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About Dave

  • Rank
    Advanced Member


  • RPG Biography
    Former editor of Dungeon, Dragon, and other magazines. Author of the Radovan & the Count series and other RPG tie-in fiction.
  • Current games
    Call of Cthulhu (various) and D&D
  • Location
    Edmonton, Alberta
  • Blurb
    An American expat in Canada

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  1. Dave

    Horror on the Orient Express

    I think it could work with only two investigators if you don't mind adjusting some of the threats. Having each player run a couple of investigators wouldn't hurt, either, and a helpful NPC is always useful--as long as the players are never sure which NPCs are true allies and which are treacherous infiltrators.
  2. Dave

    Horror on the Orient Express

    In addition to expanded campaign material, the latest edition includes many flashback scenarios that allow the investigators to play the historical events that they otherwise only read in summary. They're excellent scenarios, complete with pregenerated characters. There's one more that doesn't appear in the new edition: Reign of Terror, which appears as its own product, complete with a guide to revolutionary France. Highly recommended, and arguably the best of the flashback scenarios.
  3. I wholeheartedly second this suggestion.
  4. Dave

    Carlyle Papers England #4

    You know, some historical newspaper clippings from this discovery would make an AWESOME supplemental handout.
  5. Dave

    Masks of Nyarlathotep - Errors Thread

    Here's the Shanghai business I was working on before I had to set it aside for a deadline. You'll note a few gaps as I skipped around, but I hope it's useful if there's still time to incorporate it. Page 519 Not the Lovecraft quote, but the precis below it: omit the comma after “against evil.” In the sidebar, omit the comma after “1920s period.” At the end of the first graph, the use of a semicolon rather than a comma to introduce “deep one hybrids” should be a comma. As an aside, too many parenthetical notes can cause speedbumps rather than aids to reading. Generally, I would suggest you use them more sparingly. Page 520 In the first graph, omit the comma after “September 1924.” Demote the semicolon to a comma after “Carlyle Expedition dead.” Change “which” to “that” after “a fact.” In the second graph, either omit the comma after “sanitarium” or add “he” before “strenuously.” Speaking of “strenuously,” it seems an odd adverb to apply to “avoids.” Perhaps “strictly” or “conscientiously” would be more appropriate. Column 2, graph 3, change “towards” to “toward.” In the next graph, revise the punctuation: “One final if difficult-to-decipher clue could lead…” After The Carlyle Expedition in Shanghai, omit the comma after “Gray Dragon Island.” Add a comma after “Great Race in Australia.” Page 521 Love the maps. The old ones were fine, but these are lovely. Page 522 Graph 3, omit the comma after “error of some sort).” Page 523 In the last graph, add a comma after “Australian Oriental Line’s ships.” Page 524 In graph one, add a comma after “i.e.” Remove the comma after “although” in “although, kind Keepers.” Next graph, change “realms of possibility” to “realm of possibility.” Next graph, change “which had ruled” to “that had ruled.” Page 525 First graph, move the modifiers: “...could be tried only under…” “…whether or not their crimes were committed in the concessions.” Under The People, please change that “etc.” to “and so on.” In the last graph of column 1, please revise that first sentence for clarity by keeping the such/that clause tight: “As a result of several disastrous wars with foreign powers, the collapse of the Ching (Qing) Dynasty, and the rise of the warlords, China’s economy by the 1920s was in such ruin that foreigners of even moderate income could afford opulent possessions and princely living conditions.” Page 526 First graph, hyphenate “sought-after.” In the Green Gang sidebar, second graph, move the modifier: “…the Green Gang could make either a valuable ally…” Under The Political Climate, first graph, add a word: “Now that the war is over, renewed…” In the second column, first graph, add a third period to the ellipsis and omit the full stop after “Where is…?” In the next graph, change “at an absolute pinch” to “in a pinch” to make it more idiomatic to North American usage. The rest of that sentence has a distant pronoun, so I’d suggest revising the final phrase: “…to convey the intended message.” Page 530 In the Compradors sidebar, change “amongst” to “among.” Same graph, hyphenate “number-one.” In the second graph, omit the comma after “humble comprador.” In the second graph under Li Wen-Cheng, omit the comma after “without family.” Under Weather, omit the comma after “wettest time of year.” Page 531 First graph, omit a comma and the word “equipped” after “female humanoid.” Second column, first graph, rather than “miss words out” you might want the more idiomatic “leave words out.” In the following graph, enclose “quite literally” in parentheses to complete the parallel joke established in the previous parentheses. Page 532 The line return after Isoge Taro, 34, looks peculiar. Consider leaving at least “undercover agent” on that first line before the return. In the first graph, omit the comma after “last two months undercover” or else add “he” before “has recruited.” In the fourth graph, omit the word “themselves” to avoid an unnecessary nouns-pronoun disagreement. Page 533 In the first full graph under Lin Yenyu, demote the semicolon after “share their secrets to a comma” or change it to an em-dash. Alternatively, revise the phrase after the semicolon to an independent clause. XXX Page 622 Under EXTENDING THE CAMPAIGN, change the question mark to a full stop after “Perhaps the story continues.” “Put paid” is an unfamiliar expression to most North American readers. Final graph, omit the comma after “in his lifetime.” Likewise after “an old man.” Page 623 Under Revenge Most Foul, lowercase “high priest” after the colon. XXX Page 648 Column 2, graph 2, omit the comma after “rituals of the Order of the Bloated Woman.”
  6. Dave

