JP On Gaming

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I love Chaosium

It’s never been a secret that I love Chaosium and their flagship product, Call of Cthulhu.

This love affair started around 1995 or 1996 when I walked into Le Valet d’Coeur in Montreal on an ordinary day. As usual, I headed for their used-product section. There it was. Call of Cthulhu 4th edition. Beat up ol’ 4e (and not like the crappy 4e we talk about these days). For four dollars, it was a steal and the book immediately flew of the shelf and into my hands, never to leave them again. I then began to voraciously read any Lovecraftian literature I could get my hands on. And thus the love affair began.

Over the years, I increased my collection of Chaosium products to the point where it is now the largest, most looked at, most prominently display and best-liked collection of books I own. I still own and use that ol’4e, but now have added to this a 5.5 and a 25th anniversary edition (what would become 6e).

I want to say how responsive and open the people at Chaosium are with their fans. Every year, they put out adventure-writing contests for amateurs (like myself) to submit ideas in a contest. The winners of these contests are then placed into a monograph they then publish. Even the idea of the monograph, small-number publications available through them only is great. Thus anyone could write something of interest: adventures, collection of Mythos tomes, define one area, or even add new rules to the game. I personally possess a number of monographs: from the original version of Cthulhu Invictus to a Cthulhu-Viking campaign to the Mysteries of Hungary to the BRP 2008 Adventure Contest. While the quality varies greatly, I have really enjoyed them as they have provided me with many adventure ideas in the past, especially Cthulhu Invictus and Mysteries of Hungary.

Dustin Wright with whom I had a lot of exchanges is a top-notch guy. Every time I sent him an email, he has taken the time to reply to me in a timely fashion AND has answered my (many) questions in a way that did not make me feel like an idiot. A personalized response is something that I always try to give to people. Makes them feel special and fosters good will. Thumbs up, Dustin! Thumbs up!

As many of you know (due to my Facebook post), Chaosium have posted another contest, this time for Cthulhu Invictus. I have written an adventure which I call Lights on the Vesuvius for the contest. This adventure used to be the introductory part of my Invictus campaign. However, after play-testing the campaign, I came to the realization that though what I wanted was ambitious, there was no way I could write everything and get another Keeper (GM) to understand what was going on without writing a 200+ page book. The campaign was already 150 pages long and I still needed to write AT LEAST three chapters. Too long I thought. However, many of the adventures within were quite interesting. So I stripped out everything campaign-specific and there was my submission.

So why am I writing thing entry? Why now?

Tuesday (May 25th), I submitted my proposal to Dustin, along with a few questions regarding timeline and process. His response on Wednesday included answers and a few extra jests only old friends can share. It made me feel special. And I like that.

That’s why, I can say that I love Chaosium.


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