We’re back and we’re running low on dogs. Have you any to spare? For some reason, we seem to be getting through loads of them. They are considered consumables, right? We tried asking the breeder at the kennels but he just told us that we’re barking. And the fact that Professor Armitage only needed one dog to deal with his intruder is making us self-conscious. Regardless, we’ll carry on throwing dogs at this problem until it goes away. We’re dogged that way.

Main Topic: The Whisperer in Darkness part 3

This is the third instalment of our multi-episode investigation of Lovecraft’s classic weird tale, “The Whisperer in Darkness”. Last episode, Albert Wilmarth had made a new pen pal up in Vermont, Hnery Akeley, who told him some troubling tales linked to local folklore. Now, things are ramping up as Akeley’s farm comes under attack from shadowy alien presences.

Once again, the pandemic means we recorded this episode remotely. Our current working arrangements are like the long-distance collaboration between Wilmarth and Akeley, only with fewer dead dogs.

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

The Blasphemous Tome 6

Issue 6 of The Blasphemous Tome is heading off to the printers. This is the print-only fanzine we put out every year for our Patreon backers. It is licensed by Chaosium and contains material for the Call of Cthulhu RPG. In particular, this issue features a new scenario by our own Paul Fricker, called “Of This Men Shall Know Nothing”, set in the later days of World War II.

Interview With Matthew McLean of A Scottish Podcast

Scott recently interviewed Matthew McLean, the writer, producer and co-star of A Scottish Podcast. While the name may not suggest it, this is an audio comedy/drama that feels like a Call of Cthulhu campaign. As well as talking about finding the humour in Lovecraft, Matthew offered some fantastic advice about how to create audio dramas. The special episode is now out — check your podcast feed.

October Horror Movie Challenge

Scott and Paul took part in the October Horror Movie Challenge this year, watching a horror film every day throughout the month. We offer an overview of our month’s viewing in the episode. You can also find Scott’s reviews on this very website.

We’re back with another special interview episode. This time, however, we’re breaking away from cults and turning back to a topic we discussed in episode 127: that uneasy ground that lies between comedy and horror.

Matthew McLean is the writer, producer and one of the stars of A Scottish Podcast. While the name may not suggest it, A Scottish Podcast is steeped in Lovecraftian horror. It’s also pretty damn funny.

The basic premise is that Lee, a failed disc jockey, has decided to reboot his career by starting a paranormal investigation podcast. He ropes his long-suffering friend Doug into producing it and the two of them travel across Scotland, investigating weird cases they are increasingly forced to take seriously.

What stops A Scottish Podcast from being just another paranormal drama is its cast of wildly eccentric supporting characters. The stories swing wildly between comedy and horror, usually keeping the two elements discrete but sometimes mixing them to great effect (such as in the recent special, “Fish Supper Over Innsmouth”).

Be warned that A Scottish Podcast is even more sweary than the Good Friends and that the humour is very Scottish. As Matthew mentions in the interview, however, this has not proved a barrier to international listeners.

In our discussion, Matthew and I talk about the relationship between comedy and horror, where the humour lies in Lovecraft, and how he goes about writing and creating the podcast. This last part turned into a general discussion about producing audio drama which should prove informative to anyone thinking about doing so.

A Scottish Podcast

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

We’re back and we’re having another look through our history books. They’re so much safer than those other books we consult. You know, the ones with unwholesome bindings that whisper dark secrets with voices that sound like the rustling of parchment. History books are usually much better behaved. Sure, sometimes they tell us things we’d really rather not know, but they’re more helpful in avoiding the destruction of all humanity has wrought…

Main Topic: More Great NPCs of History

In this episode, we once again seek out historical personages who might make interesting Call of Cthulhu NPCs. We have restricted ourselves to the classic 1920s and Gaslight time periods to best fit your games.

This is a follow-up to our first Great NPCs of History discussion in episode 173. That time, Paul and Scott got so carried away (mainly with monkey glands) that Matt never got to present his selection. In an uncharacteristic display of fairness, we let him go first this time and still managed to squeeze in three NPCs.

