This latest episode is the audio portion of last week’s interview with Malcolm Craig of Contested Ground Studios. The only differences are the addition of our theme music, some slight fiddling with sound balance, a few edits and the fact that you can’t see any of us. This latter point may be the most appealing, but can also be achieved by shutting your eyes while watching the video.

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Artist’s impression of the view from behind closed eyes.

Malcolm talks about his influences as a game designer, how being a professional historian influences his gaming, Lovecraft’s views on race and why Call of Cthulhu fails as an RPG. Some of his opinions may prove more controversial than others.

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“What do you mean that post-modernist analyses of history are pseudo-intellectual wank?”

We’ve since had a chat with Malcolm about the possibility of having him back on the podcast to elaborate on some of his opinions about Call of Cthulhu in more of a round table discussion. If this sounds like the kind of thing that would interest you, please let us know! We do check the comments here, but we also have a community for just such things over at Google+.

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.

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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.

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