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Real heroics

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

I’m taking time out from my usual posting about various things Squamous-related to talk about something more important.

Heroism comes in many shapes, many forms. In the RPG world, heroes are sometimes defined as killing the giant dragon, or driving that extra-dimensional horror back to whence it game. In real life, however, heroism is much more. It means doing something selflessly for another human being. Heroism means you care. Heroism means /giving a fuck/.

And, more than anything, heroism means TAKING ACTION.

My friend Damion is taking action. He’s taking on the challenge of doing the AIDS Lifecycle, riding from San Francisco to LA- more than 540 miles, to raise awareness and money for the fight against AIDS.

He’s doing his part. Do yours. Please donate.


2012 – Year in review

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Last year, we here at Squamous Studios were kept quite busy with a number of projects- some that soared to great nights, like the flight of a byakhee, and others never saw the light of day, like a cadre of ghouls meeping and gibbering deep in their underground lairs.

By far the biggest book we shepherded through last year was Cthulhu by Gaslight 3rd Edition. Sorry, i should rephrase that: AWARD WINNING Cthulhu by Gaslight 3rd Edition. *ahem* Yes, i’m a bit proud about this one. ๐Ÿ™‚ I had started work on Gaslight in 2011, and was essentially made leader of the project. There were a lot of moving parts, and i ended up wearing more hats for this book than i originally estimated, but damn if it wasn’t fun and challenging. This is easily the book i’m the most proud of. Kevin Ross, along with Cthulhu by Gaslight’s original author William Barton, did an incredible job, and the artists that i got together were amazing.

The other big thing that i worked on, which *hasn’t* been released yet, is the card game i’m developing, Feed the Shoggoth!ร‚ย It’s been something i worked on throughout the year, as time permits (things i’ve signed contracts for obviously take priority). The germ of the idea for the game hit me in January, card and rules development took place from Jan-April, with play testing during April and May. More tinkering with rules, art wrangling, and some more play testing…and it’s still not done! There’s so much left to do…but it *is* getting done. I’ve got all the production art stuff back, so now the process of completing the final card art can commence. I’m confident that 2013 will be the year of FtS!.

Medieval Tales was one project that’s…kind of in limbo. I don’t know what’s going on with the company, so i have no idea if this book will ever see the light of day.

Back on the topic of Gaslight, i’ve been quietly been working on a couple of supplements that i’ve not talked much about. One of which is a .pdf-only addition for 3rd edition, whilst the other…well, you’ll have to just wait and see. ๐Ÿ™‚

Returning to the topic of stuff i did get out the door, A Season in Carcosa, the fiction anthology containing stories based on the Hastur Mythos, was released. Oh, and Bumps in the Night finally hit the shelves (though i wish i had my contributors copies of it…*sigh).

While it doesn’t seem like we here at Squamous Studios haven’t seen many releases to print this last year, we’ve been working a lot behind the scenes, and in fact, two books are about to go to the printers- Tales of the Sleepless City, a collection of scenarios set in 1920s New York City (by Miskatonic River Press), and Undead and Unbound, a fiction anthology of zombie tales (by Chaosium). And there’s new stuff on the horizon that i can’t talk about quite just yet…

Thus sums up 2012. Thanks to everyone for their support. We can’t wait to see what happens in 2013!


Last update for the year

Monday, December 31st, 2012

As 2012 quickly winds down, i thought i’d file one final update on various projects. Tales of the Sleepless City is going through final final corrections right now, and my guess is that it’ll be ready to send off to MRP in the first week or two in January. Woot! The zombie fiction anthology, Undead and Unbound, is basically done. And, now that i can get back to it a bit, i’m continuing work on the pdf supplement for Cthulhu by Gaslight, which will include colour versions of the handouts, all the maps, as well as some new articles that didn’t make it into the main book. Should be a welcome addition to all of you Gaslight fans out there.

Lastly, i ran another small demo of Feed the Shoggoth over the weekend, and reaction was again very positive. I got a couple of suggestions for some alternate rules, which i’ll try to incorporate. But first, i need to get the card art done, and really tackle the design of the cards themselves. Again, it’s going to be a question of attractiveness of the cards versus readability, and having the necessary information presented to the players with as little fuss as possible.

So that’s where things stand right now. I’m hoping that 2013 will be the Year of the Shoggoth! Stay tuned…

Double n-dashes are my enemy right now.

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012




– –


That is all.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Sorry for the lack of updates, but the holidays kinda put a crimp in time. I can report that Horror for the Holidays has been released, and should be available at your local bookstore…or you can order it on, or directly from Miskatonic River Press, of course!

