The Blog

Site News, Reviews & Miscellany

Way back in the dim and distant past, I played D&D at university. It was my first (and sadly only) adventure in the Forgotten Realms setting. Since then, I’ve collected a few of the books, and often toyed with the idea of running a game of it… Then I look at the mechanics and realize I haven’t got much free time to learn a system I’ve all but forgotten (no pun intended) in its entirety.

While I was at my computer tonight (working on the scenario for The Blasphemous Tome issue 4), I got an email informing me that Sandy Petersen’s Cthulhu Mythos for 5e had just launched on Kickstarter.

That bit of D&D nostalgia came back to me and I went over to the campaign page. I scrolled down the page and came across those words that almost always guarantee the creator gets my money – leather-bound collector’s edition.

I’m glad I jumped on the bandwagon when I did. With only space for 50 backers at the initial pledge level to get the collector’s edition, they sold out in 10 minutes of the campaign going live. Another pledge level (a mere $5 higher) making another 50 collector’s editions available also sold out 30 minutes later.

However, for those still looking for a leather-bound copy, at the time of writing, they’ve posted a third pledge level (currently $95) making another 100 collector’s editions available (26 of those gone already – they are popular!). These will not be made available after the campaign concludes. For those looking for just a standard edition, this is available.

Even if I don’t get to use it as a D&D supplement, the book looks amazing and potentially useful as inspiration for other games. The artwork is amazing – some of which featured in the Pathfinder equivalent of the book, some from Cthulhu Wars, etc. It’s over 400 pages long, featuring monsters, gods, playable races (ever wanted to play an Angry Zoog? you can now!), cults, spells, artifacts… “and more!” as the page says.

I vaguely recall the campaign going live for the Pathfinder version, but as I’ve never played the game, I didn’t have that helpful pull of nostalgia to lure me in. While this version for D&D is apparently similar, it’s been expanded with more artwork and content (gods, monsters, “and more!”).

I suspect I may have to go and track down a copy of the 5th Edition core books now.

At the time of writing, the project is already funded (in just 27 minutes) and is due to finish at 12:00AM BST on Tuesday October 23rd 2018.

As we mentioned in our latest episode, we have started work on issue 4 of The Blasphemous Tome. This is the old-school fanzine we put together for Patreon backers of The Good Friends of Jackson Elias. If you would like to know more, please check out our page about the Tome.

This issue will feature “The Hero Affirmed”, a brand new Call of Cthulhu scenario from our own Matt Sanderson!

Once again, we are aiming to release the Tome along with the Christmas cards we send to all our backers. If you are a backer between publication (late November) and the end of the year, we will send you at least one copy. Our page about the Tome has full details about who will receive what.

If you would like to submit a short article (up to 500 words) or some black-and-white artwork, we would love to hear from you! The Blasphemous Tome is licensed by Chaosium, so we are able to include stats and other game mechanics for Call of Cthulhu. The deadline for submissions is the end of October.

The current table of contents goes something like this:

  • The Ludomancers
    • Our favourite game sessions of the past year
  • Cocktail Corner
    • Matt shares another recipe that man was not meant to know
  • Mythos Fiction: The Sixties and Seventies
    • Scott’s series of story recommendations continues
  • The Hero Affirmed
    • A brand new, full-length Call of Cthulhu scenario from Matt Sanderson
  • Vinyl Corner
    • Paul discusses another musical artefact from the 1970s
  • The Sanderson Collection
    • Matt reveals another rarity from the dusty corners of his bookshelves
  • 2018: A Year in Horror Films
    • Scott talks about the films that impressed and disappointed him this year
  • Episodes of Insanity
    • Some background on our favourite episodes of 2018
  • Die, Die, Die!
    • Matt punishes another die that failed him
  • Plush of the Month
    • Matt makes Scott sad
  • Strange Eons
    • Scott offers an overview of Robert Bloch’s unjustly forgotten Mythos novel

We shall update this list as we receive more submissions.

Our good friends at the Necronomicon Discord community (not related to the Necronomicon convention) are hosting a charity event later this month. This 24-hour live stream will feature lots of Call of Cthulhu goodness, all to raise money for Leukaemia Care.

The organisers are still looking for people to run or take part in sessions throughout the stream. If you are a contributor to Call of Cthulhu in any way (writer, artist, podcaster, YouTube host, etc) then they would love to hear from you. Just join the Necronomicon Discord Server and make yourself know in the Introductions channel.

The press release, below, explains all the details.

Who are we?

We’re the team behind the Necronomicon Discord community, run by Harry, Elliot, and Callum. We’re just three people who decided to try to create a Discord-based community after we indulged in the Call of Cthulhu RPG.

The atmospheric-driven horror of the unknown catered to our group perfectly, giving us the motivation and drive to form a wider group of people with the same interests. We wanted to create an easy way for players and Keepers to communicate, as well as allowing new people to get into Call of Cthulhu in a friendly and support-driven environment. We have a dedicated staff team who are just as passionate as we are, helping us throughout the building and shaping of our community. Newcomers to Call of Cthulhu have been able to find games easily through our custom bot.

With the community’s support, we decided we couldn’t miss the opportunity to help those less fortunate than ourselves by doing a live stream for Leukaemia Care. Together, we feel that as a community we can achieve this goal.

What is this event and what are we hoping to achieve with it?

