The Mythos as Religion (Part 2)

Main Topic

We’re back and we’re starting a cult. No, worse than that — we’re starting three of them! Last episode, we looked at how real religions and their practices might inform our depiction of Mythos sects in Call of Cthulhu. Now we’re taking things one step further. Building on what we’ve learnt, we try to picture what life might look like from within these sects. Then we create three Mythos sects of our own, trying to use our understanding of religion to give them more complex agendas and practices than the usual sacrifices and summonings. We also offer some context by talking about our own religious backgrounds and how they might have shaped our beliefs and prejudices.

We’re traditionalists, on the whole.

News

As Matt mentioned recently, on this very site, he has been asked by Delphes Desvoivres to write a Call of Cthulhu scenario as part of the Idol of Cthulhu Kickstarter campaign. This scenario will be a follow-up to Lovecraft’s story, The Call of Cthulhu, running approximately 20,000 words. It may grow to a more cyclopean stature, depending on stretch goals. The campaign ends on the 27th of December, so act quickly if you want your New Year to be filled with unhallowed idolatry.

You may have seen posts in your social media feeds expressing dissatisfaction with Patreon’s new charging scheme. Patreon have shifted their fees from content creators to patrons, increasing them in the process. While there seem to be some understandable reasons for this, they have handled the entire situation poorly. More importantly, it disproportionately hurts backers who make smaller pledges. As a result, we are currently investigating alternatives to run alongside Patreon, allowing greater choice for backers. We will keep you posted as this develops.

There will be a slight delay in getting issue 3 of The Blasphemous Tome fanzine to our Patreon backers. We received the first batch of the print run late last week, only to discover that it was missing four pages. Getting this resolved shouldn’t take too long and we still hope to get the Tome to most of you before the end of the year. Some backers will receive their Christmas cards ahead of the Tome, as we didn’t want to miss last posting dates. If your envelope is suspiciously Tomeless, don’t worry — our unspeakable blasphemies shall take to the ghoul winds and find their way to you soon.

Other Stuff

There will be a lot of singing over the next few months. Thanks to the imminent release of the third Blasphemous Tome, we have had a surge of new Patreon backers. Many of these people have been generous and brave enough to pledge at the $5 level. This means that we currently have a backlog of around 10 people to praise through song. Putting more than two songs in an episode risks our vocal cords, your sanity and the very fabric of the universe. It is only prudent for us to work our way through these thanks cautiously. With great cacophony comes great responsibility. If you are still waiting, please bear with us — your song will come soon. Enjoy the sense of creeping dread until then.

episode091

We’re back and we’re ready to start at the beginning. No, this doesn’t mean that we’re recycling episode 1. Instead, we are trying something a bit new. This episode is the first of three linked discussions in which we talk about structuring roleplaying games. Like stories, RPG one-shots and campaigns have beginnings, middles and ends. Each part requires different tools and techniques to make them come alive.

frankenstein-laboratory

Although you can never go wrong with electricity.

Appropriately enough, we are starting with beginnings. The next two episodes will cover middles and ends, respectively. We thought about being all avant-garde and jumbling them up, but we figured we’re difficult enough to follow already. This episode delves into the techniques we use to prepare for a game, how we work with the players to set everything up and some different ways we actually start the game itself.

paul-singing

Paul blows the ancient horn of K’ah R’bord to mark the start of the game.

In the intro, we mention a couple of current Kickstarter campaigns. There is a new edition of Monsterhearts, the game of teenage monsters and their messy lives. We discussed it back in episode 32. The Kickstarter campaign has three weeks to go at the time of posting and is already funded.

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Much closer to completion is the Kickstarter campaign for Operation Unfathomable. We mentioned on our recent episode about The Seven Geases how much fun it would be to play a game where we wander about having chats with all these ancient and inhuman gods. Well, apparently this game exists! Operation Unfathomable is a campaign setting for Swords & Wizardry (which means it will work with most OSR games) that mixes the weirdness of Clark Ashton Smith’s Hyperborea with old-school gonzo approach of Gygax. It looks like a hell of a lot of fun. You only have two days left to back it at the time of posting, so be quick!

operation-unfathomable

As Paul also mentions in the intro, I was pounced upon at his recent Halloween party. Our friend Vicky, in particular, did things to my beard and hair. Paul promised evidence of this. He really is far, far too kind. Here is a photograph taken by our good friend Oli Palmer.

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Not pictured: Scott’s dignity.

And, finally, we should warn you that there is singing in this episode. We have a new Patreon backer at the $5 level, which means we have sung his praises. This particular song is a strange one even for us. We used tubes to make it. They did nothing to mask the horror.

Edit: I mentioned Brian Lavelle’s superb ambient music in the episode but forgot to include any information about it in these show notes. You can listen to and buy Brian’s work via his Bandcamp site. I have posted a bit more in an addendum to these notes.