We’re back and we’re making stuff up. Sure, it’s a bit disjointed, filled with inconsistent characterisation, narrative dead ends, and terrible jokes, but it sort of feels like a story. What do you expect when a bunch of people create it on the fly, all pulling in different directions? Any story there owes more to cheap beer and bad dice rolls than careful planning. If we read this tosh in a book, we’d ask for our money back. Yet, somehow, we’re all happy with it. And anyway, it’s still better than a Dan Brown novel…

Main Topic: Creating Stories at the Table

This episode is a lively discussion of what it means to create stories at the gaming table. Just talking about RPGs in terms of stories is likely to start an argument, and this episode is no exception. What do people mean when they talk about stories in the context of an RPG? Is an RPG scenario constructed anything like a story? And whose responsibility is it to create a story at the table anyway?

We’ve paused our discussion of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath for a few episodes as Matt has been seriously ill. During his absence, we have called upon some of our good friends in the podcasting world to stand in as guest hosts.

This time, we are joined by Gaz Bowerbank, co-host of the What Would the Smart Party Do? podcast. Gaz’s co-host, Baz Stevens, joined us a few episodes ago for our “Everything is Horror” discussion, so we thought it was time to complete the set.

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

Update on Matt

As we mentioned, Matt has been seriously ill recently. He is well on the road to recovery, however, and we hope to have him back with us next episode.

The Blasphemous Tome issue 9

We are busy finishing the text of issue 9 of The Blasphemous Tome. This issue’s Call of Cthulhu scenario comes from our own Paul Fricker. “Step Into My Parlour” is a sinister tale of street gangs and weird drugs, set in 1880s New York City. Everyone backing us on Patreon at the time of release in late June will receive a PDF or print copy.

Covers of Tomes of yore

Scott on You Awaken in a Strange Place

Scott recently appeared with Dave and Eoghan from How We Roll on You Awaken in a Strange Place, a new RPG podcast from Light and Tragic. This was an improvised game that ended up following the misadventures of a team of megafauna wranglers and a strange alien world.

We’re back and we’re lost in reverie. These dreams are really something — so vivid and insistent. We just wish we knew whose dreams they are. Regardless, they’re inspiring us to create strange, wondrous new works of art. Only, why are we compelled to make them with our own viscera? At least we can arrange these intestines to look like tentacles. Yes, that looks right, doesn’t it? So majestic. So divine. Maybe now we can sleep more deeply and become one with these glorious dreams.

Main Topic: Mythos Deities – Cthulhu

This episode is the latest in our ongoing exploration of the deities of the Cthulhu Mythos. Previous entries include Dagon, Shub-Niggurath, Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathotep, Hastur, Azathoth, Nodens, Ubbo-Sathla and Mordiggian, Ithaqua, and Daoloth and Eihort.

We have discussed Cthulhu as a pop-culture icon and Lovecraft’s original story, “The Call of Cthulhu”, in earlier episodes. Still, it is long past time we had one of our usual deep dives into the origins and development of the dead dreamer himself. So here we are.

We’ve paused our discussion of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath for a few episodes. Matt has been seriously ill, requiring a lengthy stay in hospital. We don’t know how long he’s going to be out of action but we wanted to save the resolution for his return. Until then, we’ve called upon some of our good friends in the podcasting world to stand in as guest hosts.

This time, we are joined by Chris Lackey, co-host of the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast and author of the new Chaosium publication, Cults of Cthulhu.

Things we mention in this episode include:

Lovecraft’s original sketch of Cthulhu

News

Update on Matt

As we mentioned, Matt has been seriously ill recently. He is well on the road to recovery, however, and may be up to rejoining us soon. More details as they become available.

The Blasphemous Tome issue 9

Issue 9 of The Blasphemous Tome is coming together nicely, much like Cthulhu after some callous sailor rammed a ship through him. We are currently going through the many wonderful contributions we have received and finishing up our own text. The Tome will go out to our Patreon backers at the end of June 2022.

Covers of Tomes of yore

Alien on How We Roll

Our good friend Jon Hook has been running the Alien RPG for How We Roll, and Scott is one of the players. We are currently riding the “Chariot of the Gods” and it’s all looking a bit grim. Oh well. Our bosses at Weyland-Yutani surely have our best interests at heart.

Episode 231: Breaking the Law

We’re back and we’re on the lam. Setting fire to all those libraries seemed like a good idea at the time but apparently the authorities disagree. We’ve tried explaining that there are simply some things humanity was not meant to know. If there were a better way of protecting people, or at least one that didn’t singe our eyebrows so badly, we’d do that instead. But, instead, we hide in the shadows, living one step ahead of the law. It’s a dangerous life protecting people from Dan Brown novels…

Main Topic: Breaking the Law

This episode is our discussion of the thorny topic of what happens when investigators get on the wrong side of the law. Almost every Call of Cthulhu campaign requires the investigators to commit burglary, fraud, assault, murder and arson. So much arson…

But does this always have to be the case? How should the Keeper deal with blatant criminal behaviour? Is it ever fun for the investigators to face the consequences of their actions? And why is the library on fire again?

We’ve paused our discussion of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath for a few episodes. Matt has been seriously ill, requiring a lengthy stay in hospital. We don’t know how long he’s going to be out of action but we wanted to save the resolution for his return. Until then, we’ve called upon some of our good friends in the podcasting world to stand in as guest hosts.

This time, we’re joined by Lynne Hardy, associate editor for Call of Cthulhu and line editor for the Rivers of London RPG. Lynne has shared a stage with the Good Friends at a number of live events, as well as our episodes about the development of the new edition of Masks of Nyarlathotep.

