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MU Podcast 048 - The Con in Yellow

Posted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:38 pm
by Keeper Dan
Episode 48 returns to the roots of the show with the original three hosts (We didn't get rid of Chad, he's just out of town), and the standard side and main topics. We have some cool info in the Campus Crier including awards for Island of Ignorance, plus we take a trip to the Special Collections vault to take in a play. Then we wrap up with a chat about running games amid the chaos of a convention setting.

Campus Crier
Cthulhu's Eldritch Knowledge- Crafthulhu LLC returns to Kickstarter with an exciting new campaign for all Arkham Horror & Eldritch Horror players. This includes accessories to organize your cards, dice, chips and other game accoutrements.
Diehard GameFAN has just posted the results for their 2013 Tabletop Gaming Awards, and Island of Ignorance: The Third Cthulhu Companion has won Best Adventure (Collection or Campaign)!

Speaking of Golden Goblin Press, they have started their Kickstarter for Tales of the Crescent City! They're already funded and now smoothly racing past the stretch goals. The next one at the moment is a complete rewrite of the classic adventure Tell Me, Have You Seen the Yellow Sign by original author Kevin Ross!
And, if that's not awesome enough, our friend Matthew from episode 32 and his gaming group are participating in the book!

Lovecraft eZine is moving into print! Starting with issue 27, readers will be able to get the magazine in printed format, so I guess now it's the Lovecraft 'Zine without the e.

Bret Kramer is moving back the deadline for submissions for Arkham Gazette issue 2 to February 15, 2014. He needs submissions to keep the Gazette going, so if you have any ideas that fit into the theme for an issue, or anything else, just let him know. Even if your idea isn't right for the current issue, it may be good for a future one.

A potential film about Houdini with Lovecraftian elements has a screenwriter.

Black Sugar is an independent film about when a group of bored suburban teens experiment with a mysterious new drug, they are thrust into a nightmare world where hallucinations kill.

Sixtystone Press- Call for writers – 7e Cthulhu Organizations Book

Sponsor thank you to Hastur! We appreciate the help in keeping the show running.

Special Collections- The King in Yellow
Here is the Wikipedia article on the Chambers story.

Tell Me, Have You Seen The Yellow Sign?

The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers is public domain and free to read on Project Gutenberg.

The lovely Hotel Carcosa, ready to accommodate your functions. Make reservations now for meetings, weddings, or ritualistic sacrifices intended to summon dead gods to devour all life and return the earth to a blasted husk hurtling through the void of space.
Here is the Wiki article.

The Yellow Sign is another film that uses the King in Yellow as a basis for its story. Here's the very cool trailer.

Here are the Tatters of the King scenario, and the audio game from

Curse of the Yellow Sign, Act I: Digging for a Dead God

Curse of the Yellow Sign, Act II: Calling the King

Curse of the Yellow Sign, Act III: Archimedes 7

A Season in Carcosa by Joe S. Pulvers Sr.

Role Playing Public Radio games that have Carcosa an an element.

A Monograph from Chaosium with three Carcosa stories is Ripples From Carcosa. (Print)

Cryptocurium's new e-mail list has alerted fans of some new and limited edition items that have been available on the store site. There have been the Haunter of Chaos Idol, which had a limited number of pieces, and the Dagon Artifact, which was only available for 72 hours.
Now there is a limited run of Esoteric Order of Dagon Pint Glasses. This is a limited run of 25, so get over there now if you want one.
If you want to be notified of the new items and deals coming out, thejoin the e-mail list and be ahead of the game on when these come up on the store.

Main Topic- Convention Gaming
Here are some aspects of con games to keep in mind-

Brevity- You have a limited time to get the complete story played. What is the main goal of the scenario, and what kind of memories do you want your players to take away from the game?

Pregens- If you supply more character choices than the number of expected players, they have options to choose from, and the game will play dramatically different because you have a mix of players and protagonists. This is particularly nice if you run a game more than once at a given convention.

Mood and Tone- Don't expect a dark and horrific tone in a setting where you're in a room with dozens to thousands of other people playing their own games. Just roll with the chaos, and make the game fun. This is where you turn up the pulp adventure dial and let it ride. Make the players at other tables wish they were in your game.

Death and Sanity- Make sure there are uses of the Sanity rules in con games. This may be the first time someone has played this game, and you want to give a sample of the possibilities that Call of Cthulhu offers. Don't be looking for a TPK because you can, but don't make things to easy either. Death and madness are part and parcel to Call of Cthulhu. Give a true example of the game, but make it the most fun example you can for the whole group. Killing someone early in the game can have them feeling cheated out of the story.

Bring Dice- Seriously.

