MU Podcast 061- Dark Times on the Road to Leng

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Keeper Dan
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MU Podcast 061- Dark Times on the Road to Leng

Post by Keeper Dan » Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:46 am

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In this episode, it’s another visit to the bestiary to examine the inscrutable "almost-humans" of capricious highlands. And for the main topic, we get all medieval on your a**. Plus news, and more!

Campus Crier
R'lyeh Towers from Joe Broers have shipped!

We are cancelling the official Alumni Dinner private room reservation at The Ram on Thursday from 4 to 7, but we'll be gathering there informally anyway if you want to stop by. If you do plan to make it, please let us know on the forum thread so we have an idea of how many tables to reserve.

Also, check out the Campus Forum thread for progress on Ian MacLean’s Cthulhu picture!

Coming from Sentinel Hill Press: a preview of Graveyards of Lovecraft Country, a forthcoming resource book by Bret Kramer. The layout on the preview is done by none other than the "fifth Beatle" of MUP, Scriven. Art by Galen Pejeau.

Check out Black Sugar: a Lovecraftian short film that packs a lot of cosmic spooky into 11 minutes.

Chad will be play testing an original setting and storytelling magic system for Savage Worlds at GenCon called "Pellikoi: Typhoon Atoll." The players are mortal mythic heroes in a primeval world full of animist spirits that evoke the folklore of the Pacific islands. It's kind of like an RPG if Myazaki's “Spirited Away” had a baby with Sid Meier's “Civilization." Stop by the First Exposure Playtest Hall Friday and Saturday morning from 8:00-10:00, and Saturday afternoon from 1-3.

Ennies voting until July 30! Here is the Nominee list, and here is where you vote!
Lots of CoC friendly stuff in there!
Europe Ablaze! A World War Cthulhu free PDF

Ripples from Carcosa gets the full book treatment beyond Monograph form.

Tales of the Crescent City is shipping.

MUP Intro in Swedish, from Magnus

MUP Intro in Manx, from Shimmin Beg

Sponsor Shout Out- Grizzled Veteran

Listener Feedback-
We got an e-mail from new member TheStoryTeller. This is a message with several questions, so it’s going to be covered as a side on an upcoming show.

Card Catalog
This Card Catalog features The Medieval Bestiary- Animals of the Middle Ages.

Cryptocurium Spot
HOUDINI’S SECRET
The Deluxe Edition is sold out, but the Regular Edition is still available!

Bestiary
Men of Leng

Main Topic
Cthulhu Dark Ages

The Pastores

The Ravenar Sagas

Dark Crusades

Spirits & Dreams of the Viking Age

Caligo Accedendum Tournament

The Abbey

A New Jerusalem


Scenarios:
The Vampire of Schwarzbrunn - Worlds of Cthulhu #1
Malevolence - Worlds of Cthulhu #3
The Demons of Hithfenn - Book of Dark Wisdom #2
Island of the Damned - Caligo Accedendum Touramentem (monograph)
Risam Vellere
The Innocent
Herald to the Yellow King - Ripples from Carcosa (monograph)
Moon of the Hunter - Strange Tales of Dread and Wonder #1 (monograph)
A Ring of Toadstools - Halloween Horror 2 (monograph)
The Dragon and the Wolf - Bride of Halloween Horror (monograph)

Articles:
Cthulhu Dark Ages Errata, On Gaming in Averoigne, Averoigne Occupations, Skills for Dark Ages Averoigne - Worlds of Cthulhu #1
A Gazetteer of Averoigne, the Library of Averoigne - Worlds of Cthulhu #2
The House of Wisdom, An Averoigne Bestiary, The Averoigne Grimoire, Magical Items of Averoigne, France in the 13th Century - Worlds of Cthulhu #3
Insanity and Faith in Averoigne - Worlds of Cthulhu #4
Constantinople 1000 AD - Worlds of Cthulhu #5

To learn about the Averoigne setting (pronounced: ahv-er-OWN) from Clark Ashton Smith, listen to The Double Shadow: A Clark Ashton Smith Podcast.
Keeper Dan of the Miskatonic University Podcast

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Re: MU Podcast 061- Dark Times on the Road to Leng

Post by Thomas R. Knutsson » Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:02 am

Keeper Dan wrote:Cthulhu Dark Ages Errata
There is a good Cthulhu Dark Ages Errata available online by the main author of the CDA rulebook on his Dark Ages site.

