Author Archives: Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan

The Mystery & The Problem

In most mysteries, the investigator’s discovery of the crime restores the world to rights. The detective figures out that the butler did it, and the police arrest the murderer. The crime and its cover-up are an aberration, and uncovering them means the laws and morality of wider society can reassert themselves. The Cthulhu Mythos doesn’t […]

A Reappraisal of Th’rygh

For the last, er, twenty-five years or so, I’ve run a Cthulhu game every year at Warpcon. In recent years, they’ve been playtests or first drafts of material intended for publication – scenarios like A Cigarette, a Blindfold and You or, for that matter, Cthulhu City began life as con scenarios. But the early scenarios […]

The Manticorn

Over on my twitter, I sometimes post entertaining or suggestive errors as typos of the day. Yesterday, I accidentally typed “manticore” as “manticorn”, which prompted… The Manticorn According to rumour, the Manticorn was once a fearsome manticore, an ancient and especially cruel creature. In time, he came to repent of his dreadful habit of hunting […]

Don’t Panic! Alternate Fear rules for Fear Itself

Fear Itself and most other GUMSHOE games use a Stability system that’s inspired by the classic Call of Cthulhu ‘mental hit points’ approach – your character has a big pool of Stability that gets ablated over time by horrific encounters, until you’re eventually forced to ‘heal’ or get taken out. This approach works well for […]

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Roll For Initiative

One of my favourite techniques for livening up a campaign is to hand out a bunch of disposable characters for the players to play for a single session. It’s certainly not original to me: Ken’s often spoken of the genius of the Raid on Innsmouth scenario for Call of Cthulhu, which gives the players command […]

Time, Dracula and Investigations

Dracula Daily emails you once a day with the text of whatever elements of (the redacted) Dracula happened on that date. So, a day’s email might be a single entry from Jonathan Harker’s diary, or some pieces of correspondence between Lucy’s suitors. Or nothing at all, if no letters or diary entries are dated that […]

One-Shot Unique Things

The redoubtable Tim Baker asks over at the Piazza forum for some tips and tricks for integrating One Unique Things into convention games. One of the delights of running 13th Age is the high-wire act of taking the players’, ah, interesting ideas and working them into your scenario, so here’s how I do it. Before […]

Underkraken Battles

It’s once again the time of year when the Ancient of Pelgranes flaps its hoary wings and takes flight across the Dying Earth, when Simon runs his annual 13th Age game and – entirely co-incidentally – asks me to write up a monster. This time, it’s Underkrakens. Now, Underkrakens are described in 13 True Ways […]

The Dracula Addenda (1) – Sailor and Spelunker

Having completed our selection of New Legacies, here are some extra individuals for your Dracula Dossier campaigns… Sailor Name: Olaf Frydenlund Possible Role: HGD Shipping Employee Description: Tall, Nordic, chapped skin from exposure. Innocent: Frydenlund’s a sailor, from a long line of sailors. There’s sea-salt in his blood, and he’s got a restless soul. He’s […]

FINEST EFFECTS: The Camargue

The BORELLUS CONNECTION manuscript was too nightmarish and vast to be constrained by any binding our printer could conceive; therefore, we were obliged to remove some material from the book. It’s preserved here as a series of Page XX articles. As Orne’s mysterious correspondent in Philadelphia warned us, “no Part must be missing if the finest Effects are […]

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