Thursday, June 27, 2013

Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion

Six and a half years? Has it really been that long? That's when the first discussions and recruitment took place for the Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion over on the YSDC forums. At the time, I was running my New York Campaign, and had started to plant the seeds of the Campaign, by introducing Jackson Elias and preparing myself in other ways. With this in mind, I was hugely anticipating the information, maps, handouts and other additional material that was being discussed for inclusion in this work. I was worried however, that it wouldn't come out in time for me to use in my campaign. I need not have worried, not because of the speed of publication of this document, far from it, it took a lot more time that I anticipated, but for the closer to home reason of my gaming group and CoC game folding for reasons of life getting in the way of gaming (isn't it always the case?).

However, I was very pleased to see the following news on the YSDC front page. In the words of Paul of Cthulhu:
This publication has a long and varied history. It was originally anticipated to be a benefit publication for YSDC (as a Call of Cthulhu MULA monograph) with the payment going to help keep Yoggie online. However after six and a half years it had reached a state of production limbo, which seemed grossly unfair as it meant that all the brilliant, creative work and effort that had gone into it was not being seen.

So we pulled the trigger.

What is available for download here can be considered version 0.9 of the Companion. Adam Crossingham of Sixtystone Press is currently doing sterling work finishing the last edit and finalising the layout of the 550 page beast.

We hope you enjoy the book and accept its contents with our gratitude for your support of a venerable web site. Thank you.
550 pages is indeed a beast of a document, in fact, the original campaign only has 250 pages. That's more than double the original size. This says a couple of things about the original work. First off, I think it shows how much the original work is respected, and still played. Also, that it sparks the imagination of so many gamers and writers now that they can expand and riff upon the original work to this extent.

It also says a little about some of the holes in the original work that needed filling, but this is as much to do with the evolution of the hobby, and the technology now available make our products (in terms of handouts etc) than necessarily flaws in the original work (although they do exist).

So, go here to download version 0.9 of this work. I have already done so, and am slowly reading through it. I for one would pay real actual money for this work, and for the moment will show my appreciation by becoming a YSDC patron. If and when this is released as a hard copy manuscript, in whatever fashion that is, I fully intent to buy a copy of that too, but in honour of Free RPG Day (which has just passed) go get your free copy now.

The original campaign is available from the Chaosium website, either in softcover, or now in new and improved hardback. There's also a free download which contains an introduction to the campaign, and more usefully, all the handouts in pdf format, for easy printing.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition

It has been in the news for a while, but it is finally coming to a head. Call of Cthulhu is printing a 7th edition. Furthermore, this is not a new edition in the way that many of the other CoC editions, in that, they were mere clean-ups of the book and rules, tidying and modernising the layout and such. This seems to be very much a new edition. What I do know is that they are trying their hardest to make the new edition backwards compatible with all existing adventures. For a company like Chaosium, where their back catalog of adventures is what they are renowned for, this really was a must. Also, all playtesting done for the new edition of Horror on the Orient Express has been done in 7th ed, thereby assuring the new adventure is not out of date as soon as it hits the shelves, whilst also being backwards compatible with all older versions of the rules, as befits a classic adventure.

Want to know more? Go here for the kickstarter. I have yet to pledge, as I am waiting to see what other benefits are being added to sweeten the pot. This may seem a little mercenary, but I am not actually in the market for a new set of RPG rules right now, as writing of the monograph is on a bit of a hiatus and there is no role-playing being done (for now). I may have to buy in at the end though, and call it spending in the name of research. Yeah, that sounds about right!

Anyway, there's plenty of time left, and the project is already passed its funding level, so there really is nothing to lose by supporting it. Afterall, we're all going to end up buying it...

What I do find helpful, is this little diagram of what each pledge level will get you. Very handy.