Cthulhu Abides is up on Amazon and should stay there for a while. You see, I keep making edits and every time I do that CreateSpace pulls it from sale for up to 24 hours. I'm leaving the text well alone for a while but, doubtless, I'll go back to it in a month or two and all these errors - all these typos and infelicitous expressions, these sloppy layouts and inelegant mechanics - will leap out at me and a new tranche of edits will begin.
I'll take Cthulhu Abides to the National Student Roleplaying Championships in March 2015 and get some feedback. I'll give some free copies to my gamers there to see if that drums up some beta testers. In the meantime, the offer for beta testers stands so if you want a free PDF just drop me an email. Or buy a copy - I get no profit from sales, which is why it's so cheap.
Where's this going? Well, in the long run I'd like to use Kickstarter or some other crowdfunding platform to raise some investment for a "proper" edition - you know, original art, interior illustrations, professional DTP, glossy pages, nice hardback editions. The game needs testing first and the rights thing needs further investigation. My amateur sleuthing suggests that the references to Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith's creation are out of copyright here in the UK. I know the rights issue in the US is more contested but I've deliberately removed a lot of post-Lovecraftian contributions from the game - no chthonians, no fire vampires, no Glaaki. I'd love to incorporate Ramsey Campbell's Severn Valley material, because it's British, but that will have to wait. In any event, my adolescent dream to publish a roleplaying game that people buy and play will be accomplished and my bucket list grows shorter.
So what's next for the project? Well, every good RPG needs a campaign pack jammed with scenarios, so Season of Mists is the next thing. I'm studying the dank fenlands of Lincolnshire where I live and if ever there was a Lovecraftian landscape, here it is. Of course there's (the original) Boston and King's Lynn and the crumbling gables of Stamford as well as any number of remote, decaying coastal villages sporting their own "Innsmouth Look". I'll fictionalise Spalding and Wisbech too. The setting will be the mid-Thirties, suffused with the drum beats of war. The tone will build on the game's quirky take on Serpent People and Deep Ones, Yuggoth Wars versus Hastur and his hated Yellow Sign. And the Germans, of course. Maybe I'll discover why the fen-folk are called Yellow Bellies...
I've started sketching out the metaplot, involving a German plot against the King and Parliament (of course) that runs into a battle between two Deep One colonies. I want to follow the theme set up in the rule book, of presenting Lovecraftian creatures in a slightly less conventional way, starting with a Serpent Woman who may be a (untrustworthy) ally and an aeon-old love affair (if that's what it is) between two Shoggoths. Nonetheless, there's plenty of room for gruesomeness, with appearances by Black Shuck, the original doomed town of Dunwich, fen-dwelling cannibals and the truth behind the Lincoln Imp. You get steam trains, Shoggoths versus Howitzers anda digression through Dreaming Kings Lynn to the bottom of the North Sea. And Thor. Thor's in it too.