Some of you may have heard about Krampus, that mythical creature that somewhat resembles the devil that accompanies St. Nicholas during the Christmas season. While Santa Claus hands out gifts to children who have been nice, Krampus’ job is to stuff nasty children into his sack and carry them away to devour them. Yum! 😉
In Austria, southern Bavaria and South Tyrol young men dress up as Krampus in the first week of December to participate in so-called Krampus Runs (Krampuslauf) where they roam the streets frightening children with rusty chains and bells. Usually these runs are in the night of December 6th (Krampusnacht).
During the Inquisition attempts were made to stamp the tradition out. Dressing up like a devil-like creature was actually punishable by death back then. And even in the early 20th century the practice was discouraged by the Austrian government.
But what if there’s a deeper reason why people try to stop these Krampus Runs? What if the costumes and the runs are actually part of a cannibalistic ritual from the dawn of time? Thinking about this for a while gave me a few ideas for a Call of Cthulhu scenario.
Continue reading Krampusnacht
Have you ever dreamed about creating a Google Maps style map of your campaign world? My friend and fellow RPG blogger Zakharov Sawyer recently told me about mashupforge, a new service that allows you to do just that. You can even add markers with descriptions about the various places on the map. This can be a very handy tool, especially when you use a laptop or tablet PC at the game table. Below you see a map created by Zak:
If you want to check out the map in all its interactive glory, follow this link. Mashupforge is currently in beta, and they’ll probably add more features in the future but if you look for an easy and free way to turn your campaign map into an interactive map in the style of Google Maps, mashupforge is definitely worth a look.
I don’t remember when I first heard about Carcosa. I think someone mentioned it on Twitter or I discovered a link to some preview somewhere. But I was immediately intrigued. Carcosa is a weird science-fantasy horror setting by Geoffrey McKinney and published by Lamentations of the Flame Princess.
There seems to be some controversy around this product. I have to admit I haven’t bothered to look deeper into this, but I believe one reason is that Carcosa is not what you would consider family friendly. Like LotFP it doesn’t hide the fact that it is for adults only. Among Carcosa’s inspirations the author lists the works of H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E.Howard, Lin Carter and Michael Moorcock. And a setting inspired by the writings of these people can’t be all bad. And trust me, it isn’t.
Continue reading First Look: Carcosa