A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Friday, September 7, 2012

My Cthulhu Stuff, or Lovecraftiana Things I Own

Can it be?  Am I doing another collection post?  I sure am!  This time covering Call of Cthulhu, and general Lovecraftian stuff.  Ever since I got into hobby gaming I had heard nothing but good things about the game and eventually got it, leading me to the fiction and all of that.  Chaosium who publishes Call of Cthulhu is probably responsible for everyone knowing about the Mythos.

I will not get into the fact that Lovecraft was a racist, and probably would be one of those "NOBUMMER SEEEKRIT MOOSLIM" types if he were alive today.  But he was also proven to have changed his stances on a few things even back then.  If nothing else, you Tumblr Social Justice "Warriors" out there can take solace that he probably died in pure agony due to Cancer back in the time he did die.  Also squalor and not really having any fame in his own time.  Anyhow let's get on with the show.

 We start off with my physical items and games.  I have the Horrorclix Great Cthulhu. He weighs a gob to the point he broke off his base and I need not superglue but Epoxy to make him stand on his base properly.  The map and box he came in I still have but am not showing it.  I also have 2 Deep Ones and 2 Brine Witches from Horrorclix who are also from the Mythos.   Cthulhu Gloom is the AWESOME card game about killing off one's family of misfits in the most miserable ways possible and uses transparent plastic cards.  It owns.  And then Cthulhu Dice, the underwhelming little minigame from Steve Jackson Games.  They have since made versions with different colored dice, and even enormous foam dice.  I am not sure its worth it.  Might be better with more than 2 players though...

 My Lovecraft fiction, Mythos inspired fiction (Lovecraft Unbound, got when Borders was closing, and the CJ Henderson book I bought from him at Connecticon 2011.  Its a pretty good book.  He was a pretty good salesman too!), and the 3 LARP Cthulhu books I got from Sarge's Comics on the cheap.  I am not really a LARPer and my schedule doesn't permit it anyhow.    But I have most of Lovecraft's Mythos fiction thanks to the top 4 books.  Lovecraft Unbound is a mostly inspired by the STYLE and THEMES of Lovecraft's stuff rather than being direct Mythos Fiction.  However..
 These fine collections from Chaosium are direct Mythos fiction.   The first 6 I got in the early-mid 90s and they made great reading when taking airplane flights to and from home to my station in the Navy.  I should really get the rest of the anthologies.  Quite good.  The latter I bought from CJ Henderson as he has a story that's connected to his novel above in it, making his detective series Mythos fiction.  Kind of.

 Now on to the core rulesbooks and the Keeper's Screen and Kit!  The 5th edition CoC rulesbook is still one of the best written rulesystems and has excellent artwork from Earl Geier in it.  The D20 CoC rulesbook isn't quite as good as D20 has very little on the majesty of Chaosium's Basic Roleplaying System.  But its a good looking book and gives me D20 stats for the Mythos alongside being D20 Modern almost and a couple good scenarios.  Basic Roleplaying is the stand alone toolkit version of the BRP system, allowing one to pick and choose which elements of the BRP games to use (CoC's Sanity, Runequest's Hit Locations, ect.) to make the generic RPG I personally like.  Because I love the BRP system.  Its simple and elegant.

 Supplement and era books.  The Keeper's Companions are full of nifty information one can use to add more depth to their games.  Mythos Magic is part of their Monograph series.  Generally fan made books that are of enough high quality Chaosium will use Print on Demand services to make them.  Some have later been expanded to become FULL official products sold in stores.  Others provide needed support for games and settings.  Cthulhu Now was a pre 5th edition CoC sourcebook and adventure pack for modern age Cthulhu.  CoC has always been very compatible with its differing editions so its worth it.  Dark Ages is a translation of a French made CoC RPG taking place in said era.  Its the loveliest looking CoC book I own.  It also makes me jealous we haven't gotten their version of the core CoC RPG.

