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Non-Mythos Novels that could be used as the basis for a scenario


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#1 Graham

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Posted 02 July 2016 - 05:55 AM

The idea of this thread is to list non-mythos novels, that could be adapted by Keepers for scenarios. I am going to start the ball rolling, so to speak with something from my own collection, as with all threads of this kind anyone who wants to add something feel free....

 

 

Daniel Easterman, The Ninth Buddha, 1988

 

Plot summary: The year is 1920, the young son of a former British Intelligence agent who spent the whole of WWI in India is kidnapped by those who see him as fulfilling a prophecy. The quest to recover him goes from Britain to India, Tibet  and Mongolia.

 

The novel is very dark in tone, and the quest could be very easily recast in Lovecraftian terms.


"If you do good, you'll live forever, if you do bad you'll die hearing a single note for I am the one true sound...", Fragment found in a cult hideout.


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#2 TMS

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Posted 02 July 2016 - 08:24 PM

Really, just about anything could be adapted into a scenario, but here are some obvious options that I've read (limited to novels as per the topic name):

 

Pierre Benoit - Atlantida [Could be combined with elements from Lovecraft's "Last Test," since both concern the Tuaregs of Northern Africa and their connection to the Atlanteans.]

John Buchan - Witch-Wood [Could be mercifully condensed, with the the witch cult and elements like the "red dogs" played up.]

Edward Bulwer-Lytton - A Strange Story

Michael Crichton - Sphere

H. B. Drake - The Shadowy Thing

Herbert S. Gorman - The Place Called Dagon [Could make more of the name Dagon, and perhaps involve Shub-Niggurath and other entities.]

H. Rider Haggard - She

William Hope Hodgson - The Boats of the Glen Carrig [Easy enough to connect to Cthulhu.]

William Hope Hodgson - The Ghost Pirates [While the title sounds dumb, this is actually a pretty good horror novel that involves neither ghosts nor pirates.]

William Hope Hodgson - The House on the Borderland

William Hope Hodgson - The Night Land [Takes place in the distant future, though the Night Land could be repackaged as another world or a region of Earth's dreamland.]

Eleanor M. Ingram - The Thing from the Lake [Features a remarkably Lovecraftian entity considering the author had no connection to Lovecraft, though the book ends with one of the most ridiculous deus ex machina in literary history.]

Stephen King - It

Stephen King - Pet Sematary [Just connect the Wendigo to Ithaqua and call it a day.]

Fritz Leiber - The Dealings of Daniel Kesserich [Complications of a Mythos nature are pretty easy to imagine.]

Richard Marsh - The Beetle [A darker take on Isis and her followers than their usual Call of Cthulhu portrayal.]

A. Merritt - The Metal Monster

A. Merritt - The Moon Pool [The shorter, original version that Lovecraft preferred could be turned into a good one-shot, while the expanded novel might serve as the basis for a campaign.]

Barry Pain - The Shadow of the Unseen

Sax Rohmer - The Green Eyes of Bast

Sax Rohmer - The Yellow Claw [The figure of Mr. King could easily be turned into something unambiguously supernatural, and would make a good avatar for Hastur.]

Matthew Phipps Shiel - The Purple Cloud [Even leaving out the story's apocalyptic extremes, the description of the arctic regions, the mine, and the southern source of the Cloud could be interesting settings.

Francis Stevens - The Nightmare

Bram Stoker - The Lair of the White Worm

John Taine - The Greatest Adventure [Could easily be connected to the Mythos, as I pointed out here.]

John Taine - The Purple Sapphire

Jules Verne - 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas [The chapter about Atlantis might provide inspiration if nothing else.]

Donald Wandrei - The Web of Easter Island [The novel is already pretty much off-brand Lovecraft.].

Harper Williams - The Thing in the Woods

Francis Brett Young - Cold Harbour [Maybe make use of Cold Harbour's ancient background, which Lovecraft thought was both intriguing and underutilized by the novel.]



#3 AdamAlexander

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Posted 02 July 2016 - 08:45 PM

Two other Fritz Leiber stories (well, novellas) you could look at are Our Lady of Darkness and Conjure Wife. Neither are Mythos per se, but do involve research, investigation, and have a supernatural element.

