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Malleus Monstrorum Slipcase Set is out!


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3 hours ago, klecser said:

Do you know for a fact that he's "never invited," or are you speculating? Note that I don't have any awareness of the amount of work that Scott put into this second edition. But I do notice that he isn't listed as the first author on this edition. And there can be quite a gulf between first and second author based upon production, I'm guessing? So, the real question is, why should anyone feel entitled to involvement in how a product is marketed? Maybe that's spelled out in contracts, but whether it is or isn't, that's ultimately a contract or Chaosium decision, not an author or fan decision.

As someone who is newer to the community, one of the first things I've noticed (because it's practically screamed-it isn't subtle-it's like a bull in a china shop) is the sense of entitlement the "Old Guard" of the game feels towards the current line and company. I left Yog-Sothoth for a couple of very good reasons. It is NOT a welcoming environment to new voices and players, from my experience. It is dominated by a lot of cranky grognards that don't seem too eager to grow the game beyond their insular groups. And real talk: Call of Cthulhu is exploding in spite of efforts by some members of the community to shun and criticize it. It's just sad, frankly. And then I also left because I was tired of new fans posting questions and getting crickets from the people who couldn't be bothered to help.

So, as a newer player, would I like to hear from any author? Sure. But I don't feel like I'm entitled to direct marketing direction (or anything really) from Chaosium and Call of Cthulhu. For absolute certain, if I were trying to make a fan request of a company, and expected it to gain any traction at all, I'd start my request with: "I would really love to hear from Scott in a future marketing interview for this project." As a professional educator, I have never seen any of my colleagues get what they wanted from framing the conversation with a passive-aggressive "Why haven't you done this???"

I can give you some answers from the proverbial horse's mouth... Yes, Kevin knows that I have never been asked to participate in the marketing of the new MM. While I have thought it odd never to have been asked, I also have never offered, so perhaps Chaosium assume I'm not interested? I can say I certainly do not feel ENTITLED to anything. I also don't think Kevin feels entitled to anything, and was just asking a question based on a personal observation. As to the amount of work I put into the project, well, I wrote the manuscripts (besides the original Malleus I also sent Mike Mason my manuscript for the follow-up Malleus Monstrorum 2 and I believe he used some of that in this volume). Mike Mason and friends converted my work to 7th edition and from what little I've seen so far (my author copy literally JUST got here and hasn't yet been opened) added interesting bits of additional information about the various beasties. And of course, Mike handled assigning art, layout, etc. putting the whole thing together.

As for any of the "Old Guard" feeling entitled, I can't speak to that as I don't think I've ever encountered it, and I know I, again, certainly don't feel entitled to ANYTHING. I understand that in order to survive a company must evolve and seek new markets. Stagnation results in nothing but irrelevance and becoming little more than tragic nostalgia. As someone who has worked for Chaosium since the mid-80s I can offer some insight into my personal take on the company. The original or "Old" Chaosium was sort of a "hey gang, let's put on a show" company. They were the stereotypical California free spirits and didn't seem to have a real solid direction. They were a great bunch, fun to work with but business did not seem to be the priority. Eventually, for various reasons, things got rough and there was a long period where contributors weren't getting paid or if they were the checks were bouncing (back in the days before PayPal). Things got dire. Things got so bad that Greg and Sandy returned to get things back in order. That's where "New" Chaosium came in. These new folks came on board with apparently a very solid business plan, cleaned up the mess and slowly but surely began to honor floundering Kickstarters and put out new, really great-looking books. Now working for Chaosium is very business-like and professional. There are detailed contracts and payments are made in a timely fashion. And now fans are getting beautiful hardcover, full-color books in line with what the other big gaming companies like Wizards and Paizo have been doing for years. New Chaosium is now a force to be reckoned with in the gaming industry, as the venerable company should be. So as a contributor, yes, things are very different, but it's nice to know that I will be paid for my work in a timely manner and it will see print in a beautiful edition. If it weren't for the new folks and the new direction, I don't believe Chaosium would be here now, and Call of Cthulhu would either be a dead game or be produced by one of the other big names in whatever direction they chose to take it (in any event, it likely wouldn't be the same CoC anymore).   

