Lacking Natural Simplicity

Random musings on books, code, and tabletop games.


Chaosium seems to be trying to get things published in a more timely fashion. Probably for cash-flow reasons (ever the bane of the small RPG publisher) this seems to be reflected mostly in their Miskatonic University Library Association Monographs series, which are digitally produced small run publications in cardstock covers and tape bindings, with all the editing and layout done by the authors. This should give them an opportunaty to produce interesting works faster with minimal costs, as well as give them a less risky venue for experimenting. I hope it works well for them.

I haven't seen any of these yet, but several look interesting from their descriptions:

  • The First Book of Things, by Michael C. LaBossiere. This looks like a fun collection of creatures, technology, and magic.

  • Mysteries of Morocco, by William Jones. A “civil, geographical, cultural, political, and a Mythos tour of Morocco during the 1920s and 1930s”, covering several locations and including a scenario and several maps.

  • Cthulhu Invictus, by Chad Bowser, Andi Newton, and Deane P. Goodwin. “Horror Roleplaying in Ancient Rome.” I presume from the name that this involves the Cthulhu Mythos in ancient Rome, but I think that you could easily find enough horror without it. Thomas Harlan's Oath of Empire series would be good inspiration for this, if rather later than what we normally think of when talking about ancient Rome.

Interestingly, the Player's Book and Magic Book from Runequest, 3rd edition were available for a couple of days as the BRP Player's Book and the BRP Magic Book, but were apparently removed after a more plan for republishing them was conceived and put into motion. It certainly would be interesting to see a Runequest-derived core RPG published in the modern world. Of course, between Call of Cthulhu and Stormbringer one already has all the necessary rules in print, but it would be nice to see them all presented in one package, well edited and integrated.

With the possibility of this and the actuality of the republishing of the West End Games house system as a (more-or-less) generic system it will be interesting to see how they succeed in the market against existing universal systems such as GURPS, Hero, and Tri-Stat.

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