The Black Seal The Black Seal – the magazine of modern horror gaming

6Sep/110

The Pool of Mr Binh – A short scenario

A short scenario by Brett Kramer intended as an interlude in an ongoing Cthulhu by ARCLIGHT game and focussing on a non-Mythos threat. It is suitable for a single player or small group, and can be used as a ZULU event, leading the players to Delta Green clearance.

Players and Keepers with low SAN should probably stop reading now.

13Aug/111

A soundtrack for War

Getting the right feel for your game is important, anything that draws the players into your story, and makes them forget they're sat round a table covered in Dorito's has to be good.

A proper soundtrack is a good start, but lets face it, not many battles are fought with Jimi Hendrix blaring over the battlefield, for those grunts who aren't in the thick of it, their soundtrack is radio chatter.

13Aug/113

Recommended Vietnam Movies Pt. 2

The Second Wave

The Vicar has been to the movies and provided a couple more reviews and uses for some slightly less famous Vietnam movies, pass the popcorn!

The Green Berets (1968)

John Wayne plays Colonel Mike Kirby fighting the dastardly Viet Cong in (what looks like) the early days of American involvement in Vietnam. David "The Fugitive" Janssen’s reporter is the eyes and ears of the audience in Wayne's roller-coaster support of US intervention. Mistimed in its year of release (the year that the US turned its back on involvement in Vietnam) and critically derided in the years since, *The Green Berets* is probably the closest anyone has got to a 'Delta Green in Vietnam' story line with a non-typical rollicking storyline that’s more Western than War movie.

26Jul/115

Recommended Vietnam Movies

Here at the Black Seal's Cyclopean towers, we've been thinking about movie inspiration for your Arclight games, we've come up with a list of some of our favourite Vietnam movies, you'll have heard of some of them, but hopefully not all. Of course, if you're feeling generous, we've added some Amazon affiliate links, any pennies will end up in the Black Seal coffers and fund printing this monster!

11Jul/110

Murder on the Rue Catinat.

A handout for a scenario in the upcoming Cthulhu by Arclight.

PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION: The body was found in a room at the Hotel Rose on Rue Catinat at 030022MAY1967. The body was tied to the bed with cords of braided grass. The cords were cinched around the victim's wrists and ankles and tied using a clove hitch knot to the legs of the bed. Medical staff verified the victim had no signs of life including respiration and heartbeat and pronounced the victim deceased at 0330 22MAY1967.

7Apr/110

Deus Ex – Artillery, and why you shouldn’t use this table.

Several years ago (seven to be exact) the members of the The Black Seal Writers forum were discussing how to handle some of the bigger bangs which players might run into in Wartime Vietnam specifically artillery. This is a product of the discussion which I thought I'd share.

There is an old adage: "A bullet has your name on it, but a grenade is addressed to whom it may concern", which can be equally applied to a fire mission from a battery of 155mm howitzers as to a flight of B52's flying an Arclight mission - although rules for surviving an attack involving the latter would be largely pointless considering its nickname was the grid square removal service. Read on to see what can happen when your bored and have a free lunchbreak.

28Mar/118

Content for the upcoming Cthulhu by Arclight

The following is content assembled for the upcoming Cthulhu by Arclight and Missing in Action All told it comes to just over 150,000 words

In no particular order and omitting a couple of still unfinished works. As I've said already it is big.

