Call of Cthulhu Keeper’s Screen / A Restoration of Evil

Call of Cthulhu Keeper's Screen (Call of Cthulhu RPG)Call of Cthulhu Keeper’s Screen by Les Brooks
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not too bad if you are a creative GM who wants to work on things.

I picked up this supplement a long time ago. I never ran the scenario, but instead just used the rules for the occasional Cthulhu game. As the years went by I used the Chaosium system less and less and forgot about it.

I am now running a Cthulhu game using the GURPS system and I needed something small to supplement my game. I won’t spoil any of the adventure called “A Restoration of Evil” for possible players here, but I will say its a decent low level start. If you are running it at a convention it will work well out of the box. If its for a campaign you will need to fill in a lot of things.

Now that the the rules are very outdated, I wouldn’t pick it up for anything unless you could get it used for $0.50.

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GURPS Basic Set: Characters

GURPS Basic Set: CharactersGURPS Basic Set: Characters by Steve Jackson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A definite must have for gaming groups!

I have ran tabletop roleplaying games for decades (since approximately 1984). Everything from Dungeons and Dragons Basic set (in the box), Battletech, Shadowrun, White Wolf, and a dozen other systems (that maybe I will do reviews on someday).

I have recently reread the book this year for a new campaign I am running and I am reminded why I use it. Because you can recreate any world you want with these rules. The fact that you can modify the setting, genre, realism level of the game, makes it the best choice.

Pros: A variety of settings are provided in supplements and sourcebooks with constant updating of different worlds and even additional advanced rules, equipment and ideas. You want gritty realism, or cinematic campaign you have it. Do you want a combination of Cthulhu and Shadowrun? What about Fantasy and Werewolf? You can do it all.

Cons: In all fairness this is not an easy system to learn. It is prohibitively complicated for new players or GMs, and even those with lots of experience will still struggle a bit. The rules can bog down the game so you will have to learn to cut the things you don’t want to deal with. This is why I can’t give it a 5 star and only a 4 star.

Overall it is my favorite systems and with patience you can convert any other game system into GURPS (my most recent one was converting Mechwarrior/Battletech into GURPS and it was better than the original system because of more RP character options).

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Stormhaven (Whyborne & Griffin #3)

Stormhaven (Whyborne & Griffin, #3)Stormhaven by Jordan L. Hawk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For the audiobook only!

I have to say Jordan Hawk is just getting better, and so is the narrator. Originally some of the words spoken and written were a bit boxy and didn’t quite gel with me. I do take some ownership of that as part of it was undoubtably me getting used to a new author.

However in this third book Jordan Hawk takes us deeper into who Griffin is, where he comes from and what torments him on more than a cursory level. We get to meet people who are close to him, and explore his fears more in depth. I thought this was fantastic.

We also dig a bit deeper into Whyborne, his family and some inkling of what may be coming for him. Along with that we had Christine also involved, this time she felt even more part of the group. I no longer really think of them as a duo, but a trio. They each have something they bring to the party.

Jordan expanded their own ability as well. The sex scenes were never bad, but they are feeling smoother in this. The plot is a bit tighter and we are getting connections between stories. It is a good start for world building.

The last part is that the narrator has gotten more comfortable themselves with reading it. The sex scenes were ok, a little off. However, the biggest issue was accents. It seems like they have laid off of them and that has made all the difference.

Overall a great book, it is coming together and I am looking forward to Necropolis.

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Threshold (Whyborne & Griffin, #2)

Threshold (Whyborne & Griffin, #2)Threshold by Jordan L. Hawk

Audio Version Only!

I am back again and I had a better time this go around. Still a 1890s gay romance, supernatural horror, lovecraftian story. This time the listening was a lot easier, two days instead of two weeks. I am not sure if I was in a better mood, or maybe Jordan’s universe just clicked into place easier this time.

This review won’t be as long. This time we see more of Griffon’s backstory. Get to meet an important person to him, and learn more about his childhood. Of course the story is still about Whyborne, so don’t worry there are plenty of awkward moments and explicit sex.

