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Masks of Nyarlathotep - New 2018 Edition

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KnygathinZhaum

Yeah. A little orcish. I always pictured him as a more refined gentleman with a slight and subtle smirk. 

 

Also: More waiting, hooray!!

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PoC

Agreed. The illustration has more of a RuneQuest than Call of Cthulhu vibe to me - but maybe I'm just an old grognard. ;-)

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KnygathinZhaum

Well...we ARE living in a less...refined...era.

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willmize

So, what you're saying is that Nyarlathotep is a cross between Karloff as Ardeth Bay and Josh Brolin as Thanos?

Huh.

Didn't see that one coming.

 

- Bill

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KnygathinZhaum

Josh Brolin as Thanos?

 

:lol:

 

It really does look like that. Hahaha.

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WinstonP

Then down the wide lane betwixt the two columns a lone figure strode; a tall, slim figure with the young face of an antique Pharaoh, gay with prismatic robes and crowned with a golden pshent that glowed with inherent light. Close up to Carter strode that regal figure; whose proud carriage and swart features had in them the fascination of a dark god or fallen archangel, and around whose eyes there lurked the languid sparkle of capricious humour.

- The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath

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KnygathinZhaum

Chaosium gave that passage to their art team and the art team was just like "Nah. Let's go with Josh Brolin as Thanos."

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PoC

I can see a certain similarity.

 

marvel-thanos-on-throne-maquette-sideshow.jpg

 

- of course Chaosium can take their version of N. in any direction they wish.

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jlynn

Though, of course, if Nyalathotep can appear as the Bloody Tongue or the Bloated Woman, who's to say that this particular rendition isn't just another mask?  Or perhaps the Pharaoh is...

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dazzleox

Mike: â€œWe are introducing a brand new chapter. Set in Peru, this new scenario provides a introductory prologue to the campaign, where the investigators get to meet Jackson Elias, the industrious and charming author, whose research leads into the globe-spanning mystery"

 

Good idea to add what a lot of players recommended over the years as well.  Though there was something always sort of charming about "you would be very upset if something happened to your good friend, Jackson" (or however it was worded.)

 

Also I like that it will be for 7th edition or Pulp Cthulhu, being the most pulpy of the four or five most "classic" big adventures.

 

PS EDIT, of course Nyarlathotep is a man spreader.  Probably does it on the subway too.

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gabrielconnor

I for one like that image of the Black Pharaoh! 

 

As you already said, to each their own ;)

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Travern

Many thanks for sharing the image, Michael.  I'm sorry to say, though, that portrait of Nyarlathotep as the Black Pharoah looks more like 25th Age in Glorantha - not even old-school Runequest - than Call of Cthulhu.  Does this really match like the description in The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath that Winston P quoted?  Not to dismiss the difficulties of art direction, across not just a sprawling work like Masks of Nyarlathotep, but several product lines as well, but this otherwise well-rendered image seems off model.

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KnygathinZhaum

Or perhaps the Pharaoh is...

 

...actually Josh Brolin as Thanos?

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jlynn

So you're accusing Josh Brolin of being the actual Nyarlathotep?

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willmize

So you're accusing Josh Brolin of being the actual Nyarlathotep?

 

Hey, if Kevin Pollak can be the immortal Count of Saint Germain, then yes, anything else is possible.

 

- Bill

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jlynn

Hey, if Kevin Pollak can be the immortal Count of Saint Germain, then yes, anything else is possible.

 

- Bill

 

*snap* 

 

You're right!  And wasn't Tom Cruise a vampire once?  (Though, come to think of it, maybe that's not such a reach after all, considering everything...)

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MOB

Many thanks for sharing the image, Michael. I'm sorry to say, though, that portrait of Nyarlathotep as the Black Pharoah looks more like 25th Age in Glorantha - not even old-school Runequest - than Call of Cthulhu.

 

Funnily enough, when we first showed off the excellent cover art for 25th 13th Age Glorantha we got a few complaints that it was too much like Call of Cthulhu!

