Author Archives: Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan

Fearful Things: The Demogorgon

(No spoilers for Season 2 in here.) Even if this column appeared somewhere other than a website for tabletop roleplayers, it’d be impossible to write about Stranger Things without talking about gaming. Gaming is the metaphor the series uses to talk about monsters and dimensions, but it’s also how the kids see themselves, and how […]

The Sinful Elect

I’m working on the (somewhat delayed) first draft of Night’s Black Agents One2One, provisionally titled SOLO. These vampires nearly featured as the villains, but for various reasons, they got cut. Here’s the salvaged text, plus their standard NBA stats. The Conspiracy They are the Sinful Elect, damned to immortality through sin. Each of them committed some terrible transgression […]

What’s Your GUMSHOE size?

GenCon’s come and gone, and we picked up a pleasing number of new GUMSHOE customers. Some of them came to the booth with something in mind (“do you guys do that Dracula game?” or “hey, is that the two-player Cthulhu game?” or even “hey, is this the Green Ronin booth?”), but others wanted to try GUMSHOE, but […]

Capes of Cthulhu City

To a season of political and social upheaval was added a strange and brooding apprehension of hideous physical danger; a danger widespread and all-embracing, such a danger as may be imagined only in the most terrible phantasms of the night.  – Nyarlathotep The lurid heightened reality of Cthulhu City, with its gasmasked police, impossible skyscrapers, […]

The Terroir of the Demons

In The Book of Demons, we introduce the idea of hellhole-specific demon powers. Instead of using the standard random demon power table, the book provides tailored tables of random powers, so demons from the Ratwood are more likely to have, well, ratty-woody themed powers, and demons from the Floating Market have a chance of powers […]

The Plain People of Gaming: The Masks of Great Arkham

Since the first outbreak in 1905, the city of Great Arkham has struggled to contain the spread of an unusually virulent and dangerous form of typhoid. All vehicles leaving the city must be inspected by the transport police. These officers wear heavy gas masks and protective clothing to minimise their exposure to the toxic disinfectant […]

Cards on the Fly in One-2-One

Cthulhu Confidential and other upcoming One-2-One games recommend using physical cards (or the digital equivalent) in play. Giving a player something to hold onto has several benefits. It’s a reminder. In a multiplayer game, key plot elements get discussed endlessly at the game as players speculate about what’s going on, how they rid themselves of […]

The Plain People of Gaming: Phantom Birds for Fear Itself

One day, the mystery of the Ocean Game will be revealed. Until then, hints and fragments skitter at the edge of perception in articles like this. Art and setting text by Dave Allsop.   The Phantom Birds bear a strong resemblance to Earth’s Marabou Storks – spindly, ugly, carrion creatures with bald, scab-encrusted heads. Phantom Birds […]

Why the winds hate elves and other stories

The upcoming Book of Ages includes the Engine of the Ages, a Microscope-like tool for collaboratively generating your own history of the Dragon Empire. Each player tells the tale of one faction (usually, one associated with their player character), while the GM mixes in other groups that may play a part in the campaign. The […]

The Tentacle Beat

One of the suggested campaign frames in Cthulhu City casts the investigators as journalists on Newspaper Row, working for one of Great Arkham’s competing newspapers. Let’s borrow a page (yellowed, and a little stained) from Bookhounds of London and look at the mechanics of playing a journalist. Newspaper Credit Rating Each newspaper has a Credit […]

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