 More sourcebook action!  Secrets of Japan and Kenya which are packed full of knowledge of the lands they take place in, and how the Mythos is there, and the legendary Delta Green series of which I only have these 3 books.  Delta Green is a more "manly" take on fighting the Mythos in the modern era, and many of its concepts were even found in 90s shows like X Files.    The core Delta Green book was out of print for years and the D20 CoC gave them the impetus to do a rerelease with dual D20 stats.  And the book came out well after D20 CoC went out of print.  OOPS.  On the upside it got it back out there.  Countdown is the big supplemental book, and Eyes Only is a collection of smaller sourcebooks brought back in print and tweaked a little.

 Adventures!  Grimrock Isle is a third party product that is both a solo adventure and a full campaign length adventure for a full party.  Horror on the Orient Express is a deluxe adventure that went out of print and is coming back thanks to a Kickstarter program.  I don't feel bad as I paid MSRP for my copy but that set was worth big bucks for a long time.  Escape From Innsmouth not only details that dreadful town, but provides an RPG campaign covering the events from Lovecraft's original story, even the parts he mostly glossed over.   I used it for the back half of my most successful RPG campaign ever.  And it was in D20 Dragonlance during the very early 3.0 days.  The last 3 are just anthologies.  Which is no bad thing.

 Midnight Harvest is a pretty good third party adventure taking place on Halloween.  The 2 Blood Brothers collections are non Mythos, non campaign adventures inspired by classic horror films.  Most take a couple hours to run and come with pregens.  I have used one of them as a dream sequence in a World of Darkness Mortals game.  My favorite one really.  Tons of good fun in those 2 books.

 The Worlds of Cthulhu Bookazines!  A mixture of translated European material for CoC and some stuff made for English language speakers.  Looks good and covers a LOT of stuff.  I don't think they ever made any more English language issues past 5 however.

 And the magazine it was inspired by, the Unspeakable Oath!  The bookazine that the creators of Delta Green made.  The first 5 books there were the last made for a good decade, though they have come back with 4 more issues since though I only have the first 2 new ones.  (The third is out, and the fourth is just PDF only at the moment.  I don't do PDF.)  I am covering the final pre hiatus TuO magazine as its cover is VERY graphic in both violent and sexual content.   It is a good piece but it is quite disturbing.  The Unspeakable Oath is an excellent read being even better than Worlds of Cthulhu.  They covered more than just pure CoC gaming stuff, but everything was based around things Lovecraft readers and gamers would be interested in.   Plus I have found that the Call of Cthulhu fanbase tends to be some of the smartest, literate, and well educated people in gaming.  At least they used to be.  With the Cthulhu boom it has probably gone down a bit...

And Chaosium's first BRP engine game in its 3rd and 4th incarnations, Runequest!  The Avalon Hill Deluxe 3rd edition was my very first RPG bought, for my birthday and Jr High Graduation in 88 for the princely sum of 36 bucks.  Which would be like 50-60 or so in modern pricing.  It was really a complete RPG in one giant box with everything one would probably need.  I've yet to actually play or run it sadly as ITS NOT DEEE UN DEEE.  Monster Coliseum is a supplemental boxed set I got a few years ago which seems neat, and the first book with the Infinity symbol was the Mongoose Publishing Runequest which was divided up into gobs of books and that sort of killed it, though there are 2 or 3 follow up Runequest attempts since then.  I got it on clearance just for more ideas and to see what is different than 3rd ed.

Now a few things are not shown here.  The Cthulhu Rainy Day Activity Book which is basically an homage to those coloring and activity books we all had as kids (because even with this collecting show off and reorganization project some stuff is just hiding someplace!), the cds, computer, and video games as they have been shown in my Facebook collection pics which I may repost here with commentary like this, and a couple of comics I have.  (And its not the infamous Alan Moore ones.  I want NOTHING to do with those things.)

Edit: Somehow I found I had taken a picture of the Rainy Day Activity book for some bloody reason involving Something Awful!  Here is that picture.

Edit: I found the comics, including one I don't even remember buying!  And one other goodie I got from Connecticon:
Some Cthulhu statues for minis games that are apparently from the Arkham Horror boardgame by Fantasy Flight Games, and parts of two different Lovecraftian comic series.  To my knowledge neither one was completed, though the case of the latter one the art was so dire in the first issue I did not bother continuing.  Probably.  What is sad is I remember the previous series ended on a cliffhanger.  Perhaps I should scour the net and see if it did have a final issue or not?

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