Welcome to Bob Freeman’s occultdetective.com

Posted in Alba Gu Brath, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on April 18, 2016 by Occult Detective

01 sigil magickBob Freeman is an artist, game designer, paranormal adventurer, and author of two book series — The Cairnwood Manor series ( Shadows Over Somerset  & Keepers of the Dead) and Tales of the Liber Monstrorum (First Born).

A lifelong student of mythology, folklore, magic, and religion, Freeman has written numerous short stories, articles, and reviews for various online and print publications and is a respected lecturer on the occult and paranormal phenomena.

He lives in rural Indiana with his wife Kim and son Connor.

In addition to occultdetective.com, Mr. Freeman can be found online on twitter and facebook.

cairnwood series

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Preternaturally Speaking #OccultDetectiveRPG

Posted in Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game on April 23, 2018 by Occult Detective

Let’s continue our exploration of KITH.

To refresh your memory, Kith, within the context of Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game™, is what you are. Your Protagonist’s Kith provides you with a basic framework from which your occult detective will come to life through the unique powers, resistances, advantages, and abilities they add. More than that, your Kith establishes the first glimmer of background for which to build your Protagonist around.

There are three core Kith for you to choose from: Natural, Preternatural, and Supernatural.

In our first installment, we took a peek at the Naturals. Today, we’ll look at what it means to be a Preternatural.

First, the word itself. Merriam-Webster defines preternatural as existing outside of nature; exceeding what is natural or regular; inexplicable by ordinary means.

In Occult Detective, a Preternatural is a character with powers and abilities beyond what is normal or natural — the idea being they are naturals with special gifts, either by birth or by exceptional training.

There are three types of Preternatural:

Alchemists, who are scientifically gifted, are blessed with intelligence beyond the scope of ordinary men and women. As such, they begin with a minimum Brains score of 10, then roll a 1d10+2 to establish their ability. One can come at this from several different angles, be it from speculative philosophy or fringe science.

Examples: Victor Frankenstein, Walter Bishop, Herbert West

walter

Magicians, adept in the use of the Esoteric Arts, select their abilities from the Path and Major Arcana tables found in this manual. Their Sun and Moon Signs dictate which element those spells are expressed by. A Magician can choose a Light or Dark Path and the spells available to them are adjusted accordingly. Light Path Magicians begin with a minimum Brains score of 10, then roll 1d10+1 to establish their ability. Dark Path Magicians begin with a minimum Bravado score of 10, then roll 1d10+1 to establish their ability.

Examples: John Constantine, Harry Dresden, Diana Tregarde

Necromancing the Stone

 

 

Psychics are sensitive to nonphysical or supernatural forces and influences, marked by extraordinary or mysterious sensitivity, perception, or understanding, and in some cases, possess powers of telekinesis, pyrokinesis, levitation, and more. Psychics begin with a minimum Boon score of 10, then roll a 1d10+2 to establish their ability.

Examples: Odd Thomas, Vanessa Ives, Eleven

Episode 101

Coming up next — Supernaturals.

 

My review of Vernon Mahabal’s Talk to the Hand: A Field Guide to Practical Palmistry

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on April 20, 2018 by Occult Detective

When I was a young boy, maybe 9 or 10, me and my friends were up to no good at the Converse Fair. It was a spectacular carnival back then, with all the sights, sounds, and smells that hearkened back to a far distant age. Little did we realize that these were the final death throes of a way of life that the modern age would have little use for. More’s the pity. The mid-70’s was the last gasp of a magical era that stretched back for decades untold. Before long, gone would be the girlie shows, freaks and curiosities, and the carnival fortune-tellers.

On that particular night we’d crawled clandestinely under the folds of the hootch show tent, ogling the scantily clad showgirls before being chased off by the cigar-chewing barker in a dirty tank top and bowler hat, his cane cutting the air as we bolted past the Himalaya and Tilt-a-Whirl, making our way through the maze of elephant ear vendors and game of chance con-men with a couple of carnies on our tails.

We split up and I slipped into a small tent just off the Midway, out of breath, peeking out as the roughhouses ran by, laughing. A woman’s voice made me leap out of my skin. “I don’t think you’re here for your fortune, no?” she’d said. I turned to see an attractive older woman, which means she was probably in her mid-thirties, maybe forty-ish, dressed like what I would have called a gypsy: colorful scarf tied around her head, big hoop earrings, and garish peasant dress and vest.

“Madame Zelda” spoke with an Eastern European accent, surely a put on, but to my young ears, I was captivated. She was like a pretty version of Maleva the Gypsy from Universal’s The Wolfman. She talked me out of my last 50¢ and thus I had my first experience with a palm reader. She told me I would be creative and successful, not rich but respected, and that I would lead a life of adventure. She also told me that I would leave the small, rural community I called home but that I would be drawn forever to it.

She definitely left a mark on me, though it was the only time I’ve ever had my palm read, despite working for a time in a Metaphysical bookstore that offered such services. Still, I’ve always been interested in the artform and read several books on the subject, but all of them pale to the one I have just finished — Talk to the Hand: A Field Guide to Practical Palmistry by Vernon Mahabal.

palmistry

Talk to the Hand was such a delight. Clear and concise, after my poring over handfuls of books on the subject, I find that Mahabal has delivered the perfect book on the subject.

