We’re back, and we’re chasing you young whipper-snappers off our lawns. Things just ain’t what they used to be, with all these mobile telephonic doodads skulking in people’s pockets, cheap flights to all corners of the world, and eldritch secrets only a mouse click away. How is a Keeper supposed to make players feel powerless and fragile when they have access to the conveniences of the modern world?


OK, playing Call of Cthulhu probably ticks that box anyway.

The modern-day poses ever-changing challenges for Call of Cthulhu Keepers, or anyone who enjoys horror roleplaying, and also fresh opportunities. We use this episode to discuss ways of incorporating mobile phones, the Internet, global travel and mass communications into your campaign without lessening the fear, or even as avenues for new types of terror.

phone lick

Having ready access to phones needn’t be a good thing…

Appropriately enough for an episode about the shock of the new, this marks our first outing with the upgraded recording equipment paid for by our generous Patreon backers. We’re still getting the hang of it, but you should notice a marked increase in audio quality. There are a few stray plosives, but we’ll buy some pop filters before the next episode to put those to rest.

matt microphone

Matt shows off one of the new microphones, and his equally new beard.

Speaking of Patreon, since this recording we’ve had another surge of support, taking us over our latest milestone! This means that Scott will spend this coming weekend making a spoken-word recording of The Colour Out of Space to share with all backers. Thank you all for your generosity! This generosity also means that next episode will include not one, but two bouts of singing.


Happily this can only happen once, at least to most of us.

We have a new milestone reward waiting to share with you, but we want to make sure we get a chance to fulfil our current commitments to backers first. It will be a juicy one, however!

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17 comments on “Horror Gaming in the Modern Day

  1. I never like it when a voice only comes in one ear. Makes it impossible to listen to the podcast with only one earbud in, something I have to do at work.

    Oh well, I shall file it under listen to podcast later.

  2. Ethan C. Feb 3, 2016

    Wow, that does make a huge difference in sound quality! It sounds great now.

    I agree about the ear-balancing issue. I do sometimes listen to podcasts with one earbud in. You can do a slight balance to make each voice sound like it’s uniquely located, while still having them all be strong enough in both ears to be hearable. Also, Scott seemed a little quiet in this episode. Not too bad, but noticeable in comparison to the other hosts. I’m sure you’ll get it all worked out as you fiddle with the settings.

    Good episode too, by the way. I liked the discussion of how to deal with the “connectedness” of the modern world. Overt isolation isn’t the only way to generate horror; you can also get a great effect by subverting the expectation of connectedness. For example, if the characters call the cops, roleplay the conversation. Just play it straight, with the operator assuring them that help is on its way. Then, the help simply never shows up. That shattering of confidence in the outside system can be its own shock of horror.

    • I keep telling Matt and Paul that I’m softly spoken, but they never believe me. My reputation for being loud during games has coloured their perceptions!

      That’s a good point about simply playing calls for help straight. Many years ago I used to work as an emergency operator. I know from experience how long it can take sometimes just to get one of the emergency services on the line, let alone out to deal with a problem. There was one call where I spent over 20 minutes trying to get an answer from the London Ambulance Service, while simultaneously trying to keep the mother of a child who was having a seizure calm and reassure her that help would be with her soon. It felt like it went on forever.

  3. Anonymous Feb 4, 2016

    I finally listende to the new episode and while the topic, and the discussion, were fantastic as usual i’m afraid the new soundmix doesn’t work for me. I listende to it on my iPad & the sound Volume varies too much between the hosts. If Paul is at Volume Level 10, Scott varies between 8 – 4 and Matt comes in at around 4 – 3, which was hard to understand even in a quiet enviroment. The other scenario in which i listen to Podcasts regularly is at work, with one earbud discreetly tucked in. So i’m afraid the Situation will be the same, or worse in fact since my workplace can be quite noisy.

    • Thanks for the feedback! We’re trying a new mix of the episode at the moment to address these issues, and will upload it in place of the current file. We’ll also try to get the balances right for the next episode.

    • We have a new mix out now that should address the issues you mentioned.

  4. And lo, somehow you have called forth an XKCD comic this week which touches upon Lovecraftian lore in a very modern context… http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/1638:_Backslashes

    • There is no escape.

      If you’re not one of the handful of listeners who have ever written a shell script, your blank stare is an entirely appropriate response.

  5. Danial Carroll Feb 5, 2016

    I was just about to leave a comment saying how I had my bluetooth speaker and iPhone at full volume and still couldn’t hear some of the conversation but it seems others have beaten me to the punch. If I re-download through my podcast app, will it pull down the new version, or do I have to download it from you guys?

    • Pulling it down again through your podcast app should do the trick. I updated the source file yesterday.

      • Danial Carroll Feb 5, 2016

        Excellent, I’ll do that now. I really enjoyed this week’s topic, so was sad I was missing bits, and will happily listen through it again.

        • Thank you for the kind words and your patience! We’ll make sure to get the balance right first time on the next episode.

  6. Anonymous Feb 8, 2016

    Thank you very much for uploading a new version. Thank you for the effort. And Thank you for all the great hours of podcasts in general.

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