Call of Cthulhu Investigator Handbook cover detail

Listen to our three-part special on beginnings, middles and ends in roleplaying games. We discuss how to start your game off with a bang, keep up the pace and create an ending your players will talk about for years to come.

Beginnings, Middles and Ends

Beginnings: We open with some advice about planning a one-shot or campaign, drawing in the player characters and starting off play with a bang.

Middles: We continue with a look at how to keep up the pace and build tension in an ongoing game.

Ends: We wrap up the series with thoughts about deciding when to end a game, creating a memorable ending and what to do after the game is over.

The Good Friends of Jackson Elias Podcast

The Good Friends of Jackson Elias -- a Call of Cthulhu podcast

This post is designed as an introduction to The Good Friends of Jackson Elias, a Call of Cthulhu podcast.

We feature regular episodes about Call of Cthulhu and other roleplaying games, as well as horror films and weird fiction. The focus of the podcast is always on tabletop RPGs, and our discussions of films and stories feature segments about using elements of them in your games.

The three hosts, Paul Fricker, Matthew Sanderson and Scott Dorward, are all writers who worked on the new edition of Call of Cthulhu as well as many other roleplaying games.

Other Episodes

If you like what you hear, we recommend sampling some of our more recent episodes next.

Making Combat More Interesting. Focusing on Call of Cthulhu, we discuss how to keep fight scenes in roleplaying games from becoming dull and mechanical.

The VVitch. Our look at The Witch, the hit horror film of 2016. As well as discussing the film itself, we pick out elements that you can use in your games.

Running Published Campaigns. Using published RPG material can save time, but it still requires a special kind of preparation. We talk through techniques for doing so in this episode.

There was a major omission in the show notes for episode 91. During the episode, we discussed the use of ambient music to build atmosphere in games. I recommended the music of Brian Lavelle and promised to link to his Bandcamp site. I then forgot to do so when writing the notes. Apologies for that! You can find his work here.


Being old and out of touch with such things, I am not sure which musical genre would best describe Lavelle’s work. He describes himself as a Scottish sound artist, which leaves the field pretty open. His music is electronic and ambient, often unsettling without being overpowering. Most of the tracks I’ve heard would make perfect background music for sessions of Call of Cthulhu or any other horror game. The Night Ocean and his most recent release, Rune-Filled Eyes, strike me as especially well suited for this.


All of Lavelle’s tracks can be streamed from his Bandcamp site, allowing you to try them before committing any money. If you do decide to buy, the downloads are priced extremely reasonably. Listeners from overseas will also doubtless benefit from the weak British Pound!

Apologies for the site outage on this weekend. A WordPress plugin decided to misbehave on Friday, while I was en route to a friend’s wedding in Scotland, and I was unable to get to…