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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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#41 jasonw1239

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 01:08 AM

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.


I have often wondered where the cutoff point on the upper reaches of the river is for Campbell's setting.

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#42 Mr_Lin

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 08:34 AM

I have often wondered where the cutoff point on the upper reaches of the river is for Campbell's setting.


I'd say probably Gloucester.
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#43 Robin

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 09:58 AM

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.


I need to re-read it, but doesn't DG:C do very specific things with a certain metallic cone and alien race? A Modern sourcebook would definitely have to decide whether to go with DG or not when dealing with one of Campbell's most significant additions to the Mythos.

I would never suggest that an MRP sourcebook is obliged in any way to follow DG continuity, but if we're saying that a 60s/70s setting would have limited appeal then surely something that potentially contradicts a well-established and important supplement will also put some gamers off?

Personally, I'm in favour of variety and perhaps a different approach altogether, but at the same time creating at least the potential for linkage would probably be a good idea.


Regards

Robin

#44 sda

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 02:35 PM

I think if anything, DG material would be handled as an optional appendix to the book.
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#45 tlynch999

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 03:32 PM

I think if anything, DG material would be handled as an optional appendix to the book.

Indeed....after, of course, I cleared it with Scott and the rest of the DG Partnership (John & Dennis).
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#46 glyph

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 05:15 PM

Maybe they could be mutually supportive. If a Cthulhu Modern/Classic player sees something they like in DG, they can just slot it into the new Goatswood book. If a DG player sees something they like in the book, then they can just put that into their setting. There could be an appendix on how to combine the two settings.

#47 Robin

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 08:12 PM

Now, this is jumping the gun, and a wee bit random, but what are you going to say about pillboxes:

http://en.wikipedia....of_World_War_II


Now, I can completely understand if you're wondering just what the hell I'm asking about and why the hell I'm asking about it. There is, however, a reason.

We're a very small island, but we are simply crammed with stuff. This stuff, which litters the countryside and towns and cities, is a very, very subtle part of our national identity. I'm sure that not every Brit on YSDC played in pillboxes as a kid like I did, but I bet you they messed around in other places that were peculiar to the British landscape, rural or urban. Many of us will have travelled from small red brick Victorian railways stations and some of us will have played in the 70s and 80s on the disused tracks of lines that were closed by Dr. Beeching in the 60s.

I bet a few good quid that others here can point to similar things and memories of things that underpin their understanding and sense of what it is to be British and in Britain. These things are far more subtle than punk or castles or Monty Python. They're things that even we don't immediately think about, and even when we do think about them, we don't think about the same things

I desperately want a sourcebook that thinks about these things. Campbell has to be at the heart of this particular project, but he and his creations need to be surrounded by British things that are simultaneously trivial and vital.

Sincere apologies if that sounds patronising and condescending when directed at experienced, professional writers, but this is a book that I've wanted to see for a long, long time and I so want it to have the sense of place and possibility that inspires and excites me when I look around the place I live in.

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Robin

#48 Mr_Lin

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 09:21 PM

I grew up in a new town so we didn't have a lot of that stuff, (undeniably evocative though it is). What we did have was industrial estates, bus lanes and paths between housing estates, local shopping centres and subways. If you've seen Gregory's Girl or the old Sean Connery film The Offence that's pretty much what it looked like.

Went walking in N.Wilts a couple of years ago. Was interested to see the pill boxes along the Avon-Kennet canal, which I subsequently found out was part of one of the stop lines if the Germans had ever invaded.
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#49 Black-Seal-Editor

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 11:06 PM

I would never suggest that an MRP sourcebook is obliged in any way to follow DG continuity, but if we're saying that a 60s/70s setting would have limited appeal then surely something that potentially contradicts a well-established and important supplement will also put some gamers off?


You can't please all the people all the time.
And there is nothing wrong in being contradictory.
In fact in my warped opinion, its almost a virtue.
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#50 Robin

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 09:29 AM

I grew up in a new town so we didn't have a lot of that stuff, (undeniably evocative though it is). What we did have was industrial estates, bus lanes and paths between housing estates, local shopping centres and subways. If you've seen Gregory's Girl or the old Sean Connery film The Offence that's pretty much what it looked like.


Yes, absolutely. This is precisely what I'm thinking about, and I'm sure if we think about it more there'll be other things in addition to just buildings and travel routes. Given Campbell's talents for writing about children and childhood fears, I'd say schools are important, so one might want to consider things like lollypop ladies, British schoolyard games, and even outside toilets (though I'd hope these are entirely phased out by now). I'm sure America has equivalents, but they won't be quite the same.

This is probably a topic that should be in Britannica all eras, but it seems pertinent here.

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Robin

#51 malcojones

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 09:38 AM

If you've seen Gregory's Girl or the old Sean Connery film The Offence that's pretty much what it looked like.


If I hadn't read it, I don't think I would have believed it possible to put those two films in one sentence. But I recognize that new town landscape.

