20 Nov 2012
by Jeffrey Thomas
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(Logo created by Nicolas Huck, for the German-language site he designed and maintains for me, Planet Punktown.)
As I mentioned in an earlier post, a role-playing game based on my world of Punktown, setting for many of my novels and short stories, has been under development with Miskatonic River Press. Well, tonight, a Kickstarter campaign for the project was launched. In our first night we made $970 of our $9,000 goal, so we’re all excited and encouraged, but we hope to exceed that goal so as to present gamers and readers with the absolute best product we can provide. I may not be quite so crass here as to beg for your money — it goes without saying I hope we’ll see a lot of support for this project — but I will appeal to friends and fans of my work to spread the word about our Kickstarter.
And I feel this is a project that will appeal to even those of my readers who don’t game. (The game, by the way, is set up to be played via Call of Cthulhu and BRP.) The book will feature two brand new Punktown stories by yours truly, written especially for the book, in which the Cthulhu Mythos intrudes upon the far-future mega-city of Punktown. There will also be a number of game scenarios that promise to be terrific, from writers Brian M. Sammons and Tom Lynch. The core rules of the book have been written by Michael Tresca. At 37,000 words, these core rules read like a handy encyclopedia of Punktown, listing the major alien races, weapons, locations, and so on in great detail (culled from Mike’s exhaustive reading of my entire body of Punktown fiction). Not to mention the proposed artwork. The cover is currently underway, from Polish artist Mariusz Gandzel, and even incomplete it’s breath-taking.
Putting this collaborative project together reminds me of making a movie, in which everyone gets to do their thing, show off their specialty, in order to fulfill one cohesive vision. This game book will be a dream come true for our whole group. But despite the super-powers of this heroic team, we need help to get the job done…
Won’t you please go have a look at the Kickstarter page? There, you can read more about the project and watch a video introduction from Miskatonic River Press’ president, Tom Lynch: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1799183063/punktown-an-rpg-setting-for-call-of-cthulhu-and-br
Here’s how the Kickstarter page describes our endeavor:
Game in a haunting, dark, cyberpunk city, full of aliens, robots, and mutants. Welcome to Jeffrey Thomas’ Punktown. Watch your back!
- Launched: Nov 19, 2012
- Funding ends: Dec 19, 2012
“Skyscrapers with sides so smooth and featureless (with vidscreens on the interior, instead of windows) that one might think they were solid granite monuments in a graveyard for dead gods. Other buildings that looked like they’d been pieced together from thousands of odd-matched parts salvaged from stripped factory machines, steam curling out of grids and grates in their complex flanks. Buildings with snake skins of multicolored mosaics. Buildings wearing an armor of riveted metal plates, like retired warships looming vertically with their sterns jammed into the street. Flat roofs upon which perched smaller buildings, symbiotically. Other structures tapering to needle points that seemed to etch the clouds upon the blue glass of the sky. Stacked apartments. Stacked businesses. On street level: shop fronts, and gang kids squatting on tenement steps, glaring insolently at the slow sludge of traffic…Ah, Punktown.”
–Jeffrey Thomas, Deadstock
Picture Blade Runner, The Fifth Element, Minority Report, Total Recall and the rest of the dark, not-too-distant-future genre. Now add aliens, mutants, and robots. Welcome to Punktown…now gimme your wallet. Punktown is a city created by author Jeffrey Thomas who has written numerous books set there, both novels and short story collections. The stories depict a crazy world where anything and everything goes, but menace lurks in the shadows.
Punktown: An RPG Setting for Call of Cthulhu® and BRP is a book that will allow players of Chaosium’s famous award-winning system to explore a dark, futuristic world fraught with untold perils. If you’re a cyberpunk fan, if you’re a horror fan, or if you’re both, you’ll want to explore the pages of this book. The book will be written for the famous BRP system, compatible with Call of Cthulhu and Chaosium’s many other game settings, so if you’re looking to expand your world, and add options, look no further than Punktown! The book will explore the city itself, the alien races, the weaponry, the creatures, mutations, cybernetics, drugs, sanity (and the inevitable loss thereof), and the option of adding the Cthulhu Mythos into the mix. As written in Jeffrey Thomas’ work, the mythos is already there, threatening life as Punktowners know it, but whether or not to use that element is left to the individual gaming groups, and their preference.
Teaming up to bring you this book is the creator of Punktown itself, Jeffrey Thomas, fiction/nonfiction/gaming author Mike Tresca, Call of Cthulhu great Brian M. Sammons, and the President of Miskatonic River Press, Tom Lynch.
