This week we take a look at what was arguably Lovecraft’s first major story, The Rats in the Walls. As we did with our discussion of The Haunter of the Dark, we try to find ways that it can inform your Call of Cthulhu game, but mostly we get embarrassed about the name of that bloody cat. Unlike our previous discussion, we managed to keep this to a single episode, possibly helped by the fact that we don’t go on about two other stories as well.

Rat_noir

There aren’t actually any rats in The Rats in the Walls, but this picture was too cute not to use

We also maintain our tradition of complaining about the temperature in the shed. Well, Paul and Matt do. Scott has the same contempt for cold as he does for heat. Paul has resorted to wearing a woolly hat when we record, and here’s a photograph to help you understand and share our mirth.

paul-hat

At least this way we don’t have to edit the chattering of teeth out of the recording

This week’s episode is our interview with Rafael Chandler, RPG designer, video game writer and novelist. We’ve never had a guest on the show before, as there is precious little room in Paul’s shed, but we managed to make it work by using a Google Hangout and streaming it to YouTube. You may notice some difference in the format and audio quality as a result. We have already released this interview as a video (YT: The Good Friends of Jackson Elias interview Rafael Chandler)

on our YouTube channel, and this is simply the audio portion, cunning disguised as a regular episode of the podcast.

pandemonio-player-cover

This being a largely Lovecraftian podcast, Rafael talks to us about the influences of Lovecraft on his work, which has shaped it in unexpected ways. His take on Lovecraft’s racism as well as his cosmic horror is especially interesting. Even more frighteningly, he talks about the influence of Catholic children’s comics, which sound more disturbing than anything with tentacles and gaping maws.

pandemonio-director-cover

Rafael has just released the new compendium edition of the Books of Pandemonium, retitled Pandemonio, It contains enough blood, bile and blasphemy to electrify the most jaded group of gamers, and has been my roleplaying cattle-prod of choice at conventions for some time.

viewscream

We also discuss ViewScream, the first RPG written specifically to make use of the strengths and limitations of video chats. Mostly, though, we just talk a lot, as we seem to do.

This week’s episode is the conclusion of our discussion about Lovecraft’s The Haunter of the Dark. All that stuff we promised about looking at it from a gaming perspective — that’s in this episode. Sorry it took us so long to get here. We just don’t know when to shut up.

pickman 3

Exposure to Shining Trapezohedron made us babble incoherently. Either that or caffeine.

Be warned that this episode contains many, many spoilers for the Call of Cthulhu scenario The Crystal of Chaos from The House of R’lyeh (or Different Worlds 34, if you’re old like me) and some pretty spoiler-free discussion of Unseen Masters. It also contains sinister hints and secrets that the human mind was never meant to contain, and thus the seeds of creeping madness and your ultimate destruction. You know, the usual.