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!

Various, Sundry, and Assorted

I’ve been letting this blog slide more than a bit, between familiar obligations – the holiday season is always a busy one – and hording my free time trying to get a few long-outstanding projects completed.  Nevertheless, I want to at a minimum keep posting here  weekly… and now that it has been a month since my last update, I don’t want to let that gap grow any larger.

Sentinel Hill Press/Arkham Gazette news:

The biggest single piece of news is that the latest issue of the Arkham Gazette has been unleashed upon the world.  Issue #3, all about witches and witchcraft in Lovecraft Country, is available for sale on DriveThruRPG for $12 in PDF and $20 for print on demand + PDF.  It is 120 pages of Lovecraft Country wonderment and I am very proud of it, from cover to the annotated scenario list at the end.  We’ve slowly been building up a stable of authors and artists and I was happy to include articles from such Lovecraftian luminatries as Chris Huth, Chris Jarocha-Ernst, Dan Harms, Tyler Hudak, Christopher Smith Adair and with art from Trevor Henderson, Chris Huth, and Ian Maclean; layout by Chris Huth & handouts prepared by Dean Engelhardt.

In other Sentinel Hill Press news, I’m still reading a few submissions (and sorely owe some people replies about their submissions…) and will likely update our call for submissions before the end of the month.  Readers hoping for a Kingsport issue for #4 might just be in luck.  I also need to finish correcting, revising, and updating the contents of issues #1 and #2 (and to complete an extra article for issue #0) so that they can also go up on DriveThru (and out to our Kickstarter backers.)

I also created the first episode of the Sentinel Hill Press-cast, a podcast for all thing Sentinel Hill Press (and The Arkham Gazette/Lovecraft Country).  In our first episode I talked about SHP’s current and future projects, issue #3 of the Gazette, an interview with author/artist/layout guru Chris Huth, and two segments on New England folklore.

My Other Call of Cthulhu projects:

I have two scenarios in the works, either of which is being very cooperative.  The first is “The Smoking Heart”, my add-on scenario for the Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion Kickstarter.  It’s definitely a bang your head against the wall type piece.  I’ve revamped the plot, torn out the scenario’s guts, revamped it again, and not glower at it menacingly as I try to find a way to introduce Jackson Elias as an NPC organically, but also keep his involvement central to the plot without negating player agency.  I can see now why I dropped it in favor of the pulpy romp that is Don Coatar’s “The God of Mitnal” when I originally did the Companion.

Item two is for an unannounced project at an unnamed publisher, set in a a different era that I usually write for.  It is also coming along more slowly, but it is less painful, as my delay is more in wanting to find more inspirational material in the particular genre of horror I want to emulate rather than trying to outwit the fundamental flaw of justifying investigator involvement in most investigative horror games…  Pity party for me – the writing assignments I’ve taken aren’t easy and require work.  Sob.

Recent podcasts and interviews:

Yea, verily, there are many a podcast that has had a new episode in the past month.  Here are the ones I spotted –

  • The Cthulhu Breakfast Club  – Ep. 9 (A remembrance of ‘Big Bad’ John, New Lovecraftian rpg products, mushroom eggs on toast, and much more).
  • The Good Friends of Jackson Elias – Ep. 65 (Karl Edward Wagner’s “Sticks”), Ep. 66 (The Appeal of Horror as a genre)
  • Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff – Ep. 165 (Necromancy! Powells shopping!), Ep. 166 (Chicago International Film Festival!  Shockingly Dull  Existential Solo Adventure!), Ep. 167 (The Biology of Taste!  James Jesus Angelton!), Ep. 168 (Old Maps! Terrible Architecture!), Ep. 169 (The War of Jenkin’s Ear!  Bloody Mary!)
  • The Miskatonic University Podcast – Ep. 91, an interview with Badger McInnis, creator of Feed the Shoggoth, and an overview of the HP Lovecraft Film Fest (Fall, Portland 2015).  Ep. 92 has been recorded but is delayed due to technical issues.
  • The Sentinel Hill Press-cast – Episode 1, Sentinel Hill Press news, a look at issue #3, an interview with Chris Huth, and two snippets of New England folklore.

