Forgotten Futures IV

The Carnacki Cylinders

A Roleplaying Sourcebook for William Hope Hodgson's Ghost Detective

by Marcus L. Rowland
Copyright © 1996, revised 1998, PDF conversion and update 2022.

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NEW - PDF Conversion and Updates

Since this seems to be the most populer of the early Forgotten Futures collections, I've finally made the time to convert everything to PDF with better graphics. This took a lot longer that I expected because I've learned more about some of the topics this collection covers, so I couldn't resist the urge to update things a bit. What you'll find in the PDFs isn't identical to the old HTML version - I'm keeping that on line for historical reasons, but from now on the PDFs should be considered definitive.

The Carnacki Cylinders
The worldbook with some updates and second thoughts, and lots of new and improved artwork including pictures of all major characters and creatures.

The Pentacle Files
All of the old FF4 adventures plus a new one by Alex Stewart. Again, there's lots of new artwork including pictures of all major characters, better maps and plans, etc.

Also for gamers - some new resources:
The Electric Pentacle Handbook
A closer look at Carnacki's most iconic invention, including extracts from the stories showing it in action, a brief history of the technology, some floor plans, and a 12-page instruction manual which is a fun player handbout.
Carnacki's Laboratory
A floor plan loosely based on the description in The Hog.

And of course
Carnacki The Ghost Finder
Carnacki The Ghost Finder (Abridged edition)

William Hope Hodgson's Carnacki the Ghost Finder with all known illustrations at full size. The last three stories remain in US copyright but are out of copyright in Europe and most other countries. Readers in the USA and other countries using the US copyright rules should download the abridged edition.
Both editions also include the text of a little chapbook I found in the British Library that is a mashup of the first four stories plus an unrelated poem, which Hodgson's American publishers printed in 1910 to register the copyright. It's basically a clip show of exciting bits and not incredibly coherent, but interesting if you like REALLY obscure literary curiosities. I've also put this on line as a separate file:
Carnacki: The Ghost Finder and a Poem

HTML Material

This material won't be updated and is left for historical purposes.

A Small Apology
This material was originally published as shareware for distribution on 1.44MB floppy disks - since every byte counted, the illustrations were reduced in size considerably and converted to two-shade GIFs, and text was plain ASCII files. The later conversion to HTML was rushed and didn't do much to improve things, since at that point everything published for the game had to fit on a 20MB web site.

With the help of Rob Velte and the British Library I have now obtained much better scans of all images, and they can be found here.

Forgotten Futures is no longer shareware; everything ever released for the game can be downloaded freely. Please ignore anything that asks you to register in any of these documents.

  • The Carnacki Stories:
    1. The Gateway of the Monster
    2. The House Among the Laurels
    3. An editor's apology and The Whistling Room
    4. The Horse of the Invisible
    5. The Searcher of the End House
    6. The Thing Invisible - 1912 version
      The Thing Invisible - revised version
      The last three stories (linked below) remain in US copyright and US residents should not download them.
    7. The Hog
    8. The Haunted Jarvee
    9. The Find
  • Publishing history etc.
  • Artwork from Original Publication
    The earlier stories are scanned from photocopies of the magazines in which they originally appeared, with the headings and art that accompanied them. The Hog was published in Weird Tales much later and the art is still in copyright. I have only been able to find The Haunted Jarvee and The Find in anthologies - The Find was not published in a magazine and there are no illustrations, I hope to add illustrations from The Haunted Jarvee soon, if they exist. The Thing Invisible is included in magazine and anthology versions; there are major differences between them.

  • Worldbook
  • Adventures