 

13th_Age_Glorantha_-_Front_Cover_-_700__

 

NB I worked on quite a bit of the art direction for 13G, and am really pleased with how the book has finally turned out. While the cover wasn't one of my commissions, I think it vividly conveys the "Chaos is rising - we all fight or we die" theme of 13G. (The creature bursting through is a walktapus, a Gloranthan creation of Greg Stafford's.)

 

Does this really match like the description in The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath that Winston P quoted? Not to dismiss the difficulties of art direction, across not just a sprawling work like Masks of Nyarlathotep, but several product lines as well, but this otherwise well-rendered image seems off model.

 

There's no suggestion the piece is supposed to be based on The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. However, as Nyarlathotep takes 1000 forms there is always going to be a wide latitude for different artistic interpretations. (I'm not involved in the amazing new art for Masks, but a Nyarlathotep depiction I did actually art direct, in Call of Cthulhu the Coloring Book, is different again).

 

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PoC

Again I must admit I'm not finding the art direction (from what I've seen so far) in the new version of Masks a perfect fit. Competent, professional, but not seemingly very sympathetic to the source material. Besides the Black Pharaoh depiction, the front cover seems.... at odds.... Why is the Bloody Tongue avatar of N. (East Africa) standing on top of a Pyramid (North Africa)? Two culturally distinct areas with their own very different outlooks, material culture and religions (and usually, avatars). Quite a bit must have changed in this new edition... :-D

 

I'm sure that perfectly good reasons are to be had but currently it seems "that looks cool" has over-ridden other aspects for some potentially jarring results (to my own 30 years of preconceptions of Masks, admittedly). Is even the non-pulp version of Call of Cthulhu heading down the pulpier PG-13 route?

 

In the end these are just personal niggles and I'm certainly not saying they're representative. Call of Cthulhu is Chaosium's baby!

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MOB

Fantasy Flight's Masks of Nyarlathotep Expansion for Eldritch Horror is now out in general release. And there's a flyer in the box about the forthcoming new edition of Masks for Call of Cthulhu, with a link to this landing page: https://www.chaosium.com/masks.
 
When Chaosium's new edition of Masks is released, it will feature a similar shout-out to the FFG board game.
 
This is all part of a closer collaboration between Chaosium and Fantasy Flight Games.

 

masks-ffg-chaosium.png?t=1519551068

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jorune

Again I must admit I'm not finding the art direction (from what I've seen so far) in the new version of Masks a perfect fit. Competent, professional, but not seemingly very sympathetic to the source material. Besides the Black Pharaoh depiction, the front cover seems.... at odds.... Why is the Bloody Tongue avatar of N. (East Africa) standing on top of a Pyramid (North Africa)? Two culturally distinct areas with their own very different outlooks, material culture and religions (and usually, avatars). Quite a bit must have changed in this new edition... :-D

 

I'm sure that perfectly good reasons are to be had but currently it seems "that looks cool" has over-ridden other aspects for some potentially jarring results (to my own 30 years of preconceptions of Masks, admittedly). Is even the non-pulp version of Call of Cthulhu heading down the pulpier PG-13 route?

 

In the end these are just personal niggles and I'm certainly not saying they're representative. Call of Cthulhu is Chaosium's baby!

 

The artwork for the original boxset is one of the most memorable and iconic images in roleplaying. To do a new cover is more than the proverbial difficult second album, it's trying to improve on brilliance and that is hard.

 

Perhaps it is drawing on a pulp theme, an action packed extraordinary confrontation rather than the nature of Masks as a notion of hidden features and the fear of unsettling revelations as they pealed away, "There is nothing more frightening than a closed door".

 

It is definitely a different style and we have just have to see whether the prose matches the picture.

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PoC

It will be interesting to see if they also do a new rendition of Hypatia Masters.