Shane Ivey and Adam Scott Glancy interviewed on d-Infinity Live (12/3/2015)

Shane Ivey and Dennis Detwiller interviewed on Microphones of Madness (11/28/2015)

Times of Daylight Saved

Oh geez, this blog has been left to go fallow for quite a while. I’m giving up on trying to recap all the news of the past two(!) months and will just hit the highlights of what I have been up to in these past few months.

Sentinel Hill Press:

  • We had our second annual ‘October-ganza‘ on the Sentinel Hill Press blog, covering topics relating to Call of Cthulhu and/or New England, including New England’s Islands, Boston’s ‘ghoulish’ history, and Native Americans in New England.
  • Issue #3 will be ready any day now – I am awaiting my printer proof copy to confirm that the layout is correct, and once that happens, copies will start going out to our Kickstarter backers, and it will become available for purchase on DriveThruRPG and at Chaosium’s online store just after.  The crew at the Cthulhu Breakfast Club flipped through an earlier proof copy recently on their show if you want to see a real life copy… in video.
  • We continue to look for submissions for future issues of the Arkham Gazette – likely topics include Kingsport, Dunwich, and ‘Law and Crime’ but we are interested in anything Lovecraft Country related.
  • For more about what’s coming next for Sentinel Hill Press, see this blog post.

Delta Green:

  • I was very pleased (and frankly flattered) to have a revised version of my Shotgun Scenario “Last Things Last” used as part of the free Quick-start rule set for the new Delta Green RPG, which completed a very successful Kickstarter campaign ($360k+).  I’ve set up a separate page on the blog here to collect all the real play recordings, actual play reports, and Handler advice (and hopefully some commentary from me on the genesis of the scenario) all in one place.  (I also pitched them a couple scenarios, but I’ve not heard back on those yet.)

Blog news:

  • I have been adding more information and making corrections to my Bibliography of New England Gravestone Carvers.  I think I’ve caught all the articles from Markers (the Association for Gravestone Study’s journal), up through issue #24 (as well as the first volume of the AGS’s newsletter, up through 1990).

Projects in development:

  • I am still (sorry!) revising my scenario “The Smoking Heart” for the Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion kickstarter backers.  Happily it will be released separately from the print copy of the Companion so my delays aren’t holding that project back.  I am sorry for the delays.  I’ve made a few stabs at the thing but keep being dissatisfied with the results and have torn it apart again.  My apologies to the all of the Kickstarter backers.
  • I am working on a scenario for a scenario collection.  Slow going, but my deadline is the end of the year, so I keep plugging away, an inch at a time.
  • I am also revising an old project, about which I cannot say anything else, at least at this time.

Other News:

  • Adam Gauntlett, one of my favorite RPG authors, has launched a Patreon account to fund his creation of more RPG materials.  Let’s see if we can boost that pledge level, shall we?
  • Yog-sothoth.com is running its 10th (!) annual Secret Shoggoth Yuletide gift exchange.  Members should definitely sign up.  I’ve done it every year and it is always a lot of fun.

Hopefully I will have more news soon!

What I’ve been up to, Lovecraft Country links, and a podcast roundup

July’s past the midway point and the gaming goes ever on…

I’ve been working on the finishing touches for issue #3 of the Arkham Gazette.  it’s not ready yet, but I will definitely be finished soon.  I’m excited and more than a little relieved.  Sorry it took so long.  The issue issue will be done sooner!  (If you’re interested in writing for the Gazette check out our most recent call for submissions.  We’ve already had two!)  I’ve also been slowly picking my way through the Jackson Elias scenario for the Masks Companion kickstarter backers.  Lastly I’ve tinkered at the giant bibliography of New England’s gravestone carvers, adding a few new references and links to academic articles we can find online.