As for Yog-Sothoth, well I have not been on the site in a very long time. I quit participating in the site many years ago and other than a very occasional quick peek, I don't go over there these days. If you encountered such rudeness there I'm sorry. It used to be a great place for fans of the game to gather and discuss various topics. 

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I can give you some answers from the proverbial horse's mouth... Yes, Kevin knows that I have never been asked to participate in the marketing of the new MM. While I have thought it odd never to have

Well, this whole project had it's genesis way back in Keith Herber's first Keeper's Companion. I did an article on a half dozen new monsters. That I later expanded into a short book, Ye Booke of Monst

Good news for our UK Call of Cthulhu fans! – we've just got confirmation that our Brexit-blighted Malleus Monstrorum shipment has (finally!) made it across the Channel. We hope to have MM availab

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Thanks Scott! If you've never offered, and it isn't stipulated in your contract, I'm not sure I understand why Kevin felt the need to ask publically. That seems, from a business and professional perspective, to be something best done in private.

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29 minutes ago, Gattamelata said:

but it's really strange that a book that has been actively marketed for more than a year is still not available for purchase (at least not in Europe). 

The PDF came out in mid-June, so mid-jan will be seven months. 

 

Edited by David Scott
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13 minutes ago, Gattamelata said:

Chaosium started marketing the book long before the release of the pdf. 

(It will also mean the digital release  has been available for less scrupolous persons without paying a cent, long before some of the marketing hype they've managed to make have died out. I hope the earnings from the digital copies actually paid for make up for the potential loss in sold books if that is the case. Seven months from digital release to a physical book is a very long time.)

I don't know if you've noticed that we are in the middle of a pandemic that has affected the supply chain? It's a hard sell to suggest that this is poor decision-making under those circumstances. Your argument is cherry-picked.

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2 hours ago, Gattamelata said:

it's really strange that a book that has been actively marketed for more than a year is still not available for purchase (at least not in Europe). 

I suspect honorable Gattamelata to be a Yithian, who actually lives 5 months from now, and who just accidentally revealed that MM will still not be available in Europe. Is it a hint that another disaster is coming? Why a Yithian needs Malleus Monstrorum? 

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And here is the collectors' leatherette version of the Malleus Monstrorum Slipcase Set. This special edition of our Cthulhu Mythos Bestiary is a Chaosium.com exclusive - it won't be available elsewhere!

CHA23170-XL-slip-700x900__17692.1609972293_1280_1280.jpg.160193873d7c65d3428ad4f0e013a5a7.jpg

Order now from our US, EU, and Australian warehouses, UK and Canada to follow.

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On 1/2/2021 at 4:18 PM, klecser said:

As someone who is newer to the community, one of the first things I've noticed (because it's practically screamed-it isn't subtle-it's like a bull in a china shop) is the sense of entitlement the "Old Guard" of the game feels towards the current line and company. I left Yog-Sothoth for a couple of very good reasons. It is NOT a welcoming environment to new voices and players, from my experience. It is dominated by a lot of cranky grognards that don't seem too eager to grow the game beyond their insular groups. And real talk: Call of Cthulhu is exploding in spite of efforts by some members of the community to shun and criticize it. It's just sad, frankly. And then I also left because I was tired of new fans posting questions and getting crickets from the people who couldn't be bothered to help.

If I changed a few names, I could say much the same about RuneQuest forums and communities. I spend most of my time on Facebook, now, where enthusiastic people are discovering Glorantha for the first time. It's a breath of fresh air! A goblet of clear wine! Wonderful! If I liked the taste of dusty old books and stale piss, though, I could hang out on the forums, bitch anonymously, and gatekeep, instead.

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3 hours ago, Nick Brooke said:

If I changed a few names, I could say much the same about RuneQuest forums and communities. I spend most of my time on Facebook, now, where enthusiastic people are discovering Glorantha for the first time. It's a breath of fresh air! A goblet of clear wine! Wonderful! If I liked the taste of dusty old books and stale piss, though, I could hang out on the forums, bitch anonymously, and gatekeep, instead.

