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Lammomedes

1920s Adventures set in South East Asia

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jlynn

I said English and American colonial interests, which absolutely does involve Central and South America.

 

EDIT: To clarify my point, it has nothing to do with what languages Egyptians or Cubans or Maya speak, but how much English-speakers care about and make media about Egypt or Cuba or the Yucatan.

Last time I checked, the US didn't actually own any colonies in Central and South America.  Financial interests, certainly, and the occasional military intervention in support of those financial interests, but no actual colonies.  In fact, the only turf the US owned at the time was Puerto Rico and the Canal Zone.

 

Mind you, if you can show me where these US colonies in Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, and even Mexico were, I'll cheerfully admit you were spot on all along.

 

And, had you actually read my answer, you might have noted the following quote:  "One possible explanation is that there just isn't a lot of popular writing or movie making on the SE Asia area these days (other than the occasional Vietnam War pic), so people tend not to automatically think of the jungles of Burma or Thailand or Indochina as Places of Mystery.  If you go back and dig into the stuff being written back in the 1890s-1920's there WAS some good stuff (the Dacoits, if I recall correctly, were primarily in Burma and parts of modern Bangladesh and were one of the groups used by Fu Manchu as assassins), but as World War II got closer the focus tended to shift away from there and out into the Pacific basin or China more."

 

That actually sounds like I was agreeing with you.  Hmmm.

 

(Edited to add:  I very carefully used the term "Anglo-centric" since that's used in most scholarly circles to refer to both British and American influences.)

There was even an RAFM miniatures set "M.U. Expedition up the Mekong".

 

http://thumbs2.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/m2FDw9y_9GnE5oKpICFk8kg.jpg

m2FDw9y_9GnE5oKpICFk8kg.jpg

Man!  I'd completely forgotten about that!  What a blast from the past!  ;-)  Thanks for sharing that thumbnail.  It's a pity no one ever (seemingly) wrote anything for the miniatures to be used with!

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The_Tatterdemalion_King

Given your razor-narrow definition of colonialism, I'm going to assume you aren't Canadian...

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Gaffer

The USA also had a protectorate over the Philippines until after WWII.

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rylehNC

The US had Marines all over the Caribbean basin during this time, and administered some of the Dominican Republic's bureaucracy. So while there may not have been colonies under the strictest definition of the term, US imperialism was alive and well.

 

Last time I checked, the US didn't actually own any colonies in Central and South America.  Financial interests, certainly, and the occasional military intervention in support of those financial interests, but no actual colonies.  In fact, the only turf the US owned at the time was Puerto Rico and the Canal Zone.

 

Mind you, if you can show me where these US colonies in Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, and even Mexico were, I'll cheerfully admit you were spot on all along.

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jlynn

Given your razor-narrow definition of colonialism, I'm going to assume you aren't Canadian...

You simply don't read answers do you?

The USA also had a protectorate over the Philippines until after WWII.

Which isn't precisely in Central or South America is it?

The US had Marines all over the Caribbean basin during this time, and administered some of the Dominican Republic's bureaucracy. So while there may not have been colonies under the strictest definition of the term, US imperialism was alive and well.

As I stated in the very sentence you quoted.  Nor did I deny the USA was an imperialist power during this time. 

 

*sigh* 

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WinstonP

We are wandering away from a search for 1920s scenario of use for Southeast Asia.
 
Let us return to that topic.

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jlynn

We are wandering away from a search for 1920s scenario of use for Southeast Asia.

 

Let us return to that topic.

We are indeed. 

 

Lammomedes, I have had no luck in finding anything set in SE Asia during the 1920s.  At least for Call of Cthulhu or Trail of Cthulhu (though I will admit my "Trail" library isn't nearly as complete as my CoC library is, so someone else may come up with something suitable from that source).  As you know, I came up with a couple of pulp mystery scenarios set in the general region, but nothing that gets you to where the Tcho-Tcho hang out.

 

I'm wondering if the scenario from "Mysteries of the Congo" couldn't be jiggered around with a bit to make it come out up along the Mekong instead.  Obviously the native villages would require some cosmetic re-working, but the "bad natives" could easily become Tcho-Tchos, and the climactic scene could be set in an ancient temple of the Angkor Wat variety.  Again, I'll refer you to GURPS Places of Mystery for maps of the temple as well as some discussion about the type of stonework done in it. 

