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London-Woolwich, Royal Arsenal, 18th c

As you may have noticed, the pace of posts on this blog has slowed down somewhat. That’s because I’ve been concurrently working on three (3!) supplements to Ghastly Affair: “A Ghastly Companion to Castles, Mansions, and Estates”, “A Ghastly Companion to High Society”, and “A Ghastly Companion to Gothic Icons”. Drafts of some of the material have already premiered here on the blog. Naturally, other material will be exclusive to the books! My plan is to have at least one of them out before the end of the year.

Right now, I am primarily focused on “A Ghastly Companion to Castles, Mansions, and Estates”, and its system for quickly generating plausible estates of the late 18th and early 19th centuries in whatever level of detail the Presenter desires. You will be able to sketch a location out in broad strokes, but also be ready to detail what a character finds if they search any room of the house. Most of all, it will be possible to run Affairs in stately homes and castles of 100 rooms or more with only minimal, or even no, preparation! I want to give you the tools to run a “Gothic sandbox”, where characters are allowed to freely wander Europe from estate to estate (as aristocrats of the time often did), finding new horrors and intrigues wherever they go. And the system is designed to create structures and properties that feel real, and facilitate immersive role-playing. Naturally, a full method for generating estate-focused Gothic scenarios will be included! Plus, the “Companion” will include discussions of the various kinds of grand houses; the differences between estates in various countries; pointers on creating plausible floorplans; information on the lives and duties of servants; and example maps. Highdark Hall may even find its way in!

Of course, “A Ghastly Companion to High Society” will compliment “A Ghastly Companion to Castles, Mansions, and Estates”, but both books will offer plenty of stand-alone value. The goal is to allow modern Players and Presenters to mentally inhabit the opulently horrible world of 18th century aristocrats, without months of research. The Presenter will be able to confidently run historically-accurate scenarios set at extravagant dinner parties, in the luxurious boxes of the opera, at the gambling tables of spa towns, or on the dance floors of romantic masquerade balls. Experience the exhausting parties of the London Season, or try to survive a sojourn at Versailles, where arcane rules of etiquette are wielded like swords. Maybe you’ll meet Catherine the Great, or have an audience with Pope Pius VI! Plus, it will include a High Society chronology, with the dates of important parties, balls, coronations, Parliaments, musical premieres, scandals, and crimes in High Society.

“A Ghastly Companion to Gothic Icons” will allow you to bring the classic characters and authors of Gothic (and dark Romantic) literature into your game. Some of them have already premiered on this blog. Other figures planned for inclusion are the Marquis de Sade (and his literary daughters Justine and Juliette); characters from the writings of Matthew Lewis; the original Baron Vordenberg (who loved the young Countess Mircalla Karnstein); the infamous William Beckford (author of “Vathek”); Samuel Coleridge (along with his Ancient Mariner, and the revenant Geraldine), the entire party from the famous “Geneva Summer” that produced both “Frankenstein” and “The Vampyre”; and more. There may even be an appearance from a certain vampyre who studied necromancy at the fabled Scholomance!

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