Yes, it's that time of year for more Shoggy Secrecy in Secret Shoggoth XIII! (I've always found 13 a rather nice number.)
Secret Shoggoth is our annual festive mystery gift exchange. This year it's ably run once again by Helen who has posted details in the Yoggie forums of how to take part in this rather fun and enjoyable community event.
The deadline for entry this year is Friday, 16th November 2018, so plenty of time to join in!
Come join us for another year of mystery, surprise and (modest) gift-giving with Secret Shoggoth XIII! (I've already signed up. 🙂)
This edition of NfP marks the sad news of the passing of Greg Stafford, founder of Chaosium, legendary game designer and creator of Glorantha. I first encountered Greg's cosmos when introduced to RuneQuest (II) over thirty years ago and for me, his approach to Arthurian roleplaying, Pendragon, remains a personal favourite and one of the shining lights in the history of games. He will be missed by many.
Greg Stafford: 1948-2018
Greg would no doubt have wished us to play on and and we still have plenty of news (and views) to bring you in our own light-hearted style, including another look at the HPLHS Masks of Nyarlathotep Gamer Prop Set (so big it would need multiple shows to do it full justice), a new RPG magazine, digital Cthulhu gaming, upcoming YSDC events, and of course – more.
Patrons have access to the complete NfP archive (see below).
Thought traditional RPG zines were dead? Not so. Out from Bayt al Azif comes the eponymous first issue of a new Cthulhu Mythos gaming magazine, courtesy of @JS113.
Inside Bayt al Azif's 80 pages you'll find three scenarios (and a solo adventure), reviews, interviews (Rogue Cthulhu, Chris Spivey) history pieces, comics and more. You can pick up a copy (PDF and POD) via DriveThruRPG.
With The Unspeakable Oath moving to a Patreon model, Bayt al Azif joins The Arkham Gazette as another traditional-style Cthulhu gaming magazine on the market.
Bayt al Azif #1
A magazine for Cthulhu Mythos roleplaying games
Issue #1 includes:
3 adventures dual-statted for Call of Cthulhu 7th edition and Gumshoe (Trail of Cthulhu/The Fall of Delta Green ).
A group of teenagers must survive the night in an abandoned school (Modern Era).
A team of investigators must determine the truth behind a massacre of Vietnamese civilians by American soldiers (US-Vietnam War).
A band of secret agents must discover what has been smuggled into Damascus (Dark Ages).
1 solo adventure set in the Miskatonic University library.
Tables for running random chases.
A overview of every Cthulhu mythos RPG release of 2017.
Classic Cthulhu RPG reviews.
Interviews with Rogue Cthulhu and Chris Spivey.
Advice, history, comics, and more...
Price (USD): $6 (PDF), $10 (Print + PDF)
My latest scrape of the internet reveals that Hideous Creatures: A Bestiary of the Cthulhu Mythos for Trail of Cthulhu has been released.
Hideous Creatures... is officially on pre-order at Pelgrane's web site, but an article comment reveals that you'll receive the PDF as soon as you place the pre-order for the print edition. – That means it's out. – The content is there for you to purchase and peruse now; the fact it's digital bits rather than the 352 page hardback doesn't alter the content (just the way it may be consumed).
If you're after a new bestiary of Cthulhoid creatures then have a look at Hideous Creatures... Pelgrane promises you something a little different.
For historical info. and discussion see: [Hideous Creatures] A Quick Thought on this Series
Hideous Creatures: A Bestiary of the Cthulhu Mythos
In Hideous Creatures: A Bestiary of the Cthulhu Mythos, we [Pelgrane] present a comprehensive look at Lovecraft's hideous creatures, from as many angles as we can. Our goal is contradiction, surprise, and most especially the uncanny: the recognition of something familiar as something weird. As in the "Gods and Titans" section of the Trail of Cthulhu core book, this book deliberately contradicts itself, blurring boundaries and erasing certainties in the name of the uncanny. In your campaign, these variant truths might be misunderstandings, legends, heresies, or deliberate lies spread by the creatures to lull their foes into a false sense of familiarity.
Hideous Creatures: A Bestiary of the Cthulhu Mythos is the Trail of Cthulhu bestiary written by Kenneth Hite, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, Becky Annison, Helen Gould and Ruth Tillman, in the tradition of the award-winning Book of Unremitting Horror and the 13th Age Bestiary. Creatures are not just antagonists to fight or flee from; they are entire adventures by themselves, leaving physical traces, occult clues and madness in their eldritch wake.
