Opening the Journal…

Greetings to you, reader! Thank you for joining me as we begin to explore the vast and beautiful world granted to us by the late Howard Phillips Lovecraft.

I have been a fan of Lovecraft’s work since I was nine years old, upon finding a copy of The Lurking Fear And Other Stories, the one from the series with that excellent Michael Whelan art highlighted on the covers. Later, I found some more of his work at the local library, and delved more deeply into his strange and fascinating worlds. Whether sailing to the Dreamlands on the White Ship, or down in the crypt with Harley Warren, I loved the dark and haunting realities which Lovecraft would so casually, yet carefully unfold to the reader. This was in the very early 1990s, so access to public domain works on the internet was not yet widely available as it is today. I would scour the used bookstores and flea markets, hoping to find another Lovecraft collection with even one or two stories not contained in my currently owned volumes.

Fast forward some twenty-odd years, now anyone can literally begin their Lovecraft journey on their cell phone just by going to one of the online databases containing complete transcripts of Lovecraft’s writings. Such widespread access has also allowed me to read every story ever made available to the public that he has written, and I have read every last one of them countless times. In 2009, while working on one of my larger-scale board games, Cults Of The Necronomicon (previously Cults Of Arkham) {unreleased}, I took the time to read and re-read the entire collected works and poems of Lovecraft with a scholarly bent, gleaning out every last detail about each character, place, item, or setting that I could find. I have even created my own maps of both Lovecraft’s famous Miskatonic Valley setting and his Dreamlands by scouring the texts for any hints of location relativity and filling in the gaps.

Despite the current market over-saturation of loosely-themed quote-unquote Lovecraftian or Cthulhuian games, I still love having a line of my company’s games and accessories dedicated to my favorite author.  When I make a Lovecraft game, each little detail is taken directly from the stories, and I keep strictly to Lovecraft’s written works, not the many Mythos fan writers that followed. I have nothing against the further Mythos expansion, but when it comes to Lovecraft’s work, I am a bit of a purist. The only things I use which were not originally Lovecraft’s are the few things Lovecraft himself would use and add to his world from contemporary writers such as Howard, Smith, and Bloch. I love creating new ways to explore his vast, dark world, and am always excited to take each of you with me on those journeys.

In this journal, I will explore many of the unique characters and facets of Lovecraft’s world, from the haunted town of Arkham to the sunken shores of R’lyeh to the jungles of the Dreamlands, and talk about the aspects of them which I find so facinating. I’ll include little tidbits of who they were to Lovecraft, and why they are represented in my game Cthulhu: The Great Old One. I hope you will enjoy the journey as much as I have!