Monthly Archives: April 2016

Villa in France, One Peculiar Owner

Recently I was chatting with Chad Bowser — Call of Cthulhu writer extraordinare, inventor of Cthulhu Invictus, and sometimes collaborator on Cthulhu Reborn projects. Chad was bemoaning the fact that despite the fact that the recent Chaosium update of Horror on the Orient Express is an absolutely super-deluxe reimagining of the 90’s classic, most of the handouts didn’t get much revamping or update. Having recently (finally) found time to read through my own HotOE box, I’d have to say I agree.

One specific problem that Chad’s group had run into was the fact that while in the Paris chapter of the campaign (“Les Fleurs du Mal”) they had fixated slightly on the 17th Century Villa constructed by the Comte Fenalique. Investigators researching this can readily turn up the floorplans to this unusual building … but sadly it isn’t included as a handout. Chad asked me if I had any way of putting together a semi-realistic looking old document bearing the floorplan of a French Villa in Poissy. Here’s what I came up with:

HotOE Addon - Handout - Fenalik's Villa Floorplan (sml)

(click here download a higher-res version)

After sketching it out I thought maybe it should be a bit more beaten and weathered-looking, so I roughened and aged it some more:

HotOE Addon - Handout - Fenalik's Villa Floorplan, Aged (sml)

(click here download a higher-res version)

If you’d like to use this image as a handout to enhance your games of Horror on the Orient Express (1st or 2nd Edition) … feel free! Equally, if you want to remix it into some other prop of your own creation, that’s also cool with me. If you get a visit in the night from a shadowy  fiend, though, it’s not MY fault … 🙂

EDIT: For those who want the floorplan image minus background texture, here it is … (click for the full resolution version)

HotOE Addon - Handout - Fenalik's Villa Floorplan, No Texture

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Terror From Down Under (Coming Soon)

Once again, months have come and gone and there have been no updates to the Cthulhu Reborn blog. I imagine many of you out there in blog-land (or wherever you are) might take this as a sign that there has been no activity at Cthulhu Reborn. In fact the exact opposite is true — we have been hard at work on a number of different projects, some for other people and a few destined for release under our own banner. My usual policy, though, is to not jinx any work in progress by announcing anything too soon, hence the occasional periods of radio silence.

But, there are a few recent developments that are probably worth sharing with you good folks … including an announcement about an upcoming major freebie release from Cthulhu Reborn.

First off I should mention a few of the cool projects that we’ve been involved in over the past few months … if for no other reason because they are neat projects which you might want to check out for yourself.

The first is A Time To Harvest, Chaosium’s first ever Organized Play campaign (in six chapters).

We were asked to contribute all the maps for the numerous campaign chapters, which was quite a significant task (since there are something like 15 or 16 maps, some of which needed to be drawn in various different versions). But it was a fun thing to be involved in, and I will certainly be interested to hear how the Organized Play aspect works. If you’re at all interested in participating, I would strongly urge you to scoot over to this page on the Chaosium website and read more about it. Basically, if you are willing to sign up to Chaosium’s “Cult of Chaos” — basically become a registered part of their GM and advocacy programme, you can get access to this campaign in six chapters (delivered one per month) for absolutely no cost, except for the requirement to submit some play reports back to Chaosium. Sounds like a pretty cool deal.

Another extremely cool thing that Cthulhu Reborn got involved in unexpectedly was The Things They Leave Behind, the successful Kickstarter project by brand new licensee Stygian Fox.

We were asked to contribute just a handful of handouts for the various modern-day scenarios which make up this book. There were a few interesting challenges associated with creating things like realistic handout mockups of a Reddit thread and an online newspaper website; both were sort of fun to do. If you were a backer of this Kickstarter, you will see these designs when the book comes out. If you weren’t a backer but have an interest in innovative (and dark) modern-day scenarios for CoC, you may want to read some more about this project on the KS page … and if it sounds cool to you then I am sure that you could get in touch with the ever-wonderful CEO of Stygian Fox, Stephanie McAlea, and find out how you can buy the book.

And Finally … the Announcement

One of the things we have been hard at work on here at Cthulhu Reborn is developing material for playing Call of Cthulhu stories set in Australia. Given how many of the great CoC scenario writers are Aussies, it seems quite peculiar that the only significant mention that the “Land Down Under” has ever received is the long, LONG, out of print Terror Australis from 1987. Cthulhu Reborn got involved with a project back in 2012 to begin to redress this, initially to simply update and revamp the old Chaosium book and bring it up to the standard of the “Secrets of X” line of sourcebooks. That goal was achieved some time back (although the manuscript is still waiting in Chaosium’s internal queue) … but most of the participants didn’t want to stop there. Instead, writers have been busily working away on a whole bunch of different Australian-themed Cthulhu projects … and one of them seems likely to be our next freebie release on Cthulhu Reborn.

Convicts & Cthulhu Logo 2

Convicts & Cthulhu is a sizeable sourcebook (exact page count to be finalised, but probably 50-60 pages) which allows Keepers to run Call of Cthulhu games during the early days of Australia’s life as a British penal settlement. If this sounds like an odd time and place to set a Lovecraftian game, consider this: the early colonies of Australia were founded to be the dumping grounds for the most dark-hearted criminals to be found in Britain, and were overseen by guards who were not much better than those they guarded. In a land thousands of miles from civilisation, there are many opportunities for mundane cruelty and evil, but also for the darkness than men brought with them to flourish in unsuspecting ways.

We hope to release Convicts and Cthulhu later this year … and there will doubtless be more blog postings to come which shine some more light on what we have planned.

 


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