Episode 205: Cosmic Horror

We’re back and we’re and we’re contemplating the secrets of the universe. People have warned us that it isn’t good for the human psyche to truly understand its insignificance in the wider cosmos. Luckily, as podcasters, our egos are robust enough to withstand such a spiritual winnowing. Cosmic horror is only genuinely horrific if your place in the universe isn’t secured by the occasional appearance towards the bottom of a niche podcast chart!

Main Topic: Cosmic Horror

This episode is our long-overdue look at cosmic horror. The term “cosmic horror” is often used as a synonym for Lovecraftian horror. Is there more to this relationship, however? For all his passion for the genre, how effective was Lovecraft at writing cosmic horror? How can we bring cosmic dread into our games of Call of Cthulhu? And what the hell is cosmic horror anyway?

Once again, the pandemic means we recorded this episode remotely. Although, on a cosmic scale, we’re practically in the same room.

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News

Patreon Changes

We’ve recently made some changes to our Patreon tiers. These centre on how we deliver The Blasphemous Tome. As of the next Tome, we will send a PDF to $1 backers, a code for a print-on-demand copy to $3 backers, and hand-printed and signed copies to those at $5 and above. Check our Patreon page for more details.

The Blasphemous Tome Issue 7

The reason for these Patreon changes is that we will now be putting out two full Blasphemous Tomes per year. While the .5 summer releases started life as an overflow for material we couldn’t fit in the standard Tome, they’ve proved very popular. As a result, we’re promoting them to full Tomes, which means they will be available in print as well as PDF. Issue 7 is due out in June and will include a brand new Call of Cthulhu scenario, licensed by Chaosium, written by our very own Matt Sanderson. We’ll have more details for you soon!

We’re back and we’re heading out for a night on the town, or at least what’s left of the town. Apparently, this new dinner theatre is to die for. Their menu is light on vegetarian options and the play is pretty incoherent, but you take what you can get in times like these. Unfortunately, one of the other guests keeps ranting about how meat is murder. People like her just eat us up inside. Still, we’re going to ignore her doomsaying and paint the town red!

Main Topic: Cadaver

This episode is our look at the 2020 horror/science fiction film, Cadaver, currently available on Netflix. It’s the first feature from Norwegian writer/director Jarand Herdal. This grim post-apocalyptic tale of theatrics and cannibalism divided us at least as much as any film we’ve seen before. Be prepared for some spirited debate.

Once again, the pandemic means we recorded this episode remotely. Apocalyptic films seem so much more mundane when you’re living in lockdown.

Cadaver (Kadaver) film poster

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Cadaver 1

News

A Cold Fire Within on Into the Darkness

Matt has been getting to play games for a change! Into the Darkness is going through Christopher Smith-Adair’s wonderful Pulp Cthulhu campaign A Cold Fire Within. There have been weird hijinks aplenty and Matt shares some highlights.

Episode 203: Ubbo-Sathla and Mordiggian

We’re back and we’re contemplating the mysteries of life and death. Sure, we could read a lot of dusty old religious texts but we’d rather seek the wisdom of the prophet Klarkash-Ton. His visions of the origins of life and the final mysteries of death are enlightening, uplifting and thoroughly entertaining. Sure, most religions don’t describe our creator as “yeasty” or suggest that our passage to the next world will involve priests gnawing on our bones, but some truths are uncomfortable. While we’re not certain we’d worship either Ubbo-Sathla or Mordiggian, we’ll happily learn all their juicy secrets. There’s something comforting in the thought that the brackets of our lives are as absurd as everything that happens between them.

Main Topic: Mythos Deities: Ubbo-Sathla and Mordiggian

This episode is the latest in our series on the deities of the Cthulhu Mythos. It is also a return to talking about Clark Ashton Smith, one of the key members of the original Lovecraft Circle. Smith was always the most imaginative and weirdest writer amongst Lovecraft’s correspondents, and the gods we discuss in this episode are no exception. Ubbo-Sathla, the unbegotten source, is at least as blasphemous a parody of creator deities as Lovecraft’s own Azathoth. And Mordiggian, the invisible eater of the dead, is a surprisingly sympathetic psychopomp, even if you have to watch out for his priests.

