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Shimmin Bloeg


On Cults of Chaos

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in Keeping 26 February 2016 · 703 views

So, Chaosium have the Cult of Chaos going on, and it's a great idea. It's a thing people have done throughout the history of the hobby, and it's just better all round if there's active support for that from Chaosium. I'm intrigued by the idea, partly because it seems like a way to meet people with compatible tastes. I moved recently, and currently ha...


Some writing updates

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in design, scenario 25 February 2016 · 515 views

After nearly two years of sporadic work, I feel like I've finally put The Perishing of Sir Ashby Phipps as close to finished as it's going to get pending major sensible editorial suggestions. Hoorah, I suppose? 
I'm now waiting for the chance to run a playtest with my group, which looks like it will be sometime in May, as I'll be abroad for a while...


Fun-sizing the Great Old Ones: Ghatanothoah

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in Call of Cthulhu, design, Keeping 19 February 2016 · 860 views

Part four of a continuing, erratic series on using Great Old Ones. Ghatanothoah is one of the “lurking menace” gods, which I roughly file with Eihort. It is mostly notable for being so ugly that anyone beholding it will be turned to stone, yet their brain will live on forever into hideous insanity. Unlike Eihort, it's extremely passive and there's...


On naming scenarios

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in design 09 February 2016 · 1,141 views

This is based (as in, there is some copy-pasting) on a forum post I made ages ago, but I've been thinking about it again recently due to, well, trying to write a bunch of scenarios: What's a good name for a Call of Cthulhu scenario? Scenario titles need to fulfil several different functions, and these pull in slightly different direction. Ident...


Scenario Overload

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in Call of Cthulhu, design, scenario 25 January 2016 · 632 views

I seem to be a bit overwhelmed with ideas at the moment. It's a bit of a regular problem to be honest. Having moved home recently, I'm separated from my old gaming groups. I'm still playing in two online campaigns, one D&D and one World of Darkness (and both really fun). However, it does mean I'm left without a creative outlet. I'm not sure I cou...


A Librarian Researches: Still Writing Perishing

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in design, scenario 22 January 2016 · 603 views

I'm working through my suggested corrections, amendments and edits from two kind beta-readers on The Perishing of Sir Ashby Phipps . Having got the scenario itself more or less nailed down (I hope) it's time to provide what the Keeper needs: information. The scenario takes place in and around Lincoln in the mid-19th century, and that's not going to be a...


Research plans for Lincoln

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in design 21 December 2015 · 577 views

So my beloved Perishing of Sir Ashby Phipps is undergoing its second beta-reading (gamma-reading?). At this point I'm hoping that major revisions are over, and that the main things I'll need to do are adjust the order of material (to make it as usable as possible for people who aren't me) and fill in any unspoken assumptions. 
There are some sectio...


The Perishing Perishing

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in design, scenario 16 September 2015 · 873 views

I am very slowly working my way through the myriad suggestions, criticisms, line edits and clarifications to The Perishing of Sir Ashby Phipps kindly suggested by my generous beta-readers. So far I have worked through four pages of critique, which may not sound like a lot but involved hours of work: although there weren't major structural changes, s...


No Games Day for me

Posted by Shimmin Beg , 19 July 2015 · 605 views

Very reluctantly, I'm having to skip YSDC Games Day yet again. I was really hoping to take part this year, and finally meet a few of the fine folks I've run across here. I mentally put aside the time when it was first announced and planned very much to go. It sounds brilliant. 
Unfortunately, that plan was predicated on my having secured a new job...


Special Collections: bonus library link

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in tomes, inspiration 17 July 2015 · 548 views

My blogging is pretty lackadaisical at the moment due to various real life complications. So rather than add to the Special Collections myself, let me introduce you to the Magdalen Treasure of the Month blog .  
This blog, written by a librarian friend of mine, includes all kinds of fun rarities. Mediaeval botanicals for a Prince Bishop ? A colleg...