  • Rules for Coolness Under Fire by Adam Crossingham
  • Enlightenment in Call of Cthulhu by James Haughton
  • A Mythos Gazetteer for South East Asia by Bret Kramer
  • A Nightmare in Green: Sometimes its better to leave the bodies where they fall, a scenario by Graeme Price
  • A Tcho Tcho Origin Myth by James Haughton
  • A South East Asia Mythos Bestiary by Bret Kramer
  • A Post World War 2 Vietnam Timeline by Giles Hill and Adam Crossingham
  • Delta Green Operations in Vietnam by various
  • PISCES: A Secret History by Giles Hill
  • Tales of Terror: Demon Rake by Don Fougere
  • Tale of Terror : Ember Men by Don Fougere
  • Tale of Terror : Tunnel Rats by Don Fougere
  • Tale of Terror : Snake Whisky by J. Edward Tremlett
  • The Hidden Enemy: Mines and booby traps in Vietnam by Giles Hill and Hans-Christian Vortisch
  • The Kings of Gold and Death: A Mythos Prehistory of Southeast Asia by James Haughton
  • The Kun Krak: A Disgusting Artefact by Dan Harms
  • The Vietcong by Giles Hill
  • Wet Works: Additional rules by Brian Sammons
  • Women in Vietnam: A variety of character templates for female characters by Giles Hill
  • Black Box Down by Ken Hite
  • Boot Camp: Military PC Creation for a Vietnam Campaign by Phil Ward, Dan Harms et al
  • Country Fair: A Zulu Event for Delta Green by Giles Hill
  • Prolegomena to a Cthulhu Mythos History of South-East Asia by Kenneth Hite
  • Dangerous Places: The White House of Madam Lieu by Ben Counter
  • Dangerous Places: Nu Mung Ba by Adam Crossingham
  • Fear and Loathing in South East Asia: Expanded SAN Loss Rules for the Vietnam War by Phil Ward
  • JPAC Template: Accounting for Americans Lost in Conflict by Graeme Price
  • Magical Mystery Tour: Travelling around SE Asia by Giles Hill
  • Mutts to Dump trucks: Signature vehicles from the Vietnam conflict by Various
  • Riders on a Storm: MJ12 in SE Asia by Nick Brownlow
  • The Surface Surveillance and Reconnaissance Section and Standing Order 259 by Giles Hill and Adam Crossingham
  • The Golden Hour Battlefield Medicine in Vietnam by Graeme Price
  • Order of the Bloated Woman by Steven Kaye
  • Sweetheart of Song Tra Bong: A scenario about how war changes us by Davide Mana
  • Tip of the Blade: Signature weapons of the Vietnam Conflict by Hans-Christian Vortisch
  • The Weight of Ghosts: Things you'll need to get through that tour by Giles Hill
  • Trauma: How to hurt your players by Jonathan Turner
  • Unusual Suspects Adolph Lepus by Ben Counter
  • Unusual Suspects Joseph-Antoine Ballon by Giles Hill
  • Unusual Suspects Satchel Wade by Phil Ward
  • Unusual Suspects: Klaus Schumann by Eamon Honan
  • Unusual Suspects: Colonel Kurtz by Adam Crossingham
  • The official investigation report for OPERATION OBSIDIAN by Adam Scott Glancy
  • A Report on the Chau Chau by Gil Trevizo
19Mar/117

Black Seal Announces “Vietnam Special: Cthulhu by Arclight”

Art by Dennis DetwillerNearly seven years ago the Black Seal crew decided it would be a good idea to write an issue which would concentrate on the wars in Vietnam. Now after a somewhat lengthy hibernation the Black Seal intends to fulfil on that promise: the Vietnam Special is coming.

We have 150,000 words worth of material which is significantly more than the wordcount for a typical Black Seal issue. There is so much material, that we simply can't fit it into one issue, even if the issue is a special, so rather than discard it we are going to split it into two volumes.

The first volume will be titled Cthulhu by Arclight, and it will be larger than a typical Black Seal but we're not entirely sure how much larger. It will be available in both dead tree and PDF format.

The second volume will be titled Missing in Action, it will include everything fit to print which we couldn't squeeze into Cthulhu by ArclightMissing in Action will be available as PDF only.

The current plan is to get both volumes complete and ready to print and then to hold a fundraiser to cover printing costs. Once the the ransom has reached its goal those who contributed will receive a PDF of both Cthulhu by Arclight and Missing in Action as a single limited edition PDF; they will also be top of the list for receiving the Cthulhu by Arclight hardcopy.

As an additional bonus to the ransomers, the PDFs for both Cthulhu by Arclight and Missing in Action will not be released to the buying public until a week to a fortnight after the hardcopy version is published.

Oh, and one other thing Cthulhu by Arclight is not  The Black Seal #4, that is now an entirely different magazine."

A prospective content list will be up soon.

11Mar/06Off

Black Sealers behind forthcoming Cthulhu supplement

Chaosium announces Secrets of Kenya, A 1920s Call of Cthulhu Sourcebook written and illustrated by regular Black Seal contributor, David Conyers.
Secrets of Kenya

Secrets of Kenya

15Dec/05Off

New Cthulhu Mythos fiction from Black Seal Writer

The Black Seal's prolific Australian contingent, David Conyers, has several Cthulhu Mythos tales appearing in fiction anthologies scheduled for release in early 2006. These stories will be found in Hardboiled Cthulhu from Elder Sign Press, Cthulhu Express by Rage Machine, and The King in Yellow by Atlantean Press.

Earlier this year David's espionage and government conspiracy Mythos tale, "False Containment", was published in Horrors Beyond.
Further details can be found at David's website.