HC Serpent Folk cover_350“The features mingled and merged in a seemingly impossible manner. Then, like a fading mask of fog, the face suddenly vanished and in its stead gaped and leered a monstrous serpent’s head!” They built Valusia before the dinosaurs, and lurk behind half mankind’s darkest cults. Are they extra-dimensional, extra-terrestrial, or just extra venomous? You won’t fool the Children of Yig, in any skin they wear.

Hideous Creatures: Serpent Folk is the fourth installment of the second Ken Writes About Stuff subscription (if you are a previous subscriber, you will need to buy a new subscription to see this), or it is now available to buy in the webstore.


HC Serpent Folk cover_350“The features mingled and merged in a seemingly impossible manner. Then, like a fading mask of fog, the face suddenly vanished and in its stead gaped and leered a monstrous serpent’s head!” They built Valusia before the dinosaurs, and lurk behind half mankind’s darkest cults. Are they extra-dimensional, extra-terrestrial, or just extra venomous? You won’t fool the Children of Yig, in any skin they wear.

Hideous Creatures: Serpent Folk is the fourth installment of the second Ken Writes About Stuff subscription (if you are a previous subscriber, you will need to buy a new subscription to see this), or it is available to buy in the webstore.

If you have subscribed to the second KWAS subscription, Hideous Creatures: Serpent Folk is now on your order receipt page, so all you have to do is click on the new link in your order email. (If you can’t find your receipt email, you can get another one sent to you by entering your email address here).

Stock #: PELH18D Author: Kenneth Hite
Artist: Melissa Gay Pages: 13pg PDF

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Voodoo_2_The_Invisibles cover_350The Invisibles, more than spirits and a little less than gods, can fit inside stones, trees, and their servitors’ heads — but not into just one issue of KWAS! Whether you call them Loa or Orisha, these mighty beings demand your attention and your sacrifice, but give you hidden knowledge and awaken your interior fires. This second issue of our two-issue Voodoo series gives you plenty of Invisibles to summon, battle, invoke, and ally with whether you’re hunting Dagon in Haiti or rogue programs on your starship.

GUMSHOE Zoom: Voodoo 2 – The Invisibles is the third installment of the second Ken Writes About Stuff subscription (if you are a previous subscriber, you will need to buy a new subscription to see this), or it’s available as a stand-alone from the store.

If you have subscribed to the second KWAS subscription, GUMSHOE Zoom: Voodoo 2 – The Invisibles is now on your order receipt page, so all you have to do is click on the new link in your order email. (If you can’t find your receipt email, you can get another one sent to you by entering your email address here).

 

Stock #: PELH17D Author: Kenneth Hite
Artist: Melissa Gay Pages: 16pg PDF

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Voodoo_1_Magic_350The first of a new series of GUMSHOE Zooms looking at historical magic traditions — and giving you the tools and rules to evoke these puissant powers in your own game! This first issue in a two-issue series examines sympathetic magic and zombies, and Zooms in on the Afro-Caribbean magical-religious complex encompassing Vodoun, Candomble, Santeria, Obeah, and Palo Mayombe. The loa ride in May!

GUMSHOE Zoom: Voodoo 1 – Magic is the second installment of the second Ken Writes About Stuff subscription (if you are a previous subscriber, you will need to buy a new subscription to see this), or it’s available as a stand-alone from the store.

If you have subscribed to the second KWAS subscription, GUMSHOE Zoom: Voodoo 1 – Magic is now on your order receipt page, so all you have to do is click on the new link in your order email. (If you can’t find your receipt email, you can get another one sent to you by entering your email address here).

