Brian M. Sammons

Author, editor, and reviewer of dark things.

How it all began

I think I’ve always wanted to write. Or at least, I’ve always told tall tales to entertain my friends. Growing up in the 1980s, this naturally lead to role playing games. And just as my love for horror lead me to the works of H.P. Lovecraft, his fiction in turn lead me to a role playing game based off of his stories called Call of Cthulhu. After running that game for a few years for my friends, I was cocky enough to think that I could write the same kind of books I was reading for the game. So I took a shot and it paid off.   

 

My first book

I originally contacted Chaosium, the publisher of Call of Cthulhu, thinking that I could write a scenario (think short story) for them or something simple like that. They had other plans. They wanted me to write a book for their game. Naturally I said yes. SECRETS was that book, a collection of four scenarios set in the modern day. It did well and got some pretty good reviews. To say I was ecstatic would not do justice to that word.   

"Three cheers for SECRETS, a compendium of novice-level adventures that'll have newcomers feeling like veterans in the time it takes to say "Nyarlathotep".  - DRAGON magazine

"5 out of 6"  - INQUEST magazine

 

Scenarios

My epic adventure set in the lost city of Irem called "Nameless City, Nameless Terrors" is in THE HOUSE OF R'LYEH.

"This adventure feels like a classic Cthulhu story from the 20s turned into an adventure, which is what I was hoping for." - Diehard Game Fan





My Korean War scenario, "Forgotten Wars" is in ATOMIC AGE CTHULHU

"This scenario is a gem!" - RPG Grognard.

"I honestly really loved it. There is so much potential for this adventure to be a memorable experience for everyone in your gaming troupe.It is one of the highlights of this collection." - Diehard Game Fan

"My favorite one because of the solitude it reflects and because it clearly shows that it does not matter how much weaponry you have, the Mythos will always be the Mythos." - Camarada Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth.com  



My scenario, "The Terror from the Museum" can be found in the book TALES OF THE SLEEPLESS CITY by Miskatonic River Press.

"What makes this scenario unique is the level of description and the almost cinematic quality to the adventure. It is well structured as both noir and pulp romp without descending into either of those two cliches." - RPG.net

"The Terror from the Meseum is probably my favorite piece of the book." - Diehard Game Fan


At long last, STRANGE AEONS 2 has come out. This book was edited and put together by me and contains 9 scenarios set in vastly different times and places for the Call of Cthulhu game. One of the scenarios, "Time After Time" was also written by me.

"A generally very good collection of adventures in a good mix of times and settings...Time After Time is A very good adventure for both novice and experienced players, who should enjoy all the twists...Final score: an excellent 9 out of 10" - Geekdo.com

"(Time After Time is) By far the most unusual and creative story in the collection...a beautiful opportunity for off-the-cuff improvisation and extreme horror...this is the standout adventure that makes it all worthwhile." -
Ogercave.com


"A worthwhile addition to your Call of Cthulhu library." -
Reviews from R'lyeh


TERRORS FROM BEYOND is a collection of six scenarios set in the 20s & 30s. My tale is called “The Dig” and is about a university excavation of some ruins and the ancient horrors that slumber there. It is a large, sprawling adventure with tons of characters and lots of stuff going on.

“"The Dig" is a huge, sprawling adventure taking in extra-dimensional interlopers, crytozoology and, bizarrely for Call of Cthulhu, some nice combat set pieces…I can see this game being a nightmare to keep track of for the Keeper, but definitely worth it, as this one looks like it could offer a game quite unlike any other.” - Emotionallyfourteen.com

 "Six fantastic scenarios that will not be soon forgotten" - Knights of the Dinner Table Magazine #162

"A nice use of Miskatonic as sort-of-but-not-really the setting. Having Investigators as junior academians is an excellent change of pace; having the action take place off-campus prevents the "Mythos hoe-down" feel of overusing the university as a setting." - Geek-do.com


In 2006 Chaosium released the SAN FRANCISCO GUIDEBOOK and in it was a scenario by me called “The Colour of his Eyes”. If you can't guess at what this scenario might be about, you definitely need to read more Lovecraft.