    Masks of Nyarlathotep - Errors Thread

    You did a great job, Doc. I'm impressed by how many and what type of issues you caught. Agreed, it's a fantastic revision of the classic. I'll run the Peru chapter (and "The God of Mitnal" from the Companion) at a little convention in October in anticipating of launching the entire campaign early next year. Maybe this time we'll make it to the end!
  7. Dave

    Masks of Nyarlathotep - Errors Thread

    I have a little more already proofed but not posted. Are we out of time? If not, I'll at least try to wrap Shanghai.
  8. Dave

    Masks of Nyarlathotep - Errors Thread

    Mike might have a different answer for this, but I believe Chinese who adopt a non-Chinese first name, like Andy Lau, John Woo, or Jackie Chan, use the European order of surname-family name. (In contrast to, say, Chow Yun-fat or Zhang Yimou.) While it's most obvious to us today in the names of film and music stars, I wouldn't be surprised to learn it's a custom dating back as far as European invasion of Hong Kong and other regions. Any Chinese readers able to shed light on this phenomenon?
  9. To fellow Keepers who desire more historical background for the Shanghai portion of Masks of Nyarlathotep, I recommend Laszlo Montgomery's China History Podcast (https://teacup.media/ and also available at iTunes). Much of what I know about 20th Century China comes from, or was reinforced by, this delightful series. Reading the new version of the China chapter also brought to mind Taras Grescoe's Shanghai Grand. It'll be more useful to those playing in the 30s, but it's full of wonderful real-life characters and anecdotes you might be able to fold into your games. Who else can recommend some historical references? Bonus Sanity for suggesting resources in audio format.
  10. Dave

