Episode 213: Weird Science in Call of Cthulhu

We’re back and we’re playing God. It’s a demanding role but we have hubris to spare! In fact, no one has ever had as much hubris as we do. We shall use our hubris to remake the world in our image! Our hubris will shake the very pillars of the universe! Those fools at the institute told us that hubris would be our undoing, but what do such petty-minded idiots know? We’ll show them! We’ll show them all! But before then, have an episode about weird science in Call of Cthulhu.

Main Topic: Weird Science in Call of Cthulhu

This episode is our exploration of the role played by weird science in Call of Cthulhu. From Crawford Tillinghast and his resonator to Herbert West and his ill-fated experiments in reanimation, Lovecraftian horror is built upon the archetype of the mad scientist. Pulp Cthulhu has expanded this reach, drawing in elements of the weird science hero from the pulp magazines. But how does all this work at the gaming table? What can we steal from other media? And will anyone notice if we transplant our laboratory assistant’s brain into this handy gorilla? Listen to find out the answers to at least two of those questions.


Things we mention in this episode include:

Colin Clive as the archetypal mad scientist in Frankenstein (1931)
Colin Clive in Frankenstein (1931)
Rogue Moon cover
Petersen's Abominations, filled with weird science goodness


A Weekend With Good Friends returns

At the time of posting, we are a month away from the next Weekend With Good Friends, starting on the 20th of August 2021. This is the online gaming convention organised by our wonderful listeners and hosted on our Discord Server. If you would like to offer a game, GM sign-ups begin on the 31st of July. Player sign-ups begin a week later. Full details can be found on this very website.

A Weekend With Good Friends logo

Chase rules videos on Arkham Studios

Paul and Mike Mason chased Nathan from Arkham Audio all around the place and recorded it for posterity. The resulting videos now provide examples of play for the Call of Cthulhu chase rules.

Special Episode: Seth Skorkowsky and Jon Hook on Modern Mythos

We’re back with the conclusion of our interview with YouTuber and author Seth Skorkowsky. This time, we are also joined by Jon Hook, Seth’s co-host on their new Modern Mythos podcast. As well as being one of the founders of the Miskatonic University Podcast, Jon is a prolific RPG author who has written for Call of Cthulhu and Swords & Wizardry, amongst others.

During our conversation, we delve into where to draw the line with horror, the worst GMing advice we have ever encountered, and whether Scott is secretly from East Texas. And, of course, we talk about the Modern Mythos podcast itself. Specifically, we get into how the podcast started, what its mission is, and what to expect from future episodes.


Things we mention in this episode include:

Special Episode: Seth Skorkowsky on Modern Mythos (part 1)

We’re back with another special interview episode. This time, Scott talks to fan-favourite YouTuber and author, Seth Skorkowsky. Unfortunately, Jon Hook — Seth’s co-host on their new podcast, Modern Mythos — was held up. Happily, Seth and Scott still found plenty to talk about.

Over the course of the conversation, Seth shares his thoughts about the merits of a consistent gaming group, horror in RPGs, and the history of weird fiction. Seth also discusses elements of his latest novel, Ashes of Onyx, and the difficulties of marketing a book that doesn’t fit into a neat genre category. And if all that weren’t enough, he shares a family anecdote about a UFO cult taken straight out of Pulp Cthulhu.

When you’re done with this episode, join us for the conclusion of the interview, when Jon Hook joins the chat and we get into the nuts and bolts of Modern Mythos.

Seth Skorkowsky


Things we mention in this episode include:

Modern Mythos podcast logo by John Sumrow

Special Episode: Adrian Tchaikovsky on non-human intelligences

We’re back with another special interview episode. This time, Scott talks to bestselling science fiction and fantasy author Adrian Tchaikovsky. In particular, they discuss how Tchaikovsky portrays a wide range of non-human characters in his work and how we might apply this to gaming.

During the course of the conversation, we go into how Tchaikovsky’s career has moved from fantasy to science fiction, what his work owes to his experience as a GM, and just how gaming has led to him narrating some of his own audiobooks. On the way, Tchaikovsky offers an impassioned defence of arthropods as protagonists, insights into how cosmic horror relates to science fiction, and his opinions about how Lovecraft had the best monsters.


Things we mention in this episode include:

Books by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Shards of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Other Links

Episode 207: Strange NPCs - Albert Fish

We’re back and we’re presenting a somewhat darker episode than usual. While The Good Friends of Jackson Elias is definitely a horror podcast, most of the horror we discuss is rooted in the fantastic. In this episode, however, we’ve decided to look into some real nightmares from the classic 1920s era for gaming inspiration and talk about Albert Fish.

Main Topic: Albert Fish

Originally, this episode was going to form a segment in one of our Great NPCs of History series. There were a couple of problems, however. The first was that once we had dug into the research, there was so much material that it would require a full episode. More important was that however fascinating we find Albert Fish, there is nothing about him we could describe as “great”.

If you’ve heard the name Albert Fish before, you should have some idea of what to expect from the episode. Otherwise, be warned that he was a serial killer, sexual predator and cannibal who targeted children. He also delighted in taunting the families of his victims. His crimes are the stuff of nightmare. While we try to present the details soberly and without too much prurient detail, this episode will not be to everyone’s tastes.

As ever, our motivation is to find inspiration for Call of Cthulhu. While the actual crimes of Albert Fish are too horrible for most games, details of the police investigation, newspaper reporting and trial that his crimes spawned should prove useful to Keepers of classic-era campaigns.

Once again, the pandemic means we recorded this episode remotely.


Things we mention in this episode include:

Albert Fish's 1903 mugshot
Albert Fish’s 1903 mugshot
Albert Fish shortly before his execution
Albert Fish shortly before his execution


Chaosium Reprints

Matt discusses some goodies from Chaosium that have landed on his front doorstep. Horror on the Orient Express and Beyond the Mountains of Madness are now available again in print-on-demand format. As Matt points in the segment, however, the binding quality is a lot higher than you might expect from POD. He also touches upon the new scenario collection, Does Love Forgive?

Horror on the Orient Express reprint covers

The Blasphemous Tome Issue 7

Issue 7 of The Blasphemous Tome will be escaping into the wild before the end of June. It includes a brand new Call of Cthulhu scenario, licensed by Chaosium, written by our very own Matt Sanderson. Everyone backing us on Patreon will receive a copy. Please see our Patreon page for more details.

The Blasphemous Tome issues 1-6