The near-cessation of February

As February winds down, it is time to post a few news updates here on ye old Tomes in Progress…

What I’ve been up to:

february_calendarFirst off I am working on the latest update to our Kickstarter campaign as well a items associated with that – updating previous issues, writing the remaining  stretch-goal rewards, keeping tabs on related work.  Things are not progressing as rapidly as I wished, but I hope I’m more disappointed than our backers about the pace of things and that folks have been generally kept up to date.

I’ve nearly finished up with the second episode of the Sentinel Hill Press-cast (and now you can see why I waited to add it to various podcast aggregation sites!).  I shall definitely keep the next episode’s historical piece more concise!

I’ve posted an audio report about two interesting book for our Patreon backers – The Horror Guide to Massachusetts and Rev. Moody: The Man and His Diary.  If you’re interested in joining in, there is still time to help me select what book I will be picking up next through the generosity of our backers.

Over on the Sentinel Hill Press blog I’ve posted two tales of odd New England – the strange case of J. Bruce (in which a young man vanished in 1824 Boston only to have his remains located, allegedly, by a “mesmerist”) and all about that sweet Marblehead treat, the Joe Frogger, a cookie made with both saltwater and rum, guaranteeing it will be loved by sailors.  Speaking of Marblehead, I am currently working on a renewed call for submissions for issue #4… look for that soon.

Meanwhile, I’ve posting some shorter items of interest (assuming you care a whit about New England history and folklore) to our G+ group- An overview of the Dogtown “witches”, Tituba and the Salem Witch Trials, a folktale of how New England became so rocky, a Vermont Public Radio interview with author Joseph Citro, Mary Dyer and her “monster” child, I ask for reader feedback to answer the question “What does ‘He was a witch-cat‘” mean?, solicit member feedback on the new film The Witch, an example heart-burning to fight tuberculous from Harvard, MA (the town, not the college), a history of the Massachusetts State Police, and  two methods to find your future husband (from Marblehead, MA).

Other news

  • Protodimension magazine has released a new issue, now following their “shorter but more often” release plan.
  • Chaosium have announced A Time to Harvest, a 6-part campaign for members of their promotional Keeper group “The Cult of Chaos”.  Perhaps most exciting to me is the fact that it is set in Lovecraft Country.

Podcasting mayhem!

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Antecedant of the rodentine horror

What ho, chaps and, err… chapettes!  I want to get a jump on that prognosticating marmota monax, so let’s get to it…

First off, I’ve launched a Patreon page for myself to help fund my work for Sentinel Hill Press, in particular my research and perhaps eventually better equipment for our podcast.  We have 7 backers so far and are just a dollar or two away from our second funding goal – $25 dollars (aka “not as cheap books!”).  Backers will get updates about my various research projects that they helped fund and and some behind the scenes discussions of my work at Sentinel Hill Press and, at higher levels, periodic previews of our works in progress.  I’ve posted a quick overview of my research collection, as it stands, so that you can see what sorts of books I’ve collected so far (and check out my Amazon wish-list for possible future purchases), if you are curious.

Meanwhile, while I have neglected my “Year in Lovecraftian Gaming” duties, Dean Engelhardt has stepped up on Yog-Sothoth.com and highlighted how 2015 was a very good year, numbers-wise.

Some new books:

  • As Above, So Below (a 128 page sourcebook for their Laundry Files RPG, covering the Laundry’s military operations as well as the political machinations that guide that super-secret group).
  • Achtung! Cthulhu: Elder Godlike (a mashup of Modiphius’ Achtung! Cthulhu and Arc Dream’s Godlike, letting you mix your Pulp Lovecraftian and WWII super-hero style gaming to your heart’s content.)
  • (I realize I’ve missed releases for both the Laundry and A!C since neither are systems I play nor do they cover eras of which I am particularly interested.  Nevertheless, I am sorry for missing these lines in the past and hope to at least note their releases in the future.)

