Episode081

We’re back, and after a few episodes about Call of Cthulhu, we’re talking about Dead of Night, a horror RPG that is largely tentacle-free. That’s not to say that you that you can’t do Lovecraftian horror with Dead of Night, which is a set of mechanics for emulating horror films, but the tentacles are purely optional. If you can think of a monster, murderer or supernatural menace that would render the protagonists of a horror film into red, meaty paste, Dead of Night can bring it to life.

Dead of Night Cover

This little chap’s so hungry he’s chewed up the logo.

Described as “the roleplaying game of campfire tales, slasher movies and b-movie horror”, Dead of Night is a light, simple system designed for one-shots, and can easily be explained to new players on the fly. You can create a player character in a couple of minutes, which is a good thing, given that they’re known in the game text as “victims”. We’ve found that it works well for anything from manic comedy-horror to dark, serious games that drip with atmosphere and blood.

Dead of Night 1

And possibly some other, less identifiable fluids.

Dead of Night is the brainchild of good friend of the Good Friends Andrew Kenrick, and came out of the burst of British RPG self-publishing known as the Collective Endeavour, that gave us such games as Hot War3:16 Carnage Amongst the StarsContendersDuty & Honour and Umläut: Game of Metal. I was recently asked in an interview whether I thought self-publishing was a worthwhile pursuit for RPG designers, and these games were the reason I answered with an enthusiastic yes.

Dead of Night 2

Enthusiasm pictured for reference.

All the pictures in these notes come from the second edition of Dead of Night, which was laid-out and illustrated by the incredibly talented Paul Bourne. This edition features some of Paul’s best work, especially in the form of the many fake horror film posters he spread throughout the book like the viscera of so many victims. We’ve raved about Paul’s work before, back when we discussed Hot War, and this is the perfect opportunity to do so again. Paul now works full-time for Cubicle 7, and you will notice his distinctive handiwork in the layout of many of their books.

Dead of Night 3

I’m sure they’ll let him out to work on more film posters one day.

Episode080

We’re back, and we’re continuing our run of episodes inspired by the print release of Call of Cthulhu 7th edition by taking a look at Pulp Cthulhu. While it’s only available as a backer-only PDF at the moment, Pulp Cthulhu should be available for purchase within days and in shops later this year. This is the culmination of a long, winding journey that started all the way back in 2001!

2001 ape

I’m not saying that 2001 was a long time ago, but this is what we looked then.

Our discussion starts off with an overview of what we mean by pulp, how this compares to the more purist mode of play most people associate with Call of Cthulhu and a bit of debate about whether they are really totally different things. I honestly thought that we’d argue more about this last point, but we all seem to agree. We’ll have to find something else to get us bickering.

repulsion

Yup, that should do it.

The bulk of the episode is taken up by a brief overview of what you can expect to find in Pulp Cthulhu, an explanation of what sets it apart from standard Call of Cthulhu, and discussion of our experiences of playing and running the game. Although the PDF is only just on the cusp of release, we each spent much of last year running Pulp Cthulhu, to playtest both the rules and The Two-Headed Serpent, the campaign we have co-written for Pulp Cthulhu, which will be released by Chaosium in the not-too-distant future.

Pulp Cthulhu

And, once again, there is singing. As I mentioned in the show notes for our two recent episodes about the development of Call of Cthulhu 7th edition, the fact that these episodes were recorded last year meant we had to delay our usual thanks to our Patreon backers until we returned to the present day. Well, here we are! There are three sets of sung thanks to tease your ears and horrify your sensibilities. We shall try not to let them build up again.

scanners1

We’ve seen what can happen.

This episode also sees the return of our new Ask Jackson segment. If you have a question that you would like us to pose to the spirit of Jackson Elias, please let us know via Google+, Facebook, Twitter or email.