We’re back and we’re getting the willies. Has anyone ever used that phrase and not received a derisive response? But, as we’ve discussed before, laughter is often a way of protecting ourselves against fear. And what is scarier than a good ghost story?

Maybe a terrifying apparition like this.

Main Topic: Ghosts in Call of Cthulhu part 1

This is the first of two episodes looking at ghosts and how they tie into Call of Cthulhu. Our original plan was to do it all in a single episode, but we talked too much.

As a result, this first part is largely us exploring what we think ghosts might be, as well as discussing what we do and don’t like in a ghost story. If you think the answer is “ghosts”, you might be surprised.

Next episode, we shall dig more into how we’d use ghosts in our games, and whether ghosts even belong in Call of Cthulhu.

Getting rid of ghosts can prove a nuisance, so maybe best leave them there.

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

Concrete Cow 20

Concrete Cow 20 will take place on Saturday the 14th of March. This is Milton Keynes’ own one-day RPG convention, held in the Old Bath House in Wolverton. Tickets are £5 on the door. All three of us will be there and we would love to see you!

Concrete Cow logo

Deadlight and Other Dark Turns

The print edition of Dead Light and Other Dark Turns is due out shortly. This classic-era Call of Cthulhu anthology features Alan Bligh’s much-loved “Dead Light”, along with a new scenario, “Saturnine Chalice”, by our very own Matt Sanderson.

Cthulhu Idol Charity Auction

Good friend of the Good Friends, David Kirkby, is auctioning another blasphemous sculpture to raise money for charity. After the success of his earlier Pad’thulhu auction, he’s now selling a unique, hand-painted idol of Cthulhu. The money raised will be split between Cancer Research UK and the firefighting efforts in Australia.

We’re back and we’re playing favourites. Sure, we love you all, but you do understand, right? And we also have favourite films, books and RPGs too, some of which were created within the last 10 years. We know that a lot of other people have taken the end of the decade as an opportunity to create similar lists, but we”re different! For a start, we’re doing it over a month later than everyone else.

Main Topic: The Best of the 2010s

In many respects, the 2010s were a terrible decade. We’ve seen political upheavals that will affect the world for generations, an ecological crisis that will affect it for even longer, and, worst of all, David Bowie died. It’s all been a bit shit, really.

But there has been some good stuff too. The 2010s were a boom time for media in general, and horror in particular. We have been living through a golden age of genre books, films and television. In this episode, we pick our favourites from each of these categories, explaining why we think our choice deserves to be held up as the best.

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

Wounds cover

News

Concrete Cow 20

Concrete Cow 20 will take place on Saturday the 14th of March. This is Milton Keynes’ own one-day RPG convention, held in the Old Bath House in Wolverton. Tickets are £5 on the door. All three of us will be there and we would love to see you!

Concrete Cow logo

Masks of Nyarlathotep on How We Roll

Scott has been running the Peru chapter of Masks of Nyarlathotep for the How We Roll podcast, with an all-star cast of guests. Players include Seth Skorkowsky, Keeper Murph from the Miskatonic University Podcast, Veronica from Cthulhu and Friends, and Eoghan and Joe from How We Roll. The first few episodes are already available, with new horrors seeping out every few weeks thereafter.

Episode 174: Midsommar

We’re back and we’re on our Midsommar holiday. Happily, we don’t have anything as horrific as Cliff Richard to contend with. It’s only the usual festivals, drugs and human sacrifice. The locals seem nice enough, although Paul’s comments about their music might be getting to them. Oh well. What’s the worst that could happen?

According to Matt, being made to watch this film.

Main Topic: Midsommar

This episode is our look at the 2019 American/Swedish folk horror film, Midsommar. It is an unusually sun-drenched horror, long in running time and short on action. As you might imagine, this led to some disagreement amongst us as to whether it is the best film of the year or slightly less fun than root canal.

If you don’t like it, just put something else on…

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

On the back: “Having a wonderful time, wish you were here!”

News

Matt at ConTingency

Once again, Matt is heading off to the seaside. There is no finer time to visit the east coast of Great Britain than late January. The North Sea always has a warm welcome waiting for you. Matt, however, will be spending his time indoors, playing games. This is his annual pilgrimage to ConTingency, the extended residential convention that has now moved to Hunstanton in Norfolk. If you are attending the convention, be sure to sign up to his games and set fire to all the NPCs.

Smart Party Dragonmeet Seminar

When Paul visited Dragonmeet late last year, he joined Mike Mason and our good friends from the Smart Party for a seminar. They discussed ideas about how to be a better player, some extending beyond bringing snacks and not falling asleep at the table. You can find a recording of the seminar at the Smart Party’s website.

Rivers of London RPG

The other bit of excitement at Dragonmeet was the announcement of the forthcoming Rivers of London RPG from Chaosium. Based on the Peter Grant police procedural/urban fantasy novels by Ben Aaronovitch, the game will use a version of BRP customised by our very own Paul Fricker. More news as it becomes available.

The Whisperer in Darkness

We also briefly mention the audio adaptation of Lovecraft’s “The Whisperer in Darkness” that the BBC is releasing as a podcast. This follows on from their previous adaptation of “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward”. In both cases, the events are presented as an investigative podcast, complete with hints of connections to the wider Mythos. You can also access these programmes through the BBC Sounds app.