Speaking of Lovecraft Country, here are some recent links from the Sentinel Hill Press blog and our G+ group:

In more general Call of Cthulhu news, Chaosium have restarted their Keeper promotions program and GoKeeper promotions programlden Goblin Press have received the print copies of De Horrore Cosmico; shipping starts tomorrow.

“But what of recent Lovecraftian podcasts?” you whisper, stroking an snow-white long-haired cat:

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.

October-ganza (week 1) and other updates

It has been a week, so let’s see what’s been transpiring in the realms of Lovecraftian RPGs…

Maybe I’ll carve a turnip this year…

The post-a-day fun of October-ganza continues on the Sentinel Hill Press blog.  Here’s a round-up of week one:

  1. All Saints’ Eve.  Hear Vincent Price read an eerie piece of short prose.
  2. Graves and Gravestones.  Links to the Farber Gravestone database and the Association for Gravestone Studies and its journal.
  3. Other October projects.  Links to Shoggoth.net’s Octobernomicon project and Scott Dorward’s horror movie review bonanza.
  4. Eerie audio.  ‘Cursed’ songs, creepy songs, and actual psychological warfare audio.
  5. Mythos stars.  Celestial bodies, not famous things.  Fomalhaut and so on.
  6. Lovecraft Country scenario index.  An index I’ve been working on of all the scenarios set in and around Lovecraft Country.
  7. The H.P. Lovecraft Literary podcast.  Maybe someone out there hasn’t listened to this fine program?

Ken und Robin weiterhin über Dinge zu sprechen  – this time they are talking about the business of being an RPG writer, an all-assassins setting (and not a single Sondheim reference!), avoiding plot contrivances, and synarchy (not in the UK, I assume).  What?  I’m tired of typing but didn’t want to call the show KaRTaS.

Meanwhile in the fecund gabfest empire of the Miskatonic University podcast, you have not one but two releases this weekend.  They managed to corner Keeper Jon to recount his tales of GenCon – spoilers: his travel to and from wasn’t just uneventful, but pleasant!  Additionally they released a regular episode, in which they talked about running published scenarios, multi-era games, and Roman UFOs.

Golden Goblin Press’ Kickstarter for De Horrore Cosmico (De… Horrore De… Horrore De… Horrore Cosssssimccooooo) has entered its last week… err final 4 days now.  They’re over $5000 away from the additional scenarios stretch goal.  GGP, unlike most Kickstarters, finishes their project on time and delivers promptly, so even if you’re not all that keen on Roman-era scenarios, at least give them a look.

Finally, speaking of Kickstarters, I won’t link to it, but there is another one out there for a Lovecraft adventure game “officially licensed by Lovecraft Holdings LLC”.  In case you weren’t aware of how silly this is from a copyright standpoint, I have some lovely beachfront property in R’lyeh for sale.

What is there that cries in the wind and streaming rain?

I am always glad when Fall (and especially the month of October) comes around.  We have some RPG news with witch to start the month:

  • The Horrors of War Kickstarter has successfully concluded.  While it fell short of the $32k stretch-goal, they did pretty well all things considered.
  • Golden Goblin Press have announced the stretch-goal I was waiting for – Terror on the Borderlands.  The first part is unlocked at $27,500 and includes two scenarios (from Oscar Rios and Chad Bouchard); the second at $30k includes three scenarios by new authors.
  • Soldiers of Pen and Ink, Adam Gauntlett’s Spanish Civil War era scenario for Trail of Cthulhu has been released. 72 pages (for about $18) of his usual high-caliber gaming material can now be yours.
  • I’ve also set the goal of posting something every day to the Sentinel Hill Press blog in advance of our release of issue #3 of the Arkham Gazette.

So grab a cup of apple cider and enjoy the mellow voiced terror of Vincent Price-