    Masks of Nyarlathotep - Errors Thread

    Apparently I proofed a bit of the London chapter before I got busy. I'll post it rather than leave it in the Word doc, where I'm likely to forget it if I get busy. Page 177 “London’s fog and gloom reap harrowing returns…” “…all-but-untouchable…” Rather than “travel to,” consider simply “visit.” In graph 2, add a comma: “…are friendly, and its street signs…” In column 2, second line, you don’t need the commas around “ideally,” but they aren’t wrong. For clarity and rhythm, I encourage you to omit these optional commas, as I’ve noted elsewhere when they’ve been more obstructive. Column 2, graph two, add a comma: “…(The Safe, page 347, Egypt), and a picture of the…” In the penultimate graph, at the end of the first line, you have an unusual straight apostrophe in lieu of the more voluptuous apostrophes used everywhere else (unless I’ve missed others). Rather than “Elias' murder scene” it should be “Elias’ murder scene.” Page 178 Third graph, add a comma: “…all the stops, and within the space…” Column 2, graph 2, add a comma: “…about the journalist, and Elias was marked…” Page 179 Graph one, optionally for a little air and for succinctness, choose “contact” or “interview” rather than “contact and interview.” If it’s truly meant to be both, then “interview does the job.” If it’s either, then “contact.” In any event, deleting one will relax the paragraph visually. Second graph, add a comma after “make their own choices.” Same graph, omit the comma after “horrible enough.” In the bulleted items that follow, omit the commas after “Penhew Foundation” and “Henson Manufacturing (page 262).” In the next graph, the phrase “at a pinch” is not idiomatic in American English, but “in a pinch” is fine. It’s style rather than nuts and bolts, but you could make the first sentence after PULP CONSIDERATIONS more dynamic by revising “that can easily be dialed up” to “that you can easily dial up.” You use direct address often enough that the change won’t be the least bit obtrusive. In the same graph, you could lose the parentheses and introduce that phrase with a comma instead: “…establish local tensions, which should be…” I can understand why you might think you need a semicolon in the next graph, but since the phrase that includes a comma is the second one, it’s not necessary. A comma will do: “…usurp humanity, the other a victim…” You should even lose that following comma: “…of a curse who could pose…” The simplest way to improve the next paragraph is with a full stop: “…An American Werewolf in London (1981). For the Chelsea Serpent, look to…” Add a comma: “…classic horror tropes, and the Keeper…” [Whenever you are making a choice between direct address and a passive construction like “The Keeper is advised,” the author is advised to recall that direct address is more compelling. The only good time to choose the latter is when circumstances demand a callback to the archaic style. You don’t need quotation marks around “have at it!” Nor do you need them around “prepared” a few graphs later. In the second graph after FIREARMS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM, a long phrase makes the sentence a trifle difficult to parse on first scan. Maybe instead: “Officials question travelers found with firearms about their reasons for visiting…” In the final graph, lose the commas: “Clever investigators who plan ahead may discover…” Page 180 Revise punctuation and a few words for subject-verb agreement: “Shotguns are not considered firearms under British law, so they do not require firearms certificates and may be brought into the country “for hunting game” without undue red tape.” [“Officialdom” is a splendid word, but it isn’t quite right in this context unless you rephrase the sentence.] In the Pulp sidebar, the pronoun-antecedent disagreement is easy to avoid: delete the word “their” and it makes the same sense. Page 204 Why are Gavigan’s winnings expressed in dollars rather than pounds? (I suppose consistency is useful in game terms, but this expression threw me for a moment.)
  11. Dave

