Gaslight Musings on a New Campaign

I'd done some soliciting recently for a Call of Cthulhu game. A little less than two weeks ago we kicked off our first session. I believe it went pretty well, especially considering some brand new faces at the virtual gaming table.

I'll confess to having mixed feelings about gaming on the internet. There is something really nice about having people around a physical table, the sound of rolling dice, the shared meals. That said I would have a difficult time pulling that off at this stage of my life. And there are some definite advantages to gaming online. The pool of players is greatly expanded - at our most recent game we had players from the American South and Southwest with my brother and I here in Massachusetts. It's allowed me to stay in touch with players who have moved away, whether they continue gaming with me or not.

The past few months have been abysmal as far as keeping to a regular schedule on this blog. Life happens. My wife is working again which is absolutely fantastic for us it does make home-life a bit more chaotic with everyone darting out in the morning and scrambling to get stuff done after work. Add to that Girl Scouts, activities at the local Boys & Girls Club, a wife correcting papers and getting ready for parent teacher conferences, and my life as a software engineer doing one of those periodic shifts into "crunch mode".

I've been doing some fun stuff as well. I've been reading through some Call of Cthulhu materials and have obtained a lot of Chaosium's Gaslight-era products. Though I'd been familiar with it for years (well decades) it is only in the past few years that I've really gotten some serious time in Call of Cthulhu games and I can definitely say it is one of my favorite games. The rules system that powers the game doesn't seem all that impressive when you read it but, at least for me, it plays absolutely fantastically. I'm certain it's not the most realistic engine, it lacks a lot of things that modern games have, but it just seems to work.

I've also been embedding myself in the era. I've listened to some Sherlock Holmes audiobooks and gotten some used (and cheap!) copies of annotated books for works like Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I've also been able to do some Jules Verne reading, engaging in one of my periodic wishes that I spoke fluent French and didn't have to rely on translators. I've also purchased my first fountain pen - I wanted to experience what it felt like to write with a nib point. I was frankly surprised to discover I really enjoyed the experience - when funds permit there's some fancy ones out there I'm anxious to try.

Though there are only some thirty years separating the Cthulhu by Gaslight decade of the 1890s from the default era of the 1920s there is definitely a very noticeable difference in the way those too eras feel. I get the feeling of being in the transitional period from an older world to our modern world. It is perhaps a stretch to call the 1920s "modern" but in my experience in the twenties one gets the feeling of being at the dawn of our modern world. Sure there's no internet, no cellular phones, no television. But you get the birth of all that, a fast-paced world with fast cars, fancy radios, telephones being relatively common in urban areas, etc. In the 1890s you are just beginning to get there but those sorts of elements have not yet entered the popular culture.

I'm hoping this campaign gets some legs to it - the Dungeon Crawl Classics game I'd kicked off in the spring and summer was great fun but really couldn't get to a needed quorum. I'd love to try it again at some point. And if you feel like joining in, give a holler and we'll see if we can find you a spot at our electronic table.

That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die.

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