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!

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.

 

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)

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:

Guns, lots of guns (and other news)

Time continues to race by, as it always seems to when I have a project overdue!

First off, I’m still working on issue #3 of the Arkham Gazette. Hopefully our next issue won’t take nearly as long! It will definitely be shorter. Our goal is to have a draft of the issue, sans scenario, available for our backers before the end of the month, with the issue itself getting a regular release soon after. I’m more likely to update the Kickstarter (and our G+ group) before I post something here, if you’re awaiting it with bated breath.

Text by Hans-Christian Vortisch, cover by Chris Huth

Sixtystone Press just announced that their Print on Demand version of their excellent Investigator Weapons vol 2: Modern Day is now available. Buy it now for an excellent discount!

We’ve had, oddly enough, lots of podcasts in the month since my last update:

(and very incongruously for the above gun and podcast talk, I am currently listening to this: https://youtu.be/Rgb8am3NQU0 . Such is life.)