We’re back and we’re finally free of the city of the Elder Things. Now, we’re racing off to the aëroplane as fast as our little legs will carry us. Everything will be fine once we’re airborne. We’ve learnt our lessons and we shan’t look back. Nope, no way. Not after that whole shoggoth incident. Looking back only leads to trouble. We’re smarter than that now.

Oh, bugger. We looked back.

Main Topic: At the Mountains of Madness part 5

This is the final part of our discussion of Lovecraft’s epic, At the Mountains of Madness. After all the geological, biological and historical explorations of previous chapters, we find ourselves caught up in something almost mystical. The story ends with another infodump, but one born of madness. As ever, we pick this apart in search of gaming inspiration.

We then offer a quick overview of other works inspired by At the Mountains of Madness. Unsurprisingly, Beyond the Mountains of Madness, the classic Call of Cthulhu campaign, plays a big part in our discussion.

It says a lot about our interests that we completely neglected to discuss any video games. There are plenty of fine games out there that draw upon Lovecraft’s tale, but you’ll have to turn to younger and hipper podcasters for details of them.

Links

Some of the things we mention in this episode include:

News

The Blasphemous Tome issue 5

Issue 5 of The Blasphemous Tome has come back from the printer and the first batch will be in the post any day now!

The Tome is the print-only fanzine we produce exclusively for our Patreon backers. This issue features a new scenario for Call of Cthulhu, called “Number 22”, written by very our own Matt Sanderson. You will also find plenty of other juicy articles, stories and artwork, including many contributions from our wonderful listeners! If you would like to secure your copy, simply back us on Patreon by the end of the year.

Dragonmeet 2019

Matt and Paul will be attending Dragonmeet in a few days. This one-day convention takes place at the Novotel in West London on the 30th of November. Paul will also be a guest on a panel hosted by our good friends Baz and Gaz of the Smart Party. Check the programme on the day for details.

Other Stuff

Reviews and Social Media

We share a lovely new review from The Final Sam in the USA. If you feel inspired to write a review of your own — whether on Apple Podcasts or anywhere else you might find podcasts — we would be delighted!

As of episode 171, we shall be dropping the social media segment of the podcast. This is part of our grander plan to retool a few things to keep the podcast fresh.

Songs

As part of this retooling, we are also discontinuing the songs we sing to new Patreon backers. This is probably an act of mercy. While they’ve been fun to do, the joke is wearing thin. Thank you to everyone we’ve sung to and we hope the mental scars fade with time!

You will find a couple of our final abominations in this episode. Be warned.

We’re back and we’re nearing the end of our expedition. The tunnels below this ancient, pre-human city are full of penguin droppings but somehow these aren’t the foulest things down here. Something has been polishing these floors like a giant protoplasmic Roomba. We’re not sure what it is yet, but it does seem to have a lovely singing voice. Maybe it will be our friend.

It looks like it packs a mean cuddle.

Main Topic: At the Mountains of Madness part 4

This is the penultimate part of our discussion of Lovecraft’s epic, At the Mountains of Madness. We’re well into the action-packed part of the story, with monsters aplenty. Sure, some of these monsters are penguins, but they do look really creepy down here in the dark. Especially the ones without any eyes.

Links

Some of the things we mention in this episode include:

“Can you tell me how to get, how to get to…”

News

The Blasphemous Tome issue 5

We have finished laying out issue 5 of The Blasphemous Tome and it will soon be heading to press!

The Tome is the print-only fanzine we produce exclusively for our Patreon backers. This issue features a new scenario for Call of Cthulhu, called “Number 22”, written by very our own Matt Sanderson. You will also find plenty of other juicy articles, stories and artwork, including many contributions from our wonderful listeners! If you would like to secure your copy, simply back us on Patreon by the end of the year. Those who back us before we send out the first batch in late November will also receive one of our eldritch Christmas cards.

Dragonmeet 2019

Matt and Paul will be attending Dragonmeet next month. This one-day convention takes place at the Novotel in West London on the 30th of November. If you see them wandering around looking lost, please say hello and guide them to wherever they need to be.

Wandering Monsters on YouTube

Paul also offers a brief shout-out to Stephen Twining’s YouTube Channel, Wandering Monsters. While the channel mostly focuses on D&D, recent episodes have discussed Call of Cthulhu and Runequest as well.

Other Stuff

Reviews and Social Media

We share a marvellous new review from TomasDeTorque in Australia. If you feel inspired to write a review of your own — whether on Apple Podcasts or anywhere else you might find podcasts — we would be delighted!

As of episode 171, we shall be dropping the social media segment of the podcast. This is part of our grander plan to retool a few things to keep the podcast fresh.

Songs

As part of this retooling, we are also discontinuing the songs we sing to new Patreon backers. This is probably an act of mercy. While they’ve been fun to do, the joke is wearing thin. Thank you to everyone we’ve sung to and we hope the mental scars fade with time!

This episode sees (hears?) us singing to the fine folks behind Trebuchet Magazine. With recent issues about “Space and Time” and “The Human Body”, there is plenty of rich Call of Cthulhu inspiration to be found in its pages.