Friday, November 5, 2010

The Unspeakable Oath Returns!

The Unspeakable Oath returns in December of 2010 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the magazine's launch in 1990. The quarterly magazine is dedicated to Horror RPGs utilizing H. P. Lovecraft's C'thulhu Mythos. It features stories, scenarios, art, and source material for all things tentacular.

The original Unspeakable Oath was the flagship publication of Pagan Publishing and ran from 1990 until 2001 spanning 17 issues. Arc Dream Publishing will relaunch with issue 18 with a star-studded editorial board including:

  • Brian Appleton: Assistant editor of The Unspeakable Oath from its earliest days. Appleton recently edited and co-authored (with John H. Crowe III) Pagan Publishing’s Call of Cthulhu sourcebook Mysteries of Mesoamerica.

  • Monte Cook: Head of Malhavoc Press and co-author (along with many members of this board) of the acclaimed Wizards of the Coast edition of Call of Cthulhu — not to mention Third Edition Dungeons and Dragons, the massive D&D game setting Ptolus, and a hoard of other popular roleplaying game books. Keep up with him at Monte’s Journal.

  • Adam Crossingham: Founder of Sixtystone Press, and editor of the excellent Cthulhu gaming magazines Worlds of Cthulhu (it will be missed) and The Black Seal (soon returning with a vengeance). He contributed to the Cthulhu Live game line, The Whisperer fanzine, and most recently Chaosium’s Strange Aeons II. But that all came after his first appearance in the letters column of The Unspeakable Oath #6.

  • Dennis Detwiller, art director: Art director of the Oath during its first run and art director for the Oath today, Detwiller is Shane Ivey’s partner at Arc Dream Publishing, and co-author (with John Scott Tynes and Scott Glancy) of Delta Green, one of the most highly-regarded sourcebooks ever produced for Call of Cthulhu. By day he designs videogames for Hothead Games. He keeps a blog at

  • Adam Scott Glancy: President of Pagan Publishing, a longtime assistant editor of The Unspeakable Oath, and co-creator (with Dennis Detwiller and John Scott Tynes) of the modern-day Call of Cthulhu setting Delta Green.

  • Daniel Harms: Author of the Cthulhu Mythos Encyclopedia and frequent contributor of Cthulhu Mythos gaming excellence in the Oath and many other publications. His blog is Papers Falling From an Attic Window.

  • Kenneth Hite: Author of Trail of Cthulhu, the horror roleplaying game from Pelgrane Press; the “Lost in Lovecraft” column in Weird Tales; Tour de Lovecraft: The Tales and Cthulhu 101 from Atomic Overmind Press; and the long-running Suppressed Transmissions column of conspiracy gaming. Co-author (with Greg Stolze) of “The Cult of Transcendence” in Delta Green: Targets of Opportunity, and (with Greg Stolze, Dennis Detwiller, and Shane Ivey) of the superhero roleplaying game Wild Talents. His blog resides at LiveJournal.

  • Shane Ivey, editor-in-chief: President and managing editor of Arc Dream Publishing (publisher of Godlike, Wild Talents, and Monsters and Other Childish Things), an assistant editor of The Black Seal, and editor of Pagan Publishing’s two most recent two Delta Green sourcebooks for Call of Cthulhu. Before gaming consumed his career he was a magazine editor for the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He works nights as a copy editor for The Birmingham News.

  • Greg Stolze: Author of the fantasy roleplaying game REIGN: A Game of Lords and Leaders; co-author (with John Scott Tynes) of the underground occult roleplaying game Unknown Armies; co-author (with Kenneth Hite) of “The Cult of Transcendence” in Delta Green: Targets of Opportunity; co-author (with Dennis Detwiller) of Godlike, the World War II superhero roleplaying game; and co-author (with Dennis Detwiller, Kenneth Hite and Shane Ivey) of the superhero roleplaying game Wild Talents; author of the Wild Talents setting books Progenitor, eCollapse, and Better Angels.

  • John Scott Tynes, founding editor: Founder of The Unspeakable Oath and Pagan Publishing, editor-in-chief of the Oath in its first run from 1990 to 2001, and co-creator (with Scott Glancy and Dennis Detwiller) of the award-winning Call of Cthulhu setting Delta Green. By day a lead designer at Microsoft Game Studios, Tynes remains a guiding voice in the Oath. A better list of his credits is at his website, Revland.

  • Ray Winninger: Designer of the Underground RPG, codesigner of DC Heroes and Torg for Mayfair Games, contributing editor for Dragon Magazine for many years—he wrote the popular “Dungeoncraft” column—and designer of countless stories, adventures and supplements for TSR, Wizards of the Coast, FASA, White Wolf, Mayfair, West End Games, Pagan Publishing and various other publishers. By day Winninger is an executive producer at Microsoft.

The Unspeakable Oath is published four times per year in a limited print edition and in electronic editions (pdf, iPad, Kindle, etc.). Each issue is 64 pages, 8.5″ x 11″, perfect bound, with a color cover and black-and-white interior art. You can pre-order the magazine in four issue bundles or purchase individual issues once the magazine goes to print.

In the first issue, you'll find
  • atrocities in 1920s Cajun country
  • an antique wooden scrap screen filled with evil
  • an artist's sculptures that  may or may not eat your soul
  • a house that may or may not murder people
  • a thing you will never remember
  • an extensive look at the cult behind the very first Call of Cthulhu adventure ever
  • a puppet that might sacrifice you to the Outer Gods
  • a history of a Nyarlathotep-loving pharaoh
  • a fun trip to the Depression-era dustbowl
  • a shortwave transmission that might drive you insane
  • a Delta Green agent who really ought to stay dead
  • and -- for the Savage Worlds fans -- a review of The Day After Ragnarok that confirms that it is, yes, too awesome for words.
Anyone reading the Space Nazis setting knows my affection (affliction?) with the C'thulhu Mythos. In fact, almost every setting I run has some elements from H. P. Lovecraft's creation. In Space Nazis the players slowly come to realize there is something darker than Nazism at work in their universe. I plan to use The Unspeakable Oath for this and other settings.

The Savage Troll will be taking The Unspeakable Oath. Will you?

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