Cthulhu Dark Ages - http://home.kpn.nl/gesbe000/

Some of the resources available from this site:
  • Quick Start Cthulhu Dark Ages
  • CDA patch (FAQ, errata, and new stuff)
  • Investigator sheet
  • Ready-to-play investigators
  • Example of Play
  • Sogailraugh (an Irish village)
  • Scenarios
  • Pagan Call campaign
In the morning, mist comes up from the sea by the cliffs beyond Kingsport. White and feathery it comes from the deep to its brothers the clouds, full of dreams of dank pastures and caves of leviathan.
-"The Strange High House in the Mist" by HPL

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Re: MU Podcast 061- Dark Times on the Road to Leng

Post by Shannon Mac » Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:28 am

I've run a great deal of CDA but that's because I have a studied a good part of the era. You really need to evoke the era and explain the differences from D&D so that typical players don't try to turn it into a video game.

I ran all of Stephane's campaign materials. That was like 50+ hours easily as each one is like a miniseries.

The HERE BE DRAGONS (which he and others wrote) can be done in 3-4 hours. I modified it into a Platinum Extended Edition of 10-14 hrs as it was the first intro to CDA for various players. I might be tempted to run it for the right crew in the near future. Scroll down to Sunday to see some pics of my props:

http://www.storytellersjem.blogspot.com ... chive.html

A friend of mine who also enjoyed the era has done a couple of CDA scenarios. He's doing one on the Holy Land with a nod to KINGDOM OF HEAVEN here:

http://www.infrno.net/games/4493

Gesbert told me the 1st edition of CDA was supposed to have a good 100 more pages on it for how to run a game in said era but Chaosium pulled the pages. I was in the playtest for the 2nd edition of CDA by Chad Bowser which blended 7E rules into the game as well as more details on how to run this type of a setting.

If I was going to start this I'd keep it simple especially if I did not study the era. I'd use HERE BE DRAGONS as it's an Anglo-Saxon setting with Celtic references.
If the group liked it then the Keeper could decide on the scenario in the main book or work with the Gesbert miniseries/campaign (they're loosely linked).

Gesbert does great clue trails and truly evokes the era in his scenarios. BTW, I should mention others have written these scenarios so they have also added to said experience.

Hmmm, I have Stephane Gesbert's email. I'll PM him and see if he wants to post in here.

As for monographs I possess and really like RAVENAR SAGAS (blood and guts with being clever) and PASTORES (a dark look at the Mythos contamination that might unsettle some COC players). I have SPIRTS & DREAMS but have not finished it yet.

Per Yog reviews and such I did not pick up THE ABBEY as it was set up to explain the era and set up an order to stop the Mythos and thus bring the players together. It evokes Delta Green a bit in mindset.

From what I can tell of NEW JERUSALEM it's all about understanding the Crusades with cult/setting ideas but no scenarios. I can learn most of that info online.

I am working on a CDA scenario based on the legacy of Brian Boru (the Charlemagne of Ireland some would say). The players grow up during the end of his reign and when the dark times are upon them a High Druid sends them on a quest to find the means to bring Boru back to life so that the Emerald Isle can return to paradise.
My gaming blog with pretty pictures: http://www.storytellersjem.blogspot.com/

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Re: MU Podcast 061- Dark Times on the Road to Leng

Post by sirlarkins » Fri Aug 01, 2014 4:54 am

Glad to hear Dark Ages getting some love. I have to wonder if perhaps at least some of the lack of support from Chaosium was due to poor timing, with the CDA core book coming out during a time when Chaosium was in somewhat dire financial straits. At any rate, hopefully we'll see that 7e-friendly expanded second edition!

In the meantime, if you're looking for a good crash course on the Middle Ages at their worst (and an excellent time to set a CDA campaign), you really couldn't do better than Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror. For a while now I've wanted to run a 14th-century CDA campaign that draws heavily on the Averoigne stories as well as Roger Corman's Masque of the Red Death. Speaking of Averoigne, just thought I'd mention that the old Worlds of Cthulhu magazine featured a multi-part CDA write-up on the setting (issues 1-4)--well worth tracking down the back issues!

One of the interesting things about the default CDA setting of the year 1000 is that it's quite different from our usual concepts of the Middle Ages. An excellent primer is the appropriately-titled The Year 1000, which gives you pretty much all you'd need to run a rich default campaign set in the pre-Norman Kingdom of England.

