Monday 4 June 2018

The Merry Month of May

Blimey, here we are again and, like the rest of this year, May sort of went tearing by in a bit of a blur.

I'm happy to report that the first pass edit on the Aldis City Sourcebook went off to Joe Carriker (Blue Rose's lovely line developer) a little over a week ago and it's full of fun, interesting and useful stuff for your Blue Rose game.

Although I've played the game before (as I mentioned in January's post), I've not actually taken the plunge and narrated it yet. Now, after quite a few requests from gaming friends, I'm about to put that right at this year's Continuum games convention. It can be a bit intimidating sometimes to run something you've worked on, particularly in an editorial capacity, as people can expect you to be an expert on it. Because I hop around systems quite a bit with my job, that isn't always the case - I'm an expert for as long as I need to be for that given project and then I have to go and be an expert on something else. Still, I'm looking forward to seeing what the Continuum crowd make of it, and as long as we tell an entertaining story together, I'll be happy.

It looks as if the second volume of the Miskatonic University short story anthology I submitted a piece to is going to go ahead now, so more information on that when I get it. I'm really pleased the story should see the light of day as I had fun writing it. And there are a lot of other interesting looking stories in there, too!

We were lucky enough to go to a new mini-gaming break at Schloss Neuhausen, Germany, in May as well. The schloss is home to October's Kraken convention, a small but perfectly formed retreat where you get fed and watered to a ludicrous extent in very mellow and beautiful surroundings while gaming, socialising and learning to throw axes (yes, really). There were no axes at the mini version, but there was copious cake and beer, and an opportunity for me to test out my new Call of Cthulhu convention scenario. (As Scritch Scratch is this year's Free RPG Day scenario, I thought I'd better write a new one!)

In glorious sunshine on two consecutive mornings, I ran the players through a strange tale inspired by an actual event I attended at a local museum earlier this year as part of their After Dark programme (not uncoincidentally also the name of the scenario). Both sessions went really well, which was a relief as the scenario itself had been quite stubborn in taking shape, meaning that I was still writing it a few days before the convention started. (I also had to pay a visit to one of our local beaches for props for it as well...)

Often at conventions, I don't get a chance to play anything or be anything other than "on" in a professional capacity. What was really lovely about the mini-Kraken was that I did get to play games and just be sociable. As a result, I got to try three games I've been wanting to have a crack at for ages (Tales from the Loop, Ten Candles, and Blades in the Dark) and got to make some lovely new friends. All of the games were great fun, although sitting huddled under multiple blankets in the schloss' freezing undercroft in the pitch dark while slightly tipsy on G&Ts listening to the mice scrabbling about in the darkness behind you definitely made Ten Candles a particularly memorable experience!

A large proportion of May was dedicated to getting everything ready for Chaosium's contribution to Women in Tabletop Gaming Month. With 18 interviews in total (a 90% response rate!), the series highlights the contributions women have made to Chaosium over its lifetime, from established names to those at the beginning of their gaming industry careers. As well as promoting the stellar work these women are doing, I hope it also encourages other women to get involved as content creators, be that as artists, writers, editors, graphic designers, or in layout and production - all of which are essential roles in getting games out there for people to enjoy. As I'm writing this is June, I know the first two interviews have gone live, and I'm going to cheat and say you can find them over on the Chaosium blog.

And I can finally say that Masks of Nyarlathotep is on its way to the printer gods and should be out in pdf form some time in July. I may have mentioned before how pretty it is and there's a whopping amount of play contained in its two volumes. It'll be good to see it in actual physical print come the autumn. I hope people like what we've done with it, but regardless, it was a tremendous project to work on in terms of experience.

I don't doubt I've forgotten something I was going to tell you, but perhaps I'll have remembered by the end of the month! So, until next time...

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