Thought traditional RPG zines were dead? Not so. Out from Bayt al Azif comes the eponymous first issue of a new Cthulhu Mythos gaming magazine, courtesy of @JS113.
Inside Bayt al Azif's 80 pages you'll find three scenarios (and a solo adventure), reviews, interviews (Rogue Cthulhu, Chris Spivey) history pieces, comics and more. You can pick up a copy (PDF and POD) via DriveThruRPG.
With The Unspeakable Oath moving to a Patreon model, Bayt al Azif joins The Arkham Gazette as another traditional-style Cthulhu gaming magazine on the market.
Bayt al Azif #1
A magazine for Cthulhu Mythos roleplaying games
Issue #1 includes:
3 adventures dual-statted for Call of Cthulhu 7th edition and Gumshoe (Trail of Cthulhu/The Fall of Delta Green ).
A group of teenagers must survive the night in an abandoned school (Modern Era).
A team of investigators must determine the truth behind a massacre of Vietnamese civilians by American soldiers (US-Vietnam War).
A band of secret agents must discover what has been smuggled into Damascus (Dark Ages).
1 solo adventure set in the Miskatonic University library.
Tables for running random chases.
A overview of every Cthulhu mythos RPG release of 2017.
Classic Cthulhu RPG reviews.
Interviews with Rogue Cthulhu and Chris Spivey.
Advice, history, comics, and more...
Price (USD): $6 (PDF), $10 (Print + PDF)
My latest scrape of the internet reveals that Hideous Creatures: A Bestiary of the Cthulhu Mythos for Trail of Cthulhu has been released.
Hideous Creatures... is officially on pre-order at Pelgrane's web site, but an article comment reveals that you'll receive the PDF as soon as you place the pre-order for the print edition. – That means it's out. – The content is there for you to purchase and peruse now; the fact it's digital bits rather than the 352 page hardback doesn't alter the content (just the way it may be consumed).
If you're after a new bestiary of Cthulhoid creatures then have a look at Hideous Creatures... Pelgrane promises you something a little different.
For historical info. and discussion see: [Hideous Creatures] A Quick Thought on this Series
Hideous Creatures: A Bestiary of the Cthulhu Mythos
In Hideous Creatures: A Bestiary of the Cthulhu Mythos, we [Pelgrane] present a comprehensive look at Lovecraft's hideous creatures, from as many angles as we can. Our goal is contradiction, surprise, and most especially the uncanny: the recognition of something familiar as something weird. As in the "Gods and Titans" section of the Trail of Cthulhu core book, this book deliberately contradicts itself, blurring boundaries and erasing certainties in the name of the uncanny. In your campaign, these variant truths might be misunderstandings, legends, heresies, or deliberate lies spread by the creatures to lull their foes into a false sense of familiarity.
Hideous Creatures: A Bestiary of the Cthulhu Mythos is the Trail of Cthulhu bestiary written by Kenneth Hite, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, Becky Annison, Helen Gould and Ruth Tillman, in the tradition of the award-winning Book of Unremitting Horror and the 13th Age Bestiary. Creatures are not just antagonists to fight or flee from; they are entire adventures by themselves, leaving physical traces, occult clues and madness in their eldritch wake.
Featuring seven new creatures [for ToC]: Bholes, Colour Out of Space, Elder Things, Flying Polyps, Moon Beasts, Night-Gaunts and Spawn of Yog-Sothoth, and full write-ups of nine Foul Congeries, opening the books on Lovecraftian monsters that have never taken stat-block form before in any game: Bat-Things, Black Winged Ones, Gaseous Wraiths, Medusas, Raktajihva, Ultraviolet Devourer, Vampirish Vapour, Worm-Cultist and Y'm-bhi.
New art and in-world documents for each of the fifteen original Hideous Creatures: Byakhee, Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath, Deep Ones, Ghouls, Great Race of Yith, Hounds of Tindalos, Hunting Horrors, Lloigor, Mi-Go, Rat-Things, Serpent Folk, Shoggoths, Star Vampires, Tcho-Tchos and Wendigo.
