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Happy Birthday, H.P. Lovecraft!
Posted by WJWalton on Thu 20 of Aug., 2009 11:49 PDT
Today is the 129th birthday of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, a horror author from the pulp era whose classic stories include The Call of Cthulhu, The Dunwich Horror, The Shadow over Innsmouth, and At the Mountains of Madness. Most of his stories contained themes of bleak, helpless horror, inflicted by vast interstellar beings who viewed humanity as little more than insects, or even less.

Lovecraft lived long before the concept of role-playing games came along, but it's pretty likely that he would have enjoyed other people playing in his sandbox. After all, he did encourage a close following of aspiring writers who penned many stories based on his characters, locations, and slimy, squamous horrors.

Some time ago, I received a gift in the mail from the UK - a DVD-ROM entitled Lovecraftian Tales from the Table. It's a collection of files related to the Call of Cthulhu RPG, which is based on Lovecraft's works (and one of my personal favorites.) There are interviews with the game designers, a quickstart version of the game rules and character sheets in PDF, prop documents to print out and use for your game, and much more.

But the crowing piece of this collection are the "audio games," hours of MP3s of people playing two of the longest CoC campaigns ever published - Horror on the Orient Express and Masks of Nyarlathotep. I haven't had a chance to listen or enjoy any of the disc yet (my antique PC doesn't have a DVD drive), but I'm really looking forward to it, and I'd love to see other RPG fans do similar projects for the games that they love.

I can't help but wonder what ol' H.P. himself would think about what has become of his creation. Hopefully, he would approve.

Happy birthday, HPL!

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