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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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malcojones
If you've seen Gregory's Girl or the old Sean Connery film The Offence that's pretty much what it looked like.

 

If I hadn't read it, I don't think I would have believed it possible to put those two films in one sentence. But I recognize that new town landscape.

 

Pill boxes also very evocative, but also clearly post WWII.

 

Timing is going to be everything with this project if MRP decides to go ahead.

 

Much of the difficulties of the Chaosium Goatswood book came from the disjunctions between the time in which the book claimed to be set and the variously inflected scenarios which seemed more at home in the seventies and eighties.

 

One author should make for a more consitent product, but what it is consistent to will need to be carefully judged.

 

Best, malcojones

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Robin

Pill boxes also very evocative, but also clearly post WWII.

 

Derailing the thread somewhat, but these things fascinate me. As as kid, they were overgrown, hidden places (even though the one I knew best was right next to the entrance to the carpark by the railway station), but back in the days they were built in important places, which may not be so important now. Soldiers and observers and home guard sat in them for hours at a time. Things were seen by them, things were talked about, and plans where probably made for the future. Arguments were had, fears were revealed. Some people probably dozed off inside them and had dreams or nightmares. Things fell out of pockets and are hidden under the wind-blown detritus of five decades of decay.

 

They've become places for kids to play or drink too much. Drug-users can inject in them and leave their needles behind. Bodies can be hidden them. Local historians can catalogue them. They can be threatened with demolition and provoke local outcry.

 

Trivial things, but profoundly British, and scabbed with history, moss and plots.

 

 

Regards

 

Robin

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Gaffer

A very evocative description, Robin. Thanks.

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malcojones
These things fascinate me. ...

They've become places for kids to play or drink too much. Drug-users can inject in them and leave their needles behind. Bodies can be hidden them. Local historians can catalogue them. They can be threatened with demolition and provoke local outcry.

 

Trivial things, but profoundly British, and scabbed with history, moss and plots.

 

See also air-raid shelters; not the homemade garden ones but the larger poured concrete ones for schools and military installations. Solider than the pillboxes (which are often concrete over brick) and too much effort to demolish they lurk in back gardens and the corners of fields.

 

Best, malcojones

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sda

Certainly some evocative images of uniquely British things. Such intrisically British details hadn't occured to me, sadly. Obviously and truly it is best to write about what you KNOW and see than attempt to portray something of which you have no firsthand knowledge. I am rethinking my ability to do true justice to such a project and think perhaps it just best left undone....

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Agent_Bluescale

I think the huge interest in the project means you should. But that is just my own opinion

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WinstonP
I am rethinking my ability to do true justice to such a project and think perhaps it just best left undone....

 

I think with the aid of some British readers such details could easily be included and a fitting book crafted; don't sell yourself short as a writer Scott.

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Evans
Certainly some evocative images of uniquely British things. Such intrisically British details hadn't occured to me, sadly. Obviously and truly it is best to write about what you KNOW and see than attempt to portray something of which you have no firsthand knowledge. I am rethinking my ability to do true justice to such a project and think perhaps it just best left undone....

 

I think you could do it.

 

The key thing not knowing specific details like that is not trying to hard to emulate them. Depending on how its done you can get allong with fairly sketchy national details as long as you get the local history and colour right. (I allways feel vaguely amused by how much some American scenario authors witting about Britain feel the need to bring the IRA into very unlikely places).

 

On a some what selfish subject should I stop putting attempts at source material for the Severn Valley area on the net. Obviously there no where near as comprehensive as printed material but I don't want to step on anyone's toes or hurt the idea of a new official source book.

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Robin
Certainly some evocative images of uniquely British things. Such intrisically British details hadn't occured to me, sadly. Obviously and truly it is best to write about what you KNOW and see than attempt to portray something of which you have no firsthand knowledge. I am rethinking my ability to do true justice to such a project and think perhaps it just best left undone....

 

Oh lord, don't say that... people will be coming after me with flaming torches and pitchforks!

 

My intention was absolutely not to put you off or suggest the project is beyond you. What I wanted to do was demonstrate that there are a lot of little things non-Brits will be largely unaware of, but which are potentially sources of both inspiration and verisimilitude.

 

The facts that there is so much information available on the net and you have a legion of Brit Cthulhu fans right here probably make such a project easier than ever before!

 

 

Regards

 

Robin

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Robin

See also air-raid shelters; not the homemade garden ones but the larger poured concrete ones for schools and military installations. Solider than the pillboxes (which are often concrete over brick) and too much effort to demolish they lurk in back gardens and the corners of fields.

 

A schoolfriend of mine moved to a new house with one in the back garden, pretty small, concrete steps leading down on one side. Half below and half above ground. The previous owner had put shelves in and stored apples from his tree on them. BY the time my friend, his sister and I got there, the apples were well passed it. Old-age apples we called them. I still remember his sister saying quite thoughtfully, "So that's what old-age apples taste like like" after he threw one at her.

