We are delighted to offer you another ghost story for Christmas. Good friend of the Good Friends, Mike Perceval-Maxwell (host of Mr Spike’s Bedtime Stories), has once again organised a suitably festive performance on our Discord server. He is joined by guest readers Scott Dorward, Sarah Dovey, Rina Haenze, Brian Murphy, T A Newman, Mike Perceval-Maxwell, Sue Savage and Graham Walmsley.

This year, it’s the turn of Jerome K Jerome’s “Told After Supper”. While Jerome (or Jerome to his friends) may not seem like an obvious choice for a ghost story, “Told After Supper” is packed full of all manner of apparitions, spectres, and murderous revenants. It is also very funny, and has the added bonus of being set around a drunken Christmas Eve celebration.

Jerome K Jerome

We have broken the story up into three parts. Our plan is to release them all as bonus episodes in the run-up to Christmas. If you would like to listen to the remaining parts live, you can hear them on our Discord server. We will be reading at 22:30 GMT on the following evenings:

  • Part 2 – 19th December
  • Part 3 – 20th December

So pour yourself a nice glass of punch, tell your favourite anecdote — if only to yourself, and prepare to take the curate to the cleaners!

Deck The Halls, performed by the USAFB Concert Band, is in the public domain.

If you would like to read along at home, you can find “Told After Supper” on Project Gutenberg.

And if all this has put you in the mood for Christmas ghost stories, please check out our previous readings:

Episode 276

We’re back and we’re picking through the ruins. The US Federal Government may have bombed Innsmouth to smithereens, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still useful gaming inspiration to be found in the wreckage. From pondering what the locals really wanted with Robert Olmstead to discussing how to make Deep Ones more sympathetic, we’re finding plenty of Innsmouth Gold here. Let’s just hope we don’t stumble across that shoggoth Zadok Allen mentioned, however. Being shelled and set on fire has probably done little to improve its temperament.

Main Topic: The Shadow Over Innsmouth part 6

This is the sixth and final part of our multi-episode exploration of HP Lovecraft’s classic weird tale, “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”. While we’ve finished our breakdown of the story itself, there were still a few outstanding points we’d flagged for later discussion. The second half of the episode delves into the aspects of the story we’d lift for gaming, as well as some discussion of how others have used Innsmouth and its residents in Call of Cthulhu.

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

Merry Christmas!

There is less than a week to go until Christmas, so season’s greetings! Don’t forget to put up your elder signs to ensure nothing unwanted slips down your chimney on Christmas Eve.

The Blasphemous Tome Issue 11

The first batch of Tomes has gone out to Patreon backers of The Good Friends of Jackson Elias. But that doesn’t mean you’ve missed your chance to get a printed copy!

You have until the end of December 2023 to secure your copy of the latest issue of The Blasphemous Tome. Patreon backers at the $5 level or higher will receive a print copy, signed by our own gnarled hands. This issue features “Blackshade”, a brand new Call of Cthulhu scenario written by Scott Dorward.

The Blasphemous Tome 11

Christmas Story Reading on the Good Friends Discord

As this episode goes out, we are in the midst of our Christmas ghost story reading. Mike Perceval-Maxwell of Mr Spike’s Bedtime Stories has organised a reading of “Told After Supper” by Jerome K Jerome on the Good Friends Discord server. You may have heard our earlier performances of “A Christmas Carol”, “The Canterville Ghost” and “The Viy”.

Please join us if you can for the remaining live readings at 22:30 GMT on the 19th and 20th of December. If you can’t make those, however, don’t worry! We also plan to record each reading and release them as special episodes on the Good Friends podcast feed.

Told After Supper by Jerome K Jerome
Episode 275

We’re back and we’re taking part in some self-reflection. It would just be a bit easier if our reflections didn’t keep changing. Maybe it’s inevitable once you get to a certain age. Your hairline starts receding, your face gets jowly, you develop gill slits on your neck… It’s enough to make you want to throw yourself in the ocean.

Main Topic: The Shadow Over Innsmouth part 5

This is the fifth part of our multi-episode exploration of HP Lovecraft’s classic weird tale, “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”. Last time, we followed Robert Olmstead’s increasingly frantic departure from the town of Innsmouth.

This episode, we reach the end of the story. Olmstead now has time to process what he has seen and learnt. Of course, in true Lovecraftian fashion, that just makes things worse. Or does it? Strap yourself in for an extended debate about just what that ending means.

We’ll be back next time to wrap up our analysis of the story and to pick the bones for some gaming meat.

