Speaking with the Unspeakable (Oath Podcast)

I had the distinct pleasure recently to talk with Shane Ivey, Adam Scott Glancy, and Ross Payton

An ashcan copy of the Companion

of the Unspeakable Oath podcast.  We talked about their respective projects (The Unspeakable Oath #25, Horrors of War, Role-playing Public Radio and other projects), my projects (The Arkham Gazette) and, for most of the show Masks of Nyarlathotep and The Masks of Nyarlathotep CompanionDo give it a listen.

It was a lot of fun to chat with the UO crew and hear about their experiences running Masks.  I hope I remembered to speak slowly and enunciate.  If you haven’t taken a look yet, there are (currently) about 5 days to go in the MoNC 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.

Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion: My favorite article

There is a lot to say about the Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion but I wanted to start by highlighting my absolutely favorite piece from the book: The Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan, written by Anthony Warren.

Anthony had previously written the monograph Kingdom of the Blind, which inspired me to contact him when the original writer who offered to work on our Keeper’s notes for London back in 2008.  Not only did he end up writing London, he took on Shanghai, the Raid on Grey Dragon Island, a history of the Order of the Bloated Woman,and this piece, a reinvention of the Seven Cryptical Books.  Let me quote a short section:

Unfortunately for readers despite some superficial similarities with traditional esoteric works, this is no mere catalog of star charts and mystic formulae. There is no apparent theme or structure. The densely packed symbols give no clue where to begin. Often multiple – even conflicting – meanings are possible depending on the direction the text is read. With time and study, however, it becomes apparent this is more of a puzzle than a text. By ignoring or adjusting rules of structure, and by picking apart twists of language and symbol, endless variations can be uncovered.

Anthony took what was a sort of second-rate Pnakotic Manuscript and turned it into a mind-shredding nightmare text worthy of being the center of the war between Jack Brady and Ho Fong.  I like the Companion, I love some of its parts, but I really, deeply love this re-imaging.  If you haven’t checked out the Companion yet, start on page 436.

Mixed Links

The Missing Link, like Rubik’s Cube but I could solve this one

Not much new to report on my own writings (sorry Dean, still inching forward on that what I owes ye) but I wanted to pass on a few links that may be of interest:

For those patiently awaiting the Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion, Dennis Detwiller has posted some helpful advice for Keepers running that storied campaign.

The roster of interviews at Cthulhu Reborn has grown by 1, this time with Cthulhu Mythos Encyclopedia author and friend of Tomes in Progress Dan Harms.

The merry Keepers of the Miskatonic University Podcast have released a new episode all about prop-making in CoC, including some advice on how to make your own faux documents.  The secret ingredient is coffee.

 

Fonts, stones, and other odds and ends

A couple quite items to note-

First off, Thomas Phinney’s Kickstarter for Christoforo did not make its (admittedly rather high) goal. Hopefully he will not entirely abandon the project.  I do love Columbus.

Secondly, I have dusted off a piece I wrote several years ago and submitted it to the new Delta Green website… I did mention they have a new site, yes?  Oh dear, it looks like I did not.  The item in question, “The Milltrap Stone” was inspired by a visit to “America’s Stonehenge”, among other things.  Not quite a scenario, not quite enough for a submission to the Unspeakable Oath, it has slept on my hard drive until now.

Finally, I will reiterate my offer to answer questions about the creation of the Masks Companion.  Do you have any?  I may eventually solicit the folks at Yog-sothoth.com, but I thought I’d start here first as a reward to my three daily readers (and that one guy in Slovenia who found me looking for “tome poisoning“).