Friday, July 29, 2011

More Call of Cthulhu Recommendations

OK, since you were all kind enough to offer me advice on various scenarios (of which I’m still weighing my options between running something pre-fab or writing my own), I thought I’d make another request.

My Call of Cthulhu game library—as opposed to my fiction library which is much greater—is of modest size. It contains the following:

Call of Cthulhu 1st edition boxed set (second printing)
Call of Cthulhu 4th edition
Call of Cthulhu 6th edition
Call of Cthulhu 30th Anniversary Edition (en route)
Call of Cthulhu d20
Keeper’s Kit (5th edition)

Delta Green
Delta Green: Countdown

H.P. Lovecraft’s Arkham
H.P. Lovecraft’s Kingsport
H.P. Lovecraft’s Dreamlands
H.P. Lovecraft’s Dunwich

Secrets of Morocco
Secrets of New York

Ramsey Campbell’s Goatswood
Miskatonic University: The University Guide Book
Cthulhu Invictus
Tatters of the King

Our Ladies of Sorrow
New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley

On PDF, I have Beyond the Mountains of Madness, the Quick Start, and one or two other adventure compilations. I also have the Encyclopedia Cthulhiana which bridges the gap between Mythos fiction and game aid.

My question to those of you who play is “Aside from the above, are there any Cthulhu supplements you’d consider indispensible?” My interests lay more to the classic era as opposed to modern, but I am anticipating the reissue of Cthulhu by Gaslight supposedly coming in late summer. I would love to own a set of the original Grenadier investigator minis and a print copy of Escape from Innsmouth, but for expense and/or availability reasons, those remain beyond my grasp for the moment.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fight On! For Five Dollars

This just in: Effective immediately, all Fight On! PDFs are just $5. This is a price reduction, not a sale. And, until June 29th, you can save an additional 25% with the coupon code TIME305. That means you can grab your first, third, or twelfth issue of Fight On! in PDF form for a measly $3.75. Drop by the Fight On! site to buy yours today!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Odd Job for Odd Linguists

Captain America is all in the news lately and I’ll admit that I’ll be waiting for the DVD if ever to catch it. However, the buzz around it got me thinking about Cap’s old nemesis, HYDRA. I was shocked to discover that HYDRA, despite its spelling, is not an acronym. I always assumed it was like S.H.I.E.L.D. and was some god-awful stretch of names to make a cool acronym. Then I was reminded of P.A.G.A.N. (People Against Goodness and Normality) from the forgettable 1980s’ Dragnet movie and one thing led to another.

I’m playing around with a new setting and I want to throw in some enigmatic cabals with weird ass names. The atmosphere I’m going for is League of Extraordinary Gentlemen meets Hellboy—steam-punk, Victorian Era, world-shaking cabals, etc.

It’d be easy to create a half-dozen groups with acronyms that spell out appropriate English words, but I’d like to throw in a few world-spanning evil groups. So, with that in mind, does anyone with a command of a language other than English have any suggestions? The acronym could be a word in any language, but since the target audience is English speaking, an organization whose name “coincidentally” spells an English word would be most appreciative. Perhaps K.R.A.K.E.N. is something particularly fiendish in German, Russian, or even Portugese…

If anyone has any suggestions or personal favorites, I’d love to hear them.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

From New York to Oslo

You are in our thoughts. Vi elsker deg!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Spiders from Stonehell

A little while back, I asked whether I should stick to pure Labyrinth Lord for the sequel of Stonehell Dungeon or allows additional material from the Advanced Edition Companion to sneak in. The majority of you confirmed that my inclination to us the original book's material as a basis and fill in the blanks with my own creations was the correct one.

