Behind the Masks of Nyarlathotep: Larry DiTillio

Behind the Masks of Nyarlathotep: Larry DiTillio

Allen Varney spotlights Larry DiTillio, designer of the prestigious Masks of Nyarlathotep adventure.

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This one sounds like a gooder, might have to give it a look over as inspiration for my own Lovecraft influenced DnD campaign.

Masks is absolutely fantastic. It was my introduction to CoC and still the standard I judge my scenarios against.

DiTillio should self-publish his system and setting, if it's anywhere near as well-developed as Masks of Nyarlathotep was it'll be wonderful.

Completely brilliant in its first edition. My third or fourth Call of Cthulhu campaign and this is the one that absolutely blew everybody out of the water. I would like to play this again some day!

Starkiller Kid: You have an awesome avatar... just thought I'd mention that, since it's your first post and all.

I still remember playing Masks of Nyarlathotep.

Awesome, awesome game. Especially the bit at the end.

Hmmm, well I wouldn't put it totally in a league of it's own. I believe "Horror On The Orient Express" and "Goatswood" are supposed to be right behind it on the CoC Epic-Adventure O'meter though that WAS the first.

Very interesting read though, I'm something of a fan myself. Sad it didn't get more comments.

One point I will make though is that I own the original boxed version of MoN albiet without the box (sadly), it's stored in some plastic bags and such. At any rate, having queried about the "missing" book which was mentioned in the text for the module, the story *I* got was that the Australia section was waaay too twisted sexually to be published and had to be redone. Something which raised an eyebrow (especially at the time given my age) given some of the things mentioned in Shanghai and England. It does mention however that the guy linking you to Australia DID supposedly give in to corruption largely for a sexual payoff. Later when reading a published version of Australia it was actually pretty tame even compared to other sections, which lead me to believe that it had been totally re-written and was excluded for that reason.

Therumancer:
the story *I* got was that the Australia section was waaay too twisted sexually to be published and had to be redone. [...] Later when reading a published version of Australia it was actually pretty tame even compared to other sections, which lead me to believe that it had been totally re-written and was excluded for that reason.

No, neither Larry DiTillio nor Chaosium editor Lynn Willis has ever mentioned that anything in Australia was revised for content reasons. The scenes that made it into the first printing are quite lurid compared to the Australia chapter, which was later published in the CoC supplement Terror Australis before its integration into the third printing of Masks.

Hey Allen,

Fantastic article. Masks was the campaign-of-record for my college group, and we loved it.

Do you have any plans to release the rest of the story on the creation of Masks? I know a lot of people who would really enjoy reading it.

Macguffin:
Do you have any plans to release the rest of the story on the creation of Masks?

In response to exactly such a request, I posted the rest of Larry DiTillio's response in an RPG.net forum thread about this profile.

I had no idea he worked on Babylon 5. I've always known him as Mr Masks of Nyarlathotep.

The Bradford Players' campaign audio recordings are a real treat for Call of Cthulhu fans, and RPG fans in general; I'm currently listening to their Walker in the Wastes and Tatters of the King playthroughs. Don't listen to them if you haven't played them and might want to in the future, but if you own a copy it's great fun to read the same section the players are at while they're talking about it.

Thanks Allen, you've piqued my curiosity. I may just have to shell out some cash and grab this module.

APVarney:
In response to exactly such a request, I posted the rest of Larry DiTillio's response in an RPG.net forum thread about this profile.

Thanks!

 

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