It has some tremendously helpful illustrations that, while simplistic, convey the meaning with precision.

I particularly like how the author framed the book around the most common questions asked, and how intuitive the process of reading one’s hand is when walked through the process.

For me, this is the definitive book on the subject for the layman. Everything is here to begin the journey and that’s all you can really ask from a book like this.

It does make me want to deep dive into the astrological side of palmistry, but there are only so many hours in the day. The author has given me all I need to feel comfortable assessing my own personality through the terrain of my hands.

It’s a fine palmistry primer and one you’ll be proud to hold on to and consult frequently, I suspect.

Talk to the Hand: A Field Guide to Practical Palmistry by Vernon Mahabal is available wherever books are sold. The quickest and easiest way to get yours is to snag it from amazon. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

My thoughts on The Lunar Gospel by Cal Garrison

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error on April 18, 2018 by Occult Detective

I’ve been insanely busy working on Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game. Thankfully, book reviews often do double duty as research. The following book came along at just the right time.

lunarThe Lunar Gospel by Cal Garrison touches on something that I have held to be true for nearly forty years, that one’s moon sign has more or, at the very least, equal prominence in your astrological make-up than one’s sun sign. Garrison presents a rich and fascinating glimpse into our relationship with the lunar aspects of our personalities. I found the book well researched and wrapped up in an enjoyable package.

The Lunar Gospel is such a pleasant read and insightful, able to walk that fine line between erudite, analytical discourse and intuitive, emotional revelation.

It’s a great addition to my library and I recommend it to all those with a healthy interest in the heavens and their influence upon us.

The Lunar Gospel by Cal Garrison is published by Weiser Books and can be purchased directly from their website, or via either your local brick & mortar or favorite online retail outlet.

 

My Favorite Authors

Posted in Liber et Audax, The Library on April 17, 2018 by Occult Detective

In his most recent newsletter, Brian Keene offered up a list of his 20 favorite authors. That’s a challenge I just could not pass up. So here are my favorites, the caveat being that this is a list of writers of fiction and as close to their proper order as I can muster. Also, because of the third author on my list, I have decided there should be 23 names instead of 20. Fnord.

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1. Robert E. Howard
2. J.R.R. Tolkien
3. Robert Anton Wilson
4. Neil Gaiman
5.
Katherine Kurtz
6. Alan Moore
7. Umberto Eco
8.
Fritz Leiber
9. Mary Stewart
10. Roy Thomas
11. Manly Wade Wellman
12. Stephen King
13. George R.R. Martin

14. Edgar Rice Burroughs
15. Algernon Blackwood
16. H.P. Lovecraft
17.
Raymond Chandler
18. Anne Rice
19. Rex Stout
20. Shirley Jackson
21. Arthur Machen
22. Aleister Crowley
23.
Margaret Weis

There’s Nothing Natural About It #OccultDetectiveRPG

Posted in Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game on April 16, 2018 by Occult Detective

This week I thought we’d share a bit about KITH.

Kith, within the context of Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game™, is what you are. Your Protagonist’s Kith provides you with a basic framework from which your occult detective will come to life through the unique powers, resistances, advantages, and abilities they add. More than that, your Kith establishes the first glimmer of background for which to build your Protagonist around.

There are three core Kith for you to choose from: Natural, Preternatural, and Supernatural.

Today, we’ll look at what it means to be a Natural.

A Natural is an ordinary human who gets caught up in extraordinary events, who has the veil ripped from their eyes, revealing an unimaginable world filled with all manner of things that go bump in the night.

Being non-magical, a Natural gains resistance to certain types of magick based on their Path and Major Arcana. More on that later.

A Natural has two options when rolling their character’s ability scores: Add a +2 Bonus to all six abilities (or) add a +1 Bonus to five scores and a +3 to one.

KolchakTheNightStalker

Naturals are the most common type of occult detective. Some examples from television would be Sam and Dean Winchester (Supernatural), Carl Kolchak (The Night Stalker), Fox Mulder and Dana Scully (The X-Files), and, talking dog not withstanding, Mystery Inc’s Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Shaggy (Scooby Doo, Where Are You?).

Scooby-doo-whereareyou!

Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at Preternaturals.

Magick is coming…

Posted in Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game on April 12, 2018 by Occult Detective

 

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In this first iteration of OD:TRPG you can play a Natural, (i.e., a person who stumbles into the shadowy world of the occult ), Preternatural (e.g., ceremonial magicians, shamans, psychics, and the like), or Supernatural (e.g., angels, demons, ghosts, golems, vampires, or werewolves). You further refine your occult detective character by choosing one of ten archetypes, such as a Doctor, Archaeologist, Private Investigator, or even an Artist.

There are a whole lot of things that go into your character build. Your astrological sun and moon signs are a factor, and everyone draws a rune to further enhance their personality and ability traits.

We’ve got a whole lot more to show off, so stick around…

You can signup for our mailing list via this link: Occult Detective RPG.

Casting a deadlier spell… #OccultDetectiveRPG

Posted in Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game on April 10, 2018 by Occult Detective

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A wizard’s work is never done…

If it seems quiet around here, it’s because I’m neck deep in building the grimoire for our forthcoming Occult Detective RPG. Magick is as magick does. All fitting work considering the last circle of three staring back at me from the calendar on my wall. I’d like to think that Crowley would approve…

 

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