Category Archives: Call of Cthulhu

Stafford & Petersen To Return To Chaosium

This is apparently happening, at least according to this thread at the purple forum place, which appears to be written by Greg Stafford himself.

I have no dog in any hunt w/ Chaosium right now. I didn’t back any of their Kickstarters (Flying Buffalo took care of my KS disappointment). I’m not especially keen on the CoC 7th rules after having playtested them. But I’m still quite curious about the situation, as there are all kinds of potential repercussions and reverberations. And if any of that shakes out to better support for BRP, I’ll be happy.

Meanwhile, I’m packing for NTRPG Con, where I’ll get to play in a Basic D&D game run by Frank Mentzer and a Top Secret game run by Merle Rasmussen. And the DCC Lankhmar playtest that Doug Kovacs is running. And a couple of other things. So that’s going to be fun. So much so that I might even bother to post some pictures or even write up a report after the weekend. No promises, though. I’m a lazy sod, after all.

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Echo Chamber Newsflash: Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Kickstarter Live

Call of Cthulhu 7th EditionYep, the Kickstarter for Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition is live. If such things interest you, here’s your chance to make things happen.

I can say that in the two playtest games I was able to take part in that I didn’t personally care for the changes and additions to the system. But just because they weren’t my cup of eldritch ichor doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy their flavor.

Speaking of the playtests, I can’t answer any questions about the new version of the game because (a) I think I’m still under an NDA and (b) I don’t really remember much except not liking the changes. Hopefully there’ll be a bit more information available than is currently up on the Kickstarter to help people understand if the changes will be to their liking.

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Lynn Willis Has Passed

You’ve probably already read it somewhere else, but I thought I’d note it just in case…

Lynn Willis, one of the biggest of the big daddies of the entire Basic Roleplaying family of games has passed away.

Mr. Willis was, among countless important roles in the RPG industry, the co-creator of Call of Cthulhu, but his contributions to our hobby extend well beyond that august accomplishment. My sympathies are with his family and friends and my gratitude for what he gave us is sincere and immeasurable.

Rest in peace, sir.

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What Fresh Pao Is This?

Well howdy there, anyone who still happens to have Strange Stones in their RSS readers! Yeah. I know. Long time, no blog. I just haven’t had anything I felt compelled to share. But I have been gaming some, at least:

  • The year-plus Call of Cthulhu campaign I was playing in just went on hiatus after, well, more than a year.
  • The Dungeon Crawl Classics game I started up with some friends has made it through three sessions and the fourth is going to happen, just a little delayed because of work schedules and new babies and such amongst the crew.
  • Another guy I know is talking about starting up a 1st edition AD&D campaign that I’m leaning towards playing in.
  • Oh, and I got to play in a session of Mythic Iceland (BRP) that was pretty cool.

And since it’s now October I find my mind turning to:

  • The Chill/Ghostbusters thing I always want to run around Halloween but never do (and probably won’t again this year)
  • The Thanksgiving game I’ve run the past few years with my oldest of gamer buddies (but probably won’t this year due to some logistical stuff)
  • The half-dozen or more games I want to run, kinda sorta (but probably never will, for assorted reasons ranging from lack of player interest to lack of time in anyone’s schedule and beyond)

But hey, I’m gaming at least semi-regularly and that’s a good thing.

In Other News
The Sword’s new album comes out in just two weeks. And the advance tracks I’ve heard have been tasty. So that’s exciting.

And speaking of music, I’ve been playing a lot of bass lately (I’ve been playing bass almost as long as I’ve been gaming), having taken up with an absurdist jazz punk art noise rock ensemble here in Austin. We’ve even, in spite of the expected limitations of the genre, had a couple of actual gigs and there are at least a couple of additional shows on the horizon. And some recording that should actually lead to some kind of released album of some sort. So that’s a thing or two.

What Now?
Well, I’m not going to shut the blog down or anything. There’s stuff here that people keep finding and enjoying (the mighty G-Man’s BoL adventures, if nothing else). And really, who knows when inspiration will strike and I’ll have to start posting like mad again or risk burning up from the inside? So there’s not really an answer to the question I’m afraid. I just decided I should poke my head in and say hello, yes, I’m fine, thank you, how are you? So I did.


p.s. I’ve been trying to read a lot more of the Appendix N classics lately, too. Poul Anderson’s The Broken Sword is on my table right now. Just beneath it in the stack you’ll find Clark Ashton Smith, the smattering of Lovecraft I’ve never read, Beowulf, the recent non-Conan REH compilations, Vance, Moorcock, and more. Yay, books!