 

Structurally, I'm thinking one journey up a jungle river would be pretty much like another, with suitable cosmetic changes (vegetation types, animal types, natives, that sort of thing) to get folks into the spirit of the thing.  I'll also point out that "Mother of Malaria" from Mythos Expeditions might have some good ideas on encounters and the like to use (though again, you'd have to replace African animal encounters with Asian ones -- the "good" news is that tigers and giant snakes and crocodiles abound in the area, as well as poisonous centipedes and spiders and the like).  Also, Goodman Games had a scenario set in the Amazon Jungle that might help with the river travel part of the issue (in AOC-5 The Long Reach of Evil).

 

In the end, I'm just sorry to say that I couldn't find anything very helpful at all.

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jlynn

I did write a very short scenario for the in-development-hell "Cthulhu by ARCLIGHT" that could be pretty easily adjusted to the 20s Indochina:

 

http://www.theblackseal.org/2011/09/06/the-pool-of-mr-binh-a-zulu-event/

That's actually very good!  It would make an excellent side-adventure too.  And, as you said, very easy to re-write into the '20s.

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Lammomedes

We are indeed. 

 

Lammomedes, I have had no luck in finding anything set in SE Asia during the 1920s.  At least for Call of Cthulhu or Trail of Cthulhu (though I will admit my "Trail" library isn't nearly as complete as my CoC library is, so someone else may come up with something suitable from that source).  As you know, I came up with a couple of pulp mystery scenarios set in the general region, but nothing that gets you to where the Tcho-Tcho hang out.

 

I'm wondering if the scenario from "Mysteries of the Congo" couldn't be jiggered around with a bit to make it come out up along the Mekong instead.  Obviously the native villages would require some cosmetic re-working, but the "bad natives" could easily become Tcho-Tchos, and the climactic scene could be set in an ancient temple of the Angkor Wat variety.  Again, I'll refer you to GURPS Places of Mystery for maps of the temple as well as some discussion about the type of stonework done in it. 

 

Structurally, I'm thinking one journey up a jungle river would be pretty much like another, with suitable cosmetic changes (vegetation types, animal types, natives, that sort of thing) to get folks into the spirit of the thing.  I'll also point out that "Mother of Malaria" from Mythos Expeditions might have some good ideas on encounters and the like to use (though again, you'd have to replace African animal encounters with Asian ones -- the "good" news is that tigers and giant snakes and crocodiles abound in the area, as well as poisonous centipedes and spiders and the like).  Also, Goodman Games had a scenario set in the Amazon Jungle that might help with the river travel part of the issue (in AOC-5 The Long Reach of Evil).

 

In the end, I'm just sorry to say that I couldn't find anything very helpful at all.

 

Thanks for all your help Jlynn! I managed to take a look at "Mysteries of the Congo" and I think it could be rejiggered to become a decent enough SE Asia scenario. I am also thinking of redoing "The Plantation" and setting that as  French rubber plantation up the Mekong, though it does need a bit more of a rewrite since the start just isn't going to happen in Saigon (strange boy asks for help...maybe it might still work...hmm), but I am going to have switch the Yig Cult with something else more appropriate.

 

I might be able to pull something out of the Kenya Sourcebook for that matter, but maybe not. I'll have to dig in that more often. I'll also take a look at the Long Reach of Evil too now that you mentioned it.

 

I am just surprised how little is set in Southeast Asia. I think if I have some time this summer, I'll work on creating a monograph.

You could set 'The Plantation' somewhere past Lo Dung up the Nung River...

 

Already considered that...just need a different foe than Yig (and snakes) especially since the Tcho-Tcho and Chaugnar Faugn are from Southeast Asia..but using elephants isn't quite the same as snakes.

I did write a very short scenario for the in-development-hell "Cthulhu by ARCLIGHT" that could be pretty easily adjusted to the 20s Indochina:

 

http://www.theblackseal.org/2011/09/06/the-pool-of-mr-binh-a-zulu-event/

 

WinstonP: Thanks for the heads up. That might work out quite well.

WinstonP and others:

 

I found "The Pool of Mr Binh" as a downloadable pdf (someone must have worked it up at some point).

 

http://www.theblackseal.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/The_Pool_of_Mr_Binh.pdf

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The_Tatterdemalion_King

Already considered that...just need a different foe than Yig (and snakes) especially since the Tcho-Tcho and Chaugnar Faugn are from Southeast Asia..but using elephants isn't quite the same as snakes.

Why wouldn't you use snakes?

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jlynn

I am just surprised how little is set in Southeast Asia. I think if I have some time this summer, I'll work on creating a monograph.

 

Well, if you work one up, I'll sure buy it!  :-)

 

Also, given the number and types of snakes in the Mekong region, I'm thinking Yig might need much replacement after all, but if you prefer a different Big Bad, naturally, that's another thing entirely.