Once again, the only negative I had was the narrator didn’t stay in his lane. This time it wasn’t an Irish accent (except, maybe there was a sentence or so when the characters were joking, but quick and pretty painless). This time is was “professional” women. It wasn’t as cringeworthy as the Irish accent, but still enough to make me wince.

However, I wanted to note that the narrator does absolutely fine with Christine, so not sure why the difference.

As a follow up to Christine, she proves to be even more of a badass in a couple of moments then initially suspected. Already I would love a few books of her adventures when she goes to digs. I do know there are 6 more books to read that are already out, so maybe I will get my wish.

I definitely recommend this book to everyone.

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Widdershins (Whyborne & Griffin, #1)

Widdershins (Whyborne & Griffin, #1)Widdershins by Jordan L. Hawk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is for the Audio Version Only!

This is a first for me. I have never read a gay urban supernatural fiction centered romance located in the 1890s Lovecraftian Universe. To be honest this is my first gay romance, and it was pretty darn good.

That seems at first an almost bizarre combination, but it is great. I absolutely enjoyed this book and I am thankful my husband pushed me to read it. Don’t worry I won’t spoil the book, but I just had to comment on how much I did like it.

The story itself is great, I love the romance that develops in the book. The main character is very much in the same vein as Randolph Carter in Lovecraft’s stories, in fact this book could very well take place in Lovecraft. The big difference is Jordan writes better.

The story is full of the horror we expect, the small towns, underground passages and things man shouldn’t read. The big difference is there is no inherent racism or sexism directed at others in a hurtful way. The prejudices in the book are appropriate for the time and are written carefully to make it clear the author is telling a story of the time period, not that people in the real world are the monsters. Lovecraft was problematic at the best. This book avoids his pitfalls and shows the pains a homosexual man and a woman trying to push into the male dominated fields handle being professors at a university.

Oh, and the sex scenes (and there are some pretty explicit ones) are pretty good.

The only flaw in the entire setup isn’t Jordan, its the narrator. He is pretty good overall, however he cannot affect an accent to save his life. He doesn’t need to either, he is fine just reading the book like he does for most of it. However, the Irish accents and the women’s voices are cringeworthy.

Once again, he was great overall, just stay in your lane sir, stay in your lane.

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Rat Queens, Vol. 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’rygoth

Rat Queens, Vol. 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N'rygothRat Queens, Vol. 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’rygoth by Kurtis J. Wiebe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If anything this book is better than Volume 1. The first book had a lot of standard tropes that were changed up by female leads. This time we get more in depth history on the ladies, including Vi’s previous life as a woman who’s father is trying to marry her off, thus giving us the struggles she is going through by leaving her people.

It follows up with Dee and her strangely compelling Lovecraftian type family background roots, and follows up with Hannah’s birth father.

I won’t go into any of the specific details of the story, no spoilers here really. However I want to say the story just gets better. The relationships of the group are just solidified and I was sad when the story ended.

I can’t recommend enough reading this series… Oh, and Betty is still fantastic.

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Lately

The last couple of weeks have been hard. Last Saturday was the one year anniversary of my father passing away and tomorrow is the anniversary of the funeral. Work has been super busy, deadlines coming up and I have turned down taking days off to keep on track… only to have my boss take the week off.

I finally have felt like I wanted to write more, lately I have been having memories of childhood and early adulthood experiences and I am worried about forgetting it. I am getting older (heading on to 46 soon) and I don’t want to lose the memories permanently.

Good news is we turned our book in for the accidentally gay blog. We are waiting to hear back, hopefully it will be soon.

One of the good things that have come out of this is learning how to organize a book. I have always wanted to write some sort of memoir (don’t worry I don’t think I will ever get money for it, not that big headed yet). My memories come in spurts though. So I think now I am just going to write up memories into this blog. I will also start a page and divide the page up between portions of my life (childhood, high school, early marriage, late marriage, etc). On that page I will track the different posts I do so I can build up an outline of my life.

Once that outline gets complete enough, maybe I will put it together.

I have a few other writing projects as well, along with some photography so we will see what will happen. As for photography itself we have been to a couple of different events, I will post galleries later 🙂

Well that is it, talk later folks.