 

Stock #: PELH16D Author: Kenneth Hite
Artist: Melissa Gay Pages: 16pg PDF

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VeveI have been “into” voodoo — the magical belief system, as distinct from Vodou, the religion — for decades now. I’ve got a shelf of books on voodoo that’s even long for one of my shelves. Macumba, obeah, palo, the whole shouting match. I’ve even got Michael Bertiaux’ Voudon Gnostic Workbook, which is even zanier than that title intimates. (It came out of a group of pre-Thelemite (and post-Crowleian) Golden Dawn-inspired voodoo theosophists right here in Hyde Park called the Monastery of the Seven Rays. My kind of town.) Of course, voodoo and Vodou (and Shango, and Santeria, and Candomble, and Umbanda, and 21 Divisiones, and …) are mighty intertwined, so onto that shelf go more books on the religion and its confreres from New Orleans to Rio de Janeiro. Plus On Stranger Tides is a hell of a novel.

I’ve run at least four separate campaigns featuring voodoo as a central theme. Yes, one of them was a straight ripoff of On Stranger Tides. Don’t judge me.

All of which is to say that I might have been a little ambitious, thinking I could fit all of that into one issue of Ken Writes About Stuff.

When last Simon and I chatted, I mentioned that I was about 8,000 words into this month’s issue of KWAS with no end in sight. A normal issue of KWAS is around 5,000 words. And then he uttered the words that only a bold and surefooted publisher who really wants to put this month’s issue of KWAS to bed can utter: “Is there a way to make this a two-issue series?”

The answer, my friends, was “Yes.”

Thanks to a fortuitous outline, the issue already split neatly between the magic system — which can be played “as is” with only your foggy memories of Live and Let Die and your lovingly dogeared copy of On Stranger Tides to guide you — and the Invisibles section, the writeups on the demigods themselves. That section, featuring lots of lovely loa just waiting to ride you and reveal things and give you superpowers and nightmares, can now expand to a better length, meaning more loa (or orisha, or orixa, or misterios, I’m not picky) for you. That issue can even stand on its own, if you just want to add flavor to another game with magic rules or thrust your Investigators into Haitian mythology or the New Orleans underworld (literally). But together, well, they do voodoo.

So what was the May 2014 issue of Ken Writes About Stuff, GUMSHOE Zoom: Voodoo, is now the May and June 2014 issues of Ken Writes About Stuff. Each one rather longer than an average single issue, to boot. Three issues in two! Specifically, and to wit:

  • May 2014: GUMSHOE Zoom: Voodoo 1: Magic. The first of a new series of GUMSHOE Zooms looking at historical magic traditions — and giving you the tools and rules to evoke these puissant powers in your own game! This first issue in a two-issue series examines sympathetic magic and zombies, and Zooms in on the Afro-Caribbean magical-religious complex encompassing Vodoun, Candomble, Santeria, Obeah, and Palo Mayombe. The loa ride in May!
  • June 2014: GUMSHOE Zoom: Voodoo 2: The Invisibles. The Invisibles, more than spirits and a little less than gods, can fit inside stones, trees, and their servitors’ heads — but not into just one issue of KWAS! Whether you call them Loa or Orisha, these mighty beings demand your attention and your sacrifice, but give you hidden knowledge and awaken your interior fires. This second issue of our two-issue Voodoo series gives you plenty of Invisibles to summon, battle, invoke, and ally with whether you’re hunting Dagon in Haiti or rogue programs on your starship.

All the other issues will stay the same, just pushed back an extra month. So now Hideous Creatures: Lloigor, for example, will be the September 2014 issue.

But lesson learned. The upcoming (early 2015?) GUMSHOE Zoom: Goëtia will be short, compact, and stay inside its pentacle. Just like medieval Christian demonology did. Maybe I should get some more books on the topic just to make sure.

KWAS Cover_350KWAS v1 is a collection of 13 supplements written by master Lovecraftian writer and GUMSHOE guru Kenneth Hite. Discover hideous creatures, uncover an occult Nazi bell or join the men in black with this baker’s dozen of fear and fun!