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Lammomedes

Well, if you work one up, I'll sure buy it!  :-)

 

Also, given the number and types of snakes in the Mekong region, I'm thinking Yig might need much replacement after all, but if you prefer a different Big Bad, naturally, that's another thing entirely.

 

We did a bunch of playtesting with this group for a Yig based campaign that is yet to come out. One of the reasons I latched onto Chaugnar Faugn and the Tcho-Tcho as something largely overlooked by a lot of the 1920s adventures that exist. Plus, they come from SE Asia in at least one version of their background, so they seemed perfect fit. Yig just seems so much more Southwestern US than the Mekong river basin, at least IMHO.

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jlynn

We did a bunch of playtesting with this group for a Yig based campaign that is yet to come out. One of the reasons I latched onto Chaugnar Faugn and the Tcho-Tcho as something largely overlooked by a lot of the 1920s adventures that exist. Plus, they come from SE Asia in at least one version of their background, so they seemed perfect fit. Yig just seems so much more Southwestern US than the Mekong river basin, at least IMHO.

I certainly understand wanting to work with something else, if you just finished a major work-up with Yig!  And there's absolutely no reason why you can't do one on the Tcho-Tcho and Chaugnar Faugn and let someone else play around with Yig if you choose to.  No such thing as a wrong answer here, I think!  The only write-up of Chaugner Faugn I remember was a particularly deadly pair of scenarios featuring him in Curse of the Cthonians, so he clearly hasn't been as overused as, say, "The King in Yellow" has lately!  ;-)

 

Though while I fully understand where that perception of Yig as a SW US kind of thing comes from ("The Mound"), the "Father of Serpents" would presumably be found anywhere there were serpents, so there wouldn't be anything inherently wrong with using him in the Mekong, or the Namibian karoo for that matter!  Either way though, I have to tell you I'm really looking forward to seeing this Yig campaign whereof you speak!

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WinstonP

You could try Yhidra. She has a sacred site in Laos.

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Lammomedes

You could try Yhidra. She has a sacred site in Laos.

 

Hmmm...I'll have to check up on her.

The only write-up of Chaugner Faugn I remember was a particularly deadly pair of scenarios featuring him in Curse of the Cthonians, so he clearly hasn't been as overused as, say, "The King in Yellow" has lately!  ;-)

 

Though while I fully understand where that perception of Yig as a SW US kind of thing comes from ("The Mound"), the "Father of Serpents" would presumably be found anywhere there were serpents, so there wouldn't be anything inherently wrong with using him in the Mekong, or the Namibian karoo for that matter!  Either way though, I have to tell you I'm really looking forward to seeing this Yig campaign whereof you speak!

 

There is an excellent write up on Chaugnar Faugn in Horror's Heart the campaign set in Montreal.

http://www.yog-sothoth.com/wiki/index.php/Horror%27s_Heart_%28Supplement%29

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WinstonP

It would help if I spelled Yidhra correctly. Sorry!

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jlynn

There is an excellent write up on Chaugnar Faugn in Horror's Heart the campaign set in Montreal.

http://www.yog-sothoth.com/wiki/index.php/Horror%27s_Heart_%28Supplement%29

How embarrassing!  I actually own Horror's Heart and had completely forgotten about it!  :-)  Of course, in my defense, I haven't read it in about 20 years!

 

I'm intrigued by Yidhra, though.  Not only has she not been "done" much (or, as far as I can tell, at all), but she fits right into that area (though, like Yig, she seems to frequent the desert southwest too).  Plus, in her avatar as Madame Yi, she has extensive cults in China (which, if you focus on the area around Chungking, also fits in nicely with the SE Asia jungle theme and the Tcho-Tcho who supposedly inhabit those mountains as well).  That gives you some more room to explore, and since all of those rivers flow out of the mountains near Tibet, if you pursue the Tcho-Tcho connection into Tibet, you've got more than one angle of attack here.

 

Given her noted preferences for Laos, China, Mexico, SW Texas and Chad, I can even see the possibility of a globe-trotting campaign there!

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rylehNC

How embarrassing!  I actually own Horror's Heart and had completely forgotten about it!  :-)  Of course, in my defense, I haven't read it in about 20 years!

 

I'm intrigued by Yidhra, though.  Not only has she not been "done" much (or, as far as I can tell, at all), but she fits right into that area (though, like Yig, she seems to frequent the desert southwest too).  Plus, in her avatar as Madame Yi, she has extensive cults in China (which, if you focus on the area around Chungking, also fits in nicely with the SE Asia jungle theme and the Tcho-Tcho who supposedly inhabit those mountains as well).  That gives you some more room to explore, and since all of those rivers flow out of the mountains near Tibet, if you pursue the Tcho-Tcho connection into Tibet, you've got more than one angle of attack here.

