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A collection of scenarios for the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game, set during the nightmare of the Great War, 1914-1918.
525 backers pledged $26,823 to help bring this project to life.

Horrors of War: Update 30- Our Licence has been Extended

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Greetings Backers,

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.

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      Mark Grehan about 11 hours ago

      The Crowe thing is weird he pulls out for some vague reason and demands that his work isn't used and doesn't return the calls and e-mails of someone who he's worked with and known well for years? Does he know something we don't?

    2. lehmann on

      I'm disappointed that John Crowe is leaving the project so late into the day but will stick with it as I have no doubt in your honesty and valour. I've settled for a long wait

    3. Missing avatar

      Joseph Outram on

      I'm sad to hear that John is leaving, but appreciate that you're giving us the heads up and that Chaosium is giving you the time to fix the problem. I'd advise against converting and focus on getting the book out, especially given how easy it is for people to convert to 7th Ed anyways.

      My vote would have to go to The Wounded, Garden of the Medusa, and Shadows of Leuven.

    4. Missing avatar

      Michael Beekman on

      Don’t convert. Otherwise you’ll be explaining to us this time next year how the conversion took 6 months longer than you thought.

      I still use the 6th ed rules so opting to convert to a rule set I don’t own going to push me towards refunding.

      Two things I would like from you: monthly updates, even if you have nothing new I want you to admit that to the backers.

      And a list of all the scenarios that are still in the book.

    5. Missing avatar

      Tommi Mustonen on

      I want a total refund.

    6. Graeme Price on

      Sorry to head of John’s departure, but glad up learn Hans is attached - his work is excellent. My vote is for Leuven, Wounded and Medusa. Let’s hope for smooth sailing from here on.

    7. Chris Jarocha-Ernst on

      Sorry to hear of the added complications, but I'm glad Chaosium is understanding. I vote for Leuven, Plague, and Medusa.

    8. Colin Thompson on

      I’ll vote for Plague and under the gun. 7th edition would be good but isn’t worth pushing yourself for as converting can be done at the table as well.

    9. Gary Libby on

      Sorry to hear Mr. Crowe is no longer involved. I like the sound of all the scenarios, but am leaning towards The Wounded, Plague, and Under the Gun. I prefer you keep the project 6th edition. Thanks!

    10. Missing avatar

      Joe Adams on

      My picks are: Shadows, Plague, and dealer's choice for the third
      I have no preference over rules but urge you to go with what you have since it's easy enough to convert.

    11. Matthew Sanderson on

      Preferences from this end
      Scenarios: Plague, The Wounded, dealer's choice for the third
      Rules: Definitely would prefer 7th Edition

    12. Phil Ward
      Superbacker
      on

      Ah nightmare! That's very sad to hear about John, I hope the medical crisis can be solved.

      All of the other five scenarios sound excellent, but I would definitely like to see Garden of the Medusa.

      Happy to provide proof-reading and nit picking skills, just let me know how I can help and send over some manuscripts :)
      Cheers,
      Phil

    13. Matthew Paluch
      Superbacker
      on

      Plague, Garden of the Medusa, and Shadows of Leuven all sound fantastic! Thanks for all your work on this.

    14. Chitin Proctor on

      My preference, in order of most to least, would be:
      The Wounded, Shadows of Leuven, Under the Gun, The Plague, Garden of the Medusa

    15. Missing avatar

      Malcolm on

      Sorry to hear about all the troubles with this project. From the scenarios I would prefer:
      The Wounded
      Garden of the Medusa
      Under the Gun
      As for conversion, I don't think it's necessary given how easy it is to do on the fly.

    16. Jussi Kenkkilä on

      From the new scenarios, I prefer:
      Shadows of Leuven
      Under the Gun
      Garden of the Medusa

    17. Benjamin Bradley on

      With that said I am looking forward for this project, and with best of hopes.

    18. Benjamin Bradley on

      My picks would be;

      Plague
      Under the Gun
      Garden of Medusa

      As for edition, I would rather a prioritisation of finishing the project. Converting to 7 on the fly aren't hard, but re-writing everything just doesn't seem like a priority to me.

    19. Jeff Vandine
      Superbacker
      on

      My top three picks would be:

      The Wounded
      Plague
      Garden of Medusa,

      but I'm happy with any that you pick. Mildly, I would prefer them to be 7th edition, but I really don't care since I use both 6th and 7th and converting back and forth is childishly simple. Glad to hear that Chaosium extended your license. Now get this product done; it's already taken more time than the actual war did to fight (we're only 6 days from Armistice Day).

