About this project
“What kind of weapons do Bloody Tongue cultists
“What does the Liber Ivonis contain?”
“What hospitals are there in Mombasa?”
“How do you organize a raid on Grey Dragon Island?”
“What do I do if everybody dies???”
Ever since its release in 1984, Masks of Nyarlathotep has been considered one of the finest supplements for Call of Cthulhu, a roleplaying classic.Countless players have dared to thwart the machinations of Nyarlathotep and plumb the mysteries of the Carlyle expedition.Keeping this globe-trotting campaign is unfortunately rather a challenge, with scores of NPCs, dozens of locations, hordes of cultists, and at least one very angry Outer God.Needless to say, even the best Keeper could use a little help.
That is where The Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion comes in.Drawing on the wisdom and experience of the members of Yog-Sothoth.com, the première site for Lovecraftian role-playing, the Companion gathers together tips and advice for Keepers wishing to run Masks of Nyarlathotep.Within these pages are detailed nearly every imaginable facet of the campaign, from starting play to ending things with a bang, explaining, exploring, and expanding the classic work.There is something for everyone, from novice game masters to Grognardian disciples of Cthulhu.
The Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion contains:
- A History of the Campaign
- Keeper’s Tips for organizing and running the campaign.
- Tips on how to introduce, use, and kill Jackson Elias.
- Guides to New York, London, Cairo, Kenya, Australia’s Pilbara Coast, Shanghai AND Hong Kong.
- Articles describing and expanding on all of the campaign’s tomes and artifacts.
- 4 new scenarios and numerous encounters that can be inserted into the campaign.
- Over two-dozen pre-generated characters plus tips on building better investigators.
Now you too can challenge (or challenge again) your players with this award-winning campaign, now with the power of the Companion at your side!
Why the Companion?
The website yog-sothoth.com has been running for nearly 20 years and has thousands of users. A website like this consumes bandwidth and needs servers powerful enough to serve demand. This costs money. The Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion was born of a desire of users of the site to contribute something back and make running the website less of a financial burden to the webmaster. The Companion was born!
Beginnings of the Companion
Bret Kramer conceived the idea of the Companion using the collective wisdom of the assembled keepers frequenting yog-sothoth.com to write it, whilst dosed up on chocolate drink and cold medicine.
Bret and David Conyers (Secrets of Kenya, etc) had earlier tried to create a project using Jackson Elias. When this failed, Bret combined his notes from that project with his notes from running Masks, thus laying the seeds from which the Companion grew.
Why Kickstart the Companion?
When version 0.9 of the Companion was released free to the users of yog-sothoth.com last year, it was downloaded over 20,000 times. The following month it was downloaded 10,000 times and was eventually downloaded over 50,000 times before it was moved into the Patron only section of the website. We think that this demonstrates that the Masks Companion is needed, and have created this Kickstarter to supply demand.
What this Kickstarter Will Supply
This Kickstarter project will provide PDFs and books of the Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion to Kickstarter backers and contributors to the book.
It does not contain the Call of Cthulhu rules or the Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign. These can be bought at Chaosium.com or your Friendly Local Games Store.
This Kickstarter will be the only place to acquire a copy of the Masks Companion other than Chaosium.com.
What edition of Call of Cthulhu is the Masks Companion written for?
The Masks Companion is written for the sixth edition of Call of Cthulhu. The seventh edition rules contain suitable information to guide conversion to the new edition. We did consider converting the Companion but its length deterred us from doing so. It is possible that a stretch goal may address this situation.
Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion editions
The history of the Masks Companion is long and convoluted, so its various forms may be confusing.
Version 0.9 is the proofing copy released to the yog-sothoth.com community. It is no longer available. However all Kickstarter backers at the Carlyle Expedition pledge level or above will receive a copy after their credit cards have successfully charged.
The Black Pharaoh edition will be available in PDF, softback and hardback formats. This is the unlimited version, and is unnumbered and unsigned. If stretch goals are achieved this edition will contain them.