 

Given her noted preferences for Laos, China, Mexico, SW Texas and Chad, I can even see the possibility of a globe-trotting campaign there!

 

I also thought her cult had a presence in Mesopotamia.

I am just surprised how little is set in Southeast Asia. I think if I have some time this summer, I'll work on creating a monograph.

 

A capital idea!

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deuce

Okay, I know there are a number of Vietnam era, especially for Delta Green, adventures set in South East Asia.

However, my group is headed to Indochina, specifically Saigon, to track down a missing relative and investigate Tcho-Tcho being brought into the US by a deceased distant relative.

They have uncovered a possible connection between the Tcho-Tcho they encountered in Louisiana and Chaugnar Faugn, but also a possible link to the King in Yellow.

A voyage across the Pacific is underway, with one small ship board adventure already finished.

Now they are going to arrive in New Zealand or Australia before transferring to a ship headed to Saigon.

 

So, besides Terror Australis (for their brief stop down under), are there any other adventures or possible source material for adventuring in French Indochina during the early 1920s?

Anything for the South Pacific I could easily convert? I don't want to steal the Shanghai part of Masks because they may run through that campaign at some point.

 

As others have pointed out, there really isn't much Indo-Chinese RPG material out there. However, if you ever thought about doing a full campaign and wanted to research...

 

http://www.amazon.com/Stone-Heaven-Unearthing-History-Imperial/dp/0316095583/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426471198&sr=8-1&keywords=stone+of+heaven

 

http://www.amazon.com/Trouser-People-Story-Shadow-Empire/dp/1582432422/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1426471259&sr=8-2&keywords=trouser+people

 

Burma was still a very "unknown land" in the '20s. I can vouch for the quality of both books.  The Stone of Heaven brings you up to about the year 2000. 

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Lammomedes

As others have pointed out, there really isn't much Indo-Chinese RPG material out there. However, if you ever thought about doing a full campaign and wanted to research...

 

http://www.amazon.com/Stone-Heaven-Unearthing-History-Imperial/dp/0316095583/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426471198&sr=8-1&keywords=stone+of+heaven

 

http://www.amazon.com/Trouser-People-Story-Shadow-Empire/dp/1582432422/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1426471259&sr=8-2&keywords=trouser+people

 

Burma was still a very "unknown land" in the '20s. I can vouch for the quality of both books.  The Stone of Heaven brings you up to about the year 2000. 

 

Thanks for the links!

 

I'm a teaching a course this summer on the Vietnam War (1964-1975) so I should also be able to get some research done under the guise of actually doing course prep.

As I said, I can understand the interest for the 1960s, but the earlier period would be interesting too.

I'm intrigued by Yidhra, though.  Not only has she not been "done" much (or, as far as I can tell, at all), but she fits right into that area (though, like Yig, she seems to frequent the desert southwest too).  Plus, in her avatar as Madame Yi, she has extensive cults in China (which, if you focus on the area around Chungking, also fits in nicely with the SE Asia jungle theme and the Tcho-Tcho who supposedly inhabit those mountains as well).  That gives you some more room to explore, and since all of those rivers flow out of the mountains near Tibet, if you pursue the Tcho-Tcho connection into Tibet, you've got more than one angle of attack here.

 

Given her noted preferences for Laos, China, Mexico, SW Texas and Chad, I can even see the possibility of a globe-trotting campaign there!

 

I'll dig more into Yidhra and go from there. The connection to the Tcho-Tcho is always a good one. Especially since the players are looking for a Chinese woman living in Saigon who they have a portrait of, but only know by the name, "Mrs. Chin." Which, honestly, isn't much help, but with the portrait should help. The connection to China is a good one, and may allow me to drag out my course materials on China during the 1920s and make use of the Shanghai chapter from Masks.

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jlynn

I also thought her cult had a presence in Mesopotamia.

If so, it must be mentioned somewhere other than either the Creature Companion or Malleus Monstrorum, though the MM entry does say "...among other places," so I suppose you could add in anywhere you liked.  From the description, she does seem to be more centered on east Asia than anywhere else though (at least, they spend the most time talking about her in relation to that area).

 

(Edited to add:  Actually, adding in Mesopotamia would be a nice touch, if you wanted to pursue the globe trotting campaign part of the concept -- it's a nice intermediate stop between Chad and the east Asian parts of the world!)

