What’s Happening at Prospero House

Things have been quiet around here lately. Even during my lulls, I strived to get at least one post out per month. February got away from me. My Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign is currently paused in Australia on the eve of departure into the Outback. I have found myself balancing my gaming with increasing (and rewarding) work responsiblities, as well as a deeper commitment to family time. Despite this, I’m always turning over ideas, getting occasional words down, and lurking on the edges of the community celebrating the fun of others and admiring the latest developments. As life evolves, I suspect Prospero House will too, and I remain committed to our mission, but I also want to touch on other topics as they occupy my time. So, here’s a little update about what’s going on and where you might find me in coming months.

Playing: My players requested a pause in our Masks of Nyarlathotep reboot because they were dying to play Delta Green’s Impossible Landscapes. Since this has been riding at the top of my to-play campaign list, I willingly acquiesced. While I condone running Masks of Nyarlathotep without reading the entire campaign cover to cover from the outset, I cannot make the same recommendation for Impossible Landscapes. Personally, I think this is one of the most challenging and potentially rewarding campaigns to run. The GM (Handler) must be completely enveloped by the story and lore that Detwiller builds in and around the campaign. Everything is incredibly linked and the rabbit holes are labyrinthine. As many have noted, this does not run like a typical Delta Green campaign, and valuable tips are provided to create an appropriate atmosphere. We are currently immersed in the first act, Night Floors, and I have restrained my typical lead-footed pacing style to allow my players and their Agents to experience the world and luxuriate in their characters. It has been a decadent departure from my usual games, and I feel like it’s an opportunity for GMs to test their skills and push their limits in spinning a story and creating an experience. As we move through the campaign, I plan to reflectively review each of the four parts and share a post. Upon completion, I’ll offer a comprehensive review, but from what I’ve read and played, I unreservedly recommend this to any GM looking for a) a new experience, b) a challenge, c) an unsettling tour of the King in Yellow. Finally, I’ll be using Heinrich’s Call of Cthulhu Guide to Carcosa to create interludes for the Agents, and I’ll offer some thoughts on that, as well. 

Dragonbane on Foundry is smooth like butter.

During our off weeks, we’ve been playing the Misty Vale campaign for Dragonbane using Foundry. It’s been a perfect break for me and the players. Zero prep on my end. Mirth and mayhem on theirs. Can’t speak highly enough of Dragonbane. My players are huge fans of the roll-under D20 mechanics. 

MoN Content: When our campaign isn’t in play my creative energy is drawn elsewhere. Once we resume, I expect posts to flow. I’ve got a few stubs for tomes that I’d like to complete in the meantime, but I’m not anticipating much else for a couple months or more as we focus on Impossible Landscapes.

In Development: I had ambitiously hoped to complete another scenario during 2023 for release in early 2024, but job projects interfered. That said, I’ve produced nearly 10,000 words for Deliver Us From Evil. This scenario takes place in Washington State’s Olympic National Forest during the 1970s and draws inspiration from the 1972 film Deliverance and Laird Barron’s Mysterium Tremendum. I’m adding some new investigator mechanics that should create some in-game dilemmas and hopefully drive the collaborative story in some wildly unpredictable and violent directions. I’m aiming for a solid mix of action and dark roleplaying. I’ve been itching for the first playtest, but the desire to run it in person has led to delays. 

Deliverance - Bill Gold | Movie posters vintage, Movie posters, Deliverance movie

Cons: The season begins with the annual pilgrimage back to Michigan for Chaosium Con III in April. I’ll be bringing a draft version of Deliver Us From Evil along with Swamp Song. I’ve also brazenly scheduled an eight-hour session to run my Detroit-based scenario “Sleeping with the Fishes.” While I’ve played in lengthy con games, I’ve never run one, and I’m curious to see how it runs in a single session and how the adventure feels as a single-sitting play. Hopefully enough bold players show up to take the chance with me. 

I had hoped to attend GaryCon this spring, but it wasn’t in the cards this year, so I’m teed up to run games at Origins in June. I’m excited about this trip, as I’ll be participating as a Keeper in the Cthulhu Masters tournament organized by Lurking Fears. Additionally, I’ll be branching out from my usual CoC heavy workload to run Paranoia and Dungeon Crawl Classics for Lurking Fears. Finally, I’ll be participating as GM (Judge) in Goodman Games organized play event, which will feature a brand new module aimed to run in a three-hour slot. Fantastic getting to lend a hand for one of my favorite games and work directly with creator/writer and Goodman Games marketing director Brendan LaSalle.

One of my players’ favorites. A LaSalle classic.

With much sadness, I’ll be missing both GenCon and Necronomicon this summer. Fortunately, I’ll be having fun with my family in Northern Michigan and abroad. Finally, I’ve got Gamehole Con on the agenda. I’ve never been, and I’ve heard wonderful things. I’m looking forward to checking it out and have no idea what I’ll plan for it…yet.

Future Projects: I’ve currently got several additional scenarios in various stages of development, including a Kid-thulhu adventure set on the California Coast, an off-the-wall Pulp crawl, a sequel to a yet-to-be-published Detroit adventure, a Dreamlands Detroit scenario, and a late Gaslight-era adventure set in Belle Époque Montmartre.  There are also whispers about potentially collaborating to develop additional Masks of Nyarlathotep plug-in scenarios to chart tantalizing but unexplored territory. Creative time is sadly limited these days, but I can always promise at least one new scenario per year in time for con season!

The Goonies (1985) - About the Movie | Amblin