Unspeakable! Episode 19: Bret Kamer of the ‘Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion’

Hosted by Adam Scott GlancyShane Ivey, and Ross Payton. Produced by Ross Payton.

This episode’s guest is Bret Kramer, co-author of the Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion (at Kickstarter until March 9, 2015) and editor of the Arkham Gazette.

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  • Shane: TUO 25 in the works now. Delta Green: Extraordinary Renditions is in editing now and lacks only one or two stories from its writers. Achtung! Cthulhu: Elder Godlike is in layout now over at Modiphius. Delta Green: The Roleplaying Game is in development: Ray Winninger is working with us to review the latest round of playtest reports from the player’s book and we’ll start playtesting rules from the GM’s book soon. See a teaser at Dennis Detwiller’s Patreon page. The new Better Angels campaign No Soul Left Behind is going to layout now. The new edition of Puppetland is in illustration now by Sam Araya and Hollie Mengert, and a bevy of writers are helping John Scott Tynes expand the book. Our goofy new card game Wrestlenomicon, featuring Great Old Ones in pro-wrestling-style brawls, will go to Kickstarter soon, written by Shane Ivey and Dennis Detwiller and illustrated by Kurt Komoda. Other stuff creeping nearer: a Delta Green card game, a couple of King in Yellow books, and more.
  • Scott: John H. Crowe III is moving out of Pagan House and taking all his cats and guns! Scott’s busy writing for the new Delta Green game. Also “Trespassers,” a story for Stone Skin Press’ Swords v. Cthulhu. Grinding along: Horrors of War, which has great artists assigned.
  • Ross: Finishing the Kickstarter for Boiling Point, for the Base Raiders superpowered dungeon-crawling game. Back RPPR on Patreon to get RPPR After Hours, games run for backers, and more fun.
  • Bret: The Arkham Gazette went online free for its first couple of episodes and succeeded at Kickstarter. Issue 3 in development now. We talk a good bit about what makes the Gazette great and veer into “The Cult of A,” Bret’s feature in TUO 24.



  • SPOILER ALERT! We give away everything about Masks of Nyarlathotep here, so this is your chance to quit listening if you plan to play in it.
  • Why we love Masks so much. Its influence on RPG adventure design, especially Call of Cthulhu adventures: character, plot, structure.
  • Some challenges in running Masks that show its age. Its legendary lethality. Clue choke-points. The need for player-characters to learn Rockford Files investigative skills and deep paranoia.
  • Tools and references in the Companion. Shanghai background. Jackson Elias background. Useful details and context for exotic locales.
  • Innovative ways to convey too-rare clues.
  • Scattered talk of Kenya, Cairo, making tomes more interesting, and more. The infinite Mythos tome.
  • Lethality vs. suspense. Patrons and campaign frameworks.
  • Use the Companion sparingly!


This episode’s music is “Nyarlathotep” by the Darkest of the Hillside Thickets, courtesy Divine Industries. Copyright 2012. Visit www.thickets.net.

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1 comment for “Unspeakable! Episode 19: Bret Kamer of the ‘Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion’

  1. crawlkill
    March 3, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    man, the one thing that I unequivocally hate about CoC as a ruleset is that it has these tomes that just get the one-sentence descriptions? not even in-character descriptions? if you’re gonna have a tome with SAN loss, you should write a little paragraph indicative of the content of the book that creeps the player reading the book out. you haven’t earned that SAN loss otherwise.

    but beyond that, the fact discussed here that they have no application to the broader context is totally crazed. “you read a book, you understood the nature of reality, no you don’t get to hear any of the words in it, shut up and take your SAN loss and don’t expect this ever to be useful again.” the approach described here is sooo much better (if kinda obvious–some people don’t seem to edit rules with the obvious).

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