We’re back with the second half of our discussion of Lovecraft’s story, The Dreams in the Witch House, slightly later than planned. We should have posted this last week, but our consciousnesses have been trapped in nightmare realms beyond mortal imagining, chased by hideous rat-like entities with the faces of deadlines.

Brown Jenkin

Like this, but twice as terrifying and three times as fast moving.

This is the episode where we discuss all the stuff you wanted to hear us talk about last time. In particular, we take in Stuart Gordon’s television adaptation for Masters of Horror, the sort-of-but-not-quite film version, Curse of the Crimson Altar and the rock opera. Yes, there’s a rock opera. Of course there is. Do you really want to live in a world where such a thing does not exist?

witch house

If you do want to live in such a world, our guide here will show you a handy short-cut through the corner of your bedroom.

We wrap up the episode by talking about the gameable aspects of the story, as that’s really the whole purpose of the discussion. Sure, it took us over an hour of rambling to get to this point, but in our defence we’re really not very good at this.

[SCM]actwin,0,0,1280,800;Adobe Flash Player chrome.exe 16/11/2009 , 14:49:25

Don’t judge us! Especially not if you’re going to be all creepy about it.

Until next episode (which will be here sooner than this one, honest!) we’ll let Keziah Mason sing you to sleep. Happy dreams!

In this latest episode, we discuss Lovecraft’s story, The Dreams in the Witch House. As usual, we talk a bit about the history and content of the story to set up our analysis of how to cannibalise it for gaming. Also as usual, we spent so long waffling that we ran out of time, so the gaming discussion will be in the next episode.

Knock loudly if you want to buy some pottery

Like the Witch House itself, Paul’s shed does strange things to time and space.

We were surprised when revisiting this story just how much of what we think of as the Cthulhu Mythos was born in it. While few people would list The Dreams in the Witch House as one of Lovecraft’s major stories, it deserves more attention than it gets, and you may find yourself transported by the ideas and imagery.


Just make sure to book a return ticket.

The second part of the discussion will be along soon, and will also include discussion of the various adaptations of the story into film, television, cuddly toys and rock opera. No, really.


Rock opera?

In this latest episode, we discuss player-led games: in particular, we try to pin down what makes a game player-led, whether or not incorporating player input works with investigative games, how you can run a player-led game of Call of Cthulhu and just what the hell do we mean by “player-led” anyway.


“I’ve got narrative control!” “No, I have!”

A lot of the ideas we discuss won’t be new to you if you’re used to playing indie games, and we shamelessly steal techniques from InSpectres, Dogs in the Vineyard and Hot War, amongst others. Even if you’re not much of a dirty hippie gamer, you may still find stuff you can use.


Make love, not deprotagonisation!

If you’ve tried applying any such techniques to your Call of Cthulhu games, want us to elaborate on some of this stuff or simply want to mock us, we would love to hear from you. Our main social media presence is on Google+, but we’re also on Facebook and Twitter (although none of us really understand Twitter).

We’re back, a bit later than usual, and we’re finishing up our discussion of our favourite non-Lovecraftian roleplaying games. This time it’s Paul’s choice, and much to Matt’s disgust, he’s chosen Monsterhearts. Matt is unfazed by cosmic horror, bloodshed and psychological torture, but teen drama is just too much for him.


I mean, look, she’s biting him right in the angst!

Monsterhearts, in case you haven’t encountered it, is Avery Mcdaldno’s game of teenage monsters and their messy lives. If this doesn’t sound like something that would interest you (and if you’re ever been exposed to Twilight, that is an entirely sensible reaction), you may find Paul’s impassioned enthusiasm for it changes your mind. Unless you’re Matt.


And if you’re still not interested, he’ll just rip your heart out.

As mentioned, this episode took longer than usual to prepare. Most of this was editing incriminating comments made by Matt (as evidenced by all the beeps, clicks and weird noises). Paul has promised that he’s still left enough of them in for the show to be juicy.


What the hell is he doing up there?

This latest episode sees us return to our discussion of our favourite non-Lovecraftian horror role-playing games, with Matt sharing his unwholesome love of all things Kult. Admittedly, it would be difficult to make anything related to Kult wholesome.


Love takes many forms, some illegal in your jurisdiction

Kult, for those who haven’t encountered it, is a Swedish RPG first translated into English in the early 1990s. The setting is one of the richest and strangest in horror gaming, taking in Gnostic Christianity, splatterpunk and a sense of oppressive gloom that could only have come from a Nordic clime. The game has been through a number of English-language editions and publishers, but is currently out of print. We can only assume that Lictors are responsible. Lictors are always responsible.


Go on, ask him to get Kult back into print. We’ll wait here.

Kult can be a controversial game, largely because of its religious, violent and sexual elements, and be warned that our discussion reflects this. Admittedly we spend more time complaining about the layout of some of the supplements than we do about, say, eating babies, but the point still stands.