miskatonic.co.uk has been around now since early 2000 and in that time we have had two different hosting providers, well the time has come again to change provider – purely on the grounds of economics.
However, having taken that decision we shopped around and finally settled on HostPapa, it met my economic criteria, it came recommended by friends that I trust, but especially because HostPapa has taken the initiative of going green by purchasing 100% green renewable energy to power their data centres, web servers, office computers, laptops and their office space. These energy sources supply HostPapa’s entire equivalent energy consumption into the power-grid with certified 100% renewable green energy sources, such as wind and solar-powered energy.
Think about it… Cthulhu likes green.
Most of us these days have a kindle, or kindle software on a PC, phone, iPad or whatever. And its fair to say that you can find lots of lovecraft, cthulhu, pulp horror fiction to download and read. One of the best Lovecraft anthologies for instance is available on Kindle for free, visit the Cthulhuchick website for details here.
More recently though I stumbled upon “Cthulhu in Wonderland”, by Lewis Carroll and Kent David Kelly, (although in truth I strongly suspect that Carroll has little knowledge of this latest collaboration).
I don’t know why I have never thought of taking Alice and dosing her with Space Mead, or of shoving Cthulhu through the looking glass, but the concept is actually genius. Playing with the dreamlands ideas and twisting the innocence of the Alice story in the best kind of way. If you like American McGee’s Alice then you will like this as well.
Available from Amazon at the lordly price of £1.94 (why the 94 pence why not just 2 quid?) the book is great fun. True it could do with a little bit of editorial interference, some layout issues, some grammatical oddities but lets face it, its only going to cost you £1.94 what do you want leather bound calligraphic script… I knew I was hooked about a paragraph in when Alice muses;
“And what is the use of a mythos tome pertaining to the Slaughter of Humanity, and the cataclysmic End of Days, thought Alice, without pictures or conversations?”
And after that the plunge down the Abyssal Zoog Hole really is just the beginning. Our top tip for the last day of April is that if you have the technology to read a kindle eBook, treat yourself to “Cthulhu in Wonderland” and see if it doesn’t inspire you to inflict some real horror on your players in that next game of Call of Cthulhu.
Available on Amazon here.
So its been a while since we did any serious reviews here at Miskatonic, the most recent being the intriguing game of Lovecraftian horror, “Macabre Tales”, with its initially bizarre sounding but actually very satisfying dominoes based game mechanics. Well then all of a sudden I have had a chance to take a look a flurry of different products and over the next few days will post my thoughts along with a few recommendations for our readers.
Having mentioned “Macabre Tales” already, lets start with an adventure for that very system; “The Secret Of The Dead Man’s Satchel” from Spectrum Games (www.spectrum-games.com). This 15 page adventure is nicely presented, the artwork is of the standard found in the main rules and it is written in a clear and concise fashion. It is designed to work, like the main game, with just two players – a GM and a primary protagonist – reflecting the majority of Lovecraftian tales. That said it is easily adjusted to accommodate two or three players. The adventure is set in 1931 US and requires a City location with a nearby rural community. The story itself – without giving out any spoilers – revolves around the receipt of a mysterious package which lures the character(s) into some extremely perilous encounters. There are parts of the tale that players and games-masters alike will recognise, there are some classic elements to the story, but it is in no way derivative.
With two pages of NPC details, a page of handouts, and a nice synopsis, the scenario proper divides neatly into three acts with a final “Wrapping Up” or epilogue to sort out any repercussions of the adventures outcome.
In my opinion its a great one night adventure, brilliant fun for two players, but I believe it works even better with a pair of player characters. If we were the kind of website that gave marks out of five this would definitely get four and a half and I’d only hold back that half because I know that there are people out there who won’t warm to the dominoes mechanic employed within “Macabre Tales”. For my part however, I think it is genius and I will find any excuse to make people I know play this game. Available as a watermarked PDF from DrivethruRPG for $3.99 (currently discounted to just $2.99), this is great value for anyone who has invested in the “Macabre Tales” rule set.
In the week that we mark the 75th anniversary of HP Lovecraft’s death we are proud to bring you our very first podcast. A reading of Lovecraft’s tale “Pickmans Model”. This was the first story of Lovecraft’s that I read, some time before I started role playing and long before I had any idea that I would become so affected by the writings of any single author.
Pickmans Model” was written in September 1926 and first published in the October 1927 issue of Weird Tales.
Enjoy, Ia! F’tagn!
Don’t forget that today, March 4th is GM’s Day!
And in honor of the day it is once again the annual GM’s day sale at RPGNOW and you can celebrate with a massive discounts off of loads of great titles, up to 25% off a great range. The GM’s day sale is on now and runs to the 7th of March. Don’t miss out – Time to pick up some goodies!