We’re back and we’re waking up. It’s been a long old kip, but not that refreshing really. Dreams of being chased by hunting horrors aren’t as restful as we might like. On the bright side, we’ve awoken to a world as wonderous as any dream. Admittedly, that may be more the paucity of our dreams than any praise of the waking world. Who would have thought that our dream city was Milton Keynes all along?

Main Topic: The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath part 5

This is the conclusion of our multi-episode exploration of Lovecraft’s novel, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. In our earlier episodes (part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4), we looked at the story’s origins and followed Randolph Carter’s increasingly odd adventures in search of his dream city. Now, we’re journeying into Kadath itself, accompanying Carter to, we hope, the fruitful conclusion of his quest.

As ever, we pick the story apart, looking for Call of Cthulhu inspiration. In particular, we spend some time wondering how mountains can tiptoe so daintily. Maybe that extra head helps with coordination.

Things we mention in this episode include:

A pschent.
Gesundheit!
Titter ye not! Even if you are a shantak…

News

Issue 9 of The Blasphemous Tome

We are now a month away from the release of issue 9 of The Blasphemous Tome. This is the semi-annual fanzine we create for our wonderful Patreon backers. And what is Patreon, we hear you ask? Well, we don’t actually hear you. We’re wearing noise-cancelling headphones and they tend to block out obvious rhetorical devices.

But still, Patreon is a crowdfunding platform that allows people to sponsor creative endeavours, such as the Good Friends. The generosity of our backers allows us to put a lot more time into the podcast than we could otherwise, from research to scripting to audio production, and we hope the results are worth it.

It seems the least we can do to reward such generosity with a couple of fanzines a year, as well as uncut versions of the podcast, the occasional exclusive audio release, and a few other goodies.

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Paul’s unboxing video of the HPLHS prop set

Our good friends at the HP Lovecraft Historical Society have been creating wonders again. They have produced a box set of props and handouts to tie into the recent Chaosium release of remastered classic Call of Cthulhu publications from the ’80s. Paul has been lucky enough to lay hands on one of these sets and offers a brief overview of the contents.

Paul on Frankenstein’s RPG Podcast

Paul has also made a return visit to the Frankenstein’s RPG podcast. In the second series, the team are assembling the perfect science fiction RPG from the dismembered remains of other games. This episode delves into the blood and guts of initiative and combat.

Episode 234: The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath part 4

We’re back and we’re holidaying in Leng. While it’s not everyone’s first thought for a getaway, we’ve found it really quite dreamy. Leng may have had some shocking reviews on TripAdvisor, but we’re not sure where its evil reputation comes from. Sure, our stone hut is draughty and the corpse fires do little to take the edge off, but it’s not the worst Airbnb we’ve ever rented. The locals have a lively culture, with a special interest in music and the arts. Their extended crotala solos take a bit of getting used to, but the dances that accompany them are lively. We would join in except our legs bend the wrong way. The only irritating thing is how much the locals fuss about spiders. There’s nothing around here a rolled-up newspaper can’t take care of. Now, what’s with all that scuttling outside…?

Main Topic: The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath part 4

This is the fourth part of our multi-episode exploration of Lovecraft’s novel, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. In our first three episodes (part 1, part 2 and part 3), we looked at the story’s origins and followed Randolph Carter’s increasingly odd adventures as he searches for his dream city. Now, we’re heading into the most action-packed part of his romp through dreamland.

As ever, we pick the story apart, looking for Call of Cthulhu inspiration. In particular, we spend some time trying to work out why Leng gets such a bad rap. Sure, it seems cold and grey, but by that measure Aberdeen should have a similarly evil reputation.

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

Matt Returns!

The big news this episode is that Matt is well enough to record with us again! His experiences with necrotising fasciitis over the past few months have been nothing short of terrifying. Matt shares some of the less gruesome details, along with insights about what it’s like to be in a coma. All surprisingly relevant to our main topic.

We’re back and we’re making stuff up. Sure, it’s a bit disjointed, filled with inconsistent characterisation, narrative dead ends, and terrible jokes, but it sort of feels like a story. What do you expect when a bunch of people create it on the fly, all pulling in different directions? Any story there owes more to cheap beer and bad dice rolls than careful planning. If we read this tosh in a book, we’d ask for our money back. Yet, somehow, we’re all happy with it. And anyway, it’s still better than a Dan Brown novel…

Main Topic: Creating Stories at the Table

This episode is a lively discussion of what it means to create stories at the gaming table. Just talking about RPGs in terms of stories is likely to start an argument, and this episode is no exception. What do people mean when they talk about stories in the context of an RPG? Is an RPG scenario constructed anything like a story? And whose responsibility is it to create a story at the table anyway?

We’ve paused our discussion of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath for a few episodes as Matt has been seriously ill. During his absence, we have called upon some of our good friends in the podcasting world to stand in as guest hosts.

This time, we are joined by Gaz Bowerbank, co-host of the What Would the Smart Party Do? podcast. Gaz’s co-host, Baz Stevens, joined us a few episodes ago for our “Everything is Horror” discussion, so we thought it was time to complete the set.

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

Update on Matt

As we mentioned, Matt has been seriously ill recently. He is well on the road to recovery, however, and we hope to have him back with us next episode.