Jeffrey Thomas is a prolific writer of science fiction and horror, best known for his stories set in the nightmarish future city called Punktown, such as the novel Deadstock (Solaris Books) and the collection Punktown (Ministry of Whimsy Press), from which a story was reprinted in St. Martin’s The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror #14. His fiction has also been reprinted in Daw’s The Year’s Best Horror Stories XXII, The Year’s Best Fantastic Fiction and Quick Chills II: The Best Horror Fiction from the Specialty Press. He has been a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award (Best First Novel) for Monstrocity, and a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Deadstock. Other books by Thomas include the novels Letters from Hades (Bedlam Press) and Monstrocity (Prime Books), and the novella Godhead Dying Downwards (Earthling Publications). The German edition of Punktown has cover art by H. R. Giger. For more info see http://punktalk.punktowner.com.
Michael “Talien” Tresca is the National RPG and Sci-Fi Movie Examiner and recently published three books, the non-fiction history of gaming, The Evolution of Fantasy Role-Playing Games from McFarland Publishing, his fantasy fiction debut, The Well of Stars, from Three Ravens Books, and the young adult fantasy Awfully Familiar from Dark Quest Books. Michael has authored numerous supplements and adventures for publishers of Open Game License and D20-compatible games, including AEG, MonkeyGod Enterprises, Goodman Games, Otherworld Creations, Privateer Press, RPGObjects and Ronin Arts. A top 1,000 reviewer for Amazon, his articles and reviews have appeared in Allgame.com, D20 Filtered, Dragon Magazine, Gamers.com, Pyramid, RPG.net, and Sharktopus. He has participated in panels about electronic and tabletop role-playing games at ConnectiCon, Dragon*Con, and I-Con. For more info see http://michael.tresca.net.
Brian M. Sammons has been writing reviews on all things horror for more years than he’d care to admit. Wanting to give other critics the chance to ravage his work for a change, he has penned a few short stories that have appeared in such anthologies as Arkham Tales, Horrors Beyond, Monstrous, Dead but Dreaming 2, Horror for the Holidays, Hellfire Club 3, Twisted Legends, Letters from the Dead, Over the Mountains of Madness, and Once Upon an Apocalypses. He has edited the short story anthologies Cthulhu Unbound 3, Undead & Unbound, Eldritch Chrome, Edge of Sundown, and Steampunk Cthulhu. For Call of Cthulhu he wrote the book Secrets, has contributed to both Keeper’s Companions, wrote a companion scenario for the Keeper’s Screen, and has had scenarios in the books Terrors From Beyond, The San Francisco Guidebook, Houses of R’lyeh, Strange Aeons 2, Atomic Age Cthulhu, and Doors to Darkness. His first novella, The R’lyeh Singularity, co-written with David Conyers, just came out and he is currently far too busy for any sane man. For more about this guy that neighbors describe as “such a nice, quiet man” you can check out his very infrequently updated webpage here: http://brian_sammons.webs.com/.
In addition to running Miskatonic River Press, Tom Lynch has written scenarios for New Tales of the Miskatonic Valley, More Adventures in Arkham Country, and such forthcoming books as Tales of the Sleepless City and Chaosium’s Doors to Darkness and Atomic Age Cthulhu. Tom has also pried his way into the fiction market and has short fiction in Horror for the Holidays from MRP, and will be appearing in Undead and Unbound, Eldritch Chrome, and another soon-to-be-announced appearance (all three books from Chaosium) as well as such magazines as Tales of the Talisman and the Lovecraft eZine.Tom has been an avid Punktown and Jeffrey Thomas fan for some time now, and is ecstatic to be a part of a project that will bring gamers into this new, dark, twisted world. For more of the story on Tom, check out http://www.miskatonicriverpress.com/about/bio_tom.shtml.
So like I said before…welcome to Punktown! Now gimme your wallet.
Risks and Challenges:
Risks? Challenges? Ha! We laugh at them. Not really…but we face them every day. As a small press, day-to-day survival is a challenge. We’re used to facing challenges and overcoming them. After all, MRP did not fail after our founder and CEO Keith Herber passed away not even a year into our existence. We pressed on. No doubt we’ll find some new challenges using Kickstarter, but as with all past challenges, MRP will overcome them, and provide you with the best product(s) we possibly can!
Thanks for your time, and for hearing my appeal. Please wish us the best in seeing this exciting and unique dream-project come to fruition!
(Logo for Miskatonic River Press.)