Prospective MoN Keepers scouring the Internet for advice on how to run their first campaign will come upon extensive praise for the Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion. This richly detailed, fan-produced 763-page guide drew from the extensive collective experience of Yog-Sothoth.com (YSDC) members and deserves all the accolades and recommendations you will find across forums and social media; however, the physical book arrived in 2017, just a year before the release of MoN 5th edition, as well as CoC 7th edition. The authors of this latest MoN edition revised and expanded a good deal of the content published for the campaign. Due to their attentive and detailed work, the 5th edition team supplanted some of the useful material contained within The Companion.
The Companion itself was published by Sixtystone Press as a fundraiser for YSDC by a Kickstarter campaign with a limited number of copies, which can be both difficult and expensive to track down. At the time this posted, no copies were listed on eBay and the last sold for $180. So do you need to spend the time and money to get this book to be a successful Keeper? In a word, no. If you remain skeptical given what you’ve read out there, consider these additional reasons why:
Aside from overlap of material, the latest version of the campaign added the Peru Prologue, expanded Chapter content (notably Harlem in New York), and modified some threat levels. None of this great new content will have correlates in The Companion. Furthermore, the latest edition revised several of the characters’ names and genders, and using the contents of The Companion might prove a little confusing when trying to keep the scads of NPCs straight. As we have mentioned previously, the two-volume set for MoN now totals 666 pages! If you already felt daunted, consider that between the current edition and Companion you would be facing over 1400 pages of material.
We hold very deep respect for the Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion here at Prospero House Publishing. Certainly, if you have access to this resource and the time to engage with it, you will find it useful and inspiring, but we do not think you will be selling yourself or your players short without it. We happen to own a copy here at the publishing house, and we intend to note elements and suggestions from The Companion we found particularly useful. Here at our humble enterprise, we aspire to someday offer the same level of MoN depth stored in The Companion, but in a readily accessible, digital format, which we hope to constantly update and tailor to the latest edition of the campaign. In the meantime, we will continue to hold out hope for a revised edition.
Thanks to Bret Kramer (aka WinstonP), editor of the Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion and Arkham Gazette, for his thoughts, insights, and excellent work. You can explore his ongoing labors at Sentinel Hill Press.