Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Berlin & Australia, Cthulhu Reviews and Extra Sources

Recently my gaming hobby has become sorta sustainable. My Patreon now buys me a book a month (buy more 3folds). Only took 6 years! Will be getting on Drivethru this month. Mostly at moment I'm catching up on all the Chaosium stuff which will keep me busy a few months. Still running Masks of Nyarlathotep in 3rd year of campaign after Shadows of Yog Sothoth. Will try and buy some more art later in year for some projects if things keep getting better. Anyway here are brief reviews of things I got of late. Plus some links to stuff I felt were absent in these works or could expand on them.

As I mostly play 2nd ed Coc and like mostly older briefer adventures and simpler rules with less skill points it colours my taste a bit. I prefer the history/culture stuff vs scenarios and lore. I quite like older 8 page adventures in Shadows of Yog Sothoth to huge amounts of text in newer ones. Hoping to get the last few 7th ed items out over next few months then RQ. Wishing there were sponsored events of Chaosium in Adelaide where I pretty much cant buy this stuff. Company told me I Should just mail order but I want to develop players and a culture here not just have another book i dont use. Plus extra 18 bucks a book when most bookstores free delivery. I have over a hundred Chaosium game products and more playtime than any other system. Be nice to see some more people in Adelaide get to play.

These are based on PDFs.
Quality is good as per current Chaosium standards.
Found both more concise than Masks campagn  books
Both books detail gender and sexual orientation which is good.

Terror Australis 2nd Ed
The first ed of this book was pretty exiting in Australia in 80s and is still worth getting for Scenarios and some more monster stats. So i was impressed that the 2nd one is totally redeveloped and has mostly new stuff.

Historic photo references are pretty good. Maps are nice. Bit mixed on illustrations and some styles but ok. The full page illos of investigators in mythos ruins are my favorites as are the graphics of the maps of these places.

Historic, cultural and city guides are good and much improved. The local cults of city bits possibly less interesting than historical reality.

The alcheringa stuff is quite developed and reminds me of Runequest hero quests.

Mythos chapter focusing on the Yithians was great stuff and will probably be used soon in my game. Pnakotus the ruined city of yithians stuff great even though I dislike giant crystals.

Sand dwellers stuff interesting too. Toad cult odd as true toads not introduced till 30s. Lots of good monsters, spirits and other culty stuff.

The Adventures (at a glance):

Long Way From Home I liked most as starts from my home town. Sandox with lots of elements. Not sure if i need long winded entry on non mythos bakery but good stuff.
Black Water White Death is a monster hunt set in Tasmania I haven't really got into yet. At least the detail is setting info and reusable.

Overall I'm pretty happy and will be able to use.
3 days later: The book arrived and feels more impressive.  

Berlin The Wicked CityI
I was pretty exited by this when I heard of it. My friend quite liked it and was interested in running it and he was "over Cthulhu" for years. Part of me wants to mix with the Zenith comic and superworld rpg or something strange. My Cthulhu Metroplois setting would overlap here too. I used the book Voluptuous Panic as a source for Berlin for years - links below.

Detailing a city rather than a whole continent is a more manageable project. I liked the vice elements including detail on prostitutes and possibility of guns and street violence. Lots of crime and politics. Drug rules follows a long tradition of games not impressing me and I will ignore but it was slightly better. Mythos chapter has cults and scenario seeds which is a good approach.

More of this book is adventures. They are quite complex and form a campaign over long a period. Will take me longer to digest this bit. Terror Australis scenarios much more basic. The look interesting but I suspect I wont use them. Im more likley to use things based on my own readings & research. A film of the King in Yellow, the Thule Broderbund and other stuff come to min

Stuff Worth Looking At For Terror Australis
Having studied Archaeology, Aboriginal art and worked with museums and communities Im a bit pedantic on some of this stuff. Also the myths of nomadism/lack of building/lack of farming continually cited in current land grabs and squatters getting land over native title even in 90s and now. Generalizing about all the language group nations is a common problem too. Most Australians still willfully ignorant about Aboriginals and pop culture and newage culture get it wrong lots.

