We’re back and and we’re in the dark. While we’re told that darkness is essential for séances, it does make it tricky to watch when the medium starts dancing. Also, if the spirits are going to start shooting pistols near us, we’d prefer to be able to see where the guns are pointed. Happily, Napoleon is here to offer some practical military advice to these otherworldly gunmen. We just hope that he doesn’t leave us quite as wet and sticky as last time. It plays hell with our zithers!

Main Topic: Séances

As a belated coda to our discussions of Victorian Spiritualism, we thought we’d go through some contemporary accounts of Victorian séances, looking for inspiration. Our earlier discussions glossed over the details of what actually happens in a séance and how they differ from what we see in popular media. The truth turns out to be far weirder than any fiction.

Our goal, as ever, is to offer inspiration for games. If you do decide to include a séance inspired by these accounts in one of your games, we’d love to hear about it!

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

Paul at Gen Con 2023

Paul will be at Gen Con in August. You can see him on the panel about Horror on the Tabletop. He will also be running what he has dubbed “Full Fathom Five-Point-Five” with You Too Can Cthulhu, riffing on his Miskatonic Repository scenario “Full Fathom Five”.

Back Issues of the Tome

All back issues of The Blasphemous Tome are now available as PDF downloads for our Patreon backers. This is the fanzine that we produce for our backers, which largely existed only in physical form until recently. Each issue contains a full scenario written by the Good Friends.

Anyone backing us at any level on Patreon can now download the entire back catalogue as PDFs. People backing us at the $3 tier or higher before the end of July can also get a discount voucher for a print-on-demand copy of issue 6.

A Weekend With Good Friends

The most recent Weekend With Good Friends wrapped up just over a week ago. This is the convention organised by our lovely listeners, and which takes place on the Good Friends’ Discord server.

We would like to thank Chris, Martin and Bence, the convention organisers, for all the amazing work they put in to make the convention happen. Thank you as well to all the convention staff for keeping the convention running smoothly throughout. And thank you to everyone who attended!

This was also the first Weekend With Good Friends to feature panels. Thank to David for organising them and watching over all eleven of them throughout the weekend! And thank you to all the panellists who joined us for the weekend.

The panels were all recorded and are now available on YouTube.

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Voting for ENnies

Voting is now open for the 2023 ENnie Awards. A number of projects we are involved with are up for awards and we would love it if you considered voting for them.

How We Roll is on the shortlist for Best Podcast.

Rivers of London has been nominated for Best Rules and Product of the Year.

And Chaosium is up for Best Publisher.

Mason and Fricker’s Eldritch Stories

Paul and Mike Mason have a new podcast, called Mason and Fricker’s Eldritch Stories. You can find out all about it at their website.

Episode 264: The Hounds of Tindalos

We’re back and we have an angle. Well, it started out as a curve, but then some bits fell off. It’s outrageous! We’re not sure if that was some kind of fall from grace, an earthquake, or just shoddy plastering. Or maybe we’re just being obtuse. Happily, the hounds of Tindalos will be along soon to put us right. Their sense of such things is pretty acute.

Main Topic: The Hounds of Tindalos

Following on from our time travel episodes, we thought we should find an example of how these tropes have been used in the Cthulhu Mythos. Happily, Frank Belknap Long’s seminal story, “The Hounds of Tindalos”, is about as good an example as we could ask for. As well as showing us a very genre-appropriate method for exploring time, it introduces one of the weirdest and scariest antagonists in the Mythos.

We explore the curves and angles of the story, and briefly discuss the life and works of Frank Belknap Long. In addition to his role as a core member of the Lovecraft Circle, Long has the distinction of being the first person after Lovecraft to write a Mythos story. But that was just a small part of a career that spanned over 70 years and multiple genres.

The Hounds of Tindalos by Frank Belknap Long

Things we mention in this episode include:

Frank Belknap Long and HP Lovecraft in 1931 Brooklyn
Long and Lovecraft in 1931

News

Paul in Bayt al Azif

Issue 5 of Bayt al Azif includes an article by Paul in which he discusses his favourite beginner scenarios for Call of Cthulhu.

Paul at Continuum

Paul will be at the Continuum convention in Leicester later this month, running games and propping up the bar.

Matt Interviews

Matt recently spoke to our good friends over at Illusion Horror & Con about his scenario “Judgment”, as part of their Ask the Author series.

He was also interviewed for issue 2 of Vaezine about the role of Gothic horror in Vaesen.

A Weekend With Good Friends

A Weekend With Good Friends starts this coming Friday, assuming you’re reading this shortly after the episode goes out. It runs between the 5th and 7th of July, around the clock.

This is the online RPG convention organised by our lovely listeners and hosted on our Discord server. While the main source of information is said Discord server, we also have a web page with important details and links.

Player signups have closed, but there will be pickup games running throughout the weekend. There are also a number of seminars about Call of Cthulhu and horror gaming. Check out our Discord server for more details.

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Episode 263: Time Travel in Call of Cthulhu part 2

We’re back and we’re going round in circles. Driving around Milton Keynes has prepared us for such eventualities, although these are temporal loops rather than roundabouts. Then again, what is a time loop but a four-dimensional roundabout? Let’s just hope we can work out how to find an exit before we go around yet again. This is murder on our tyres. And our watches.

Main Topic: Time Travel in Call of Cthulhu part 2

As we mentioned last episode, we ran out of time to discuss time. This means we’ve gone back to the discussion, delving into psychic time travel as well as different varieties of time loops. We also spend a bit of time (it’s really hard not to make jokes here) talking about the way time travel has been presented in Mythos fiction and the Call of Cthulhu RPG.

