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Goatswood Revisited?


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Poll: A New Goatswood Book from Miskatonic River Press would be: (455 member(s) have cast votes)

A New Goatswood Book from Miskatonic River Press would be:

  1. Voted A Modern Lovecraft-Country-esque book. (26 votes [34.67%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 34.67%

  2. A Classic Era (1920's) Lovecraft-Country-esque book. (43 votes [57.33%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 57.33%

  3. Of absolutely no interest to me. I have the other book and that's enough! (3 votes [4.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.00%

  4. Something Else Entirely (I'll Post My Thoughts) (3 votes [4.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.00%

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#1 tlynch999

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 02:58 AM

Evenin' everyone...

I'm considering a comprehensive sourcebook along the lines of the Lovecraft Country for Campbell's British settings, including details on the towns, monsters, personalities, etc from both the fiction and CoC games. The idea behind it is to create what the Goatswood book was originally intended to be: a setting book...not a campaign book.

To that end, I turn to my favorite group of CoC Keepers & players: the YSDC community. If MRP were to produce this would you want to see it? If you did, what would you want it to be?

And to further stir up the conversation, the author who pitched it to me would be none other than the author of the first one, the Master of the Malleus Monstrorum, Scott David Aniolowski.
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#2 Max Schreck

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 09:04 AM

I would like to see a Campbell Severn Valley book done in the same style as the Lovecraft Country books such as Arkham Unveiled and Kingsport, i.e. as a sourcebook describing the towns of the valley and other sites of interest in meticulous detail with buildings and NPCs. A couple of scenarios could round it off, just as in the Lovecraft Country supplements.

I prefer the modern era, as Campbell's mythos stories were set in the '60's and '70's. The sourcebook could deal with the mid- to late 20th century, but I would be equally satisfied with the present day.

Cheers,

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#3 Dr_Zarnak

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 09:57 AM

I'd love to see Campbell Country get the following treatment: one setting book (with a chapter devoted to each of the major locations - Brichester, Goatswood, Temphill, etc.), 1 scenario anthology, and 1 campaign book.

#4 David_Conyers

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 10:34 AM

Yes, definitely. Do it like a Secrets of... book with 3-5 scenarios. I'd like to see Secrets of Birchester as this would make an excellent base for investigators, and I'd like to see it set in the modern era so it can be played with Goatswood supplement, and because I think the setting will work well with modern (1960s is just not going to happen for me unless some other good supplements come out at the same time, like the His Master Voice trilogy from Cthulhu Conglomerate and the Veitnam War special from The Black Seal team.)

If that works, then do follow up supplements covering other areas of RC Country.

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#5 David_Conyers

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 10:36 AM

I think it would also be worth incorporating monsters, personallities, tomes, people etc from other Mythos authors who've used the UK as a setting, which is what most of the other sourcebooks do.

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#6 cpt_machine

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 10:38 AM

I would like to see it done right as theres is so much material there to be used and I am annoyed at how it was treated in the Goatswood book.

Yes a lovecraft county book would be nice and try to avoid the "this is how british people are" section, i understand the readership is mainly in the US but is isnt needed and this information is readily aviable elsewhere and done better. Its a waste of pages and in all my time reading source books I've never seen it done right.

While the majority of the material is from Cold Print for the Goatswood books, please include references to his other books, hes a very good horror writer and even stories not set in Severn Valley deserve a mention if the monster fits the setting.

I never enjoyed the lovecraft county format of giving a map of a town and labelling everything, I also found that to be a waste of paper, I much prefer how the secrets books approach settings. I found that the New York book had alot more ideas and information in it that the Arkham book.

While I would like the books to cover multiple eras dont fall down that trap as it means repeating information to cover the changes over time. However a few side bars explaining key differences would be most welcome.

Finally I recommend a chapter or appendix at the back talking about Delta Green, since under the Countdown books goatwood has been destroyed and is now the site for Severn Aerospace and the moon lens and the shan ship is located within.
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#7 malcojones

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 11:26 AM

With respect to everyone who has already posted, and to Scott Aniolowski who is obviously disappointed that Chaosium's book didn't end up doing what he had hoped, I don't think this is a good idea.

