Peering into the Abyss: The Cthulhu Mythos Skill

Of all the skills on an investigator’s character sheet, the most alluring, but least used is Cthulhu Mythos. This suits the Lovecraftian perspective that humans stumble around ignorantly in a massive and incomprehensibly dark universe. The limited access to eldritch insight serves both Keeper and players well when aiming to capture this particular tone; however, it potentially restricts players aiming to recreate investigators in the image of Dr. Henry Armitage or Keepers intending to run a double-barrel Pulp Cthulhu campaign. We intend to review the use of the Cthulhu Mythos skill in the Classic and Pulp settings and introduce a Pulp-oriented Cthulhu Mythos skill expansion. The discussion seeks to inspire both Keepers and players to

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Egyptian Mythos Artifacts

As befits the rich history of Egypt, the chapter contains a multitude of artifacts for investigators to seek out and recover. In addition to the Adornments of Nitocris, two additional items center around the resurrection plot, including the Sword of Akmallah and the Circlet of Nata Haje. The investigators also potentially receive a gift from a priestess of Bast in return for their aid during the sidetrack scenario, The Black Cat. While none of these items serve instrumental roles in the campaign, they offer added protection to vulnerable investigators in their perilous adventures. Sword of Akmallah Location: Ibn Tulun Mosque Description: a four-foot-long curved sword closely resembling an Afghani pulwar with an exquisitely crafted Damascus

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We are Providence – Necronomicon 2022 Recap

“There is Providence, quaint and lordly on its seven hills over the blue harbour, with terraces of green leading up to steeples and citadels of living antiquity…”  The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath by H.P. Lovecraft In 2021, the world continued to suffer from a pitiless contagion while the stars above spun out of alignment leading to the cancellation of the fifth Necronomicon in Providence, Rhode Island. While veteran attendees lamented breaking the odd-year cycle, they happily flocked to Lovecraft’s beloved hometown for the international festival of weird fiction, art, and academia once more this year as it ran from August 18th through 21st. For us at Prospero House, this was our first sojourn to the

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Adding “The Auction” to Your Campaign

SPOILERS FOR “THE AUCTION” BELOW! Released in 1983, The Asylum & Other Tales contained a collection of seven adventures and opened with “The Auction” by Randy McCall. We love this classic scenario, as do many other Call of Cthulhu fans. The combination of the 40th Anniversary Call of Cthulhu Kickstarter and exquisite corresponding HPLHS prop set makes running “The Auction” even more appealing, and we feel it fits beautifully into a Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign either as a prelude adventure or as a compelling campaign-linked sidetrack. In addition, we offer a few suggestions to enliven the investigative trail for any run of this scenario. Prelude Scenario: Peru serves as a perfect jumping-off point for the

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Eye of Light & Darkness – MoN MacGuffin?

Even if you won’t be keeping score for your Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign, the Eye of Light and Darkness (EL&D) plays a critical role in disrupting the cultists’ efforts to open the Great Gate. This powerful warding spell relies upon clues scattered unevenly across the globe, and the impact of the spell in your campaign depends heavily upon your players’ destination choices. If your group travels to China initially they will rapidly uncover the entire truth about the ward; however, if they travel the conventional London-Egypt-Kenya route they will slowly uncover this end-stage element of the campaign all while lugging around a useless stone MacGuffin. We offer some suggestions and tweaks to make the broken

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Unspeakably Good – Recapping ChaosiumCon 2022

I learned of the inaugural ChaosiumCon at GenCon in September 2021 and anxiously awaited the official date for months. This would be the first official Chaosium convention and held auspiciously during the company’s 40th anniversary year. The fact that this historic convention would be held in the Ann Arbor area further fired our enthusiasm since we live nearby in the Detroit metroplex. We looked forward to running and playing games just down the road from our house and meeting Chaosium fans from near and far. The week approaching April 8 ran exceptionally slow. Final preparations and home games helped distract us until the day before the convention.    Thursday, Day 0 But we couldn’t hold

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Masks of Nyarlathotep – A Rich History

Initially published in 1984 by Chaosium for the second edition of Call of Cthulhu, this masterpiece campaign was the work of Larry DiTillio and Lynn Willis. DiTillio was a television and movie screenwriter, contributing to pop-cultural products, such as He-Man (17 episodes), She-Ra (18 episodes), and The Real Ghostbusters cartoons, as well as a sci-fi television classic, Babylon 5, among many others. On hiatus from screenwriting, Larry was busy producing role-playing material for various game companies in 1984. His inspiration for Masks of Nyarlathotep (MoN) came from a biography of Jomo Kenyatta he wrote for the television show Against the Odds, and exploded out of a single scenario he created, “The Carlyle Expedition.” Rather than simply tracking Carlyle’s

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The Occult Skill in Call of Cthulhu – Useless or Utility?

The Lovecraftian world contains many dark secrets and mysteries, and the Occult skill tempts many Call of Cthulhu players hoping to unlock knowledge through this skill. According to the 7th edition rulebook: A knowledgeable Investigator can recognize occult paraphernalia, words, and concepts, as well as folk traditions, which may encompass supernatural beings, such as werewolves, vampires, ghosts, and demons. In addition, a skilled occultist will be familiar with secret knowledge originating from ancient civilizations, including Egypt, Sumer, as well as those centered in Asia and Africa. They will also be able to identify occult traditions and texts from the Medieval and Renaissance periods.  Such an Investigator expects to bring a wealth of insight to mysteries

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Robert Huston – A Deeper Analysis – Part 1

While complete at the publication of the first edition, DiTillio’s Australia Chapter remained excluded from the MoN campaign until the 3rd edition in 1996. From the initial release of the adventure, Sir Aubrey Penhew has hammed it up on the center stage as the campaign’s feature villain enjoying a luxury yacht, a volcano lair, and a diabolical nom de plume. We strongly believe that Dr. Robert Ellington Huston deserves a more sophisticated and dramatic role commensurate with his expertise and charisma. Here we discuss Huston, his valuable skills, and options for an expanded role in your MoN campaign.  An Expanded Backstory The young Robert Huston grew up in the shadow of his two older brothers

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Mythos Tomes – Book of Dzyan

Pronunciation: Dzyan – “zon”, also called “The Stanzas of Dzyan” Location: Gavigan’s Secret Room at Penhew Foundation (England) Physical Description: Woven papers bound in goatskin with a distinct smell of sulfur Author:  Unknown, but alleged to be an account of the High Masters of Shamballah Publication History:  Introduction indicated the original text is of Ancient origin. Written in English, but reported originally to be composed in Senzar, a sacred language related to Sanskrit. According to theosophist Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, the text is of Tibetan, but some purport the original text originated in Atlantis. Blavatsky published a watered-down version of the text as “The Secret Doctrine” in 1888, which many occultists will be familiar with; however, none beyond

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