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tlynch999

Goatswood Revisited?

A New Goatswood Book from Miskatonic River Press would be:  

455 members have voted

  1. 1. A New Goatswood Book from Miskatonic River Press would be:

    • A Modern Lovecraft-Country-esque book.
    • A Classic Era (1920's) Lovecraft-Country-esque book.
    • Of absolutely no interest to me. I have the other book and that's enough!
    • Something Else Entirely (I'll Post My Thoughts)


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David_Conyers
I cannot emphasise how important I think it is to set such a source book in the 'present' Campbell was writing for: the Britain of the 1960's and 1970's.

 

As nice as such a book would be, I don't think it would be commercial, unless it was part of a series of 1960s sourcebooks, which also covered the period as well as the Mythos, otherwise it might as well be modern day.

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tlynch999
I cannot emphasise how important I think it is to set such a source book in the 'present' Campbell was writing for: the Britain of the 1960's and 1970's.

 

As nice as such a book would be, I don't think it would be commercial, unless it was part of a series of 1960s sourcebooks, which also covered the period as well as the Mythos, otherwise it might as well be modern day.

David's beaten me to it. While it would be wonderful to be true to the setting and to Mr. Campbell's work, when you get down to it, we're trying to create a book that sells. I understand the desire make it perfect, but if we make it so perfect that it stands by itself, we're dooming it to failure...and risking taking MRP with it.

 

That's not saying I'm chucking any info I'm getting. Completely the contrary. Scott and I will have many and varied conversations on this I am sure. Whatever we do, though, has to be able to add to people's games, since this is a game book after all. If we have a book set in an era all by itself, a few people will use it for a bit, and then realize they effectively have to start over in a different era with different books, because they've run out of material.

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David_Conyers
While it would be wonderful to be true to the setting and to Mr. Campbell's work, when you get down to it, we're trying to create a book that sells. I understand the desire make it perfect, but if we make it so perfect that it stands by itself, we're dooming it to failure...and risking taking MRP with it.

 

Looking at it commercially (again), a modern book works better because it can be played inconjunction with Chaosium's Goatswood supplement, and any 1920s British material it could be played in conjuction with is out of print.

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sda
While it would be wonderful to be true to the setting and to Mr. Campbell's work, when you get down to it, we're trying to create a book that sells. I understand the desire make it perfect, but if we make it so perfect that it stands by itself, we're dooming it to failure...and risking taking MRP with it.

 

Looking at it commercially (again), a modern book works better because it can be played inconjunction with Chaosium's Goatswood supplement, and any 1920s British material it could be played in conjuction with is out of print.

 

Some very solid points. No, in reality I cannot see doing a setting book in an era (60's/70's UK) where there is no other material/support. It would be a one-shot sort of thing that most people probably wouldn't ever use. Modern probably works best and it would be interesting to revisit his characters 30 or 40 years after their initial tangle with the Mythos and see what they were up to now....

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Robin
Modern probably works best and it would be interesting to revisit his characters 30 or 40 years after their initial tangle with the Mythos and see what they were up to now....

 

Modern I can live with (as long as there's some robust examination by the locals). What's more, you get to do history, which covers Gaslight, Classic, WWII, 60s/70s, and right up to Now. Something for everyone!

 

However, it does raise the question of whether or not to tie it to the Delta Green material.

 

Regards

 

Robin

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jasonw1239

The lovely Severn as it passes through Shrewsbury. I took this photo in 1984.

On the right you can see how thick the foliage is where it borders the river.

Family_album127.jpg

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tlynch999

That guy on the kayak is TOAST!

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FJR

Yes, I thought about this for a while too, before pipping for the '1920s' option.

I've only gotten into Campbell over the past 2 years, but am now a convert.

I would buy either a modern or '20s setting book (even a 50s/60s/70s!),

but I went for the '20s as it's my preferred context for Call of Cthulhu stuff.

It was a difficult choice though, and to be honest, as someone else above said,

to do justice to the urban decay and sometime seediness of Campbell's evoked world/s,

it would proably be more faithfully served by going for the modern option.