Spoiler


Apologies for not italicizing titles. I'm not sure how to do that on my iPhone keyboard.

Edited by AdamAlexander, 02 July 2016 - 08:45 PM.


#4 Graham

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 12:33 AM

Really, just about anything could be adapted into a scenario, but here are some obvious options that I've read (limited to novels as per the topic name):

 


William Hope Hodgson - The House on the Borderland

 

Interesting you should bring that one up, it was converted to a scenario by fantasy author Jane Lindskold back in the 1990s. The magazine it was printed in is available in pdf form from DrivethruRPG/RPGnow.

 

http://www.yog-sotho...land_(Scenario)


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#5 Travern

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 01:44 AM

Adding just a small dose of the Gothic or the fantastic to H. G. Wells's scientific romances would make some great quasi-Mythos entities: the Selinites from The First Men in the Moon, the Morlocks from The Time Machine, the bipedal deep-sea creatures from "In the Abyss", the malign body-snatching astral entities of "The Stolen Body", and, my personal favourite, the tentacled, almost intelligent Haploteuthis ferox, from "The Sea Raiders".  (The last one is a probably Wells's purest piece of hard science fiction - there's no Victorian mustiness in its storytelling, only a chilling, journalistic matter-factness.)



#6 SquibblyDibbly

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 03:07 PM

Always trying to read books of this type for gaming inspiration as well as enjoyment. Here are some which spring to mind....

 

Dan Simmons - The Terror

Douglas Clegg - Goat Dance
Joe Donnelly - The Shee

Scott Smith - The Ruins
F G Cottam - The House of Lost Souls


Edited by SquibblyDibbly, 04 July 2016 - 01:45 PM.

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#7 cjearkham

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 03:29 PM

Pierre Benoit - Atlantida [Could be combined with elements from Lovecraft's "Last Test," since both concern the Tuaregs of Northern Africa and their connection to the Atlanteans.]

 

This seems to be the source for the reference in "Last Test" to Atlantean survivals in the Hoggar region.


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#8 Graham

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 03:17 AM

Just found a book by Algernon Blackwood dealing with a 'psychic doctor' that looks like it might contain material that could be re-worked:

 

John Silence, Physician Extraordinary by Algernon Blackwood

 

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/49222

 

A summary of the five stories in this book, plus a sixth that was added by S T Joshi can be read below, two of them have definite possibilities (Quoted below the link.)

 

https://johnirelandm...extraordinaire/

 

 

‘Ancient Sorceries’: A quiet, shy gentleman is ensnared by the shape-shifting shadows of a past life, as he returns from a holiday in a mysterious French village. Doctor Silence diagnoses his condition but has doubts as to whether the man will have the strength to resist the lure of an old love.

 

...

 

‘Secret Worship’: A businessman pays a visit to his old school in a sleepy town in Germany’s Black Forest, only to find that things have changed horribly. He could be lost, body and soul, but John Silence is also in the neighbourhood.


"If you do good, you'll live forever, if you do bad you'll die hearing a single note for I am the one true sound...", Fragment found in a cult hideout.

#9 JeffErwin

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 03:57 AM

Two other Fritz Leiber stories (well, novellas) you could look at are Our Lady of Darkness and Conjure Wife. Neither are Mythos per se, but do involve research, investigation, and have a supernatural element.

Spoiler


Apologies for not italicizing titles. I'm not sure how to do that on my iPhone keyboard.

 

 

Our Lady of Darkness has ideas that were adapted into "To Awaken What Never Sleeps" by Dan Harms in Tales of the Sleepless City, and in "Whitechapel Black Letter" (Kenneth Hite) in Bookhounds of London and a reference to megapolisomancy in Dulce et Decorum Est. I believe there's a discussion of para-elementals in Secrets of San Francisco.


Edited by JeffErwin, 04 July 2016 - 04:00 AM.


#10 JeffErwin

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 05:23 AM

 

Francis Brett Young - Cold Harbour [Maybe make use of Cold Harbour's ancient background, which Lovecraft thought was both intriguing and underutilized by the novel.]

 

 

Ironically, while I am writing an Elizabethan adventure called Cold Harbour, it is set in the London mansion of that name, rather than in Young's house. However... this book could be handy for running an Exham Priory type of story. Which is actually another thing I've been working on...



