We’re back and we’re still under lockdown. Like the rest of you, we’re turning to books, films, podcasts and other media to take us beyond these four walls, if only mentally. We thought it might be fun to share some recommendations with you, hence this series of special episodes.

These lockdown episodes are also a way of thanking our Patreon backers for sticking with us in these difficult times. We’re releasing them on the off-weeks between normal episodes. We hope they can provide some distraction from, well, everything.

If you would like to gain access to these special episodes, simply back us on Patreon at any level. We will continue to release our standard episodes every fortnight as usual.

If you are already a backer, you will find a post in your Patreon feed with a download link, and the episode will appear in our special Patreon RSS feed.

In this episode, we discuss a few horror or weird fiction books we’ve read recently. As ever, we also offer our thoughts about how they might inspire games.

Things we mention in this episode include:

Shoggoth in a jar.
Episode 180: Mythos Deities: Azathoth

We’re back and we’re bubbling and blaspheming at the centre of the universe. Actually, we’re just sitting at home like everyone else. It’s still nice to dream of getting out of the house, however, even if it is to the nightmare court of Azathoth. We’ll take any change of scenery we can get right now. And at least there would be some banging tunes to listen to…

Main Topic: Mythos Deities: Azathoth

This is the latest instalment in our series on the deities of the Cthulhu Mythos. Earlier episodes have covered Dagon, Shub-Niggurath, Yog-Sothoth and Nyarlathotep.

This time, the focus is on the blind idiot god at the centre of it all, Azathoth. We dig into Azathoth’s origins and how he changed throughout Lovecraft’s work. Then we move on to exploring how other writers have used and adapted Azathoth (warning: contains Lumley). Finally, we dig into Azathoth’s role in Call of Cthulhu, discussing how we might use him in our games.

This is the last episode we recorded in person before the COVID-19 pandemic forced us all to self-isolate. The next few episodes (at least) will be recorded using the wonders of the internet. You may notice that they sound a bit different.

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

Blasphemous Offerings From David Kirkby

Our good friend David Kirkby sent us some wonderfully hideous idols to say thank you for helping him promote his recent charity auction. We are unspeakably grateful to him for this. The idols have now been blooded and we have placed them at the appropriate sites. All is proceeding to plan. If you would like such a blasphemy of your own, please check out David’s website.

Continuum and UK Games Expo

Back in those long-forgotten days before we retreated to our bunkers, gaming conventions were a thing. People would actually gather in person to play RPGs, gossip, and drink inadvisable quantities of beer. How quaint all that seems now.

This episode was recorded just before the world changed, and we discuss a few such conventions we were planning to attend. It is possible that they may still go ahead if quarantine restrictions are eased. They might, however, be rescheduled or even go online. Nothing is certain anymore. We recommend that you check the websites for Continuum and UK Games Expo for updates rather than trusting anything we might say in the episode. Our relationship with reality is tenuous at the best of times.

We’re back and we’re keeping ourselves busy while quarantined. This largely involves catching up with books, films, television, and other inspirational media. It was either that or necromancy, and books smell nicer.

So we thought we’d help keep you entertained at the same time. This is the first of a limited run of special lockdown episodes for our Patreon backers. We’re releasing them on the off-weeks, between normal episodes, where they will lurk like the entities that live in the spaces between spaces. The specials are less likely to eat you, however. We hope.

If you would like to gain access to these special episodes, simply back us on Patreon at any level. We will continue to release our standard episodes every fortnight as usual.

If you are a backer, you will find a post in your Patreon feed with a download link, and the episode will appear in the Patreon RSS feed.

In this episode, we discuss a few horror films we’ve seen recently. As ever, we also offer our thoughts about how they might inspire games.

The particular films we discuss are:

We also mention the Tear Them Apart podcast’s lively dissection of Color Out of Space. Highly recommended if you want to hear a much less positive take than ours.

We’re back and we’re having another look through our history books. They’re so much safer than those other books we consult. You know, the ones with unwholesome bindings that whisper dark secrets with voices that sound like the rustling of parchment. History books are usually much better behaved. Sure, sometimes they tell us things we’d really rather not know, but they’re more helpful in avoiding the destruction of all humanity has wrought…

Main Topic: More Great NPCs of History

In this episode, we once again seek out historical personages who might make interesting Call of Cthulhu NPCs. We have restricted ourselves to the classic 1920s and Gaslight time periods to best fit your games.

This is a follow-up to our first Great NPCs of History discussion in episode 173. That time, Paul and Scott got so carried away (mainly with monkey glands) that Matt never got to present his selection. In an uncharacteristic display of fairness, we let him go first this time and still managed to squeeze in three NPCs.

This episode was recorded a couple of weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic caused us all to self-isolate, so we were all gathered together in Paul’s studio. That all seems like such a long time ago now. We have one more such episode to release before those recorded remotely. You may notice a change in sound quality once this happens.

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

Nellie Bly
Ellen Wilkinson
Edgar Laplante

News

The Old Ways Podcast

We recently attended the funeral of Jackson Elias, again. This is getting to be a habit. Our good friend Michael Diamond included us as mourners in a recent episode of The Old Ways podcast playthrough of Masks of Nyarlathotep. You can find our appearance by proxy in chapter 5 of the New York season.

Type 40

Paul recently met up with Alan and Nicky from Type 40 and learned all about their “artefacts from imaginary universes”. As well as Call of Cthulhu props, they also make all sorts of strange items likely to appeal to fans of SF, comics and other such things.

We’re back with the second part of our discussion with parapsychologist, RPG author and raconteur, Christian Jensen Romer.

In the first part, CJ told us how he became involved with ghost hunting. In this episode, he delves more into the various studies of ghost phenomena and some possible explanations for ghost sightings.

In the process, CJ clarifies and corrects a number of points we made in our recent episodes about ghosts. We really should have talked to him before recording those!