That's my tuppence. Why do I say so?

I've read the Chaosium book and the stories and while I would accept that there are flaws in some of the scenarios I don't think its as bad a book as it is sometimes thought of. It's as good as the source fiction that generated it.

The better ideas, GOOs and monsters (Glaaki, Y'golonac, Eihort), have been picked up and run with by numerous game authors in scenarios set in places other than those where anyone who knows the tales expects them to be.

The contents of all the tales cheek by jowl in the same area (alien spacecraft as part of the landscape here, village of cultists there) diminish rather than enhance the overall impression in a way that cannot be levelled against HPL.

A 'Secrets of...' treatment of the same territory isn't going to overcome this despite the MRP touch.

A country-spanning Cthulhu Britannica 1920s campaign that could link into / follow on from Tatters of the King would be better.

That must be thruppence by now. I hope this is helpful. Best, malcojones.

#8 glyph

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 11:53 AM

Hopefully you can find some people who know their stuff about 20s or Modern Britain; I've heard some of the horror stories about writers only thinking there's only a few miles of countryside and sheep between London and Scotland devoid of civilization.

There's somebody on the site who's been putting together a Goatswood book, Evans I think. It might be worth chatting to him.

#9 GBSteve

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 12:12 PM

there's only a few miles of countryside and sheep between London and Scotland devoid of civilization.


As a Londoner, I'm not sure what's wrong with this point of view. But yeah, it would be just super to have a person who has a passing knowledge of the old place have some input. It's not like there aren't any number of UK Mythos writers who would be happy to oblige.

Obviously you'll get a different sense of the place depending on who you ask, but as long as it's recognisably Britain, I won't mind, even if you get a Daily Mail reader to do the job.
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#10 Evans

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 12:34 PM

For what its worth (just to get my pride'sworth) I had written a few short sections on Goatswood and Clotton and Camside in the 70s. (that is set in the 70s)

I would love to see Miskatonic River Press take on the challange of revamping the Severn Valley though. I'm not sure if its any help but I think I might have a list of geographic details I noted down from every Campbell story set in that area somewhere. If theres anything I can do just ask.

#11 Dr_Locrian

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 01:46 PM

For what its worth (just to get my pride'sworth) I had written a few short sections on Goatswood and Clotton and Camside in the 70s. (that is set in the 70s)

I would love to see Miskatonic River Press take on the challange of revamping the Severn Valley though. I'm not sure if its any help but I think I might have a list of geographic details I noted down from every Campbell story set in that area somewhere. If theres anything I can do just ask.


Evans, you'd have a lot to offer this project! I really like what you've done so far.

Personally, what I'd like to see is something along the lines of the Los Angeles or Arkham Unveiled books--lots of locations detailed with little scenario seeds, with an adventure or two to round things out. Ideally a 60's-70's setting would be best, but I understand that there would be very little support for the period.

But most of all, it would be great to use stories and novels that haven't been written about quite as much--there are so many evocative horrors in the later stories that could be mined to great effect in this setting.

#12 David_Conyers

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 03:26 PM

One thing I'd like to see in general are specific regions of the world in certain times developed in detail. Lovecraft Country in the 1920s is pretty much set up. The Secrets of... books do that, but with no back up supplements for any of them. Gaslight could have done a lot with the 1890s London but didn't quiet get there. And so on...

What I'd really like to see MRP or 60SP or someone else do is pick their own region of the world and do it in detail. A series of United Kingdom books including some of Severn Valley set in the modern era would be great, so long as it looked beyond just Ramsey Campbell mythos and incorporated a lot of other authors (Stross, Lumley are two that spring to mind). That way which ever publisher did it could really "own" that setting.

Perhaps we might even get to see a reprint and updated version of "The Curse of the Bone" (Not sure on exact title here) as well.

