Special episode: Interview with Professor Christopher McGlothlin

We’re back with another special episode. This time, Paul talks to Professor Christopher McGlothlin about horror films. Primarily, they discuss the good professor’s current Kickstarter campaign, Transgressive Horror, a collection of essays by a variety of writers, looking into horror films that have somehow broken the rules.

McGlothlin goes into detail about the essays, explaining how they bring new and interesting perspectives to some familiar films and others that may be less well-known. He also shares his personal thoughts about horror films and his experiences as a horror fan.

The Kickstarter campaign ends on the 27th of May.

Transgressive Horror edited by Christopher McGlothlin

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

The Abominable Dr Phibes film poster
Night of the Living Dead film poster
Episode 208: Investigator Organisations in Call of Cthulhu

We’re back and we’re looking for like-minded individuals to join our investigator organisation. Sure, the pay is awful but the work is disgusting, deadly, and likely to drive you insane. It’s a bit like working in IT, only moister. Give us a moment and we’ll dig out the forms you need to expense shotgun shells and dynamite. The medical benefits are good but do remember to bring any severed limbs back from missions if you expect us to reattach them. Welcome aboard, and thank you for not asking too many questions about how this vacancy arose!

Main Topic: Investigator Organisations

Once again, we’re delving into some of the underpinnings of Call of Cthulhu. In the more innocent days of the ’80s, we generally handwaved the reasons why a new investigator might step into the smoking shoes of their fallen predecessor. While this was convenient, it usually required active suspension of disbelief. Having some sort of organisation that might recruit investigators or provide them with a rationale for banding together makes a lot more sense than flagging down a random taxi driver and telling them that they are now part of the fight against alien gods that would consume humanity. It also saves a fair bit on tips.

Of course, investigator organisations have been around for most of Call of Cthulhu‘s life. It wasn’t until 7th edition that they were formalised, however. Now, the Investigator Handbook devotes an entire chapter to investigator organisations, offering a wealth of examples. Building on this, many subsequent Call of Cthulhu publications have also incorporated them. For instance, you’ll find entire sections on investigator organisations in Pulp Cthulhu and World War Cthulhu: London.

So, what makes an interesting investigator organisation? What kinds of groups might form and for what purposes? And how might we use investigator organisations in unusual ways?

call of cthulhu investigator handbook cover

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

SOE handbook cover

News

The Blasphemous Tome Issue 7

Issue 7 of The Blasphemous Tome will be creeping your way before the end of June. It features a brand new Call of Cthulhu scenario, licensed by Chaosium, written by our very own Matt Sanderson. Matt offers us a few tantalising details in this episode. Everyone backing us on Patreon will receive a Tome. Please see our Patreon page for more details.

The Blasphemous Tome issues 1-6

Transgressive Horror

Paul speaks briefly to Christopher McGlothlin about his current Kickstarter campaign. Transgressive Horror is a collection of essays by a variety of writers, looking into horror films that have broken the rules. The campaign ends on the 27th of May.

The Kult: Divinity Lost kickstarter came to an end on March 31st 2016. Back at the start of the campaign, I put up a blog post mentioning I’d pledged for the Demiurge edition, a unique copy of the rulebook. At the time, it was only advertised as a question mark, with not even a mock-up presented. Well, yesterday (1218 days after the campaign ended), it arrived! It is a question mark no longer.

This edition has been produced by El Artesano Del Rey, the Spanish company that also produced the Luxury Edition of Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition. The leather is soft to the touch, slightly scuffed in places (along the edges of the covers, and the raised sections of the hubbed spine, etc.), giving it a “used” or “older” feel, and the front cover features a very shiny metal plate riveted in place with the Kult logo laser-etched, along with the Archon/Tree of Life design. This in turn is surrounded by another “thorny” metal plate, and extra rivets on the spine between the hubs. It is reminiscent, in a way of the Iron Book from the Kult setting. The two satin bookmarks are definitely helpful – I end up bookmarking the copy I use to run games with in several places.

The back is featureless, other than having the El Artesano Del Rey stamp towards the bottom-left corner.

The edges are in red, and when fanned still reveal the same “death is only the beginning” text as the other editions do (with the exception of the Bible Edition). I still think that’s an amazing touch to the design of the book!

The interior is the same as the other main Kickstarter editions (yep, more genitalia per square inch than you’ll find in the normal retail editions!) with the addition of a gold embossed El Artesano Del Rey label on the title page. It’s quite stiff to open due to the nature of the binding, so I didn’t want to force it open too much.

