Metal Kings, New Orleans’ Beasts, and a 124 year old man

We’ve got a lot to cover today… First two new releases-

Cthulhu Reborn has unleashed The Machine King, a free Gaslight and Dreamlands scenario by Geoff Gillan.

Meanwhile Golden Goblin Press have released (to Kickstarter backers of Tales of the Crescent City only) The Black Goat of New Orleans, developed by New Orleans Mythos.

Gen Con is over and there are various after-action reports:

Speaking of Mr. Ivey, I’d like to note that, as per usual, I’ve been sent my payment for two pieces in the latest issue of the The Unspeakable Oath.  Arc Dream continues to be the most prompt-paying company I’ve written for.  Thanks!

A poster by Daniel Spitzer

Finally, today marks (among other things) two different anniversaries.  It is the 124th birthday of H.P. Lovecraft, without whom this blog would not exist. Here are few folks doing likewise:

I am of two mind about old Grandpa Howie.  On one hand he was a uniquely creative writer, synthesizing earlier horror writing with new fears and terrors of the 20th century, spawning not just the Cthulhu Mythos, but a community to foster his nightmare imaginings even after his death.  At the same time he was, even for his era, a racist and bigot, and wrote some pretty terrible things that we cannot wish away no matter to what degree these views may have softened or changed as he aged.  I think it is fitting, when we recall his good qualities we must also temper it by acknowledging his worst ones.   Today I think it best I have a small dish of ice cream (sorry, no beans and toast, my fandom only goes so far), think of HPL, and make a small donation in his name to a charity he would likely have despised.

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!)

 

A return to abnormalcy

The downside of a just-for-kicks blog is that when those times arise when you are kick deprived or even kick deficient, you have to let things slide a while. I’m hoping no one was too badly put out that my updates have been quasi-monthly of late.

Autoduel!!!In a nutshell – the whole of the the Tomes in Progress crew (i.e. me, the homunculus, and the mother of the homunculus) have moved westward, in a manner not wholly unlike the narrator of “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” (i.e. from New England to the Midwest, though thankfully no ichthyoid transformations have occurred). This took a couple of months to arrange, enact, and recover from. Leaving behind friends and family, as well as a home you’ve lived in for close to a decade is trying. It is only now that we have that wonderful conjunction of technology and time which allows me to, hopefully, restart blogging on a more regular basis. I fear though that the black squirrels that control my lawn are not my friends…

A bit of my gaming work has suffered, as is to be expected with a low (or no) pay sideline. My scenario for the forthcoming London Boxed Set had to be dropped. While I’m happy I got to make a small submission to that really excellent looking project, I wish I’d been able to wrap that up. I want to offer my thanks to Cubicle 7 and the magnanimous Stuart Boon in particular for being more than understanding. It may see the light of day somewhere, someday. Keep your fingers crossed.

The Arkham Gazette has been slowed but not stopped. The nice thing about working on a magazine is that there are lots of little projects that can be done, even in very short bursts. I’ve posted about the next issue’s status and sincerely hope to finish it up before the month is out. We’re still taking submissions for future issues, of course, with issue 3 most likely going to be focused on witches and witchcraft in Lovecraft Country.  I may talk the Miskatonic University Podcast crew into interviewing me about the next issue as well.  (By the way – their new ;yearbook’ Cephalophobia is beautiful.)

As for near term gaming news, aside from the Arkham Gazette I’ve got a couple pieces submitted to the Unspeakable Oath so I hope to have something in the next issue, which is supposed to be released shortly. A recent Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff episode spurred me to start yet another piece for the Oath as well. I hope to have news about the Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion print release soon as well. Watch this space… and Yog-Sothoth.com, since they get several order of magnitude more readers than I. There are one or two other long-dormant projects that have begun to quicken recently as well, though I cannot say more… yet.

I think the list of new Lovecraftian RPG products is up to date, at least it will be once I sort out the PDF dump the Modiphius crew put out recently. If I’ve missed something, let me know.

Speaking of which, if I owe you an email or a call, bear with me a little while longer or feel free to remind me to do so. Hopefully the stars will remain rights for a while.

What a year (part 1)

By great Nodens beard I’m beat, but, dear reader, I feel obliged to start my year-end wrap up before 2014 is too long in the tooth.

First off, I want to thank every one for the kind words regarding Oliver, on and off-line.

Secondly, in looking back at the past year in Lovecraftian gaming, I realize how much of it I haven’t had either the time or inclination to read. This is, in a way, a good thing, since it suggests just how much material was produced for Call of Cthulhu and related systems. I hope no one is too put out that I am not going to give a comprehensive review to every release.