The Bloody Tongue edition is available in PDF and hardback formats. It is a limited edition and a signed bookplate will be provided designating it as so. If stretch goals are achieved this edition will contain them. Contributors will be receiving this edition.
The Sand Bat edition will be available from Chaosium.com after the Kickstarter finishes. This is a limited edition as there will be a finite number of them created, but they will not be numbered or signed.
Companion Table of Contents
It is simpler to show you what the contents. Click on the pictures below to bring up a picture of one of the contents pages.
New York Chapter
This chapter consists of Keeper’s Notes: New York, What If Erica Carlyle Decides To Sell Roger’s Books?, Musings On The Cult Of The Bloody Tongue In NY, Tools Of The Bloody Tongue, Scene: The Funeral Of Jackson Elias, Encounter: Last Stand at Fat Maybelle’s, The People Of The Monolith Paradox , the Mask of Hamaya, Africa’s Dark Sects, Life as A God, People of the Monolith, the Pnakotic Manuscripts, Selections from the Livre D’ivon, General Notes on the Books of Eibon.
This chapter consists of Keeper’s Notes: London, Miles Shipley And His Things, Musings On The London Branch Of the Brotherhood Of The Black Pharaoh, Scenario: “The Burning Within”, Gavigan’s Scrolls, Ye Booke Of Ye Communicacions With Ye Angel Dzyon, The G’harne Fragments, Liber Ivonis, and The Mirror Of Gal.
This chapter consists of Keeper’s Notes: Cairo, Al Azif, Net-Anet Ikhut Kemut (The Black Rites), and The Sword of Akmallah.
This chapter consists of Keeper’s Notes: Kenya, New African Character Templates, About the Cult of the Small Crawler, and The Cthaat Aquadingen.
This chapter consists of Keeper’s Notes: Australia, Wondrous Intelligences, and Gods of Reality.
This chapter consists of Keeper’s Notes: Shanghai, Culture Shock: A Keeper Tool-Kit, Pidgin: Language of Commerce, Crime and Punishment, Currency, NPC Names, A Murder of Cultists, Bibliography/Resources, Pre-Generated Characters, Plug-In Scenarios, Keeper’s Notes: Hong Kong, Pre-Generated Character, Law in Shanghai and the Shanghai, Municipal Police, Scene: The Jin Jiang Guest House, Hell’s Kitchen, Behind The Fan: Notes On The Order of the Bloated Woman, Send In The Marines!, Scenario: “Bloody Botany”, Goddess of the Black Fan, Livre D’ivon, La Lai Yeh Chi (Records of R’lyeh), Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan, Tale of Priest Kwan, and True Magick.
Postage and Shipping
If Kickstarter does not automatically add the appropriate shipping, postage rates are as follows:
- Australia £5.00
- Brazil £10.00
- Canada £6.00
- European Union £8.00
- Hong Kong £7.00
- Japan £7.00
- New Zealand £5.00
- UK £4.00
- USA £8.00
Please contact me if your country does not appear here and I can advise the correct postage to add.
Masks of Nyarlathotpe Prop Set:
We have partnered with Ben Patey of the Masks of Nyarlathotep Prop Set Kickstarter fame. You can add the basic 'Bloody Tongue Cultist' set to your pledge in case you missed Ben’s Kickstarter when it ran last year. Just add UK £42 (USA only) or UK £49 (Rest of the World) to your pledge and we will pass your order to Ben Patey for fulfilment.
Multiple and Other Editions:
If you wish to order another edition or a second copy of your already pledged edition, simply revise your pledge to include the cost of the book and its shipping. For instance, you want another Black Pharaoh hardback to France, then add another £58 (£50+£8). Then remember to let me know what you've done when I send out the survey at the end of Kickstarter. I'm afraid that we can't do postage discounts as each book will be shipped separately.
1 .Book of pre-gen characters. These are the pre-gens in the Masks Companion and the extra ones added by the stretch goals. These will be presented in a saddle-back stitching format so they will lay flat on the table. Price: £10 including postage to anywhere in the world.
