Horrors of War: Update 30- Our Licence has been Extended
So let me begin by saying that Michael O’Brien, the Vice President of Chaosium, has granted Pagan Publishing a 6-month extension on the license for Horrors of War, until June 30, 2019. He granted the extension due to the following unforeseen circumstances.
On October 1st I received an email from my co-author John H. Crowe III telling me that he wanted to withdraw from the Horrors of War project and wanted all of his material removed from the proposed book. So far, all my attempts to email or call John have resulted in no responses. In his only email regarding his wishes he mentioned unspecified personal and medical crises. His previous communications in September did not mention any dissatisfaction with the art that had been done for his scenarios, or for the weapons compendium. There was no prior warning that he was ill or that he was dissatisfied with the project.
John's share of the project is three out of the eight scenarios and the weapons and common soldier’s equipment compendium for the various combatants.
As it stands, I may have legal recourse to print John's work despite his wishes, but that would embroil us in a legal dispute in court, something I believe to be likely considering John’s strong attachment to the integrity of his work. As his friend and collaborator for two decades, I think I know John well enough not to discount this possibility. Proceeding against his wishes would only bog the project down further.
While I can replace his work with three play-tested scenarios of my own and a weapons compendium, this will take time. The scenarios only exist right now in outline form. I estimated an absolute minimum of 6 months to turn them into illustrated scenarios, and Chaosium granted me that time.
I’ve also contacted Hans-Christian Vortisch, the author of Stone Skin Press’s two Investigator Weapons books for Call of Cthulhu, as well as the weapons section for the German Call of Cthulhu book Niemandsland: Grabenkrieg & Heimatfront. He will be replacing the Weapons Compendium and the Soldier’s Kit Guide with new work of his own.
I have five unfinished scenarios I can use to replace the three departing scenarios-
Shadows of Leuven: Set during the first winter of the Great War, in the German-occupied Belgian city of Leuven, the Investigators must solve the impossible murder of an American academic and seminarian. Is it another Hun atrocity in a city that has seen more than its share of atrocities? Is the murder connected to the Germans burning the Library at the Catholic University of Leuven? Or is there something far older than the Great War at the heart of this crime?
The Wounded: Here the Investigators play either patients or staff at a convalescent hospital in England. On this donated estate, the maimed and crippled soldiers are looked after with the intent of finding them ways to be productive members of society despite their terrible injuries. A new doctor has arrived promising a miracle cure via experimental surgery, but instead his miracles will ignite a new war inside the hospital.
Plague: Set in Jerusalem in 1915, under Ottoman Occupation. The Investigators are members of neutral powers living and working in the ancient city when it is blanketed in a plague of locusts of Biblical proportions. They devour all in their path, are crushed under foot until the streets are slimy with their crushed bodies, and invade every building in search of food. Surely such an event can only be a sign of the end times?
Under the Gun: Set in Paris in early 1918, while the city is under bombardment by the Paris Gun- a German “super-weapon” capable of firing a shell over seventy miles. As the gun continues to rain down death upon the city, Paris refuses to bow down. But now Allied intelligence believes that some sort of chemical weapon has been deployed. The Investigators, experts in the field of chemistry and radiology, have been assigned to get to the bottom of these grisly new deaths stalking the City of Light.
Garden of the Medusa: An American destroyers steams towards a Japanese occupied island in the South Pacific, intent on a mission of mercy, and espionage. If the lifeboat full of mummified Japanese sailors is any indication, the Japanese occupation forces have met with some kind of disaster. Did the Germans leave behind some kind of booby-trap? Or did the Japanese disturb something far older?
I’d like to hear back from you all as to any preferences.
Obviously backers are within their rights to receive refunds if they are unsatisfied with Mr. Crowe’s departure. I will reassign any named NPCs for backers who paid extra for that, ensuring that your named NPC shows up in a published scenario.
Speaking of feedback, given that extra time has been allotted by Chaosium, and since so much time has passed since this project was first solicited, I am also considering converting the project to 7th Edition Call of Cthulhu rules. I would appreciate any feedback from you concerning this possibility.
However, even with the extra time I will have to do a great deal of writing to get the three replacement scenarios and weapons & equipment ready for publication. That means I will have little time for editing or proof-reading. Many of you have asked if there is anything you could do to help the project along. Well, this is it. For those who have volunteered, I intend to lean hard on you for those services.
With Chaosium’s extension and your help, I know we can see this product through to publication.