Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Whilst it has received occasional mention on this blog before, The Good Friends of Jackson Elias has not, until now, featured as a Lovecraftian Thing a Day. The Good Friends derives its name from the set-up of Chaosium’s classic Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign for the Call of Cthulhu rpg; indeed, the central focus of hosts Paul Fricker, Matt Sanderson, and Scott Dorwood - all who have written for games such as Call of Cthulhu and Trail of Cthulhu - is upon roleplayng in the multifarious worlds of Lovecaftian horror. Even so, there is much of value here for the horror and Lovecraftian generalist, with engrossing and insightful discussions themed around Lovecaftian and Lovecraft-adjacent film and literature - in short, The Good Friends of Jackson Elias is a highly recommended earful of Lovecraftian goodness.
Monday, April 23, 2018
The Lovecaftian Thing a Day (2018) No.113: Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea (Second Edition)
This is something of a return visit to the rather floridly-titled Astonshing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea rpg, whose first edition featured in 2016’s iteration of this blog; since then, a second edition has appeared in the form of this massive 600+ page hardback.
Part of the Old School Renaissance rpg movement, Astonshing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea uses an interation of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons to reproduce an experience of old time sword-and-sorcery by way of the Weird Tales triumvirate, Howard, Smith and Lovecraft. Of all the OSR products which attempt to replicate this specific mode of weird fantasy in rpg format, Astonshing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea is rhe most convincing (although I do have a soft spot for Crypts and Things which, however, owes far more to Moorcock than Lovecaft, et al); the second edition is also chock full of new art depicting the Lovecraftian realm of Hyperborea, - my personal favourite being the Old School piece by Peter Mullen shown above: wonderfully capturing the feel of Hyperborea, this panoramic piece depicts a parade of that world’s strange inhabitants dutifuly making obeisance to the Great Old One Tsathoggua (attended by its formless spawn), and forms the book’s endpapers. The huge, fold-out map of the world of Hyperborea which comes woth the book has also been upgraded to full colour. Nice.
Astonshing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea is available in hardcopy here, and in pdf format here. Right, that’s enough of that - it’s time to put on a pair of furry underpants, unsheath my broadsword, and prepare to do battle with ancient horrors from beyond time and space.
Sunday, April 22, 2018
This statuette of Cthulhu - gifted to me by an old student - broods silently on one of the bookshelves in my office. As a pertinent reminder of the pointlessness of all human endeavour, this guides me daily in my dealings with students and colleagues in the workplace.
Saturday, April 21, 2018
Cthulhu Gloom is a multiplayer card game by Atlas Games in which, appropriately, the winner is the person whose in-game protaganists are the first to be driven insane or meet a horrible, untimely death. Shown here is also Unpleasant Dreams, the first expansion for Cthulhu Gloom themed around Lovecraft’s Dreamlands tales.
The game is also unusual in that art and game information is printed upon clear vinyl cards, and can be layered on top of one another as part of gameplay to produce modified effectso the rules. Whilst darkly humorous in tone (I’m not really a fan of comedic horror), the cards are gorgeous, and I’ve always wanted to give the game a go; however, being a curmudgeonly solitaire ludologist, this is unlikely to happen - so, for now, Cthulhu Gloom remains unplayed on my gaming shelf.
Friday, April 20, 2018
Further to my jewellry making efforts, this is my favourite piece so far: what I am calling the Dayglo Hot Pink Dicso Tentacle Medallion of Doom (tm).
Thursday, April 19, 2018
Long-time readers of this blog will no doubt be aware of my affection for weird poetry; unfortunately this does not extend to Death Poems - my least favourite of Ligotti’s works. That is not to say Ligotti is incapable of producing fine, free-verse poetry: This Degenerate Little Town, and the lyrics to The Unholy City being cases in point; but for some reason the content of Death Poems leaves me cold.
But I suppose that is rather the point of Ligotti.
Wednesday, April 18, 2018