Odds and ends:

  • If you do not follow the Sentinel Hill Press blog or our attendant G+ group, I’ve recently gathered up the more interesting links from the later (those of recent vintage at least) as well as an omnibus post on the SHP blog covering our short series highlighting odd animal tales from New England.  There were two ghost animals (or maybe just one?), a wooden fish, some odd tracks, a rabies outbreak, and a prescient cat.  The story of the Sacred Cod contains an annecdote of particular interest to detail-oriented Lovecraft Country Keepers. 🙂
  • Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion contributor (no, I don’t know when it will be released, sorry!) Hal Eccles has just launched a Kickstarter for his game “Mythos Tales”, a Lovecraftian take on the old Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective game.  The original free version were produced in a most lovely form by Dean Engelhardt – #1 (A Grain of Evil) and #2 (The King Cometh) – if you’d like a preview.
  • If you simply must have something Masks Companion related, you could back Stephanie McAlea’s Patreon; her backers get access to specially prepared color versions of the maps she produced for the book.
  • Here’s a collection of all the commercially produced Keeper’s screens for Call of Cthulhu (text in Spanish).  So many screens!
  • Chris Lackey (of the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast among other places) was one of the makers of this amusing (but perhaps less-than-reverent) take on “The Statement of Randolph Carter”:

New podcasts of note:

That is all for now, hopefully.

 

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.

News bonanza

Sorry for the lack of updates recently; real life has kept me otherwise engaged, stealing away those free moments when I might be blogging, instead insisting I deal with ailing family members, logistical luggage arranging, and (most recently) snow removal.  Note to past self – budget more time for everything.

This is, however, a blog about Lovecraftian RPGs (and my occasional involvement therein) with a dash of my other hobbies, not a chat about the mundane adversities that strike anyone who is not a sociopathic millionaire orphan.  Let us instead turn to the world of polyhedral die and polymorphic nightmares…

Podcasts – Despite some technical glitches with the feed on iTunes, the Good Friends of Jackson Elias have released another episode covering all the best game master techniques they’ve cribbed from other Keepers.  (They’ve also set up a Patreon page to cover some of the show’s costs, so far netting them a princely $15 a show).

The muttering miscreant mavens of multi-sided mayhem at the Miskatonic University podcast had some technical issues of their own with episode 67.  The audio for their first try was so poor they scrapped nearly the whole thing, save for the news from the Campus Crier section – including a lovely summary of the October-ganza on the Sentinel Hill Press blog; listen to that preserved fragment here.  The redo attempt turned out a far better piece (in audio terms a least – who knows what bon mots were lost in the sonic catastrophe that was ep 67 mark I ?!?), covering the delayed release of CoC 7th ed, one player/one Keeper games, and Science Fiction (mostly gadgets) in Lovecraftian RPGs.  It’s also that rare beast when all four hosts are (eventually) in attendance.  But what of Keepers Shemp and Murphy-Joe?

Kickstarter offers an abundance of news, large and small, so let’s bullet point these:

In other news, Dreamhounds of Paris is now available for pre-order.  Awesome!

That’s plenty for now, isn’t it?

How many Hit Dice do Smorgasbords have?

We’ve got a smorgasbord of Lovecraftian RPG stuff to note.  Grab a plate and make your own feast:

  • The ENnie nominations have been announced.  Of particular interest to me are the Best Adventure nominations for the Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Quick-start rules for best freebie, The Sense of the Sleight-of-Hand Man and Eternal Lies, Ken and Robin Talk about Stuff for Best Podcast, and Achtung! Cthulhu’s Keeper’s Guide to the Secret War for cover art, writing, and product of the year.  Voting starts July 20th.
  • Manservant Hecubus reports that a new episode of the Unspeakable Oath podcast was recorded over the weekend, with special guest Ryan Macklin.  It is expected to be released in a few days.
  • Do you want your own (mini) Sedefkar Simulacrum?  (For only 35,000€ you can have a ‘life-sized’ one.)
  • This is an ad in the new issue of the Unspeakable Oath (you’ve picked up your copy, yes?) suggesting that there will be a Kickstarter for the long awaited Horrors of War this summer.  Fingers crossed?
  • Want another fundraiser?  Dennis Detwiller has launched a Patreon account (? not sure what term to use here).  In short, you can pledge a fixed amount to Dennis every time he creates new content for Delta Green.  His initial goal is $750 but if he gets to $5000 he’ll devote himself to Delta Green full time.
  • Feed the Shoggoth’s Kickstarter is drawing to a close and our last question is how many stretch goals it will hit.
  • In the realm of completed fundraisers, Dave Sokolowksi (one of the many contributors to The Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion) has publicly released He Who Laughs Last(in PDF), a scenario for Cthulhu Dark.

That’s it for now.  Stay frosty.