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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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#21 sda

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 01:57 PM

More good feed back.

To address a few points: yes, I intend to utilize the creations of other authors beyond just Campbell. Also to include useful real world entries such as hotels and shops so that the investigators can fully make use of the area for adventuring AND living, and not just hop from weird site to weird site....
Scott David Aniolowski, Master of the Malleus Monstrorum


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#22 Robin

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 07:08 PM

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


Unfortunately, that would reduce my interest considerably (though not entirely). I'm after a book that doesn't just name-check Campbell's contribution to the Mythos, but also draws on the themes and style of his fiction in general, and for that I think we're looking at something post-war and (increasingly) urban. That's not to say I want something that's early 21st century and set in Liverpool, just something that complements Campbell's work.

The other advantage is that many of us here have lived in the UK during the 60s, 70s and 80s. Nostalgia and age may taint our memories in curious ways, but I think we could offer authors good advice and an authentic atmosphere because of this.


Regards

Robin

#23 Gallowglass

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 11:11 PM

I cannot emphasise how important I think it is to set such a source book in the 'present' Campbell was writing for: the Britain of the 1960's and 1970's.

Later works could explore the region in other era's, but to catch the essence of Campbell's Severn Valley mythos fiction and do it justice I really think this needs to focus on that era: and lets be clear that Britain in 1965 was a radically different culture and society to Britain in 1995. And that applies to rural Britain as much as it does to urban Britain.

And I'd dearly love to see such a source book.

Cheers,

Nick Middleton

#24 HomoLupusDomesticus

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 11:25 PM

I've given this some thought and come to the conclusion that this sourcebook would probably do Campbell's mythos setting most justice if it was set in the modern era. I'm not sure which year exactly but I would like for it to also incorporate Campbell's more recent works that are set in the Severn Valley such as The Darkest Part of the Woods.

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#25 Evans

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 11:52 PM

I've given this some thought and come to the conclusion that this sourcebook would probably do Campbell's mythos setting most justice if it was set in the modern era. I'm not sure which year exactly but I would like for it to also incorporate Campbell's more recent works that are set in the Severn Valley such as The Darkest Part of the Woods.


I can not agree with you enough here Domesticus, Goodmans Wood definately needs its own section. There is a new Campbell mythos story coming out soon in S.T Joshi's Black Wings anthology so it might be best to se if it turns up anything interesting as well.

#26 David_Conyers

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 02:06 AM

I cannot emphasise how important I think it is to set such a source book in the 'present' Campbell was writing for: the Britain of the 1960's and 1970's.


As nice as such a book would be, I don't think it would be commercial, unless it was part of a series of 1960s sourcebooks, which also covered the period as well as the Mythos, otherwise it might as well be modern day.

David Conyers | http://www.david-conyers.com.


#27 tlynch999

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 03:20 AM

I cannot emphasise how important I think it is to set such a source book in the 'present' Campbell was writing for: the Britain of the 1960's and 1970's.


As nice as such a book would be, I don't think it would be commercial, unless it was part of a series of 1960s sourcebooks, which also covered the period as well as the Mythos, otherwise it might as well be modern day.

David's beaten me to it. While it would be wonderful to be true to the setting and to Mr. Campbell's work, when you get down to it, we're trying to create a book that sells. I understand the desire make it perfect, but if we make it so perfect that it stands by itself, we're dooming it to failure...and risking taking MRP with it.

That's not saying I'm chucking any info I'm getting. Completely the contrary. Scott and I will have many and varied conversations on this I am sure. Whatever we do, though, has to be able to add to people's games, since this is a game book after all. If we have a book set in an era all by itself, a few people will use it for a bit, and then realize they effectively have to start over in a different era with different books, because they've run out of material.
Tom Lynch
President & Managing Editor
Miskatonic River Press

#28 David_Conyers

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 11:55 AM

While it would be wonderful to be true to the setting and to Mr. Campbell's work, when you get down to it, we're trying to create a book that sells. I understand the desire make it perfect, but if we make it so perfect that it stands by itself, we're dooming it to failure...and risking taking MRP with it.


Looking at it commercially (again), a modern book works better because it can be played inconjunction with Chaosium's Goatswood supplement, and any 1920s British material it could be played in conjuction with is out of print.

David Conyers | http://www.david-conyers.com.


#29 sda

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 01:53 PM

While it would be wonderful to be true to the setting and to Mr. Campbell's work, when you get down to it, we're trying to create a book that sells. I understand the desire make it perfect, but if we make it so perfect that it stands by itself, we're dooming it to failure...and risking taking MRP with it.


Looking at it commercially (again), a modern book works better because it can be played inconjunction with Chaosium's Goatswood supplement, and any 1920s British material it could be played in conjuction with is out of print.


Some very solid points. No, in reality I cannot see doing a setting book in an era (60's/70's UK) where there is no other material/support. It would be a one-shot sort of thing that most people probably wouldn't ever use. Modern probably works best and it would be interesting to revisit his characters 30 or 40 years after their initial tangle with the Mythos and see what they were up to now....
Scott David Aniolowski, Master of the Malleus Monstrorum

#30 Robin

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 05:12 PM

Modern probably works best and it would be interesting to revisit his characters 30 or 40 years after their initial tangle with the Mythos and see what they were up to now....


