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.

Covers of Tomes of yore

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 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 230: Peril in Call of Cthulhu

We’re back and we’re in danger. At least, we think we are. Something seems to be at stake, although we’re not quite sure what. Maybe it’s our lives, our loved ones, or some of this old junk we have lying around. There’s just a sense of peril in the air. Maybe it’ll go away if we spray some air freshener around the place.

Main Topic: Peril in Call of Cthulhu

This episode is our discussion of the role of peril in Call of Cthulhu. Whether your game aims for dark horror or two-fisted adventure, there needs to be a sense of danger for it to have any bite. But how do we engender this sense of peril? What needs to be at stake for a game to feel meaningful? And what are the risks of making things feel too perilous?

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 YouTuber, podcaster and author Seth Skorkowsky. Most of our listeners will know Seth from his ENnie-Award winning YouTube channel, as well as Modern Mythos, his podcast with Jon Hook.

You can hear Seth’s previous appearances with the Good Friends here:

Things we mention in this episode include:

Hitchcock should have stuck with bombs.
Dangling swords of doom are available from any good retailer. Perfect for your next existential crisis.

News

Update on Matt

As we’ve 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.

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

Concrete Cow 2022

The next Concrete Cow will take place on the 19th of March 2022. This is the semi-annual roleplaying convention organised by the MK-RPG gaming club. It takes place at the Old Bath House in Wolverton and admission is £5 on the door.

Concrete Cow logo

Scott on Pretending to be People

After running “Bleak Prospect” for Pretending to be People last year, Scott has recorded another guest spot with the podcast. This time, he ran his Pulp Cthulhu scenario “A New Age of Wonders!”, as seen in issue 3 of The Blasphemous Tome. The first episode is scheduled for release on the 18th of March, with four more to follow. Expect blood, fire, and some lively swing music.

Pretending to be People
Episode 229: Mind control in RPGs

We’re back and we’re growing sleepy, sleepy, so very sleepy. We are listening to your voice. Only your voice. Yes, yes, we are under your control. We shall do you bidding. What is it you demand of us? An episode about mind control in RPGs? We are powerless to refuse…

Main Topic: Mind Control in RPGs

This episode is our discussion of the presentation of mind control in RPGs. Genre fiction is full of unnatural magic, weird drugs, and sinister devices that twist the human mind according to the wielder’s desires. Villains may plant compulsions in the heads of protagonists, twist their perceptions, or alter their memories. And, of course, this is reflected heavily in gaming. But how do we make it work? Does it have to remove player agency? And what happens when these tools and techniques fall into the hands of player characters?

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 Keeper Murph of the Miskatonic University Podcast. There can’t be too many listeners who don’t know our good friends at the MU. If you’ve somehow resisted falling under their spell so far, do check them out. They have been our biggest influence and supporters over the years. In the decade their podcast has been running, they have won two ENnie Awards, and with good reason.

You can hear Murph’s previous appearances with the Good Friends here:

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

Update on Matt

As we’ve mentioned, Matt has been seriously ill recently. At the time of release, however, he is well on the road to recovery and will be home from hospital soon. We’re not sure how long it will be before he is feeling up to recording again, however, but we shall keep his seat warm for him.

A Weekend With Good Friends

The latest incarnation of A Weekend With Good Friends has wrapped up. This is the increasingly regular online gaming convention organised by our lovely listeners, taking place on our Discord server.

We spend some time thanking everyone who made it happen, from the organisers to the convention staff to the players and GMs who filled the weekend with amazing games. And we’ll repeat those thanks here! Thank you especially to Bence, Chris and Martin, who put in a phenomenal amount of work to bring the whole thing together.