editing.  The scenario seed being worked on currently and the older issues are being left aside for now until Chris’ finished his work on issue #3; the work required there is primarily in layout, but we may be adding a little content here and there, so a close reread is in order as well.
  • Sundry Sentinel Hill Press side projects are further down in my queue: There’s our Keeper’s resource for running games in Lovecraft Country, part bibliography, part gazetteer, part overview.  Ditto for updated versions of earlier issues.
  • My scenario for the Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion Kickstarter.  I’m about 2/3 done with the writing, trying to make sure the scenario serves as not just some CoC fun, but a good way to introduce Jackson Elias.
  • Unspeakable Oath submissions – a Mysterious Manuscript/Arcane Artifact, a Tale of Terror.  A few ideas I’ve been kicking around but none are quite ready for submission.
  • A solicited scenario for a collection, about which I can say no more.
  • Other stuff – New England research.  Always ongoing.
  • Orphan projects – sundry scenario ideas I’ve had, none worth mentioning in particular.

That’s all of them… hopefully!

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Ante-June update

June is nearly upon us, so let’s update good ole Tomes in Progess one more time.

Paul of Cthulhu has made good on his promise to release the whole Yog Radio archive thanks to hinting the funding goal of the Cthulhu Breakfast Club Kickstarter. That’s 50 episodes of classic Lovecrafian podcastery free for the listening. 

I’ve posted a short item on the Sentinel Hill Press site about a great blog for anyone interested in New England weird history and folklore. 

On that topic, if you are interested in the weird history of the Berkshires (aka western Massachusetts) there’s an Indiegogo campaign for just such a book

And what of contemporary podcasts, you ask?

  • Yon Kenn and Robyn spake of players problematickal, a Popish Annamese, families of Cainish bent, and the Fae ports of Somerset 
  • The Goode Friends of Elias, son of Jack, assayed their latest sextet of adventures – Nameless Horrors

Updatery, March Edition

First off, welcome Spring!  Please clean up after your Ostara sacrifices people – that altar to Yog-Sothoth, hewn from the very basalt of the lost Eiglophian Mountains is a privilege, not a right.  (Well, it’s a rite, but, you get my point.)

Vast and sundry apologies for the sporadic updates to the blog.  I’m still hip-deep in finishing up the next issue of the Arkham Gazette and I’ve done my best to focus on wrapping that up rather than taking care of other things.  If I owe you an email, this is why.  Fortunately being but hip deep means that A) I am no longer neck-deep, and B) I can slowly move about doing other things while I finish it up.

There have been several Lovecraftian RPG releases so far this year.  I’ve been trying to keep up to date with them in my page about new RPG material but I don’t think I’ve mentioned any of them here.  Let’s bullet point these, shall we?

I must confess that, given the research needs of the Gazette (today’s book is Poisons: Their Effects and Detection by Alexander Wynter Blythe (1895) I’ve barely had time to even look at most of the books, save Investigator Weapons v. 2, which is great, and Alone Against the Flames… which was… eh… adequate but underwhelming.  Perhaps I’ll discuss it more at some point?  It was free.

On the podcasting front there have been too many new episodes to summarize, from Ken and Robin, the MU Podcast, RPPR, the Unspeakable Oath (though I covered that one!), the Good Friends of Jackson Elias – hell, even the old Yog Radio gang might be up to something.

I am sure there is more to cover, but that’s all for now.  Was I supposed to mention a Kickstarter?

Post-Yule Post

Shockingly, between the Arkham Gazette Kickstarter (48 hours to go!) and other seasonal obligations, I’ve had scant little time to update good old Tomes in Progress.  Sorry!

So, here’s what has been going on in the world of Lovecraftian roleplaying games.

In other news, Shane Ivey might possibly have had the best Christmas of us all.  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Finally, a bit of seasonal poetry from HPL himself:

Festival

by H.P. Lovecraft

There is snow on the ground,
And the valleys are cold,
And a midnight profound
Blackly squats o’er the wold;
But a light on the hilltops half-seen hints of feastings unhallow’d and old.

There is death in the clouds,
There is fear in the night,
For the dead in their shrouds
Hail the sun’s turning flight,
And chant wild in the woods as they dance round a Yule-altar fungous and white.

To no gale of earth’s kind
Sways the forest of oak,
Where the sick boughs entwin’d
By mad mistletoes choke,
For these pow’rs are the pow’rs of the dark, from the graves of the lost Druid-folk.

And mayst thou to such deeds
Be an abbot and priest,
Singing cannibal greeds
At each devil-wrought feast,
And to all the incredulous world shewing dimly the sign of the beast.

