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Main Topic: Injury and Disease in Call of Cthulhu

This episode, we’re looking at how injury, disease, poisons, and other physical hazards work in Call of Cthulhu.

Being an investigator is fraught with hazards. While we’ve discussed sanity a few times, we’ve never really got into more corporeal damage before. We discuss how the game mechanics handle physical harm, some options for portraying it narratively, and some of the different ways in which an investigator can get hurt in the first place. As ever, we throw in a few ideas about how we handle these things in our own games, and what plot hooks dealing with serious physical harm might present.

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

The Blasphemous Tome Issue 12

Covers of Tomes of yore

Issue 12 of The Blasphemous Tome will be going out in early July. This is the fanzine we produce for Patreon backers of The Good Friends of Jackson Elias. Each issue contains a brand-new Call of Cthulhu scenario authored by one of us and licensed by Chaosium.

Every backer will receive a PDF of issue 12 as soon as it’s available. Anyone backing us at the $5 level or above by the end of June will also get a printed and signed copy.

We’re back and we’re spinning the wheel of misfortune. R’lyeh Roulette is not a game to be entered into casually. While you might not place bets in the normal manner, there is still much at stake. Every result carries blasphemous knowledge guaranteed to ravage the sanity of the strongest mind. And that’s without taking into account the risk of randomly selecting Attract Fish. The horror is too great to contemplate.

Main Topic: R’lyeh Roulette IV

This episode is a return to a format we’ve not used for a very long time. When Matt was working on what would become the Grand Grimoire, he put together a spreadsheet containing every spell from every Call of Cthulhu supplement that had been published at the time. So, of course, we decided to use it as a massive random table, rolling a D752 to select random spells. We would then try to work out how we might create a scenario around each spell.

And that’s what we’re doing again.

the grand grimoire of cthulhu mythos magic

Things we mention in this episode include:

Folkloric European werewolf, armed with fangs, claws, and finger guns
Episode 285: Call of Cthulhu Deities -- Shudde M’ell, Yibb-Tstll and Bugg-Shash

We’re back and we’re suckling. This is more difficult than you might think, at least when Yibb-Tstll is involved. Even once we get past all those pesky nightgaunts, there’s the whole, um, moving target aspect to deal with. And the less said about that snog with Bugg-Shash, the better. Maybe we’ll just stick with Shudde-M’ell. At least he knows how to make the earth move.

Main Topic: Call of Cthulhu Deities — Shudde M’ell, Yibb-Tstll and Bugg-Shash

This episode is our latest exploration of the deities of the Cthulhu Mythos. We have devoted previous episodes to DagonShub-NiggurathYog-SothothNyarlathotepHasturAzathothNodensUbbo-Sathla and MordiggianIthaquaCthulhuDaoloth and EihortGla’akiY’golonacTsathoggua, Atlach-Nacha and Abhoth, Cyäegha and Byatis, and Yig and Ghatanothoa.

Here, we’re turning to the creations of Brian Lumley, specifically the gods Shudde M’ell, Yibb-Tstll and Bugg-Shash. As usual, we discuss their origins in fiction, how they’ve been developed in the Call of Cthulhu RPG, and how we might use them in our own games.

We planned this episode some time back, before we heard that Brian Lumley had died. Learning the news not too long before recording means that the episode might be less irreverent than you’d expect.

Things we mention in this episode include:

The Burrowers Beneath by Brian Lumley

We’re back and we’re abluting with trepidation. It used to be that taking a shower was relaxing. We could just pull that curtain closed and enjoy the jets of warm, cleansing water. Since watching Psycho, however, we can’t help but keep one eye open while showering. That wouldn’t be so bad if we didn’t keep getting shampoo in it. Still, it probably beats the alternative.

psycho film poster

Main Topic: Psycho

We’re following our recent discussion of psychological horror by exploring one of the defining works of the genre. It’s no exaggeration to say that Psycho transformed horror, in both cinema and fiction, pretty much creating a new subgenre. It is one of the most imitated films of all time, spawning countless pastiches, parodies, and blatant rip-offs. But what is it that makes Psycho such an enduring favourite, even 65 years on? Why does it still make us afraid to draw the shower curtain? And which aspects of it have not aged so well?

Be warned that we spoil the hell out of the film. If you are one of those vanishingly rare people who have managed to avoid spoilers until now, we beseech you to watch Psycho before listening to this episode. Even so, its twists and turns have become so much a part of popular culture that they may still be familiar.

As well as digging into Hitchcock’s film, we also touch upon Robert Bloch’s original novel, and the many sequels each birthed. And, as ever, we look for aspects that might influence our games.

psycho book cover

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

A Weekend With Good Friends

A Weekend With Good Friends is about to begin!

This is the online gaming convention organised by our lovely listeners, taking place on the Good Friends Discord server between 1-3 March 2024.

Don’t worry if you missed the game signups. There will be pickup games running throughout the weekend. You can also sign up to be notified if anyone drops out of a prebooked game, leaving their space free.

There will be a number of panels throughout the weekend. discussing different aspects of horror gaming. Check our Discord server for the latest news.

We hope to see you there!

A Weekend With Good Friends logo

Arkham Book Released

The new edition of the Arkham sourcebook for Call of Cthulhu is now available in PDF, with the print edition following shortly. This is a heavily revised version, featuring new material by Arkham Gazette mastermind, Bret Kramer.

We’re back and we’re rolling to disbelieve. Honestly, the world around us just becomes weirder and weirder with every passing year. A lot of this is probably down to age, but we can’t discount some kind of breakdown of objective reality, right? Well, that’s assuming there was ever such a thing as objective reality. In order to determine this, we’d need to refer to objective sources, and then we’ll only get lost in recursion again. Compared such sophistry, all those sanity-blasting delusions in Call of Cthulhu feel like light relief.

Main Topic: Delusions in Call of Cthulhu

We thought we’d follow up last episode’s exploration of psychological horror by looking at the role of delusions in Call of Cthulhu. Psychological horror is filled with characters trapped in states of delusion, unable to tell what is real anymore. The game reflects this genre trope in its mechanics, and we delve into how it all works. We also discuss how such fictional delusions relate to real mental illness, what inspiration we might take from media, and just how much roleplaying we really want to see in our roleplaying games.

Fight Club (1999) film poster

Things we mention in this episode include:

Mr Robot poster

News

A Weekend With Good Friends

Player signups are about to open for A Weekend With Good Friends and will remain so until the end of day on the 22nd of February.

A Weekend With Good Friends is the online gaming convention organised by our lovely listeners, taking place on the Good Friends Discord server between 1-3 March 2024.

If you are unable to commit to running or playing a game in advance, there will be pickup games running throughout the weekend.

There will also be a number of panels about different aspects of horror gaming. Details of these will be finalised within the next few days, so do check our Discord server for the latest news.

Key dates are:

  • Thursday 15th February – Thursday 22nd February – Player signups
  • Monday 26th February – Lottery results announced
  • Friday 1st March – Sunday 3rd March – A Weekend With Good Friends

We hope to see you there!

A Weekend With Good Friends logo