Folk Horror

We’re back and we’re hiding in the hedgerows, weaving twisted little corn dollies and performing unspeakable acts of Morris dancing. This episode is our discussion of the very British subgenre of folk horror. In particular, we’re looking into the Folk Horror Revival and how it ties into the childhood fears of those old enough to remember the 1970s.

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Mike Mason, line editor of Call of Cthulhu, joins us for this discussion. As a lifelong fan of folk horror, who is just the right age to have been shaped by its heyday, he offers a wealth of information and insights. And, as we have learned at great expense, we should always make acceptable offerings.

We’ll be seeing this chap again next episode.

We mention a number of works of and about folk horror in the episode. There are probably too many to link to without making these notes as long as the unexpurgated Golden Bough, but here are some highlights:

And just to wrap things up, have 26 minutes of childhood nightmares from the 1970s:

News

Good friend of the Good Friends, Cory Welch, has shared some goodies with us. When Cory ran Blackwater Creek for the Skype of Cthulhu crew last year, he asked us to record the handouts as audio files. A musician friend of his, who records under the name Walkathon (Facebook page), created some suitably creepy background tracks. You can now find all these files in our new Downloads section.

We recently set up a Discord server (a free text/voice chat service) and have started hosting the occasional discussion there. For example, last week we had a voice chat about structuring Call of Cthulhu scenarios. It’s all very informal and chaotic, so please drop in whenever you fancy.

If you check your podcast feed, you should find the special episode we recorded at MK LitFest 2017. Our main topic of conversation was the connections between literature and roleplaying games, which seemed appropriate for a literary festival.

Mike Mason updated us on a few new products from Chaosium. Reign of Terror, the French Revolution expansion for Horror on the Orient Express, is now out in hardback. The new collection of Sandy Petersen’s scenarios (written in collaboration with Mike), Petersen’s Abominations, is out in PDF, with the print edition to follow in the very near future. The revised, 7th edition version of the classic solo adventure, Alone Against the Dark, will be available in PDF soon.

Other Stuff

When we head out to the wheat fields to perform our ancient rites, clothed only in moonlight, we sing in ecstasy. More specifically, we chant the glorious names of those people who have backed us on Patreon. There are two such rites captured in this very episode. We still have a great many more people to sing to, but the mystic energies involved make it dangerous to perform more than two in a fortnight. There shall be more strange and unhallowed songs next episode.

Milton Keynes LitFest 2017 Seminar

We’re back with another special recording to tide you over during that long, bleak fortnight between regular episodes. This time, we’re coming to you from MK LitFest 2017, the first ever Milton Keynes literary festival. We recorded this last September, but have been waiting for the ideal time to put it out.

Given the setting, we decided to discuss the connections between fiction and RPGs. The theme for the evening was “Made in Milton Keynes”, so we also wove in some background about the development of Call of Cthulhu 7th edition. Paul may come from Buckingham, but he playtested the game at MK-RPG. Close enough!

Sadly, Matt was unable to take part. He had just returned from a business trip to Stuttgart, bringing a nasty chest infection back with him. Don’t worry — the rest of us didn’t miss out! He shared it prolifically, which is why we sound like Deep Ones on our recordings from late last year.

 

Mike Mason generously took some time out to join us. As line editor of Call of Cthulhu, he had plenty of insights to offer on both strands of the conversation. Also, as he reveals in this episode, he used to live in Milton Keynes, making this some kind of hideous homecoming for him. I’m sure Robert Olmstead would sympathise.

MK LitFest will return in 2018, between Friday the 21st and Monday the 24th of September.

System Matters

We’re back and we’re wondering just what it is we’ve been doing with all these dice. Inspired by our mention of Ron Edwards’ System Does Matter essay in our recent episode on Sorcerer, we give some thought to how mechanics shape play.

Having a mechanic lend you a spanner to strike another player can be most useful.

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As well as talking about theory, we also try to provide some concrete examples. Specifically, we take a simple scenario premise and discuss how running it with various game systems might create very different experiences.

Such as driving your players screaming from the table.

News

In the news segment, Matt and Paul briefly share their experiences of Dragonmeet 2017. They met a number of listeners there, so thank you to everyone who made themselves known and said hi. If you ever encounter us in the wild, we encourage you to do the same. We rarely bite.

Paul and Scott have been busy recording extra material for our Patreon backers. As we mention in the episode, we have just released the second of our series of Weird Whisperings. These are our recordings of some of the weird tales we’ve discussed on the podcast. The latest release is Paul’s reading of Lovecraft’s The Outsider. There is a short sample at the end of this episode. If you are a backer, please check your email or our Patreon page for details about how you can download your goodies.

Other Stuff

When we recorded our episode about Sorcerer a few months ago, we made a few mistakes. Specifically, we got some key details wrong about the origins of The Forge. Happily, Ron Edwards himself got in touch to correct us. He also provided a short history of the website. Anyone interested in the subject will find his comment illuminating. Simply scroll down to the bottom of the original post to read it.

Also on the subject of Sorcerer, the discussion thread for the episode on our Google+ Community was filled with great ideas. We pick out a few highlights in this episode, but it’s definitely worth reading the whole thing. If you are thinking of playing Sorcerer, you will find plenty of inspiration.

And, once again, we must warn you that there is singing in this episode. We have had a staggering number of $5 backers on Patreon recently and it is taking us a while to craft artisanal sonic nightmares for you all. Please bear with us if you haven’t been subjected to your song yet. Your time will come. Oh yes, it will come.