So, whatever it turns out to be, I'm sold anyway (and yes I do have the Chaosium Goatswood book).

Excellent move Miskatonic River Press! 8)

Francis

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HomoLupusDomesticus

To be sure, since I prefer the classic period to play in I would love a 1920s era sourcebook for the Severn Valley, but it would have little to do with any story actually written by Campbell.

If I specifically wanted to run a game in Campbell's "mythos universe", incorporating not only monsters and cults but also events and characters from the stories, modern would be the only logical option.

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ProfSpender

I also originally thought I would prefer a book set in the 1960s/70s, but as I stated above, I don't think Campbell's Mythos fiction is that tied to this period. Apart from "Cold Print" itself, I can't think of any (Cthulhu Mythos) story that really deals with urban decay in a way stories by HPL himself don't. If there are some, please name them.

 

Two further problems with 1960s/70s Campbell Country: 1. Such a book would lean heavily on other sources to explicate the climate and, if you will, urban decay of the times. This brings the risk that it would be closer to "Life on Mars meets Cthulhu" (is that "Life on Yuggoth"? :lol: ) that to anything Campbellian. 2. I suspect that these themes are more prominent in Campbell's later, nonmythos works. But to use an analogy, would we want to set the "Bloch Mythos" in the 1950s so we could include Psycho, his most famous work? It might just go beyond the scope of the game.

 

An aside: in any case, details, as promised by Mr Aniolowski, are crucial. What make the Lovecraft Country books so great and makes the existing Goatswood book fail is that the former really bring the places to life as real cities/villages, while the latter just summarises the stories. This attention to detail really is needed, I think.

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Mr_Lin
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.

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HomoLupusDomesticus
(...)I suspect that these themes are more prominent in Campbell's later, nonmythos works. But to use an analogy, would we want to set the "Bloch Mythos" in the 1950s so we could include Psycho, his most famous work? It might just go beyond the scope of the game.(...)
The Darkest Part of the Woods (2003) is definitely mythos stuff, though.

 

Then again, a lot of Lovecraft's stories are set in the 1930s, yet still the default setting for the Call of Cthulhu RPG is the 1920s.

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eltrevo

 

However, it does raise the question of whether or not to tie it to the Delta Green material.

 

Regards

 

Robin

 

I too, would like to raise this point. Perhaps a section in the back of the book about how to connect it to Delta Green (like Unseen Masters) would be a good idea, if it is in fact a Modern era sourcebook?

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Black-Seal-Editor
On a related note, issue two of The Black Seal carried an article called 'Places of Interest in Brichester' by Nik Brownlow. I've not read it recently, but I remember it feeling somehow right. Very importantly, the art for the piece was spot on, with images that were genuinely British - I don't know who the artist was, but I'd be hoping for that sort of knowledge of British architecture.

 

The artist is Sarah Evans, better known for her Gloranthan work, and her incredible GMs screens as seen on yog-sothoth.com.

 

Nick has another Severn Valley piece waiting to appear in TBS#4.

 

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.

 

What's suggested is a Severn Valley sourcebook so lets go back to source for that and ignore the later add-ons. If you are strictly purist it would have to be set in the 1960s/70s but as has been pointed out that's a limited market, so maybe not.

 

If you set it Now or the Twenties you are transforming the source into something new - much like the DG material, so what's the point of covering yet another "inspired by" in the same book as your own reimagining of the setting. Point the reader in the general direction and let them go if they want to.

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Danharms
To be sure, since I prefer the classic period to play in I would love a 1920s era sourcebook for the Severn Valley, but it would have little to do with any story actually written by Campbell.

If I specifically wanted to run a game in Campbell's "mythos universe", incorporating not only monsters and cults but also events and characters from the stories, modern would be the only logical option.

 

"The Horror from the Bridge" is set in the 1930s, but I think that might be it.

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jasonw1239
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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Mr_Lin

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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Robin
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

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sda

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

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tlynch999
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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glyph

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.

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Robin

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

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_hardened_field_defences_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.

 

Regards

 

Robin

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Mr_Lin

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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Black-Seal-Editor
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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Robin
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.

 

Regards

 

Robin

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