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Miskatonic Monday - Miskatonic Repository thread

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On 8/15/2019 at 3:02 PM, midwinter said:

Speaking of the Miskatonic Repository, why can't Chaosium list the Mythos beings that are safe to use without any copyright issues?

At a guess? Because Chaosium have done work on all the Mythos beings, so assume they are partially owned by Chaosium, or rather that it is difficult to decide what was originally Lovecraft and what has been enhanced by Chaosium.

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3 minutes ago, soltakss said:

At a guess? Because Chaosium have done work on all the Mythos beings, so assume they are partially owned by Chaosium, or rather that it is difficult to decide what was originally Lovecraft and what has been enhanced by Chaosium.

But you can't use Lumley's or Campbells creatures for instance:

"Material included in Chaosium products under license.Licensed material not available for community use includes, but is not limited to, the Mythos creations of Ramsey Campbell, the Mythos creations of Brian Lumley, and Mythos fiction released by Chaosium under license. Please check the copyright statements in your Chaosium products to determine ownership and copyright."

Since I'm not 100% aware of what Mythos creatures are the works of Lumley, Campbell and other authors, a list would be very helpful.

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6 minutes ago, midwinter said:

But you can't use Lumley's or Campbells creatures for instance:

Right, I see what you mean. It would be useful for Chaosium to have a list of Mythos Creatures that can be used, then, rather than a vague warning not to use some creatures. 

Why don't you ask Mike Mason?

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3 hours ago, midwinter said:

Since I'm not 100% aware of what Mythos creatures are the works of Lumley, Campbell and other authors, a list would be very helpful.

The problem with such a published list is that it could put Chaosium on the hook if it should miss something IP element or another that's the property of a given author.  "Your list didn't have so-and-so on it, so I assumed it would be OK to use!"  (And there's also the issue of asking them to do free research.)

The fact is, if you're not ready to invest in Daniel Harms's richly detailed Cthulhu Mythos Encyclopedia, Wikipedia has accessible lists of Cthulhu Mythos Deities and Lesser Known Great Old Ones.  Roll your Library Use skill!

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But I shouldn't have to reinvent the wheel, should I? Chaosium has written scenarios and campaigns for years now and should know exactly what creatures they safely can use by now, shouldn't they? And a confusing fact is that the Repository makes a reference to the 7th edition core books. In the core rules you'll find Chthonians, servants of Gla'aki (and Gla'aki himself) and the insects from Shaggai. So what gives?

The core rules copyright notes:

"All material concerning Shudde-M’ell and the Cthonians,
and all other inventions of Brian Lumley as portrayed in his
works, specifically The Burrowers Beneath, are used with his
kind permission. J. Ramsey Campbell’s “Cold Print” ©1969
August Derleth. William Lumley’s and H. P. Lovecraft’s
“The Diary of Alonzo Typer” ©1970 by August Derleth.
Colin Wilson’s “The Return of the Lloigor” ©1969 August
Derleth. Frank Belknap Long’s “Hounds of Tindalos”
©1946 Estate of Frank Belknap Long. Clark Ashton Smith’s
“The Return of the Sorcerer” ©1931 Clayton Magazines
Inc. Clark Ashton Smith’s “The Nameless Offspring ©1932
Clayton Magazines. Inc. The quotes from “The Inhabitant
of the Lake” are ©1964 by J. Ramsey Campbell and “The
Last Revelation of Gla’aki” ©2013 Ramsey Campbell,. Clark
Ashton Smith’s “The Seven Geases” ©1934 Popular Fiction
Publishing Co.Derleth’s “The Dweller in Darkness” ©1953
August Derleth. Eddy C. Bertin’s “Darkness, My Name Is”
©1976 Edward P. Berglund. Bloch’s “Notebook Found in a
Deserted House” ©1951 Weird Tales. Derleth’s “The Gable
Window” ©1957 Candar Publishing Co. Derleth’s “The
Lurker at the Threshold” ©1945 August Derleth. Donald
J. Walsh, Jr.’s “The Rings of the Papaloi” ©1971 August
Derleth. Derleth’s “The Thing That Walked on the Wind”
©1933 The Clayton Magazines Inc. Blish’s “More Light”
©1970 Anne McCaffrey. Kuttner’s “The Salem Horror”
©1937 Popular Fiction Publishing Co. Clark Ashton Smith’s
“The Treader of the Dust” ©1935 Popular Fiction Publishing
Co. Derleth’s “The Lair of the Star-Spawn” ©1932 Popular
Fiction Publishing Co. Carter’s “Zoth-Ommog”©1976
Edward P. Berglund. Brennan’s “The Seventh Incantation”
©1963 Joseph Payne Brennan. Henry Hasse’s “The Horror
at Vecra” ©1988 Cryptic Publications. H.P. Lovecraft’s
works ©1963, 1964, 1965 by August Derleth. Works within
are quoted for purposes of illustration."