Im probably stricter on use of culture than many others. Even in some communities Id be seen as fussy about this but Ive worked with serious artists and cultural property and have been asked to be involved in projects reproducing entities from wrong regions nobody was entitled to depict which I declined.

Term boundry rider was used for people who used to hunt Aboriginals on properties. It is used in sports too. Some find it offensive. Aboriginals did fight back, did wage organised war and plenty of colonial graves mention "murdered by blacks". An essay on genocide and mass murders and the trade in native artifacts and corpses would have been good. In  my newspaper research several times people in NT believed there would be mass native unrest which didnt really happen.

Freemasonry huge but also Druids and other orders are very common.
Greeks and Italians and other groups have their own orders.
Tennis and lawn bowls big.

Northern Territory had more Japanese people into 30s than whites reflected in ancestry tables. Probably WW2 ended fishermen and pearl collectors coming

Some of the pronunciation guides seem odd to me. Pronunciations vary lots from state to state as does slang and names of food items.

This talks about the horrible aboriginal corpse trade operated from Adelaide

While in Adelaide - Arcadian Adelaide by Thostle Anderson 1905 is a hilarious shitbagging of adelaide and society.

Posts about Shields in Australia neglected in both eds of book
Odd as RQ and BRP and older CoC had shields
https://www.pinterest.com.au/reecepsych/aboriginal-shield/?lp=true (not all australian but lots)

Also fire used in warfare and hunting in expert manner duriung wars of english occupation even skirmishes. Experts could predict effects of fire.

Some mention of regions the famous art styles from like dot paintings and xray art or digeridoo's might be nice. Most Australians have no idea.

Aboriginal Settlements debunking the nomad thesis used to deny they could own land
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigenous_architecture good australian section
"As late as 1894, a group of around 500 people still lived in houses near Bessibelle that were constructed out of stone with sod cladding on a timber-framed dome. Nineteenth Century observers also reported flat slab slate-type stone housing in South Australia's north-east corner. These dome-shaped homes were built on heavy limbs and used clay to fill in the gaps. In New South Wales’ Warringah area, stone shelters were constructed in an elongated egg shape and packed with clay to keep the interior dry."

Aboriginal Agriculture
Also large millstones totally not for use by nomads as too big and heavy

More on false Nomad Story

Good big map on regional languages. Generalizing about "all aboriginals did x" is often flawed. Art styles, use of digeridoos (yirdaki), shield styles all varied
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Didgeridoo (variations of instruments for example)
Chart about dreamtime https://porcupinelounge.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/dreamtime-chart/

Film Jedda has flaws and is 1950s but has good scenes of traditional aboriginals in desert areas
full film here but you might need to log in - over 2000 on topic videos on subject
Educational doco from 50s
Very good series first Australians

This is bizzaro stuff

Several artworks in book by Arthur Streeton not specifically named, from 1890s
Full page colour artworks with artworks named but not credited. One of countries most loved artists who helped mythologise national identity.

Stuff Worth Looking At For Berlin The Wicked CityI recommend Louse Brooks Biographies, Essays and Autobiographies for Insiders guides to Berlin cinema world. Alfred Hitchcock bios good on this too. Surprised Leni Riefenstahl not mentioned in who's who as she was hanging around directors alot learning her "craft". Louise is fairly Scathing on her.

This Book is a must have for sex and nightlife life of Berlin
Has maps of many nightclubs. I used as a source book for years.
Links here to more books on topic too

Film "Shadow of the Vampire" is a great period piece with a few seconds of depravity viewable through a trapdoor briefly that is awesome. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8QO-2hTZFY

Babylon Berlin TV series might be worth a grab

Has some good maps

Lots of good images and Berlin Zoo Maps and Images and more links
WW2 stuff is amazing and very sad

I recommend the Dr Mabuse Films Too
Anything by Fritz Lang and Pabst interesting really

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