Thursday, September 20, 2018

The Lovecraftian Thing a Day (2018) No.262: A Crooked, Ceaking Town in a Crooked, Creaking Universe

I’m currently in Tallinn, Estonia, where I discovered this image by a local artist. It is a piece very reminiscent of the work of weird artist Jason Van Hollander - especially his illustrations of Ligotti’s work; in particular, the above reminds me of the nightmarish, crooked, creaking urban conurbations which populate the more oneiric of Ligotti’s fictions such as Vastarien, Doctor Voke and Mister Veech, Doctor Locrian’s Aslylum, The Mystics of Muelenberg, The Strange Design of Master Rignolo, and In a Foreigh Towm, In a Foreign Land, to name but a few.

A timely reminder that, whoever we mistakenly think we are (especially if we think we are someone), and no matter where we think we are or live, all we can ever aspire to is the knowledge that we all - every one of us - inhabit the some variant of the same decrepit, cooked, creaking town beneath the bruised black skies of the same crooked, creaking universe.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Lovecraftian Thing a Day (2018) No.261: Quill - Shadow and Ink

Quill: Shadow and Ink promises a’cosmic horror campaign’ to fit the original Quill: a solitaire rpg of letter writing. Whilst I’m not sure that Quill: Shadow and Ink can quite live up to this claim, it adds a nice Lovecraftian dimension to an already engaging and experimental ruleset, and probably could be combined with De Profundis - the other Lovecraftian letter-writing rpg out there - quite effectively. Whilst this style of narrative, solitary play may not suit all gamers, it presents an interesting premise nonetheless, insofar as the Quill engine nicely replicates the epistolary character of some of Lovecaft’s key tales.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Lovecraftian Thing a Day (2018) No.260: Ontological Graffiti

Michael Bertiaux’s Ontological Graffiti, sporting on its front cover one of Bertiaux’s own visionary paintings, which first appeared in a volume (I don’t recall which) of Kenneth Grant’s Typhonian Trilogies - since which time, said image has come to be known - at least in some British esoteric circle -  as ‘Zippy, the Deep One’.

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Lovecraftian Thing a Day (2018) No.259: The Voudon Gnostic Workbook

It is very late, and we are very tired; tomorrow we are off to Estonia for what will undoubtedly be strange and esoteric adventures; so, for now, we leave you with an image of that curious tome which promises access to the Couleuvre Noir, Zothyrian Physics, and TransYuggothian power zones.


Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Lovecraftian Thing a Day (2018) No.258: Shoggoth

This resin shoggoth is one of the larger miniatures I own, coming in at around 8 inches in length; it remains unpainted simply because I am unsure as to what I mght use it for in terms of my current gaming interests. I can’t quite remember who produces these - or, indeed, if they are currently available - but it is a very fine representation of a classic beast from Lovecraft’s work.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Lovecraftian Thing a Day (2018) No.258: Alone Against the Tide

Alone Against the Tide is an entry into Chaosium’s recently-created Miskatonic Repository: a means by which creators for the Call of Cthulhu rpg can freely upload sourcebooks, scenarios and the like, using the official CoC IP; whilst this can sometimes result in work of questionable quality (at least as far as the writing is concerned - users of the Miskatonic Repository are required to utilise Chaosium-approved production templates), it also means that little solitaire gems like this are freely available - a boon to a Call of Cthulhu soloist like myself.

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Lovecraftian Thing a Day (2018) No.257: Macabre Tales

A good five years before Pelgrane Press released Cthulhu Confidential (a one player/one GM variant of their narrative/storytelling rpg Trail of Cthulhu),  Spectrum Games had already done something similar with Macabre Tales - a game which initially sought to address (both narratively, and in a simulationist sense), the fact that games of Call of Cthulhu are, traditionally, dependent on the standard D&D gaming trope of ‘the party’ - a trope which is not often evident in Lovecraft’s fiction (involving, as it often does, the first-person perspective upon events as they unfold in the eyes of a single narrator). This is why I think that Lovecraftian gaming - at least from a simulationist perspective - best reflects the themes f Lovecraft’s worlds when played solitaire. Whilst Macabre Tales doesn’t quite scratch that itch, it nonetheless tries to address some of the more purist Lovecraftian concerns when it comes to grazing within the meadows of Lovecraft’s fictive universe.