Authors: Kenneth Hite et al., Artists: Gislaine Avila et al.
Back in February I mentioned the crowd funding campaign for Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics - a turn-based video game from Ripstone, based off the A!C property created by Modiphius Entertainment.
At the time, the project creators promised: "The game will be published by Ripstone regardless, the crowd funder is to add yet more. Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics is due for release in Q4 2018."
– and in an all-too-rare sight, it's now arrived, bang-on schedule.
The game is available now on Steam, and coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch later in 2018.
Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics
A!C Tactics is an occult turn-based strategy game pitting players against a rogues' gallery of Lovecraftian beings controlled by the Nazis. You'll have to use your cunning military tactics, along with some nifty supernatural powers, to save the world. Set in an alternate history of World War II where the Nazis' investigations into the occult have resulted in the summoning of Lovecraftian monsters, you’ll have to take the reigns of Charlie Company, an elite band of allied forces sent in to do the impossible; foil the Nazi plans and turn the tide of war.
Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics utilises a mix of turn-based strategy and RPG mechanics.
Marty, Chris and I return with more News from Pnakotus!
In this September edition we bring you [all] some of the news that's fit to [print] chat about at the tea room table. In an hour-long episode of NfP we have a focus on new props for your games – of which there have been a few recently.
Chris announces his Call of Cthulhu supplement coming out from Chaosium and Marty shows off his new Eternal Journal, fully loaded for YSDC Games Day. We also unbox a copy of the Masks of Nyarlathotep Gamer Prop Set from the HPLHS. Add to that yet more news, views, Lovecraftiana and Cthulhiana from Yog-Sothoth and you've got our 70th instalment of News from Pnakotus.
Come, join us...
News from Pnakotus: Properties
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Yoggie Patron? Watch the video version of the Masks Gamer Prop Set unboxing in Ultra High Definition high frame rate video [4K60]. Marty will also be providing an article about the Prop Set in the near future.
NfP is an Advanced Podcast [AAC audio] featuring artwork, chapters and links inside the file – and we'll leave it there.
From Cthulhu Reborn comes Dateline: Lovecraft, a period prop resource for Lovecraftian games.
Dateline: Lovecraft features a 1920s Arkham-related newspaper prop which includes a complete issue of the Arkham Advertiser with some 200 items to act as springboards (or red herrings?) for your game. Along with this comes a 58 page guide filled with suggestions and advice on making the paper as a physical prop and how to use the articles in your game. A set of detailed indices is also provided to help navigate the extensive content.
Designed as a system agnostic resource, Dateline: Lovecraft will also be supported by a series of supplements, starting with a free tie-in scenario: Help Wanted by Jo Kreil.
For more information, see @dce's Press Release in Arkham Market Square.
A system-independent prop resource which provides a huge Arkham-related newspaper prop for you to carve up and use to dream up some adventures of your own, or to add depth to your depiction of the Miskatonic Valley, or to drop clues into random published scenarios. It's a commercial (i.e., non-free) PDF package, available from RPGNow or DrivethruRPG.
Good question. If any profit is made from this (after recouping the Chaosium license fee, print proof costs, website and so on), I will start reimbursing the current contributors for their amazing efforts.
If it is a huge success, then extra profit will go towards the next issue and getting more art, cartography and such. Hopefully at some point we'll be able to transition to a traditional publishing model but we'll see what the response to this is. Ideally, there will also be a giant Scrooge McDuck money bin we will all swim through at future release parties.
I don't know if you'll ever find any statistics that weren't based on guesswork, but:
The 1920s would have been a time before the location and movement of people was easily tracked by things like driver's licenses and automobiles, social security numbers, credit cards, and that sort of thing.