The Blasphemous Tome issue 9

We are busy finishing the text of issue 9 of The Blasphemous Tome. This issue’s Call of Cthulhu scenario comes from our own Paul Fricker. “Step Into My Parlour” is a sinister tale of street gangs and weird drugs, set in 1880s New York City. Everyone backing us on Patreon at the time of release in late June will receive a PDF or print copy.

Covers of Tomes of yore

Scott on You Awaken in a Strange Place

Scott recently appeared with Dave and Eoghan from How We Roll on You Awaken in a Strange Place, a new RPG podcast from Light and Tragic. This was an improvised game that ended up following the misadventures of a team of megafauna wranglers and a strange alien world.

We’re back and we’re lost in reverie. These dreams are really something — so vivid and insistent. We just wish we knew whose dreams they are. Regardless, they’re inspiring us to create strange, wondrous new works of art. Only, why are we compelled to make them with our own viscera? At least we can arrange these intestines to look like tentacles. Yes, that looks right, doesn’t it? So majestic. So divine. Maybe now we can sleep more deeply and become one with these glorious dreams.

Main Topic: Mythos Deities – Cthulhu

This episode is the latest in our ongoing exploration of the deities of the Cthulhu Mythos. Previous entries include Dagon, Shub-Niggurath, Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathotep, Hastur, Azathoth, Nodens, Ubbo-Sathla and Mordiggian, Ithaqua, and Daoloth and Eihort.

We have discussed Cthulhu as a pop-culture icon and Lovecraft’s original story, “The Call of Cthulhu”, in earlier episodes. Still, it is long past time we had one of our usual deep dives into the origins and development of the dead dreamer himself. So here we are.

We’ve paused our discussion of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath for a few episodes. Matt has been seriously ill, requiring a lengthy stay in hospital. We don’t know how long he’s going to be out of action but we wanted to save the resolution for his return. Until then, we’ve called upon some of our good friends in the podcasting world to stand in as guest hosts.

This time, we are joined by Chris Lackey, co-host of the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast and author of the new Chaosium publication, Cults of Cthulhu.

Things we mention in this episode include:

Lovecraft’s original sketch of Cthulhu

News

Update on Matt

As we mentioned, Matt has been seriously ill recently. He is well on the road to recovery, however, and may be up to rejoining us soon. More details as they become available.

The Blasphemous Tome issue 9

Issue 9 of The Blasphemous Tome is coming together nicely, much like Cthulhu after some callous sailor rammed a ship through him. We are currently going through the many wonderful contributions we have received and finishing up our own text. The Tome will go out to our Patreon backers at the end of June 2022.

Covers of Tomes of yore

Alien on How We Roll

Our good friend Jon Hook has been running the Alien RPG for How We Roll, and Scott is one of the players. We are currently riding the “Chariot of the Gods” and it’s all looking a bit grim. Oh well. Our bosses at Weyland-Yutani surely have our best interests at heart.

Episode 231: Breaking the Law

We’re back and we’re on the lam. Setting fire to all those libraries seemed like a good idea at the time but apparently the authorities disagree. We’ve tried explaining that there are simply some things humanity was not meant to know. If there were a better way of protecting people, or at least one that didn’t singe our eyebrows so badly, we’d do that instead. But, instead, we hide in the shadows, living one step ahead of the law. It’s a dangerous life protecting people from Dan Brown novels…

Main Topic: Breaking the Law

This episode is our discussion of the thorny topic of what happens when investigators get on the wrong side of the law. Almost every Call of Cthulhu campaign requires the investigators to commit burglary, fraud, assault, murder and arson. So much arson…

But does this always have to be the case? How should the Keeper deal with blatant criminal behaviour? Is it ever fun for the investigators to face the consequences of their actions? And why is the library on fire again?

We’ve paused our discussion of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath for a few episodes. Matt has been seriously ill, requiring a lengthy stay in hospital. We don’t know how long he’s going to be out of action but we wanted to save the resolution for his return. Until then, we’ve called upon some of our good friends in the podcasting world to stand in as guest hosts.

This time, we’re joined by Lynne Hardy, associate editor for Call of Cthulhu and line editor for the Rivers of London RPG. Lynne has shared a stage with the Good Friends at a number of live events, as well as our episodes about the development of the new edition of Masks of Nyarlathotep.

Lynne with the Good Friends and Mike Mason

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

Update on Matt

As we mentioned, Matt has been seriously ill recently. He is now home from hospital but he still has a long road to recovery ahead. We’re not sure how long it will be before he is feeling up to recording but we shall keep his seat warm for him.

New Releases From Chaosium

Lynne shares news of the Call of Cthulhu Keeper Tips book, fresh from Chaosium.

Submissions for The Blasphemous Tome

While it barely seems any time since the last issue of The Blasphemous Tome flapped its way around the world like a cardboard shantak, we have already started work on the next one. This is the twice-yearly fanzine we produce for our Patreon backers. Issue 9 will feature a brand new Call of Cthulhu scenario from our very own Paul Fricker. Watch this space for updates.

As ever, we welcome submissions from our listeners. These may be text articles of up to 500 words or pieces of black-and-white artwork. If you have any items you would like to submit, please send them to submissions@blasphemoustomes.com by the 6th of April 2022.

Covers of Tomes of yore