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PoC

Wanted: reviews for Chaosium's new MULAs

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PoC

We'd be interested in receiving reviews for the new Miskatonic University Library Association monographs recently released by Chaosium, namely: Parapsychologist's Handbook and End Time if people would care to submit them.

 

Cheers!

 

Paul

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Cheesy_Nacho

Paul,

 

If your handing out free copies to be reviewed count me in. :wink:

 

8O

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PoC

If only! :wink:

 

Seriously, it would be nice if we were able, but Chaosium don't send us review copies.

 

Paul

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Cheesy_Nacho

I had to try! 8)

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CJR23

Well have now attracted quite a few reviews - a couple on Chaosiums site, and one on Shoggoth.net - but all are actually a little too kind to the Parapsychologist's Handbook. There are several issues with my book, some of which are addressed in the .pdf available from this site, and I sincerely hope to get some adventures and further material on yog-sothoth.com by the ned of the first week of January oif that is ok with Paul?

 

I will write a playtest review of End Times shortly, but surely someone else could write one? I'd like to see that as well

 

cj x

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FunGuyfromYuggoth

PoC, I'm sure they just haven't gotten around to it yet, which is unfortunate.

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PoC
I sincerely hope to get some adventures and further material on yog-sothoth.com by the end of the first week of January oif that is ok with Paul?

 

- of course, no problems at all, whenever you're ready.

 

Regarding the reviews, the reason I haven't done them myself is I feel I may be a little too close, having worked with CJ on the PDF errata for the Parapsychologist's Handbook and been a strong encouraging force behind Michael releasing his End Time material to the public.

 

I did make some early comments on CJ's book when it first came out and these can be read in the following thread:

 

Parapsychologist's Handbook thread

 

However, full & balanced reviews are always better!

 

Paul

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Mograg

Howdy all,

 

I've purchased both of these items, but I've not actually read them yet. They're on my list to eventually get to - but, so many books, so little time!!!

 

I do believe in supporting Chaosium's efforts, and the efforts of those creative, industrious souls who have authored these products. Call of Cthulhu is my favorite rpg, and probably will be for the rest of my life. I'm doing my small part to support the game and its parent company, and getting something for my money, a treat that I'll get to eventually. Who knows - the monographs might even find use in my future campaigns. Even if they do not, they expand on the Cthulhu Mythos universe, which is exciting and fun. I support that expansion.

 

That's not to say that cheaply produced monographs replace the high-quality (in terms of production value) Call of Cthulhu products I've come to expect over the years, and will continue to expect. If Chaosium were to go "all monographs," I think support would dry up. I know my support would. Happily, we have Cthulhu Dark Ages, Spawn of Yog-Sothoth, and the latest edition of the core rulebook to look forward to, all with the promised "full treatment" in terms of production quality.

 

 

Best,

 

Brian C.

Lowell, Massachusetts

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CJR23

Well MULA 3 appears to have hit the shelves - a campaign this time, called 'Raising Up', by Dr. Michael C. LaBossiere. This suggests to me that the MULA format is working, and encourages me to continue working on my next MULA project, which will not see light until I have adaquately mastered layout and grammar this time though!

 

cj x

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CJR23

Cheers Dan for drawing my attention to that, and to the review on TBS site at http://www.the-wolery.demon.co.uk/TBS/extras/games_handbook.htm

of my 'Parapsychologist's Handbook', MULA 1

 

I don't normally respond much to reviews, except to say that I know the layout and editing is awful; I did it myself, and I am a parapsychologist not a dtp expert. :) The art I will defend, I like the cover a lot, finding it bold and distinctive, and the interior artwork was just pencil sketches done by Simon and Jessica, who are psychical researchers not artists. The whole book was really a labour of love by members of the more sceptical side of the British academic parasychological ciommunity.

 

Your review puuzzled me in a couple of places though, so if I may address you with the isssues in question?

 

" and some of the references to Call of Cthulhu and other games are dated by ten years or more"

 

- Well spotted, the orginal draft was written in 1992. It was heavily revised in 2003, ad the D20 and 5th edition page numbers and references make clear, but I ensured it incorporated refetrences to all editions from 1st , 1.5 (1st and Companion), 2nd, all the way through. Yes I often reference older material, but many Cthulhu players will have older editions, or access to this material, so why not use it? :)

 

"The book is written by a real-life paranormal investigator who has both examined ghost cases and worked with television shows on the topic. This has raised some doubts in the gaming community, but the author's perspective is used in the best possible manner"

 

Thanks, but that was the bit that baffled me. There was some discussion of the book on the old d20 Wizards site, and a few posts on rpg.net, but I missed this controversy! I am btw an academic parapsychologist with a university background, who dabbles in paranormal TV, but by far the largest part of my working week and effort is dedicated to roleplaying games. :) Was it considered a bad idea to have a parapsychologist write a book on parapsychology, and to have other parapsychologists proofread it? All three of the academic parapsychologists who contributed to the project were long time players of Call of Cthulhu, and i have been playing the game since 1983.

 

"The heart of the work, though it is not labelled as such, is the chapter on paradigms. These are the worldviews on the supernatural that inform paranormal investigation."

 

Yes, it was always considered controbversial I think by Chaosium. I'm not sure if it was considered just too complex, or what. IN 1992 it would have been radical - by 2004 it looked old hat, but it still works. I agree this is the heart of the book, and it's a shame it so short.

 

"I can understand the author not wanting to make psychic characters outshine the others, but the system as presented makes psychic ability worse than useless."

 

Yes tastes vary, but this was not really an issue of game balance, it is based on my reading of Canon. HPL uses psychic characters - and they even faster meet horrendous fates. Look at the worldwide epidemic of madness and chaos will embroils psychics, dreamers etc etc in April 1925 in the story 'the Call of Cthulhu' (rules are provided for this incident.)

Even in the Gaslight Era huge amounts oif effort had been expended in the real world to trying to discover effficient psychic techniques which could be repeatedly demonstrated - and what had been found was a tantalising mix of evidence, but no repeatable psychic functions. I wanted the rules to reflect that, and the uncertainty as to how and if the psychic worked at all. This is avery much a Simulationist conceit; I want the rules to make sense in our world, as well as Lovecraft's. Efficient psi powers are assumed to exist by the Handbook - but they are the 'alien science' (magic) of the mythos, far behind humans petty delvings into the secrets of the cosmos.

 

Anyway, the other comments and criticisms are I am sure fair, and certainly did not raise any eyebrows here. I still want to know whwere the controversy was! I missed it!

 

 

Oh, and as a final comment, on the night of August 20th Richard Felix of most Haunted is hosting a night of paranormal investigation and rpg chat and games, basicaslly a 'haunted pubmeet', in Derby Gaol, Derby, England. will be there running games, teaching a little parapsi, and hosting as well. It was created for tangency posters on rpg.net, and full details can be found there. The all night, 7pm till 7am deal costs £35. I'll gladly post more detaisl if anyone is interested!

 

all the best,

cj x

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CJR23

Yes, same review as the one I mention above. :) cj x

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