It's an old tale in gaming. There are a lot of surprised Pikachu faces on people with breathtaking insecurity issues that drive people away from games, not understanding that they are the cause. It is also why I stopped attending Cons. Why pay money to be denied access to new experiences?

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On 1/6/2021 at 7:27 AM, Gattamelata said:

I know the pandemic has surely played its part in this, but it's really strange that a book that has been actively marketed for more than a year is still not available for purchase (at least not in Europe). 

From a sales perspective it must be a disaster. 

We have kept our customers informed with updates (e.g. here) but unfortunately inconsistent and delayed shipping times in the Covid era are out of our control. We appreciate people being patient and also buying direct. That has helped the company in these trying times.

On 1/6/2021 at 9:16 AM, Gattamelata said:

Chaosium started marketing the book long before the release of the pdf. 

(It will also mean the digital release  has been available for less scrupolous persons without paying a cent, long before some of the marketing hype they've managed to make have died out. I hope the earnings from the digital copies actually paid for make up for the potential loss in sold books if that is the case. Seven months from digital release to a physical book is a very long time.)

If you don't have a legit PDF you don't get the discount coupon for the physical book. Our experience is "less scrupulous persons" don't feel the need to wait months before getting their hands on pirated copies of our stuff. But such people probably weren't going to buy a legitimate copy from us anyway, so that's not a factor we worry about much.

On 1/3/2021 at 3:18 AM, klecser said:

So, the real question is, why should anyone feel entitled to involvement in how a product is marketed? Maybe that's spelled out in contracts, but whether it is or isn't, that's ultimately a contract or Chaosium decision, not an author or fan decision.

Our releases usually get two big marketing pushes; the first when the PDF is out, and the second when the physical book is released and ready to go into general retail distribution. In the pre-Covid era, we generally tried to line up the physical release from all our warehouses simultaneously. But that's increasingly not been possible with all the disruption to international shipping movements caused by the pandemic. For Malleus Monstrorum, we had the added complication that the shipment with the leatherette edition took a lot longer to get to the US than the standard edition (even though they were despatched at the same time). And we're still waiting for both to get to the UK warehouse, where disruptions due to Brexit is also a factor. So we haven't really done our second big marketing push for Malleus Monstrorum yet. 

Edited by MOB
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On 1/2/2021 at 4:18 PM, klecser said:

I left Yog-Sothoth for a couple of very good reasons. It is NOT a welcoming environment to new voices and players, from my experience. It is dominated by a lot of cranky grognards that don't seem too eager to grow the game beyond their insular groups.

That makes me wonder which I am 😔 ... I am fairly new to regularly posting there, but a long-timer at the game.  Maybe I talk lie a grognard, so they accept me.

On 1/2/2021 at 8:45 PM, sdaniolowski said:

I have thought it odd never to have been asked, I also have never offered, so perhaps Chaosium assume I'm not interested? I can say I certainly do not feel ENTITLED to anything. I also don't think Kevin feels entitled to anything, and was just asking a question based on a personal observation.

Malleus Monstrorum is surely a spiritual successor to the Ye Booke of Monsters supplements, of which I still have fond memories (particularly, I liked how you resisted "taking sides" in what you thought made a good addition to the Mythos or not - it was never apparent from your writing which monsters you liked or not).  There are things I prefer about the way monster writeups are done now compared to then, but that's about the general style of the game, not your work in particular.  So I'd chime in as another who is surprised that you've never been asked.

On 1/6/2021 at 11:37 PM, Rick Meints said:

The Malleus just went on sale from our EU warehouse today.

Ah... hopefully the UK will follow suit soon.

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5 hours ago, SunlessNick said:

That makes me wonder which I am 😔 ... I am fairly new to regularly posting there, but a long-timer at the game.  Maybe I talk lie a grognard, so they accept me.

