Friday, January 20, 2017

Props of Nyarlathotep

One of the great things about the Call of Cthulhu community is the gusto with which they enter in their prop making. From the print outs of newspaper handouts to full blown resin props.

I was a backer of the Kickstarter by Delphes Desvoivres to make the Sedefkar Simulacrum, and am eagerly waiting to use it in the Horror on the Orient Express Campaign which I intend to start this year (after finishing the Time to Harvest Campaign I am currently running)


I already have the Eye of Light and Darkness that is pictured in the video, but I really like the look of the other props. The necklace is a nice touch, and it is nice to see that not all the props will be made out of resin. The Mirror is larger than I thought it would be, which means all in these are going to take up a lot of storage space in my gaming cupboard, but how can I not be tempted?

The Kickstarter will go live this Sunday (the 22nd), at 10pm GMT.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

How to Survive a Call of Cthulu Adventure

This WikiHow is lots of fun, but more importantly, can save your Investigator's life.

Read it.

Memorise it.

Use it.

And remember kids, if the Keeper just allowed you to tool up with automatic weapons and explosives, it's because she knows it's going to make no difference at all.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Lovecraftian Newspaper Articles

The GNDN blog posted this post containing various newspaper articles from US newspapers from the era 1924-29. These are sold as filler articles, but to be honest, if you put one of these beside another article, the Investigators are likely to assume they are plot hooks, not filler. Though in that case, they make great red herrings.


Friday, November 18, 2016

The Voynich Manuscript.

This real life tome of forbidden knowledge is one that has been capturing the imaginations of occultists, historians, and of course gamers for centuries. If you have never heard of it, then, first off, why are you here? and secondly, go look it up (you can listen to podcasts on it here and here, or just read the Wikipedia page) then come back! Ok, so now you are up to speed on this very cool but unique document, great, you can go online, loft some images and away you go, instant tome of awesomeness. But wait!

Now, you can have your very own paper copy of this document. It is available for sale on or at Yale University. At $50, it's not at all an unreasonable price for a hardback book. If only I had more space on my bookshelves.

There are many options as to how this can be used. As a reference for the occult. Handouts can be easily made from it's pages, either as red herrings, or as clues for Investigators to follow.

The real life history of the book is in some ways as interesting as whatever the book is intended to portray. It can be used itself as an adventure seed for Investigators in the Classic era. In 1921, Voynich had valued the book at $100,000 (a fair sum for the time) and had boasted in the New York Times that he would translate it, claiming:
“When the time comes, I will prove to the world that the black magic of the Middle Ages consisted in discoveries far in advance of 20th-century science,”

He never did of course, and he dies in 1930 with the book still in his possession. However, such widespread publicity (clearly good advertising for a bookseller if nothing else) would of course in a world where the Elder ones are real have other darker consequences, as cultists reading the New York times would prick up their ears at such an article. This could lead to an alternative timeline where the Investigators are looking into the theft of the book from Voynich, (or the future owner of playing after 1930). The Investigators may also need access to the book, and if Voynich refuses, they have to then find a new mode of access, we all know how resourceful players can be! 

Of course, there is another option as to what the book actually is...

Voynich Manuscript

Monday, October 31, 2016

Hudson and Brand, Inquiry Agnets of the Obscure

What a wonderful title to a games supplement.

I've just backed the Hudson and Brand Kickstater. It looks like it's going to be a very well put together supplement
Hudson & Brand: Inquiry Agents of the Obscureis the first in our ‘Safe House’ series where players of the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game (published by Chaosium, Inc), have a home-base for their characters to work out of. At hand, they will have resources, a gun range, a collection of monographs on various subjects, a small library, three members of staff, and property consisting of offices and lodgings in the very heart of London.
One of the new options in 7th edition Call of Cthulhu that I have yet to use, but I see great promise in is the Organisations from the Player's handbook. Groups of researchers with a common goal, that provides an infrastructure for the Investigators to fall back on, and a means of easily introducing new Investigators without too much trouble. This has not been an issue for me as my current game is the Organised Play campaign, "A Time to Harvest" which allows new Investigators to be easily added, since they are all students at the Miskatonic University. That said, I do like the reasoning behind these Organisations, and see them being useful in games where the Keeper wishes to string together a bunch of adventures that are not necessarily written as one continuous campaign.

As mentioned in the quote above, Stygian Fox seem to have a few supplements based on these Organisations lined up, for various eras, and I do think they look very cool.

There are a few hours left so go check it out.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Once in a Black Moon

We all know what a Blue Moon is, right? A second full moon in a month. A rare, but not unknown event. But a Black Moon?
A Black Moon is the opposite of a Blue Moon if you will. A second New Moon in a month.
Why am I telling you this? Well for those of us in the western hemisphere, we can see one this week, on the 30th of September. They are not that rare, coming along every 32 months or so, but as the New Moon is not visible, then a second one in a month is almost literaly an event that cannot be seen. The name, however is so evokative that it is just screaming to be used in a scenario.

Here are some seeds that come to mind.
  • The Black Moon, being an astrological/astronomical event, is a time where certain rituals or spells have a greater effect.
  • The Black Moon, being a type of New Moon, means the sky is darker, allowing for a better view of the stars. what stars are visible now that are not always so? What does this mean for rituals, or alien visitors?
  • The Black Moon is not visible, but under a black moon, certain beings that are not normally visible can be seen.
  • If not creatures, then writing, like that in the Hobbit of the writing that only appears Under certain phases of the Moon, so coudl writing, or symbols only appear at this time.
  • This particular Black Moon follows on from an even rares recent event, the first new moon of this month was a ring of fire solar eclipse, as the new moon also passed directly between the Earth and the Sun. What keeper Worth their salt could ignore such an alignment of astronomical events?
  • The end of the world. There's always someone who thinks it'll be the end of the world.
  • Those in the Eastern Hemisphere however, they're the Lucky ones, they get a Black Moon next month. That's right, the Black Moon over there coincides with Hallowe'en. Now, there's a scenario that just writes itself!
So all these ideas, where the upcoming event is fixed in time, and not to be repeated often give great deadlines, or indeed starting times for plots.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Interview with Mark Morrison on Yoggie

An interview with Horror on the Orient Express (amongst other things) author Mark Morrison is up on YSDC, to mark the 25th anniversary of the release of the campaign.

Also included, some spoilers on an upcoming project, with HotOE links!