    Masks of Nyarlathotep - Errors Thread

    I had a little breather between turning over my last gig and starting the next, so I did a little more proofing. I'll probably jump ahead to Shanghai, so if you're joining us in this quest, please consider focusing on the middle chapters first. Page 153 In graph 3, hyphenate “tried-and-tested.” “Put the frighteners on” is a uniquely British idiom. I believe most North American readers will understand the slang in context, even if it is a bit of a speedbump, but if you want a more North American idiom, you might use “put the fear of God into them.” Column 2, graph one, omit the comma after “speak with him.” Omit another one after “as subtly as possible.” Graph 4, omit the comma after “early days.” Incidentally, “early days” is another of those British expressions that won’t sound natural to most North American ears, although most readers will suss it out by context. Omit the comma after “Ju-Ju House.” Page 154 Under Asking the Locals, and only if you care to tighten the kerning, change “that mentioned by Millie Adams” to “the one mentioned by Millie Adams.” Column 2, at the end of the keeper note, omit “or not” at the end of the sentence. (The reason for this is twofold: it’s redundant to “regardless,” and it’s more elegant, when needed, as part of the unified phrase, “whether or not.” Under The Pawnshop, either omit the first comma or add a second “if” before “the investigators prefer.” This paragraph looks awfully tight, and that final pair of clauses aren’t parallel. I suggest this revision: If talking to the tenement residents isn’t working, or if the investigators prefer to observe for themselves, they have two options: they can find a convenient window from which to watch (the tenants say nothing as long as the investigators aren’t disruptive or obviously doing something to attract adverse attention), or they can attempt to use the abandoned pawn shop as a base from which to spy on Ju-Ju House. In the next graph, after the parentheses, add a full stop and start a new sentence: “Because the entrance is on the main street, any noisy…” In the penultimate graph, revise: “N’Kwane is informed immediately, and he passes…” Much as I dislike the singular “they,” it’s consistent and clear in the final graph. If it ends up being the only one in the book, you might consider changing it. Otherwise, it works and doesn’t need fixing. Page 155 In the second graph, omit the comma after “African-Americans.” I note with admiration the use of an en-dash in the range of minutes. The phrase “of some description” is utterly superfluous. It’s the sort of phrase you might use in dialogue to demonstrate personality, but you never need it. It’s empty. Hyphenate “Mythos-related.” In the next graph, do not hyphenate “smartly-dressed.” (You needn’t hyphenate adverbs that end in -ly. Yet it would be “smart-dressed” if you wore a long beard and played fuzzy guitar.) One doesn’t really wear a gun so much as carry it. I’d revise: “…that he is carrying a gun beneath his suit jacket.” Make “pay-off” one word, without the hyphen: “payoff.” Column 2, second bullet item, omit the comma after “Bloody Tongue.” In the final parenthetical note, omit the words “this being.” In the next graph, omit the comma after “as the target.” Consider changing “they are alone” to “the investigator is alone.” Consider revising the first sentence of the final graph: “If they have been inside the tiny shop, then anyone watching dozens of cultists enter Ju-Ju House realizes that there must be a connection to another room or a basement large enough to hold all the visitors.” Page 156 Revise the first graph: “Should the investigators take a more direct approach or blunder into Ju-Ju House…” Omit the comma after “curtained.” In the last graph of column 1, add a comma after “raises his suspicions.” Omit the comma after “the investigators have to say.” “Rumbles” might be a little slangy for many North American readers. (Personally, I like it and feel it’s worth the minor speed-bump.) At the top of column 2, you’ve got a “who” that should be whom. If you want to be a stickler, like me, revise it thusly: “…to see where else they go and to whom they talk.” The last graph before INTO THE DEPTHS looks a bit tight in the middle. Maybe delete “the” before “weekly payments” and/or change “hardly conclusive” to “not conclusive.” After INTO THE DEPTHS, change “on” to “of” in “consists purely of one level.” Page 157 Near the top of the first column, add a comma after “if this is a meeting night.” If you’re feeling elegant, use a semicolon instead, delete “but,” and add a comma after “otherwise.” After The Basement, revise the first phrase: “The locked door at the end…” Revise the third sentence into several: “Obtaining the key from around Silas N’Kwane’s neck is the easiest way to open the door. Otherwise, two investigators can combine their STR or SIZ against the STR 160 door, reducing the door’s STR to decrease the difficulty per Physical Human Limits, page 88, Call of Cthulhu Rulebook. Alternatively, a successful…” Revise the penultimate sentence: “… the appropriate tools (a screwdriver, hammer, and so on).” Under Guards of the Sacrificial Chamber, here’s my suggested revision: Four ciimba, the Kikuyu equivalent of zombies (see Ciimba, page 173), wait in M’Dari’s alcove and watch over the chamber. M’Dari created these strong creatures to guard his treasures. All are mutilated victims of cult murders. With their intestines dangling and their foreheads incised with the cult rune, seeing them provokes a Sanity roll (0/1D8 loss). If the investigators led cultists to Millie Adams and they killed her, then she is one of the four ciimba on guard here (at the Keeper’s discretion, her presence increases the Sanity loss by +1D2 points). In the next graph, change “whoever” to “whomever.” Also omit the comma after “chamber.” Change “further” to “farther.” Page 157 Correct the spelling of “chronometer.” In the second graph of column 2, you seem to be equating runes with hieroglyphs, when especially in a game like Call of Cthulhu they are distinctly different things. Two graphs later, the same thing: runes and cuneiform aren’t the same. Perhaps instead of “runes,” use “characters” or “figures.” Also, American standard is “gray,” not “grey.” You can omit the comma after “warm.” In the keeper note, revise: “…not only that the writing is Senzar, the lost language…” On a game-elated note: Does the headband protect one who hasn’t attacked the particular nightgaunt he currently faces or any nightgaunt ever? Might be worth clarifying. In the next keeper note, change “it is identical” to “the chronometer is identical.” Page 159 In graph 1, revise the second sentence: “Dangling from the poles are leather thongs used to hold the wrists of sacrificial victims.” Make “crow bar” one word: “crowbar.” In the second graph after The Chakota, consider deleting “sickly” and its comma to avoid the unintentional internal rhyme and improve the rhythm. Omit the comma after “mobile.” At the end of graph 4, you can omit the final parentheses. Column 2, paragraph 2, add a comma after “raised from the Chakota pit.” Omit the comma after “with the victims.” Add a “they” to “…in the sacrificial chamber, and they have a hard time…” Page 160 Under Capturing Evidence, let’s untangle the nested parentheses with a pair of em-dashes: Photographs of the ciimba, the sacrificial chamber, and the chakota—requiring a successful Hard Art/Craft (Photography) skill roll due to the poor lighting—are also a possibility. In the last graph of column 1, “if needs must” is a British expression. Again, not a particularly opaque one, but if you want simple clarity, consider “if he must.” Column 1, graph one, near the end, add a comma: “…will be executed for the murders, and other cults…” Under CONCLUSION, second sentence: “Whether or not they are successful, the investigators…” There’s some redundancy in the sentence I’d suggest revising this way: “They may or may not have saved the life of an innocent man and brought their friend’s murderers to justice, but their lives will never be the same again.” Change “which” to “that”: “…vast conspiracy that confronts them…” Same again later in the graph: “…fortune that their late friend…” In the Pulp sidebar, hyphenate “far-off.” Page 162 You’ve italicized ciimba earlier, so for consistency you should do so near the bottom of column 1. I have not proofed the NPC and monster pages. I hope someone else will give them a look, as I suspect Dr. Mobius has done.
  12. Dave

