Adventures in link mongering

There have been a few worthy bits of news since our last update here. I’m still recuperating from wrapping up the last issue of the Gazette. There also has not been all that much going on the world of Call of Cthulhu and Lovecraftian roleplaying…

The latest fiction collection from Dennis Detwiller – Delta Green: Tales from Failed Anatomies is now available for sale as a PDF.

The gang at the Miskatonic University Podcast have released a new episode: #56, in which they talk about GenCon plans, personal topical limits in gaming, and Yig. Did I mention there fundraising so they can all meet for the first time at GenCon? No? Damn.

Ken and Robin talked about stuff including using ghosts in horror roleplaying and the Comte Saint Germain.

Tentaclii, a blog for all things H.P. Lovecraft, has resumed updating again after a two month break. Too many interesting links to pick just a few – check it out.

The latest issue of the Arkham Gazette was very favorably reviewed on DiehardGamefan. We are looking for submissions for the next issue as well.

Finally, I spotted this on Yog-Sothoth.com… ever wanted to hear authentic Babylonian chants? Of course you do.

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My influences, part the second

While I know I promised more musing on my rpg influcences, I had a looksee at my bookshelf and noticed a certian book that truly shaped the way I approach scenario writing:

Judging by the date of publication I must have purchased this book in 1982 or ’83 (my copy appears to be the 6th edition).

According to the back cover…

“Haunted Houses.

Phantom Ship.

Demon dogs.

Ghosts can appear any place, and in many forms.  This book will help you be ready – in case you come across one!

*See the kinds of places where ghosts gather!

* Learn how to hunt for ghosts in your neighborhood!

*Find out how to spot a fake!

You’ll amaze your friends – and terrify yourself – but you’ll know everything there is to know about demons and spirits from the world beyond.”

While it wasn’t my first foray into the spooky realm (which was probably either “In Search Of…” or Disney’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow), this book cemented two tendancies I have retained in my interest in Call of Cthulhu – skeptical investigation and what I call the “oooooooh” factor, that tingle-inducing moment where fear gives your rational mind a beating.  The former is easy (hey, this kid’s book claims to be the authorative treatment of “demons and spirits from the world beyond”) but the latter… now that is hard (but fun!).

Here is a partial list of occult or otherwise creepy phenomena I first remember reading of in this book:

Gibbets, poltergeists, lemures, Reverend Richard Dodge, the Great Eastern, UB-65, Black Shuck, Gef the talking mongoose, screaming skulls, the village of Pluckley, the eating ghosts of the Banks Islands, Yurei, scientific ghost hunting techniques (Ghost Hunters et al might learn something, sadly), the Brocken Spectres, spirit mediums (and their fakery), telepathy, the Raynam Hall ghost, Doppelgangers (not the AD&D kind), and Will-o-whisps.  (Was some of this stuff bogus?  Of course, but does that matter for a fictional game?)

Combine that with some rather nice color illustrations, and I was hooked.

Next time: more AD&D, I swear.