Limitations are remarkably useful in the creative process. Without a large population of canonical monsters to fall back on, one must make them from scratch. When I needed a beefy spider for the lower levels of Stonehell, one different from the standards encountered higher up in the former prison, the following spun a web in my head and came chittering out of my ear to plop down upon the page. Meet the glider spider:

Glider Spider
No. Enc: 1d4 (1d4)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120’ (40), fly 60’ (20’)
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 5
Attacks: 1 (bite)
Damage: 1d6, poison
Save: F3
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: VII

Glider spiders are huge, albino arachnids averaging 10’ in diameter. Web-spinners, they hunt in a peculiar fashion. Glider spiders form parachute-like sails out of their silk and ride the thermals until they spot their prey. They then drop atop the unsuspecting target with a 50% chance of surprise, paralyzing them with their venom. They can also throw webs as the spell.

Glider spider venom immobilizes its victim, paralyzing them for 2d4 turns. The victim seldom survives that long, as the venom dissolves the internal organs of the prey, automatically inflicting 1d4+1 damage each round. A save vs. poison negates both the paralysis and damage, but the toxin is strong and imparts a -2 penalty to the saving throw.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fight On! to the Twelfth Power!

Mutants! Androids! Robots! Pure Strain Humans! Fight On! is back, with another 88 pages of gut-wrenching, laser-pulsing, fist-pounding action! Rules variants, tables, adventures large and small, science fiction and fantasy, races, classes, monsters, spells, magic items, NPCs, history, opinion, and lore can be found herein! Featuring art and articles by Mark Allen, Ian Baggley, Lee Barber, Erin "Taichara" Bisson, Daniel Boggs, David Bowman, Simon Bull, David Coleman, Fat Cotton, Michael Curtis, Liz Danforth, Ndege Diamond, Ron Edwards, Kelvin Green, Tim Kask, John Larrey, John Laviolette, Lester, Gabor Lux, Heron Prior, Jeff Rients, Chris Robert, Zak S., Alex Schroeder, Jason Sholtis, Tim "Sniderman" Snider, Jennifer Weigel, and this issue's dedicatee James M. Ward, alongside many others! If want to take your FRP experience to the next level, don't delay - buy this issue and Fight On!The print version is available here:

and the PDF is available here:

To encourage you to check us out, we have put two other products on SALE along with the release of Issue 12. These prices won’t last forever! The Fight On! Compiled Compilation +4, combining our first four fabulous issues under one cover, can currently be purchased for $19.99; and Roll the Bones, our well-reviewed collection of fantastic fiction, is available for just $14.99. We’d be honored if you checked one or both out!The compilation is available here:

and Roll the Bones is available here:

If you buy by the end of the day TOMORROW (July 15), you can save even more on all of these – lulu is offering a site-wide discount of 20% off everything with the coupon BIG (BIG305AU, BIG305UK for some foreign readers), making this one of the best times to check us out for the first time or check back in if you’ve missed a few issues! While you’re at it, check out some other lulu gaming products – there is a ton of good stuff on there from all kinds of producers.Thanks for your interest, and whether you pick up an issue or not, keep fighting on!

Table of Contents

Champions of ZED (Daniel Boggs) 3
Fast Company II – Nonhumans (Schroeder & Shieh) 11
It’s All in the Cards (Michael Curtis) 12
The Tomb of Kaman-Doh Rey’d (David Coleman) 17
The Apen (Andrew “The Venomous Pao” Trent) 20
Geologians (Tim “Sniderman” Snider) 22
The Witch Doctor (Scott Moberly) 24
Knights & Knaves (Barber, Green, Rients, & Cal) 25
Grognard’s Grimoire (Erin “Taichara” Bisson) 27
The City State of Dusal Dagodli (Gabor Lux) 28
The Darkness Beneath (Heron Prior & David Bowman) 32
Education of a Magic User (Douglas Cox) 44
Doxy, Urgent Care Cleric (J. Linneman & K. Green) 45
Sir Tendeth (Tim “Sniderman” Snider) 46
Creepies & Crawlies (T. Snider and Jeffrey P. Talanian) 60
Monstrous Ecology (Ron Edwards) 63
Random’s Assortment (Peter Jensen & Random) 64
Curses Gone Wild! (John Laviolette) 65
Artifacts, Adjuncts, & Oddments (Jason Sholtis) 67
Treasure Types (Simon Bull) 68
Dungeon Modules: The Rondo Rooms (Jeff Rients) 69
Pigdivot! (Chris Robert) 72
Where the Action Is (Zak S.) 80
Merlyn’s Mystical Mirror (Gabor Lux & Jo Kreil) 84
Notes from a Master (James M. Ward & Tim Kask) 86