I've been gone for years. It didn't take long to figure out it was a toxic place. I know a lot of 40/50/60+ gamers and the ones that I choose to associate with are grateful when new youthful voices come to games. They are secure enough with themselves to recognize that the world always changes. That means more acceptance and less gate-keeping if we want any hope of the hobby expanding. Of course, a lot of adult adolescents don't want "their" hobby to expand.

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Get off my lawn!

Just kidding. I've been gaming since the late 70's, and I'll be honest, I don't really like gaming with most of the "old guard." It's a hobby that is supposed to be fun, and many of them seem to have forgotten that.

On topic, I can't wait till this hits retail stores. Got mine pre-ordered from a site I had credit with (and also had it much cheaper.) I still own the original Ye Booke of Monsters and always really enjoyed them. I suspect these will be even better/more. Also looking forward to the advice for making your own Mythos. I've had an idea for a Mythos being for years and years, and am finally going to put it down on paper.

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On 1/10/2021 at 1:27 PM, SunlessNick said:

Malleus Monstrorum is surely a spiritual successor to the Ye Booke of Monsters supplements, of which I still have fond memories (particularly, I liked how you resisted "taking sides" in what you thought made a good addition to the Mythos or not - it was never apparent from your writing which monsters you liked or not).  There are things I prefer about the way monster writeups are done now compared to then, but that's about the general style of the game, not your work in particular.  So I'd chime in as another who is surprised that you've never been asked.

Well, this whole project had it's genesis way back in Keith Herber's first Keeper's Companion. I did an article on a half dozen new monsters. That I later expanded into a short book, Ye Booke of Monstres, for Lynn Willis. Lynn wanted a second volume so eventually Ye Booke of Monstres 2 came along. Later the two volumes were combined into The Creature Companion. The next progression was the original Malleus Monstrorum. There had been talk of re-organizing the CoC rulebook and taking out all the monsters, so a bestiary would be needed. So I took everything from the rulebook, as well as everything from the Creature Companion, added some other new stuff, and viola, The Malleus Monstrorum was born. With the new 7th edition CoC a new, compatible version was needed, and that's where we are now. We took my original manuscript (and the manuscript to Malleus Monstrorum 2, of which a few entries made it into the new MM) and Mike Mason and his team converted everything to 7th edition and added loads of great material to expand upon what I'd done. I consider the project my magnum opus, and it is truly a lovely thing in it's new color, hardcover edition. 

But to address your comment about my inclusiveness of monsters... I made up my mind early on that I was going to be as encyclopedic as I could be. That meant including some things that I really didn't personally like. Dozens of authors have contributed to the Mythos since HPL, and there has been a lot of sub-par, fanzine-level material over the years. But I included some of that stuff, anyway (and took some ribbing for it from some of my co-authors at the time) because everyone's tastes differ, as do everyone's CoC campaign. I just wanted to give the broadest possible choice of beasties for Keepers to choose from. And I have found over the years that certain things I thought were silly or not so great have turned out to be fan favorites. So there you go!

Edited by sdaniolowski
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13 hours ago, Rick Meints said:

Distributors cannot order the MM until later this month, then game stores can order it from them. I expect the earliest a game store will have the MM in stock is mid-February. As to which specific stores, that's entirely up to them.

The store I ordered from is now saying Feb. 26th. A disappointing wait, but also $30 cheaper. 

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1 hour ago, Grimmshade said:

How is US shipping on these books currently? I was thinking of ordering direct and cancelling my pre-order from another store to better support Chaosium (and possibly get the books sooner.)

Can't really say fairly without knowing where you live and how USPS is for you. It comes Media Mail. I'm only two hubs away from the Warehouse in MN, so I can get products as early as two business days on Media Mail, but probably average about five days. It could be considerably longer depending on your postal situation.

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Ordered from Chaosium! Hopefully comes sooner than the other store would have. Spent more, but nice to have supported Chaosium, and less stress about books being packaged well (from what I have heard.)

Looking at the PDF, it's great stuff so far. 

One minor complaint... I really wish the creatures and their quotes listed a source like most previous Cthulhu editions. If I don't know a particular being in the books I like to look up the story and read it. Those source notes went a long way towards this.

Edited by Grimmshade
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