Having the same content, as mentioned, also means that I get to smile when I get to the first of the backer pages. It’s a fine title to have šŸ™‚

Along with the book comes a couple of certificates and a papyrus sheet featuring the Archon/Tree of Life design again. As I don’t speak Spanish, I don’t know what the certificates say, but I can work out one of them confirms this is number “1 of 1”.

While it’s a very nice book indeed, it’s not quite what I was expecting (unlike the pledge description, I didn’t actually get a say in the production in the end, which was a little disappointing, but I think I would have gone for the same choice of leather as it’s so nice to touch), but it’s definitely a unique volume in composition and quality compared to the rest of my collection.

In my mind, I was hoping for some heavier-grade paper, so the book would be thicker (a bit like the Temple Edition was for Call of Cthulhu) and the cover to have featured the pyramid/eye design representing the Demiurge that was used in the recent Kult tarot deck. I kind of wish the metal plates had been sunk into the cover (a bit like the Orichalcum Edition of Exalted 3rd Edition), as that would look a lot nicer, and I wouldn’t worry so much about it scratching anything around it. However, it’s definitely growing on me and I’m happy to have been able to get it. Like I said, who wouldn’t want “the Iron Book” after all?

Just when you (well, maybe just Scott) thought it was safe to hide in the dark – where you thought the darkness could save your eyes from the plushy horrors – something has come to ruin your best laid plansā€¦

The C is for Cthulhu Glow-in-the-Dark Plush is here!

This one’s a pretty short Kickstarter, only running for 10 days (until Saturday June 22nd 2019). At the time of posting, they’ve reached their funding goal.

There’s two size of glow-in-the-dark plushes on offer this time – the usual 12-inch high version to match the normal ones, and the smaller 6-inch high version in line with the baby versions they produced in their last Kickstarter.

This was initially announced a few Kickstarter’s ago, but production went through a few variations before they finally got what they were looking for. This one doesn’t have an internal light, it’s the fabric that glows all by itself.

As with other Kickstarters from the same team, they’re running a caption contest due to close this week (June 19th) with the prize being a free Jumbo Cthulhu plush (not the GIANT one that we terrorized Scott with some time ago, but one that’s about 24-inches tall).

If there’s anything else you wanted from previous Kickstarters you may have missed, there’s a whole bunch of add-ons available too.

Enjoy šŸ˜‰

Way back in the dim and distant past, I played D&D at university. It was my first (and sadly only) adventure in the Forgotten Realms setting. Since then, I’ve collected a few of the books, and often toyed with the idea of running a game of it… Then I look at the mechanics and realize I haven’t got much free time to learn a system I’ve all but forgotten (no pun intended) in its entirety.

While I was at my computer tonight (working on the scenario for The Blasphemous Tome issue 4), I got an email informing me that Sandy Petersen’s Cthulhu Mythos for 5e had just launched on Kickstarter.

That bit of D&D nostalgia came back to me and I went over to the campaign page. I scrolled down the page and came across those words that almost always guarantee the creator gets my money – leather-bound collector’s edition.

I’m glad I jumped on the bandwagon when I did. With only space for 50 backers at the initial pledge level to get the collector’s edition, they sold out in 10 minutes of the campaign going live. Another pledge level (a mere $5 higher) making another 50 collector’s editions available also sold out 30 minutes later.

However, for those still looking for a leather-bound copy, at the time of writing, they’ve posted a third pledge level (currently $95) making another 100 collector’s editions available (26 of those gone already – they are popular!). These will not be made available after the campaign concludes. For those looking for just a standard edition, this is available.

Even if I don’t get to use it as a D&D supplement, the book looks amazing and potentially useful as inspiration for other games. The artwork is amazing – some of which featured in the Pathfinder equivalent of the book, some from Cthulhu Wars, etc. It’s over 400 pages long, featuring monsters, gods, playable races (ever wanted to play an Angry Zoog? you can now!), cults, spells, artifacts… “and more!” as the page says.

I vaguely recall the campaign going live for the Pathfinder version, but as I’ve never played the game, I didn’t have that helpful pull of nostalgia to lure me in. While this version for D&D is apparently similar, it’s been expanded with more artwork and content (gods, monsters, “and more!”).

I suspect I may have to go and track down a copy of the 5th Edition core books now.

At the time of writing, the project is already funded (in just 27 minutes) and is due to finish at 12:00AM BST on Tuesday October 23rd 2018.