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What kind of content would you like to see on Miskatonic Repository?

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46 minutes ago, yronimoswhateley said:

We really just need a little motivation, and maybe a head start, to get the foundations of such a thing started.


With that in mind, maybe something that might help would be a great, standardized template for setting content, with tools for populating the template (e.g., creating evocative NPCs, building towns with interesting locations, adding unique monsters and mysteries, etc.)?


Great idea @yronimoswhateley, as usual. :) I mean, I'd write a setting eagerly, but as an active professional the motivation to do it from the ground up is pretty daunting. 

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Thank you, klecser!


I'm not a professional writer (at least, not for fiction or game content - I do technical writing for a living), so when it comes to writing a setting, I think to myself "OK, you make a map - that's easy enough, and then there's pages of creative writing about the setting, people and interesting stuff... how hard can it be?" 


But, it's one of those things that, when I answer the question for myself about how hard it can be, I start realizing just how many different skills are really involved in building a good setting!


Designing a good map... creating compelling characters... researching and providing historical context for the setting, providing the little nuggets of reality that help to ground the setting for the audience, writing several interesting mysteries up and populating them into the setting in a believable way, creating a scenario or three that can be used in the setting (when scenario-writing is its own collection of complex skills), writing up balanced mechanical rules for things like commonly-available items and unique artifacts and monster stats and the rest....  There are editing and organizational skills at work, and a setting probably wouldn't feel very professional or complete without illustrations....


Suddenly, it doesn't look that easy anymore, and the project begins looking rather intimidating!


For me, just a template that gives a head start on the organization and stylistic elements seems like a huge help, and it helps to give me a more tangible idea of the skills involved, and makes planning and resource management easier.  Tools and (more importantly) advice for creating compelling characters, creatures, plots, maps, etc. would relieve that much more stress from a setting project.


Anyway, I have some ideas about where some parts of that might go, but I don't want to spam this more general discussion up with them - maybe it's worth a dedicated Setting Template discussion some other time, if enough people are interested.



Aside from that, I think that some of the coolest (mostly) do-it-yourself content I've seen for Call of Cthulhu has been:

  1. "The Haunting":  this is one of the most versatile scenarios/adventures I've ever seen.  You can quickly plug in a different setting, map, and monster, and it almost feels like an entirely different scenario.  It's basically the same plot as seen in dozens of horror and science-fiction movies, and can easily be modified into an adaptation of any of them.  I'd love to see more scenarios like that:  scenarios generic enough that they can be plugged into any setting, with maps and monsters that can be pretty easily changed around.
  2. The holiday (generally Halloween) themed anthologies of fan-made scenarios that Chaosium was releasing as monographs every year or two for a while.  Within each collection these amateur scenarios ranged from pretty raw and underdeveloped to astonishingly professional in execution, and from boring or misguided to excellent in terms of storytelling and content, but I never felt like any of these monographs were a waste of time reading for ideas.  So, I think I'd like to see a revival of anthologies of amateur scenarios make a comeback.
  3. The two Chaosium monographs full of haunted house floorplans - what a great little tool to have, when you need a map in a hurry for your investigators to explore!  I wouldn't mind seeing more little monographs full of useful plug-and-play items like these, and like the deck of cards that Chaosium made in the 7th Edition Kickstarter full of "curious characters" that could be used for pre-gen characters or on-the-spot NPCs or whatever.  (A year or two ago, someone requested a set of pre-gen characters for a weird west setting - I volunteered to create some, and then forgot about it.  It would be cool to have a series of booklets, each a short pack of interesting pre-gen characters built around a them like that, each with a portrait, equipment list, a short bio, important objects/characters/locations, and a mysterious dark secret, with maybe some setting-appropriate pools of generic ideas to customize any of the characters with....)  I kind of picture books of themed pre-gen cults/cultists, books of themed pre-gen investigators, books of themed maps, books of themed monsters, books of improv scenario plots, etc., which can easily be imported on the spot for games with little preparation?
  4. Graham Walmsley's "Stealing Cthulhu" - basically, it's a beautiful brainstorming tool with loads of great outside-the-box advice for using one of the most under-appreciated sources of Lovecraftian horror in exciting and original new ways:  the fiction of Lovecraft himself!  I love books of story seeds, flash fiction, new ways of looking at seemingly stale ideas, and that sort of thing, and I love analysis, advice, and commentary on the way my favorite forms of entertainment is made and how it works.  In other words, most RPGs "give you a fish" in the form of books full of monsters someone has made up for you and those do have their place as a quick-and-dirty source of stock monsters (much like the books of haunted house floorplans are a great source of stock houses when you need one on the spot), but I'd trade a half-dozen monster manuals for one good book of inspiration and support for creating your own imaginative and original monsters to "teach you how to fish"....


Just some odd ideas there, and maybe not to everyone's taste, but

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Would there be interest in something like an 'On ghouls' (or X monster) information/material?


I've been putting together something like this anyway. would include, information (faux research) and layout examples of warrens, a functioning Ghoul language, photo evidence of ghouls - claws, tracks, markings, bite, attack evidence, Spells that are related in summoning them (variants on same spell, flawed ones etc), pictures, bios on known allies (Abner Wicks from Crimson letters, Paper Chase etc).


Contact Ghoul.jpg



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