    20. Missing avatar

      Michael Miley on

      That's a shame that happened. But Shadows of Leuven was a really good RPPR Scenario as was The Wounded. But it is a very hard choice to pick from the because they all sound great. Though the one you did with RPPR in Russia with the armored train would also be good

    21. Michael Beck
      Superbacker
      on

      An epic journey of fire for your memoirs Mr. Glancy! 7th ed is cool (been running it since the PDF dropped way back when) but as has been pointed out, focusing time on the completion would be time better sent. I convert 6->7 on the fly, so no worries. As for the scenarios, I like the sounds of Shadows of Leuven, Plague and Garden of the Medusa, but would take whichever you feel is best polished.

      Sorry John has dropped out, he was a selling point for me, but I have no don't you'll carry the project across the goal line for the win.

    22. Runeslinger
      Superbacker
      on

      Conversion takes time better spent on completion. Players are split on edition, large numbers will need to convert either way, conversion is time consuming but not hard, considering that what you lack is time, it makes sense to continue without conversion.

      My scenario vote:
      Shadows of Leuven
      Wounded
      Under the Gun

      Congratulations on the extension. It is sad news to hear of further trouble in the background. Here is hoping the final stretch is free of stress for all concerned.

    23. Missing avatar

      Frederic MOLL on

      No need to invest work and time on doing conversion to 7th edition.

      Interested in seeing these scenarios

      The wounded
      Gardens of medusa
      Plague

    24. Nick Middleton on

      Personally I don’t care for the 7e rules and find “back conversion” irritating, like fine grit in the gears of an elegant machine.

      All of the scenarios sound fascinating, but if I had to pick three: Leuven, Wounded, Plague.

      Thanks for your continued honesty and transparency Scott.

    25. Chad Swenson on

      Hey Scott,
      My preferences would be any scenarios that are nearest to completion; no preference on the 6e/7e rules(if someone can help speed things up and convert to 7e, I guess?); can and will help with anything you need to finish this project.

    26. Benjoss on

      I’d be most happy if the 7th Edition conversion went ahead, I’m a big fan of the latest Ed.

      If your thinking of selling the PDF beyond the fulfilment of the Kickstarter you’ll very likely need to do it anyway.

      Good luck with the rest of the development!

    27. Ben Turner
      Superbacker
      on

      Thanks for the update and explanation - I think given the circumstances, the extension from Chaosium is more than fair, and as a backer I'm certainly happy with the new date. Tiny proto-gamer in my life means nothing's hitting the table for several months still, and my backlog is nuts anyway.

      I'd like to see this moved to 7th edition too; it's the "defacto" edition for me now, and would otherwise be doing the conversion myself before playing. However, reading other comments, perhaps it would be best to stick to 6th edition for the release, and then if you are feeling generous at the end of it all, perhaps a 7th edition conversion guide PDF could be offered for free - I dare say other experienced CoC backers would be keen to assist with this when the time comes (or if no-one steps up, maybe just drop it).

      As for scenario choice, they all seem very interesting - I'd rather let you, with play-testing and knowledge, pick the three you think suit the compendium best, rather than let my pure guesswork about what might be better influence the choice.

    28. Missing avatar

      Frent on

      I'd prefer that no more time/money was spent writing and commissioning art for the outlined scenarios, or at least preferenced according to ease of completion.

      It seems like this book is already a millstone around your neck, a reduction in scope rather than expanded promises might be just what you need.

      Five polished scenarios is still pretty good for a scenario book.

    29. David Nyman on

      Hi, conversion to 7th edition would be great, and I'll put my hand up to help out with that, as well as do some proof reading for you.
      As far as the scenarios go, my preferences would be Shadows of Leuven, Plague, and Under the Gun.

    30. Squamous Studios on

      That's great news about the extension! And I for one would love to see a conversion to CoC 7th ed rules. As for the scenarios, they all sound great, though The Wounded sounds the most interesting to me.

    31. Campaign Coins
      Superbacker
      on

      Thanks for all your efforts Scott, and sorry that the project has spawned Horrors of its own. I still look forwards to it, and have no shortage of things to play in the meantime.

      I am enjoying 7th edition these days, and think it's better to go forwards, even when talking about a war which finished 100 years ago next week. But the content is the main thing so, as with the scenarios, support you on what you think best suits the book. Carry on.

    32. Lisa Padol
      Superbacker
      on

      Shadows of Leuven and The Wounded for sure. After that it gets hard. Of the last 3, I'd rank them in this order: Under the Gun, Garden of Medusa, The Plague.

      Still available to help, though will be bogged down with a project-in-progress for the next couple of months. (I can still multitask, but it will be a bit slower.) FWIW, I've done a fair bit of work converting Invcitus material to 7th edition.

    33. Missing avatar

      JH on

      The Wounded, Plague and Garden of Medusa would be my pick but very happy to go with whatever is easiest for you to complete.
      I have a preference for 7th and also think it would help with post KS sales but.... it's really easy for folks to convert in play so I wouldn't if it's a major drafting effort or you can't find help to do it.
      Thanks for the openness and good luck!