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

The Blasphemous Tome issue 11

The next issue of The Blasphemous Tome will soon be ready to creep its way across the globe. This is the fully licenced Call of Cthulhu fanzine we produce for Patreon backers of the podcast. Issue 11 features a gorgeous full-colour cover from John Sumrow and a brand-new Call of Cthulhu scenario from our own Scott Dorward, titled “Blackshade”. Anyone backing us at the $5 level or higher will receive a print copy of the Tome, signed by our arthritic hands.

A Weekend With Good Friends

Player signups for A Weekend With Good Friends will soon open!

This is the online RPG convention organised by our lovely listeners and hosted on our Discord server. While the main source of information is said Discord server, we also have a web page with important details and links. We will update this as things progress.

Don’t worry if you missed the cut-off for GM signups. There will be pickup games running throughout the weekend.

The important dates are:

  • Friday 2nd – Thursday 15th June — GM signups
  • Friday 23rd – Thursday 29th June — Player signups
  • Friday 30th June — Lottery results announced
  • Friday 7th – Sunday 9th July — AWWGF
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The Murder Shack and Blackshade on Ain’t Slayed Nobody

A few years ago, Scott ran “The Murder Shack”, his scenario from issue 5b of The Blasphemous Tome, for our good friends over at Ain’t Slayed Nobody. Cuppycup has recently edited the audio and produced it as a podcast, with music, sound effects and voice acting for a key NPC role. You can hear the end product on ASN now.

As if that weren’t enough, a recording of “Blackshade”, Scott’s scenario from issue 11, will be available on Ain’t Slayed Nobody next month. Watch your feed for more details.

Sean F Smith Interview

Following our recent episodes about Victorian Spiritualism, Scott interviewed Sean F Smith for a follow-up special. Sean is a stage magician and mentalist, with a lifelong interest in the techniques of fraudulent mediumship. The discussion goes into the psychology of trickery, along some history of how Spiritualism and stage magic evolved together in Victorian Britain.

Scott on Bud & Griff’s RPG Creepshow

Bud and Griff recently invited Scott onto their (relatively) new gaming podcast. As well as discussing horror gaming and podcasting, the duo asked Scott about his weirdest uncanny experience. This gave Scott the perfect opportunity to talk about that time he got roped into performing an exorcism.

The episode will be released on their public feed this coming weekend.

We’re back with our first special episode for a while. After our recent look into Victorian Spiritualism, Sean F Smith contacted us, offering to discuss the topic from the perspective of stage magic.

Sean is a magician and mentalist by profession, with a special interest in séances and mediums. We discussed the history of Victorian magic and how it relates to fraudulent mediums. There are also a few diversions into the psychology of trickery, techniques to encourage creativity, and the secret of how to hammer a nail into your face.

You can find Sean’s work on DriveThruRPG, and you can check out his websites below.

Sean and friend

Things we mention in this episode include:

We’re back, or should that be forward? Time does have a tendency to jump around, and you’re never quite when you thought you were. Days pass in years and years pass in days. And the older you get, the stranger this relationship with time becomes. Sure, you might struggle to remember what you just had for lunch, but you have a pretty good idea of what you might have been doing ten years ago. In our case, we were starting a podcast.

If you ever wondered why our early episodes sound the way they do…

Main Topic: Time Travel in Call of Cthulhu part 1

The Good Friends of Jackson Elias are ten years old! Well, not the Good Friends ourselves, obviously. One look at our grizzled countenances should disabuse you of that. If you tried to total up our lived years, you’d quickly run out of fingers. And toes. And any other protuberances you may have. But the podcast itself will have been around for ten years as of the 8th of June 2023. That’s 262 regular episodes, 42 specials, and 12 backer-only episodes. No wonder we’re tired.

The shed where it all started

We figured we’d mark this milestone by discussing the role of time travel in Call of Cthulhu. In one form or another, time travel has been a part of stories for about as long as people have been telling them. Genre fiction and media have codified a lot of tropes, however, some derived from actual science and some the product of pure imagination. We discuss some of our favourite media presentations of time travel in its various forms, looking for inspiration for our games of Call of Cthulhu.

Once again, we found this was a larger topic than we’d anticipated and have had to spill over into a second episode. Join us next time when we discuss time loops, as well as the presentation of time travel in Call of Cthulhu and Mythos fiction.

The teetering pile of books that thought it was a microphone stand

Things we mention in this episode include:

Behold the Man by Michael Moorcock

News

The Blasphemous Tome issue 11

The next issue of The Blasphemous Tome will soon be ready to creep its way across the globe. This is the fully licenced Call of Cthulhu fanzine we produce for Patreon backers of the podcast. Issue 11 features a gorgeous full-colour cover from John Sumrow and a brand-new Call of Cthulhu scenario from our own Scott Dorward titled “Blackshade”. Anyone backing us at the $5 level or higher will receive a print copy of the Tome, signed by our arthritic hands.

A Weekend With Good Friends

GM signups are now open for A Weekend With Good Friends! This is the online RPG convention organised by our lovely listeners and hosted on our Discord server. While the main source of information is said Discord server, we also have a web page with important details and links. We will update this as things progress.

If you would like to offer a game and have it listed in the programme, please check out the AWWGF GM signup page between the 2nd and 15th of June. Don’t worry if you miss the cut-off, however — there will be pickup games running throughout the weekend.

The important dates are:

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