    Masks of Nyarlathotep - Errors Thread

    Keep up the great work, Doctor. I'll rejoin you when I'm done with my current deadline.
  13. Dave

    Masks of Nyarlathotep - Errors Thread

    Please don't feel that since I've covered a page it doesn't need another set of eyes. I'm sure I'm missing things, and I won't be surprised to find I've inserted a few new typos in my haste. Page 127 In the first sentence, you can (and probably should) delete “but” after the semicolon. In column 2, graph 2, delete “either” before “Jonah Kensington.” It’s a fine point, but the subject of the main clause is “the two men,” and “either” indicates only one of them. In the first full graph after THE READING OF THE WILL, add a word to the last sentence: “…and he will track them down…” (It’s not wrong as-is, just a little sharper with a main clause rather than a verb phrase at the end.) In the next graph, add a comma after “simply decorated.” Delete the hyphen in “time-sharing.” Page 128 In the penultimate bullet-point item, delete the comma after “special skills.” Column 2, third full paragraph, delete the comma after “Carlyle Expedition”: “…had massacred the Carlyle Expedition but that not all…” In the next graph, first sentence, delete the comma after “may be alive.” In the next graph, delete the comma after “unbelievable things.” Delete the comma after “timetable.” Page 128 Near the end of the first graph, demote the semicolon to a comma. Page 132 First full graph, delete the comma after “local newspaper.” You can also lose the phrase “in order” in the last sentence. In the penultimate graph of column one, delete the comma after “mistreated Erica.” Next graph, delete comma after “in her household.” Page 133 Second graph, delete comma after “wake up screaming.” In the same sentence, change the semicolon to an em-dash. Column 2, first line, delete the comma after “introducing them.” Revise the sentence that follows: “Her brother began to disappear for days, only to turn up wild-eyed and crazed, saying only that he had been to Harlem.” In the Sir Aubrey Penhew note, delete the comma after “nothing of him.” Page 134 After Jack “Brass” Brady, delete the comma after “loyal to Roger.” In the first full graph, there’s no reason for that awkward “they.” Simply revise it this way: “Keepers may wish to include select pieces…” Page 135 Final graph in column 2, lose the comma after “look presentable.” (There are a couple of superfluous commas in the handout on this page, but I figure errors like that only make handwritten notes more authentic, and they don’t harm the meaning of the piece.) Page 136 After Meeting Dr. Lemming, second sentence, delete a comma after “delighted to see them.” “Amongst” is British preference, while “among” is plain old American standard. I see others follow, and perhaps I noted some earlier, so a careful search and replace might be in order. [Incidentally, I admire the additions of supplemental bridges to clues like Dr. Lemming. Well done.] In the penultimate graph of column 2, lose the comma after “interoffice mail.” Page 137 Again, some minor punctuation errors in the handout, which I presume you wish to retain for the authenticity. Page 138 In the first graph, the introductory phrase is just long enough that you probably want a comma after “…if the investigators outstay their welcome…” In the next graph, there’s an awkward bit of punctuation that could be sorted in two ways. Here’s my suggestion: “Cowles says he also received MacWhirr’s diary (Carlyle Papers Australia #1). Should the investigators ask to see it, he sighs…” In the same graph, consider deleting “Australia” before the parenthetical note that also includes “Australia.” It’ll be more concise, and you’re in no danger of confusion here. Presumably Professor Cowles has more than one friend, so let’s delete the comma before “David Dodge” in “his friend David Dodge.” In the Keeper note, delete the comma after “once existed.” In the graph that follows, there are two solutions, but my suggestion is to add “he” to “…R’lyeh, and he finds…” At the top of column 2, delete the comma after “are reliable.” Delete the comma after “his colleague.” It’s a fine point indeed, but the last sentence in this graph would be smoother if you moved “than Cowles” to follow “even more use.” Thus: “…he would be of even more use than Cowles during an expedition into the Australian desert.” In the final graph, lose the comma after “skin crawl.” Page 139 First full graph, lose the comma before “…or may already know.” It’s mild, but you could avoid potential confusion in the final sentence of graph 3 by revising it thus: “As the investigators venture to other countries, more information concerning M’Weru may come to the surface.” If you need to make up space, kill “about her” at the end of the previous sentence. In the Keeper note, delete the comma after “passed on in conversation.” Near the bottom of column 1, delete the comma after “when he was 18.” Also delete the comma after “from Groton.” In the third full bulleted item on column two, “himself” should be “him.” (If you ever want a rant, buy me three drinks and ask me why this is so, and why servers need a primer on pronouns and lingering sexism.) In the next bullet item, there are again two solutions, but I suggest this: “…forthright and friendly, and he was…” “Nebulous and secretive” is one of those redundant phrases that would be far stronger as “nebulous.” Page 140 In the sidebar, final graph, lose the comma add a couple of words: “$90 each and establishes that her relationship with…” (“Relations” has sexual connotations that “relationship” avoids.)’ Lose the comma after “fine character.” Also, to avoid shifting tense, change “notes” to “noted.” At the top of column 2, lose the comma after “(and his wife).” In the last bulleted item for Huston, the second sentence has a wobbly “this.” Is the controversy about the nature of his records or because they were turned over? Clarify. Also, lose the comma after “have not been destroyed” or revise the sentence. After SIR AUBREY, you can lose the comma after “1898.” I think I mentioned en-dashes earlier. You’ve used them recently in date ranges, so you should also use them here instead of hyphens. Page 141 Again, I won’t mention the punctuation in the handout. I barely glanced at the handouts, so someone else might wish to look at the more closely. Page 142 Near the top of column 1, hyphenate “then-little-known.” You also don’t need the comma after “several years in Egypt.” Lose a comma and add a word: “…branches of Egyptology and for making several…” In the next bullet item, add a pronoun: “…and it is responsible…” In the penultimate bullet item, lose the comma after “incontestably wealthy.” An heir is a person, so you might consider revising the middle sentence of the last bullet item for Penhew. After HYPATIA CELESTINE MASTERS, second bullet item, lose the comma after “chief executives.” After JACK BRADY, in the third bullet item, lose the comma after “after the war.” In the next bullet item, lost the comma after “fight.” Page 143 The kerning on the first full paragraph looks strange. I’ll suggest a few words to cut to give it some air. The first sentence could use some clarity anyway. Here’s my version: “Its earliest white inhabitants abandoned Harlem as Italian and Jewish refugees flocked to the neighborhood toward the end of the 19th century.” Lose the comma after “…and West Harlem).” At the top of column two, revise the last phrase of the first graph: “...although the paper stopped short of advocating violence in return.” (I recognize that “though” is an acceptable contraction of “although,” but sometimes it just sounds wrong. This is one of those times. I’ve withheld comment on a few earlier instances that didn’t “sound” quite so odd to my editorial ear. In any event, adding “the paper” makes either word work better here.) In the third graph, invert the apostrophe before ’30s. It’s also cool to omit it, if you do so consistently. Change “amongst” to “among.” In the ORGANIZED CRIME sidebar, lose the comma just before “who controlled” and the one just before “Owny Madden.” At the end of the sidebar, the parenthetical note on the types of crimes committed by the white gangs seems like a non-sequitur after the word “territories.” Page 145 In the Keeper note, for clarity you should add “if they” before “go straight to Ju-Ju House.” I suggest further revising the first sentence: Keeper note: although An Innocent Man is not technically a sidetrack scenario, investigators may circumvent it if they ignore the links between Jackson Elias’ death and Hilton Adams’ wrongful arrest. Likewise, they may miss it by going straight to Ju-Ju House after talking to Arthur Emerson (Emerson Imports, page 138) or Dr. Lemming (Meeting Dr. Lemming, page 136). In column 2, “neat and orderly” is one of those phrases. “Orderly” can do the job alone. Near the end of that first graph, lose the comma after “openly pleased.” Page 146 In the ON THE STREETS sidebar, add a period after the final “Jr.” In the Keeper note, add a word for clarity: “…questioning him about this investigation reveals…” Also lose the comma after “role.” In the next graph, revise the first sentence into two with simpler punctuation (which is more than okay because the modifying phrases are so short): “Although she has not been able to find concrete evidence, Shosenburg believes that Robson is at best incompetent and at worst corrupt. She suspects he may be responsible for framing Hilton Adams. Her theories support what Lt. Pool may have told…” In the middle of the last graph in this column, there’s another big sentence that could use revision. Here’s my suggestion: With Adams’ execution looming ever nearer, the investigators’ motives for looking into the case are not important to Shosenburg. If there’s a chance they can scare up something that could either prove Robson’s corruption—thereby casting doubt on the safety of Adams’ conviction—or else discover the real culprit, she’ll take it. Previous Keeper notes have had an extra line return before and after. This