Episode 241: Strange NPCs - Louis Wain

We’re back and we’re trying our hands at cat breeding. According to these instructions we received from Louis Wain, the secret is electricity. The cats don’t seem to happy about this, even if it does produce interesting patterns in their fur. At least they are all pointing towards magnetic north now, however. And isn’t that what cats are supposed to do?

Louis Wain and friend

Main Topic: Strange NPCs – Louis Wain

This episode is is the latest in our Strange NPCs of History series, in which we look at notable people who might inspire games of Call of Cthulhu. This time, we’re discussing Louis Wain, the eccentric English artist whose cartoons and paintings of cats caught the world’s imagination in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Despite this fame, however, Wain was mainly remembered for his psychotic illness for many years, with both medical professionals and critics pondering what effect it had on his work. Partly because of this, Wain has remained a cult figure in popular culture in the decades since his death. The last year has seen renewed interest in his work, following the 2021 biopic, The Electrical Life of Louis Wain.

Our special guest for this episode is cuppycup of the Gold-ENnie-Award-winning Ain’t Slayed Nobody podcast. Regular listeners will know that we’re all fans of the Old West arc, “Y’all of Cthulhu”, that has been running for the last couple of years. They have also done a number of side projects with Scott, including a playthrough of his scenario “Catland”, which features Louis Wain as an NPC.

Things we mention in this episode include:

Tommy Catkins by Louis Wain
The series of pictures supposedly depicting the effects of Wain’s psychosis on his art
Forest Edge by Louis Wain
The Fire of the Mind Agitates the Atmosphere – Louis Wain


Paul at Necronomicon

After last year’s cancellation, Necronomicon Providence is returning for 2022. Paul is on his way as this episode goes out and hopes to see some of you there. Unfortunately, neither Matt nor Scott can make it this time. Maybe in 2024!

We’re back and we’re catching up with our reading. Until recently, we thought we’d seen the most sanity-blasting fanfic the internet could offer. Between terrible prose, wooden characters, and unacceptable levels of horniness, bad fanfic can eat your brain quicker than a hungry ghoul. But this twelfth volume of The Revelations of Gla’aki is in a league of its own. We’re used to Mary-Sue protagonists taking over the narrative, but this Y’golonac character keeps threatening to take over the reader. It’s irritating, but probably not worth losing our heads over.

Main Topic: Y’golonac and The Revelations of Gla’aki

This episode is our latest exploration of the deities of the Cthulhu Mythos. We have devoted previous episodes to Dagon, Shub-Niggurath, Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathotep, Hastur, Azathoth, Nodens, Ubbo-Sathla and Mordiggian, Ithaqua, and Cthulhu. This time, we’re returning to Ramsey Campbell, following our earlier discussions of his creations, Daoloth and Eihort, and Gla’aki.

Specifically, it’s the turn of everyone’s favourite headless monstrosity — Y’golonac! As disturbing as Y’golonac’s appearance is, his recruitment techniques are far worse. We spend some time discussing how we might use Y’golonac in our games and how we might avoid crossing any personal lines in doing so.

At the same time, this is also a follow-up to last episode’s exploration of Gla’aki, perusing the tome which connects him to Y’golonac — The Revelations of Gla’aki. This unusual book is almost a character in its own right, stretching the definition of a living document.

And do hang around after the credits for a bonus from our good friends at the HP Lovecraft Historical Society.


Things we mention in this episode include:

Cold Print cover


Scott on Blood Moon Rising

Scott recently made a guest appearance on the Vampire: the Masquerade chronicle, Blood Moon Rising, run by our good friend Rina Haenze for The Old Ways Podcast. This is the first of a handful of appearances, with Scott giving voice to William Mallet, a scheming Camarilla elder sent to bring order to San Francisco. Expect bastardry.

William “The Hammer” Mallet

Scott on Pretending to be People

And if that weren’t enough, Scott has also been playing an NPC on Pretending to be People. Our good friends Joe and Zach decided that Scott was the natural choice to play Beck Wilder’s mother, Kim. So he did. Kim’s first appearance is in the season two episode, “Printing Press”.

Pretending to be People

We’re back and we’re holidaying at Deepfall Water in sunny Gloucestershire. The area may be a bit rundown but you can’t argue with these prices. Buying a house here cost us less than a week in Benidorm, and it even came with a free library in the cellar! Our estate agent is a chatty sort, full of lively local folklore. He reassures that that every rural area has tales about dead cities arriving on the back of a comet. Apparently, we have neighbours, although we never see them out and about in the daytime. Must be gamers. One of them, Gla’aki, is supposed to be a prickly sort but we’re sure that meeting him with prove revelatory.

Main Topic: Gla’aki

This episode is our latest exploration into the deities of the Cthulhu Mythos. We have devoted previous episodes to Dagon, Shub-Niggurath, Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathotep, Hastur, Azathoth, Nodens, Ubbo-Sathla and Mordiggian, Ithaqua, and Cthulhu. This time, we’re returning to Ramsey Campbell, following our earlier discussion of his creations, Daoloth and Eihort.

While Gla’aki has only appeared in a handful of Call of Cthulhu publications, he has made quite an impact, and not just on the Brichester area. He’s an interesting example of how Mythos deities can change over time. While we’ve seen other deities evolve in the hands of multiple writers, Gla’aki represents one of the largest revisions by its original author.

