In our second Necronomicon 2019 interview, I talk to Call of Cthulhu author, Brian Courtemanche. You may know Brian’s work from Chaosium publications such as Doors to Darkness and The House of R’lyeh.

I was lucky enough to work with Brian on the upcoming Flotsam & Jetsam organised play campaign. His contribution — “The Star Brothers” — is an original take on classic Lovecraftian material, sure to appeal to new and experienced players alike.

As a native New Englander, Brian brings a familiarity with Lovecraft Country to his work that most of us can only dream of. He is also a university librarian by profession, making him a Lovecraft protagonist in the flesh. We talk about how these elements and his love of local history influence his writing.

I first encountered Matthew M Bartlett‘s work at Necronomicon 2017. While I didn’t have the funds to buy any of his books at the time, I added them to my list. When I finally picked up Gateways to Abomination earlier this year, I knew I had to track Bartlett down at the next Necronomicon and ask him what the hell I had just read.

Bartlett’s work is tricky to describe, bridging a gap between traditional Gothic and weird fiction. His world is grubby, filled with strange horrors and mutations of the flesh. Happily, Bartlett offers such explanations as he can for what it is he does and opens up his world of Leeds, MA, a little more.

We also talk about Necronomicon and how his work relates to gaming. This includes Bartlett’s collaborations with Yves Tourigny, a game designer whose work you should definitely check out.

We’re back and we’re coming to you live from Necronomicon 2019. OK, we’re not actually live. This was recorded a few weeks ago, but it was a live event at the time, so we’re standing by this. Time is an illusion.

As we did in 2017, we met up with our good friends from the Miskatonic University Podcast for a live episode. While Keeper Dan was unable to make it this time, we did finally get to meet Jon Hook. As impressive a puppet as he made before, it was even better to have him there in the flesh.

Left to right: Matt, Scott, Paul, Keeper Chad, Keeper Jon and Keeper Murph

This time, we followed a sort of debate format. Both podcasts had polled our listeners about possible topics and we picked several of our favourites to hash out. As you might be able to tell, not all of us were in the debate club at school!

We have a few more recordings from Necronomicon 2019 coming your way soon. Watch your feeds!

We’re back with another live recording, this time coming to you from UK Games Expo in Birmingham. To be clear, the “we” in this case means “Paul”. Identity is a mutable concept amongst the Good Friends.

Paul joined our good friends Baz and Gaz from the Smart Party and Dirk the Dice from The Grognard Files for a chat about how to run games at conventions. At least one other attendee of this year’s Expo could have benefited from their wisdom. We’ve all had games go wrong at conventions, but none go so badly wrong that they made the national news!

And as a reminder, Paul and Dirk also recently joined Baz and Gaz for their 100th episode. If you haven’t listened to it yet, strap on your ears and do so at once!

We’re back and we’re heading off to Potters Lake in search of the secrets of creation. We hear good things about the apples there too. This is our look at the weird, evocative and highly overlooked RPG, Heaven & Earth.

Main Topic: Heaven & Earth

Heaven & Earth is a strange game, inspired by Twin Peaks, Christian theology, and, we assume, ridiculous quantities of hallucinogens. It is filled with weird Americana, eccentric characters and rich lore. While print editions are hard to obtain, you can pick up the PDFs of the core book and Paradise Lost supplement on DriveThruRPG. As we mention in the episode, there are also some free downloads available from the Abstract Nova website.

Matt is our subject matter expert on Heaven & Earth (as well as more infernal regions) so we get him to do most of the talking. In a stroke of divine retribution, however, he was struggling with a chest infection at the time of recording. If Matt’s voice sounds like it is rumbling up from the depths of the abyss, this is why. There is no other possible reason. Nope. None at all.

News

We have now entered the last week in which you can secure your copy of The Blasphemous Tome issue 4. Just in case you haven’t heard the good word, The Blasphemous Tome is the print-only fanzine we produce to thank our Patreon backers. This issue features a cover by Evan Dorkin, a new Call of Cthulhu scenario by Matt Sanderson and many other goodies. Please see our recent post for more details.

The Blasphemous Tome issue 4 cover

If you’re in the UK and fancy playing with Matt, he shall be attending Contingency next month. This is a residential convention, newly relocated to Hunstanton in Norfolk, running between the 23rd and 27th of January. Wear something warm.

Other Stuff

As the angels sing praises to the almighty, so do we sing praises to our Patreon backers. The angels have better voices, however, and their lips are less stained with blasphemies. There are two of our paeans in this episode, so be prepared. Not even divine intervention could make us sing in tune.