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.

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Metal Kings, New Orleans’ Beasts, and a 124 year old man

We’ve got a lot to cover today… First two new releases-

Cthulhu Reborn has unleashed The Machine King, a free Gaslight and Dreamlands scenario by Geoff Gillan.

Meanwhile Golden Goblin Press have released (to Kickstarter backers of Tales of the Crescent City only) The Black Goat of New Orleans, developed by New Orleans Mythos.

Gen Con is over and there are various after-action reports:

Speaking of Mr. Ivey, I’d like to note that, as per usual, I’ve been sent my payment for two pieces in the latest issue of the The Unspeakable Oath.  Arc Dream continues to be the most prompt-paying company I’ve written for.  Thanks!

A poster by Daniel Spitzer

Finally, today marks (among other things) two different anniversaries.  It is the 124th birthday of H.P. Lovecraft, without whom this blog would not exist. Here are few folks doing likewise:

I am of two mind about old Grandpa Howie.  On one hand he was a uniquely creative writer, synthesizing earlier horror writing with new fears and terrors of the 20th century, spawning not just the Cthulhu Mythos, but a community to foster his nightmare imaginings even after his death.  At the same time he was, even for his era, a racist and bigot, and wrote some pretty terrible things that we cannot wish away no matter to what degree these views may have softened or changed as he aged.  I think it is fitting, when we recall his good qualities we must also temper it by acknowledging his worst ones.   Today I think it best I have a small dish of ice cream (sorry, no beans and toast, my fandom only goes so far), think of HPL, and make a small donation in his name to a charity he would likely have despised.

A Link roundup, from Leng to ‘Dick a Tuesday’

Mon dieu! It is already June. Better update the blog!

I’ve been mulling over an essay I read detaling Lovecraft’s racism and antisemitism. It deserves a longer response beyond a perfunctory mention, but I wanted to at least highlight it now.

I’ve updated the list of Lovecraftian RPG materials for 2014, including a new Trail of Cthulhu collection and a batch of scenarios for the Laundry.

On the podcast front – the Good Friends of Jackson Elias talked about player-lead gaming, the Miskatonic University Podcast gang talked about map resources and moon-beasts, while Ken and Robin talked about Robin’s trip to the Chimeriades game convention in France, the Lemurian of Mount Shasta, and Canada’s own evil clown Rob Ford.

Speaking of the MUP, Keeper Jon’s next project for Goodman Games – “Starfall Over the Plateau of Leng” is having a Kickstarter to upgrade the book from paper back to hardback among other improvements.

I’ve reissued my call for submissions at the Arkham Gazette next issue. Pretty please?

From the rumor desk… I might be a GenCon this year. Please remain calm.

Finally, whilst doing some rather meandering research, I came upon The Devil and His Imps, a journal article from 1895 as part of the Transactions of the American Philological Association (vol. 26), which provides a fascinating etymological discussion of a host of British supernatural beings. The author, Charles P.G. Scott, lays out a rather amusing roll-call of ever imaginable traditional folkloric entity from the United Kingdom:

With this view having recently felt moved to take the matter up sooner than I expected when I laid it aside I began to write up the Devil and his Imps placing at first no limit on their number I had no sooner thrown open the doors than the air was darkened by a grisly flight of black winged demons and the ground was covered by a trooping host of uncanny creatures of vague unseemly forms and unassorted sizes Devils, Devilets, Devilings, Dablets, and other Imps, Black Angels, Black Men, Black Bears, Black Bulls, Black Dogs, Bogles and Bogies and Boggards, Bollies and Boodies, Bugs, Bugaboos, and Bugbears, Bullbears, Bull beggars, Barghests and Boghests, Boggleboes and Boboggles, Boocows and Boomen, Churchgrims, Demons, Dobbies, Doolies, Gallybeggars, Galliments, Goblins, Hobs, Hob Goblins, Hob Thursts, Hob Thrushes, Hodge Pokers, Lobs, Padfoots, Pokers, Pookas, Pucks, Puckles, Pugs, Thurses, Urchins, Woodwoses, Banshees, Cluricaunes, Leprechauns, Logherimans, Mermaids, Mermen, Merrows, Kelpies, Necks, Nicks, Nickers, Nixes, Nixies, Niogles, Shagfoals, Shocks, Shucks, the family of Ghosts, Specters, Spooks, Vampires, Fetches, Swarths, Warths, Waiths, the half saved tribes of Elves, Fairies, Fays, Brownies, Buccas, Spriggans, Knockers, Nisses, Piskies, Pixies, Colepixies, Drows, and Trolls with ‘Jack with the Lantern’, ‘Kit with the Candlestick’ and ‘Will with the Wisp’ lighting their darker kinsmen and the Shoopiltie, the Shellycoat, the Ganfir, the Bwbach, and his Welsh brethren in the background; the Deuce, the Devil, the Dickens, Ragamuffin, Ruffin, Humdudgeon, and Tantrabobus and all their company; the neglected family of Scarecrows and Wussets all these came up for an historical and etymological review I might have been appalled by the troop of dark and yelling demons and bogles or by the task of all these came up for an historical and etymological review, or by the task of explaining their denominations ; but it is well known that in the still air of etymology no passions, either of fear or hate or joy, can exist, and that etymologists, indeed, consider it their duty to feel no emotions, unless it be gratification at finding their work improved and their errors rectified, by an other and a better etymologist. This sometimes happens.

The whole article is worth a read, of course.