Pill boxes also very evocative, but also clearly post WWII.

Timing is going to be everything with this project if MRP decides to go ahead.

Much of the difficulties of the Chaosium Goatswood book came from the disjunctions between the time in which the book claimed to be set and the variously inflected scenarios which seemed more at home in the seventies and eighties.

One author should make for a more consitent product, but what it is consistent to will need to be carefully judged.

Best, malcojones

#52 Robin

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 11:02 AM

Pill boxes also very evocative, but also clearly post WWII.


Derailing the thread somewhat, but these things fascinate me. As as kid, they were overgrown, hidden places (even though the one I knew best was right next to the entrance to the carpark by the railway station), but back in the days they were built in important places, which may not be so important now. Soldiers and observers and home guard sat in them for hours at a time. Things were seen by them, things were talked about, and plans where probably made for the future. Arguments were had, fears were revealed. Some people probably dozed off inside them and had dreams or nightmares. Things fell out of pockets and are hidden under the wind-blown detritus of five decades of decay.

They've become places for kids to play or drink too much. Drug-users can inject in them and leave their needles behind. Bodies can be hidden them. Local historians can catalogue them. They can be threatened with demolition and provoke local outcry.

Trivial things, but profoundly British, and scabbed with history, moss and plots.


Regards

Robin

#53 Gaffer

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 01:04 PM

A very evocative description, Robin. Thanks.
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#54 malcojones

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 01:34 PM

These things fascinate me. ...
They've become places for kids to play or drink too much. Drug-users can inject in them and leave their needles behind. Bodies can be hidden them. Local historians can catalogue them. They can be threatened with demolition and provoke local outcry.

Trivial things, but profoundly British, and scabbed with history, moss and plots.


See also air-raid shelters; not the homemade garden ones but the larger poured concrete ones for schools and military installations. Solider than the pillboxes (which are often concrete over brick) and too much effort to demolish they lurk in back gardens and the corners of fields.

Best, malcojones

#55 sda

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 01:49 PM

Certainly some evocative images of uniquely British things. Such intrisically British details hadn't occured to me, sadly. Obviously and truly it is best to write about what you KNOW and see than attempt to portray something of which you have no firsthand knowledge. I am rethinking my ability to do true justice to such a project and think perhaps it just best left undone....
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#56 Agent_Bluescale

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 02:21 PM

I think the huge interest in the project means you should. But that is just my own opinion

#57 WinstonP

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 02:22 PM

I am rethinking my ability to do true justice to such a project and think perhaps it just best left undone....


I think with the aid of some British readers such details could easily be included and a fitting book crafted; don't sell yourself short as a writer Scott.

#58 Evans

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 03:19 PM

Certainly some evocative images of uniquely British things. Such intrisically British details hadn't occured to me, sadly. Obviously and truly it is best to write about what you KNOW and see than attempt to portray something of which you have no firsthand knowledge. I am rethinking my ability to do true justice to such a project and think perhaps it just best left undone....


I think you could do it.

The key thing not knowing specific details like that is not trying to hard to emulate them. Depending on how its done you can get allong with fairly sketchy national details as long as you get the local history and colour right. (I allways feel vaguely amused by how much some American scenario authors witting about Britain feel the need to bring the IRA into very unlikely places).

On a some what selfish subject should I stop putting attempts at source material for the Severn Valley area on the net. Obviously there no where near as comprehensive as printed material but I don't want to step on anyone's toes or hurt the idea of a new official source book.

#59 Robin

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 04:12 PM

Certainly some evocative images of uniquely British things. Such intrisically British details hadn't occured to me, sadly. Obviously and truly it is best to write about what you KNOW and see than attempt to portray something of which you have no firsthand knowledge. I am rethinking my ability to do true justice to such a project and think perhaps it just best left undone....


Oh lord, don't say that... people will be coming after me with flaming torches and pitchforks!

My intention was absolutely not to put you off or suggest the project is beyond you. What I wanted to do was demonstrate that there are a lot of little things non-Brits will be largely unaware of, but which are potentially sources of both inspiration and verisimilitude.

The facts that there is so much information available on the net and you have a legion of Brit Cthulhu fans right here probably make such a project easier than ever before!


Regards

Robin

#60 Robin

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 04:25 PM

See also air-raid shelters; not the homemade garden ones but the larger poured concrete ones for schools and military installations. Solider than the pillboxes (which are often concrete over brick) and too much effort to demolish they lurk in back gardens and the corners of fields.


A schoolfriend of mine moved to a new house with one in the back garden, pretty small, concrete steps leading down on one side. Half below and half above ground. The previous owner had put shelves in and stored apples from his tree on them. BY the time my friend, his sister and I got there, the apples were well passed it. Old-age apples we called them. I still remember his sister saying quite thoughtfully, "So that's what old-age apples taste like like" after he threw one at her.

It's also where I discovered that spiders are potentially explosive.

Regards

Robin