Gla’aki in all his spiny glory

Things we mention in this episode include:

The Inhabitant of the Lake and Less Welcome Tenants by Ramsey Campbell
The Last Revelation of Gla'aki by Ramsey Campbell


ENnie Nominations

The shortlists for the 2022 ENnie Awards have been announced and a number of good friends of the podcast are in the running. Ain’t Slayed Nobody is up for Best Podcast, to no one’s surprise. Chris Lackey and Mike Mason’s Cults of Cthulhu, which we discussed recently, is listed for Best Supplement. The HP Lovecraft Historical Society’s Call of Cthulhu Classic Prop Set has a well-deserved shot at Best Aid/Accessory – Non-Digital. And TYPE40’s Call of Cthulhu 3D Digital Gamer Props – Masks of Nyarlathotep has been nominated for Best Aid/Accessory – Digital.

Please be generous with your votes!

Scott on Unknown Worlds of the Merril Collection

Oliver Brackenbury, host of the Unknown Worlds of the Merril Collection podcast, recently interviewed Scott to discuss the evolution of the Cthulhu Mythos beyond Lovecraft. The episode is scheduled for release on the 25th of July.

Dockside Dogs now in print

Paul’s Reservoir Dogs-inspired Call of Cthulhu scenario Dockside Dogs is now available in print-on-demand form from DriveThruRPG. Just tell them Mr Puce sent you.

Dockside Dogs cover

We’re back and we’re building up our hoards. All this loot is nice and shiny but it’s not especially comfortable. We wonder how dragons can sleep on their treasure without putting their backs out. Maybe they use orthopaedic coins. Even then, they must spend half their waking hours prying gemstones from delicate crevices.

Main Topic: Handling Loot

This episode is a broad discussion of the role of finances in RPGs. Whether it’s ensuring your investigator has the funds to go globetrotting or deciding what kinds of treasures to include in your scenarios, we delve into it here. As usual, the main focus is on Call of Cthulhu, but we explore how other RPGs handle loot and finances as well.

D&D players look at a hoard like this and see riches. Call of Cthulhu players too busy worrying what those green gems might hatch into…

Things we mention in this episode include:


Scott and Paul on the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast

Our good friends at the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast recently invited Paul and Scott to do story readings. Paul read extracts from “Lost Memory” by Peter Philips, while Scott delved into Joseph Payne Brennan’s “The Horror at Chilton Castle”. You can find these episodes on their podcast’s Patreon feed if you are a backer. Thank you again to Chris and Chad for inviting us!

The HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast

Paul at UK Games Expo

Paul is not long back from this year’s UK Games Expo where he helped out on the Chaosium stand, selling new releases such as Cults of Cthulhu and A Time to Harvest. Thank you to everyone who stopped by to say hi!

Write Your Own Adventure

The latest Write Your First Adventure course from The Storytelling Collective has just begun. This iteration covers Runequest scenarios as well as Call of Cthulhu. Our backers should check their Patreon feeds for a special discount code.

We’re back and we’re waking up. It’s been a long old kip, but not that refreshing really. Dreams of being chased by hunting horrors aren’t as restful as we might like. On the bright side, we’ve awoken to a world as wonderous as any dream. Admittedly, that may be more the paucity of our dreams than any praise of the waking world. Who would have thought that our dream city was Milton Keynes all along?

Main Topic: The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath part 5

This is the conclusion of our multi-episode exploration of Lovecraft’s novel, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. In our earlier episodes (part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4), we looked at the story’s origins and followed Randolph Carter’s increasingly odd adventures in search of his dream city. Now, we’re journeying into Kadath itself, accompanying Carter to, we hope, the fruitful conclusion of his quest.

As ever, we pick the story apart, looking for Call of Cthulhu inspiration. In particular, we spend some time wondering how mountains can tiptoe so daintily. Maybe that extra head helps with coordination.

Things we mention in this episode include:

A pschent.
Titter ye not! Even if you are a shantak…


Issue 9 of The Blasphemous Tome

We are now a month away from the release of issue 9 of The Blasphemous Tome. This is the semi-annual fanzine we create for our wonderful Patreon backers. And what is Patreon, we hear you ask? Well, we don’t actually hear you. We’re wearing noise-cancelling headphones and they tend to block out obvious rhetorical devices.

But still, Patreon is a crowdfunding platform that allows people to sponsor creative endeavours, such as the Good Friends. The generosity of our backers allows us to put a lot more time into the podcast than we could otherwise, from research to scripting to audio production, and we hope the results are worth it.

It seems the least we can do to reward such generosity with a couple of fanzines a year, as well as uncut versions of the podcast, the occasional exclusive audio release, and a few other goodies.

Covers of Tomes of yore

Paul’s unboxing video of the HPLHS prop set

Our good friends at the HP Lovecraft Historical Society have been creating wonders again. They have produced a box set of props and handouts to tie into the recent Chaosium release of remastered classic Call of Cthulhu publications from the ’80s. Paul has been lucky enough to lay hands on one of these sets and offers a brief overview of the contents.

Paul on Frankenstein’s RPG Podcast

Paul has also made a return visit to the Frankenstein’s RPG podcast. In the second series, the team are assembling the perfect science fiction RPG from the dismembered remains of other games. This episode delves into the blood and guts of initiative and combat.