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(My Dreams Of) Gaming Plans For 2012 (Because You Care)

So the Thanksgiving game happened. It was a WWII commando raid using a Mini Six/D6 Adventure mashup and it was a blast. But I’m not here to talk about it. Not right now, anyway. I’m gunning to do that a little later on, when I’m ready to post the materials I put together for the game. Nope, instead I’m here to talk about what I’m hoping to run next.

First up, sometime during the Winter Solstice Holidays break, I’m hoping to pull off a BASH game for a friend, his 13 year old son, and maybe a few other folks. I’m currently thinking Golden Age/WWII supers kicking fascist ass in Europe. But the ideas are swirling and unformed at this point, so who knows what (if anything) will ultimately come to pass?

After that, I’m pondering a few possibilities:

  • Some kind of hard(-ish) SciFi using good ol’ Classic Traveller and some Stars Without Number action
  • Labyrinth Lord/AEC romps through either the Against The Giants series or maybe Castle Amber, The Lost City, or some other classic modules
  • A BRP– (or possibly BoL-) based, Mythic Russia-fueled, Russian fantasy game
  • A Mini Six (with add-ons from Open D6) or Mercenaries, Spies, And Private Eyes 80s-style espionage game
  • A Call of Cthulhu Dreamlands miniseries (probably not until the CoC game I’m playing in wraps up, though)
  • A BRP/Renaissance (or maybe Tunnels & Trolls or Honor + Intrigue) black powder fantasy adventure
  • Droids. Seriously. Either with the original rules (unlikely) or with something else (D6, maybe?)

just to name a few (in no particular order). All of this is subject to change (i.e., my whims and interests) and player buy-in, of course.

That’s Great And All, But What About Giving Us Some Sweet Gaming Content, Pao?

Yeah, I know. My content output has absolutely tanked of late (and, honestly, not-so-late). I’m struggling with that, really. Part of me wants to be cranking out stuff like I had been, but another part just isn’t inclined to spend the time on it. So it’s not quite burnout, per se. It’s more a case of conflicting interests and such. So to answer the question that I asked on no one in particular’s behalf, “Reply hazy. Try again later.”

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CoC Character: Sean Patrick McGuinness

Wherein your humble scribe, being in a Lovecraftian frame of mind of late, presents an NPC for use with Call of Cthulhu (Sixth Edition).

Sean Patrick McGuinness is a 28-year-old, second-generation Irish-American from the Vinegar Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn. Like his father before him, Sean made his living as a sandhog on subterranean projects throughout New York. But after the Holland Tunnel Incident of October 27, 1924, McGuinness’ career beneath the earth came to an abrupt end.

The official version of that dark day’s events involves a tunnel blowout, the deaths of nineteen men, and the amazing survival of one incredibly lucky sandhog who was actually drawn into the blowout, forced through the mud of the river-bottom and delivered to the surface alive. McGuinness, though, has quite a different story to tell, though he seldom shares it anymore.

Friends and relations chalk up his fanciful talk of Shoggoths and Ubbo-Sathla and other such nonsense to the confusion and hallucinations caused by Bends, which he surely must have suffered as a result of the intense pressure changes he endured. Former coworkers and casual acquaintances have been known to mock McGuinness openly for his bizarre words and strange behavior ever since the event. Meanwhile, odd academics from strange universities occasionally seek him out and listen intently to every word this former teetotaler has to tell though his now permanent whiskey haze.

No matter what truly happened down in the tunnel, two things are certain: first, McGuiness is absolutely terrified of setting foot below ground to the point where he won’t even enter a basement, let alone travel by subway; second, there has not been a night in the past three years when McGuiness has not woken, drenched in sweat, from an intense, thrashing nightmare crying “Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!” at the top of his lungs.

Sean Patrick McGuinness, Lucky Former Sandhog

STR 16 CON 16 SIZ 9 INT 13 POW 17 DEX 13 APP 10 EDU 10
Hit Points 13 Major Wound 7 Power Points 17 SAN 65

Damage Bonus: +1d4
Weapons: Sledgehammer 60%, 2d6+2 + 1d4
Armor: none
Skills: Bargain 20%, Craft: Mining 35%, Cthulhu Mythos 5%, Dodge 50%, Electrical Repair 45%, Fast Talk 25%, First Aid 30%, Fist/Punch 60%, Geology 10%, Grapple 45%, Headbutt 20%, Kick 35%, Listen 35%, Locksmith 14%, Mechanical Repair 45%, Occult 9%, Operate Heavy Machine 45%, Own Language: English 50%, Sledgehammer 60%

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