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jlynn

I'll dig more into Yidhra and go from there. The connection to the Tcho-Tcho is always a good one. Especially since the players are looking for a Chinese woman living in Saigon who they have a portrait of, but only know by the name, "Mrs. Chin." Which, honestly, isn't much help, but with the portrait should help. The connection to China is a good one, and may allow me to drag out my course materials on China during the 1920s and make use of the Shanghai chapter from Masks.

There's also the scenario "Shanghai Bullets" from Stunning Eldritch Tales (for Trail of Cthulhu) -- which would allow you to throw a Shanghai based scenario at them with plenty of opportunities for cameo appearances by "The Stumbling Tiger Bar" or "Ho Fong Imports" without necessarily showing anything you might use later in Masks, if you want something different in Shanghai.  This particular scenario does a pretty good job of giving a taste of the kind of convoluted shenanigans going on in Shanghai in the Twenties and Thirties.  (In fact, if you pulled the Mythos parts and replaced them with a more prosaic murder mystery, you'd have a pretty good 1930's movie on your hands, a la Maltese Falcon, or The Thin Man!)

 

As for Burma, about the only thing I remember about it before WWII, is that Kipling based some (not very many) of his tales there, and it was a place that the Dacoits were from in the Fu Manchu books (which may or may not be a matter of strict historical fact).  To me, it looks like another completely untapped region, chock full of possibilities!

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Lammomedes

There's also the scenario "Shanghai Bullets" from Stunning Eldritch Tales (for Trail of Cthulhu) -- which would allow you to throw a Shanghai based scenario at them with plenty of opportunities for cameo appearances by "The Stumbling Tiger Bar" or "Ho Fong Imports" without necessarily showing anything you might use later in Masks, if you want something different in Shanghai.  This particular scenario does a pretty good job of giving a taste of the kind of convoluted shenanigans going on in Shanghai in the Twenties and Thirties.  (In fact, if you pulled the Mythos parts and replaced them with a more prosaic murder mystery, you'd have a pretty good 1930's movie on your hands, a la Maltese Falcon, or The Thin Man!)

 

As for Burma, about the only thing I remember about it before WWII, is that Kipling based some (not very many) of his tales there, and it was a place that the Dacoits were from in the Fu Manchu books (which may or may not be a matter of strict historical fact).  To me, it looks like another completely untapped region, chock full of possibilities!

 

There is also the sourcebook for Tibet too, but I have the monograph as well as the Tibet book, and both read as better materials for Gaslight then they do for the 1920s.

I am surprised no one really has tried to put together a 1920s China or Japan sourcebook, never mind Southeast Asia. Yes, there is the Secrets of Japan book, but that is more modern era than historical (but enough of it works for historical that I am not really complaining). Sure they are big undertakings, but we have lots of scholars among Cthulhu fans.

Heck we have books on Kenya and Morocco, places I hadn't even thought about setting stuff there until the books came along (well, outside of a Gaslight campaign) and yet there have been more than a handful of adventures set throughout Africa up to this point as well.

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jlynn

There is also the sourcebook for Tibet too, but I have the monograph as well as the Tibet book, and both read as better materials for Gaslight then they do for the 1920s.

I am surprised no one really has tried to put together a 1920s China or Japan sourcebook, never mind Southeast Asia. Play, there is the Secrets of Japan book, but that is more modern era than historical (but enough of it works for historical that I am not really complaining). Sure they are big undertakings, but we have lots of scholars among Cthulhu fans.

Heck we have books on Kenya and Morocco, places I hadn't even thought about setting stuff there until the books came along (well, outside of a Gaslight campaign) and yet there have been more than a handful of adventures set throughout Africa up to this point as well.

Well, technologically speaking Tibet was pretty behind the times.  But I won't disagree with you.  The monographs on the Sudan and the Raj are set in the Gaslight era, but easily enough updated for the 20's.  I agree that it's sort of sad there isn't something done up on SE Asia, China or Japan for the 20's, and there are only one or two scenarios dealing with Japan in the 20s at all (I'm thinking of AOC's Dream of Japan primarily, but I think there was at least one more done quite some time ago by Chaosium, though I may be misremembering that).  In a way, that's quite a pity, because in the '20s, there was still some doubt that Japan would wind up a military dictatorship, and you'd think that some series of scenarios set there could help explain that outcome in Mythos terms!  ;-)

 

While there has always been a focus on producing actual scenarios as opposed to pure background information, it does seem odd that in 34 years there haven't been more regions of the world (and, for that matter, cities) done up as source-books.  Between Chaosium's Monographs, Pagan's willingness to go strange places, Sixtystone Press, and Golden Goblin Press there are plenty of companies publishing Mythos gaming material who might consider a well-done regional or city source book.

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