We’re back with a new episode, and this one is all about how we write scenarios. Us being us, we come to nothing resembling a consensus. This is probably a good thing, as it offers three different perspectives. More importantly, you can hear us bicker, which is what the show is really about.

No! You research it all before writing the plot!

No! You research before writing the plot!

The discussion wends around finding inspiration, research, preparing notes, different types of scenarios and writing up your work for publication, should you want to enter the highly lucrative world of RPG writing.

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RPG writer praying for royalty cheque

Oh, and when you hear the reference to Paul’s flamethrower, this is what we’re talking about.

No, we didn't make this up

The fiery agent of our inevitable destruction

This week we meander around a topic suggested by Alistair Warmington, over on our Google+ Community, namely that of using Call of Cthulhu for genres other than Lovecraftian horror. We suggest inspirational material, rules hacks, scenario ideas and other games from which you can steal the good bits.

Dead of Night features heavily in the discussion

Dead of Night features heavily in the discussion

In particular, we recommend reading Dead of Night (not just because Scott wrote part of the second edition) for its breakdown of different horror genres and ideas about how to turn them into games. This advice can be applied just as well to Call of Cthulhu.

And, as an added bonus, we’ve stopped talking about Attract Fish. Well, for this week, anyway.

This week we talk about our favourite magical spells from non-Lovecraftian sources, as a follow-up to our discussion of spells from Call of Cthulhu in episode 16. Matt and Scott pick examples from some of their favourite roleplaying games, and Paul does his own thing.

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No, the other Paul

We recorded this episode before our interview with Rafael Chandler, which is why you will hear Scott explaining the Books of Pandemonium to Paul and Matt, despite us apparently just having spoken to their author. We may be getting on a bit, but we’re not that forgetful!

The games we discuss are:

This week’s episode is our interview with Rafael Chandler, RPG designer, video game writer and novelist. We’ve never had a guest on the show before, as there is precious little room in Paul’s shed, but we managed to make it work by using a Google Hangout and streaming it to YouTube. You may notice some difference in the format and audio quality as a result. We have already released this interview as a video (YT: The Good Friends of Jackson Elias interview Rafael Chandler)

on our YouTube channel, and this is simply the audio portion, cunning disguised as a regular episode of the podcast.

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This being a largely Lovecraftian podcast, Rafael talks to us about the influences of Lovecraft on his work, which has shaped it in unexpected ways. His take on Lovecraft’s racism as well as his cosmic horror is especially interesting. Even more frighteningly, he talks about the influence of Catholic children’s comics, which sound more disturbing than anything with tentacles and gaping maws.

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Rafael has just released the new compendium edition of the Books of Pandemonium, retitled Pandemonio, It contains enough blood, bile and blasphemy to electrify the most jaded group of gamers, and has been my roleplaying cattle-prod of choice at conventions for some time.

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We also discuss ViewScream, the first RPG written specifically to make use of the strengths and limitations of video chats. Mostly, though, we just talk a lot, as we seem to do.