 

It's also where I discovered that spiders are potentially explosive.

 

Regards

 

Robin

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glyph

You wouldn't be the first to try and write about things intrinsically British, the same as if you wrote a scenario set in Antartica, or Fiji, or Arkham. Writing's all about going to places you've never been before.

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Mr_Lin
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).

 

Knew a lad who used to like starting fires in rubbish skips outside factory premises. Was particularly keen on old toner cartridges from photocopiers because he said they contained flammable black powder. Also aerosols would go off with a hefty bang when chucked on a fire. How about that for a non-standard Fire Vampire summoning spell?

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Aurelius
Obviously and truly it is best to write about what you KNOW and see than attempt to portray something of which you have no firsthand knowledge. I am rethinking my ability to do true justice to such a project and think perhaps it just best left undone....

 

But if you only write what you 'KNOW' (or rather, what you think you 'KNOW' - go back and ask others who attended concerts or parties, or school events, or TV shows and films alongside you what they 'KNOW' about the event, I'll almost guarantee the 'facts' differ a fair bit!) you write nothing beyond your life as you think it is now - which should be rather worrying for a Call of Cthulhu writer..... :twisted:

 

You write what you imagine, even if you're writing about something as 'familiar' as your own country (like there is a universal non-time-specific cultural setting for all of the US?).

 

It's certainly better it's done than not, and I'd rather have a good writer who isn't particularly familiar with the 'fine tuning' of British culture do it than a bad writer who gets the facts right and gives us something unuseable and dull.

 

Try it out, grab a few folks more familiar with the setting - or rather the factual basis for the setting since you don't want to be corresponding with 'real' Goatswood residents 8O - to help proofread, factcheck and contextualize, and you write it. Firsthand knowledge can be desperately overrated, and an 'outside' view can pick up all sorts of stuff the 'insiders' don't see.

 

Go for it.

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Robin

Knew a lad who used to like starting fires in rubbish skips outside factory premises.

 

Skips, now there's another curious thing, although I'm sure plenty of other countries have them too. Just imagine what you could find in them.

 

How about that for a non-standard Fire Vampire summoning spell?

 

The thing is, you don't even need to tie them to the Mythos. A skip fire is a strange thing... it brings everyone out into the night to watch... someone calls the fire brigade... and while everyone's attention is drawn to it, something else is happening in the dark, beyond everyone's ruined night vision...

 

 

Regards

 

Robin

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sda

[quote="Evans

On a some what selfish subject should I stop putting attempts at source material for the Severn Valley area on the net. Obviously there no where near as comprehensive as printed material but I don't want to step on anyone's toes or hurt the idea of a new official source book.

 

Absolutely not. I would never think to ask anyone to stop writing or creating because they were working in the same territory as me. In fact, I was going to ask you -- if you wanted to -- to send me what you had done and I might make use of (with full credit, of course) some of your ideas if they fit what I was doing with the book.

 

I am flattered that so many have said to go head and do it -- I was worried because I (of course) want to create a book that people like and will use. All the talk of the little UK-specific details made me stop and wonder if I could do the subject true justice. I am not guessing my own writing abilities -- but I simply do not KNOW the little colorful details that many of you have described and which would make for a more true setting, and which you apparently expect in such a book. I have no problem working with UK-based people to "get it right" if the desire for the book is truly there -- in fact I would welcome it. I want this to be the absolutely best book on the subject matter that it can be.

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Aurelius
All the talk of the little UK-specific details made me stop and wonder if I could do the subject true justice. I am not guessing my own writing abilities -- but I simply do not KNOW the little colorful details that many of you have described and which would make for a more true setting, and which you apparently expect in such a book.

 

Here's a secret - a lot of us folks in the UK don't know them either, and especially don't know any 'whole UK' rather than specific local or regional ones....

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HomoLupusDomesticus
(...)All the talk of the little UK-specific details made me stop and wonder if I could do the subject true justice. I am not guessing my own writing abilities -- but I simply do not KNOW the little colorful details that many of you have described and which would make for a more true setting, and which you apparently expect in such a book.(...)
I wonder how many little US-specific details there are in the Lovecraft country sourcebooks. I didn't notice many. IMO a 'Campbell country' sourcebook will do fine with more or less the same amount of little UK-specific details.

I get the impression some people here are a tad bit demanding on the subject. I haven't read complaints from anybody from Kenya about the little Kenya-specific details that they would have liked to be in Secrets of Kenya. :wink:

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Robin
Here's a secret - a lot of us folks in the UK don't know them either, and especially don't know any 'whole UK' rather than specific local or regional ones....

 

That's true, but at the same time we share a lot more than we're probably aware of, and responses to previous UK supplements for different games show that we're remarkably good at finding things that don't fit with our experience of living here or lamenting the absence of things that could have been mentioned.

