This episode we take a look at our favourite spells from Call of Cthulhu and talk about just how you can use them to destroy your campaign, or maybe just bring in a few complications. Mostly destroy, though.


Not with a bang or a whimper — more of a whooshing, crackling sound, really

As is our wont when we do these kinds of episodes, we each choose three of our favourite spells from Mythos grimoires and ramble on about them until one of the others tells us to shut up.

For the first time, we actually managed to step on each other’s toes with our selections, so you can thrill to the excitement of Paul and Scott swearing at Matt, the stealer of spells.

And even more swearing when Matt mentions the most forbidden of all Mythos magics!

And even more swearing from Paul when Matt mentions the most forbidden of all Mythos magics!

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5 comments on “Top 3 Call of Cthulhu Spells

  1. raildave Oct 29, 2013

    Great! A new episode to listen to on the bus this evening!

  2. raildave Oct 30, 2013

    Some questions came to mind while listening to this episode. Now please forgive me as my exposure to Call of Cthulhu was based upon I believe it was 1st edition that Scott ran back in those early days of youth…..but I could have sworn that one first would enact some sort of control spell or circle in effect, and then summon some nameless horror or Hound of Tindalos, or most certainly it would end the character and possibly the game.
    Secondly you removed Attract Fish & Command Shark form 7th edition? How could you?
    The 2 most powerful spells?
    Thirdly…why was this episode so short?

    I guess you had to end it when you removed the 2 most powerful spells from the rules.

  3. The only binding spells are for the servitor races, and you can only contact independent races like the Hounds of Tindalos and then hope to be able to contain the situation when they turn up. Considering that the Hounds are hunger and malice made flesh (or whatever the hell they’re made of) then I can see no circumstance in which this does not lead to madness and death. Mostly death.

    Paul has been firm about denying us access to Attract Fish, but those of us who know the old ways will always have it at our disposal. It is too potent a magic to be denied.

    Our goal has always been to keep the episodes under 40 minutes. We’re just not very good at it!

  4. RogerBW Nov 1, 2013

    I’ve always felt a bit uncomfortable about magic in the game, considering how little it gets used by the protagonists of Lovecraftian stories. Then again, one could say the same about shotguns and dynamite.

    As for Contact Hound of Tindalos… see previous comments on the Anarchist’s Cookbook!

    Clearly the absence of Summon Fish is a sign that 7th edition is All Wrong, and I must promptly set up a retroclone…

    • I agree about the use of magic for the most part. I tend to run one-shots these days, and I can’t think of any Cthulhu scenario I’ve run or written that involves the investigators using magic. It’s a bit different in campaigns, especially as it helps vary the tone a bit, but most campaigns seem to owe more to Derleth and Lumley than to Lovecraft anyway.

      My mind is ticking over and I may see if I can write a scenario where contacting a Hound of Tindalos is a good idea, if only as a challenge to myself.

      When Paul goes to Gen Con next year, everyone who meets him should present him with a tin of sardines or anchovies as a protest against his blasphemy. This piscine affront must not be left unmarked.

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