Category: Call of Cthulhu

Working With Monsters – 7th Edition

page-1-processed It seems an age ago that we shared a couple of scenarios for use with Call of Cthulhu including “Working With Monsters”, a scenario for a small group of experienced investigators which proved to be a very popular download.

Having had my Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition rules for a while now I decided to revisit “Working With Monsters” and update it for use with the new rule set.  I was pleasantly surprised how easy and quick it was to do, and I have plans to update the follow up scenario “Working With Monsters Again” in due course.  I also took the opportunity to update the layout and to amend a few minor details which improve the overall playability.

As always you’ll find the download freely available to download and share in our “stacks”, we hope you enjoy it.  You can go directly to the download here or browse through the Download Stacks – see the menu bar above.

Derek.

Another Lovecraft birthday sale…

Building on yesterdays Happy Birthday Howard post and once again not wanting to sound like an endless advert for the Onebookshop web sites; they are having an amazing Lovecraft birthday sale – for the next twelve days.  The sale includes “mountains of madness” for you and your players so take our advice and “shambler” along and prove what a “fungi” you are by treating yourself to something different.

Here are three recommendations from me for a slightly different Lovecraftian experience.

Firstly, go back to a time where it all began – Primeval Thule with the setting from Sasquatch Game Studio.

Thule“Thule, a primordial land of fierce barbarians, elder horrors, and savage wilderness. In this ancient age, humankind is a young race, newly arisen on a monster-haunted Earth. Cities of cruel splendor lie scattered across the great lands of the north like a handful of gems strewn from a dead thief’s hand.

This is a doomed age, a time of great deeds and inhuman terror destined to be lost and forgotten beneath the numbing cloak of endless winter. But for one glittering moment, Thule lives—and it is a fierce, cruel, splendid, and marvelous moment indeed”.

Available in both D20 and for Savage worlds I personally prefer the latter, there is also a wealth of other Thule material – The best Lovecraftian High Fantasy.

Secondly try a game system different to any other you will have played – Macabre Tales from Spectrum Games.

macabreMacabre Tales is the dominoes-based RPG of Lovecraftian horror that strips out the “contributions” of later authors and focuses solely on what Lovecraft himself created. Spectrum Games, known for accurate emulation of various genres in their products, offers a brand new take on role-playing in the terrifying and abhorrent world of Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Will you emerge from the experience unscathed? Or will your mind snap in the wake of all the hidden abominations that lurk in the shadows, just out of sight of humankind? “

monstersLastly – but by no means least – use the sale as an excuse to pick up a copy of Monsters and Other Childish Things by Arc Dream Publishing (the folk that bring you Delta Green), and then whilst you have your finger on the button add Road Trip, a full-length adventure campaign to go with it.

In Monsters and Other Childish Things, Monsters are real.  You know this because you have one. He’s more fun and way tougher than all the other kids’ monsters. Try not to let him eat your friends.

“Monsters and Other Childish Things is a distressingly fun and funny roleplaying game about kids and the relationship-devouring horrors from beyond time and space who love them. Players take the roles of kids and the vicious monsters who are their best friends in all the world — and the source of all kinds of otherworldly trouble.”

This is a really great game – embrace your inner child – Think Monsters Inc.  but only if the script had been written by Lovecraft when he was having a particularly bleak day…  I love it.

road-tripRoad Trip provides a great campaign for this gem of a game – nine adventures centred around “The Best Summer Vacation Ever …and maybe the last!

“A crazy cult plans to destroy the world — not just a school or the boring grown-up shops at the mall, but the WHOLE WORLD — and it’s up to you to stop them.

Now you and your friends, and your horrible friendly monsters, are taking on the Cult of the Ur-Monster from one end of the United States to the other. You’ll explore creepy amusement parks, dusty tourist traps, and quaint roadside farms in the throes of violent revolution. Also, the land of Oz. “

 

With all that horror abounding in the world how could Howard not have a happy birthday – have fun looking at our recommendations and enjoy the birthday sale.

Happy Birthday Howard

August 20th 1890 Howard Phillips Lovecraft was born and it is fair to say that in his 46 years he managed to change forever the horror genre.  In honor of his memory we once again present our five top tips for doing something Lovecraftian.

1. Play a game of Call Of Cthulhu

Since 1981 people have been playing Chaosium’s Call Of Cthulhu Role Playing Game – it has become the definitive horror RPG, and frankly I can’t think of a better way to spend an evening than deep into a 1920’s setting, battling the horrors of Lovecrafts Mythos.  However the Lovecraftian mythos has spilled over to so much more than the roaring twenties and if you are looking for something a little different then you could do a lot worse than to pick up something from Modiphius’ Achtung Cthulhu range of titles.

AC-trans“In the Achtung! Cthulhu universe, a band of Allied heroes fight the Secret War against the Nazi Black Sun and their rivals Nachtwolfe. Powered with ancient secrets and terrible Mythos allies, Black Sun and Nachtwolfe are on the verge of unleashing terrible weapons upon the Allied forces.”

To celebrate the anniversary of the birth of the master of the macabre, we’re having a Lovecraft Lives sale with a massive 20% discount on all Achtung! Cthulhu titles!

To claim your 20% discount, just the use the code LovecraftLives when you checkout.  You can only use the discount once and the sale lasts for a limited time, so make sure you get in early and celebrate HP Lovecraft’s birthday with a whole new world of adventure!

2. Check out the Cthulhu Mythos PDFs available online

I hate sounding like nothing but an advert for the Onebookshelf marketplaces, but if you like RPG’s then you can’t ignore the fact that they have changed the way we buy our games and have probably done more to keep our industry alive than anyone else.  But that’s a debate for another day, all you need to know is that there is a mountain of material to indulge in related to the Cthulhu Mythos  at DriveThruRPG, DriveThruFiction and DriveThruComics.

