Actual Play: The Madhouse Meet

With my degree pursuit entering the home stretch, posting has been pretty anemic. But I wanted to give a very brief write-up of our first adventure playing with DCC Lankhmar. This is our playing of The Madhouse Meet from the 2016 Free RPG Day book from Goodman Games. 
Cast of Characters: الموت (Almawt) - Daughter of Lankhmarts who settled in the Eastern Lands. Abandoned her designated role as a squire to study magic under Sheelba of the Eyeless Face. Ганзориг (Ganzorig) - Unlucky and dim-witted Mingol warrior, deadly with his battle axe. Challenge to speak with given his lack of speaking the common Low Lankhmarese. Phlegm - Lankhmar-native. Smuggler, independent thief who has reached an accommodation with the Thieves' Guild of Lankhmar.
The trio did not meet in a tavern. They were however all captured from the same tavern, the Heavy Lion, in the slums near the Marsh Gate of the Temple Quarter. The wizard Tulmakiz had been experimenting on transients in the slums but he nee…

The Elder Gods Reign Supreme in the 2018 ENnie Awards

Taking a look at the 2018 ENnie Winners, it seems the Mythos kinda kicked ass.

By my count, products in the Cthulhu family won a dozen awards:

Best Adventure (Silver) - Delta Green: A Night at the Opera (Arc Dream Publishing)Best Art (Gold) - Harlem Unbound (Darker Hue Studios)Best Electronic Book (Gold) -Delta Green: A Night at the Opera (Arc Dream Publishing)Best Game (Silver) - Delta Green: The RPG (Arc Dream Publishing)Best Monster/Adversary (Silver) - Down Darker Trails (Chaosium Inc.)Best Podcast (Gold) - Miskatonic University PodcastBest Production Values (Gold) - Delta Green: The RPG (Arc Dream Publishing)Best Rules (Gold) - Delta Green: The RPG (Arc Dream Publishing)Best Setting (Gold) - Harlem Unbound (Darker Hue Studios)Best Supplement (Gold) - Reign of Terror (Chaosium Inc.)Best Writing (Gold) - Harlem Unbound (Darker Hue Studios)Product of the Year (Silver) - Delta Green: The RPG (Arc Dream Publishing)
In addition, Chaosium collected a number of awards not related to Call…

Prepping an Old-School Call of Cthulhu Scenario

As a dad, software engineer, husband, and grad student, the amount of time I have to make my own adventures is sadly limited. I'm currently in my last class so I'm hoping the fall will bring more time both for this blog and for me to prep my own adventures. However, for the time being I've gotten great mileage out of pre-made scenarios.

One nice thing about Call of Cthulhu is there are a lot of such scenario out there. I especially like that there are a lot of scenarios suitable for one or two sessions of play - I love long campaigns, but right now such a style isn't quite suitable for me. It is also nice that you can take an scenario written for the old editions of the game and use it with the newest ones without any difficulty.

One thing in most Call of Cthulhu scenarios favor is they don't typically force a certain course of action for the investigators. I've had sessions where I'm pretty certain the author would barely recognize his or her scenario. Ty…

Actual Play - The Spawn - Part 1

Based on the adventure of the same name by Harry Cleaver, contained in the Chaosium anthology The Great Old Ones.

Boston, Mass. to Coppertown, New Mexico. June 20 - June 26, 1921


Jordaine Furst - Strasbourg-born Great War spy for FranceLiam Maguire - Former Boston police officer turned private investigator after the 1919 strikeDora Martin - Journalist determined to understand the truth
At Fredrick Tardiff's art studio in Boston some new investigators had gathered. Dora Martin had reported on the Crimson Gang and had determined there was more to it than the official story So had former police officer Liam Maguire.
Dora had received a letter from a former colleague of hers, a labor organizer and general rabble rouser, José Green.

Prior to leaving they did some research on the mines:

The Beasley Mining Co.Offices: 28 Main Street, Coppertown, New Mexico.Officers: President William Beasley, V.P. Edward Beasley.Incorporated: May 19, 1912 in New Mexico.Capital:about $5 m…

Reflections on the Past Several Months and Looking Forward

While my blog has avoided going into hiatus, it has gone from double-digit posts per month to just a few. Suffice to say, the past few months have not been boring.

Last September and October weren't too bad for the blog - a little bit of a slowdown but not too bad. Then on October 31st my younger daughter was hospitalized. As any parent no doubt knows, there's nothing so horrible as a threat to one of your kids. 
I've also been busy with grad school. I've been pursuing my master's degree in strategic analytics since September 2005. It's been a long slog - while the material hasn't gotten more difficult, I've found keeping at it more and more difficult as time goes on. I've managed to do so though and have just begun my 10th and final class. If all goes well, I will finish the program in the end of September. 
My professional life was upended this summer, as I was laid off from my job in mid-June. I'd first joined EMC all the way back in 2002 af…

Actual Play: One in Darkness Part 2

Based on the adventure of the same name by Doug Lyons with L. N. Isynwill, contained in the Chaosium anthology The Great Old Ones.

Part 1

[Note this writeup is a bit brief given the adventure was played several months ago.]

Boston; Wednesday, April 20 - Thursday, April 21, 1921


Earl Crowley - Antiquarian settled in ArkhamJordaine Furst - Strasbourg-born Great War spy for FranceFredrick Tardiff - Great War veteran, Kingsport artist

Late in the night of the 20th, Crowley received the call that Eddie Clark had been spotted and rejoined his companions in apprehending him. After some severe questioning, they searched his flat and discovered it had records of a delivery to an abandoned brewery - perhaps where the Crimson Gang was hiding.

They made their plans to go to the hideout - with the knowledge that the Black Demon was searching for Malone as his ultimate target, they planned on using the tablets to bring the demon there - and then hopefully banish it.

While they did m…

Remembering James - 1971-2018

As the years went by, we drifted apart
When I heard that he was gone
I felt a shadow cross my heart - Rush, "Nobody's Hero"

My first ever gaming group was in the 1980s. In the summer between 5th and 6th grade I posted an ad in the local library looking for a gaming group. I was terrified as it was my first time DM-ing for a group - all the other gaming I'd done had been with one friend here, maybe two others.

Some members of that group became my closest friends in middle school and into high school. Jim was one of them. When I see the show Stranger Things I think of that game of friends. I'd suddenly found a gang of geeky people to hang out with. I remember being over Jim's house many times - his family had a VCR long before mine did - and we watched tons of science fiction and fantasy films. The Last Unicorn, Star Trek II, etc. Halloween parties at his house. He always managed to find new games - he introduced me to Top Secret, Tunnels & Trolls and many o…