Ogham Cthulhu

Posted by Shimmin Beg , 28 June 2015 · 594 views

Some mere handful of you may be aware of the Cthulhu Breakfast Club . A smaller number might remember an odd little artefact that recently appeared on the show. 
I did send it anonymously, but will now raise my head above the parapet to say that I've published a blogpost outlining the conception, creation and meaning of the Ogham stone package. I p...


Fun-sizing the Great Old Ones: Yog-Sothoth

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in Call of Cthulhu, design, Keeping 27 June 2015 · 990 views

Part three of a continuing, erratic series on using Great Old Ones. Yoggie is one of the woobly Great Old Ones, which I mentally lump in with Azathoth, Daoloth and so on. They share a few traits:
They’re some variety of huge, nebulous mass
They’re not tied to a physical location
They can in some sense be summoned, although it seems like this is a di...


Fun-sizing the Great Old Ones: Cthulhu

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in Call of Cthulhu, design, Keeping 27 May 2015 · 998 views

In a previous post (also discussed in my other blog , because I'm disorganised, I suppose?) I talked about what makes a Great Old One difficult or easy to use in a scenario. I'm continuing today with the Big Green himself.

Cthulhu presents a few problems. I’ll talk about his home later. In terms of Cthulhu himself, his physical form is one of the iss...


Fun-sizing the Great Old Ones: Azathoth

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in Call of Cthulhu, design, Keeping 18 May 2015 · 1,041 views

Challenge accepted.

For clarity, I’m not claiming to have a One True Canonical version of anything here. I specifically think these are difficult entities to use, and am trying to draw out a more user-friendly interpretation.

I think there are three main things that make a GOO easier to use:
cues I can throw in that evoke the feel of that GOO during th...


Thoughts on "Black Wings"

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in review, Uncategorized 22 March 2015 · 1,109 views

Recently, I finally reached the end of the hefty Black Wings , “Twenty-One Tales of Lovecraftian Horror” edited by S.T. Joshi. I picked it up a while ago in a burst of enthusiasm after it was discussed on the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast, but hadn’t got round to finishing it. Last year was dedicated to a focused reading project, in an attempt to cut down...


Actual Play: Rigid Air

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in review, Call of Cthulhu, Keeping, actual play, scenario 12 February 2015 · 637 views

This is a review of Rigid Air from Fearful Passages .

Regular readers (as if!) might be puzzled to see this title, because I reviewed Rigid Air some time ago: http://www.yog-sotho...wish-rigid-air/

I gave a fairly favourable review based on my reading, and decided to put it on my Keeping pile in the hope of running it even...


Tomefoolery, part seven

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in tomes, Keeping 10 February 2015 · 421 views

I've now written my seventh (and probably final) post about using Tomes of Ultimate Evil in RPGs. This time, I talk about disposal and destruction of tomes. This post is more general than some, and suited to many kinds of artefact destruction, as well as tomes that are only a bit evil - like most Mythos tomes!

I discuss options for keeping things hidd...


Libraries are terrible at roleplaying games, you can help

Posted by Shimmin Beg , 30 January 2015 · 851 views

So recently I've been merrily cataloguing my vast collection of PDFs on LibraryThing, adding them to my existing list of printed books. One of the thing I noticed, particularly with the PDFs but also with the books, is that as soon as you start on roleplaying materials, you're pretty much on your own.

LibraryThing lets you tap hundreds of existing catal...


First draft of Perishing complete

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in Call of Cthulhu, design, scenario 28 January 2015 · 528 views

After months of sporadic work, I've finally done something surprising - actually finished one of my scenarios! My few previous games have either been prewritten or skeletal things that I improvised around on the fly. This time, I have a fat, juicy 30-page scenario with what I fervently hope is a complete and coherent plot.

The thing I probably found ha...


Special Collections: A Dream of the Hills and the Hills

Posted by Shimmin Beg , in Call of Cthulhu, tomes, inspiration 24 December 2014 · 805 views

This is the third in this irregular series where I offer some unusual tomes based on my experience in library work, starting with a non-standard tome type and turning it into an example, along with a few ideas for how they might be used.


Substantial libraries’ Special Collections holdings often include things that don’t really fall into any of t...