#11 AdamAlexander

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 11:54 AM

Our Lady of Darkness has ideas that were adapted into "To Awaken What Never Sleeps" by Dan Harms in Tales of the Sleepless City, and in "Whitechapel Black Letter" (Kenneth Hite) in Bookhounds of London and a reference to megapolisomancy in Dulce et Decorum Est. I believe there's a discussion of para-elementals in Secrets of San Francisco.


Thank you. I'll have to dig those up.

#12 WinstonP

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 01:16 PM

Apologies for not italicizing titles. I'm not sure how to do that on my iPhone keyboard.


Bracketed instructions like '[ i ] Text [ / i ]' are used to format, just remove the quotes and spaces. i is italics, b for bold, etc.
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#13 TMS

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 04:41 PM

Just found a book by Algernon Blackwood dealing with a 'psychic doctor' that looks like it might contain material that could be re-worked:

 

John Silence, Physician Extraordinary by Algernon Blackwood

 

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/49222

 

Yeah, Lovecraft read those stories, and liked them for the most part. The third story, "The Nemesis of Fire" might have inspired as Lovecraft's Nemesis of Flame (also from "The Last Test," funny enough).


Edited by TMS, 04 July 2016 - 04:43 PM.


#14 AdamAlexander

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 08:28 PM

Bracketed instructions like '[ i ] Text [ / i ]' are used to format, just remove the quotes and spaces. i is italics, b for bold, etc.


Thanks. I guess I should have thought of that.

#15 Hammer

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 11:09 PM

I suspect this list will rapidly grow unwieldy even to those of us with the most liberal tastes in reading, but will gleefully contribute to that end regardless.

 

Asimov's Foundation stories about the Mule could form a core campaign for a somewhat sympathetic superhuman character, whose peculiar powers make him as much as victim of chance as a villain.

 

The OP mentioned Crichton's Sphere, but I think a case could be made for Eaters of the Dead as well, with its twisted yet pragmatic retelling of the Beowulf epic.

 

Vonnegut's Sirens of Titan does nothing but play with the idea of destiny and choice, themes prominently featured in a number of Lovecraft's stories.

 

A number of Harlan Ellison's short stories touch on weird horror, from Shattered Like a Glass Goblin to Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes. 



#16 Mysterioso

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Posted 05 July 2016 - 01:17 AM

IIRC, Crichton's Eaters of the Dead has a reference to the Necronomicon in the bibliography.

 

I'd say his Congo would be pretty easy to spin into a Arthur Jermyn follow-up.



#17 Deodanth

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Posted 05 July 2016 - 09:33 AM

Anything by William S. Burroughs comes to mind.  The books of his I find most evocative of adventure gaming:  Naked Lunch, Nova Express, and Cities of the Red Night.

 

In fact, someone told me once there was an RPG written in the style of Burroughs and his set, but I've forgotten its name.


Edited by Deodanth, 05 July 2016 - 09:37 AM.


#18 Graham

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Posted 05 July 2016 - 04:22 PM

One of the most interesting of M. R. James unfinished stories:

 

John Humphries

 

Plot summary: A man has come into his inheritance, but is now facing horror...

 

Full text and notes

 

http://www.users.glo...eHumphreys.html

 

M. R.James Podcast Episode 19

 

http://www.mrjamespo...john-humphreys/


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#19 Graham

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Posted 05 July 2016 - 05:06 PM

And a Project Gutenberg find... in the form of a collection of short stories dedicated to M. R. James

 

The Stoneground Ghost Tales by E. G. Swain

 

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/44581

 

If nothing else there could be enough details to create the village in East Anglia described...


"If you do good, you'll live forever, if you do bad you'll die hearing a single note for I am the one true sound...", Fragment found in a cult hideout.

#20 golfsale

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Posted 05 July 2016 - 05:12 PM

Just found a book by Algernon Blackwood dealing with a 'psychic doctor' that looks like it might contain material that could be re-worked:

 

John Silence, Physician Extraordinary by Algernon Blackwood

Lovecraft devotes a paragraph to this book in chapter 10 of his Supernatural Horror in Literature.