Good starting points for Cthulhu?
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:53 pm 
 

Chaosium just posted an announcement for their latest foray into fantasy adventure for their BRP rules.
In Search of the Trollslayer


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Post Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:53 pm 
 

jasonw1239 wrote:Chaosium just posted an announcement for their latest foray into fantasy adventure for their BRP rules.
In Search of the Trollslayer


Sounds to me like those few copies of the monograph-version are now collectors' items.


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Post Posted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:10 pm 
 

The eBay value of Secrets of New Orleans will also be going down.
Dustin made the following announcement today about a reprint that has just been sent to the printer for a September release.
http://www.chaosium.com/article.php?story_id=419


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Post Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:21 am 
 

Goodman Games recently released their second scenario for Call of Cthulhu.
(edit) Madness in Londontown
It was met with some bad reviews on yog-sothoth.com to which Joe Goodman replied.
Joe Goodman's post.
For some reason he used the Acaeum as an example in his post.
I'll provide the same answer which I've provided to the Acaeum collector crowd (another vocal, highly critical site focused on our Dungeon Crawl Classics modules): if you don't actually play adventure modules, these adventures may not be meant for you. Please note that Pookie's review is not a playtest review.

Some thought that his reply had a bit of a dismissive tone.


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Post Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:29 pm 
 

jasonw1239 wrote:Goodman Games recently released their second scenario for Call of Cthulhu.
(edit) Madness in Londontown
It was met with some bad reviews on yog-sothoth.com to which Joe Goodman replied.
Joe Goodman's post.
For some reason he used the Acaeum as an example in his post.

Some thought that his reply had a bit of a dismissive tone.


I don't entirely disagree with Joe..I can't remember playing in any DCC, although I've altered a few enough to run them. We are mostly a collector site. But there was a lot of support here for the STYLE of adventure Joe was doing, and I think that's entirely disappeared due to the "new look" of the 4E stuff.  

But that begs the point, I think most people buy CoC stuff to game them, not to just collect them. And bad writing is bad writing no matter what the context (I have not seen nor read either Goodman games CoC product so I cannot comment there). Now I'll have to find a copy to read myself I guess!

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Post Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:30 pm 
 

jasonw1239 wrote:The eBay value of Secrets of New Orleans will also be going down.
Dustin made the following announcement today about a reprint that has just been sent to the printer for a September release.
http://www.chaosium.com/article.php?story_id=419


Dang, that was a reliabe find when you located it..you knew you could turn it over pretty quick for some big bucks!  However, I'd really rather have the stuff in print. I wish Pagan would reprint a lot of their goodies.

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Post Posted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:27 pm 
 

jasonw1239 wrote:Goodman Games recently released their second scenario for Call of Cthulhu.
(edit) Madness in Londontown
It was met with some bad reviews on yog-sothoth.com to which Joe Goodman replied.
Joe Goodman's post.
For some reason he used the Acaeum as an example in his post.

Some thought that his reply had a bit of a dismissive tone.


I followed the links and read Pookie's review.  I also saw Goodman's first post that went with the review.  I wouldn't call Pookie's review "bad."  I would call it "nit-picky."

I can understand Brits being annoyed when their geography and local color is either trampled or ignored by American writers.  On the flip side, British writers often assume a familiarity with local geography that can  prove difficult for American readers.

My favorite line from Pookie's review:

"Its plot...assumes that the investigators are American and will come armed"

Goodman is selling mostly to Americans for whom choice of weapons would be the first thought when undertaking a dangerous investigation.  Even if guns were uncommon in 1920's Britain, it seems logical that British investigators would have them...unless they've already lost too many sanity points.

Pookie gets a bit snotty about un-British terms such as "city block."  Some subtle errors are inevitable when describing another country.  BBC reporters do it all the time when talking about America.  Why should it matter in a game scenario?  There are dozens of instances in modules where the writers get medieval culture or history wrong...that does not stop people from loving the modules.

Goodman's response is a bit dismissive and overly defensive.  It makes me worry about Goodman Games.  The boss seems to be backing and filling quite a bit.  He doth protest too much.

If there has been some criticism of the Dungeon Crawl Classics line on the Acaeum, it is not out of pettiness.  It is more like the worried warnings of someone who sees a friend drinking too often or starting an obviously bad relationship.


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Post Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 12:47 am 
 

Badmike wrote: I wish Pagan would reprint a lot of their goodies.


Scott's working on it.  I haven't spoken with him since before GenCon, but it sounded like things would start to kick into gear after the show and into the beginning of 2010.


