The Blog

Site News, Reviews & Miscellany

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.

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.

This last week has been one of the weirdest any of us can remember. Almost everyone we know has quarantined themselves from the COVID-19 outbreak and is trying to adjust to social isolation. As a result, we’ve been working out what we can do to help keep you entertained while all this is happening.

The main thing is that we’re going to keep putting out episodes following our regular schedule. We will, however, have to record remotely for a while. You may notice something of a change in audio quality until things get back to normal. This is all very new to us.

We are also going to do a few extra things for our Patreon backers. For a start, we’re going to resurrect the backer chats. It’s been far too long since we last held one.

After some research, it seems Crowdcast best meets our requirements. It allows us to host video livestreams with audience participation and record them for those who can’t attend at the time.

Our plan is to hold the first of these new backer chats on Saturday the 28th of March, probably in the evening, UK time. We will send out specific details soon via Patreon.

The big news is that we will put out extra episodes for Patreon backers while this crisis continues. These will go out on the off-weeks, when there’s no standard release. They will be slightly different from normal episodes — more informal chats, with only some light editing. We plan to release the first one on the 7th of April. Watch your Patreon feeds for details.

Issue 5 of The Blasphemous Tome is now available!

This is the print-only fanzine that we create for Patreon backers of The Good Friends of Jackson Elias podcast. It contains articles about RPGs, horror films and weird fiction, not to mention plenty of sanity-blasting artwork and original content for the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game.

Everyone backing us via Patreon by the end of December 2019 will receive at least one copy of the Tome.

  • $1 backers receive one copy
  • $3 backers receive one signed copy
  • $5 backers receive two copies, one signed

Featured in this issue is a new Call of Cthulhu scenario by our very own Matt Sanderson, titled “Number 22”.

A new family is moving into number 22. The circumstances of how the house came onto the market are tragic but a good deal is hard to turn down. If only this new home were as welcoming as the neighbours. Horror abounds as as cosmic weirdness bleeds into the cosiness of suburban life.

The cover comes from our good friend Jonathan Wyke, whose work adorns many of our past issues. We also have illustrations from some favourite eldritch artists, including Daupo, Evan Dorkin, Lucy Fricker, Nefeli Mandilaras and John Sumrow.

Other articles in this issue include:

  • The Ludomancers
    • Our favourite game sessions of the past year
  • Cocktail Corner
    • Matt renews his assault upon our livers
  • Number 22
    • A brand new, full-length Call of Cthulhu scenario from Matt Sanderson
  • Cosmic Rationality
    • Grant Dowell mutates logical paradox into cosmic horror
  • Nameless Dread
    • Piers Connolly explores the Lovecraftian horror at the heart of child development
  • Episodes of Insanity
    • Our favourite episodes of 2019
  • Eternity: A Manifesto
    • Scott offers a dangerous insight into the nature of time

If you would like to receive one or more copies of The Blasphemous Tome, all you have to do is back us on Patreon before the end of December 2019. If you are a backer at the $3 level or higher before we ship our first batch in late November, you will also receive one of our custom, Mythos-themed Christmas cards. Even unspeakable horrors deserve some festive cheer.

Tomes from years gone by

Please note that we do not sell copies of The Blasphemous Tome. It is purely a reward for the wonderful people who back us via Patreon.

The Blasphemous Tome is licensed for the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game by Chaosium, inc.

The Kult: Divinity Lost kickstarter came to an end on March 31st 2016. Back at the start of the campaign, I put up a blog post mentioning I’d pledged for the Demiurge edition, a unique copy of the rulebook. At the time, it was only advertised as a question mark, with not even a mock-up presented. Well, yesterday (1218 days after the campaign ended), it arrived! It is a question mark no longer.

This edition has been produced by El Artesano Del Rey, the Spanish company that also produced the Luxury Edition of Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition. The leather is soft to the touch, slightly scuffed in places (along the edges of the covers, and the raised sections of the hubbed spine, etc.), giving it a “used” or “older” feel, and the front cover features a very shiny metal plate riveted in place with the Kult logo laser-etched, along with the Archon/Tree of Life design. This in turn is surrounded by another “thorny” metal plate, and extra rivets on the spine between the hubs. It is reminiscent, in a way of the Iron Book from the Kult setting. The two satin bookmarks are definitely helpful – I end up bookmarking the copy I use to run games with in several places.

The back is featureless, other than having the El Artesano Del Rey stamp towards the bottom-left corner.

The edges are in red, and when fanned still reveal the same “death is only the beginning” text as the other editions do (with the exception of the Bible Edition). I still think that’s an amazing touch to the design of the book!

The interior is the same as the other main Kickstarter editions (yep, more genitalia per square inch than you’ll find in the normal retail editions!) with the addition of a gold embossed El Artesano Del Rey label on the title page. It’s quite stiff to open due to the nature of the binding, so I didn’t want to force it open too much.

Having the same content, as mentioned, also means that I get to smile when I get to the first of the backer pages. It’s a fine title to have 🙂

Along with the book comes a couple of certificates and a papyrus sheet featuring the Archon/Tree of Life design again. As I don’t speak Spanish, I don’t know what the certificates say, but I can work out one of them confirms this is number “1 of 1”.

While it’s a very nice book indeed, it’s not quite what I was expecting (unlike the pledge description, I didn’t actually get a say in the production in the end, which was a little disappointing, but I think I would have gone for the same choice of leather as it’s so nice to touch), but it’s definitely a unique volume in composition and quality compared to the rest of my collection.

In my mind, I was hoping for some heavier-grade paper, so the book would be thicker (a bit like the Temple Edition was for Call of Cthulhu) and the cover to have featured the pyramid/eye design representing the Demiurge that was used in the recent Kult tarot deck. I kind of wish the metal plates had been sunk into the cover (a bit like the Orichalcum Edition of Exalted 3rd Edition), as that would look a lot nicer, and I wouldn’t worry so much about it scratching anything around it. However, it’s definitely growing on me and I’m happy to have been able to get it. Like I said, who wouldn’t want “the Iron Book” after all?