The Rats in the Walls

This week we take a look at what was arguably Lovecraft’s first major story, The Rats in the Walls. As we did with our discussion of The Haunter of the Dark, we try to find ways that it can inform your Call of Cthulhu game, but mostly we get embarrassed about the name of that bloody cat. Unlike our previous discussion, we managed to keep this to a single episode, possibly helped by the fact that we don’t go on about two other stories as well.

Rat_noir

There aren’t actually any rats in The Rats in the Walls, but this picture was too cute not to use

We also maintain our tradition of complaining about the temperature in the shed. Well, Paul and Matt do. Scott has the same contempt for cold as he does for heat. Paul has resorted to wearing a woolly hat when we record, and here’s a photograph to help you understand and share our mirth.

paul-hat

At least this way we don’t have to edit the chattering of teeth out of the recording

Using Call of Cthulhu for Non-Lovecraftian Horror

This week we meander around a topic suggested by Alistair Warmington, over on our Google+ Community, namely that of using Call of Cthulhu for genres other than Lovecraftian horror. We suggest inspirational material, rules hacks, scenario ideas and other games from which you can steal the good bits.

Dead of Night features heavily in the discussion

Dead of Night features heavily in the discussion

In particular, we recommend reading Dead of Night (not just because Scott wrote part of the second edition) for its breakdown of different horror genres and ideas about how to turn them into games. This advice can be applied just as well to Call of Cthulhu.

And, as an added bonus, we’ve stopped talking about Attract Fish. Well, for this week, anyway.

 

Top 3 RPG Spells

This week we talk about our favourite magical spells from non-Lovecraftian sources, as a follow-up to our discussion of spells from Call of Cthulhu in episode 16. Matt and Scott pick examples from some of their favourite roleplaying games, and Paul does his own thing.

paul_daniels

No, the other Paul

We recorded this episode before our interview with Rafael Chandler, which is why you will hear Scott explaining the Books of Pandemonium to Paul and Matt, despite us apparently just having spoken to their author. We may be getting on a bit, but we’re not that forgetful!

The games we discuss are:

Rafael Chandler Interview

This week’s episode is our interview with Rafael Chandler, RPG designer, video game writer and novelist. We’ve never had a guest on the show before, as there is precious little room in Paul’s shed, but we managed to make it work by using a Google Hangout and streaming it to YouTube. You may notice some difference in the format and audio quality as a result. We have already released this interview as a video on our YouTube channel, and this is simply the audio portion, cunning disguised as a regular episode of the podcast.

pandemonio-player-cover

This being a largely Lovecraftian podcast, Rafael talks to us about the influences of Lovecraft on his work, which has shaped it in unexpected ways. His take on Lovecraft’s racism as well as his cosmic horror is especially interesting. Even more frighteningly, he talks about the influence of Catholic children’s comics, which sound more disturbing than anything with tentacles and gaping maws.

pandemonio-director-cover

Rafael has just released the new compendium edition of the Books of Pandemonium, retitled Pandemonio, It contains enough blood, bile and blasphemy to electrify the most jaded group of gamers, and has been my roleplaying cattle-prod of choice at conventions for some time.

viewscream

We also discuss ViewScream, the first RPG written specifically to make use of the strengths and limitations of video chats. Mostly, though, we just talk a lot, as we seem to do.

 

Top 3 Call of Cthulhu Spells

This episode we take a look at our favourite spells from Call of Cthulhu and talk about just how you can use them to destroy your campaign, or maybe just bring in a few complications. Mostly destroy, though.

fyre-element

Not with a bang or a whimper — more of a whooshing, crackling sound, really

As is our wont when we do these kinds of episodes, we each choose three of our favourite spells from Mythos grimoires and ramble on about them until one of the others tells us to shut up.

For the first time, we actually managed to step on each other’s toes with our selections, so you can thrill to the excitement of Paul and Scott swearing at Matt, the stealer of spells.

And even more swearing when Matt mentions the most forbidden of all Mythos magics!

And even more swearing from Paul when Matt mentions the most forbidden of all Mythos magics!