TUO 4: Scream And Scream Again

The Unspeakable Oath 4

The Unspeakable Oath 4

©1991 by the respective writers

[Our second letters column found some interesting reactions to the Dread Page of TUO3, as well as the first mention of what was to become a major effort for Pagan Publishing: our multi-media convention games. A few days before I wrote this little intro we introduced our third multi-media Call of Cthulhu game, "In Media Res," to great results. We've run "Grace Under Pressure," mentioned below, almost two dozen times now and had great fun doing it. In future issues, letter-writers have checked in with their own "Grace" experiences. Note that the Editor's Notes appearing below are from the original letters pages, and are not new to this edition. — John Scott Tynes]

First I wish to thank you for giving this devout worshipper of Yog-Sothoth a publication centered on Call of Cthulhu. In the eleven years that I have roleplayed I have experienced many different systems ranging from fantasy to science fiction. Each having its own appeal and novelty but nothing ever compared to CoC. In fact I am a faithful follower of this Chaosium product. Devoted to the point of purchasing almost all their new releases (not republished items) with the only exception being Blood Brothers.

After reading your article “The Dread Page Of Azathoth” in TUO3 I could not help but smile. Many people miss this major point of humanity, especially my group. After playing a session of CoC I stop and wonder what is the real threat to the world — the Mythos or the armed investigators?

Please continue the good work of informative articles, reviews, scenarios and new creatures. Especially continue the fiction which is a source of inspiration to those who need that fresh insight into the world of Lovecraft. I thank you and look forward to each new publication of The Unspeakable Oath.

Charles Humphrey
Shreveport, LA

* * *

It’s impossible for me to describe the surprise I got skimming through the pages of the second and third issues of The Unspeakable Oath, since even if the first number was amazingly interesting, I wasn’t ready for such a huge amount of quality material! The artwork is great (Blair Reynolds is definitely one of the best illustrators around), and every contribution has something to add to the game we all love. I was especially pleased to find the adventure “Grace Under Pressure:” adventures like this one are those I prefer, offering more chances to roleplay realistic situations, thanks to a carefully tailored environment. I must add that, even if I buy almost every new Chaosium product, this is the first time in a long while that I’m so eager to play a scenario. We’re going to play “Grace Under Pressure” with walkie-talkies and probably some of the other advices from the ending section of the adventure: I will tell you something about the way we played it next time. Thank you for a top quality product.

Francesco Nepitello
Venice, Italy

(Editor’s Note: Jeff and I ran “Grace Under Pressure” three times in two exhausting days at Contemplation in Jefferson City, MO. We had an entire darkened ballroom to ourselves, with light provided only by our green glowsticks and the pen lights each player was given. Whalesong and sonar pings echoed from tape machines in the background. Walkie-talkies were used whenever the group split up, and we had pull-string firecrackers to set off when the bangsticks were used. The sessions were unqualified successes, easily the best gaming experience I’ve ever had, with a palpable tension and intensity in both the players and the Keepers. Anyone out there have GUP experiences to share? And oh yes — the minumum number of fumbles rolled per session was twenty. It was heinous. — John Scott Tynes, 1991)

* * *

As with the premiere issue, I have to say that Shea’s covers for the second and third issues are great, although, again, perhaps in no way connected to the Mythos (but who cares, they’re so good!).

I don’t much care for “The Dread Page Of Azathoth” — in fact, I found the one in the third issue to be especially offensive, although I obviously see the point being made.

Steve Hatherley’s “Tales of Terror” are neat scenario plots, and are a nice addition.

This seemingly never-ending parade of weapons is getting a little redundant — after all, CoC isn’t a game of melee combat and high-tech military strikes (which are mostly useless against the non-human agents of the Mythos, anyway). In all fairness, however, I am impressed with the extensive research which must have gone into this series of articles.

As for the scenarios, well up until TUO3 I didn’t really care for them, although they have always been presented very well. I thought that Chris Klepac’s “The Travesty” was really good, and a neat idea. John Crowe’s “The House on Stratford Lane” was good, as well, but all of those weapons again!

…good job, all around, and I think you’ve got a real winner on your hands.

Scott David Aniolowski
Lockport, NY

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