Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Scar of the Bloody Tongue Tutorial

A great little video and tutorial on how to use the Scar of the Bloody Tongue that came in the last Props of Nyarlathotep Kickstarter.


Friday, April 27, 2018

She Walks In Shadows

She walks in Shadows is an all female collection of short stories, poetry and artwork, edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles, and published by Innsmouth Free Press. I got a pre-order copy for my birthday back when it was released in October and finally got round to reading it over the xmas break, and have just finished reading it (2015, I take a long time to write and finish these posts sometimes).

As with all collections of short stories, there are some that resonate with you and draw you in, making you wish they were longer, and others that just don't catch your imagination. With this collection, I am glad to say there were more of the former than the latter.

Without going into an in depth analysis of each story, I'll just pick out a couple of the stories I really liked.

Violet is the Colour of your Energy by Nadia Bulkin, was a particularly creepy one. Essentially a modern retelling of the The Colour out of Space. What was unnerving about this was that it was written from the first person perspective, worse, that of the wife who ends in the attic. More on the reasoning behind the tale (as well as a playlist to go with it) can be found here.

Another of my favourite stories in this volume was Magna Mater, by  Arinn Dembo which delves into the mythos behind the Lovecraft tale, Facts concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family. This one really got my gaming juices flowing, leading to this post on some thoughts on a Pulp Cthulhu game/campaign. but more of that in a future post.

In all, I really enjoyed this book, and you should go check it out.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Inspirational Gaming room

Now, this is what I call a Call of Cthulhu gaming room! I am extremely jealous. Looks more like a film set. I can imagine getting creeped out rather easily playing in this place. It's also a great way to put all your props on display too, as well as a great excuse to buy more.

Unfortunately, we do not have anywhere near the space to put aside for something like this. Maybe in the next life, but it would be one reason to move to the suburbs.

Great use of flickering tea-lights, as we all know we want  neither wax nor open flame beside all our lovely books and props, as I learned at a recent game, where a poster I had put on the wall beside the gaming table fell onto a tealight candle holder on the table. Fortunately, no props were harmed, and i managed to save the poster.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Props of Nyarlathotep: New York and Kenya, 'Unboxing'

As previously mentioned, I received the results of the Props of Nyarlathotep: New York and Kenya Kickstarter.

This is less an unboxing, and more a post showing off the shiny. I had the light-box out for another reason, so threw these beauties in, and took some shots.

The main reason I bought into this campaign was funnily enough for the basic reward, the transfers. This simple idea really resonated with me as an unusual prop, even though to use them in game for one NPC means I have to have the brand on me throughout the game night. If I put it in a less noticeable place than the forehead, this might work well as a reveal. Maybe on the bottom of me forearm, with the sleeve down, or just peaking out of the cuff of my shirt.

This led me to getting the latex version. As an introduction to the campaign, the carving of the symbol of the Cult of the Bloody Tongue into the forehead of Jackson Elias is iconic, and I thought this was a really imaginative way of showing this, and one that would stick with the players.


The stretch goals for the campaign included some luggage tags of the various places the campaign goes. These are some beautiful period pieces, really evoking the era. These are printed on non-sticky paper. I'm not sure how original luggage tags worked, but having to put your own gum on them seems more in time to me than to make these modern stickers, as was done with the HotOE campaign boxed set. Anyway, it's not like I'm ever going to stick them on anything, so I'm cool with them just being paper.



Finally, the larger pieces.Firstly, the Fly whisk. This is not as iconic a prop as the others in this set. In fact, I had to go back to the campaign book and search through the Kenya chapter to see what this is. It's actually one of the few props in this game that is helpful to the players. 

The simple use of the elder sign here is really rather effective to my mind


Last, but by no means least of the props from this kickstarter is the Mask of Hyama. This really will be the centrepiece to this campaign in many ways. This horrific mask prompted my better half to call me when she had opened the large box that had arrived in my name, to ask me what the fuck I had been buying now? It really is rather creepy in real life. 


This picture doesn't show the full extent of the mask, there are some feathers attached to the bottom of the mask, but if I were to make it all fit in the photograph, I would have to have set up the larger light-box, and I was being lazy.