2. Book of handouts. These are the handouts in the appendix of the Masks Companion presented in a saddle-back stitching format so they will lay flat on the table. Price: £9 including postage to anywhere in the world.
3. Bret Kramer's scenario. This is Bret's proto-Elias scenario and will work as an alternative to the 'God of Mitnal' scenario in the Masks Companion. Price: £9 including postage to anywhere in the world.
Hans-Christian Vortisch's Investigator Weapons volume 1. The seminal firearms guide to the 1920s and an essential help running Masks and its opponents and allies. You can find out more about this book here. In PDF only. Delivery will be by DriveThruRPG/RPGNow voucher code. Price: £5
We did have some stretch goals planned but luckily Bret Kramer and Ben Patey have stepped up and offered some more. Here they all are:
- £11,000 - G.Roby's Chapter Clue Sheets (see this thread for further information). Phil has recently updated these for the Kickstarter. UNLOCKED!
- £12,500 - An article on the Japanese Rikusentai (equivalent of marines) by Hans-Christian Vortisch for the Shanghai chapter. UNLOCKED!
- £14,500 – Ben Patey will design the dustcovers of Jackson Elias’s books, the hand-outs for the Cat’s Cradle scenario and a bust of Bast. These will be available as separate add-ons. UNLOCKED!
- £16,000 - Bret Kramer will complete his Jackson Elias introductory scenario “The Burning Heart”. This may be a separate PDF if the page count is long. UNLOCKED!
- £17,500 - An article about the USMC Leathernecks posted to China Station in Shanghai written by Hans-Christian Vortisch. UNLOCKED!
- £23,000 - The Dark Mistress. Publicly available information and maybe the only photo in existence of this mysterious steam yacht. UNLOCKED!
- £25,000 - The Land of Oz: Australian Pulp Fiction in the 1920s by James Haughton. James examines four real Jazz age novels describing Pulp Australia. UNLOCKED!
- £26,000 - The Device of Rods, Wheels and Mirrors by James Haughton. James presents four re-imaginings of the mysterious Yithian machinery. UNLOCKED!
- £27,000 - The 1922 Relativity Expedition and the 1925 Anti-Relativity Expedition by James Haughton. The theory of relativity was proved in 1922 by an international team deep in the Australian desert. In 1925 the Nazis are there to disprove it. UNLOCKED!
- £28,000 - An examination of the Sand Bat ancestor spirit cult by James Haughton. James examines the Sand Bat cult using real-life ancestor spirit analogues. UNLOCKED!
- £29,000 - Extra NPCs or player characters by Pookie. Six more player characters for easy replacement during the campaign. These will be available a separate PDF containing all the player characters to all pledgers who get PDFs and as an optional paper add-on. UNLOCKED!
- £30,000 - The Law, in Black and White - Racial Violence, Crime, Firearms law, and Law Enforcement in Australia by James Haughton. UNLOCKED!
- £35,000 - Conversion of all stats in the Masks Companion to Call of Cthulhu seventh edition. These will be available a separate PDF containing all the player characters to all pledgers who get PDFs and as an optional paper add-on. These will be supplied after the PDFs and books have been delivered, and will not hold up delivery of the project. UNLOCKED!!
These planned stretch goals will need reorganization and revision of the book, so will add extra time to the anticipated delivery date.
All qualifying pledge levels will receive the existing 0.9 version of the PDF whilst they are waiting for the revised book. We hope that this will be a suitable diversion, and allow Keepers keen to run the campaign access to updated campaign resources as soon as possible.
Fulfilment and Delivery
The Masks Companion PDF will be delivered by DriveThruRPG/RPGNow so please have an account there so that we can deliver the PDF.
The original 0.9 version PDF will be delivered to all relevant level backers soon after all pledges have been collected by Kickstarter.
Softback and hardback books will be fulfilled and delivered by Lulu. We are using Lulu as this avoids warehousing and distribution problems experienced by some Kickstarters in the past, and get the books to the backers as quickly as possible. We have seen and handled proofs of the softcover and hardcover books and they are of a similar quality of traditionally printed books.