This episode was recorded a couple of weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic caused us all to self-isolate, so we were all gathered together in Paul’s studio. That all seems like such a long time ago now. We have one more such episode to release before those recorded remotely. You may notice a change in sound quality once this happens.

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

Nellie Bly
Ellen Wilkinson
Edgar Laplante

News

The Old Ways Podcast

We recently attended the funeral of Jackson Elias, again. This is getting to be a habit. Our good friend Michael Diamond included us as mourners in a recent episode of The Old Ways podcast playthrough of Masks of Nyarlathotep. You can find our appearance by proxy in chapter 5 of the New York season.

Type 40

Paul recently met up with Alan and Nicky from Type 40 and learned all about their “artefacts from imaginary universes”. As well as Call of Cthulhu props, they also make all sorts of strange items likely to appeal to fans of SF, comics and other such things.

Update: Some people have requested links to the various things we discuss in this episode. We’ve added some at the end of this post.

We’re back with something of an impromptu special. Scott recently joined our good friend Joe Trier of How We Roll for a chat about playing RPGs online. This seemed timely, with almost everyone we know going into self-quarantine due to COVID-19.

Our discussion covers tools and techniques, with an emphasis on how to get into online gaming for people who have never done so. While our main focus is on D&D and Call of Cthulhu, we do mention a few other suitable games.

If the format of this episode sounds different, this is because we recorded it for How We Roll. Joe has kindly agreed to let us release it on our feed. We have simply added our usual intro and outro to stop you getting too disorientated!

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

Episode 178: A Warning to the Curious

We’re back and we’re heading off to the seaside. People might tell you that Suffolk can be bleak at this time of year, but what do they know? There’s plenty to enjoy here. The hotel is pleasant enough, although we’re not sure why they gave us a private sitting room. Our shoes have never looked so shiny thanks to the boots and all his elbow grease. That nice old man at the curiosity shop keeps showing us wonderful things that belonged to dead people. And while the sand is too fine for making sandcastles, it’s nice and soft for digging. Everything here is rather idyllic. If it weren’t for the hideous ghost following us and the sense of impending doom, this would be the best holiday ever. Four stars on TripAdvisor.

Main Topic: A Warning to the Curious

While we’ve wrapped up our discussion of ghosts, we haven’t quite left the spectral world behind yet. Or maybe it refuses to leave us alone. Once these spectres set their sights on you, they can prove vexingly dogged. We’re going to keep away from any Martello towers, just to be safe.

Almost as frightening to us as they were to Napoleon.

This episode explores M R James’ classic English ghost story, “A Warning to the Curious”. England has an enduring love for ghost stories, and James is the towering figure in the field. We spend some time talking about the man himself and how his work has retained its appeal. Then we go digging for treasure in one of his best-known tales, looking for inspiration for our Call of Cthulhu games. We’re sure everything will be fine.

See? The locals are even keeping a lookout for us.

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

The man himself

News

Ain’t Slayed Nobody

Paul recommends Ain’t Slayed Nobody, a relatively new Call of Cthulhu actual play podcast focusing on Down Darker Trails. They are up to three episodes now and may branch out into other Cthulhu settings in subsequent shows.

One Cut of the Dead on Tear Them Apart

Our good friends Evan Dorkin and Paul Yellovich at the Tear Them Apart podcast recently released an episode about the marvellous Japanese horror film, One Cut of the Dead. You should seek this out even if you have no interest in found-footage or zombie films (especially if you don’t). It is full of surprises and pure joy. You should also go into it with as foreknowledge as possible of what you are about to see. And then you should listen to the Tear Them Apart episode about it.

Voluminous: The Letters of H P Lovecraft

And we have yet another newish podcast to recommend: Voluminous. Our good friends at the H P Lovecraft Historical Society are discussing Lovecraft’s copious correspondence, with each episode focusing on a single letter. And, as Paul mentions, who could be a better choice to present such a podcast?