Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Holmes' 1983 review of the Call of Cthulhu RPG: Rediscovered and republished in Bayt Al Azif #2

Cover art by Jensine Eckwall

A major announcement for Holmes enthusiasts: in 1983 Holmes wrote a review of the then relatively new Call of Cthulhu RPG (by Sandy Petersen), for the inaugural issue of the short-lived Gameplay Magazine (February '83 to April '84), a periodical similar to Dragon but with much more of a general gaming focus. I was completely unaware of this major piece by Holmes ⁠— one of his last in the field of writing about RPGs ⁠— until recently when the long-lost article was rediscovered by Tony A. Rowe of the Cryptic Archivist blog. The original 1986 author bio for the Maze of Peril novel mentions that Holmes had articles in several magazines including Gameplay, but after finding a computer game review he wrote in a later issue (detailed in the Holmes bibliography) I had assumed that was all he had written for that publication. Not so. The review, which is a two full pages as originally published, is written in his characteristic engaging and genre-fan style and includes anecdotes and advice based on CoC games that he himself had run, as well as providing more fodder for a Holmes "Appendix N"

And now, with the permission of Chris Holmes, I am thrilled to announce that this article is once again in print in the second issue of the Cthulhu RPG magazine Bayt Al Azif, along with brand new illustration by Chris of a scene from one of those actual-play stories (!), and a half-page of commentary on the review by myself (bringing the total to 3 full-pages):




(link includes my DrivethruRPG affiliate number)

Both digital and hardcopy are available through the above link. This second issue is longer ⁠— 108 pages ⁠— than the the first, and once again includes a wide variety of articles of interest to the Cthulhu RPG enthusiast, including multiple scenarios set in different eras. Here's a screenshot of the Table of Contents:




Thanks to Tony for locating and scanning the original article, to Chris for agreeing to reprint it and providing accompanying art, and to the editor Jared Smith for accepting it for his magazine and doing the layout.

See also the earlier post about my article for the first issue of Bayt al Azif.

6 comments:

  1. Time to add this to the Holmes bibliography!

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  2. Very worthwhile to update in the reprint of Tales of Peril, if we can, as well!

    Allan.

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    Replies
    1. And ordered both issues! :D

      Allan.

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    2. Thanks for the orders! I'm definitely up for revising the Bibliography for the ToP reprint. I can think of a few other additions, such as that 1946 letter I posted recently.

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    3. Excellent! I'll discuss with Jon soon, since we're about out of stock on the hardcovers.

      And, the two zines arrived in today's mail :D

      Allan.

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