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  • An Inner Darkness – Scenario Anthology Kickstarter


    PoC

    Golden Goblin Press have launched a crowd funding campaign to create a new anthology of 1920s adventures for Call of Cthulhu.

     

    The Kickstarter for An Inner Darkness promises five to seven scenarios with a core theme where "Investigators battle against cosmic horrors while fighting for social justice..."

     

    Golden Goblin plans to present historically accurate and challenging adventures featuring mature themes, offering a "... darker, harsher and more brutal tone than our fans might be used to".

     

    Contributing authors include: Jeffrey Moeller, Brian Sammons, Helen Gould, Charles Gerard and Oscar Rios, with art by Rueben Dodd. The Kickstarter runs until 15th April and has an estimated delivery date of November 2019.

     

    Source: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/golden-goblin-press/an-inner-darkness-for-7th-edition-call-of-cthulhu/

     

    Note: This is a sponsored news item kindly supported by Golden Goblin Press.



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    daemonprinceofchaos

    Posted

    I really wish I could get behind this project for a number of reasons. Oscar Rios, Brian Sammons, and Jeff Moeller tend to be up there as some of my favorite CoC writers. I've even enjoyed Helen's work with Stygian Fox and while I haven't read anything by Charles Gerard his scenario concept is the most interesting among them all. But I have some pretty serious reservations.

     

    While I loved a lot of Golden Goblin Press's original content I've slowly grown more and more disappointed with each release and I have backed them all. I think De Horrore Cosmico was their high point for me. I found Legends of New Orleans to be a mix of good and bad material, not as good as Islands of Ignorance or De Horrore Cosmico but still worth the cost just barely. The same cannot be said for Tales from the Caribbean which was a major disappoint in every way. From completely baffling layout choices to poorly conceived and executed scenarios (some of which were frankly unplayable) I found the book to be basically useless. I ultimately only found one scenario worth playing with two being so bad to not even finish reading and the rest requiring some major rewrites for any of my three player groups.

     

    I can give credit where credit is due though, Goldin Goblin's history has been mostly positive and what good books they've put out I have enjoyed quite a bit. Their Kickstarters are generally painless and fun. I honestly can't recommend Islands of Ignorance and De Horrore Cosmico enough both are fantastic books and should be purchased without hesitation.

     

    While a slow decline in quality would be enough to spark some hesitation, which might be tempered by the stellar line up this book as if it weren't for my next two reservations.

     

    First is my concern about the content of this book. I think the issues raised by the authors are valid ones that deserve attention, all of them, both in our modern day and when we look at history. My issue is that I fear these scenarios will suffer from a series of problems that I find plague all similarly conceived scenarios. First, these scenarios will require a very specific group of players and GMs, players who are comfortable dealing with the Klan, discussing rape, racism and mental health issues. Unfortunately, between my three groups this sets off a lot of alarm bells and I'd likely need to make a spreadsheet to figure out which scenarios DON'T give someone OOC discomfort. I don't want this to seem like I'm discouraging these subjects, but when the entire book is based around them it makes it harder than if these scenarios were spread across say plethora of books. Ultimately I would need to read each scenario thoroughly to see it was even viable for my groups and because I can't that means I might be buying a book full of scenarios that would do nothing but make my players uncomfortable with their core conceits. This is compounded by some offense I took with the cover of Heroes of Red Hook which I found particularly distasteful to my own identity so I'm a tad hesitant to trust these subjects will be handled well. 

     

    My second issue is that it seems like the Mythos is taking a backseat in these scenarios which is not my personal preference. The Mythos is cosmic unrestrained horror at its destructive capabilities and malignance trump anything mankind could dream up even in our most diseased minds. I generally dislike stories and scenarios that boil things down to humans using the Mythos for their own evil purpose or that try to paint specific humans as the 'real monsters'.  Again this is just my personal taste, I have enjoyed scenarios where the Mythos and human evil are adjacent, but not when the Mythos is relegated to the status of a simple McGuffin or flavor for an otherwise mundane human adversary. Given the fact that only one of the scenarios evens hints at what the specific mythos involvement is I fear this will be the case. It seems like one could swap the Deeps Ones with frat boys, and whatever other elements exist could be cut out without changing the scenarios much at all. This is an issue for me which makes a lot of the scenarios seem less interesting than they might otherwise. That and without knowledge of which elements of the Mythos are involved I can't say which of them might fit in my games, I know one has deep ones means it can fit in one group's game but that's all I know at this point. Hopefully, as the campaign continues more will be revealed.

     

    None of this is to say that I will be writing off An Inner Darkness, the truth is I WANT TO BUY IT! But between all of my previous concerns and the steep price for a physical book I can't jump into this campaign as I have in the past. I will continue to follow this Kickstarter with hopes that Golden Goblin Press with show off something that makes me join.