All pledge levels featuring books will receive the updated PDF via DriveThruRPG/RPGNow once layout has been updated and finalized.
Postage will be included in your pledge automatically but please see the chart below for postage and shipping costs before you make your pledge.
Where the Money Will Go?
Please see the chart below for the breakdown of the costs associated with this Kickstarter.
100% of the net profits of the Kickstarter will be going to yog-sothoth.com, so if you enjoy the site please consider adding a little extra to your pledge.
The Companion Team
Bret Kramer – Bret has been gaming for far too long, and claims that the first horror RPG he played was 'Pirates and Plunder' not so much for the game as the game's character generation rules. A historian by training, Bret tends to favour elaborate game preparation and has been known to cackle with glee when putting together handouts.
Bret is the publisher and editor of the Arkham Gazette which recently successfully completed a Kickstarter project for issue #3. Bret is also the author of Machine Tractor Station Kharkov-37 published by Chaosium, contributed to Cubicle 7’s Cthulhu Britannica-London boxed set, is a regular contributor to the Unspeakable Oath magazine, and sometime winner of the Delta Green Mailing List’s Shotgun Scenario writing contest.
Matthew Pook – Matthew is the editor for Sixtystone Press and has edited titles for Chronicle Games, Autarch LLC, Cubicle Seven Entertainment, Miskatonic River Press, Modiphius Entertainment, and Triple Ace Games. Currently he also edits the Age of Cthulhu line for Goodman Games and Old School Renaissance titles for Lamentations of the Flame Princess.
As well as editor and proof reader, Matthew is a well-known reviewer, having been published each week for a decade in Steve Jackson Games’ Pyramid e-zine. He currently writes reviews for The Unspeakable Oath and also writes the popular ‘Reviews from R’lyeh’ blog site where he casts his critical eye over all things RPG and board game-related.
A gamer for over thirty years, Matthew has been a fan of Call of Cthulhu since 1983 and was a contributor to, and sub-editor for the Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion. He read and edited everything in the tome and primarily contributed the history of the campaign, the nearly thirty pre-generated investigators and NPCs, and the guide to creating better investigators.
Dave Sokolowski – Dave has been running and writing RPGs since the early 1980s and will probably die with a d20 in his hand. His modern day horror scenario He Who Laughs Last was funded as a Kickstarter and published in 2014 on DTRPG.com. He blogs about gaming, music and the Cthulhu Mythos (not in that order) at Weird8.com. Otherwise he lives and works in Silicon Valley, where he hides among the squares and geeks, pretending to be ‘normal’.
Dave is currently running Masks for the second time and has only ‘lost’ three PCs by the London chapter. That seems like too few. Is that too few? His contributions to the Companion were written years ago, on a porch in Oregon, and he loved the opportunity to write at length about the greatest campaign of all time. He loves looking under the hood of RPGs and building tools for GMs and writers to create amazing gaming experiences. He hopes his contributions to the Companion will do just that. At the end, Dave is just happy to have the Companion see the light of day so that everyone can finally revel in all of its madness and glory.
His future works include a contribution to an upcoming Golden Goblin Press Kickstarter focused on the Caribbean, as well as his own Kickstarter for a 1920s scenario entitled Sun Spots. This scenario was also written years ago under the guidance of the late, great Keith ‘Doc’ Herber, and will be published with the Cthulhu Dark ruleset. The Sun Spots Kickstarter is scheduled to go live in late March 2015 and promises to be full of great art, maps, and tales of madness and death.
Adam Crossingham – Adam is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Sixtystone Press, a UK-based imprint specializing in Call of Cthulhu material. Sixtystone has published Investigator Weapons 1 1920s, Investigator Weapons 2 Modern-day, Lost in the Lights and Cathulhu for Call of Cthulhu. Before that he was Editor of Worlds of Cthulhu magazine published by Pegasus Spiele. He is also nursing The Black Seal fanzine back to full health.