So, can I use the Hounds of Tindalos for example?

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1 hour ago, midwinter said:

But I shouldn't have to reinvent the wheel, should I?

Except you're asking for a completely different kind of document than a book's copyright acknowledgments, one that could potentially backfire on them.

Quote

So, can I use the Hounds of Tindalos for example?

As you can see from the acknowledgments, the Frank Belknap Long's "The Hounds of Tindalos" is still under copyright in the US (which is 95 years from the date of publication for all works published between 1924 and 1963*), so no, not without the permission of Long's estate.

* Edit: And if the copyright was renewed in that period; otherwise, it's only 28 years.  This is why there are copyright researchers and lawyers.

Edited by Travern

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Well, that limits things concerning the Repository greatly. Unless one contacts each estate or author and asks for permission to use their Mythos creatures I guess.

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1 hour ago, midwinter said:

Well, that limits things concerning the Repository greatly. Unless one contacts each estate or author and asks for permission to use their Mythos creatures I guess.

I think it’s safest to either use only Lovecraft’s creatures, or to just make your own.

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Yes, Cthulhu Mythos IP is a tricky state of affairs.  It's easy to underestimate the extent of August Derleth's creative DNA, for instance (especially since Sandy Petersen appreciated how much of it could in turn be worked into gaming material for CoC).

The simplest course of action is to stick to HPL's stories and other weird tales in the public domain, building on them and adding new takes.  Kenneth Hite's ENnie–nominated Hideous Creatures is a terrific resource for brainstorming ideas on how to de-familiarize Mythos creatures.

One could always create one's own Great Old Ones and eldritch entities for work published through the Miskatonic Repository—but of course only after throughly reading the "Rights You Grant to OBS and Chaosium" section of the Miskatonic Repository Community Content Agreement.

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Another method is to never actually identify the entity.  Everyone always talks about maintaining "horror" and then they ID the threat by name.  InN a short one-shot made on the fly I use threats out of the book.  In a game I have taken time to create I craft a threat using a Mythis creatures as a starting point or completely make my own.

Horror comes from the unknown.

The unknown....

😲

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13 hours ago, midwinter said:

But I shouldn't have to reinvent the wheel, should I? Chaosium has written scenarios and campaigns for years now and should know exactly what creatures they safely can use by now, shouldn't they? And a confusing fact is that the Repository makes a reference to the 7th edition core books. In the core rules you'll find Chthonians, servants of Gla'aki (and Gla'aki himself) and the insects from Shaggai. So what gives?

There's a big difference between creatures that Chaosium have gained permission to use from non-public-domain sources (like Lumley etc), and those that are available for community use because they're not from those non-public-domain sources.

So Chaosium have a much bigger range of creatures that they can use and publish themselves, compared to those than can be used in community publications. Of course, at your own gaming table you can use whatever you like.

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Well, I do understand that I'm free to use everything and everyone at my own gaming table, Roseanne Barr Vs Batman Vs Jason Voorhees for instance. But I wonder if I could ask for the copyright holders kind permission myself if I wanted to use the Hounds of Tindalos (for example)? Or would that be against the Repository's rules?

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4 hours ago, Spence said:

Another method is to never actually identify the entity.  Everyone always talks about maintaining "horror" and then they ID the threat by name.  InN a short one-shot made on the fly I use threats out of the book.  In a game I have taken time to create I craft a threat using a Mythis creatures as a starting point or completely make my own.

Horror comes from the unknown.

The unknown....

😲

Well, I will be creating my own too and I understand exactly what you mean about the horror diminishing as soon as the players find out "Oh, it's just another ghoul. Good heavens, old boy, stop shaking and hand me my howdah pistol, Wallace."