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    4Acrossisemu

    Posted

    Remember when CoC was about cosmic horror? I vaguely do. 

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    willmize

    Posted

    Pepperidge Farms also remembers.

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    TacoBill

    Posted

    Shipping prices to Europe do seem remarkably high.

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    crazy_cat

    Posted

    I've backed and liked previous GGP Kickstarters. But, this one isn't really grabbing my interest so much - and the $65 price tag for POD in the UK pretty much kills what interest was left.

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    Gol-Goroth

    Posted

    The price of printing a Print on Demand book, in color (which we expect this project to become) is very expensive.  It's double what it costs to print from our standard printer per unit.  Also, this is likely to be a large book, with stretch goals it could be seven adventures with three or more additional inserts, such as Pre-gens, investigator organizations, and a guide to run the book as a campaign. This could be a very large, color book, which is going to make Print on Demand copies very expensive to produce. 

     

    GGP learned that lesson the hard way with the Cthulhu Invictus book we printed last year.  We can't increase the shipping costs later, once stretch goals bloat the weight of the book. Therefore we have to estimate before hand what the book might eventually weight from the very start.

     

    As for Cosmic Horror, well, this book will have that in terrible abundance.  We have amazing, in some cases Ennie Award Winning, authors attached to this project. Just because these scenarios have a form of social injustice in their backdrop doesn't make them any less Cosmic Horror.  This is going to be a very dark collection, with mature themes, written with the aim of taking people out of their comfort zone.  

     

    As for standard shipping to Europe, the average price for shipping a copy of Cthulhu Invictus was $32.00.  With add ons and other items sometimes shipping costs were $58, even upwards of $70 for those getting multiple books.  This project may well be a very large book, and possible even a two book collection, so we are not taking the chances of getting into a disastrous situation over shipping costs. Such mistakes have nearly bankrupted bigger companies than ours in the past.  

     

    If anyone has any questions I can be reached directly at Oscar@goldengoblinpress.com.

     

    Thank you.

     

    Oscar Rios - President, Golden Goblin Press.

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    neorxnawang

    Posted

    I would just add to what Oscar said. I have editorial responsibility for this project extending to creative control. Other books on which I've had say on what goes in and what doesn't have been The Things We Leave Behind, Fear's Sharp Little Needles, Lost in the Lights, and (to a limited extent) De Horrore Cosmico. I haven't on past GGP projects. This is my creative project. It is under GGP because I'm not affiliated with Stygian Fox any longer. Five of the six of the announced authors are handpicked people I worked with under that company: me, Oscar, Brian, CSA, and Helen. Damned good writers without exception. Several pitches were rejected from people I like and respect because they weren't 100% perfect for this book. If you guys don't think that I can do cosmic horror or don't know what that is, well, hell, we'll miss you. If you think this ain't gonna be cosmic horror, well, hell, we'll miss you. If you have questions, you can email me at jeff@goldengoblinpress.com. I ask that you have a little faith in me. Thanks. Jeff Moeller

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    1 hour ago, Gol-Goroth said:

    We can't increase the shipping costs later, once stretch goals bloat the weight of the book. Therefore we have to estimate before hand what the book might eventually weight from the very start.

     

    So, shipping costs are charged based on stretch goals that haven't been (and may not be) reached? Interesting.

     

    Ultimately, to back on not is always a personal decision.

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    4Acrossisemu

    Posted

    3 hours ago, neorxnawang said:

    I would just add to what Oscar said. I have editorial responsibility for this project extending to creative control. Other books on which I've had say on what goes in and what doesn't have been The Things We Leave Behind, Fear's Sharp Little Needles, Lost in the Lights, and (to a limited extent) De Horrore Cosmico. I haven't on past GGP projects. This is my creative project. It is under GGP because I'm not affiliated with Stygian Fox any longer. Five of the six of the announced authors are handpicked people I worked with under that company: me, Oscar, Brian, CSA, and Helen. Damned good writers without exception. Several pitches were rejected from people I like and respect because they weren't 100% perfect for this book. If you guys don't think that I can do cosmic horror or don't know what that is, well, hell, we'll miss you. If you think this ain't gonna be cosmic horror, well, hell, we'll miss you.

     

    I don't doubt your intent, or your past credits. However this campaign is 100% political, aligning the 'evils' of the mythos with injustice. Fine ok, I'm willing to wait and see. Some of the premise sound interesting. But you do realise your entire campaign barely mentions the mythos? At all. Nothing. I'm interested in that... not your political bias which you devoted 2000 words to. 

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    hamster

    Posted

    2 hours ago, 4Acrossisemu said:

    I don't doubt your intent, or your past credits. However this campaign is 100% political, aligning the 'evils' of the mythos with injustice. Fine ok, I'm willing to wait and see. Some of the premise sound interesting. But you do realise your entire campaign barely mentions the mythos? At all. Nothing. I'm interested in that... not your political bias which you devoted 2000 words to. 