    34. Missing avatar

      Steve Ellis
      Superbacker
      on

      I'd like Plague, Garden of Medusa and Under the Gun. Having played 7th Ed, I find it difficult to go back to earlier editions so I'd prefer that. Plus it would help the product sell to others post-KSer delivery if it uses the current rules.

    35. Riccardo Meireles Zucchetti on

      Glad to see the license and your effort to get it. Very sorry for Crowe.
      Vote for:
      Garden of the medusa
      Plague
      Shadows of Leuven

    36. Missing avatar

      patricio gonzaga on

      I'm not a fan of the 7th Edition of CoC, so would prefer that you stick with what you have. Folks who want to use the new ruleset can make the conversions - it's not difficult.

      My pick of the scenarios are:

      Shadows of Leuven
      Under the Gun
      Plague

    37. Missing avatar

      tolga atilla ceranoglu on

      also, happy to lend a hand with proof reading.

    38. Missing avatar

      tolga atilla ceranoglu on

      How about publishing whatever you have now, and then publishing the other 3 as you complete them.

      Of the options, I like the premise of Wounded, Plague and Medusa best.
      thanks, and hope all works out for John as well as they could.

    39. Missing avatar

      Thomas O'Hara on

      Always happy to hear that the project is moving forward, even when hiccups like this occur. My preferences for new scenarios are Plague, Under the Gun, and The Wounded. I think that, in the interest of saving time, not converting to 7th edition is preferable, but I don't have a substantive objection to that system mechanically.

    40. Rodolphe on

      Let's hope John will get better soon and that his scenarios appear later.
      Keep up the good work Scott. For the 3 scenarios, my preferences are:
      - Shadows of Leuven
      - Plague
      - Under the Gun
      Count me in for proofreading.

    41. Franck Florentin
      Superbacker
      on

      Hi Scott, I'm sorry to hear that John left the project, as he's a very talented writer. However I'm still on board and would like to see this project happen!

      My choices for replacement adventures: Shadows of Leuven, Under the gun, the Wonded.

      If you need any help with proofreading, fact-checking and translation from/to French for some adventures, I'm your man as well, and I volunteer for proofreading in general (I do have professional experience with that).

      Last: I would welcome upgrading the adventures to the 7th edition, and I can help with that if you need some.

    42. Missing avatar

      Sean Murphy
      Superbacker
      on

      1) My preference for the scenarios would be the ones that are closest to being ready - they all sound good.
      2) I don't care if you convert to 7th.
      3) Happy to lend a hand with proofreading.

    43. Megan Tolentino
      Superbacker
      on

      I think all five of the proposed scenarios sound great, but I'm most interested in Plague, Under the Gun, and Garden of the Medusa! I have no preference either way for the rule set.

      Thanks for the update and I continue to look forward to seeing the finished product!

    44. Torbjörn Johnson on

      I prefer the edition rules as well, if time allows it. As been said, the scenarios most complete arethe ones i like you to work on. Rather one less scenario than no book at all.

    45. K Peterson on

      I'd rather get the 5 scenarios that Crowe is not involved in, if that's going to mean that the final product is available sooner. Then the 3-5 replacement scenarios as PDF follow-ups at a later time.

      I'm a fan of Vortisch's work, and it would be great to see his material included - sooner, if it doesn't take much time to integrate; or later as a PDF release, if it's going to delay the Kickstarter by months.

      I'm not interested in a 7E version of Horrors of War, preferring either 6E or Delta Green: the Rpg rules. If this Kickstarter goes that direction, then it might convince me to ask for a refund and bail.

    46. Christopher W Rueber
      Superbacker
      on

      I would prefer 7th edition rules, mildly.

      As for which scenarios... whichever you feel are the best fleshed out. That's my preference.

    47. Missing avatar

      Steve Rubin
      Superbacker
      on

      If you don't convert to 7E rules, some people will have to do that on their own. If you do convert to 7E rules, some people will have to convert back on their own. Plus, that will take time. I say don't spend time on that.

    48. Missing avatar

      Temoore on

      I'm sorry to hear about Mr. Crowe's crisis and hope he gets through it. I would prefer you to choose 3 scenarios that are closest to being finished. 7th edition is nice but not a big deal.

    49. Munchezuma
      Superbacker
      on

      I am most interested in The Wounded, Gardens of Medusa, and Shadows of Leuven, but would love to see all of them at some point.

      I am disappointed in hearing about Crowe's departure, but also heartened by the license extension from Chaosium.

      I have a mild preference for 7th edition rules, but it is not at all critical.

      Finally, if you are still in need of proof-reading, I am happy to contribute to that effort.

    50. Ben Ferguson on

      Poor John. Looks like this project has a curse on it.... You haven't been opening any mummies tombs have you? Good luck finding some luck!👍