Cthulhu by Gaslight has been coming along nicely, and it’s getting close to being done…well, until it gets reviewed and sent back for corrections, of course. ๐Ÿ˜›

To whet your appetite for Gaslight, i’m presenting here, for the first time, some of the artwork done by the esteemed artists for the book; Adam Denton, David Grilla, and John T. Snyder. To wit:




A quick note about comments…

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

…because i just received a couple again (thanks, guys!). Due to the torrent of spam this site gets on a daily basis, each comment on a post here has to get approved (or not, as the case may be). Therefore, if you don’t see your comment appear right away, it’s because i need to manually allow for it to get published. Hope that clears up any confusion you may have on that. ๐Ÿ™‚


Monday, November 7th, 2011

Now that things are falling into place resource-wise, i’m really starting to get a handle on putting Cthulhu by Gaslight together…and realizing now how much STUFF i have to work with. Map stuff. Art stuff. Header stuff. Diagrams stuff. Period pictures stuff.

It’s at this point in the process that doing layout is rather like a giant puzzle, with all these various and sundry pieces that need to somehow a) fit onto pieces of 8.5 x 11″ paper, and b) maintain readability. And it’s rather a tricky balancing act- i’ve got all this STUFF i want to…well, stuff into the book, because it’s all cool and neat and can help the players and and and…and i need to rein myself in sometimes. And self-edit. What’s *really* necessary for the reader? How much is too much? Is your average audience member going to give a shit what a hansom cab looks like? Do they really need that detailed map of Hounslow? (probably not.)

So yeah, some stuff is just going to have to go. Even still, with things that i’ll have to leave on the cutting room floor, Cthulhu by Gaslight is going to be absolutely filled to the brim. I frankly wouldn’t be surprised if this book eventually hits the 200 page mark.


Inching towards the finish line

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Just about there with a couple of projects…

Lux In Tenebras: I’ve gotten the corrected character sheets back, and just need to plug one more in, and that should be done and dusted.

Dissecting Cthulhu: Received some feedback from Tom via S.T. Joshi; overall it’s very positive, with some minor fixing that needs to be done. Joshi’s working on the index (for which i’m eternally grateful- indexes incur a mandatory 1D20 Sanity loss any time i even have to think about doing them), but after that and doing the ToC, it should be good to go.

As far as Gaslight 3rd ed goes, well, the story is about the same. I am working with the artwork that i have, as it trickles in. I have to say, though, that the book will ultimately have a TON of artwork inside, between the new art from Adam and John, the original pieces that i culled from 2nd edition, and a wealth of period artwork i gathered from different sources (including some weapons for the era- thanks, Dean!), there’s going to be almost too much.

And therein lies one of the challenges of doing a book like this. When is there an overabundance of artwork, to the point that it actually is a detriment to the book as a whole? I love art as much as the next guy or gal, but clogging the text with too much is Just Plain Bad. As much as part of me wants to shove everything in, i know that i’m going to have to exhibit some restraint.

But hey, this is a much better situation to be in than having too little art. ๐Ÿ™‚

Gears are syncing up

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

Been gone a while, out of town for a wedding in Boston, so i haven’t been able to do much work until now. Right now, i’ve been acting as more of producer for Gaslight; writing up contracts, talking to artists and others, consulting with the author, talking with Charlie about various aspects…it’s been really fun and interesting. A larger role than i was expecting, but i certainly don’t mind.

I’ve got a new map artist in line, and his work should look familiar to those of you who have checked out The Legacy of Arrius Lurco– Steff Worthington. His work is amazing, and i’m super pleased to have him on board.

For myself, i’ve been working mostly on cleaning up the old artwork and maps that i scanned from the original pages. After that, i’ve really got to get cracking on the page design some more…getting stamps of approval from Charlie and Kevin Ross on what i’ve done so far was a good thing, to be sure. I know i’m on the right track for sure!

Ahh, transparency, my old friend

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

I’d just finished laying out the basic text for the Gaslight book, when i decided to do some clean up work on the chapter header images that i’d made. There are some graphics that i made that, despite my creating them as .tifs with transparent backgrounds, the transparency wasn’t showing up how i intended in the book. Hrm.

So i went back, went through the process of resaving the file, and saw that i’d missed a checkbox the first time ’round: “Save Transparency”. Aha! I resaved my files, and all is well.


These images are line art, essentially, banners that will have text overlaid. However, by including the transparency, that means any graphic underneath is going to show through the banner now. Whoops. Not what i want. So now i’ve gone through and filled the banners, preserved the transparency, and now everything’s as it should be.

All that work for something that you, dear reader, probably won’t notice much. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Edit: And now i’m realizing that i’m going to have to do the same thing to the boxed text background images, too. Whee!