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#13 cjearkham

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 03:48 PM

I voted for a '20s book. Chaosium's book provides the region in modern times, but Classic players wanting to use the Severn Valley have nothing to lean on other than Green and Pleasant Land for general info. It seems to me '20s players in general usually need help in determining what life was actually like 80 years ago -- for example, when 30 miles an hour was top speed on paved roads, it can take much longer to get places that you'd usually think -- let alone what it was like in a more rural setting where horses and dirt roads were the norm.

try to avoid the "this is how british people are" section, i understand the readership is mainly in the US but is isnt needed and this information is readily aviable elsewhere and done better.

I agree, but a "This is how rural people were back then" section might be more useful.

I never enjoyed the lovecraft county format of giving a map of a town and labelling everything, I also found that to be a waste of paper, I much prefer how the secrets books approach settings. I found that the New York book had alot more ideas and information in it that the Arkham book.

I see them as filling different needs. With a real-life location, there are many other ways to get info on it, but a fictional location needs more detail, especially when, as in the case of Arkham, there's a potential for the place to be used regularly by a group (e.g., as a home base).

Finally I recommend a chapter or appendix at the back talking about Delta Green, since under the Countdown books goatwood has been destroyed and is now the site for Severn Aerospace and the moon lens and the shan ship is located within.

I suspect one licensee's referring to another licensee's products could get legally tricky. Best to let those who are interested in Delta Green use DG products for their info.
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#14 sda

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 04:37 PM

Okay, so I guess I'll wade in since this is my proposed project.

First off, there have been a lot of fine suggestions. Nice to see the interest.

So let me give you my take and reasoning on this whole thing.... When I first proposed the Goatswood book many, many years ago I proposed it to be a part of (well, an offshoot, anyway) of the Lovecraft Country books. I proposed it as a 1920's era book set up exactly like Arkham Unveiled and the rest. My editor countered with a couple points: First he felt it needed to be modern as Campbell wrote in the modern era (well, the 60's and 70's, but the editor didn't think there would be enough changes to the rural UK settings to make a whole lot of difference bewteen 1960's70's and the 1980's/90's (when it was first proposed). 2. He didn't want a sourcebook like the Lovecraft Country books -- he wanted the source material to be given in a series of connected scenarios -- a campaign.

I didn't like the ideas (especially the campaign idea), but as this was the only way he was going to take the book I agreed. Then things changed and staff at Chaosium changed and a whole bunch of books in the works got the axe. Including Goatswood. Then Pagan picked the book up but eventually decided against it. It languished for something like ten years when i gave it over to good pal Gary Sumpter. He finished it off and cut the new deal with Chaosium to publish it. And so it came out. Sadly, by then a few of the more "topical" scenarios were outdated. There was a lot of complaints about the book since it was advertised as a Goatswood sourcebook but really wasn't anything like a soucrebook.

All that aside, I still stand by the quality of the material and still really like the end product. It just isn't the book I originally pitched and wanted to do.

That's where my new pals at MRP come in. I pitched this to them and, well, here we are. What I have in mind is a SOURCEBOOK like the other Lovecraft Country books: maps of towns with descriptions of the people, sites and monsters created by Campbell and others. There have been a lot of stories written in and around the area since Ramsey started out, and I plan to incorporate as much of that as possible. And for what its worth, I agree about the "this is what British people are like" section. That stuff never really works well or captures the true essence of the culture.

There would be chapters on each of the different Severn Valley settings chocked full of the characters and monsters set there along with enough real world stuff to make it a workable setting to live and adventure in. I don't know as a SERIES of Secrets of books, for instance, would work -- these are a lot of small villages and towns, so I think it best to do them all together....

In any event, there you are. From the proverbial horse's mouth.
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#15 FunGuyfromYuggoth

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 05:03 PM

Thing sounds like a great project. The poll leans towards the Classic Era, but there was a lot of interest in a Modern version. Would a pitch to Pagan make more sense for a separate Modern version?

#16 WinstonP

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 05:05 PM

I would favor a classic era book, along the Lovecraft Country lines, as this is the most popular era and would probably be of the greatest use to the most Keepers.

That being said I would hope that the book would incorporate, as appropriate, the works of other authors as, enjoyable as his tales are, Mr. Campbell's works aren't the only to tread this ground.

My fears for a modern book revolve around integration/conflict with the situation in the Severn Valley, as posited in DG: Countdown.

