Episode 182: Disgust and Body Horror

We’re back and we’re here to talk about body horror and… Hang on. Can anyone else smell that? It’s sweet and cloying, and not in a good way. Everything we touch feels moist, which wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t warm too. That mushy slurp whenever we lift our shoes isn’t helping either. Maybe it’s related to those little shapes we can see wriggling down there. On the bright side, if we end up vomiting in here, it’s not going to make things any worse.

Main Topic: Disgust and Body Horror

This episode is our exploration of the linked topics of disgust and body horror. We were originally going to cover disgust in our episode about Making Call of Cthulhu Scary, but ran out of time. And body horror has been on our list for some time. It seemed logical to send the two topics through the telepods, melding them into a twitching, mewling hybrid of an episode.

Once again, Mike Mason, the line editor for Call of Cthulhu, joins the discussion and offers his insights. We explore the role of disgust in horror and how we might go about harnassing it in our games. Then, we move on to discussing what makes body horror so effective. Finally, we wrap up the episode by licking the floor under our fridges. It’s tangy!

Researching this topic can really get under one’s skin

Once again, the current lockdown means we recorded this episode remotely. We hope that we’re getting the hang of making this sound all right. It’s far from the biggest problem current circumstances have presented, but it’s still a challenge.


Things we mention in this episode include:

Help yourself to some wrigglers


The Blasphemous Tome Issue 5.5

We are currently putting together issue 5.5 of The Blasphemous Tome. This is an interim digital edition of the fanzine we publish for our Patreon backers. Issue 5.5 will contain a number of pieces we couldn’t fit into our last print edition, along with all-new articles and artwork. It will also feature a new Call of Cthulhu scenario by Scott, titled “The Murder Shack”. Anyone backing us at the time of release (expected to be early July) will receive a PDF copy. If you would like to submit a short article or a piece of artwork, we would love to hear from you!

Covers of Tomes from bygone years

News From Chaosium

Mike shares details of some exciting Call of Cthulhu publications and actual play recordings from Chaosium.

We’re back and we’re heading up to the laboratory to see what we can throw together. There are some leftover eyeballs in the fridge, and an assortment of horns, fangs and claws in those crates in the corner. We seem to be running short on hides, however. Maybe we can mix up a protoplasm cocktail instead. Admittedly, we still need to find a new lab assistant after the last time we tried that…

Main Topic: Making a Monster

This episode is a discussion of how we go about creating new monsters for Call of Cthulhu. Is it enough (or even safe) to reskin a Deep One or a shoggoth? How do you decide how deadly your monster should be? What kind of stats should you assign? What is the monster doing in your scenario in the first place? And why not just pick something out of the rulebook rather than going to all this trouble?

Handily enough, Mike Mason, the line editor for Call of Cthulhu, is on hand to help us with these deliberations. Mike is in the last stages of putting together the new Malleus Monstrorum, and has been giving a lot of thought to such matters. He offers sage advice and helps us brainstorm some new creations.

Sample artwork from the new Malleus Monstrorum

This is the first standard episode we’ve recorded during the lockdown. It’s taking us a little while to get used to doing everything remotely, but we hope the episode still sounds decent. In terms of sound quality, that is. Otherwise, we’ll have no truck with decency.


Things we mention in this episode include:


Convention Updates

In our last episode, we discussed upcoming conventions we were planning to attend. How quaint all that seems now! The best advice we can offer is to check the websites for Continuum and UK Games Expo to see if they will be postponed, cancelled or moved online.

Backer-Only Specials

During this lockdown period, we’re releasing extra episodes of The Good Friends of Jackson Elias to help you pass the time. These Patreon backer exclusives are going out on the weeks between normal episodes. At the time of posting, we’ve released two, discussing horror films and books we’ve enjoyed recently. If you want to access these and the upcoming episodes, simply back us on Patreon at any level.

News From Chaosium

Mike shares details of some exciting Call of Cthulhu publications and actual play recordings from Chaosium.

Episode 180: Mythos Deities: Azathoth

We’re back and we’re bubbling and blaspheming at the centre of the universe. Actually, we’re just sitting at home like everyone else. It’s still nice to dream of getting out of the house, however, even if it is to the nightmare court of Azathoth. We’ll take any change of scenery we can get right now. And at least there would be some banging tunes to listen to…

Main Topic: Mythos Deities: Azathoth

This is the latest instalment in our series on the deities of the Cthulhu Mythos. Earlier episodes have covered Dagon, Shub-Niggurath, Yog-Sothoth and Nyarlathotep.

This time, the focus is on the blind idiot god at the centre of it all, Azathoth. We dig into Azathoth’s origins and how he changed throughout Lovecraft’s work. Then we move on to exploring how other writers have used and adapted Azathoth (warning: contains Lumley). Finally, we dig into Azathoth’s role in Call of Cthulhu, discussing how we might use him in our games.

This is the last episode we recorded in person before the COVID-19 pandemic forced us all to self-isolate. The next few episodes (at least) will be recorded using the wonders of the internet. You may notice that they sound a bit different.


Things we mention in this episode include:


Blasphemous Offerings From David Kirkby

Our good friend David Kirkby sent us some wonderfully hideous idols to say thank you for helping him promote his recent charity auction. We are unspeakably grateful to him for this. The idols have now been blooded and we have placed them at the appropriate sites. All is proceeding to plan. If you would like such a blasphemy of your own, please check out David’s website.

Continuum and UK Games Expo

Back in those long-forgotten days before we retreated to our bunkers, gaming conventions were a thing. People would actually gather in person to play RPGs, gossip, and drink inadvisable quantities of beer. How quaint all that seems now.

This episode was recorded just before the world changed, and we discuss a few such conventions we were planning to attend. It is possible that they may still go ahead if quarantine restrictions are eased. They might, however, be rescheduled or even go online. Nothing is certain anymore. We recommend that you check the websites for Continuum and UK Games Expo for updates rather than trusting anything we might say in the episode. Our relationship with reality is tenuous at the best of times.

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.


Things we mention in this episode include:

Nellie Bly
Ellen Wilkinson
Edgar Laplante


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.

We’re back with the second part of our discussion with parapsychologist, RPG author and raconteur, Christian Jensen Romer.

In the first part, CJ told us how he became involved with ghost hunting. In this episode, he delves more into the various studies of ghost phenomena and some possible explanations for ghost sightings.

In the process, CJ clarifies and corrects a number of points we made in our recent episodes about ghosts. We really should have talked to him before recording those!