News bonanza

Sorry for the lack of updates recently; real life has kept me otherwise engaged, stealing away those free moments when I might be blogging, instead insisting I deal with ailing family members, logistical luggage arranging, and (most recently) snow removal.  Note to past self – budget more time for everything.

This is, however, a blog about Lovecraftian RPGs (and my occasional involvement therein) with a dash of my other hobbies, not a chat about the mundane adversities that strike anyone who is not a sociopathic millionaire orphan.  Let us instead turn to the world of polyhedral die and polymorphic nightmares…

Podcasts – Despite some technical glitches with the feed on iTunes, the Good Friends of Jackson Elias have released another episode covering all the best game master techniques they’ve cribbed from other Keepers.  (They’ve also set up a Patreon page to cover some of the show’s costs, so far netting them a princely $15 a show).

The muttering miscreant mavens of multi-sided mayhem at the Miskatonic University podcast had some technical issues of their own with episode 67.  The audio for their first try was so poor they scrapped nearly the whole thing, save for the news from the Campus Crier section – including a lovely summary of the October-ganza on the Sentinel Hill Press blog; listen to that preserved fragment here.  The redo attempt turned out a far better piece (in audio terms a least – who knows what bon mots were lost in the sonic catastrophe that was ep 67 mark I ?!?), covering the delayed release of CoC 7th ed, one player/one Keeper games, and Science Fiction (mostly gadgets) in Lovecraftian RPGs.  It’s also that rare beast when all four hosts are (eventually) in attendance.  But what of Keepers Shemp and Murphy-Joe?

Kickstarter offers an abundance of news, large and small, so let’s bullet point these:

In other news, Dreamhounds of Paris is now available for pre-order.  Awesome!

That’s plenty for now, isn’t it?

The Gales of November

Where does the time go?

Sentinel Hill Press

I’ll start things off with some personal news – Sentinel Hill Press, the imprint of the Arkham Gazette, is now a Chaosium licensee.  We’ll be launching a Kickstarter soon for issue #3.  I’ll be sure to announce it here as well as the Arkham Gazette blog.  We also wrapped up our 31 day October-ganza project on the blog there; here’s an overview.

There are, as ever, loads of Kickstarter projects on-going

  • Cthulhu: Strange Aeons, the sixth or seventh (?) different near-future sci-fi Lovecraftian setting RPG I’ve seen, is raising money.  Not my cup of tea, but might be yours. (For the records they are End TimeOnce Men [possibly those two are the same setting), Cthulhu Rising, Cthulhu Tech, and Cthulhu Adventus.  I probably missed some though…)
  • It may not be overtly Lovecraftian, but it did spring from the warped mind of John Tynes and the gents at Arc Dream – Puppetland, an updated version of the groundbreaking indie game where you played puppets in a nightmare world.  I should correct that name to John Scott Tynes, but if I learned anything from Shadows of Yog-Sothoth, is that you should avoid a John Scott…
  • Finally, Golden Goblin Press have provided a rather hard-on-themselves update for De Horrore Cosmico.

The crew at Protodimension magazine have released issue #21.  Check it out.

Good Friends of Jackson Elias completed their discussion of The Thing on the Doorstep.

The Unspeakable Oath podcast has released audio version of two of Dennis Detwiller stories: The Thing in the Pit & Drowning in Sand.

Let us close with a Mythos (and more) potpouri:

  • The Necronomicon (Evil Dead version) showed up on The Amazing World of Gumball.
  • Chaosium is having a sale.
  • Need found footage of unexplainable lights in the sky?
  • There’s a day left in a rather Bundle of Tentacles sale.
  • Ken and Robin continue to talk about stuff of all kinds: Episode 112The Dracula Dossier, writing on food, Dr. Margaret Murray, etc. & Episode 113 – Bram Stoker (but sadly not Stroker Ace), archetype vs. customized PCs, Marie Antoinette, and recommendations of all sorts.
  • Skirmisher (of Cthulhu Live fame) has put out The Mythos Society Guide to New England; sounds interesting but I’m waiting for more reviews.
  • Finally my friend Matt Madigan is Kickstarting his next ‘dark noire’ crime book Down.  If you like your detective fiction jet black, give it a look.

Mid-October update

{Oddly wordpress posted a draft version and ate the fished one.  Sorry}

We’ve passed the half-way point in October; time for an update.

Over on the Sentinel Hill Press blog (home of the Arkham Gazette), the October-ganza continues:

Ken and Robin have talked of stuff – stability rules, a worse WWI, and have a lightning round; they also divvied up a holy man’s ashes, analyized Mary Sues, rail against a Gumshoe hobbyhorse in the other..

The Good Friends of Jackson Elias are also back, talking about Lovecraft’s “The Thing on the Doorstep“.

Finally, Golden Goblin Press is having a sale.