one is snug, I imagine to avoid the column break, but if deleting a few words in the previous long graph can give you the space, I suggest you take it for consistency. A good candidate for deletion is the long, unnecessary phrase, “if they would like to speak to him directly.” “As far as they can tell, they are—unless, of course, the investigators have already alerted N’Kwane and M’Dari to their investigations. In that case, if the investigators fail a group Luck roll, then a cult spy is lurking within earshot.” (While I think it’ll be okay, the term “stalls” is not common in North American usage for describing that area of the theater. Alas, there isn’t a succinct alternative other than “main floor.” “Stalls” is by far the nicer term, but I suspect it’ll be lost on many readers, who might imagine something entirely different from your intent.) Page 147 Revise: “Keeper note: whether or not the investigators spot an eavesdropper, Millie Adams is now in danger. If the investigators spot and chase a cultist before Millie has a chance to talk to them, she flees home and writes what she knows, posting it to Shosenburg…” Soon after, add a comma: “…Millie’s fate is sealed, and she will be…” Column 2, first full graph after the note, you can delete the commas around “understandably.” Move a modifying phrase and revise the final sentence: “…she’s worked there as a musician and singer since it opened. Until she took the measure of the investigators, she wasn’t going to invite them into her home.” Under What Millie Adams Knows, move a modifier: “…confide to her everything he knew…” Also, delete the distant instance of “to her.” Revise the first bulleted item: “…from the saloon where they all hung out (Teddy’s, two blocks…” Revise: “Keeper note: Millie can direct investigators wanting to Hilton’s Friends (The Good Friends of Hilton Adams?, page 149).” Page 148 In the first full bulleted paragraph, change “Her Husband” to “Hilton” since you don’t mention Millie’s name nearby. The next instance is fine, since there’s a “Millie” preceding it. In the next bulleted graph, “The group” could be confusing. If you change “activities” to “investigations,” it’s clear you’re not talking about the cult. In the next bulleted graph, again change “her husband’s” to “Hilton’s.” Later, delete the comma after “…operating in Harlem.” In the next, delete the comma after “his friend.” In the last graph of column one, move a modifier: “They had only enough to pay for the trial…” If you must use “i.e.,” follow it with a comma. I don’t think the parenthetical example is necessary, however. In the next graph, there’s a semicolon that wants to be an em-dash: “…during daylight hours—not necessarily unusual…” In the following graph, change “she looks distinctly” to “Millie looks distinctly.” Delete a comma after “shop directly.” In the next graph, delete a couple of commas: “…that she too may become a victim…” After Next Steps, delete the comma after “on Millie Adams.” Page 149 Near the top of column 2, move a modifier: “…she has met them only once or twice…” In the second graph, delete the commas around “though comfortably.” Revise the last graph: “As long as the investigators go to Teddy’s at the end of the work day, asking at the bar for any of the men named by Millie Adams results in one of two responses:” Page 150 First column, third graph: “…and each has his reasons…” Later, delete “their” from in front of “job security, family safety…” First column, last graph, hyphenate “cover-up.” Column 2, first full graph, delete “But,” to leave “As they go to leave, Jackie Wallace…” Much of the Keeper note is wordy and unclear. I suggest a revision like this: “In their eyes, unless one of the investigators is from Harlem or has close personal ties to the neighborhood, they are expendable when it comes to taking on Captain Robson, driving out the Bloody Tongue, and freeing Hilton Adams. When dealing with locals, the investigators are on their own unless they can come up with a solution that permits the locals to take part without endangering themselves or their families, at which point they will give the investigators what support they can.” In the last graph, move “at gunpoint” to follow “by prisoners.” Page 151 In the first graph, correct the spelling to “its.” Fourth graph, demote the semicolon after “opportunity” to a comma. Second column, first bulleted item, if you want a little more air for the kerning, consider deleting “really” and “than that.” If you still need more, deep-six “a lot.” Page 152 First bulleted graph, revise: “Following Mordecai Lemming’s pronouncements in the press about an African death cult, Hilton and friends found mention… Near the end of that graph, revise: “Even though the shop had been there for years, something about the place gave Hilton the creeps.” Rather than the hyphen between “30s-early 40s” (which should be an en-dash, anyway), consider writing it “30s and early 40s.” Column 2, final graph, move “off” to follow “tipped”: “Even if they have already tipped off…”
  14. Dave