Previous discussions about Mythos deities have covered Dagon, Shub-Niggurath, Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathotep, Hastur, Azathoth and Nodens. We have also had a general discussion of the gods of the Cthulhu Mythos and a look at the role of religion in all this yog-sothothry.

Once again, the pandemic means we recorded this episode remotely. Google Meet is the blasphemous fain in which we gather to bring you these offerings.

Ubbo-Sathla
Ubbo-Sathla

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Mordiggian
Mordiggian, as portrayed in the Malleus Monstrorum
Episode 202: Media Catch-Up: Television

We’re back and we’re sucking at the glass teat again. Like all lazy creative types, we watch a lot of TV and try to convince ourselves it’s research. There certainly is a lot that the structure of modern television can teach us about roleplaying games. Absorb too much, however, and you may find that your games become riddled with adverts for erectile dysfunction pills. Maybe not the kind of healing potion your party is looking for…

Main Topic: Media Catch-Up: Television

After the positive reception to our short run of lockdown specials for our Patreon backers last year, we thought it might be fun to carry the format into the occasional regular episode. This time, we each discuss some of the television we’ve been watching recently and how it’s informing our gaming lives. Even though none of the programmes we discuss are horror, we still manage to find plenty to borrow for Call of Cthulhu.

Once again, the pandemic means we recorded this episode remotely. Chatting over Google Meet is like watching each other on television, only with worse scripts.

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Matt at ConTingency

Like so many other conventions, ConTinegncy moved from being a physical to a virtual event this year. As part of his ongoing mission to demonstrate his contempt for sleep, Matt ran an unwise number of games over the week. At least he didn’t need to change out of his pyjamas to do so.

New Cthulhu Idol From Stephen Hickman

Matt has also been busy backing Kickstarters. Not that he’s ever stopped. This time, he backed Stephen Hickman’s campaign to create a new version of his idol of Cthulhu. The horror in resin has now arrived and Matt has taken a picture to share with us.

Full Fathom Five on Distant Grey Gaming

The Australian actual-play podcast Distant Grey Gaming recently ran Paul’s 19th-century whaling scenario “Full Fathom Five”. They have also recorded an interview with Paul, which you will find in their feed.

Episode 201: Occupations in Call of Cthulhu

We’re back and we’re job hunting. This makes a pleasant change. We’re more used to things hunting us. But how much does your occupation actually matter when you’re running around the globe, trying to save humanity from eldritch gribblies? Sure, you may be the best haberdasher in the West End, but it’s hard to collect your pay packet when you’re being eaten by a shoggoth in Timbuktu…

Main Topic: Occupations in Call of Cthulhu

This is our discussion of the role of occupations in Call of Cthulhu? Are they just character classes? How do they work? Are there any that can be difficult to fit into a game? How might we create some of our own? And are there any we find particularly appealing or off-putting? (Clearly, Author is the best profession in the game, only because of the ludicrously high Credit Rating bracket.)

Once again, the pandemic means we recorded this episode remotely. We’re getting used to this.

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A Weekend With Good Friends

The first Weekend With Good Friends took place a couple of weeks ago and went marvellously. This is the revamped version of the online convention formerly knows as Jacks-con, organised by our lovely listeners. There were well over 100 games run over the course of the weekend, including huge amounts of Call of Cthulhu, and a smashing time was had by all!

Thank you so much to Bence, Chris and Martin for running the whole thing and to everyone else who helped out, ran games and generally joined in the fun!

A Weekend With Good Friends 2021

Kult on How We Roll

Scott has been let off GM duties and is getting to play a game! Craig from Red Moon Roleplaying is running another Kult game for How We Roll, this time weaving a custom creepy narrative around equally creepy characters created by Joe, Dave and Scott. If you want to join in the horror, hop on over to the How We Roll Patreon page.