It features:

  • Hideous Creatures: Deep Ones, an in-depth look at everyone’s favourite underwater creatures.
  • Ken’s take on martial arts, in the GUMSHOE Zoom: Martial Arts, intended to model the sorts of stories (usually movies) in which martial arts combat takes center stage in at least one scene.
  • Hideous Creatures: Hounds of Tindalos, in which Frank Belknap Long’s greatest creations emerge from the angles of time, slavering and frumious.
  • Die Glocke, about a mysterious bell-shaped device built deep in a Silesian mine shaft by the SS.
  • Hideous Creatures: Mi-Go, about the fungi from Yuggoth, the half-crustacean haunters of the hillside, the malevolent alien miners … are also opponents of the Yellow Sign and tireless questers for science.
  • Moon Dust Men – employees of the program President Eisenhower established in 1953 to locate, contain, and coordinate everything known about the alien presence on Earth.
  • Hideous Creatures: Ghouls – charnel predators, or changeling denizens of Dream, follow their tunnels from the sands of Arabia to the catacombs of Paris – or just stay in Boston for some fine New England cuisine!
  • Looking Glass: Mumbai – We look at India’s mightiest metropolis, from its legendary crime syndicates to its glamorous movie colony — and we look beneath it, for vampires and conspiracies and Mythos maneuverings.
  • Hideous Creatures: Shoggoth. Infinitely plastic and ductile — slaves of suggestion, builders of cities — more and more sullen … intelligent … amphibious … and imitative! If something can take any shape, what is its true nature? Are the shoggoths slave machines or biotech Singularity? Are they one or many? Tekeli-li!kwas1cover
  • GUMSHOE Zoom: Mind Control. This is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful GUMSHOE Zoom I’ve ever known in my life. Presenting detailed rules for brainwashing, memetics, telecontrol, and brain hacking, and for gear from the Microwave Auditory Effect gun to subliminal flashers to tinfoil hats, it brings the fight inside your head.
  • Hideous Creatures: Star Vampires. “The human blood on which it had fed revealed the hitherto invisible outlines of the feaster.” Invisible outlines that shall be expanded upon, extended even, into all sorts of dimensions. Are they summoned demons or feral predators? Are they kindred or competitors to Colin Wilson’s Space Vampires? Herein we trace the Shambler From the Stars, with bonus Night’s Black Agents statistics and a scenario seed.
  • Lilith. “Satan here held his Babylonish court, and in the blood of stainless childhood the leprous limbs of phosphorescent Lilith were laved.” Lilith as Queen of the Vampires, Lady of the Night — or as First Rebel and First Heroine? We look at the many faces of Lilith, as a Trail of Cthulhu titan (Elder Goddess or Great Old One), Night’s Black Agents vampire queen, Mutant City Blues super-Typhoid Mary, and at her role in the center of the First Esoterror Operation.
  • There is also a bonus edition, available only with this collection: Foul Congeries. This issue opens the books on Lovecraftian monsters that have never taken stat-block form before in any game, including the Ultraviolet Devourer, Vampirish Vapour and Worm-Cultist.

The second volume is available for subscription from the Pelgrane store.

Stock #: PELH01D Author: Kenneth Hite
Artist: Various Pages: 10pg PDF per edition

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HC Dark Young_cover“Worlds of sardonic actuality impinging on vortices of febrile dream – Iä! Shub-Niggurath! The Goat with a Thousand Young!” Are they nameless horrors or numbered servitors, Druidic nightmares or ab-natural abominations? Where do they grow, and on what loathsome food do they thrive? Follow them to Hell and Hydra, or to Mormo and Monsanto.

Hideous Creatures: Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath is the first installment of the second Ken Writes About Stuff subscription (if you are a previous subscriber, you will need to buy a new subscription to see this), or it’s available as a stand-alone from the store.

If you have subscribed to the second KWAS subscription, Hideous Creatures: Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath is now on your order receipt page, so all you have to do is click on the new link in your order email. (If you can’t find your receipt email, you can get another one sent to you by entering your email address here).

