Episode072

We’re back, and we’re getting physical. This time we’re taking a look at all those neat little things that Keepers can give to players in the course of a game, excepting the keen sense of their own mortality and deepened appreciation of their unimportance in a vast and uncaring cosmos. That stuff’s a given.

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Sometimes a “You are here” sign can do more harm than good.

We discuss the different functions of handouts and props, including building atmosphere, providing at-table references and hiding information in plain sight. To avoid being too abstract, we flesh these out with examples of handouts and props that have impressed us, and things we have made with our very own appendages. Matt gives us a few tips for designing your own handouts, as this is really his area of expertise: one of his handouts generally involves more work than any of Scott’s scenarios. To avoid being too positive, we also discuss some of the potential pitfalls of making or using props.

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For example, it may cause unnecessary complications when you discover that your prop Necronomicon is filled with real necromantic rituals.

As we warned you in the last show notes, we break into song twice this episode. Two brave and generous souls have backed us at the $5 level on Patreon, so we sing each of their praises. One of numbers is graced with an impromptu beatbox backing track. This is what happens when you make a bunch of odd noises to test the new pop filters and Paul decides to add them to the mix. I will know better next time.

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Have you ever seen one of these things cry? We have.

Speaking of Patreon, the first issue of The Blasphemous Tome fanzine is nearing completion and will head out to backers some time in March. Anyone who is backing us on Patreon at the end of February will receive a copy (or two at the $5 level). The ‘zine is packed with articles, including a scenario, named The Horror From the Shed, a look back at some of our old episodes, the secret history of Attract Fish, Matt doing horrible things to dice that have failed him, and my personal guide to growing the perfect beard. We’ve had a lot of fun making this, and shall definitely do a second issue next year.

Episode071

We’re back, and we’re chasing you young whipper-snappers off our lawns. Things just ain’t what they used to be, with all these mobile telephonic doodads skulking in people’s pockets, cheap flights to all corners of the world, and eldritch secrets only a mouse click away. How is a Keeper supposed to make players feel powerless and fragile when they have access to the conveniences of the modern world?

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OK, playing Call of Cthulhu probably ticks that box anyway.

The modern-day poses ever-changing challenges for Call of Cthulhu Keepers, or anyone who enjoys horror roleplaying, and also fresh opportunities. We use this episode to discuss ways of incorporating mobile phones, the Internet, global travel and mass communications into your campaign without lessening the fear, or even as avenues for new types of terror.

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Having ready access to phones needn’t be a good thing…

Appropriately enough for an episode about the shock of the new, this marks our first outing with the upgraded recording equipment paid for by our generous Patreon backers. We’re still getting the hang of it, but you should notice a marked increase in audio quality. There are a few stray plosives, but we’ll buy some pop filters before the next episode to put those to rest.

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Matt shows off one of the new microphones, and his equally new beard.

Speaking of Patreon, since this recording we’ve had another surge of support, taking us over our latest milestone! This means that Scott will spend this coming weekend making a spoken-word recording of The Colour Out of Space to share with all backers. Thank you all for your generosity! This generosity also means that next episode will include not one, but two bouts of singing.

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Happily this can only happen once, at least to most of us.

We have a new milestone reward waiting to share with you, but we want to make sure we get a chance to fulfil our current commitments to backers first. It will be a juicy one, however!