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!

Updatery, March Edition

First off, welcome Spring!  Please clean up after your Ostara sacrifices people – that altar to Yog-Sothoth, hewn from the very basalt of the lost Eiglophian Mountains is a privilege, not a right.  (Well, it’s a rite, but, you get my point.)

Vast and sundry apologies for the sporadic updates to the blog.  I’m still hip-deep in finishing up the next issue of the Arkham Gazette and I’ve done my best to focus on wrapping that up rather than taking care of other things.  If I owe you an email, this is why.  Fortunately being but hip deep means that A) I am no longer neck-deep, and B) I can slowly move about doing other things while I finish it up.

There have been several Lovecraftian RPG releases so far this year.  I’ve been trying to keep up to date with them in my page about new RPG material but I don’t think I’ve mentioned any of them here.  Let’s bullet point these, shall we?

I must confess that, given the research needs of the Gazette (today’s book is Poisons: Their Effects and Detection by Alexander Wynter Blythe (1895) I’ve barely had time to even look at most of the books, save Investigator Weapons v. 2, which is great, and Alone Against the Flames… which was… eh… adequate but underwhelming.  Perhaps I’ll discuss it more at some point?  It was free.

On the podcasting front there have been too many new episodes to summarize, from Ken and Robin, the MU Podcast, RPPR, the Unspeakable Oath (though I covered that one!), the Good Friends of Jackson Elias – hell, even the old Yog Radio gang might be up to something.

I am sure there is more to cover, but that’s all for now.  Was I supposed to mention a Kickstarter?

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.

Sammons, Submissions, and a plea to John Crowe.

Reiterpistolelefthand” by Memecry2 – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

There has been a new episode of the Miskatonic University podcast.  This time their guest is Brian Sammons, who talks about a number of upcoming projects – editing World War Cthulhu (a fiction anthology), the scenario collection Doors to Darkness, and his campaign A Time to Harvest (about which he says very little, but consider my interest piqued).  I kind of wished they had asked about his work in the 7th Ed revamp of Arkham Unveiled, but I suppose that will come eventually…  They also talk about guns (auto-fire, shotguns, and ‘howdah pistols’ specifically) but, inexplicably, don’t mention Sixtystone’s outstanding Investigator Weapons vol. 1.  I guess I know what I’m getting them for Christmas…

Protodimension magazine still needs submissions for its next issue.  This is something I am particularly attuned to working on the Arkham Gazette; I’m checking my folder of half baked ideas seeing if I have something they might find useful.

After some discussion here in our comments section, I’ve decided to lower my pledge (temporarily) for Pagan’s Horrors of War scenario collection Kickstarter to $1 to show my support for a PDF release of the book.  I may not work, but I truly do think the lack of a PDF option is holding the project (which I have been eagerly awaiting for many years now) back.  (For example, the Feng-Shui 2 Kickstarter, which I’m sure is a fine game but one I am utterly indifferent to despite Robin Laws all but leaping from my iPhone and insisting I buy a copy, has hit $30,000 in under 24 hours.  Golden Goblin Press’ Horrore Cosmico Kickstarter is closing on $17,000 after less than a week.  Please John Crowe, reconsider a PDF option.)

The Oath returns, Simulated Models, and even more Witch-House fun

UO24There’s a new issue of the Unspeakable Oath (#24) and I am fortunate enough to have two (!) articles in it – a revamped version of my shotgun scenario “Holding Cell” and “The Cult of A”.  I’m very happy to see both in the august (or even July! hah!) pages of the Unspeakable Oath, I’m especially happy with “The Cult of A”as it is one of the few pieces I’ve ever written that genuinely unnerved me.  I hope you enjoy them both (and the whole issue; currently available as a PDF, with a print version to follow).

Ken and Robin talked about the Flat Earth Society, female heroes and trend of ‘Batmanization’, simulation vs. modeling, and Subhas Chandra Bose (who curiously enough did not develop a stereo system).  While I usually enjoy KaRTaS, I must confess that Robin’s insistence that we replace “simulation” with “modeling” in referring to that goal of gaming seems to arise out of a sort of straw man argument which claims some inherent superiority of “simulationist” gaming as it is rooted in the real world.  Frankly I don’t know anyone in RPGs who imagines their game system is a perfect mirror of reality, bullet impact ratios, blood points, or 90 page combat tables be damned.

The Good Friends of Jackson Elias have wrapped up their discussion of “Dreams in the Witch-House” in which they cover the various adaptations of the story over the years (from Bad to Rock Opera) as well as using the story in gaming and inspiring your own material.  They may have overlooked the otherwise obscure d20 Cthulhu scenario “Jenkins Lives!” but I recommend it.

There has also been another positive review of GGP’s Tales of the Crescent City.

Adam Gauntlett has posted a teaser for his contribution to the upcoming Trail of Cthulhu release Mythos Expeditions.  Count me as interested.

I forgot to say so earlier, but Protodimension Magazine is looking for submissions.  (I’m still looking for submissions to the Arkham Gazette as well.)

(On a personal note – We’ve hit 200 posts!)

 

Still generally occupied, but if I don’t post about these now, they’ll get lost in the shuffle…

Here’s the podcast round-up:

The Delta Green Mailing List has held its annual Shotgun Scenario contest and are voting to pick the winner.

Cubicle 7’s London Box Set’s Kickstarter wrapped up at 600% of its funding target.

Did I mention Secrets of Tibet has been released, at least as a PDF?

We’re still looking for submissions for the next issue of the Arkham Gazette, as is Protodimension Magazine.