It was routine for certain people - especially those with something to hide or hide from - to just pick up and "fly by night", disappearing without a trace to move to another town under a new name. All too often, when someone disappeared, nobody really questioned it much, especially if there was any reason to believe the missing person were a husband who just abandoned a family he'd gotten tired of, or a young woman who eloped with someone, or a young man who ran away from home to make his own fortune somewhere else (perhaps by gambling or through crime), or a young woman induced to run away and become a prostitute somewhere else, or a family running from creditors, young women who'd gotten pregnant out of wedlock who were sent away to live with relatives out of town until the baby could be put up for adoption or someone could work out a deal for a backroom abortion, etc. It would have to be a close-knit family to really worry when someone vanished.
Not many people of the 1920s or so noticed when anyone turned up missing. What did get everyone's attention was finding bodies. It seems that there were suspected serial killers at work throughout the era, but not much could really be proved about them unless a body turned up somewhere shocking: nobody really bothered to properly report the victims missing, and the state of policing of the era was such that reporting someone missing probably wouldn't have done much good: the police were limited in what they could do to communicate with other departments in the state, let alone between states (and especially internationally!) If you could afford a private detective, you might get what you paid for, but even the private detectives of the era were limited by the technology, record-keeping, quality of bureaucracy, and culture of the era: missing persons cases tended to be dead ends. Someone might report a missing loved one to police, but I doubt many people held any true hope the police would be able to help.
I seem to recall that police in New York considered it routine to just pull bodies out of the harbor, and many of those bodies went completely unidentified. There really weren't many resources available for linking such bodies with any of the missing persons who were reported. I suppose someone with the time to do so, who had reason to believe their missing loved one would probably end up in the harbor one day, might spend a lot of time with the police near the water, waiting for new bodies to be brought in to check for themselves to see if it's their good-for-nothing son or husband who'd crossed the wrong person and got sent on a long walk off a short pier.
Later in history, a more mature FBI would start keeping track of things like that, with the cooperation of more mature, professionalized police departments, but don't expect to see such a system getting much traction before the 1960s. To me, it's entirely believable that the 1920s would see a shocking number of people in a city vanishing without a trace, and even in a small town, a certain number of people might vanish each year, and just be written off by police and by locals as people who'd skipped town for one reason or another.
In fact, things have changed a lot over the decades, but I bet you could probably go down to your local police department and find a wall of despair somewhere, full of those "have you seen me?" posters looking for missing children believed taken by estranged parents, or young men and women believed to have run away from home, or adults who just vanished without a trace and probably had reason to not want to be found again, and so on - I just saw a local newspaper article the other day listing a half-dozen people who'd recently disappeared, with references to over a dozen others mentioned in passing near the end of the article, and I bet that few people outside the family and maybe the police department even noticed; the thought occurred to me that there's probably all sorts of such disappearances all the time, and I just never notice... maybe nobody really notices, and maybe few of the people who do know about it really care, or hold out much hope, beyond the occasional grieving parent, brother, or sister, and then, glancing back over the pictures again, the whole thing became kind of haunting and terrible. Certainly, I know that if it were me to disappear without a trace tonight into some ghoul's salami, almost nobody would notice, and the few who would care, couldn't do anything about it, and I'd be faring much better than the average drunk, abusive husband, neglected/abused teenaged runaway, young junkie or hoodlum, etc. - I bet there's a lot of missing persons out there who wouldn't simply go unmissed, but whose absence would be a relief to their families.
If the track records of modern serial killers are anything to go by, I bet that, even today, your cannibal salami cult could operate under the radar reasonably easily, and it would be even easier for them to have operated in the 1920s....
And for those of you ready to take the plunge, we're now accepting pre-orders on the Super Deluxe Limited Edition for Mask of Nyarlathotep. Yes, it weighs nearly 30lbs. Yes, it will be expensive to ship to you. And yes, it is brimming with awesome handmade artifacts plus the HPLHS' spectacular collection of prop documents. You know you want one.