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4 hours ago, midwinter said:

Well, I will be creating my own too and I understand exactly what you mean about the horror diminishing as soon as the players find out "Oh, it's just another ghoul. Good heavens, old boy, stop shaking and hand me my howdah pistol, Wallace."

Yep.  Another reason I  really like the separate players book.  Now days people will read the rulebook front to back.  Or if they don't read everything, they flip through and read the "interesting" things.  Which sucks the whole " unknown" and "mystery" right out of a game.

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26 minutes ago, Spence said:

Yep.  Another reason I  really like the separate players book.  Now days people will read the rulebook front to back.  Or if they don't read everything, they flip through and read the "interesting" things.  Which sucks the whole " unknown" and "mystery" right out of a game.

Yes, separate books was a good move in that regard. But then we have bestiaries, monster manuals and all that jazz. Our favourite Swedish game has two Monster books and a big Monster box. I remember I almost felt bad about not letting them flip through them all that often. One problem is that one of my players has an uncanny memory when it comes to stats. He remembers stats and hit points of creatures and stuff like that. With a incredible memory like that metagaming can be tricky to stop at times. I always had to cover up every bit of text if I showed him a picture of a creature.😁 

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Miskatonic Monday #23: Visceral and Emotional Damage—A review of Jon Hook’s bloody supplement for Call of Cthulhu, Seventh Edition published by Chaosium, Inc.

http://rlyehreviews.blogspot.com/2019/08/miskatonic-monday-23-visceral-and.html

#reviewsfromrlyeh #rpgreview #rpgreviews #rpg #horror #Chaosium #CallOfCthulhu #CoC7e #MiskatonicMonday #MiskatonicRepository
 

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Miskatonic Monday #24: Dark Offerings—A review of Rob Leigh’s modern-day scenario for Call of Cthulhu, Seventh Edition published by Chaosium, Inc.

http://rlyehreviews.blogspot.com/2019/08/miskatonic-monday-24-dark-offerings.html

#reviewsfromrlyeh #rpgreview #rpgreviews #rpg #horror #Chaosium #CallOfCthulhu#CoC7e #MiskatonicMonday #MiskatonicRepository

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Here are more new Call of Cthulhu community titles in the Miskatonic Repository on DriveThruRPG! Great work by Genevieve Colter of Dark Trapezohedron Productions, who has uploaded four titles, and congratulations to G.A. Patrick, whose creation Fever: Death Toll has been previewed on Geek Native and reviewed on Roleplayer's Chronicle. It is great to see Miskatonic Repository creations getting coverage in the wider RPG-Gaming media like this!

https://www.chaosium.com/blogmiskatonic-monday-some-august-releases-for-the-repository

misk-r-titles-august.png.b2a2a97fc629557280c88f28ec508a2a.png

 

It's Miskatonic Monday again, so here are some excellent new Call of Cthulhu community content titles to peruse in the Miskatonic Repository!

https://www.chaosium.com/blogmiskatonic-monday-more-new-titles-in-august

a-peaceful-cruise-misk-r.thumb.jpg.485d1cb307ea18e905d12cba0473227e.jpg

 

Among a host of interesting Call of Cthulhu community content titles, there are two firsts for the Miskatonic Repository: the first English translation from the popular Polish 'Zgrozy' series; and the first Cthulhu Invictus title. Hopefully the first of many for both! 

https://www.chaosium.com/blogmiskatonic-monday-eclectic-offerings-in-september

2028394785_286333(1).thumb.jpg.76be21f3130d16a922b65ea229fc2f14.jpg

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Good stuff! I bought Fever: Death Toll and I concur with the review that it's a great and very wellresearched piece of work. There is an attention to historical detail that signals a true labour of love. I also applaude the author for striving to make it a genuine HORROR scenario and not some bland PG-13 affair. I'm happy with the purchase.

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Miskatonic Monday #25: Legs—A review of Jim Phillips’ modern-day one-shot convention convention scenario for Call of Cthulhu, Seventh Edition published by Chaosium, Inc.

http://rlyehreviews.blogspot.com/2019/08/miskatonic-monday-25-legs.html

#reviewsfromrlyeh #rpgreview #rpgreviews #rpg #horror #Chaosium #CallOfCthulhu #CoC7e #MiskatonicMonday #MiskatonicRepository

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