Wednesday 2 March 2011

The Links Effect

Well, I've recently finished a seven-month stint as a Keeper on a pbem Call of Cthulhu adventure. From next week, I'll be starting a new blog post series on my ideas and suggestions for how to run a successful pbem, primarily for CoC but some of the ideas and guidelines are transferable to other games.

Over the seven months, I've built up a long list of links that came in very handy for establishing atmosphere and detail. Now that I have become a player rather than Keeper, it's time to clear house; my wife is complaining that our Favourites list reaches halfway to the Sun and I'd like to have all the relevant links in one handy place.

I'm also aware that there are a lot of gamers out there who'd like to play CoC but can't find the players. Pbem solves that problem and I hope that the forthcoming series will give potential Keepers some guidelines and pointers in running a memorable and successful adventure.

So, herewith, the links. I hope that they prove useful for you if you are tempted to probe the eldritch and dark corners of the 1920s...

(my apologies that they are not hyperlinked; when I've got a bit more time, I'll try to fit those in)

Our Decade of Darkness pbem wiki

An A-Z of Lovecraft's writings, including those hard-to-obtain ones:

Chaosium's Quick Start CoC rules

This site has suggestions and ideas for horror adventures:

And this site is useful as well:

General information on the 1920s, by subject

Looking for some info on WW1 aeroplanes? This site has plenty:

As does this one

Setting my adventure in the area of Brattleboro meant doing some serious leg-work to find out 1920s information on the town. Some links follow:'s

What Call of Cthulhu adventure would be complete without its mental asylum?

Interested in knowing what time the sun sets in your adventure? You wouldn't want to be caught out after dark, would you?

These links came in very handy when Dungeonmum wanted to have her character speak authentically

Information about cars of 1919 can be found here

And here is the car I want to buy when I am very rich - the Hispano-Suiza H6. What a car!

The HP Lovecraft Historical Society is well worth a visit

Need details of menus and foodstuffs of the 1920s?

One thing that really makes a pbem adventure is the standard of the props used. I found this site which has a good collection of black and white photos which are handy for using when introducing NPCs.

This one is very useful too

Some interesting information on tobacco products during the CoC era, with some authentic brand names

If this chap is not in your CoC adventure, he certainly ought to be:

Want a street map of Lower Manhattan in 1920?

And the list of streetcar lines to go with it

A collection of historical maps; this link takes you to the New York selection but you can navigate to other map categories on the site.

Fancy a night out in the 1920s? Check out this list and its sister list as well

You'd be mad to miss a site called Historic Asylums of America. No matter where your investigators go insane, there's a place for them to go.

If you're setting off for Africa in the 1920s, you'll want to make sure you're taking enough equipment. Read about someone who was never under-equipped

Some information on stars of the silent movie era

Historic Boston - not far from Historic Arkham and Historic Kingsport...

Are you Providence? You are? Then this is the site for you; Rhode Island architecture

A list of the Governors of Vermont - I had great trouble finding this so it's here if you need it. I would imagine that other states have similar listings.

A very handy site, not for the Federal Reserve of Minneapolis but for the converter in the top right hand corner which will enable you to compare 2011 prices with those of any other year. Now your investigators won't end up tipping the bellboy the equivalent of a year's wages...

This site provided me with a wealth of historical photographs of Brattleboro in the 1920s but I should imagine that they will pass for any small town and plenty of other locations should have their own archives.

Here's an organisation that can be either helper or antagonist for the investigators, depending on which side of the fence they come down

A little light reading for all horror enthusiasts - The King in Yellow by Robert Chambers

Find out about disasters and tragedies of the 20th century on this site. I'm not saying Mythos creatures were involved - but I'm not saying they weren't.

1907 was a great year for travel - read all about what it entailed here. Things won't have changed all that much by the 1920s

A fascinating guide to Forgotten New York - there's even a link to old cemeteries, and we all know what happens to anyone who goes there in a CoC adventure...

Links to a whole legion of Gothic writers, including Machen, James, Poe...

Advertisements can really give flavour to a campaign: this site's got plenty

This site is the Popular Science archive and has scans of magazines going back to January 1920 - the small ads can be used to add atmosphere to any adventure (other years are available, just key month and year into the archive box)

Let's go to Egypt (say Hi to Nyarlathotep if you see him...)

That's all the links I've got right now. If anyone's got any other links that can assist the busy Keeper, let me know and I'll try to include those as well.


  1. Wow. Nice set of links. Thanks!

  2. For those who have it, in Dragon Magazine, Issue #95, there is a short Gangbusters article called "Prices for the Roaring 20’s” by Glenn Rahman that gives you what it says...

  3. Awesome resource! Thank you :)

  4. Extremely useful and yoinked for great justice.

  5. Great stuff - I'll be using some of these fairly soonish methinks ;-)

  6. Yummy!

    I might bookmark this post for future use too ;)

  7. Excellent! Thanks so much for putting this together. :D