     

    But CoC is a Horror RPG, and if we accept that the CoC world has traditional horror tropes like vampires, then surely any horror topic is available for people to play with. From the description in the Kickstarter these topics/settings strike me as horrific and good backgrounds to tell horror stories.

     

    Some of the best published scenarios from a variety of publishers have little or no mythos content!

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    4Acrossisemu

    Posted

    4 hours ago, hamster said:

    But CoC is a Horror RPG, and if we accept that the CoC world has traditional horror tropes like vampires, then surely any horror topic is available for people to play with. From the description in the Kickstarter these topics/settings strike me as horrific and good backgrounds to tell horror stories.

     

    Some of the best published scenarios from a variety of publishers have little or no mythos content!

     

    This is my point, I wouldn't use vampires etc in my game (so no I don't accept that) and I would like to know if this is another Westchester House but the campaign is too busy virtue signalling to be informative enough about what exactly it is. 

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    Gol-Goroth

    Posted

    I can tell you right now that ALL of the scenarios have a mythos element, with one of them based in Celtic folklore.  The only reason we didn't mention the elements directly because it would be giving away key spoilers to the scenarios.

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    4Acrossisemu

    Posted

    1 hour ago, Gol-Goroth said:

    I can tell you right now that ALL of the scenarios have a mythos element, with one of them based in Celtic folklore.  The only reason we didn't mention the elements directly because it would be giving away key spoilers to the scenarios.

     

    Your target audience is keepers... people aren't buying Escape From Innsmouth for the surprises and you can write around spoilers, like you just did, I'm not sure what to even say about that... 

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    TheMightySprout

    Posted

    Backed for the PDF so no issues with shipping costs. Congrats to Oscar for taking a chance on some challenging content that needs publicity.

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    fieldworking

    Posted

    Pretty interesting take. To be honest, the people I play with drag many of the topics this will engage with into play whether or not I intend them to. For them, it's part and parcel of playing in the era itself. I wholly understand that some groups shy away from those aspects of the 1920s that can be sensitive or perhaps difficult to grapple with (ex. race, politics, class, and so on), and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it's the 1920s. It's all right there in the history books. Why not embrace it all if your group is willing? I don't think grappling with this subject matter is necessarily a political statement of opinion or virtue signaling any more than playing the classic CoC dilettante character is either of those things.

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    Without reading it I'm not going to pass judgement on the content itself. I do however note the comment that started the thread by daemonprinceofchaos that the scenarios may not be being written with Keeper use-ability in mind. I will admit I follow a D & D review blog called tenfootpole and the guy who writes that has a major problem with scenarios that have been written as if they were stories to be read rather than something to play at the table. So I hope that the authors can avoid both that trap and many of the other traps that comes from writing in a climate where some people are one the constant lookout for 'wrongthink' of whatever stripe.

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    Gol-Goroth

    Posted

    The RPG authors are writing scenarios.

    Our fiction writers are writing stories.

    We know the difference.

    We have two different production lines.

     

    Trust me, I've run A Family Way many times.

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    ClarenceColeman

    Posted

    I'm excited to support this work.  I'm going to up my pledge now.

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    4Acrossisemu

    Posted

    11 hours ago, Gol-Goroth said:

    trust me, I've run A Family Way many times.

     

    From your own blurb in the campaign... 'I wrote this scenario back in 2007, and have only run it a handful of times'

     

    I'll take your word for it. Look forward to reading the book. 

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    Gol-Goroth

    Posted

    I've probably run is a half dozen times, and outcomes have included TPK's, pulp action endings, and one particularly dramatic tragedies ending in investigator's committing suicide.  It is also the home of one of my very favorite villains, out of all the scenarios I've written.  I cannot name said villain, because that would be a spoiler. 

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    willmize

    Posted

    A VERY good update by one of the collaborators, addressing the historical use of uncomfortable subject matter in the scenarios:  

     

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/golden-goblin-press/an-inner-darkness-for-7th-edition-call-of-cthulhu/posts/2452893

     

    Let me know if you don't have access to it, and I'll cut and paste it. 
    I assume that the update would be available to all, backers or not.

    It's well worth the read.

     

    - Bill

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    JoeKenobi

    Posted

    I for one am really excited about this collection! I love the idea of blending some real-world horrors with Mythos elements to create some truly horrifying scenarios. Frankly, structural injustice works really well as the moral analogue to cosmic horror.

     

    I'm sure the real-world inspiration for these scenarios isn't for everyone. It's sure to make for some very dark adventures, and I can see where some players wouldn't want real-world horror encroaching on escapist horror. But I expect this will be right up my gaming group's alley.

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    This Kickstarter has now funded.

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    This Kickstarter closed at $30,197/$20,000 USD raised from 620 backers.

     

    Estimated delivery: November 2019.

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