Modern I can live with (as long as there's some robust examination by the locals). What's more, you get to do history, which covers Gaslight, Classic, WWII, 60s/70s, and right up to Now. Something for everyone!

However, it does raise the question of whether or not to tie it to the Delta Green material.

Regards

Robin

#31 jasonw1239

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 05:22 PM

The lovely Severn as it passes through Shrewsbury. I took this photo in 1984.
On the right you can see how thick the foliage is where it borders the river.
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Author of Secrets of Tibet & scenario author in Tales of the Caribbean from GGP


#32 tlynch999

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 06:05 PM

That guy on the kayak is TOAST!
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#33 FJR

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 07:10 PM

Yes, I thought about this for a while too, before pipping for the '1920s' option.
I've only gotten into Campbell over the past 2 years, but am now a convert.
I would buy either a modern or '20s setting book (even a 50s/60s/70s!),
but I went for the '20s as it's my preferred context for Call of Cthulhu stuff.
It was a difficult choice though, and to be honest, as someone else above said,
to do justice to the urban decay and sometime seediness of Campbell's evoked world/s,
it would proably be more faithfully served by going for the modern option.
So, whatever it turns out to be, I'm sold anyway (and yes I do have the Chaosium Goatswood book).
Excellent move Miskatonic River Press! 8)
Francis

#34 HomoLupusDomesticus

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 07:51 PM

To be sure, since I prefer the classic period to play in I would love a 1920s era sourcebook for the Severn Valley, but it would have little to do with any story actually written by Campbell.
If I specifically wanted to run a game in Campbell's "mythos universe", incorporating not only monsters and cults but also events and characters from the stories, modern would be the only logical option.

RPGbericht (Dutch)


#35 ProfSpender

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 08:29 PM

I also originally thought I would prefer a book set in the 1960s/70s, but as I stated above, I don't think Campbell's Mythos fiction is that tied to this period. Apart from "Cold Print" itself, I can't think of any (Cthulhu Mythos) story that really deals with urban decay in a way stories by HPL himself don't. If there are some, please name them.

Two further problems with 1960s/70s Campbell Country: 1. Such a book would lean heavily on other sources to explicate the climate and, if you will, urban decay of the times. This brings the risk that it would be closer to "Life on Mars meets Cthulhu" (is that "Life on Yuggoth"? :lol: ) that to anything Campbellian. 2. I suspect that these themes are more prominent in Campbell's later, nonmythos works. But to use an analogy, would we want to set the "Bloch Mythos" in the 1950s so we could include Psycho, his most famous work? It might just go beyond the scope of the game.

An aside: in any case, details, as promised by Mr Aniolowski, are crucial. What make the Lovecraft Country books so great and makes the existing Goatswood book fail is that the former really bring the places to life as real cities/villages, while the latter just summarises the stories. This attention to detail really is needed, I think.

#36 Mr_Lin

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 09:32 PM

The lovely Severn as it passes through Shrewsbury.


Nice pic, but a fair old distance from Campbell country. Although confusingly the term Severn Valley often refers to the real world region of the river where it passes through S. Shropshire/N. Worcestershire. Ramsey Campbell's Severn Valley seems to be mostly S.Gloucestershire which is where the river starts to open out into an estuary.
Vot is point?

#37 HomoLupusDomesticus

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 10:42 PM

(...)I suspect that these themes are more prominent in Campbell's later, nonmythos works. But to use an analogy, would we want to set the "Bloch Mythos" in the 1950s so we could include Psycho, his most famous work? It might just go beyond the scope of the game.(...)

The Darkest Part of the Woods (2003) is definitely mythos stuff, though.

Then again, a lot of Lovecraft's stories are set in the 1930s, yet still the default setting for the Call of Cthulhu RPG is the 1920s.

RPGbericht (Dutch)


#38 eltrevo

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 10:45 PM

However, it does raise the question of whether or not to tie it to the Delta Green material.

Regards

Robin


I too, would like to raise this point. Perhaps a section in the back of the book about how to connect it to Delta Green (like Unseen Masters) would be a good idea, if it is in fact a Modern era sourcebook?

#39 Black-Seal-Editor

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 11:05 PM

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.


The artist is Sarah Evans, better known for her Gloranthan work, and her incredible GMs screens as seen on yog-sothoth.com.

Nick has another Severn Valley piece waiting to appear in TBS#4.

However, it does raise the question of whether or not to tie it to the Delta Green material.


I would argue not. Maybe a one page appendix, but that's it. The British chapter of DG is inspired by many influences including Campbell's Severn Valley stories.

What's suggested is a Severn Valley sourcebook so lets go back to source for that and ignore the later add-ons. If you are strictly purist it would have to be set in the 1960s/70s but as has been pointed out that's a limited market, so maybe not.

If you set it Now or the Twenties you are transforming the source into something new - much like the DG material, so what's the point of covering yet another "inspired by" in the same book as your own reimagining of the setting. Point the reader in the general direction and let them go if they want to.
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#40 Danharms

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 01:02 AM

To be sure, since I prefer the classic period to play in I would love a 1920s era sourcebook for the Severn Valley, but it would have little to do with any story actually written by Campbell.
If I specifically wanted to run a game in Campbell's "mythos universe", incorporating not only monsters and cults but also events and characters from the stories, modern would be the only logical option.


"The Horror from the Bridge" is set in the 1930s, but I think that might be it.