Adam has written for Valkyrie magazine, The Whisperer fanzine, Chaosium, Pagan Publishing and Modiphius. He contributed to Pagan Publishing’s Delta Green: Countdown and Delta Green: Targets of Opportunity. He contributed to Achtung! Cthulhu Investigators’ Guide, Achtung! Cthulhu Keepers’ Guide, Achtung! Cthulhu Guide to North Africa and Achtung! Cthulhu Guide to the Pacific Front, all published by Modiphius.
Paul Maclean – Paul was first introduced to Call of Cthulhu back when it came in a 2" deep box. The change in style from all the fantasy RPGs at the time was remarkable, and left a suitably deep impression that over 30 years later Paul seems to have ended up running a web site dedicated to Lovecraftian gaming at Yog-Sothoth.com.
Since 1998 Yog-Sothoth (YSDC) has been a place to discuss, listen, watch and read about all things Cthulhu and Lovecraft. The year 2015 marks 17 years of continuous operation and over 14,000 members. While it can be a challenge keeping the (large but very friendly) entity going, the community, wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm from fellow members (“Yoggies”) makes it a wonderful place - but then Paul may be biased!
When not running YSDC Paul is an archaeologist and museums person which often feels like a suitably Lovecraftian occupation. There is no escape, is there?
Anthony Warren – Anthony was introduced to H.P. Lovecraft by well-meaning relatives, who thought the musty second-hand book with the "interesting" front cover would keep him entertained on a long drive home. From there, it wasn't long before he was forcing friends to roll-up characters using a 5.6 edition RPG copy he found.
Besides writing for the Companion, his other contributions to the fight against the Mythos include the Chaosium Monograph Kingdom of the Blind and a New England cemetery full of dead investigators.
As living proof life often imitates art, his fascination with the Shanghai chapter led him to go native in the Far East, where he now ekes a living as a magazine columnist. Anthony speaks fluent Tcho-Tcho and knows what really happened to Roger Carlyle at Victoria Mental Hospital. He has the medical records to prove it.
Sam Zeitlin – Sam is the masked mystery man of the project.
If you want to hear Adam Crossingham of Sixtystone Press talking about this Kickstarter, please follow these links.
The Good Friends of Jackson Elias podcast:
Matt Quiett's "Go Fund This!" podcast at Nerds Domain:
If you want to find out more about Bret Kramer and the Masks Companion, the links are here:
Interview with JP Chapleau - http://jpchapleau.blogspot.com/2015/02/interview-with-bret-kramer-about-masks.html
Bret talks to the Unspeakable Oath team about the Masks Companion, the Arkham Gazette and other things. Find it here: http://theunspeakableoath.com/home/2015/03/unspeakable-episode-19-bret-kamer-of-the-masks-of-nyarlathotep-companion/
The Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion is a supplement for the Call of Cthulhu game, and requires the Call of Cthulhu rulebook and the Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign, both published by Chaosium, Inc., to play.
Call of Cthulhu® is the registered trademark of Chaosium, Inc. and is used under license.
The names, descriptions, and depictions applied to this supplement are derived from works copyrighted by and include trademarks owned by Chaosium, Inc., and may not be used or reused without its permission.
Risks and challenges
The Masks Companion is substantially finished, and printed copies exist. Minor editing remains to be done. Therefore the failure of the project is very unlikely. The anticipated fulfilment date is May 2015.
If the project funds, then an index will have to be added as will a backers list. PDF bookmarks and hyperlinks will have to be added to the PDF version. The index and PDF bookmarks will take the longest time.
If the project goes to stretch goals, the book will have to be reordered and page references updated. At over 600 pages this might take some time to complete. If this occurs, the project fulfilment will be by August 2015 instead of May 2015.
I already have proof copies of the softback and hardback editions, and they are of excellent quality. Updating a book on Lulu is a day’s work, and a proof copy will arrive in less than a week.
Paul Maclean, of yog-sothoth.com will chase my arse if the project runs over timetable.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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