3. Lots to see on Cthulhu’Tube

Well actually I mean YouTube, but there are no shortage of really cool Cthulhu Mythos clips to be found.  My favorites are and will probably always be the “Calls For Cthulhu” series.  Check out the available episodes here, or click below to watch my personal favorite – Episode 1.

 

 

4. Watch a movie

For sure there are some awful adaptations of Lovecraft stories into film, but there are also some fantastic ones and more importantly there are some movies that are inspired by and just would not exist if it wasn’t for the influence of Lovecraft’s tales.  My personal favorites are clearly the Reanimator films starring Jeffery Coombes, (see the trailer for the 1985 classic below), but for greater and wider inspiration check out “MIKE DAVIS’ LIST OF RECOMMENDED LOVECRAFTIAN MOVIES” over at The Lovecraft eZine.

 

5. Read a book!

I’m always staggered by my CoC players who actually haven’t read any of Lovecraft’s books.  So treat yourself and read some of his works.  If you have an e-reader (Kindle, Nook etc) then treat yourself for free and visit Cthulhu Chick’s blog and download her fantastic “The Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft” which contains all of the original stories which Lovecraft wrote as an adult. It begins in 1917 with “The Tomb” and ends in 1935 with his last original work “The Haunter of the Dark”.

It is a great piece of work and to make it available in this way I think is a truly kind spirited thing as I am certain it was no small effort.  If you like it, then you could always consider hitting the button on the page to make a donation.

Character sheets for Call of Cthulhu

Dear Derek...Over the last few days I have been tidying up a number of broken links on the site and reposting much of the older downloadable content, (more about that in a future post). We have a wide variety of content going back to the year 2000 and have been using every version of WordPress since 2005 and over time and some things have just got misplaced, lost or broken.

One thing that people continually come looking for here at miskatonic.co.uk are character sheets for Call of Cthulhu, and to be fair, we used to host copies of the official printable pdfs.  However, as editions have changed we never really kept up-to-date, so rather than post yet another set of pdf copies I thought it would be more useful to point people in the right direction.

The Chaosium Free Downloads Centre has copies of character sheets for all of their games along with the occasional scenario and/or other resource. Enjoy browsing.

Ia! F’tagn!

Derek.

My last ever Chaosium purchase?

Dear Derek...If you have spent any time with me playing games, peeked in my games cupboard, peered at my shelves or even read a few articles here at miskatonic.co.uk then you will have established that I am a huge Call Of Cthulhu fan, in short I am passionate about roleplaying in the Lovecraftian horror genre.  But, after being a backer of the two big Kickstarters run by Chaosium – the reprint of “Horror On The Orient Express“and the new “Call Of Cthulhu 7th Edition Rules” I have decided that they get no more of my hard earned gaming dollars.  Why?  Well quite simply, like a number of other Kickstarters they are going to deliver their pledge rewards quite a bit later than planned – and frankly that’s pretty much no surprise to anyone, after all they are big complex products and the success of the Kickstarters and the add ons and stretch goals have made them even more complicated.  But its not the delays that have finally tugged my horn, no its the general disregard for their backers with the infrequent and often uninformative updates.  Now, having said that, there was just recently a fairly lengthy and actually frank and informative update posted to both projects, but for me its too little and (ironically) too late.

I have, since I started supporting games on Kickstarter, backed around forty projects ranging from playing cards, to board games through to new role-play games, supplements and scenarios.  Mainly they deliver later than estimated, and I think thats pretty much par for the course.  But I have backed some projects that were absolutely brilliant at keeping their backers informed.  Bill Trammel’s “Official Settlers of Catan Gaming Board”  hit numerous problems on its way to delivering but thanks to frequent and honest updates I actually felt like I was a part of that process, I learnt about the difficulties of injection moulding, colour matching, the challenges of international fulfilment and so on.  I would back that project again in an instant and support any future projects that they do.  Similarly, the amazing David Malki and his “Machine Of Death: The game of creative assassination” was a pleasure to back even though the due date came and went – why was it a pleasure?  Well because frankly David’s updates were, for me, a part of the reward.  I looked forward to getting his next update, reading it when it popped into my mailbox and having a chuckle about the latest problem to befall the project or cheering the successes.  In both cases these guys epitomised what I think Kickstarter is about, a lot of us don’t back projects just to get a discounted pre-order, we do it to help get something produced that otherwise may never have happened and in so doing we like to feel engaged. There are plenty of others I could mention; Chris Birch and Modiphius with “Achthung! Cthulhu“, Shane Hensley and Pinnacle Entertainment Group’s fabulous “Weird Wars Rome” and Eloy Lasanta and Third Eye Games “Divine Instruments” all of which were stunning projects that really engaged with their backers and delivered top quality products.

So getting back to Chaosiums big Kickstarters, I just don’t feel engaged. It literally has been like placing a pre-order for products with delivery dates TBD.  I have ended up posting comments literally begging for updates and, as a result, I’ve decided they don’t get any more of my cash.  There are loads of other publishers out there who genuinely do care about what their “investors” think and who share their plans and challenges with those backers.  These are the guys that I will look to continue to support and partner with both through crowd funding efforts and through other purchases.  It is worth saying that I don’t for a minute think that Chaosium are the worst offenders, I’ve backed two other projects that frankly if they never delivered I wouldn’t be surprised, and if they were offering my cash back now I’d probably take it.  Yet the difference for me is that Chaosium are big enough, well established enough, and have a loyal and passionate customer base, in short they should know better.

Ia! F’tagn!

Derek.