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In preparation for cosmic horror fun, I tootled around the internet a bit until I found Yog-Sothoth.com, which is a website theoretically devoted to Lovecraft but in actuality devoted to CoC. This site is liberally peppered with interesting reviews and a few fluffy articles, but mostly seems to have audio recordings of game sessions featuring a gaming group that consists to two pairs of married archaeologists (!) plus a GM, all of whom are from the north of England. The net result is that it sounds like Tony Slattery running a game for Jim Broadbent, Christopher Eccleston, Emma Thompson putting on a northern accent, and, well, another Emma Thompson putting on a northern accent.

I've listened to two of these. The first I won't link to because it's a scenario I have in mind to run myself; the second is Dead Man Stomp, a 1920s Chicagoland jazz-oriented scenario in the CoC rulebook which is a neat story but is riddled with plot holes and very difficult to fit a typical party of pasty white CoC investigators into. [1]

So far, it's seemed like largely an exercise in frustration, leading me to wonder what, other than the classical British love for a rotten evening, is leading them to continue. Both scenarios, one an hour long and the other two hours long, have lurched stop-start-stop as the GM fumbles along reading straight out of the book, the players search desperately for a plot that seems to keep trying to kick them out, and then all hell breaks loose at the end and everybody dies. Believe it or not, there's also a recording of the complete Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign in an amazing 26 two-and-a-half hour episodes. I don't know if that's the same group, but honestly I'm not sure I can subject myself to it.

(The only reason I would, really, is that Masks of Nyarlathotep is generally hailed by fans and haters alike as being more or less the pinnacle of Call of Cthulhu, but is currently out of print and either costs $200+ from collector-gougers, or can be bought as a PDF from Chaosium for $25. That's ... pretty steep for a PDF. 0.o So I think it's gonna be a while before I can get ahold of a copy. But 65 hours of wandering around trying to find the storyline? Oh, honey, I dunno...)

Still, I suppose it's comforting to know that gamers across the pond are geeks as well.

-The Gneech

[1] I found myself biting my tongue to avoid crying out at work when the players identified Louis Armstrong as the guy who played Baloo in The Jungle Book. Then they decided that he couldn't have played Baloo, so he must have played King Louie, which is only slightly less horribly wrong. In retrospect, it kinda fits the situation the characters were in, tho.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 17th, 2008 11:08 am (UTC)
Surely gamers are geeks the world around, by definition?
Jul. 17th, 2008 12:44 pm (UTC)
Well, yes, but being Mr. Anglophile, I always assume Britgeeks will be cooler than Yankgeeks. ;)

Jul. 17th, 2008 02:53 pm (UTC)
It's an acquired taste. :)
Jul. 17th, 2008 03:04 pm (UTC)
Well, hello! :) Nice website you've got there. I particularly enjoy the reviews.

-The Gneech
Jul. 17th, 2008 03:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

There will be more 'H.P. Lovecraft' appearing on the site in the future, we just have to get round to developing it. We're not the speediest, but the intention is there. It's taken 10 years to get this far. :)

The audio game recordings started as an historical accident. Some more info on that can be read at: http://pelgranepress.com/seepagexx/April2008-Paul.html

The recordings do show the realities of gameplay (player ignorance & all). It's not theatre, (and we are from/based in the North of England) but we do have fun and then for some strange reason decide to share them on the net, anyway.

We appreciate the mention!

Best wishes,


Jul. 17th, 2008 01:54 pm (UTC)
25$ for a PDF?!

Maybe for a brand new book that was released a week ago, and is on the top of the best sellers list, and the author is still making money off of. But for a century old novel? No way.
Jul. 17th, 2008 02:54 pm (UTC)
Masks of Nyarlathotep is a scenario book for CoC, actually, not a Lovecraft novel. :)

Jul. 17th, 2008 06:09 pm (UTC)
Masks is basically the CoC equivalent to the G/D/H series of adventures for D&D: an epic, long quest to save civilization itself.
Jul. 17th, 2008 02:25 pm (UTC)
Isn't Lovecraft public domain yet?
Jul. 17th, 2008 02:54 pm (UTC)
Lovecraft is, yes, but products made by Chaosium are not.

Jul. 17th, 2008 06:47 pm (UTC)
Don't blame me, I made British role playing interesting. A little too interesting.

It's now generally agreed that I should play any more, and shortly after that I took up a hobby that involved beating others around the head with swords in reality.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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