This latest episode isn’t quite what it was meant to be. We started out believing that each of us would talk for a while about our favourite non-Lovecraftian horror RPG, but then Scott went on for so long that he took up an entire episode.


He has been dealt with appropriately

The upshot is that this is an entire episode about Hot War, the post-apocalyptic SF/horror RPG from Contested Ground Studios. As you’ll hear in more detail in the episode, Hot War is set in an alternate 1963 where the Cuban missile crisis went horribly wrong. Everything centres on a London that is facing the horrors of deprivation, widespread destruction, monsters that were once human and the rising spectre of fascism. You could also use 1980s Dundee as the setting with very few tweaks.


Are you sure that’s not the Tay Bridge?

We recorded a second episode, discussing Matt’s choice, but that’s going to have to wait for a fortnight. In the meantime, you could always download the demonstration pack (which, in the interests of full disclosure, was written by Scott) and preview of Hot War if you want to see what we’ve been rambling on about.

This latest discussion is all about skills in roleplaying games, ranging from Library Use to Firearms to the ability to put out a podcast on a regular schedule. We’ve put some more points into this last one, honest.


“What do you mean it’s Tuesday already?”

We ramble on about what role skills play in a game, how they came about, what the alternatives to skill systems are and the ways in which and reasons why the skill system in the latest edition of Call of Cthulhu is slightly simpler. We almost certainly get a lot of stuff wrong, but this is deliberate, as it’s the only way to improve in some systems.


“So I get another 5% in Pilot Zeppelin, right?”

As ever, there is digression, disagreement and diverse and dreadful profanity. Being British, we get a racial bonus in pointless swearing.

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.


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.