Front cover by Mark Allen ( Back cover by Kevin Mayle. Fight On! logo by Jeff Rients. Jim Ward photos by John Sapienza, Jr. and Breck Ward. Interior art and cartography by Jason Sholtis (4,9,21,67), OSRCon ( 6), Fat Cotton (7,80), (10), Anthony Stiller (12,64), Black Blade Publishing (blackblade 13), Liz Danforth (15), Hudson Bell (16), David Coleman (17), Netherwerks (netherwerks.blogspot. com: 18,42), Lawrence Raymond (18), Ndege Diamond (19,33,40,47), Lester (22,60,61,86), Centers for Disease Control (24), Kelvin Green (25,45,65), Lee Barber (26,51, Creepies & Crawlies logo, Knights & Knaves logo), Alex Schroeder (27,34), Gabor Lux (28,29,30), Antonio Sant’ Elia (31), Robert S. Conley ( 32), Heron Prior (37,48,51,52,53,57), Bronze Age Miniatures (bronze 41), Douglas Cox (44), Tim “Sniderman” Snider (46), DEI Games (, 46), John Larrey (54,63), Ian Baggley (62), Jennifer Weigel (69,74,79), Matthew Howerter (70), Kevin Mayle (72), Greengoat (75), Peter Schmidt Jensen (83), Henchman Abuse (henchman 84), and F. Douglas Wall Publishing ( 85).

You John Carter Fans Are Smoking Dope

So all morning long I'm seeing that everyone in the OSR is having a geek fit over this new John Carter movie. I haven't been following the buzz on it, but after all the OMG!!! posts, I decided to track down the trailer and see it myself.

You all are going to spend your hard-earned cash on this tripe? Bah!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Suggested Call of Cthulhu Scenarios?

Last Sunday, I got the opportunity to run Call of Cthulhu as a fill-in game in our group’s schedule. They were all novices to CoC and I had the great joy of running them through “The Haunted House.” Despite playing on a bright, Sunday afternoon in a gaming store where a CCG tournament was underway, they were still terrified by their experiences in the Old Corbitt Place. It seems I still have a knack for the spooky.

The game was so well-received that we’ve all agreed that CoC will become the backup game whenever the current referee needs a week off. With that in mind, I’m looking for suggestions on what Call of Cthulhu scenarios to run for the guys. I’m looking for shorter ones, the kind that can be completed in 4-5 hours of play, but I am interested in hearing about people’s experiences with some of the longer campaign series as well—just in case CoC becomes the next game after our current Labyrinth Lord game wraps up.

If it helps, the investigators are operating out of a town near the Catskill region of New York State—one roughly the size of Arkham. I own a few Call of Cthulhu supplements, but by no means have a complete set. I’ve got a sizeable collection of White Dwarf magazines and I know that they published a slew of scenarios in the past.

So what are your favorite scenarios to either play or run? I’m all ears.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mike’s on the Chronic…

…Rift, that is. I recorded an interview with the New York-based podcast the Chronic Rift last week as part of the celebratory tour of wining the Three Castles Award. Host John S. Drew and I talk about the Dungeon Alphabet, old school gaming, and why my OSR membership card is in jeopardy. For those of you wishing to hear my dulcet tones, you can go here, download the podcast directly over here, or get it through iTunes or Zune.