 

Stock #: PELH15D Author: Kenneth Hite
Artist: Jeff Porter Pages: 10pg PDF

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Lilith

Lilith_400“Satan here held his Babylonish court, and in the blood of stainless childhood the leprous limbs of phosphorescent Lilith were laved.” Lilith as Queen of the Vampires, Lady of the Night — or as First Rebel and First Heroine? We look at the many faces of Lilith, as a Trail of Cthulhu titan (Elder Goddess or Great Old One), Night’s Black Agents vampire queen, Mutant City Blues super-Typhoid Mary, and at her role in the center of the First Esoterror Operation.

Lilith is the twelfth installment of the Ken Writes About Stuff subscription, or it’s available as a stand-alone from the store. If you have subscribed to KWAS, Lilith is now on your order receipt page, so all you have to do is click on the new link in your order email. (If you can’t find your receipt email, you can get another one sent to you by entering your email address here).

 

Stock #: PELH13D Author: Kenneth Hite
Artist: Anna Kryczkowska Pages: 9pg PDF

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HC Star_Vampires-1“The human blood on which it had fed revealed the hitherto invisible outlines of the feaster.” Invisible outlines that shall be expanded upon, extended even, into all sorts of dimensions. Are they summoned demons or feral predators? Are they kindred or competitors to Colin Wilson’s Space Vampires? Herein we trace the Shambler From the Stars, with bonus Night’s Black Agents statistics and a scenario seed.

Hideous Creatures: Star Vampires is the eleventh installment of the Ken Writes About Stuff subscription, or it’s available as a stand-alone from the store. If you have subscribed to KWAS, Hideous Creatures: Shoggoth is now on your order receipt page, so all you have to do is click on the new link in your order email. (If you can’t find your receipt email, you can get another one sent to you by entering your email address here).

 

Stock #: PELH12D Author: Kenneth Hite
Artist: Jeff Porter Pages: 11pg PDF

Buy

Mind Control_350This is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful GUMSHOE Zoom I’ve ever known in my life. Presenting detailed rules for brainwashing, memetics, telecontrol, and brain hacking, and for gear from the Microwave Auditory Effect gun to subliminal flashers to tinfoil hats, it brings the fight inside your head.

GUMSHOE Zoom: Mind Control is the tenth installment of the Ken Writes About Stuff subscription, or it’s available as a stand-alone PDF from the store.

What is a GUMSHOE Zoom?

Not everything can support a game of its own, or even a big sourcebook. For those things, we present the GUMSHOE Zoom, a sort of supplement focused on a key game mechanic and its possible applications. In general, Zooms are interesting potential hacks, or intriguing adaptations of the main rules. Some apply to one specific topic or sub-sub-genre. Others cross all manner of GUMSHOE turf; you can slot them in and adapt them to tales of Cthulhuoid investigation, mean superpowered streets, or alien colonies alike.

Zooms are experimental. That does mean that they haven’t been playtested, necessarily. (If something in here is really really broken – and it’s not, as this ain’t our first rodeo – we’ll fix it in post.) But that also means we encourage you to experiment with them. Changing the cost, or prerequisites, or point effect, or other mechanical parameters of a given Zoom changes how often it shows up and how much drama it drives. The dials are in your hands.

Zooms will change the focus of your play if you use them. Putting a mechanic on the table puts it into your game. Adding a Zoom means more actions, possibly even more scenes, using those rules. Since the Zoom mechanics are intended to encourage specific actions or flavors, to force a card in your storytelling hand, they aren’t “balanced” against “normal” actions or rules. In general, if you don’t want to see more of it, don’t Zoom in on it.

Zooms are optional rules. You can and should ignore them if you don’t want them, or change them at will. After all, if a given Zoom turns out to be crucial to an upcoming GUMSHOE game, we’ll change it to fit that specific genre or form of storytelling.

 

Stock #: PELH11D Author: Kenneth Hite
Artist: Jérôme Huguenin Pages: 12pg PDF

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