Lynne with the Good Friends and Mike Mason

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

Update on Matt

As we mentioned, Matt has been seriously ill recently. He is now home from hospital but he still has a long road to recovery ahead. We’re not sure how long it will be before he is feeling up to recording but we shall keep his seat warm for him.

New Releases From Chaosium

Lynne shares news of the Call of Cthulhu Keeper Tips book, fresh from Chaosium.

Submissions for The Blasphemous Tome

While it barely seems any time since the last issue of The Blasphemous Tome flapped its way around the world like a cardboard shantak, we have already started work on the next one. This is the twice-yearly fanzine we produce for our Patreon backers. Issue 9 will feature a brand new Call of Cthulhu scenario from our very own Paul Fricker. Watch this space for updates.

As ever, we welcome submissions from our listeners. These may be text articles of up to 500 words or pieces of black-and-white artwork. If you have any items you would like to submit, please send them to submissions@blasphemoustomes.com by the 6th of April 2022.

Covers of Tomes of yore
Episode 230: Peril in Call of Cthulhu

We’re back and we’re in danger. At least, we think we are. Something seems to be at stake, although we’re not quite sure what. Maybe it’s our lives, our loved ones, or some of this old junk we have lying around. There’s just a sense of peril in the air. Maybe it’ll go away if we spray some air freshener around the place.

Main Topic: Peril in Call of Cthulhu

This episode is our discussion of the role of peril in Call of Cthulhu. Whether your game aims for dark horror or two-fisted adventure, there needs to be a sense of danger for it to have any bite. But how do we engender this sense of peril? What needs to be at stake for a game to feel meaningful? And what are the risks of making things feel too perilous?

We’ve paused our discussion of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath for a few episodes. Matt has been seriously ill, requiring a lengthy stay in hospital. We don’t know how long he’s going to be out of action but we wanted to save the resolution for his return. Until then, we’ve called upon some of our good friends in the podcasting world to stand in as guest hosts.

This time, we’re joined by YouTuber, podcaster and author Seth Skorkowsky. Most of our listeners will know Seth from his ENnie-Award winning YouTube channel, as well as Modern Mythos, his podcast with Jon Hook.

You can hear Seth’s previous appearances with the Good Friends here:

Things we mention in this episode include:

Hitchcock should have stuck with bombs.
Dangling swords of doom are available from any good retailer. Perfect for your next existential crisis.

News

Update on Matt

As we’ve mentioned, Matt has been seriously ill recently. He is now home from hospital but he still has a long road to recovery ahead. We’re not sure how long it will be before he is feeling up to recording but we shall keep his seat warm for him.

Submissions for The Blasphemous Tome

While it barely seems any time since the last issue of The Blasphemous Tome flapped its way around the world like a cardboard shantak, we have already started work on the next one. This is the twice-yearly fanzine we produce for our Patreon backers. Issue 9 will feature a brand new Call of Cthulhu scenario from our very own Paul Fricker. Watch this space for updates.

As ever, we welcome submissions from our listeners. These may be text articles of up to 500 words or pieces of black-and-white artwork. If you have any items you would like to submit, please send them to submissions@blasphemoustomes.com by the 6th of April 2022.

Covers of Tomes of yore

Concrete Cow 2022

The next Concrete Cow will take place on the 19th of March 2022. This is the semi-annual roleplaying convention organised by the MK-RPG gaming club. It takes place at the Old Bath House in Wolverton and admission is £5 on the door.

Concrete Cow logo

Scott on Pretending to be People

After running “Bleak Prospect” for Pretending to be People last year, Scott has recorded another guest spot with the podcast. This time, he ran his Pulp Cthulhu scenario “A New Age of Wonders!”, as seen in issue 3 of The Blasphemous Tome. The first episode is scheduled for release on the 18th of March, with four more to follow. Expect blood, fire, and some lively swing music.

Pretending to be People

We’re back and we’re getting scared. Everywhere we look, there’s something creepy hiding in the shadows. Sometimes it seems like there’s a bit of horror in every game, regardless of the genre. Maybe a nice cup of chamomile will calm us down. Let’s just hope it’s not poisoned. Or full of sharks.

Main Topic: Everything is Horror

We’ve paused our discussion of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath for a few episodes. Matt is seriously ill and currently in hospital. We don’t know how long he’s going to be out of action but we wanted to save the resolution for his return. Until then, we’ve called upon some of our good friends in the podcasting world to stand in as guest hosts.

This time, we’re joined by Baz Stevens of the wonderful What Would the Smart Party Do? Along his with co-host Gaz, Baz has been a cornerstone of the British RPG podcasting scene for some years, offering insight into a wide range of systems and genres.

While Baz tells us he is not a horror fan, he suggested that we talk about how the horror genre seeps into other forms of gaming. And who are we to say no?

You can find Baz’s projects here:

You can also hear Baz on our live seminars with the Smart Party.

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

Update on Matt

As we’ve mentioned, Matt is gravely ill. He has had to undergo a number of operations to control a nasty infection and has spent the past week in a coma. Happily, at the time of posting, he has regained consciousness and is showing signs of recovery. We’re not sure how long it will be before he is feeling up to recording again but we shall keep his seat warm for him.

A Weekend With Good Friends

At the time of release, we are mere days away from A Weekend With Good Friends. This is the online convention organised by the wonderful listeners of the podcast, taking place on our Discord server. The con is scheduled to run from the 18th to the 20th of February 2022.

GM and player signups have now closed. Don’t worry if you missed the deadline, however. There will be pickup games running throughout the convention. Please check the #awwgf-info channel on our Discord server for details of how to offer or join pickup games.

Credit

The image for our episode graphic this time features a portion of a photograph by Klak of Klak, presented under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 licence.