We’re back (after a bit of a delay) and we’re talking about the classic Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign. In an ideal world we would have had this episode out a couple of weeks ago. Of course, in such an ideal world, Matt wouldn’t have been patient zero in a virus outbreak that wove in aspects of The Stand, The Andromeda Strain and The Exorcist.


The power of Lemsip compels you!

Taking turns in losing our voices and coughing up viscous green slime meant we were out of action as a group for a few weeks, which of course coincided with the first time in over a year that we didn’t have a spare episode in the can. We’ve started building up a buffer of episodes again to prepare for the next time this happens. We’re also thinking about wrapping Matt in plastic the next time he goes to a convention.

wrapped in plastic

Oh yes! Air holes! Whoops.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Masks of Nyarlathotep is rightly revered as not only a classic Call of Cthulhu supplement but one of the best campaigns for any system. Despite having been published over 30 years ago, it remains fresh and popular today, with many groups who weren’t even born when it first came out coming afresh to the aid of Jackson Elias (Huh. That name sounds familiar). If you have never played Masks and plan to do so, be warned that our discussion is filled with spoilers.


For a start, I hear Nyarlathotep may be behind it all…

As well as sharing our own reminiscences, we have brief chats with two guests: Adam Crossingham of Sixtystone Press and Steve Ellis, good friend of the Good Friends. Adam is the man behind the current and highly successful Kickstarter campaign for the Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion, and Steve recently ran the campaign using the Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Quick-Start rules. Both have interesting insights into the campaign, as well as practical experience of using the Companion in play.


A companion that’s three times larger than the main campaign? It’s the biggest sidekick since Jaws from the Bond films.

We also sneaked in a quick plug for the upcoming Concrete Cow convention. The Cow is only a few weeks away at the time of posting, so sort out your plans if you haven’t already! And if you’re reading this after the event, the next Cow is less than six months away, so there’s no escape.


Its sinister moo will echo through your dreams.

We’re back, and we’re nicking stuff again. Following on from episode 42’s discussion of neat GM techniques we’ve stolen, this time we’re thieving from players. There are plenty of discussions about how to be a good GM out there in the Internet, but much fewer about player techniques. Also, there are far more players out there, so that makes for richer pickings!


“Let’s see… A D20, a copy of the Investigator Handbook and a lifetime’s resentment of terrible GMs. Good haul!”

If there are any techniques you’ve seen in use that you’d like to share, please let us know on social media (over in that sidebar thingy to your right. No, up a bit. Yes, there) or via comments here. I broke our comments temporarily, but they should be working again. If they’re not, just let me know via a… Ohhh… That’s not good.


Wetware divide-by-zero errors are rarely pretty.

We actually have a new feedback form on the site to cover such eventualities, which goes through to Scott’s email account. He is unlikely to respond favourably to offers of discount Rolexes or business opportunities from Nigerian princes, and he will publicly disclaim any interest in male enhancement pharmaceuticals.

We’re back, and we’re talking about Cubicle 7‘s Call of Cthulhu setting, World War Cthulhu. We’ve had a few people ask us at conventions what exactly World War Cthulhu is and what makes it different from other Cthulhuesque games, which made us think that this may be a good topic for an episode. The fact that one of us is the line developer for World War Cthulhu had no influence on this choice. None at all. Stop looking at us like that!


Pay no attention to the blatant self-interest — look at this nifty logo instead!

As an extra Christmas treat, we break (or at least lurch) into song again, giving thanks to three new backers who chipped in at the top tier of our Patreon thingy. Paul has gone to town with the audio effects this time and the final result is, um, memorable. Maybe if we get more practice we can move up to tolerable. Hell, a couple more filters and we may end up sounding like Paul Williams.

Phantom of the Paradise

Obscure references? Us?

The other big news for this episode is that our friends at Cubicle 7 have generously provided us with a prize to give away! Appropriately enough, it’s a bundle of the PDFs of World War Cthulhu: The Darkest Hour (the World War II core book) and Europe Ablaze (the scenario anthology). One lucky winner will get to see first hand what they just heard us spend an entire episode enthusing about.


Hint: it looks something like this.

In order to enter, all you have to do is share our Google+ post, Facebook status update or tweet announcing this episode. We will track the names of everyone who does so (remember — we can only do this if you share our post rather than create a new one of your own). On the 11th of January we’ll draw one lucky winner from a virtual hat. Now all we need is to find someone with a virtual head…