Also not pictured here is the stench that comes off this artefact. Delphes wrote in the Kickstarter that there was an issue with the varnish she used for this piece, and really, there is. I've stuck this outside on a couple of evenings to try to get the mask air, but so far, the small has not diminished by much.
The Mask of Hayama will have a strong scent of varnish first - Nyarlathotep doesn’t smell good actually, neither Yog-Sothoth, and even worse does Shub-Niggurath) Also because I wrapped them a while ago just after they were painted, the varnish flavor will be kept inside the plastic bag.
Also included, but not pictured, is a poster with an image of the mask and the name of the campaign, this is the image that was used as the header for the Kickstarter. I'm sure that by putting this on the wall, the players will be more impressed once the mask is found.

I only wish I was able to afford the second mask that was made with this Kickstarter, the latex mask to be worn by the player who puts on the mask, showing how it melds with their face and cannot be removed. That was well outwith my budget, especially since it's essentially a one use item.

Finally, since I had the light-box out, and these props were all stored together, I took a couple snaps of the Eye of Light and Darkness which I have previously written about


Now, once the new version of the campaign is released later this year, I'll be using these to freak some players out!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Props of Nyarlathotep: New York and Kenya

I had a rather large box arrive in the post last week, much to the chagrin of my better half.

Inside was contained some beautifully horrendous artefacts of power. In that it was the resutls of the Props Of Nyarlathotep New York and Kenya Kickstarter.

I'll write up an "unboxing" post up in the near future, once I've taken some pictures of the props that do them justice. They are worth getting the light box out for!

These have been squirrelled away beside the Eye of Light and Darkness for future use in a Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign.

That campaign might be a little ways away, as we have just left Sophia in our current Horror on the Orient Express game, where the Simulacrum, also made by Delphes has been a beautiful centrepiece throughout.

Monday, April 16, 2018

H.P.Lovecraft on Mastermind

Not the author himself of course, that would be weird, but the works of HPL as a Mastermind subject.


 How many answers did you get right?

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Tails of Equestria: Pet Sitting

A couple of weeks ago now, we played our first game as a family.

Seemed to go really well. The Big 'un got really into it, the Lil 'un, took a little more convincing to interact with the game, but I think she'll come round to this way of playing with a little practice.

In terms of a review of the system, and book, I am very happy.

The game system is simple enough to be easy to understand and play. The rules are clearly written out, and easy to follow. The book has plenty of colour illustrations to make it fun, to give inspiration. Also, the character sheets have a nice large space for you to draw and colour your pony, which was a real draw for all the players round the table, and is a good way to help with the immersion. Glitter is a must.

For the adventure supplied at the back of the book, it gets players right into the lore, and gives plenty of points of reference to the show's mythos. It also has a cliffhanger ending that slots right into the next written adventure that has been published for the game.

If I had one problem with the adventure, it requires the players to fail at the start, to then go on the quest to retrieve the Man six's pets. I don't like this kind of adventure that forces you to fail in order to set up the adventure. This works as an episode of MLP, but as an introduction to a game system, and to RPGs in general, it goes against the grain.


Once the adventure gets into the main quest part though, there's a nice mix of problem solving and a solid intro into how to get things done in the Ponyverse, i.e. by working together, and playing to the 6 elements of harmony.

The game ran through in about 2.5 hours total. It could have been stretched out a bit, and there were some things that I could have made a bigger deal of, but it's not a 2 session game unless you really stretch it out.

The adventure in the book leads directly into the second adventure, "The Curse of the Statuettes". This looks to be a slightly more normal adventure set up, where the players now have to go on and save the Mane Six. I was not looking to buy this straight off, as I had found a pdf version, but I think I might need the GM screen, as I do have one very nosy player, and my CoC Keeper screen isn't quite the right tone.

Unfortunately, this looks like it is not a hugely long adventure either, with maybe 2 sessions max, maybe more if I limit the tiems f sessions to a couple of hours. The third part of this campaign is also out, "The Festival of Lights". I hope it has more to it than the first two parts of the campaign, as I don't feel like I'm up to writing adventures in the Ponyverse yet, especially with the amout of knowledge of the mythos I will have to deal with at the tabel.