The Mysteries of Mesoamerica

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Details

Front Cover

Publisher: Pagan Publishing

Product Code: 1012

Publishing Year: 2008

Pages: 208

Cover Price: $34.95

Author(s): Brian Appleton, John H. Crowe, III, Blair Reynolds, Clint Staples

Artist(s): Blair Reynolds

Setting(s): 1910s, 1920s

Format(s): Softcover

ISBN: 1-887797-25-2

Contents

This book is a combined sourcebook and scenario collection based around the region of Mexico and Central America collectively termed "Mesoamerica".

From the Publisher:

Pagan Publishing is proud to announce the return of Blair Reynolds to the world of Call of Cthulhu!

Laid out and illustrated by Blair Reynolds, The Mysteries of Mesoamerica is a labor of love, and it shows on every page. With a sourcebook by Clint Staples and four scenarios written by Pagan regulars John H. Crowe III and Brian Appleton, Mysteries of Mesoamerica is a product that will move the bar by which products in the RPG market are judged.

Inside you will find everything you need to immerse your players in the world of Mesoamerican archeology during the classic Call of Cthulhu period. The first 84 pages are sourcebook material, beginning with Clint Staples material describing the cultures that dominated the New World before the arrival of Columbus, with particular attention to the details of the religious themes that dominated the region: blood, sacrifice, death. There is also information on the modern states of the region including revolutionary Mexico and Banana Republics like Honduras, and the histories of the most important figures in the study of these ancient peoples. Brian Appleton has written articles on the ancient weapons of the Mesoamericans, as well as cataloging the deities and monsters of local mythology. Besides his exquisitely bloodcurdling illustrations, Blair Reynolds has also contributed an article on Maya calendrics, which should be of interest to everyone as the winter solstice of 2012 continues to approach.

Covering another 120 pages, the four independent scenarios do not form a cohesive campaign, but as all of the scenarios require the same skill set (experts in Mesoamerican archeology) from player characters, a Keeper could easily run all four of the scenarios in sequence.

"The Well of Sacrifice," by John H. Crowe III, is a bit of a legend around Pagan Publishing. Playtested again and again, the scenario gained the nick-name "The Boneyard." Let's hope your players fair better than we did.

"The Mehirs in the Grotto," by Brian Appleton, brings the Investigators to central Mexico, where an ancient evil is being unearthed by modern progress.

"The Heretics," by John H. Crowe III, places the Investigators between two warring groups of Mythos cultists, with very few good options open to them.

"The Temple of the Toad," by Brian Appleton, provides a grim epiloge to a classic tale of the Cthulhu Mythos, one that could easily consume the members of an expedition into the jungles of Honduras.

And speaking of unlucky, foolish and otherwise doomed Investigators, keep an eye out for a new feature in The Mysteries of Mesoamerica that will become a standard feature in upcoming Pagan Publishing products: The P.C. R.I.P. which chronicles those stalwart adventurers who failed one too many die rolls or ignored the advice of fellow players. Each R.I.P. includes the player character's name, profession, date of death and any notable last words. Or at least the stupid thing they said just before they got themselves killed.

Approximately 120 pages of the book are given over to its four scenarios; the remainder is source material. This is organised into sections as follows:

  • Map - Sites of Mesoamerica
  • Introduction
  • Pronunciation Guide to Mesoamerican Languages
  • Sourcebook for Mesoamerica
    • Pre-Columbian Cultures: Olmecs, Toltecs, Zapotecs, Maya, Aztecs
    • Mesoamerica After the Conquest: Formation of Central America
    • Mesoamerica - The Land
    • The Old World and the New World (biographies of European scholars who wrote about Mesoamerica)
    • The Feathered Serpent
    • The Hidden World (creatures of Mesoamerican legend)
  • Timeline of Mesoamerica
  • Calendrics of the Mesoamerican Ancients
  • Glyphs of Mythos Gods
  • Deities and Monsters from Mesoamerican myths
  • Traditional Armaments
  • Bibliography

Scenarios: The Well of Sacrifice, Menhirs in the Grotto, The Heretics, Temple of the Toad


Front Cover Text

1920s Sourcebook and Mythos Adventures for Mexico and Central America

Back Cover Text

4 New World Scenarios...

1914
The Well of SACRIFICE

1923
MENHIRS in the GROTTO

1925
THE HERETICS

1927
TEMPLE of the TOAD

Licensed by Chaosium, Inc.

Comments / Trivia

Playtesters: Brian Appleton, John H. Crowe, III, Dennis Detwiller, A. Scott Glancy, Chris Klepac, Blair Reynolds, John Tynes

Blair Reynolds' "Field Notes From The Artist" thematically links his infamous severed-dog-head discovery in 1989 (much discussed in early issues of The Unspeakable Oath) to the current book.

This product was one of two products (the other being Mysteries of the Old West) originally intended to be designed and produced by Blair Reynolds' one-man company RM308. In February 2008, Reynold's released a press release stating that due to overwhelming workload as well as his general disillusionment with the gaming industry's dumbing down and dilution of the Cthulhu Mythos, RM308 would not publish game material. Subsequent to this, the book on Mesoamerica was completed and released by Pagan Publishing -- the same is seemingly planned for the Wild West book (which has yet to appear).

Links

Spoilers - Keepers Eyes Only

Players should not read any further.

Source Material References

References to Mythos creatures, tomes, artifacts, and Lovecraftian locations that appear within this book's scenarios are described in the pages detailing these scenarios. There are, however, numerous such references made in the source sections (and thus not associated with a specific scenario). These references are detailed below.

Locations:

Creatures:

People:

Tomes and Artifacts:

Sourcebook New Rules

New Spells:

New Skills:

New Creatures:


Comment here to Keepers about this book. Comments on specific Scenarios and Campaigns go on their respective pages. Keep DISCUSSION on the talk page.