We’re back and we’re putting on our thermal underwear, ready for a long journey south. Sure, we’ve timed our trip for the summer, but it still gets a little nippy down there. We’re not inured to the cold like all those rugged New Englanders. Still, we’re looking forward to our little trip of the Mountains of Madness. We’re just hoping the locals will be as friendly as we’ve heard.

Main Topic: At the Mountains of Madness

At the Mountains of Madness is one of Lovecraft’s longest works and one of the most important to the development of the Mythos. It tells an epic tale of an ill-fated expedition to the Antarctic and their encounter with forgotten horrors from the distant past. Plus penguins. Lots of penguins.

Just one of the flightless harbingers of terror that await our heroes

As ever, we drill deep into the story in search of inspiration for our Call of Cthulhu games. This is surprisingly tricky in the early parts of the story, as Lovecraft is more concerned with explaining the technicalities of the expedition than developing the story. Still, this can be good inspiration for some games, especially if they involve detailed explorations of geology. That’s what horror is all about!

The Roerich painting that inspired all this madness

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

Pemmican: the true horror lurking at the heart of this story

News

The Blasphemous Tome issue 5

We have started work on issue 5 of The Blasphemous Tome. This is the print-only fanzine we produce exclusively for our Patreon backers. Once again, this issue will feature a new scenario for Call of Cthulhu, along with plenty of other juicy articles, stories and artwork. If you have any short pieces of prose (no more than 500 words) or black-and-white art you would to submit, please send it our way!

Covers of Tomes gone by

Necronomicon 2019

This was the first episode we recorded since returning from Necronomicon 2019, so we offer a short overview of what we got up to there. Roll on 2021!

Other Stuff

Songs

The winds that blow through those frozen Antarctic peaks are filled with strange, piping sounds that inspire unease. Our songs are filled with gratitude to new $5 Patreon backers. They still inspire unease, however.

Reviews

Once again, we have a lovely new review to share, this time from JR Wilkinson in Australia. If you feel inspired to write a review of your own — whether on Apple Podcasts or anywhere else you might find podcasts — we would be delighted!

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.

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 and we’re wondering why all these robed figures around us are chanting the name of Cthulhu? Don’t they know that Lovecraft made him up? What do they expect to get out of this? Can they really call upon his power? And, if so, how can we get in on this sweet racket?

Main Topic: The Occult and Lovecraft

This is the second part of our look into the relationship between Lovecraft’s work and real occult practices. Last episode, we looked into how Lovecraft drew upon his superficial knowledge of the occult to add verisimilitude to his stories. This time, we’re exploring something far weirder: occultists who have incorporated Lovecraft’s work into their own practices.

That’s one weird-looking D20.

Once again, Mike Mason joins us on our journey into mystery. His knowledge as line editor for Call of Cthulhu comes in especially handy when we delve into the gaming aspects of our topic. Which Call of Cthulhu scenarios draw upon occult traditions? What is the difference between the Occult and Cthulhu Mythos skills? How might we use the occult in our own games? And why is Mike chanting and pulling out that obsidian dagger?

Links

Things we discuss in this episode include:

Cthulhu Mythos Occultism

The Occult in Call of Cthulhu

Other Stuff

Songs

We sing to our old friend Amelia Faulkner in this episode, thanking her for joining our legion of Patreon backers. Amelia is a gifted and prolific author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance. You can find more about her work on her website or Amazon page.

Reviews

We also share a lovely new Apple Podcasts review from listener Test Subject 86b1. If this inspires you to write a review of your own, whether on iTunes or anywhere else you might find podcasts, we would be delighted!

We’re back and we’re casting protective circles around our microphones, burning incense that smells like Cthulhu’s armpits and waggling our wands for all they’re worth. No matter how fevered our incantations, however, the songs always seem to break free. Some magic is too foul to be contained.

Main Topic: Lovecraft and the Occult

This is the first of a pair of episodes looking into the relationship between HP Lovecraft and the occult. The focus this time is on how much (or little) Lovecraft drew upon real occult beliefs and practices. In particular, we’ll focus on the Western occult tradition and its manifestations in the 19th and 20th centuries. Next time, we’ll explore how the relationship has been reciprocated. Things are going to get weird.

Joining us in this exploration is Mike Mason. As well as being line editor for Call of Cthulhu, Mike has a keen interest in the occult and offers some personal insights. You don’t think that Call of Cthulhu has won all those ENnie awards without help from the unseen masters, do you?

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

Necronomicon

The Good Friends will be flying out to Providence for Necronomicon 2019 in just two short weeks. We hope to see many of you there. Please say hi if you spot us in the wild. Mike and a number of other folks from Chaosium will also be attending the convention, operating a stall overflowing with wonders.

Scott on Fictoplasm

A little overdue, but we finally mention that Scott was a guest on Ralph Lovegrove’s excellent Fictoplasm podcast. Ralph and Scott discussed what our gaming lives might be like if Robert W Chambers had been the main figure of twentieth-century horror fiction rather than Lovecraft. This makes a perfect companion piece to our own recent discussions about The King in Yellow.

Other Stuff

Songs

Like the darkest rites of demonology, no episode of The Good Friends is complete without a good chant. We offer two such evocations in this episode, summoning all our gratitude and unleashing it upon new Patreon backers.

Review

We also share a lovely new Apple Podcasts review from listener Pad_in_Purgatory. If this inspires you to write a review of your own, whether on iTunes or anywhere else you might find podcasts, we would be delighted!