Featuring seven new creatures [for ToC]: Bholes, Colour Out of Space, Elder Things, Flying Polyps, Moon Beasts, Night-Gaunts and Spawn of Yog-Sothoth, and full write-ups of nine Foul Congeries, opening the books on Lovecraftian monsters that have never taken stat-block form before in any game: Bat-Things, Black Winged Ones, Gaseous Wraiths, Medusas, Raktajihva, Ultraviolet Devourer, Vampirish Vapour, Worm-Cultist and Y'm-bhi.
New art and in-world documents for each of the fifteen original Hideous Creatures: Byakhee, Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath, Deep Ones, Ghouls, Great Race of Yith, Hounds of Tindalos, Hunting Horrors, Lloigor, Mi-Go, Rat-Things, Serpent Folk, Shoggoths, Star Vampires, Tcho-Tchos and Wendigo.
Authors: Kenneth Hite et al., Artists: Gislaine Avila et al.
Back in February I mentioned the crowd funding campaign for Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics - a turn-based video game from Ripstone, based off the A!C property created by Modiphius Entertainment.
At the time, the project creators promised: "The game will be published by Ripstone regardless, the crowd funder is to add yet more. Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics is due for release in Q4 2018."
– and in an all-too-rare sight, it's now arrived, bang-on schedule.
The game is available now on Steam, and coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch later in 2018.
Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics
A!C Tactics is an occult turn-based strategy game pitting players against a rogues' gallery of Lovecraftian beings controlled by the Nazis. You'll have to use your cunning military tactics, along with some nifty supernatural powers, to save the world. Set in an alternate history of World War II where the Nazis' investigations into the occult have resulted in the summoning of Lovecraftian monsters, you’ll have to take the reigns of Charlie Company, an elite band of allied forces sent in to do the impossible; foil the Nazi plans and turn the tide of war.
Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics utilises a mix of turn-based strategy and RPG mechanics.
I was very sad to hear about Larry's passing. Larry introduced me to the games Incan Gold and Groo (the card game), and I played Cosmic Encounter for the first time with he and Tadashi Ehara at DunDraCon.
If it helps, the Gaslight/Victorian era actually overlaps what we usually think of as the setting for the American Western, give or take a decade or so. The American Western is probably far more familiar to American gamers (and perhaps gamers around the world) as a reference point for technology, clothing, culture, and such, and the Weird Western has always been a popular setting for stories of the unknown and supernatural, even before the "real life" Victorian era.
Gaslight Cthulhu generally assumes a more urban (and typically English) setting than the Weird Western does, but that need not be the case.
So, in addition to the iconic gaslight lamps, expect proper ladies and gentlemen to be dressed in the stuffy Victorian fashion, transportation by horse-and-buggy and by steam locomotive, long-distance communication by snail-mail delivered by rail, and later by telegraph (but probably not telephone or radio), comparatively light urbanization and industrialization, a growing interest in science and a general faith in the overall benefit and goodness of science and industry, household servants (and, in the earlier part of the era, slaves) for the upper-class and often the middle class, and an idealization of the self-made "renaissance man" (who is in control of his own fortune, has created his own wealth, and has taught himself a little bit about everything he has needed to build his own home, invent his own industry, govern his own business and household staff, entertain and educate his own family, manage his own finances, fight his own fights in court and with fists, etc.) It's an era that seems to have placed a lot of stock in almost brutal practicality and realism, and which tended to distrust and disdain fantasy and sentimentality.
Some other setting possibilities in the same era that I think could provide some interesting backdrops for Gaslight-era Call of Cthulhu:
The Victorian/Gaslight Era was also a sort of "kitchen sink" for every kind of weird or outright insane idea or -ism you can possible imagine - starting with That Guy Who Invented Corn Flakes as an example of the standard-issue crack-pottery of the age, extending into every possible extreme of spiritualism, anarchism, communism, capitalism, fascism, nihilism, racism, classism, sexism, and beyond, on into embracing every imaginable weird cult, pseudo-science, bizarre health fad (such as swallowing radium pills or selling cocaine cough drops to kids over the counter), and screwball conspiracy theory of the time (hollow earth, secret continents, hidden dynasties of lost nations, mesmerism, the destinies of man being controlled by secret immortal cabals of evil foreign vampires, you name it....) In short, it was fertile ground for all sorts of the kinds of screwball stuff that turns up in Lovecraftian literature, dialed to 11.
In literary terms, the Gaslight era could be thought of as more than just the era of Sherlock Holmes - it also includes such early science fiction and popular Gothic works and interesting art movements as: