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Miskatonic University Podcast 14- Sandbox or Published?


Episode 14 gives us a new Lecture, a fresh crop of ENnie winners, and we finish off with discussion on options for your campaigns regarding published adventures, original stories and sandboxing.

We misplaced Murph again, so we cast Summon Co-Host, and we snared a Keeper Chad. We then crammed his brain into a Mi-Go cylinder and plugged him into our Skype.

We start things off with a well populated Campus Crier.
HPL’s 122nd birthday was on August 20th. The site with the cakes is here, and you can listen to Happy Birthday on a theremin!

We then discussed a great article called: Bringing history to life in a game setting. The designer behind Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land , Tomas Rawlings, has written an article on how they took real WWI medical tech and integrated it into their game.
For Keepers setting their game up through the 20′s, this is great information on what kind of first aid supplies are likely to be seen in various locations.

There are several pictures for examples and many links to additional information sprinkled through the article. A great read.
The article is hosted by Wellcome Trust.
We then talk about the fantastic progress of Chaosium’s Horror on the Orient Express Kickstarter campaign.
Dan mentions Edition Wars, from Gamer Nation Studios.
We also discuss the Kickstarter from Caleb Stokes for several Depression Era scenarios for any horror RPG.

The Reaper Miniatures Kickstarter can be found here. This is one of the largest Kickstarter completions to date. Over 3.42 million dollars raised.

We have a couple of voice mails. Starting with Brett Kramer reminding us that there was indeed an Innsmouth sourcebook.

Voice mail number two is from Brian Cortemanche, who is all signed up for NecronomiCon Providence. He’s hoping to meet other MUP listeners at the con!

Jon mentions Robert M Price will be at NecronomiCon. He had a great interview with the Monster Talk Podcast.
Here’s a mention of last years Cthulhu Prayer Breakfast.

We then have a new lecture from Dr. Gerard at the Miskatonic University History Department — on the topic of ‘Stalin’s Ape-Man Army‘.

We discuss the original Planet of the Apes book, Gorilla Grodd, cyborg gorillas, and the HPL Literary Podcast episode 13.

We play a promo for the HP Lovecraft Live podcast.
We’d love to play promos for other shows, so if you’re involved in a Mythos/weird fiction/RPG podcast, let us know and we’ll play your promo.
Also, if you’re an artist or musician, let us know and we’d be happy to feature your work on the show and website.
And if you have a podcast and would like to play our promo, you can find it on our feed or right here.

We then cover the 2012 ENnie Awards winners that are in the Horror genre.

Best Art, Cover
Cthulhu by Gaslight (Chaosium Inc.) *Silver Winner*
Cover art by Paul Carrick. Chad mentions this video.

Best Electronic Book
Cthulhu Apocalypse: The Apocalypse Machine (Graham Walmsley & Pelgrane Press) *Gold Winner*
The Yog Radio episode with Graham is number 46. (Patrons can listen to the Yog Radio back catalog)

 Best Podcast
Role Playing Public Radio *Gold Winner*
These guys do a lot of CoC content. Their live plays have a lot of Call of Cthulhu, Delta Green and some Trail of Cthulhu and Invictus.
Jon’s Murder of Crows Actual Play is here. The Doom From below is a loosely connected sequel.

Best Setting
Cthulhu Britannica: Shadows Over Scotland (Cubicle 7) *Gold Winner*
Purchase from RPG Now The other two Cthulhu Britannica books are here and here.
Amazon offers all three books as well. Book 1, Book 2, and Book 3.

Best Supplement
GURPS Horror, Fourth Edition (Steve Jackson Games) *Silver Winner*
Cthulhu by Gaslight (Chaosium Inc.) *Gold Winner*

Best Writing
GURPS Horror, Fourth Edition (Steve Jackson Games) *Silver Winner*
The Investigator’s Guide to Occult London (Pelgrane Press) *Gold Winner*
(Order here)
The Yog Radio episode with the interview with Paula Dempsey is number 48. The interview is available here. (Whole episode here)

Other products mentioned:
Night’s Black Agents, by Ken Hite (Order here)
The Savage Worlds version of Cthulhu gaming is called Realms of Cthulhu. Adventures available for Realms.
Hardback of Realms of Cthulhu.

Main Topic:
Published adventure modules vs. sandboxing your game.
The Dresden Files RPG has group creation of the setting an integral part of the rules.
DriveThru RPG bundle. Hard Cover: Book 1, Book 2

The site Ideology of Madness has the Funnybooks podcast, and some RPG live-play stuff as well. Their Knights of Reignsborough superhero campaign is one of the games Dan mentioned, and their Star Trek: Aegean game (that apparently fizzled). Both are fascinating examples of group setting creation.

We also went into our thoughts on clue finding for player characters.
Jon suggests giving out bare clues to progress the plot without a roll, and added detail with a passed roll.

Chad said that granting the info and implying that there may be more on a pass can move the plot forward.

Dan suggests allowing characters that have:
(A) The needed skills as part of their profession skill list.
-or-
(B) if they have 70%+ in the skill. (Another % can be used too.)
They get the clue automatically, and a roll would grant the skill check and additional benefits on a success.

Chad mentions a game site called The Alexandrian. There are a number of useful articles on there.”
3-Clue Rule
Node-Based Scenario Design

Don’t Prep Plots
Game Structures
Part 5 of the Game Structures series is Mysteries

Jon’s adventure, The Lock-In is mentioned. The live-play can be found here.
The Lock-In can be found in the Dead Leaves Fall monograph published by Chaosium. Print Version   PDF Version

We would also love to hear your ideas for player-based topics for us to talk about. Send us a note directly, or go to the Campus forum with your ideas!

Here is the discussion thread on the Campus forum, and this is the discussion thread for this podcast posted on the Yog-Sothoth forums.

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