We’re doing a 24-hour live stream on for the charity, Leukaemia Care. A variety of different activities have been planned for the stream such as: a live scenario hosted by a special guest from the community, interviews, Q&As, games, and a lot more, all for a good cause. Special guests will include but are not limited to, Scott Dorward and Lynne Hardy!

By planning and hosting this event for the community, we hope to raise a large amount of money for Leukaemia Care in order to help families and individuals who suffer from the various forms of the disease. As well as the fundraising, we also want to improve awareness of the condition, its symptoms and treatment, in the hope that we will be able to enhance people’s understanding of the illness and the lives of those dealing with it.

What is Leukaemia Care?

Leukaemia Care is a charity that helps patients that have been affected by blood cancer receive the information, advice, and support they need; it helps their friends and family cope with the diagnosis and treatment, too. On top of that, it also funds research into leukaemia to find ways to detect it earlier, and to make it easier to treat and cure once diagnosed. The charity helps provide information through booklets and support groups, as well as backing research through clinical trials and more. Information on what the charity does can be located on their website:

Good friend of the Good Friends Cory Welch has been in touch with some exciting news:

The Midwest cabal of the Chaosium Cult of Chaos is back. We will be running our highly regarded performance of the incredible multi-table Call of Cthulhu scenario, Gatsby and the Great Race, penned by 7th Edition co-author Paul Fricker, at Gamehole Con VI! This classic and must-play blowout scenario will commence at the Alliant Energy Exhibition Hall in Madison, Wisconsin on Saturday, November 10th, 2018 at 2 PM!

We’re going straight for the cat’s pyjamas and opening it up to 5 tables — yes, 30 investigators — for this very special and unique RPG event. We’ve updated the scenario with the maddening excitement of the 7th Edition rules… RSVP your invite for Julian Gatsby’s decadent 1930 blowout!

Chaosium will be generously providing prizes for the event, so come out and trade your best insane roleplay for some POSH swag… In addition to a very special souvenir of the event for a few lucky few players! For more information on reserving your spot and for other awesome games, check out Gamehole Con’s home page.

We’ll see you there!

By Matt Sanderson

It seems summer (besides being a time when my office and car both decide to do good impressions of raging furnaces) is the time for more RPG Kickstarters to go live and try to drain my bank account. I was a little late to get an update up for one of them (but don’t worry, we tormented Scott with it during a recent recording session, so you’ll hear about that one soon!), but here’s two that are still running that may be of interest to folks out there.

First up, the new Delta Green Kickstarter, The Labyrinth – but it’s not just for one book:

Arc Dream teased everyone that had backed the first Delta Green Kickstarter with an update a few days before this one went live. The Labyrinth sees the return of John Tynes to the line, and it sounds like a pretty good book to me. Much like Countdown (one of my favourite sourcebooks, because it’s packed with so much good stuff), this book presents a whole load of new factions for the game. Some are friendly, some not so friendly.

Beyond the 192-page titular book, there’s a few more that promise to see the light of day due to stretch goals. Like the first Delta Green Kickstarter, there are some adventures (two so far at the time of writing), but also some handout and prop kits that Arc Dream are releasing. Given the rarity and desirability of the kits that were produced by Pagan Publishing for the likes of Walker in the Wastes and Realm of Shadows, I’m not missing out on bagging these!

As stretch goals go though, the big one that they hit very recently is to release another 192-page hardback – Those Who Come After.

This one has me pretty excited. It’s a Yithian sourcebook. It’s available as an add-on, and (at the time of writing) Arc Dream are less than $500 from hitting the subsequent stretch goal to produce another handout and prop kit for this book too. I’m wondering what stretch goals will follow beyond this, as they haven’t signposted any more… yet.

The project has already hit 257% of its funding target as of today and runs till 12:00AM BST on Wednesday 1st August 2018.

Next up, an old favourite of mine returns for a new edition – Over the Edge:

Visually, this one looks very different. I quite like the front cover of the regular edition (which has recently hit a stretch goal to improve the production quality: upgrading the normal glossy paper cover to a silver metallic paper instead; adding a ribbon marker; and increasing the interior paper thickness, etc.).

I’ll no doubt pick up one of these eventually, but for the campaign, I’ve gone for their “Core Luxe” edition.

This one’s got a metallic cover, linen spine wrap, bookmark, etc. Now, given they mention it’s going to have a debossed logo on the front cover, I’m guessing that it’s going to be metallic paper for the cover rather than full-blown metal, which is a little disappointing – I was hoping for something akin to the Werewolf the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Ultra Deluxe that had a full metal front cover. It still looks really nice though, and comes with a nice set of dice. No doubt they will hate me whenever I roll them – all dice do.

The raw manuscript for the book is available as soon as backers pledge. I haven’t had time to read it, but I’ve seen a few comments from those that have. There seem to be a few changes to the rules (like good and bad effects if you roll certain doubles, etc.).

The one thing that I couldn’t see from the manuscript is that the whole aspect of your character eventually coming to realize that they are a character in a roleplaying game doesn’t seem to be in there anymore. I may be wrong (it could be hidden), but I couldn’t find it in my search. That makes me a little sad, as I really enjoyed that aspect of it when we played it.

The project has already hit 160% of its funding target as of today, and runs till 7:00PM BST on Tuesday 14th August 2018.