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?

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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!)

 

The Shoggoth is Unleashed! (and less monstrous news)

(Please excuse the perfunctory version of this I posted last night.)

Let’s gather up the news, shall we?

A Link roundup, from Leng to ‘Dick a Tuesday’

Mon dieu! It is already June. Better update the blog!

I’ve been mulling over an essay I read detaling Lovecraft’s racism and antisemitism. It deserves a longer response beyond a perfunctory mention, but I wanted to at least highlight it now.

I’ve updated the list of Lovecraftian RPG materials for 2014, including a new Trail of Cthulhu collection and a batch of scenarios for the Laundry.

On the podcast front – the Good Friends of Jackson Elias talked about player-lead gaming, the Miskatonic University Podcast gang talked about map resources and moon-beasts, while Ken and Robin talked about Robin’s trip to the Chimeriades game convention in France, the Lemurian of Mount Shasta, and Canada’s own evil clown Rob Ford.

Speaking of the MUP, Keeper Jon’s next project for Goodman Games – “Starfall Over the Plateau of Leng” is having a Kickstarter to upgrade the book from paper back to hardback among other improvements.

I’ve reissued my call for submissions at the Arkham Gazette next issue. Pretty please?

From the rumor desk… I might be a GenCon this year. Please remain calm.

Finally, whilst doing some rather meandering research, I came upon The Devil and His Imps, a journal article from 1895 as part of the Transactions of the American Philological Association (vol. 26), which provides a fascinating etymological discussion of a host of British supernatural beings. The author, Charles P.G. Scott, lays out a rather amusing roll-call of ever imaginable traditional folkloric entity from the United Kingdom:

With this view having recently felt moved to take the matter up sooner than I expected when I laid it aside I began to write up the Devil and his Imps placing at first no limit on their number I had no sooner thrown open the doors than the air was darkened by a grisly flight of black winged demons and the ground was covered by a trooping host of uncanny creatures of vague unseemly forms and unassorted sizes Devils, Devilets, Devilings, Dablets, and other Imps, Black Angels, Black Men, Black Bears, Black Bulls, Black Dogs, Bogles and Bogies and Boggards, Bollies and Boodies, Bugs, Bugaboos, and Bugbears, Bullbears, Bull beggars, Barghests and Boghests, Boggleboes and Boboggles, Boocows and Boomen, Churchgrims, Demons, Dobbies, Doolies, Gallybeggars, Galliments, Goblins, Hobs, Hob Goblins, Hob Thursts, Hob Thrushes, Hodge Pokers, Lobs, Padfoots, Pokers, Pookas, Pucks, Puckles, Pugs, Thurses, Urchins, Woodwoses, Banshees, Cluricaunes, Leprechauns, Logherimans, Mermaids, Mermen, Merrows, Kelpies, Necks, Nicks, Nickers, Nixes, Nixies, Niogles, Shagfoals, Shocks, Shucks, the family of Ghosts, Specters, Spooks, Vampires, Fetches, Swarths, Warths, Waiths, the half saved tribes of Elves, Fairies, Fays, Brownies, Buccas, Spriggans, Knockers, Nisses, Piskies, Pixies, Colepixies, Drows, and Trolls with ‘Jack with the Lantern’, ‘Kit with the Candlestick’ and ‘Will with the Wisp’ lighting their darker kinsmen and the Shoopiltie, the Shellycoat, the Ganfir, the Bwbach, and his Welsh brethren in the background; the Deuce, the Devil, the Dickens, Ragamuffin, Ruffin, Humdudgeon, and Tantrabobus and all their company; the neglected family of Scarecrows and Wussets all these came up for an historical and etymological review I might have been appalled by the troop of dark and yelling demons and bogles or by the task of all these came up for an historical and etymological review, or by the task of explaining their denominations ; but it is well known that in the still air of etymology no passions, either of fear or hate or joy, can exist, and that etymologists, indeed, consider it their duty to feel no emotions, unless it be gratification at finding their work improved and their errors rectified, by an other and a better etymologist. This sometimes happens.

The whole article is worth a read, of course.

 

“That old lie…”†

(to die pointlessly in a pile of French or Belgian mud, Turkish sand, Iraqi muck, or what have you)

Prolific (and skilled) Trail of Cthulhu author Adam Gauntlett has had a trio of his World War One scenarios bundled up and released in printDulce et Decorum Est collects “Vaterland”, “Dead Horse Corner” and “Sisters of Sorrow” (only the last previously released as a PDF). As with all of his work, I highly recommend it. To date in 2014 Adam has had a hand in creating 3 of the 8 releases I’ve listed on my “New Releases” page. Well done!

Oddly I’ve had the outline of a scenario called “Pro Patria Mori” floating around for over a decade now, though set after the war, since my remit has mostly been the 1920s. Perhaps I should dust that off…

† If you’re unfamiliar with where the collection’s title (or my post’s title) originate, A) call your former schools and complain and B) look here.

Blog recommendations

I’m still working on a draft of my next installment of “Memories of the Orient Express”, but in the mean time I thought I might suggest two other blogs to check out whilst I’m otherwise engaged.

Top of my list is Adam Gauntlett’s Ephemera.  Adam’s written for Call of Cthulhu (“Spare the Rod” and “See No Evil“) as well as for Trail of Cthulhu (“Not So Quiet“, “Flying Coffins“) but he is perhaps best known for his book reviews that appeared on the late lamented Yog Radio, “The Bookshelf“.  He’s well-read and offers a lot of great ideas, especially for for Trail of Cthulhu and Bookhounds of London.

I’ve talked about Dean Englehart’s Cthulhu Reborn (and especially his interview series “State of the Tentacle” interviews).  He is also put together loads of great free scenarios and an awesome program to create your own newspaper handouts.  His most recent post described his process in crafting newspaper articles and is a must read for those looking to make their own.

Enjoy.

Halloween minus seven days

It’s been a busy month here in WinstonP-land, with family trips, pressing assignments, and an exciting bout of illness keeping me occupied.  To put it another way, it wasn’t until today when I found time to get the Halloween decorations out of the attic… three weeks after my usual unpack the decorations date.

First off, I’ve finished the Hapden County graveyard map.  See it here.

Next, my friends at the Unspeakable Oath have updated their submission guidelines.  On the plus side, the rate for the short fiction “Message in a Bottle” section has been upped to $100.   On the down side, regular pieces like “Mysterious Manuscripts” and “Arcane Artifacts” have been switched from a by the word rate of 4 cents to a flat $20.  Incentive to keep them short I suppose… (and for reference, I was paid around $30ish for my previous submissions)  At least the longer articles remain at 4 cents a word.  I’m still working on a piece for a future issue, pending acceptance (and completion, of course.)  If they don’t have a new episode of their podcast soon though, I might unleash Hecubus upon them again.

Finally, I have updated the 2012 Lovecraftian RPG list to include the latest PDF release from the gang at Pelgrane – Sister of Sorrow; yet another WWI scenario from the fertile mind of Adam Gauntlett… this time, featuring submarines!

That’s it for now… hopefully I will have more news on the Companion… and other projects… soon.  (Oh, and I’ve passed the 4000th page hit.  Thank you Russian Spam millionaires!)