The Kult: Divinity Lost kickstarter came to an end on March 31st 2016. Back at the start of the campaign, I put up a blog post mentioning I’d pledged for the Demiurge edition, a unique copy of the rulebook. At the time, it was only advertised as a question mark, with not even a mock-up presented. Well, yesterday (1218 days after the campaign ended), it arrived! It is a question mark no longer.

This edition has been produced by El Artesano Del Rey, the Spanish company that also produced the Luxury Edition of Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition. The leather is soft to the touch, slightly scuffed in places (along the edges of the covers, and the raised sections of the hubbed spine, etc.), giving it a “used” or “older” feel, and the front cover features a very shiny metal plate riveted in place with the Kult logo laser-etched, along with the Archon/Tree of Life design. This in turn is surrounded by another “thorny” metal plate, and extra rivets on the spine between the hubs. It is reminiscent, in a way of the Iron Book from the Kult setting. The two satin bookmarks are definitely helpful – I end up bookmarking the copy I use to run games with in several places.

The back is featureless, other than having the El Artesano Del Rey stamp towards the bottom-left corner.

The edges are in red, and when fanned still reveal the same “death is only the beginning” text as the other editions do (with the exception of the Bible Edition). I still think that’s an amazing touch to the design of the book!

The interior is the same as the other main Kickstarter editions (yep, more genitalia per square inch than you’ll find in the normal retail editions!) with the addition of a gold embossed El Artesano Del Rey label on the title page. It’s quite stiff to open due to the nature of the binding, so I didn’t want to force it open too much.

Having the same content, as mentioned, also means that I get to smile when I get to the first of the backer pages. It’s a fine title to have ūüôā

Along with the book comes a couple of certificates and a papyrus sheet featuring the Archon/Tree of Life design again. As I don’t speak Spanish, I don’t know what the certificates say, but I can work out one of them confirms this is number “1 of 1”.

While it’s a very nice book indeed, it’s not quite what I was expecting (unlike the pledge description, I didn’t actually get a say in the production in the end, which was a little disappointing, but I think I would have gone for the same choice of leather as it’s so nice to touch), but it’s definitely a unique volume in composition and quality compared to the rest of my collection.

In my mind, I was hoping for some heavier-grade paper, so the book would be thicker (a bit like the Temple Edition was for Call of Cthulhu) and the cover to have featured the pyramid/eye design representing the Demiurge that was used in the recent Kult tarot deck. I kind of wish the metal plates had been sunk into the cover (a bit like the Orichalcum Edition of Exalted 3rd Edition), as that would look a lot nicer, and I wouldn’t worry so much about it scratching anything around it. However, it’s definitely growing on me and I’m happy to have been able to get it. Like I said, who wouldn’t want “the Iron Book” after all?

Just when you (well, maybe just Scott) thought it was safe to hide in the dark Рwhere you thought the darkness could save your eyes from the plushy horrors Рsomething has come to ruin your best laid plans…

The C is for Cthulhu Glow-in-the-Dark Plush is here!

This one’s a pretty short Kickstarter, only running for 10 days (until Saturday June 22nd 2019). At the time of posting, they’ve reached their funding goal.

There’s two size of glow-in-the-dark plushes on offer this time – the usual 12-inch high version to match the normal ones, and the smaller 6-inch high version in line with the baby versions they produced in their last Kickstarter.

This was initially announced a few Kickstarter’s ago, but production went through a few variations before they finally got what they were looking for. This one doesn’t have an internal light, it’s the fabric that glows all by itself.

As with other Kickstarters from the same team, they’re running a caption contest due to close this week (June 19th) with the prize being a free Jumbo Cthulhu plush (not the GIANT one that we terrorized Scott with some time ago, but one that’s about 24-inches tall).

If there’s anything else you wanted from previous Kickstarters you may have missed, there’s a whole bunch of add-ons available too.

Enjoy ūüėČ

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.

We’re back and we’re tackling a potentially contentious subject. If you spend much time on gaming forums or social media, you may have stumbled across¬†debates about whether mental illness is a fit subject for gaming. Many horror¬†games have a sanity mechanic of some description, an idea that began with¬†Call of Cthulhu. Of course,¬†Call of Cthulhu, in turn, picked this theme up from Lovecraft’s fiction. But is the portrayal of insanity in Lovecraft what we assume it is? If not, how might this inform our games?

135: Insanity in Lovecraft

Main Topic

We start by discussing Lovecraft’s family history and his own experiences with mental illness. These undoubtedly shaped his work, and we offer some thoughts on the matter. Then, we move on to a few examples of insanity from Lovecraft’s work, trying to determine whether it’s as major a theme as conventional wisdom holds. Finally, we try to understand what madness really means in Lovecraft’s work. All this forms the foundations for our upcoming discussion of the portrayal of mental illness and trauma in¬†Call of Cthulhu.

If you’ve noticed that Lovecraft looks dour in most photographs, we offer some theories about this too.

News

Paul mentions Torchlight Candles and their unusual combustible wares, designed for gamers. The melting brains sound especially gruesome, although sadly they’re not currently listed on their website.

The smoke that rises from this candle is laced with maddening dreams. Or is that patchouli?

Matt then leads us into a discussion about Kickstarters. He can’t help himself. We briefly discuss the recent release of¬†The Fall of Delta Green, the new 1960s setting from Pelgrane Press. Then, we move our focus to something far more sanity-blasting: a new line of plushes from the nightmarish entities behind C is for Cthulhu. I really don’t know why we encourage them.

Not pictured: the twisted visage of Lovecraft, screaming wordlessly from beyond the grave.

One of our listeners, Dominic Allen, got in touch to say that he and¬†Simon Maeder are performing at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. Their play,¬†Providence: The Shadow Over Lovecraft, will be on between the 2nd and 25th of August at the Assembly Rooms, starting at 5 PM. The trailer looks rather wonderful. Paul plans to go on the 15th, so please say hi if you spot him in the audience.

Other Stuff

We are legally compelled to warn you that this episode contains our first bout of singing for a while. In case you’ve forgotten, we offer thanks to $5 Patreon backers in the form of what we pretend is song. This one should cost you no more than 0/1D4 SAN. Honest.

We also spend a little time discussing the feedback we received about our episode on subterranean spaces in Call of Cthulhu. If you would like to descend deeper into the discussion, the bulk of it may be found on our Google+ Community, or in the hidden spaces beneath your home.