"The Colour of His Eyes," a guest adventure by Brian M. Sammons, is probably the best of the bunch…There are good opportunities for role-playing, strategy, and (of course) a bit of Lovecraftian horror. While all of the book interested me, this was the bit that most made me want to pick up some dice and run a game.” - ogrecave.com

"A perfect example of the out-of-the-box thinking that characterizes some of the best Call of Cthulhu scenarios." - RPG.net


The first thing I ever truly wrote was a scenario I ran my own players through called, “The Blackwell Horror”. As my first effort, it was pretty rough. But I used it as an example of my writing and it got my foot in the door of Chaosium, so it served a purpose. Some years later the editor of The Unbound Book contacted me and said that he wanted it. So I gave it to him and it was included in the first issue of that very fine online magazine. The real kick for me came some months after when Yog-Sothoth.com ran a poll asking which scenario from this magazine was everyone’s favorite and "Blackwell" won rather handily. Not bad for a first attempt.  

For more of The Unbound Book (and to see this, ahem  “masterpiece”) go here:  http://unboundbook.org/

My quadruple Cthulhu threat

           

I am one of the few authors to have material in the CALL OF CTHULHU core rule book, THE KEEPER’S COMPANION VOL. 1, THE KEEPER’S COMPANION VOL. 2, and I wrote the scenario that accompanies the KEEPER’S SCREEN called “A Restoration of Evil”. So if you have any of the current editions of CALL OF CTHULHU core books, then you have something I wrote.

Here are some good reviews for my contributions to these books.

For THE KEEPER’S COMPANION VOL. 1.

“One of the best sections for adventure-generating spookiness is the chapter on Arcane Antiquities.” - RPG.net

For THE KEEPER’S COMPANION VOL. 2.

"I love it ("The Keeper's List of Lists"). I want to buy the compiler a pony." - RPG.net

"Great stuff here ("The Mythos Collector").  I read through it while sleepy and after I awoke from disturbing dreams, my head still spinning with new ideas for scenarios" - Strange Aeons

For my scenario “A Restoration of Evil” found in the KEEPER’S SCREEN.

“There are quite a few good scenes (in here) and a suitably nasty ending.  Brian has done an excellent job here and wrote a really classic scenario.”  - Strange Aeons

Magazines

Over the years I have written many things for various magazines. Here is a collection of that work.

Some of the first stuff I ever wrote was for Pagan Publishing’s excellent magazine: THE UNSPEAKABLE OATH. In their issue #14/15 (a double issue) I did "Dead...and Buried?", "The Hand of Y'golonac", "Lord of the Yellow Sign" & 4 reviews. This was so early that "Dead...and Buried?" would one day become my scenario “Closed Casket” which was the first piece in my first book, SECRETS.

For THE UNSPEAKABLE OATH #16/17 I wrote "Every Mother’s Nightmare", "Lesser Evils", "Message in a Bottle" & 3 reviews.

"Lesser Evils is a classic TUO article."  - Strange Aeons

 

THE WHISPERER was a British magazine devoted to Call of Cthulhu. It was first class, but sadly it is no more. For issue #3 I did a mini scenario called "Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright"  and in issue #4 I did another titled, “The Dream Police”.

 

 

 

 

For THE BOOK OF DARK WISDOM #2, published by Elder Sign Press, I created a new Mythos tome called “The Book of Untold Sins”. This tome was related to Ramsey Campbell’s disgusting deity of the perverse; Y’golonac and as such it was a truly nasty piece of work. 

"Keep an eye on that Brian fellow. He's either brilliant or a priest of Y'golonac."  - Yog-sothoth.com

 

 

 

THE BLACK SEAL was another British magazine, but this one covered Cthulhu in the modern day. For their issue #2 I did a mini scenario called, “Mind Games: A Tale of Terror”.

                                                                                                                                                                                                

Theater of the Mind

Starting with issue #2, I will have a recurring column in the new RPG focused magazine; THEATER OF THE MIND. The column is called "Appropriate Muse" and it's about taking cues from movies, books, TV, and video games and using them to enhance your games. Check it out.

Knights of the Dinner Table

KNIGHTS OF THE DINNER TABLE (or KoDT for those “in the know”) is a comic book and magazine devoted to gaming and gamers that’s been around for years. I’ve been contributing weird odds and ends to it for a while now.  Pick up any issue and there’s a pretty good chance I’ll have something in it, but if you want specifics you can fine my work in the following issues:  92, 93, 98, 99, 100, 103, 105, 106, 120, 127, 135, 137, 138, 141, 142, 143, 144, 150, 151, 152, 154, 155, 156, 157, 159, 161, 162, 164, 165, 166, 168, 172, 177, 186.

 

For more info on KoDT go here: http://www.kenzerco.com/