To add another layer to Chad's excellent points about running a CDA campaign during the Crusades is the availability of Mythos tomes in the Near East. Not just Al-Azif, but also no doubt various Greek tomes as well. Muahahahaha!

One last thing I wanted to mention: you guys did a pretty good job of not falling into the usual traps regarding medieval life and peoples, but for anyone not familiar with the period, it's worthwhile to take some time to read up on common misconceptions of the age (which are products of Age of Reason thinkers trying to distance themselves from what they perceived as "the old ways" and, of course, Victorian prudery). You can really surprise your players with depictions of freshly-scrubbed, well-traveled peasants and priests who would think you were crazy for suggesting the world is flat. :)

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Re: MU Podcast 061- Dark Times on the Road to Leng

Post by Dr. Gerard » Sun Aug 03, 2014 2:42 am

Yikes, I believe we perpetuated several of those myths in our episode. Flat Earth and universal isolation, anyway. No one said anything about toxic tomatoes.

Would love to hear more about the Brian Boru scenario!
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Re: MU Podcast 061- Dark Times on the Road to Leng

Post by Gladius » Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:29 am

Dr. Gerard are you familiar with Ars Magica? Specifically the magic system therein?

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Re: MU Podcast 061- Dark Times on the Road to Leng

Post by Dr. Gerard » Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:44 am

Yes indeed, and its design has influenced my feelings about magic since I first played it (redacted) decades ago. I've heard it called a verb-noun magic system, and I like that structure quite a bit. I do find it to be a bit crunchy for my taste nowadays; it appealed to me more in the 80s when I had more time for system mastery. I love the use of Latin and the schools of magic. What a great game.

For me, the spell- catalogue approach turns magic into a kind of dead technology, and Magic Users into consumers, much like iPod Users. No experimentation, no R&D, no risk and no wonder. Magic becomes the predictable application of a technology engineered by famous founders like Tenser, Bigby & Leomund (a great name for a law firm, no?).

I understand the necessity of spell lists in a game where the specs of other technologies, like the exact range of a longbow and the reach of a guisarme, are rigorously defined for tactical play. I just find that it saps all the wonder I feel when reading about magic in speculative fiction, and puts all the fun into the hands of game designers.

I'm glad that 7e has added some more playfulness, corruption and risk into CoC magic.

Oh dear, RPG magic is a topic I could perseverate infinitely about. I'll stop there!
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Re: MU Podcast 061- Dark Times on the Road to Leng

Post by fallingtower » Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:21 pm

I ran a homebrew for the 7e CDA playtest that was kinda cool.

It took place in Scotland (yes on tartan and yes on kilts (I know not period)).

All the PC's were from the same clan which were embroiled in a generations long feud with other clans. The new Lord, fresh from a trip to the Holy Land, in an attempt to broker a new peace, arranged and coerced the clans to enter into a mult-layered series of intermarriages.

There were games, a fair, a lot of religious ceremony, a market and so on. All the clans came down and camped out together with no weapons, which the Lord was strictly enforcing. I designed the games, the market and fair and so on to run the players and myself through the new rules. There was wrestling to play with the new combat rules, there was hurling (field hockey) to test out the new chase and opposed Dex and skill roles. It worked splendidly.

The mythos plot- (Basically Shadow of Innsmouth)
The Lord made a deal with some Viking Deep Ones to attack the gathering with the understanding that they kill all the unruly men, with the breeding age women as payment.
That way the Lord could eliminate the headaches from the feuding clans and gain a strong ally in the Deep Ones who were planning on setting up shop there.

Anyway- I'd love to see more Dark Age material as well as Invictus.
If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth, irrespective of artificial backgrounds or practical consequences.

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Re: MU Podcast 061- Dark Times on the Road to Leng

Post by Shimmin Beg » Wed Aug 06, 2014 11:38 pm

fallingtower wrote: The Lord made a deal with some Viking Deep Ones to attack the gathering with the understanding that they kill all the unruly men, with the breeding age women as payment.
I like the general idea, but... the Laird deliberately sells his own family line to the Deep Ones (and essentially to extinction)? That's taking things one step further than even Capn Marsh did. Cold.

I'd have to double-check, but would you have a lord with authority over multiple clans in that era? My (vague) understanding is that clans had their own chief, and chiefs in that era basically reported to the local king. If that turns out to be right, it'd make for an even more selfish Laird.

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