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!

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.

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.

October-ganza (week 1) and other updates

It has been a week, so let’s see what’s been transpiring in the realms of Lovecraftian RPGs…

Maybe I’ll carve a turnip this year…

The post-a-day fun of October-ganza continues on the Sentinel Hill Press blog.  Here’s a round-up of week one:

  1. All Saints’ Eve.  Hear Vincent Price read an eerie piece of short prose.
  2. Graves and Gravestones.  Links to the Farber Gravestone database and the Association for Gravestone Studies and its journal.
  3. Other October projects.  Links to Shoggoth.net’s Octobernomicon project and Scott Dorward’s horror movie review bonanza.
  4. Eerie audio.  ‘Cursed’ songs, creepy songs, and actual psychological warfare audio.
  5. Mythos stars.  Celestial bodies, not famous things.  Fomalhaut and so on.
  6. Lovecraft Country scenario index.  An index I’ve been working on of all the scenarios set in and around Lovecraft Country.
  7. The H.P. Lovecraft Literary podcast.  Maybe someone out there hasn’t listened to this fine program?

Ken und Robin weiterhin über Dinge zu sprechen  – this time they are talking about the business of being an RPG writer, an all-assassins setting (and not a single Sondheim reference!), avoiding plot contrivances, and synarchy (not in the UK, I assume).  What?  I’m tired of typing but didn’t want to call the show KaRTaS.

Meanwhile in the fecund gabfest empire of the Miskatonic University podcast, you have not one but two releases this weekend.  They managed to corner Keeper Jon to recount his tales of GenCon – spoilers: his travel to and from wasn’t just uneventful, but pleasant!  Additionally they released a regular episode, in which they talked about running published scenarios, multi-era games, and Roman UFOs.

Golden Goblin Press’ Kickstarter for De Horrore Cosmico (De… Horrore De… Horrore De… Horrore Cosssssimccooooo) has entered its last week… err final 4 days now.  They’re over $5000 away from the additional scenarios stretch goal.  GGP, unlike most Kickstarters, finishes their project on time and delivers promptly, so even if you’re not all that keen on Roman-era scenarios, at least give them a look.

Finally, speaking of Kickstarters, I won’t link to it, but there is another one out there for a Lovecraft adventure game “officially licensed by Lovecraft Holdings LLC”.  In case you weren’t aware of how silly this is from a copyright standpoint, I have some lovely beachfront property in R’lyeh for sale.

Updatery

Let’s start with some ongoing Kickstarters:

  • Pagan Publishing’s Kickstarter for Horrors of War: A Covenant with Death is in its last hours.  The good news is that there will be a PDF version in addition to the print version.  The bad news is that they are still about $6700 away from the stretch goal that gives all the print run backers a copy of not just A Covenant with Death but also the next (to be titled) book in the Horrors of War series.  Even so, I heartily recommend this collection – with options for a PDF copy as low as $20, you really cannot go wrong.
  • De Horrore Cosmico (from Golden Goblin Press) has just under two weeks to go.  They’re very close to the next stretch goal, but the one I’m more interested in seeing met is the yet-to-be-announced level where they release a PDF only scenario supplement – “a mini-campaign PDF collection taking place on the Empire’s eastern borders” which would include a scenario from the Miskatonic University Podcast’s Keeper Chad.

Let’s cover everything else in a hail of bullet points:

  • Ken and Robin continue to talk about stuff of all kinds – Episode #107 (Their GenCon 2014 extravaganza; a grab bag of audience questions) & Episode #108 (Toronto Film festival recap, a recap of Rob Ford news, Feng Shui 2, and Ken’s assessment of which historical figures are secretly time travelers.  How did he miss Phineas Bogg?!?)
  • A free Delta Green scenario been posted on the DG website – “Sinful Season”, by Mark Brassington.  Not to give too much away, but it struck me a modern take on “The Evil Stars” substituting Judas Priest with Tool and August Derleth with John Tynes.  It’s rough but has some spooky potential.
  • Finally, Protodimensions still needs submissions for their Halloween issue; get yours in by Oct 1.

‘Horrore’, cosmic and otherwise

Has it been a week already?

Golden Goblin Press have (has?) announced its next Kickstarter project – De Horrore Cosmico.  If the K-S hits the funding target in the first 24 hours they’re adding a 7th scenario written by Cthulhu Invictus author Chad Bowser.  As of 1 pm EST they’re at 5k to go.

Speaking of Kickstarters, Pagan’s Horrors of War (technically ‘A Covenant with Death’ since Horrors of War is the title of the book series) has funded and is creeping past a few stretch goals.  A lack of a PDF option seems to have damped interest, but I’m still hoping they’ll make it to 32k so I can get the first two books for the price of one.

I missed last week’s Ken and Robin Talk about Stuff – taking about the battle of Poltava, running one-shots, and the occultist Sarah Helen Whitman – and this week’s – talking about how players can help the flow of games, the game aspects of the militarization of police, and how one might shorten the US Civil War.  In both episodes they include bits from their GenCon gumshoe panel.

We have had confirmation of print copies of Starfall Over the Plateau of Leng, so I’ve updated the 2014 RPG book list.

Finally, in happy news, the server issues that knocked the Miskatonic University Podcast offline have been resolved. You can listen to the Chaosium panel they recorded at GenCon 2014 here; drop by their site to tell them they’ve been missed, won’t you? {Err, looks like their forums are down while they switch hosting services.#

Grab-baggery

Let us get to it, in no particular order:

Pagan Publishing’s Kickstarter for Horrors of War: A Covenant with Death reached its initial goals… eagerly awaiting news of an stretch-goals.  Huzzah!!

Modiphius has announced they are working on an Achtung! Cthulhu movie.  Really?!?

Paul of Cthulhu (from Yog-Sothoth.com) has posted a short video of a visit to London’s The Atlantis Bookshop, an occult book emporium of considerable age.  More videos are available to YSDC patrons.

Golden Goblin Press continue to offer glimpses of art from De Horrore Cosmico.  As Oscar reports: “Currently all of the scenarios are written. In fact, two are ready for final edits, two are in editing, and the last two should be back from re-writes over the weekend”.  Skips, is that you?

Dan Harms has been conducting a reconnaissance of Lovecraftian sites in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  Hmmm… very suspicious.

A smattering of post-GenCon reports continue to filter in:

  • Matthew Sanderson (of the Good Friends of Jackson Elias) was nearly killed by horseradishes
  • Chaosium minion Dustin adds his report
  • and RPPR posted their first panel recording – Diversity in Gaming
  • There’s also a video of Goodman Games panel

Finally, we have a new episode of Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff – covering Dracula’s castle, the Oak Island mystery, and answer a listener day to come up with an advanced civilization lacking fine motor control (and no, they don’t say “give them scotch”).  It was recorded pre-GenCon so they don’t spend the entire show calling themselves “ENnie awarding winning…”