Episode 284: Media Catch-Up

We’re back and we’re consuming. Mostly, we’re consuming media. At least that’s the consumption we feel happiest talking about in public. Also, the digestion of media tends to lead to less dyspepsia, bloating and flatulence than more tangible fare. Except for Dan Brown, that is.

Main Topic: Media Catch-Up

This episode is the latest in our ongoing series about the media we’ve been consuming recently and how it might influence our gaming lives. We’re shaking up the format a little this time, however, delving into both television and films. There may even be mention of a book or two.

Things we mention in this episode include:

Matt

Scott

Paul

Episode 283: The Ocean in Call of Cthulhu

We’re back and we’re enjoying a nice seaside holiday. Of course, when most people talk about the seaside, they mean the bit that’s on land. Somehow, we’ve ended up in the wetter part. Maybe that’s more technically landside. Human languages are messy things. Regardless, it’s everything we could have asked for: cold, murky, and filled with terrifying creatures. If Lovecraft taught us anything, however, it’s that this nice section of seabed could be forced to the surface at any moment. We’ll just have to enjoy its benthic charms while we can.

Main Topic: The Ocean in Call of Cthulhu

The ocean and its horrors play a huge role in Lovecraft’s fiction and, by extension, in Call of Cthulhu. With entities such as Cthulhu, Dagon and the Deep Ones, and locations like R’lyeh and Y’ha-nthlei, Lovecraft placed many of his most memorable creations deep below the waves. So how can we make use of the ocean in Call of Cthulhu? What inspiration can we take from nature and folklore? And what memorable scenarios are there that use the ocean as their setting?

Things we mention in this episode include:

The Ocean in Lovecraft

Inspirations from Nature and Folklore

A mermaid’s purse

The Ocean in Call of Cthulhu

News

Paul at Chaosium Con 2024

Paul will be attending Chaosium Con 2024 in Michigan between 18-24 April. Do stop by the Chaosium stand and say hi. There will also be a large contingent from Ain’t Slayed Nobody attending, so please say howdy to them too.

We’re back and we’re wondering what’s in this jar on our desk. The contents are murky, but it looks like it might contain the heart of a small boy. Robert Bloch swears by it, but we’re worried that having it makes us accessories to some grisly crime.

Main Topic: Robert Bloch and the Cthulhu Mythos

Following last episode’s discussion of Psycho, we’re exploring the life and work of its creator, Robert Bloch. While Bloch is best remembered for the way he fused crime fiction and horror into a new genre, he was also a member of the original Lovecraft Circle. We look at Bloch’s unlikely friendship with HP Lovecraft and how it shaped his career, as well as offering a quick overview of Bloch’s contributions to the Cthulhu Mythos.

Things we mention in this episode include:

Bloch and Lovecraft

The Weird Fiction of Robert Bloch

News

Thanks For A Weekend With Good Friends

A Weekend With Good Friends 2024 has wrapped up. This is the online gaming convention organised by our lovely listeners, taking place on the Good Friends Discord server.

We take this opportunity to thank everyone who made the convention happen.

The organisers, Bence, Chris, Martin, and PT, put in a heroic amount of work to make sure everything ran smoothly. David and Miranda organised the panels, covering everything from finding panellists and topics to moderating most of them and handling the streaming. The server moderators, especially Rina, Mike and Nate, dealt with tickets, wrangling players and GMs throughout the weekend. Thank you so much to all of you!

And, of course, thank you to everyone who attended, ran games, and took part in panels. This couldn’t have happened without you.

If you missed any of the excellent panels, you can find them all on YouTube.

A Weekend With Good Friends logo

Matt at Concrete Cow

Matt will be at Concrete Cow 24. This is the one-day gaming convention organised my our good friends at MK-RPG. It will take place at the Old Bath House in Wolverton, on Saturday the 16th of March. Doors open at 9:00 and the first games begin at 10:00.

We’re back and we’re abluting with trepidation. It used to be that taking a shower was relaxing. We could just pull that curtain closed and enjoy the jets of warm, cleansing water. Since watching Psycho, however, we can’t help but keep one eye open while showering. That wouldn’t be so bad if we didn’t keep getting shampoo in it. Still, it probably beats the alternative.

psycho film poster

Main Topic: Psycho

We’re following our recent discussion of psychological horror by exploring one of the defining works of the genre. It’s no exaggeration to say that Psycho transformed horror, in both cinema and fiction, pretty much creating a new subgenre. It is one of the most imitated films of all time, spawning countless pastiches, parodies, and blatant rip-offs. But what is it that makes Psycho such an enduring favourite, even 65 years on? Why does it still make us afraid to draw the shower curtain? And which aspects of it have not aged so well?

Be warned that we spoil the hell out of the film. If you are one of those vanishingly rare people who have managed to avoid spoilers until now, we beseech you to watch Psycho before listening to this episode. Even so, its twists and turns have become so much a part of popular culture that they may still be familiar.

As well as digging into Hitchcock’s film, we also touch upon Robert Bloch’s original novel, and the many sequels each birthed. And, as ever, we look for aspects that might influence our games.

psycho book cover

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

A Weekend With Good Friends

A Weekend With Good Friends is about to begin!

This is the online gaming convention organised by our lovely listeners, taking place on the Good Friends Discord server between 1-3 March 2024.

Don’t worry if you missed the game signups. There will be pickup games running throughout the weekend. You can also sign up to be notified if anyone drops out of a prebooked game, leaving their space free.

There will be a number of panels throughout the weekend. discussing different aspects of horror gaming. Check our Discord server for the latest news.

We hope to see you there!

A Weekend With Good Friends logo

Arkham Book Released

The new edition of the Arkham sourcebook for Call of Cthulhu is now available in PDF, with the print edition following shortly. This is a heavily revised version, featuring new material by Arkham Gazette mastermind, Bret Kramer.

We’re back and we’re rolling to disbelieve. Honestly, the world around us just becomes weirder and weirder with every passing year. A lot of this is probably down to age, but we can’t discount some kind of breakdown of objective reality, right? Well, that’s assuming there was ever such a thing as objective reality. In order to determine this, we’d need to refer to objective sources, and then we’ll only get lost in recursion again. Compared such sophistry, all those sanity-blasting delusions in Call of Cthulhu feel like light relief.

Main Topic: Delusions in Call of Cthulhu

We thought we’d follow up last episode’s exploration of psychological horror by looking at the role of delusions in Call of Cthulhu. Psychological horror is filled with characters trapped in states of delusion, unable to tell what is real anymore. The game reflects this genre trope in its mechanics, and we delve into how it all works. We also discuss how such fictional delusions relate to real mental illness, what inspiration we might take from media, and just how much roleplaying we really want to see in our roleplaying games.

Fight Club (1999) film poster

Things we mention in this episode include:

Mr Robot poster

News

A Weekend With Good Friends

Player signups are about to open for A Weekend With Good Friends and will remain so until the end of day on the 22nd of February.

A Weekend With Good Friends is the online gaming convention organised by our lovely listeners, taking place on the Good Friends Discord server between 1-3 March 2024.

If you are unable to commit to running or playing a game in advance, there will be pickup games running throughout the weekend.

There will also be a number of panels about different aspects of horror gaming. Details of these will be finalised within the next few days, so do check our Discord server for the latest news.

Key dates are:

  • Thursday 15th February – Thursday 22nd February – Player signups
  • Monday 26th February – Lottery results announced
  • Friday 1st March – Sunday 3rd March – A Weekend With Good Friends

We hope to see you there!

A Weekend With Good Friends logo