Let’s get started!

Arc Dream Publishing
The Unspeakable Oath #22
The Unspeakable Oath #23

I’ve written for the Unspeakable Oath, so I’m far from unbiased, but I look forward to every issue. The Oath put out two issues this year, which is a pretty good pace. Hopefully now that they’ve had a successful subscription drive they’ll have the resources to do even more in the future. My only criticism is that, as much as I liked “Cold Dead Hand”, Adam Scott Glancy’s Soviet scenario in issue #23, I would rather it have been a stand-alone publication rather than 75% of one issue of the magazine. I want more Oath.

The Sense of the Sleight of Hand Man

I realized yesterday that I hadn’t actually finished reading the campaign (I got distracted around page 200), so I can’t say I’ve read the whole thing, BUT I think this is a great book. It’s a unique campaign, only the second ever set in the Dreamlands (after Kevin Ross’ neglected “The Dreaming Stone”). It is a fresh approach to the setting that I think should disabuse Dreamlands detractors of their disdain. It can seem a little railroaded, but I think most players will enjoy the ride so much, they won’t notice.

Cubicle 7
Folklore (print version)

It was nice to finally see this in print. Not essential, but an enjoyable addition to my collection, especially useful to those running games set in the UK or using Celtic myths and legends.

World War Cthulhu

Confession time… I haven’t read this and I’m not likely to pick it up any time soon. WWII just isn’t a gaming setting that piques my interest. It sounds as if the Cubicle 7 version is less pulpy than Modiphius’ Achtung! Cthulhu, but if I’m using the War, I think I’d go even darker.

Golden Goblin Press
Island of Ignorance

Last for today, but most certainly not least, is Golden Goblin Press’ first foray. A really solid scenario collection with a couple outstanding pieces, Island of Ignorance is an impressive debut from this fledgling publisher. My own tastes would have replaced the supplemental articles with scenarios but I respect Oscar Rios’ desire to emulate the CoC Companions of old. GGP also ran the best Kickstarter I’ve yet seen – on time and with very open lines of communication. Let’s hope they keep up the good work, which I very much think they will.

That’s enough for now – next time, the rest of the books

Random Encounter – 1d3 podcasts

We’ve got a couple of new blog episodes and some other minor bits to note:

Kidney!

(Confidential to {Kidney Disease Symptoms} When you said “Person.. I am not a lot into studying, but by some means I got to learn lots of content on your blog. Its wonderful how fascinating it is that i can visit a person very often. –” I had a few thoughts:

  • People respond to personal greetings, not being called ‘person’.
  • Your first sentence is awkward – try “I don’t enjoy studying but I did learn something from your blog.”
  • Try “I plan to visit your blog often.” for sentence #2.
  • If you’re going to randomly pick a name for your fake account ‘Kidney Disease Symptoms’ kinda sucks.

I hope that helps.)

Non-NecronomiCon news (updated)

(Let me try this one again… sadly a laptop crash ate my first attempt to post this.)

Whilst I collect my thoughts about the last half of Saturday and Sunday at NecronomiCon, I thought I might update other doings in the world of Lovecraftian gaming otherwise unrelated to the recent madness in Providence…

  1. The Sense of the Sleight of Hand Man has been released.
  2. The Unspeakable Oath won a Silver Ennie at GenCon.  Awesome.
  3. Other Lovecraftian winners include Modiphius Games and Pelgrane Press.
  4. The audio of the Delta Green panel discussion at GenCon is now available.
  5. There has been a new episode of The Good Friends of Jackson Elias.
  6. On that note, Chaosium has announced that Mike Mason will become their Call of Cthulhu line editor.
  7. The Kickstarter for Raider of R’lyeh has begun.  I’m in; it sounded interesting and I’ll jump at any new material from Kevin Ross (he’s doing a supplement about occultists in the Arkham area!)

I’m sure there is more but I hesitate to not post this post-haste and have it swallowed by the ether.

We’re number two!

I was reading the latest update from Shane Ivey regarding the Unspeakable Oath’s subscription drive and I noticed that Tomes in Progress was #2 among sites people had listed among web communities for free ads I future issues (and that The Arkham Gazette was #3). Woo hoo! Admittedly we only have one vote for each and trail those handsome devils at Yog-Sothoth.com by 2 huge votes, but still, it would be great to place and get some free publicity.

If you’re still on the fence about subscribing to the Oath– do it for your old pal TiP. I really want to see those unpublished scenarios.