Know your setting and rules- Don't be surprised by players trying to explore a location mentioned as flavor. Be ready to improvise both setting information and make rules calls on the fly. It may be useful to let players know in advance you won't slow down play with rules research. As GM, you'll make a call and keep going.

If you have a game that needs to take two or more slots at a con, then make sure you title them Part 1, Part 2, etc in case the description is not carried over to the print version of the convention guide.
In most cases though, you should probably tailor the scenario to fit within a single block in a convention schedule.

Games referenced in this segment:

“The Last Stop” by Badger McInnes. A Delta Green game that is apparently not available online.

Here is theCluethulhu game that Jon played in.

Here is TheIron Ghost, a game Jon ran.

The Lock In, a game by Jon where fat kids from Arkham high are going missing. Available in the Dead Leaves Fall Monograph from Chaosium in print and PDF.

No Man's Land started as a convention tournament game.

Timeless Sands of India is Jon's game from Goodman Games. (PDF)

Yellow Sign art found here.

Re: MU Podcast 048 - The Con in Yellow

Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:24 pm
by hastur

Re: MU Podcast 048 - The Con in Yellow

Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:39 pm
by Dr. Gerard
Not sure if that was you at the top of the show with a liner, Hastur, but whoever it was got a serious belly laugh from me.

"Dammit I summoned myself."


Re: MU Podcast 048 - The Con in Yellow

Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:57 pm
by hastur
it was i. glad you enjoyed it!

Re: MU Podcast 048 - The Con in Yellow

Posted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:17 pm
by fox01313
Downloading it now & so happy to see that with more than a month to go that Golden Goblin got already twice as much money it needed for the Crescent City book as the writers they have on board for it mean that it should be a wild fun ride and the art looks great too. Also highly recommend people listen to the Cluethulhu game as it's so light in rules it's more like a stage play than other traditional Call/Trail of Cthulhu games along with getting near the precipice of enlightenment.

Will have to read again the Chandler story King in Yellow but from what I recall it's sadly not dealing much with Hastur though as someone who read a lot of Chandler growing up, I would have loved to discover some more of his work taking his classic gumshoe detectives into a more fantastic pulpy world like dealing with the mythos.

Re: MU Podcast 048 - The Con in Yellow

Posted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:20 pm
by Thomas R. Knutsson
I haven't heard the episode yet, but I still wanted to comment on this post just from reading about it.
Keeper Dan wrote:A potential film about Houdini with Lovecraftian elements has a screenwriter.
The scene from the story "Under the Pyramids" where Houdini and some Egyptians go to the top of a pyramid to do some "Fight Club" would be fun to watch in a movie. :cthulhudance:
Keeper Dan wrote:Curse of the Yellow Sign, Act I: Digging for a Dead God

Curse of the Yellow Sign, Act II: Calling the King

Curse of the Yellow Sign, Act III: Archimedes 7
I've wanted to run these scenarios for years, or at least get to play them. :v:

Re: MU Podcast 048 - The Con in Yellow

Posted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:44 pm
by Keeper Jon
hastur wrote:it was i. glad you enjoyed it!
Yes, I loved that opening piece!

Re: MU Podcast 048 - The Con in Yellow

Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:01 am
by NewOrleansMythos
Fun fact: Carcosa is believed to be somewhere around Aldebaran and the Pleiades cluster. The Pleiades is represented on Subaru's logo. "CARcosa" personalized license plate anyone? :science:

Re: MU Podcast 048 - The Con in Yellow

Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:59 am
by Dr. Gerard
And in Turkey, the Pleiades are known as an "ambush."

Re: MU Podcast 048 - The Con in Yellow

Posted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:48 pm
by Nvision
Just wanted to chime in with some different con experience... I've been lucky enough that at our local, semi-annual con I have had the pleasure of running some very dark and atmospheric games.

The venue is the conference hall of the city library, and they have a pair of separate board rooms that are reserved for games that either require quiet or larger than normal numbers. I travel with a portable speaker and mp3 player, so these rooms let me set the tone with great atmospheric sound. After my initial convention, I found that I was attracting either perfect horror gamers or new players who are willing to buy in to the tone or follow the lead of more experienced players. I have had games where the players want confrontation, or play things so hardcore they'll derail the scenario by burning down buildings rather than go inside and investigate, but I've also had players who really get into their roles and consider the potential consequences. I've even run a particularly bloody Delta Green scenario in which not one drop of blood was shed, the gruesome horrors were stemmed, and the agents faded into the background.

I wonder if other convention organizers could be approached to find out of space outside of the main hall is available? Call of Cthulhu in a broom closet? :p I think it can really enrich the con experience for both Keeper and players.

*edit* Yeah...I probably shouldn't comment before I've finished listening to the whole podcast :p Jon, if you were able to get that private room, I'm sure you would have rocked out that dark, intense scenario!