20 August 2014

Lovecraft at 124

On this day in 1890 H. P. Lovecraft was born.  Here are 10 things to know about the creator of the Cthulhu Mythos.

15 August 2014

Dark Dungeons, the Movie

Back in my high-school days, my friends and I used to find endlessly amusing the Jack Chick comic, "Dark Dungeons."

Now, much to my amazement, there is a film based on that comic!

(A very realistic portrayal of a typical RPG session.)

I watched the eight minute preview here, and it looks quite funny.  I plan to watch the full version, available here, in the very near future.

Certainly its portrayal of the popularity of RPGs and the people who play them is extremely realistic!

Free RuneQuest 6 adventure: Sariniya's Curse

The good people at the Design Mechanism have made available a free adventure for RuneQuest 6 entitled 'Sariniya's Curse' (available here).  It is set in the same region as the city of Meeros, as described briefly in the (also free) Game Master's Pack.  Thus 'Sariniya's Curse' can be combined with the adventure 'Meeros Falling' (from the GM Pack), providing starting RQ6 GMs with two free related adventures with which to start a campaign.

And of course RuneQuest Essentials also is free.  (But you really should buy the full RQ6 book, as it's the best FRPG published in recent decades.)

11 August 2014

Grubb reviews the 5e D&D Player's Handbook

Jeff Grubb has posted his review of the new Player's Handbook (5th edition Dungeons & Dragons) here.

I don't have this yet myself, but it increasingly is my impression that 5e D&D will not be too bad...

09 August 2014

Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Proofs

Folks who backed the Kickstarter for the seventh edition of The Call of Cthulhu RPG can download the proofs of the two main books now.  (The proofs are free for backers, not $499.95!  You need to provide a code to reduce the price to $0.)

After a quick skim, I think that the PDFs look quite attractive. I'm not a fan of all of the art pieces (unsurprisingly, they range in quality), but the overall appearance of both books is very impressive. 7e is definitely the most attractive version of CoC yet produced by Chaosium.

Also, it's worth noting that the Keeper's book includes all of the rules, so CoC remains a 'one book' RPG.  The Investigator Handbook includes only the information relevant to players.  I rather like that this option is available, as it keeps all the important Mythos 'secrets' exclusively in the hands of Keepers (at least in theory).

Right now, I find the shift to % abilities the most distracting change in 7th edition.  And I remain uncertain about many of the other changes in this edition.  However, I'm going to try to keep an open mind about 7e, and will be giving it a shot in September to see what I think of it in practice.

05 August 2014

Party off the chain with Lovecraft

This Clickhole article, "Saturday's Party at H. P. Lovecraft's Pad Was INSANE," is quite funny (IMHO).

And I think that the author did a pretty good job in emulating HPL's style (albeit updated with some contemporary terms):
The impression the scene generated in my consciousness is so enduring and frightful that it shakes me to recall it now. And lest I burden you with offensively irrelevant and dangerous speculation, I shall leave unsaid what else transpired that night in H.P.’s baroque, Cyclopean abode, and simply say that it was off the chain, indeed, off any chain conceivable to the foremost minds of our time.

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I'm a Canadian political philosopher who lives primarily in Toronto but teaches in Milwaukee (sometimes in person, sometimes online).