The sad news has reached me that Larry DiTillio, author of the original Masks of Nyarlathotep (and screenwriter for Babylon 5, He-Man and many others) has passed away in his 70s after a long illness.
Larry was always a pleasure to talk to and always had a story to tell. As Yoggie's vaults are fairly deep I've unearthed a couple of interviews which I'll re-post here (one text, one audio).
His wonderful roleplaying creations will always live on and spring anew whenever they're played at the table.
The following is a recording of a post-interview chat from 2008 where Larry talks about his work on Call of Cthulhu and Babylon 5.The full Masks-related recording can be found on the Lovecraftian Tales from the Table DVD.
Golden Goblin Press have launched a crowd funding campaign to create a new anthology of 1920s adventures for Call of Cthulhu.
The Kickstarter for An Inner Darkness promises five to seven scenarios with a core theme where "Investigators battle against cosmic horrors while fighting for social justice..."
Golden Goblin plans to present historically accurate and challenging adventures featuring mature themes, offering a "... darker, harsher and more brutal tone than our fans might be used to".
Contributing authors include: Jeffrey Moeller, Brian Sammons, Helen Gould, Charles Gerard and Oscar Rios, with art by Rueben Dodd. The Kickstarter runs until 15th April and has an estimated delivery date of November 2019.
Like your Lovecraftian games (rules) light? An increasing number of rules sets have become available in recent years for players who don't wish to wade through heavy rulebooks. One of those is The Cthulhu Hack from Just Crunch Games, a system based off David Black's The Black Hack. Just Crunch have released a new scenario for The Cthulhu Hack – Valkyrie Nine, set in the late 21st Century on a lunar station.
Valkyrie Nine is available in print (All Rolled Up) and PDF (DriveThruRPG).
A one-shot investigation, written for The Cthulhu Hack but playable with any system geared toward Lovecraftian horror. Set in 2073, the investigation sets the starting point for a wider campaign setting that will feature in a future release, supported by more investigations.
The adventure includes:
15 page adventure, including deep background, timeline, GM guidance, non-player character write-ups and a detailed overview of the Valkyrie Nine station.
Set of five full sheet Gamemaster Reference maps.
Six page section of handouts and pre-generated character cards.
Here's Paul Baldowski of Just Crunch Games talking about the new scenario...
Modiphius Entertainment have released Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition versions of their Achtung! Cthulhu Investigator's and Keeper's Guides.
You can pick them up immediately in PDF form from DriveThruRPG, and if you supported the original Kickstarter (back in 2013) you should receive a message from Modiphius enabling you to get them for free. (This may also apply to previous purchases of Achtung! Cthulhu in print and PDF – Modiphius will contact you.)
A "7th Edition" scenario, Under the Gun by Graeme Davis is also available.
In the future, also look out for the release of the 2d20 version of Achtung! Cthulhu, of which the Beta Test is currently underway.
Discover the secret history of World War Two: stories of amazing heroism, in which stalwart men and women struggle to overthrow a nightmare alliance of steel and the occult; of frightening inhuman conspiracies from the depths of time; of the unbelievable war machines which are the product of Nazi engineering genius and how close we all are to a slithering end! The Secret War has begun!
It's not often this kind of opportunity arises... the chance to play a game of Bookhounds of London in the world's oldest Antiquarian bookshop – Sotheran's (in of course, London). Expect plenty of atmosphere...
Tickets for the game can be booked through Eventbrite and will take place on the evening of Tuesday, 16th April. The game is organised by Sotheran's and Pelgrane Press.
In the area? Willing to travel (a bit)? Then this looks like an awful lot of fun. We don't know yet whether it will be recorded.
Perhaps one day more mysteries will be revealed.
Bookhounds of London - Tabletop Adventure
As I entered the bookstore of Haggart and Clydemore, the clerk at the desk acknowledged me with a sneer and a contemptuous glance. "Can I help?" he proffered, in a tone as if to suggest he would eagerly facilitate any eventuality but that one. Not wanting to waste time on pleasantries, I pulled out my hard won copy of the Codex Maleficarum, and the clerk hissed. "You will never find the other half of the manuscript" he screeched, teeth elongating into fangs, as he lunged for my throat.
Join others at the world's oldest antiquarian bookstore for a night of book-hunting, boggarts and bumps in the night. Sotheran's are hosting a one-night tabletop adventure using Pelgrane Press' Bookhounds of London setting, where bookish adventurers hunt down old texts and face off against horrors from beyond in 1930s London. The adventure will run from 18:00 at the bookstore in Piccadilly until 21:00. Before the night is done, you may turn a tidy profit and eke out another day as a bookseller, or meet a grisly fate at the hands of one of the many perils of Mythos London.
Tickets: £12 [Sold Out]
Founded in York in 1761, established in London in 1815, Henry Sotheran's has a long and distinguished history selling antiquarian books and fine prints. Sotheran's is infact the oldest antiquarian bookseller in the world.
I can't remember off hand the grapple rules but spending martial arts for holds and throws can be powerful. In one of my games a character had this and was a demon in a melee against cultists on board a Nile ship. He threw several over the side ending the combat quickly with zero deaths and little damage to the party.
I ended up house-ruling Parry back in (mostly because HotOE flashbacks still use it as a skill), and basically treat it as a Dodge that goes off weapon skill, doesn't require moving, but risks costing you the weapon on an unlucky roll
(I also actually really like Fight Back as an option. Mostly because monsters get it, and I find that it makes players go "I'm not sure I'm going to survive taking a swing at this thing, aggression will get me killed here")
Well let's be clear here. My Cthulhu Mythos for Pathfinder/5e books (SPCM) have a LOT more material about zoogs than ever appeared in Call of Cthulhu. There is material about what type of creature they are (marsupials), their social structure, their legal system, and so forth.
I don't agree that blowguns necessarily make sense for them - zoogs are arboreal quadrupeds. In my SPCM work I said they have marsupial pouches, and of course they could carry knapsacks and the like. But a blowgun is long - like several feet long. Even a zoog-sized one is still too long to put in a pouch. And they don't have a spare hand to carry them while climbing through trees. I'd argue that only weapons that are short make sense for a traveling zoog.
If a zoog was defending a fixed area, it could use a sword or small crossbow, but a zoog out in the forest seems unlikely.