Curse of the Yellow Sign: Act 2

Digging for a Dead God: 7,000+ words.
Calling the King: 17,000+ words.

I guess Act 3 is gonna be 27,000+ words or something. Sheesh.

This one is a toad strangler, folks. Last night, I woke up from a very intense dream and could not get back to sleep. I decided to get some writing done. I plopped down in front of the Mac and started typing… but after about thirty minutes, I started feeling… something. Just a sense of real dread. And for a moment, I knew that if I turned around, the Man in Black would be standing in the doorway. I knew it.

I turned slowly… and he wasn’t there.

At least, he wasn’t there when I looked.

I quickly retired back to the bed and put myself back to sleep as quickly as possible.

Now, writing in the afternoon, I still get that itch down my spine every once in a while. And the cat jolting around isn’t helping.

The writing is mostly done. I’m gonna run one more playtest on Friday then hand it off to Aaron for art and layout.

And hopefully–hopefully–I’ll have the PDF for sale at Gencon. 

Don’t read this one alone, folks. Just don’t.

Act 1, Scene 3

(Uoht the Younger and Uoht the Elder approach the castle at the gate. The wind and snow blow around them.)


Have you seen Mother? I have heard looks as close to death as a corpse.


Closer to a corpse puts us closer to the Throne.


Your ambition is tasteless, brother.


It tastes sweet to Cassilda.


Her tastes are just as bitter as yours.


How would you know, brother? Tasted her often?


You disgust me. Listening to your plots makes me wonder if I should be so concerned when I sit on the Throne.


Be silent! Someone approaches!


(ENTER Cassilda)


(CASSILDA hugs the ELDER and kisses the YOUNGER)

My brothers! And why home so soon? Is the war over?


Alas, no. It seems it has only begun.


Our armies did not fare well against the Enemy, sister.


When news reaches the streets, the strees shall not be silent.


They will want blood.


They can find it in the veins of our Enemy.


They will find it in the walking corpse that sits on our Throne.


Aye, if that corpse has any blood left in her.


That is our mother you speak of, brother. You will keep your tongue civil in your head or I will cut it out for you.



Our brother has not taken well to the defeats our Enemy has given us.


You speak as if they were gifts.


They are gifts, brother. Do you not see? We can use the defeats and the risk of revolt to restore sanity to the Throne.




She says she can see Carcosa on the lake.




Every day, she stares out the window. Every night, she walks the halls. Sleepless. Afraid to sleep. The apothecary has given her a powder to keep her safe from dreams. She says she is eager to call the King.


You will be silent, now!


If it is true, brother…


If it is true, I shall see it for myself!


You shall, Uoht. You shall.


Putting John in the Book

I playtested Act 2 of Curse of the Yellow Sign last night. It went remarkably well: far better than I expected. I was only half-prepared and didn’t have everything I wanted. I had to improvise around a lot of holes. Makes me think about things I’ve said about directors like John Carpenter: the less money you give him, the better movie he makes.

 A lot credit for the session’s success goes to the people involved. The scenario needs at least six people (you can have seven). I had seven really good players. And when I was done, I realized that ninety percent of what was happening was because of decisions and improvisations I was making.

Reminded me of a time long ago when we were first developing the L5R RPG. John Zinser read a draft and came into my office. "I don’t see it," he told me. "I don’t see how to run this."

I said, "That’s because I haven’t written the GM chapter yet."

He shook his head. "I want to play it," he told me. 

So, I organized a session and ran the game. Most of the mechanics weren’t fleshed out just yet, but we had an incredible time anyway. Afterward, John asked me, "How do we get you in the book?"

I told him, "I haven’t written the GM chapter yet."

For Act 1, almost eighty percent of the scenario is just GM advice. Putting me in the book.

I honestly don’t know how to put me into this one. This is gonna be hard.

In May of 1939, somewhere in the jungles of Africa, a small band of soldiers have stumbled across something ancient. Something terrible.

And they are about to suffer the consequences.

Curse of the Yellow Sign: Digging for a Dead God is a one-night, one-shot Call of Cthulhu scenario (licensed and approved by Chaosium) for up to six players.

It contains two maps, six pre-generated characters and enough advice and nasty tricks to scare the pants off even the most seasoned CoC players.

PDF for $5.
Print edition coming soon.
Click here (or the image above) to get yours now.

Dreams of Cthulhu

In response to my podcast on Call of Cthulhu over at Geekson…

So, congrats to that one contributor…. he gave me a nightmare last night.  That’s never happened before.  I only remember bits where I was the only one in my town that knew of the darkness just on the otherside of the shadows.  I was waiting in the car watching some shadow and sensing that something was coming through.  And they knew that I knew they were out there.  I hoped that my friends wouldn’t come out of the house.

Two goblins pushed through… and this being a more realistic world, two were more than enough to kill me.  Especially with teeth like they had.  Slowly they walked up to my car that was surrounded in fog, smiling cuz they knew I could see them.  I locked the door just before one tried.  It didn’t lunge at the door viciously or anything… it just… tried to open the door calmly while it eyed me, smiling with it’s gigantic set of teeth.  It’s friend calmly walked to the back door to try and I lunged and locked it.

Can’t remember much past that, but wow… hats off to your contributor.  I never had a nightmare from a podcast before.

And…. it was kinda cool. ^__^ 

Again, you can listen to it here.