Episode077

We’re back, and we’re staring death straight in its empty, pitiless eyes. This episode is our discussion of death in games. Well, specifically it’s a look at the different ways we can handle the deaths of player characters, the approaches to death taken by various RPGs, character deaths we’ve found particularly memorable and suggestions for ways you can make death meaningful and interesting. So, a real bundle of laughs.

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At least the after-show party was rollicking.

All this morbid introspection was prompted by listener Tim Vert, who sent us a message via Patreon to ask us our thoughts on death in RPGs. We are always open to suggestions from listeners, as long as they are entertaining, anatomically feasible and legal in the United Kingdom (or at least carry little risk of us getting caught).

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At least the long arm of the law tends to have a bit more meat on it.

In fact, this episode also sees us trying out a new segment inspired by another listener. Back in March, Tom McGrenery used Google+ to ask for our advice on an eldritch problem. The discussion thread this spawned amused us so much that we thought we’d try a variant of it on the podcast. You’ll find our first attempt, titled Ask Jackson, at the end of this episode. Obviously we have no wisdom of our own to share, but we are able to channel the spirit of Jackson Elias, and he is only too willing to offer advice from beyond the grave (between you and me, it can get a bit irritating, especially when he starts criticising my driving). If you have any questions you’d like us to pass on, please ask them via Google+, Facebook, Twitter or email.

L0014318 The dance of death: the antiquary's last will & testament. C Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org The dance of death: the antiquary's last will & testament. Coloured aquatint by T. Rowlandson, 1816. 1816 By: Thomas RowlandsonPublished: - Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Or simply manifest in our homes at night. We’re used to it.

If all goes according to plan, our next few episodes will be somewhat unusual. We shall drop shuddering and abhorrent hints on social media soon.

Google have recently extended their Google Play service to include podcasts. While we would like to offer The Good Friends of Jackson Elias through their service, we have not yet been able to do so….

Episode076

We’re back and we’re looking at all the different ways in which people use Call of Cthulhu at the gaming table. Conveniently enough, we have Call of Cthulhu line developer Mike Mason on hand to help us with this. Between the four of us, we probably have over 100 years of Call of Cthulhu experience, so we’ve seen a fair few styles of play first-hand.

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Not to mention the rise and fall of civilisations, the fading of ancient days, and the passing into folly of all human endeavour.

For a game about such a niche sub-genre as Lovecraftian horror, Call of Cthulhu has proved uncannily flexible, much like a shoggoth in a gimp suit. We’ve seen it used for mysteries, survival horror, dark comedies, emotional dramas and many games that bear no relation at all to Lovecraft. In our discussion, we spend a bit of time trying to work out whether this anything inherent to the game, or simply because it was the first major horror RPG.

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Admittedly, I’m now more interested in working out how to get a shoggoth into a gimp suit.

The latter part of the discussion includes a potted history of the Kult of Keepers, who pretty much defined Call of Cthulhu convention gaming in the UK for the early part of this century. It’s fair to say that without the Kult of Keepers, there would be no Call of Cthulhu 7th edition, Cthulhu Britannica or even the Good Friends of Jackson Elias. With that in mind, we hope you’ll excuse our little diversion.

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Don’t they all look young? Well, maybe not if this is the first time you’ve seen them, but I certainly did a couple of double-takes.

We’re a little light on shout-outs this episode, not for a lack of backers, but simply because Paul’s Internet connection has failed him. This stopped us doing our usual trick of recording a bunch of segments the week before release and editing them in at the last minute. We promise to thank everyone outstanding in the next episode! In the meantime, we hope the copy of the first issue of The Blasphemous Tome that should be appearing on backers’ doorsteps around now will go some way toward making up for this.