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.

220: The Tower of the Elephant

We’re back and we’re preparing to pillage. This weird, shining tower looks like it should contain treasures, or at least an interesting story to discuss. There’s rustling in the undergrowth surrounding it, but we’ll just ignore that for now. If it proves to be something dangerous, Matt can rip up one of his rare Magic: the Gathering cards and blow the remains at it. And once we’re inside, we must find out why they call it Tower of the Elephant. Maybe there’s a petting zoo.

Main Topic: The Tower of the Elephant

After spending a couple of episodes discussing Robert E Howard’s life and works, we’re now exploring one of his stories. “The Tower of the Elephant” was the third Conan tale published and arguably the first to really pin down his character. As well as discussing the story itself, looting it for gaming inspiration, we use it as a springboard to talk about Conan in general.

If you haven’t already done so, you may also want to check out our discussion of the sword and sorcery genre, of which “The Tower of the Elephant” is one of the earliest examples.

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

40th Anniversary Edition

This Halloween sees the 40th birthday of Call of Cthulhu. Despite making us feel old, this is a cause for celebration! At Chaosium, the celebration is taking the form of a special 40th anniversary edition of the Call of Cthulhu rulebook. With its leather binding and sinister sigils, this looks like just the kind of tome we were warned would destroy us.

Issue 8 of The Blasphemous Tome

Issue 8 of The Blasphemous Tome is nearing completion. This is the semi-annual fanzine we produce for our Patreon backers, containing brand-new licensed material for the Call of Cthulhu RPG. The latest issue will contain a full-length, modern-day Call of Cthulhu scenario called “Night Bus”, by our own Scott Dorward.

Covers of Tomes of yore

Ain’t Slayed Nobody Halloween Game

Scott is running what seems to have become the annual Halloween game for Ain’t Slayed Nobody. Following the success of last year’s “The Green Pumpkin”, we are improvising another Call of Cthulhu scenario based on listener suggestions. The main theme this time is “Totally Not a Cult Gathering”, with cuppycup, Wes Davis, Rina Haenze, and Joe Trier from How We Roll as players.

The stream goes out on the ASN Twitch and YouTube channels on Wednesday, 27th of October, at 3-6 PM EDT/8-11 PM BST. It will be available on demand at the ASN YouTube channel afterwards, and will eventually appear as a podcast episode too.

We’re back and we’re hitting the books. That’s probably not fair, though. Just because they’re full of boxing tales doesn’t mean they can hit back. And two-fisted stories don’t actually seem to have any fists of their own. We’re beginning to suspect that this fiction stuff is all made up.

Main Topic: The Works of Robert E Howard

This episode is the conclusion of our two-part look into the life and works of Robert E Howard. Last time, we offered an overview of Howard’s life. This time, it’s the turn of his work.

As well as being the creator of Conan the Cimmerian, Solomon Kane, Kull of Atlantis, and the Pictish king, Bran Mak Morn, Howard initiated both the sword and sorcery and weird western genres. In his sadly short career, Howard wrote horror, boxing yarns, comedies, historical adventures, and action stories. With the encouragement of his friend H P Lovecraft, he penned tales of the Cthulhu Mythos. And that’s without mentioning his voluminous poetry output. He was as versatile as he was prolific. While we cover the broad strokes of his career, we would need dozens of episodes just to catalogue his work. As a result, this is an incomplete and highly idiosyncratic summary of Howard’s career and legacy.

Our next episode wraps up this series by exploring one of Howard’s most famous stories, “The Tower of the Elephant”.

Robert E Howard

Resources

Our main research sources for this episode are:

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

Lovecraft in Brooklyn

News

Issue 8 of The Blasphemous Tome

We have started work on issue 8 of The Blasphemous Tome. This is the semi-annual fanzine we produce for our Patreon backers. While the issue is filling up fast, there is still space if you would like to submit an article of 500 words or under, or any black-and-white artwork. You can contact us at submissions@blasphemoustomes.com.

This issue will include our usual year-end features, including “The Ludomancers” and “Episodes of Insanity”. We offer a few hints about what to expect in the news segment.

Covers of Tomes of yore

Owlbear and Wizard’s Staff

Paul recently attended the Owlbear and Wizard’s Staff convention in Leamington Spa, where he played Barbarians of Lemuria and ran Call of Cthulhu.

October Horror Movie Challenge 2021

Scott is deep into the October Horror Movie Challenge, watching a horror film every day and posting a full review to this very website. If you would like to take part too, please join the discussion on our Discord server or on Twitter.

OHMC 2021 logo