Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Necronomicon Dissection: Part 7, Tours and Town Houses

Please excuse the delay between the rest of the NecronomiCon posts and this one. There is no good reason for it other than life getting in the way. These were taken whilst wandering round the town on various days, either as part of the bus tour, or just walking. Unfortunately I did not make it onto the walking tour. Maybe next time.

The image above is a view of the two main hotels of the Con. On the Right, the Omni, where Kris and I were staying, and on the left, the Biltmore, where the bulk of the literature talks were, as well as the gaming room on the 18th floor. The Biltmore is supposedly haunted, by quite a number of ghosts, but we didn't run into any. Inside the Biltmore, are some ver old elevators, including one in the central lobby with the sign opposite attached. Yes that's right, it is an unused glass elevator, to be used for time travel only. No I don't know what they mean (please excuse the fuzzy picure).
The bus tour I took, went around some of the more less central areas related to Lovecraft. These included the site of his Grandfather Whipple Phillips mansion, where Lovecraft was raised. The house is no longer standing, but a plaque has been placed on the spot.

Ladd Observatory, and the Observatory 'Library'. There were conflicting stories as to how HPL managed to access the observatory. The bus tour driver/guide stated that the head astronomer, Professor Winslow Upton, gave a young HPL a key, whereas the caretaker of the observatory said that back then as now, there was always a caretaker on site, so even though he probably let young HPL in whenever, the current caretaker didn't think it likely that HPL had a physical key. I know who I think I believe, but I also know which makes for a better story.

Phillips family plot in the Swan Point Cemetery. Just round the corner from the Butler Hospital where both his parent's perished.

When HPL was interred, there was no headstone placed for him, so his name was inscribed on the Phillips Pillar pictured on the left. Later funds were raised, and headstones placed for HPL, as well as his father and mother.

Above here on the left we have the Fleur de Lys building. This building was immortalised in the story 'The Call of Cthulhu' where HPL described it thus:
"a hideous Victorian imitation of seventeenth-century Breton architecture which flaunts its stuccoed front amidst the lovely colonial houses on the ancient hill, and under the very shadow of the finest Georgian steeple in America." 
Not mincing his words there! On the right, we have aforementioned 'Finest Georgia steeple in America'. The steeple of the First Baptist Church. So named, as it is in fact the first Baptist church to have been built in America.  

Finally, I have a couple of other pictures taken around town on the Sunday morning, as I took a final stroll on College Hill.
Plaque placed in the grounds of the John Hay Library on the centennial of HPL's birth.

John Hay Library at Brown University, where HPL's papers were donated after his death. Unfortunately closed on Sunday's, when we had the free time to go look, so I didn't get in to have a look around.

Providence Athanaeum, private library frequented by HPL, and Poe, amongst others. Also unfortunately closed on Sundays. This was really on my wish list of places to go, and is the only place I am sad not to have got to see the inside of.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Kickstarter: The Props of Nyarlathotep, New York and Kenya

I have mentioned the work of this artist before, and backed her first Kickstarter, the results of which I'm using at the table right now in my HotOE game. As as her 3rd Kickstarter is nearing a successful close, I thought I would post to tell you all of the latest work by Delphes Desoivres on the The Props of Nyarlathotep, New York and Kenya Kickstarter.


I'm not in a position to drop too much money on this one, but I thought the tattoos were a wonderful idea, and I might yet go in for the Scar of the Bloody Tongue latex prosthetic.

I love the Mask of Hyama she has designed here, this version of the artefact is unique, and the idea of making a latex version that fits to the players head when they inevitably try to wear the mask is inspired.

There are 4 days left on the clock on this one, so still plenty of time to get in on it!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

RPG a Day: Day 31

We made it to the end. A post a day. What an achievement. Want to know a secret? I wrote most of these posts in the first few days of the month, then scheduled them all to post one a day as I knew I would never be able to keep up the momentum (except for the 19th, where I was in Providence). Is that cheating? I don't care! Anyway, on with the last question of this year's RPG a Day challenge:

Question 31: What do you anticipate most for gaming in 2018?


That's all I can really ask for in the next year is to continue gaming with friends. All the rest is just icing on the cake.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

RPG a Day: Day 30

Question 30: What is an RPG genre-mashup you would mostly like to see?

Oh goodness. Mash-ups are not my strong point, certainly not the obvious ones. I do use inspiration from all genres in my games, but I tend to find 'mash-ups' can be sometimes glaring and incongruous when not done well.

Keeping this on topic, at least for this blog, and looking at the Mythos, it seems that the very nature of the Mythos means that it fits well with almost every other genre, in a way that it has already been done.

D20 fantasy style? Already done with D20 Call of Cthulhu, or Cthulhu Invictus and Cthulhu Dark Ages.
Pulp Cthulhu? Done.
Gaslight Cthuhu? Done.
Steampunk Cthulhu? Just played a game of Cogs, Cakes and Cthulhu earlier in the month.
Cyberpunk Cthulhu? There's a GURPS book for that, as well as a whole game system.
Modern day? All over that in to many ways to list.
Straight up Historical game? That's what it's all about, for any time period you could imagine.
Cthulhu vs Nazis? Done. Twice.
Near Future/Post apocalyptic? Again, not hard to find.
70s/80s Pop culture/cartoon? Got that covered.
90s/00s Pop culture/cartoon? Gotta catch 'em all!
Anthropomorphic cats? Yeah, got that!
Psychadelic dreamworld of infinite possibility? Uhuh, and again, twice.
Western Cthulhu? It's on it's way.

What I'm not seeing is Space Opera, although that has been done in film with Alien and Event Horizon, to name two off the top of my head, so they can be transferred into game mechanics at the touch of a keyboard.

Superhero Cthulhu...

Ok, so maybe that's not been done yet, 3 colour superheroes don't match up with the type of horror that the Cthulhu mythos brings, although there are corners of both the Marvel and DC universe where Cthulhu and his buddies can, and do thrive.

Gar has got the closest to this. Damn that man! Though I insist that this is not the 3 colour version of any masked vigilanties!

My Mash-up of choice? Capes vs Cthulhu, the RPG! Gauntlet thrown!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

RPG a Day: Day 29

Question 29: What has been the best-run RPG Kickstarter you have backed?

There are a couple that come to mind. The Sedefkar Simulacrum, was without a doubt the best produced Kickstarter I have backed, and they came through with what they promised.

I have backed a couple of RPG books and adventures that have not yet been fulilled, ut look to be on track, including two by Stygian Fox (Fear's Sharp Little Needles, and Hudson and Brand), Pax Cthulhiana by Two Starving Gnolls, Cold Warning by Golden Goblin Press, and The Star on the Shore by Dark Cult Games.

I have not yet recieved any of these products, but in terms of communication and being on time with what they have offered, I can fault none of them. I think most kickstarters these days have learned from the mistakes of others, and not stretched themselves too thin on the stretch goals, and kept things tight and reasonable, so as to be able to finish the product they are actually selling.

Monday, August 28, 2017

RPG a Day: Day 28

Question 28: What film/series is the biggest source of quotes in your group?

Surprising to say, it's not Monty Python. Not these days. Maybe if we played more fantasy games it would make a comeback.

Firefly/Serenity is up there, as is Alien and Star Wars. 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

RPG a Day: Day 27

Question 27: What are your essential tools for good gaming?

Gaming to me, comes in many forms. RPGs are but one facet of this many-varoius hobby of ours. And to my mind, there is but one essential ingrediant to a good gaming experinece, and that is to game with like minded and fun people. 

Get a good gaming group around you, and the rest will follow.

Thus ends todays lesson in the Tao of Gaming.