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Post Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 7:40 am 
 

Pagan''s license from Chaosium still limits them to printing only four Call of Cthulhu products per year. It is the same for all of the licensees.


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Post Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:23 am 
 

I picked up the first Goodman Game Call of Cthulhu release "Death in Luxor".
It has a bit of a pulp flavor but that can be fun to run or play.
My only real complaint was how dark the maps are.
I understand they were going for that dark sepia tone look but there is some details that my old eyes can barely see.


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Post Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 5:56 pm 
 

Drifting off-topic . . .

I was driving today and listened to the public radio show Radiolab.  Today's show was on parasites.  The last segment of the show was about Cthulhu.  Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi was interviewed, and he provided a wonderful explanation of Lovecraft and his fiction.

I downloaded the show from the official Radiolab website and found that it had different content from what was broadcast.  :(

Fortunately, Google came to the rescue.  I found the segement in a download from the National Public Radio website.  The Cthulhu segment runs from 25:57 to 41:04.

. . . http://podcastdownload.npr.org/anon.npr ... 348385.mp3

I never knew that Cthulhu is supposed to be pronounced KooLoo.   According to S.T. Joshi, that is how Lovecraft wanted it pronounced.  8O

[crossposted to Dragonsfoot]

[Edit:  I mistyped the phonic pronunciation.  KlooLoo, dammit. As Jason says, who knows how Cthulhu is really pronounced.  Joshi admits that he doesn't know how to pronounce R'lyeh.   8O ]


Last edited by JohnGaunt on Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.
  

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Post Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:02 pm 
 

JohnGaunt wrote:I never knew that Cthulhu is supposed to be pronounced KooLoo.   According to S.T. Joshi, that is how Lovecraft wanted it pronounced.  8O

:lol:  The pronunciation of the word is almost as contentious as what shape the "elder sign" is supposed to be (tree branch or star).

Thanks for the link, I'll have to listen to that later this evening.


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Post Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:18 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:
I followed the links and read Pookie's review.  I also saw Goodman's first post that went with the review.  I wouldn't call Pookie's review "bad."  I would call it "nit-picky."

.


I have to agree with Mark on all counts. The review concentrated more on wrong names given for proper names for British places than any sort of criticism of the actual plot or gameplay.
The most eye rolling comment was someone that said the game would be "unplayable" with the wrong names on the scenario.  By that reasoning, you couldn't play T1 unless it was set in the World of Greyhawk, or Ruins of Undermountain unless it was set in the Forgotten Realms.  Give me a break. A Dm that can't play a scenario except exactly as written needs to stick to Chutes and Ladders instead of roleplaying.

However I do agree that Goodman's response seems to be overly sensitive. Totally understandable given the silly nature of the review, but still in bad form.

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Post Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 8:21 pm 
 

Link to poll on Yog-Sothoth about preference for elder sign.

http://www.yog-sothoth.com/modules.php? ... opic&t=374

At the moment:
August Derleth's version = 42%
H.P. Lovecraft's version = 48%
Lin Carter's version = 7%

I have always accepted Derleth's version, never having seen Lovecraft's version until I joined Yog-Sothoth.
(The Lovecraft version had appear on the spine of a few Chaosium publications but I must admit that I did not know what it was supposed to represent).

Pookie's review of the Goodman Game scenario was somewhat nit-picky.
The one that Chad Bowser wrote on the Geekdo website was more informative since he actually ran it for his group.

Some of the points that he brought up that provided actual gameplay information was:

- The scenario apparently contains a large number of mythos monsters where most scenarios only have perhaps some cultists, a few minions and one baddie. One of Chad's comments was "It did in some ways seem like a Mythos hoe-down." :lol:
- Gratuitous Sanity losses are built into the scenario including one for seeing yourself in a mirror.

Despite the few flaws that Chad noted in his review he said that his players enjoyed the scenario. He mentioned that there were two character deaths out of five and that they got five hours of play out of it.

edit: removed extra emoticon


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Last edited by jasonw1239 on Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
  

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Post Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:45 pm 
 

I question the provenance for the Derleth and Lovecraft versions.  Can someone document that those two men ever sketched out anything like that?

jasonw1239 wrote:Link to poll on Yog-Sothoth about preference for elder sign.

http://www.yog-sothoth.com/modules.php? ... opic&t=374

At the moment:
August Derleth's version = 42%
H.P. Lovecraft's version = 48%
Lin Carter's version = 7%

I have always accepted Derleth's version, never having seen Lovecraft's version until I joined Yog-Sothoth.
(The Lovecraft version had appear on the spine of a few Chaosium publications but I must admit that I did not know what it was supposed to represent).