I would hope that someone (or someones) British is involved in the process, at least in review, so we can avoid any complaints about getting something wrong; not that I would expect such errors from MRP or Mr Aniolowski, of course. There are quite a lot of CoC gamers over there I've heard. :)

(In my dreams I see a parallel book set in the Severn Valley in the 60s or 70s, a kind of dark echo to one or more of the scenarios in the 20s book, that lets us all play out some dark Campbellian horror in the original work's era...)

#17 tlynch999

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 05:26 PM

I would hope that someone (or someones) British is involved in the process, at least in review, so we can avoid any complaints about getting something wrong...

I'll make sure to get a few volunteers to look over anything to ensure an accurate depiction of our friends in Great Britain. Happily, there are one or two such people on these very boards that leap to mind...

...not that I would expect such errors from MRP or Mr Aniolowski, of course.

I truly hope to avoid that, and thus will look to experts. While I know people in and from England, and have been there a few times, I'm far from an expert and would thus need a resident's set of eyes to look it over to verify everything.

All great input, folks...keep it coming! Thank you!
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#18 Robin

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 05:35 PM

What I have in mind is a SOURCEBOOK like the other Lovecraft Country books: maps of towns with descriptions of the people, sites and monsters created by Campbell and others. There have been a lot of stories written in and around the area since Ramsey started out, and I plan to incorporate as much of that as possible.

There would be chapters on each of the different Severn Valley settings chocked full of the characters and monsters set there along with enough real world stuff to make it a workable setting to live and adventure in.


This sounds exactly like what I hoping for in the original book. I'd very much hope a new book was tied to the period of the stories, or perhaps a little bit later.

On a related note, issue two of The Black Seal carried an article called 'Places of Interest in Brichester' by Nik Brownlow. I've not read it recently, but I remember it feeling somehow right. Very importantly, the art for the piece was spot on, with images that were genuinely British - I don't know who the artist was, but I'd be hoping for that sort of knowledge of British architecture.

Regards

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#19 ProfSpender

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 08:11 PM

I voted for Classic Era, because, if you think about it, most of Campbell's Mythos stories, while set in the 1960s, are closer to the 20s than to the modern day in feel. Backwards villages and wild forests dominate, and olny a few later stories are recognizable modern. I'd argue that Campbell Country isn't even really set in the 60s or 70s, as far as I know Britain in that time period.

A possible compromise might be to set the book in a later era and include info on earlier eras in each (or most) entries.

#20 David_Conyers

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 08:56 AM

That's where my new pals at MRP come in. I pitched this to them and, well, here we are. What I have in mind is a SOURCEBOOK like the other Lovecraft Country books: maps of towns with descriptions of the people, sites and monsters created by Campbell and others. There have been a lot of stories written in and around the area since Ramsey started out, and I plan to incorporate as much of that as possible. And for what its worth, I agree about the "this is what British people are like" section. That stuff never really works well or captures the true essence of the culture.

There would be chapters on each of the different Severn Valley settings chocked full of the characters and monsters set there along with enough real world stuff to make it a workable setting to live and adventure in. I don't know as a SERIES of Secrets of books, for instance, would work -- these are a lot of small villages and towns, so I think it best to do them all together....


It sounds really good. By all means use Severn Valley as a base for all these scenarios, but as you pointed out there is other material from other authors that could be incorporated into the setting, that way I suspect it would appeal to more gamers, because anyone whose being playing Call of Cthulhu for a while already has stats on all the Campbell gods, monsters and tomes.

Also, what about some of the mythos authors writting now, incorporating some of their material into the game. This helps to promote these writers and keeps the Mythos genre alive.

What I'd like to see is a book set out like Secrets of Kenya or Secrets of New York, with locations that are actually usable, like a hotel, or a library, and characters from Campbell and other authors fiction that could be incorporated into the setting (how you do this outside the 1960s/1970s I'm not sure).

Also worth looking at are the three issues of The Black Seal, which holds a lot of info on Britain and Severn Valley which might be useful for that setting.

After reading several comments on this forum, I think 1920s could work just as well as the modern era.

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