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.

We’re back and we’re getting scared. Everywhere we look, there’s something creepy hiding in the shadows. Sometimes it seems like there’s a bit of horror in every game, regardless of the genre. Maybe a nice cup of chamomile will calm us down. Let’s just hope it’s not poisoned. Or full of sharks.

Main Topic: Everything is Horror

We’ve paused our discussion of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath for a few episodes. Matt is seriously ill and currently 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 Baz Stevens of the wonderful What Would the Smart Party Do? Along his with co-host Gaz, Baz has been a cornerstone of the British RPG podcasting scene for some years, offering insight into a wide range of systems and genres.

While Baz tells us he is not a horror fan, he suggested that we talk about how the horror genre seeps into other forms of gaming. And who are we to say no?

You can find Baz’s projects here:

You can also hear Baz on our live seminars with the Smart Party.

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

Update on Matt

As we’ve mentioned, Matt is gravely ill. He has had to undergo a number of operations to control a nasty infection and has spent the past week in a coma. Happily, at the time of posting, he has regained consciousness and is showing signs of recovery. We’re not sure how long it will be before he is feeling up to recording again but we shall keep his seat warm for him.

A Weekend With Good Friends

At the time of release, we are mere days away from A Weekend With Good Friends. This is the online convention organised by the wonderful listeners of the podcast, taking place on our Discord server. The con is scheduled to run from the 18th to the 20th of February 2022.

GM and player signups have now closed. Don’t worry if you missed the deadline, however. There will be pickup games running throughout the convention. Please check the #awwgf-info channel on our Discord server for details of how to offer or join pickup games.

Credit

The image for our episode graphic this time features a portion of a photograph by Klak of Klak, presented under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 licence.

Episode 222: Mythos Deities - Daoloth and Eihort

We’re back and we’re clearing out all those pesky veils. They just clutter up the place, getting in the way of seeing how things really are. Also, somehow, they make things feel less spongy. We try not to think about that bit too much. Regardless, one simple application of Daoloth will clear up even the most persistent veil outbreak. Daoloth – safe when used as directed.

Main Topic: Mythos Deities – Daoloth and Eihort

This is our latest exploration into the deities of the Cthulhu Mythos. We have devoted previous episodes to Dagon, Shub-Niggurath, Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathotep, Hastur, Azathoth, Nodens, Ubbo-Sathla and Mordiggian, and Ithaqua. This time, it’s the turn of a couple of Ramsey Campbell’s creations.

Campbell is responsible for many of our favourite Mythos entities, so it’s long past time we turned our attention to him. His work deserves more than one episode, however, so this time we are limiting our focus to two of his more popular deities: Daoloth and Eihort. We plan to return to his deities some time next year.

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

Issue 8 of The Blasphemous Tome

Issue 8 of The Blasphemous Tome is almost ready to go to press. This is the semi-annual fanzine we produce for our Patreon backers. While we will send printed copies of the Tome to anyone backing us at the $5 level by the end of the year, you need to act fast if you’d like to receive one of our special Christmas cards as well. We shall only post these to people backing us before the end of November. Any later and our festive byakhee might pull a wing trying to get it to you before the solstice!

A Weekend With Good Friends 2022

Following the success of the first two conventions, our lovely listeners are organising another Weekend With Good Friends. This online convention will take place on our Discord server between the 18th and 20th of February 2022. There will be plenty of horror gaming goodness throughout, mainly Call of Cthulhu, but with many other systems on offer too. Last time, there were the best part of 150 games on offer, including pickup games.

We will keep you posted as things progress. For now, however, just keep that weekend clear!

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Paul at Dragonmeet

Speaking of conventions, Paul will be attending Dragonmeet in London on the 4th of December this year. While there, he plans to sit on a panel about the forthcoming Rivers of London RPG with Ben Aaronovitch and Lynne Hardy, as well as a panel with our good friends from the Smart Party on a topic yet to be determined.