Pookie's review of the Goodman Game scenario was somewhat nit-picky.
The one that Chad Bowser wrote on the Geekdo website was more informative since he actually ran it for his group.

Some of the points that he brought up that provided actual gameplay information was:

- The scenario apparently contains a large number of mythos monsters where most scenarios only have perhaps some cultists, a few minions and one baddie. One of Chad's comments was "It did in some ways seem like a Mythos hoe-down." :lol:
- Gratuitous Sanity losses are built into the scenario including one for seeing yourself in a mirror.

Despite the few flaws that Chad noted in his review he said that his players enjoyed the scenario. He mentioned that there were two character deaths out of five and that they got five hours of play out of it. :lol:


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Post Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2009 10:13 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:I question the provenance for the Derleth and Lovecraft versions.  Can someone document that those two men ever sketched out anything like that?

I cannot personally attest to any of the imagery in that link but I have not read the S.T. Joshi 700+ page biography of Lovecraft or all of the Robert M. Price material.

The one time that I remember Lovecraft mentioning five pointed stars was in the mountains of madness.

Have found peculiar soapstone fragment about six inches across and an inch and a half thick, wholly unlike any visible local formation--greenish, but no evidences to place its period. Has curious smoothness and regularity. Shaped like five-pointed star with tips broken off, and signs of other cleavage at inward angles and in center of surface. Small, smooth depression in center of unbroken surface.


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Post Posted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:43 am 
 

Badmike wrote:However I do agree that Goodman's response seems to be overly sensitive. Totally understandable given the silly nature of the review, but still in bad form.

Mike B.


I agree that Goodman's response was (surprisingly) sensitive.  I would have thought that he would be responding from a position of confidence that can accept some player/reader criticism - especially considering the egregious fanboy grovelling you get on the Goodman games 'forum'.  Maybe he just has a (paper) thin skin.  I thought it was a bit of an embarrassing response for him.

I disagree that Pookie's review was all about local geographical and cultural inaccuracies though.  In fact he praises the module in a number of areas.  To my mind, his most damning criticism of Madness in London Town is: a plot that is "linear in structure and superficial in nature".  For those of you who play D&D and not Call of Cthulhu - the plot is pretty much everything in a Cthulhu scenario.  The plot determines the atmosphere, the sense of horror, the pace of play etc..  I thought that Goodman Games' first Cthulhu adventure Death in Luxor also suffered from a poor and overly linear plot (amongst other problems).

The first two Goodman Games Call of Cthulhu scenarios are not terrible.  In fact, and so I am not mistaken for a one-sided reviewer, let me say that they make good if short pulpish one-nighters (after some tinkering and amendment from the DM).  They remind me if anything of the thin Games Workshop and Chaosium scenarios published in the late 80s'/early 90s'.  Part of the reason that they have got bad reviews is that call of Cthulhu adventure design has moved on from those earlier days.  Much of the new stuff from Pagan and other publishers is sophisticated, surprising, complex, and imaginative.  GG's first two adventures suffer a bit in comparison.

These things are relative.  The Cthulhu monograph adventures / sourcebooks are case in point, with some of the very highest quality and some of the lowest.  I think that people were hoping for more from Goodman Games after the quality of much of their D&D stuff. Still, part of the purpose of criticism is to spur on greater quality next time.  So this could be all for the good :)


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Post Posted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 12:05 pm 
 

red_bus wrote:
I agree that Goodman's response was (surprisingly) sensitive.  I would have thought that he would be responding from a position of confidence that can accept some player/reader criticism - especially considering the egregious fanboy grovelling you get on the Goodman games 'forum'.  Maybe he just has a (paper) thin skin.  I thought it was a bit of an embarrassing response for him.

I disagree that Pookie's review was all about local geographical and cultural inaccuracies though.  In fact he praises the module in a number of areas.  To my mind, his most damning criticism of Madness in London Town is: a plot that is "linear in structure and superficial in nature".  For those of you who play D&D and not Call of Cthulhu - the plot is pretty much everything in a Cthulhu scenario.  The plot determines the atmosphere, the sense of horror, the pace of play etc..  I thought that Goodman Games' first Cthulhu adventure Death in Luxor also suffered from a poor and overly linear plot (amongst other problems).