    Masks of Nyarlathotep - Errors Thread

    Keeper's Screen Not a correction, but please consider changing the gray background on the back of the Keeper's screen to white. While some of us have imperfect vision to begin with, it's even harder to reach such text once we've dimmed (or colored) the light for an appropriate ambiance. Typos: In the last bullet point under INVESTIGATOR DEVELOPMENT, "Key" needs its first quotation mark. Also, under TRAVEL TIMES IN DAYS, the Egypt row wants a space after "Egypt": "Egypt (Port Said)" KEY NON-PLAYER CHARACTERS Revise the punctuation: Mahmoud—(Egypt) orphaned eleven-year-old street boy, an expert guide. You don’t need the semicolon: Najjar, Faraz—(Egypt) dealer of antiquities, known to Roger Carlyle and Warren Besart. (Also, when I copied and pasted this line, I had extra spaces after “Najjar” and “Besart.” That might be nothing but a glitch between your PDF and Word, but you might check it.) You have an extra full stop and spaces before the em-dash: Vane, Lord Arthur—(England) Omit the comma (also there appears to be an extra space before the em-dash and in the middle of “daughter,” but that might be a conflict between the PDF and Word: Vane, Eloise—(England) daughter of Sir Arthur Vane and… (Just in case these extra spaces aren’t a glitch, do take a closer look at this doc. There’s something funny going on.) In the Vane, Lawrence entry, likewise delete the superfluous comma. After Winfield, Martin, delete the comma after "Expedition." Wycroft, Mortimer, delete the comma after "Cuncudgerie." You seem to have an extra soft return before the Choi Mei-ling entry. In that entry, delete the comma after "Jack Brady." Endicott, Col. Henry might have an extra space before the em-dash. There's a missing line return before Fells, Douglas. Fixing the spacing on the previous column might bring this one up and sort out the conflict.
  15. Dave

    Masks of Nyarlathotep - Errors Thread

    I didn't mention this because it's rather late in the day for such a change, but I too found the darkness of the wide colored belts surrounding the already dark portraits a bit overwhelming. Color-coding adversaries vs. allies seems like a nice idea, but I don't know how useful it is in practice for a Keeper who has presumably read the campaign before play. No fill at all in the frames would suit me down to the ground.