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dce

Again I must admit I'm not finding the art direction (from what I've seen so far) in the new version of Masks a perfect fit. Competent, professional, but not seemingly very sympathetic to the source material. Besides the Black Pharaoh depiction, the front cover seems.... at odds.... Why is the Bloody Tongue avatar of N. (East Africa) standing on top of a Pyramid (North Africa)? Two culturally distinct areas with their own very different outlooks, material culture and religions (and usually, avatars). Quite a bit must have changed in this new edition... :-D

 

I'm sure that perfectly good reasons are to be had but currently it seems "that looks cool" has over-ridden other aspects for some potentially jarring results (to my own 30 years of preconceptions of Masks, admittedly). Is even the non-pulp version of Call of Cthulhu heading down the pulpier PG-13 route?

 

In the end these are just personal niggles and I'm certainly not saying they're representative. Call of Cthulhu is Chaosium's baby!

 

PoC: On a purely personal note (and speaking as someone who is about to clock over on 35 years of Call of Cthulhu familiarity - ack!), I would have to say I agree with you wholeheartedly. But, it seems to me that the new MoN edition is not really being marketed as a product for long-term CoC gamers, but as an effort by NuChaosium to attract brand new gamers to CoC / Pulp Cthulhu -- perhaps recruits from the Pathfinder crowd? (or the 13th Age folks?). Given that objective, perhaps the Paizo-style art samples that have been posted to date are reasonable enough.

 

For those of us old guard who still profess to pursue the (perhaps elusive) goal of a RPG experience reminiscent of the fiction of HPL ... well I guess we always have the Masks Companion as an alternative. And also a convenient memory of what life was like when CoC was a game primarily supported by the needs of the player community rather than pure commercial expediency!

 

 

Dean (from Adelaide).

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KnygathinZhaum

A ) Why is the Bloody Tongue avatar of N. (East Africa) standing on top of a Pyramid (North Africa)?

 

B ) "that looks cool" has over-ridden other aspects for some potentially jarring results

 

In my 40 short years on this miserable planet, I have found that 99% of the time things like 'A' happen because of 'B'. And while the art might indeed be misdirected, I have to point my finger at the directors rather than the artists.

 

EDIT: Also, I'm sorry MOB, but the 1000 masks argument isn't going to work as an excuse. The picture obviously shows the Black Pharaoh mask and it looks more like Thanos than the HPL character. This is a problem with art direction...not the diversity of the character. I hate apologist excuses, even if they come from company members.

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willmize

This is my standard requisite "Get off my yard" post when it comes to the art direction and design of the new 7th Edition books.

They are BEAUTIFUL, but they are IMPRACTICAL.

 

I've been going back and converting older scenarios to 7th Edition, and when printing them out for my GM binder, I find that I love the old, standard, black letters on white background. You know, like BOOKS. Easy on printer ink, easy on my eyes, easy to make notes in the margin, easy to highlight.

 

Compare and contrast that to a scenario from Doors to Darkness. Difficult to read, uses a ****-ton of printer ink, can't make notes, can't really highlight, because the art is superimposed over the next and there's no real contrast between the background and the typesetting. You know, like MAGAZINES.

 

I'd like to see a printer-friendly PDF version available for purchase.

You want pretty? Buy the softcover or hardcover.

You want to actually USE the product?

Give me old school printable scenarios and campaigns.

 

My .02.

 

It will be interesting to see if they also do a new rendition of Hypatia Masters.

This just in, from Chaosium, the new and improved Hypatia Masters.

 

Betty White 2012 betty white 31624651 640 640

 

- Bill

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KnygathinZhaum

I just think the "Nu-Chaosium", as it's been called a few posts up, would do well to realize why certain people dislike 7e and stop antagonizing that crowd by going full bore in the "Dark As drat!" direction and be a little more subtle. Don't get me wrong...I quite like 7e. I think it's the BEST "e" and think pushing, chases and luck are awesome additions. But I also dislike seeing subtle characters turned into "Dark As drat!" caricatures of themselves...especially when the brilliant groundwork has already been done and out for decades and especially as an artist myself...when I see stuff that looks "Dark As drat!" I cringe and just feel embarrassed for everybody involved.

 

The whole goddamned point of the Black Pharaoh being terrifying is that he doesn't LOOK LIKE A BAD GUY.

 

I'll still buy this (probably) over-priced slipcase MoN, but that won't stop me from making fun of Josh Brolin as Thanos.

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