The first two Goodman Games Call of Cthulhu scenarios are not terrible.  In fact, and so I am not mistaken for a one-sided reviewer, let me say that they make good if short pulpish one-nighters (after some tinkering and amendment from the DM).  They remind me if anything of the thin Games Workshop and Chaosium scenarios published in the late 80s'/early 90s'.  Part of the reason that they have got bad reviews is that call of Cthulhu adventure design has moved on from those earlier days.  Much of the new stuff from Pagan and other publishers is sophisticated, surprising, complex, and imaginative.  GG's first two adventures suffer a bit in comparison.

These things are relative.  The Cthulhu monograph adventures / sourcebooks are case in point, with some of the very highest quality and some of the lowest.  I think that people were hoping for more from Goodman Games after the quality of much of their D&D stuff. Still, part of the purpose of criticism is to spur on greater quality next time.  So this could be all for the good :)


"Pookie" does spend some time on the plot, but then the review veers waaaaay too far into the "this place is spell wrong it hast two t's not one, this place is actually 23 miles north in real life" stuff that doesnt' effect me one iota.  If you are looking for vermisulitude in your RPG horror games about malign entities beyond space and time, you really need to look elsewhere!   I'm too lazy to do a paragrahp count but I expect there was twice as much space dedicated to the wrong names being used than on the actual meat of the adventure.  

Interestingly the way you describe it, it does seem rather like a lot of the earlier Chaosium type adventurs (which were a railroad waiting to happen, but we loved it).  The newer stuff is much better; but isn't there still a place for the simpler stuff? It's like an argument of a 1E module vs a 3E module, one if more sophisticated, in depth, combplex, etc, the other is just good classic gaming. I say this without having read either, but that thought makes me want to pick up both of Goodman's modules.

While not condoning Joe's outburst, I understand it.  If I wrote a book and the reviewer spent one paragraph telling how much he liked/disliked the book, and then five paragraphs listing how I had gotten certain locations a bit off, or wasn't exact in my spelling, I would be fuming also.  The reviewer seems more pissed he wasn't given the option of editing the module (which he states he offered to do) and determined to make Goodman Games pay for that slap in the face by pointing out all the inaccuracies in loving detail.  I was fidgeting halfway through the review because nothing there indicated anything I look for in running an adventure....I really don't care if the British Museum is on this or that street, I just want to know if I'm going to like the plot or characters enough to run the adventure.

Maybe it's a British thing, although I can't fathom a US reviewer going that much into depth about an adventure set in, say, New York that gets a few street names wrong or places a famous structure on another block a mile away.

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Post Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:07 am 
 

Badmike wrote:
"Pookie" does spend some time on the plot, but then the review veers waaaaay too far into the "this place is spell wrong it hast two t's not one, this place is actually 23 miles north in real life"

Maybe it's a British thing,



It is a distinctly British thing.  

I can't think of a similar American phenomenon to compare it to.

Perhaps Star Trek trivia?   :?

As a resident of the Pacific Northwest, I was often amused by the geographical problems in products for Shadowrun:  

In the most egregious example, from a Shadowrun novel, the characters drive out of Seattle into tribal territory then get attacked when they "stray" into the elven realm of Tir Tangire.  Apparently, the characters did not notice when they accidentally "strayed" across the Columbia River...the major waterway of the West.

Oh, and orcs live in the "Seattle Underground" which is located right beneath the streets of Pioneer Square...except that the game map shows the massive Renraku Archology building covering exactly that area...and the text states that the Archology extends fifty floors below ground level.

I only found these problems amusing...it never stopped me from purchasing or using a FASA product.  As gamemaster, I just adjusted the data as needed and went on.

(Unrelated Semi-interesting Note:  Boy Petersen, the author of The Seattle Sourcebook, was my neighbor during the Shadowrun golden era.  Unfortunately, he was contracted to write the sourcebook after the basic geography of future fantasy Seattle was decided by people who did not live in the Northwest. Since we were part of similar game circles, I am familiar with a number of real locations that were parodied for the sourcebook.  Shadowrun was cool because we could purchase maps for use in the game at local gas stations.  It was like being an actual resident of Greyhawk.)


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Post Posted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 12:44 pm 
 

On the same topic, it's always funny to read the occasional novel or game set in Texas. You can tell if a native did or didn't write it in a minute.  I remember a famous british novelist, who had never even been to the US, writing a gripping story about a Texas prison riot (Green River Rising by Willocks, forget the first name). Some of the mistakes were jarring, and would have easily been corrected by a good editor (or anyone who has lived in Texas longer than a few years).  The funniest goof was talking about one prisoner who had been brought up in Dallas and was a member of the "tough gangs of Deep Ellum". LOL. Unless he was part of a gang of panhandlers or homeless muscians, his "gang" wasn't working any part of Deep Ellum.....
:D


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