Things we mention in this episode include:

Thank you to our good friends at the HP Lovecraft Historical Society for their kindly allowing us to play out with “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Fishmen”. You can find the song and many other upliftingly blasphemous wonders on their festive album, A Very Scary Solstice.

News

Christmas Story Reading on the Good Friends Discord

Once again, Mike Perceval-Maxwell of Mr Spike’s Bedtime Stories is organising a Christmas ghost story reading on the Good Friends Discord server. You may have heard our earlier performances of “A Christmas Carol”, “The Canterville Ghost” and “The Viy”. This year, we are reading “Told After Supper” by Jerome K Jerome.

Please join us if you can for the live readings at 22:30 GMT on the 18th, 19th and 20th of December. If you can’t make those, however, don’t worry! We also plan to record each reading and release them as special episodes on the Good Friends podcast feed.

Told After Supper by Jerome K Jerome

Paul at Grogmeet

Paul attended Grogmeet 2023, where he played Paranoia, Vaesen and Dragonbane, and ran a new Call of Cthulhu scenario called “A Dark Age”. Thanks to Dirk and Blythy of The Grognard Files for organising the convention.

Panels From the Illusion Horror Con 2023

Matt and Scott appeared on a number of panels at the latest Illusion Horror Con. These were all recorded and are now available on YouTube. Check out the links below.

Designing Compelling Villains

Horror Podcasting

Exploring the Subgenres of Horror RPGs

The Blasphemous Tome Issue 11

You have until the end of December 2023 to secure your copy of the latest issue of The Blasphemous Tome. Patreon backers at the $5 level or higher will receive a print copy, signed by our own gnarled hands. This issue features “Blackshade”, a brand new Call of Cthulhu scenario written by Scott Dorward.

The Blasphemous Tome 11

We’re back and we’re playing hide-and-seek. No, hang on. That’s when everyone hides and one person goes looking for them. This is the other way around. There’s a name for that game, isn’t there? Oh, yes! Sardines. That would explain the smell…

Main Topic: The Shadow Over Innsmouth part 4

This is the fourth part of our multi-episode exploration of HP Lovecraft’s classic weird tale, “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”. Last time, we had a long, drunken chat with Zadok Allen, down by the docks. Now, we’re almost ready to catch the last bus out of town.

This time, we reach the action-packed part of the story. Lovecraft isn’t known for his action scenes, but the chase sequence in “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” stands out in this respect. We break down Robert Olmstead’s attempt to flee Innsmouth and its inhabitants, finding plenty of gaming inspiration along the way.

Things we mention in this episode include:

Tam O’ Shanter

News

Paul at Dragonmeet

Paul will be at Dragonmeet 2023, on Saturday the 2nd of December. While he’s not sure about seminars or other events yet, you will be able to find him on the Chaosium stall. Do drop by and say hi.

Matt and Scott at Illusion Horror Con

Meanwhile, both Matt and Scott will be attending the Illusion Horror Con. This is an online convention devoted to horror RPGs. While the main focus is Kult, there will be all sorts of games going on over the weekend. Scott and Matt will also be appearing on a number of panels. Check the convention website for times and details

Paul Doing Push-Ups for Charity

Paul is raising money for Cancer Research UK by doing 100 push-ups every day throughout November. Please see his fundraising page for full details and give generously!

Cancer Research UK

Christmas Card and Tome

If you are a Patreon backer of the podcast, at the $3 or above, please check your mailing address. We are almost ready to send out this year’s Christmas cards. Backers at the $5 level or higher will also receive a print copy of issue 11 of The Blasphemous Tome. This issue features “Blackshade”, a brand new Call of Cthulhu scenario by our own Scott Dorward.

The Blasphemous Tome 11

Mason and Fricker’s Eldritch Stories Sampler

In a change to regular programming, here is a sample of another podcast we thought you might enjoy.

Mason and Fricker’s Eldritch Stories is a collaboration between Paul Fricker and Mike Mason. You probably know Paul already as one of the hosts of the Good Friends of Jackson Elias podcast. Mike has guested on the show several times but is better known as the creative director for Call of Cthulhu.

Each episode of Eldritch Stories is a single short story, read aloud in 5 to 10 minutes. Season 1 will feature 12 stories, with story episodes released every 2 weeks.

On the alternate weeks, Mike and Paul record an informal chat about movies, TV, books, games, etc. Those are a bit over half an hour long.

You can find out more at https://www.eldritchstories.com/

The shows are also available on YouTube, at https://youtu.be/2M3B8J93s-8?si=Ypf3I-UU9ZKfG_4x

And they have a Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/EldritchStories

The podcast should be available at all the usual places that you get your podcasts.