Over on the Mythcreants blog, there is a very pertinent article on how to keep your horror game scary. This is a tricky proposition!
Make it clear that you’re running a horror game from the moment you start inviting people to play. Even if the system you’re using implies horror, be explicit. Many a game has fallen apart because of PCs who saw shoggoths as nothing more than medieval tar monsters. The bottom line is, you can’t scare players who don’t want to be scared, and trying will only lead to aggravation all around.
There is plenty of helpful advice here. If you’re like me, every single time I run a game, I say to myself, “well, that went ok – how could that be better?” I’m preparing to run a game tonight – I haven’t exactly decided if I’m running a homebrew dungeon or some Call of Cthulhu, but I may try and put these lessons in practice myself this very evening.
Please let me know if you have any tips on running horror games in the comments, or on Facebook.
Or, if you think you could write an article on the subject, or any related subject, let me know via an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alan Moore is probably the single author who has influenced me as a person the most. I’m an atheist and a technologist, whereas he appears to be a Luddite magician. But as an “outsider artist” (in some sense) and as someone with a particular set of morals, he has been with me since I could read. (I probably was too young for Watchmen when I first read it).
‘Art isn’t doing its job any more,’ he says at one point. ‘It’s not filled with the real and the marvellous. There’s no vision. There’s no William Blake.’
Not news, but still exciting to remember, Alan Moore is working on a Lovecraft story called “Providence” which I believe is due out from Avatar Press at some point next year. (Bringing some relevance to the old blog, as it were).
A very brief post linking to an interesting article I found on i09. Worth mentioning now, which I didn’t then, that these nightclubs could be be great in a Cthulhu by Gaslight campaign set in underused Paris. (It’s an interesting place but we seem to be pretty well stuck in London).
Tellers of Weird Tales, Website devoted to Less famous Weird Tales contributors. Full on interesting stuff. The Weird Tales era is hugely influential on things like the Call of Cthulhu RPG and modern horror, even modern fantasy.
Tellers of Weird Tales, an online compendium of the men and women, writers and artists, who contributed to Weird Tales and other weird fiction magazines of the pulp era.
I’m pretty excited to announce that my ebook, All Godless Here is coming out in about two weeks. It is series of detailed reviews of my personal top 20 horror movies from 1930-1939. Although there were some great horror movies beforehand, I consider this to be the “golden age” of horror.
I’ve been working really hard on this eBook for about two months – if you call watching 2-3 horror movies a night and writing for an hour or so after that “hard work.”
It’s in the final stages, I’m laying it out, editing it, and getting the art finalized right now.
The art, of which you can see some on the pictures above and below, is by webcomics artist Gino Vasconcelos, who created Apple and Kiwi and I believe will be accepting additional commissions very shortly.
The book covers horror movies from England, America, and Germany from 1930-1939. I don’t think my choices are going to be very controversial. I picked a combination of the Weirdest (like The Black Cat), the best (like M), and the most important (like King Kong).
The introductory essay is available for free here. It is essentially an abridged history of the golden age of horror, starting with the Gothic mess that is Dracula, up through the increasingly conventional films that came after the Hays Code (Son of Frankenstein). The book will also include brief essays on the major figures of thirties horror.
If you’re interested, you can signup to be notified when the book comes out (October 1st). I’ll also post about it here for sure, but I know some people prefer to get e-mails about stuff like that (I kind of do). Thanks!
Once I get this book out, I want to get back to writing about what’s really important – Cthulhu themed tabletop gaming.
If there is specific Masks related information that you’d like to share, like a story from your Masks game, a cool idea for Masks game, a review on your website, anything Masks of Nyarlathotep related, please let me know and I’ll put it there so that we can all benefit. (Email me at email@example.com or on twitter at @COCDice).
There’s a huge Cthulhu Mythos sale going on at Drive Thru RPG at the moment. Basically everything Cthulhu Mythos related is on sale, not just rpgs but comics as well. It’s a great time to pick up some stuff you’ve never heard of!
I’m working on a short e-book on the subject of horror movies 1930-1939.
I’d love to hear any suggestions that you may have on the subject of thirties horror movies! Is there a movie that you recommend? I’ve got a pretty good sense of what I’m going to cover, but if there is any true golden age horror buffs out there. Like I said, the only real criteria is that I’m only writing about thirties horror movies. I’m open to non-English movies, as long as I have some way of viewing them or accessing them with a minimum of hoops. In fact, there are three German movies for sure in the book already.
Leave me a message on the form below, or a comment, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have anything at all that you’d like me to cover, or that you’d like to add.
[contact-form][contact-field label=’Comment or Recommended Movie?’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]
P.S. The illustrator of the ebook sent me a very rough sketch of the first illustration, I thought I’d share. He probably wouldn’t like that, but oh well.
Oh man I’m getting pretty excited about this game. Sherlock Holmes Crimes and Punishments, which is coming out for pretty much every system at the end of next month. 23 minutes of gameplay were released a week or two ago, and I just now had the chance to view it. I’m basically a Sherlock Holmes fanatic, and I have to saw, this game looks awesome. I’m also a big fan of the Frogwares series, which I know is a bit more polarizing.
People do speak ill of the Unreal Engine on occasion, but it seems that it is put to good use in this context. I’m also not a big fan of the floaty clue/deduction visual effect that various directors seem obsessed with using to represent Holmes’s thought process, but perhaps it may work better as a video game rather than floating around Benedict Cumberbatch or Robert Downey Jr’s head.
Unfortunately, it seems the classic Frogwares voice actors have been replaced. I suppose I’m one of about fifteen people who’ll miss them.
What seems most impressive in Sherlock Holmes Crimes and Punishments is that increased role of the player in making deductions and taking responsibility for the actual solving of crimes. I may try to stream myself playing this game, let me know in the comments if you’re interested.