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.

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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?

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:

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!

Addendum podcastrum: a tripartate update

Wouldn’t you know that there would be a trio of new podcast episodes worth mentioning within days of my latest post?

You would?  Oh.

  • Item One – Ken and Robin, as they are wont to do, talked about stuff, including collaborations, cartel-employed juju men, and killing Ogedei Khan.
  • Item Two – The Cthulhu Breakfast Club dined on toast and eggs with mushrooms.  They also discussed (among other things) Chaosium’s Nameless Horrors (the book, not Orient Express shipping woes), CthulhuWars, NecronomiCon 2015, Kickstarter (with protips from PoC and Chris Lackey), and some upcoming UK cons.  As one wag put it, it was a breakfast of champignons.
  • Item three – Oscar Rios, of Golden Goblin Press, was interviewed by the Tabletop Torch about their current and possible future projects, including more information on their next book Tales of the Caribbean, all sprinkled with practical advice from Oscar about RPG creation and running a small press.

May gaming news, podcast updates, and the Double Shadow of Clark Ashton Smith

Let’s dig in…

Cubicle 7 have released a cover image preview of their next book in the World War Cthulhu series – the SOE Handbook (that’s it to the right)- and received the first advanced copies of their London Box Set (of which I had a very small part in creating).  Oooohhh pretty…

Golden Goblin Press have previewed the scenario titles for their forthcoming CoC scenario collection Tales of the Caribbean.  Their Kickstarter is planned to launch September 9th.

Yog-Sothoth.com’s Kickstater for the Cthulhu Breakfast Club podcast is at 81% with just over two weeks to go.  Tick tock people.

We’ve had a few new Lovecraftian podcast episodes and related projects:

Finally I wanted to note that recently I’ve been enjoying The Double Shadow: A Clark Ashton Smith podcast.  I’d not read much (any perhaps?) of Clark Ashton Smith’s fiction, Mythos-related or otherwise, and I’ve found the show to be a great introduction to CAS and his stories.  My only regret is that real-world concerns have of late greatly slowed down their release schedule.  Come for three hosts’ jovial banter, stay for them struggling to pronounce CAS’ alphabet-salad like names and absurd adjectives.  Avoosl Woothoqquan?  Quinquangular?  I’m sold!

Kickstarter successes, Troubled Goblins, miscellaneous news

Yellow – eye-catching and popular with taxis

The top story for the day is that I’ve launched a Kickstarter for the next issue of the Arkham Gazette, and that we’ve already funded.  Huzzah!!  Our next stretch goal is $2000, which will allow us to offer a print on demand version of the issue.  I’m still working out the details for some future stretch goals, but hopefully I can announce further details soon.

A happier Goblin

In much more disturbing news, Oscar Rios (of Golden Goblin Press) has made some rather serious allegations of deceit and theft on the part of his European re-distributor:

Unfortunately I am slowly coming to realize that once again I have been lied to by my international re-distributor, Angus Abranson of Chronicle City. I was given assurances that all of the missing rewards were mailed out, and I sent out the few items he claimed not to have. The items I mailed out seem to have arrived, but the items he claimed to mailed I now believe were never sent out.  I cannot express how deeply this entire business sickens me.

I promise that everyone due material will get their rewards, I just ask for your patience. If I am forced to resend everything out, to mail all the missing items directly it will be ruinous. I have already shipped these items to him and paid for the postage, promptly sending him a small fortune I might add.

I sincerely hope that this situation is resolved to the satisfaction of Golden Goblin Press’ backers and Golden Goblin Press itself.  I very much hope this doesn’t prevent GGP from releasing more new books this year.

Turning to Podcasts – Ken and Robin have been talking about Richard Sorge, foils in RPGs, Charles Richet, and an introduction to Surrealism; the head of Henry IV, character choice, Gerard Encausse, and Andre Breton. Dreamhounds and Dracula talk predominates but doesn’t overwhelm their chats.

The Miskatonic University Podcast released a supplemental episode, talking about the release of Call of Cthulhu 7th edition, and updating the MUP IndieGoGo campaign, among other topics.

Finally the Unspekable Oath podcast has been releasing more readings from Dennis Detwiller’s Tales of Failed AnatomiesIntelligences (which I didn’t love) and Philosophy (which I preferred).

As for Kickstarters…

And that, for now, is all she wrote.

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.