News from the Islands

Golden Goblin Press lead goblin Oscar Rios has been interviewed in the latest episode of the Miskatonic University Podcast, wherein he talks about not only this first release from GGP, Island of Ignorance, but the process of birthing that book as well, which I think is useful listening for anyone considering launching their own Kickstarter.

Speaking of Island of Ignorance, that book has had its second review, this time by Matthew Pook over at Reviews from R’lyeh.  Two positive reviews so far for “Island”, which bodes well.

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New books for the list

A quick note to mention I’ve added two new titles to my 2012 Lovecraftian RPG releases:
First off we have The Timeless Sands of India, the seventh in Goodman Games’ “Age of Cthulhu” scenario series.  Written by the Miskatonic University Podcast’s own Jon Hook and edited by reviewer par excellence and friend of the blog Matthew Pook, I will probably end up getting a copy as I’ve been told that the quality of the series has been improving.  India is certainly an underused location… I do have some questions about why Bettie Page is pitching in to help the chap in the pith helmet and lightning gun and his pal Kilik fight off a gaggle of… sand-dwellers maybe?
Secondly there is Terror from the Skies, a 1920s campaign set in the United Kingdom. Beyond that I know it involves the Shan, and apparently some sort of zombie wyverns or maybe shantaks?  I will almost certainly pick this up, assuming I don’t get it as a gift first.

How many synonyms for ‘potpouri’ are there?

No earth-shattering news, but since it has been about a week since my last update, I figured it was time to post my meager bits of new information:

  • I have continued to add and expand the Massachusetts Graveyards page; in addition to expanded notes about resources I’ve also continued to enlarge my listing of sites for Middlesex County. I’m now up through the Ns.
  • I managed, for the first time in a long time, to get to the library and do a little research. I found a copy of Inscriptions from Burial Grounds of the Nashsway Towns, which is a compilation from Lancaster and all its ‘daughter’ towns, which includes portion of gravestone inscriptions, some cemetery information, a little on some local gravestone carvers, and whatever the local historical society saw fit to include.  It is very helpful in those cases where they saw fit to include information about the history of a town’s graveyards (like for Sterling).  Still, it is odd when local historians overlook facts I’ve learned elsewhere (Lancaster’s cemetery list omits one family plot, Harvard’s records neglect the burials at the Still River church… for example)
  • There has been an update from Thomas Phinney regarding Cristoforo, including a spiffy contributor only limited preview.  I must confess I had the pleasure of playing around with seeing a few of my titles up in ‘Cthulhu font’.  Looking forward to seeing the finished version in the fall.
  • It looks like Goodman games has another Cthulhu release in the works – The Timeless Sands of India.  I would normally not mention yet-to-be-released products (though there have been so few of late) but the author, Jon Hook, and the editor, Matthew Pook, were contributors to the Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion, so plugging their book is the least I can do. {For the record Jon did the layout for our pre-gens, while Mr. Pook wrote, edited, and provided much moral support}.  Also, India is a seriously neglected corner of the world when it comes to Cthulhu gaming (a few brief sections of Spawn of Azathoth and Tatters of the King aside… and Mysteries of the Raj, a book I’ve not read) so anything set in the subcontinent is going to garner my interest.
  • Voting for the ENnies is going on now.  Call and Trail of Cthulhu are well represented; give them some love, yes?
  • LATE DEVELOPMENT: Shane Ivey is now reporting reception of our psychic emanations!  Behold: “Did I hear that correctly in the whispers the night brought me?”  Keep up the meditative focus people (and people-like entities)!

Question time: The MoNC and its wider applicability

MJMedwick writes:

[M]y understanding of the Companion project suggests that it could be a useful sourcebook for classic-era scenarios and adventures beyond the Masks campaign itself. Aside from content related to Mythos tomes, any general thoughts to share on the versatility of the book’s content?

Huzzah, a question!

Our goal for the bookI was to write something that would aid Keepers trying to run MoN, so much of the content is specific (articles on the Cult of the Bloody Tongue or the Sword of Akmallah, for example) but, as I’ve found in reading various Call of Cthulhu books over the years, more of it is of general utility than you might expect, given the book’s goals.

Probably of the greatest utility are the location write-ups that anchor the New York, London, Cairo, Kenya, Australia, and China chapters.  Of these places, only Kenya has a sourcebook that I feel adequately addresses the place (David Conyers Secrets of Kenya).  William Jones Secrets of New York while helpfully being in print glosses over logistical issues that may arise in the campaign and, more damningly, utterly ignored everything else ever written about NYC for Call of Cthulhu- no mention of the Cult of the Bloody Tongue, no reference to Prospero House, etc.  London, Cairo, and Australia have sourcebooks but all of them are out of print (though available as PDFs at long last) and none are ideal, particularly the stiffly written Cairo book that seems to be primarily based on a single source, the 1914 Baedeker guides.  Beyond supplementing these sources (and I’ll confess the weakest is my NYC one, as it was written first as a model), we have a fully written London AND Shanghai by Kingdom of the Blind author Anthony Warren, not to mention an actual discussion of Hong Kong, a place mentioned but left explored in the original.  These piece might not replace a sourcebook (though in the case of Shanghai, it really could serve as one) but I think they will be of great interest to anyone running a game set in Cairo, or Kenya, or Australia…

Of secondary use I would say are the places we add some depth to the vibrantly painted world described in MoN.  This would include articles about the various Cults in the campaign, Tomes, pieces on building and keeping a party of investigators moving, even the more generic advice on how to run a long-term game or campaign.

Finally, if you are even in need of a last minute investigator, we have almost 30 pregenerated characters handmade by Matthew Pook.