We’re back and we’re making like bookworms. This is easier than it might seem, given that bookworms don’t really eat books — just their bindings — and aren’t even worms. Then again, they don’t read much either, so maybe we need better role models. We’d give the whole thing up if this glue weren’t so tasty.

Main Topic: Media Catch-up – Books

This episode is the latest in our regular discussions of the media we’ve been consuming. Once again, we’re cracking open some books and letting their words run rampant across our minds.

Things we mention in this episode include:

The Trail of Cthulhu cover
Headhunter cover
A Sick Gray Laugh cover

News

Issue 9 of The Blasphemous Tome

There is still just time to secure your copy of issue 9 of The Blasphemous Tome. This is the semi-annual fanzine we create for our wonderful Patreon backers. Anyone backing us by the end of June 2022 will receive a PDF copy of the ‘zine and higher level backers will receive a print copy. See here for more details.

Once again, we have a brand new Call of Cthulhu scenario to offer you. This time, Paul Fricker takes you to 1880s New York City and invites you to “Step Into My Parlour”.

Covers of Tomes of yore

We’re back and we’re taking an almost Lovecraftian interest in architecture. While we’re suckers for a good gambrel roof, these blueprints for The Night House are far more compelling. The Welsh maze designs, the oddly reversed floorplans, and the classic Roman curios that adorn the place have quite captured us. We’re especially taken with the architect’s cunning use of negative space. And, best of all, it’s fitted with underfloor corpses! Truly, every modern convenience… Now, where the hell is the exit?

Main Topic: The Night House

This episode is our discussion of the 2020 horror film, The Night House. As ever, we offer a quick overview of the film’s background before picking it apart, looking for gaming inspiration. This is an unusual and creepy film and it offers plenty to spark our imaginations.

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

Issue 9 of The Blasphemous Tome

Issue 9 of The Blasphemous Tome is mere weeks away from release. This is the semi-annual fanzine we create for our wonderful Patreon backers. Once again, we have a brand new Call of Cthulhu scenario to offer you. This time, Paul Fricker takes you to 1880s New York City and invites you to “Step Into My Parlour”.

Covers of Tomes of yore

Cults of Cthulhu

And speaking of publications, Paul offers some first impressions of the new Cults of Cthulhu supplement from Chaosium, now out in print.

Episode 231: Breaking the Law

We’re back and we’re on the lam. Setting fire to all those libraries seemed like a good idea at the time but apparently the authorities disagree. We’ve tried explaining that there are simply some things humanity was not meant to know. If there were a better way of protecting people, or at least one that didn’t singe our eyebrows so badly, we’d do that instead. But, instead, we hide in the shadows, living one step ahead of the law. It’s a dangerous life protecting people from Dan Brown novels…

Main Topic: Breaking the Law

This episode is our discussion of the thorny topic of what happens when investigators get on the wrong side of the law. Almost every Call of Cthulhu campaign requires the investigators to commit burglary, fraud, assault, murder and arson. So much arson…

But does this always have to be the case? How should the Keeper deal with blatant criminal behaviour? Is it ever fun for the investigators to face the consequences of their actions? And why is the library on fire again?

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 Lynne Hardy, associate editor for Call of Cthulhu and line editor for the Rivers of London RPG. Lynne has shared a stage with the Good Friends at a number of live events, as well as our episodes about the development of the new edition of Masks of Nyarlathotep.

Lynne with the Good Friends and Mike Mason

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

Update on Matt

As we 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.

New Releases From Chaosium

Lynne shares news of the Call of Cthulhu Keeper Tips book, fresh from Chaosium.

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
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.