 

 

Regards

 

Robin

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Robin

IMO a 'Campbell country' sourcebook will do fine with more or less the same amount of little UK-specific details.

 

You're right, it would probably do fine. However, I'm hoping for something very good or better.

 

There's little point writing a sourcebook set in the UK if you're going to ignore that very resource. You might as well just transfer Campbell's ideas to the US and save yourself the hassle of any research at all.

 

Regards

 

Robin

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Tigger_MK4

IMO a 'Campbell country' sourcebook will do fine with more or less the same amount of little UK-specific details.

 

You're right, it would probably do fine. However, I'm hoping for something very good or better.

 

There's little point writing a sourcebook set in the UK if you're going to ignore that very resource. You might as well just transfer Campbell's ideas to the US and save yourself the hassle of any research at all.

 

Regards

 

Robin

 

I'd agree with this.

 

The UK has differences from the US that can surprise US writers (and vice versa). From the school system and the sign posts through to the underground (metro) systems and assistants in shops (fewer and often more rude) its actually a surprisingly different culture. The UK is alot more like Europe (and less like the US) than us Brits sometimes realise.

 

As a personal anecdote: As a Brit I actually had a bigger culture shock trying to use the public transport in San Fransisco (where I speak the lingo) that in France (where I dont).

 

Whilst it doesnt need a degree in English history, I think big efforts should be made to avoid such trite cliches that are regularly used in US TV/Movies auch as Butlers, Manor houses, etc.. ( Magnum, Star Trek, 3 men and a baby...and the original Goatwood... j'acuse)

 

Oh, and we don't all spend our afternoon clay pigeon shooting using irishmen as targets either.... I'd avoid the Irish 'troubles' unless you're well read up on them. I've seen some deeply insulting takes on the modern English attitudes to Ireland written by US writers.

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malcojones
All the talk of the little UK-specific details made me stop and wonder if I could do the subject true justice. [...] I simply do not KNOW the little colorful details that many of you have described and which would make for a more true setting, and which you apparently expect in such a book. [...]

 

The key point here is that the level of detail that British punters might expect about the country they live in now, or the one they grew up in (during the seventies for example), comes from personal experience and familiarity.

 

If the setting is 1920s all that goes (90+ yo CoCers are rare and getting rarer). The past IS another country, as the saying goes. I'm sure your historical research can stand against everyone else's from the sources available within a CoC context.

 

Best, malcojones

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Aurelius
That's true, but at the same time we share a lot more than we're probably aware of, and responses to previous UK supplements for different games show that we're remarkably good at finding things that don't fit with our experience of living here or lamenting the absence of things that could have been mentioned.

 

Agreed, there's always some degree of 'shared culture', but it can be overplayed. With a mix of English and Scottish parents, living in fairly rural Yorkshire, there were still quite a few things in 'Green and Pleasant Land' - written by UK people for a UK company - that just were not 'true' in my experience, yet that was still an extremely useful supplement for playing CoC in Britain.

 

As for Malcojones reminder about 'the past being a different country', too damn true - I'm not that old, but even comparing the UK of my childhood with the current version, there's a huge amount of difference in almost every aspect of the place, both in it's culture and physical fabric.

 

We tend to pick up on the more bizarre versions of the country that appear in products, but mostly are pretty tolerant of minor errors, maybe because we appreciate just how varied people here can be. England might only be a smallish country, but the differences in slang and accent make communications between, say, Cornish folks and Geordies problematic at times. :)

 

Lamenting absence of material is always a given, it's too diverse a place to jam into a 128, or 256, or any (insert page-count total) supplement without missing out something 'important' to some of the audience, but I'd view that as a mix of opportunity (the internet means expansions, extra material and such is pretty easy to distribute) and compliment, since if the product is awful there would probably be more complaints about what is there than concern about the gaps.

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David_Conyers

Scott, I think you should write it anyway. Not everyone is going to like what you do, but I can be certain that there will be many, many more readers and gamers who do.

 

Take what works for you, throw the rest away and getting writing. Write what you think works best (and what your editors think are best as they are your paychecks and publishers). I think it would be a fantastic book if you did it.

 

You should also contact Glyn White, who lives in England and has written for Terrors from Beyond to help out with the British information.

 

Good luck

David

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sda

Thanks, David. A book like this is a LOT of work (as you well know), so I want to "get it right" and please as many people as possible.

 

My next concern is the 1920's vs modern setting....

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Robin
You should also contact Glyn White, who lives in England and has written for Terrors from Beyond to help out with the British information.

 

Or he could, you know, talk to us here. As a few people have pointed out we all have varying experience and knowledge of Britain, so a range of thought and opinion might be more useful than relying on one person just because he's published.

 

My apologies if I've misinterpreted the tone of your post, but it sounded a little dismissive.

 

Regards

 

Robin

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