Issue 5.5 of The Blasphemous Tome is now available!

This is the interim digital edition of the fanzine that we create for Patreon backers of The Good Friends of Jackson Elias podcast. It contains articles about RPGs, horror films and weird fiction, not to mention plenty of sanity-blasting artwork and original content for the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game.

Everyone backing us via Patreon gain access to a PDF copy of the Tome.

Featured in this issue is a new Call of Cthulhu scenario by our very own Scott Dorward, titled “The Murder Shack”.

Last year, a gruesome mass murder occurred in a remote woodland cabin. A group of innocent people were gutted with an old farm implement and their murderer took his own life. Now, a stranger has appeared saying that she has a message from beyond the grave, saying all is not as it seems. What is the terrible secret of the Murder Shack? Is history doomed to repeat? And is everything there as dead as it appears to be?

The cover comes from our good friend Jonathan Wyke, whose work adorns many of our past issues. We also have illustrations from some favourite eldritch artists, including Danial Carroll, Evan Dorkin, Lucy Fricker, Nefeli Mandilaras and John Sumrow.

Other articles in this issue include:

  • A Brief History of Dunwich
    • Matt tells us the secrets of the real Dunwich
  • The Thorned Ones
    • Danial Carroll offers a sinister twist on the monster we created in our episode on Making a Monster
  • The Murder Shack
    • A brand new, full-length Call of Cthulhu scenario by Scott Dorward
  • The Impossible Barber
    • Grant Dowell mutates another logical paradox into cosmic horror
  • Rudimentary Peni
    • Piers Connolly explores whether music can be a form of Lovecraftian horror
  • Secrets of Milton Keynes
    • Scott offers more unwholesome insight into the spiritual home of the Good Friends
Tomes from years gone by

Please note that we do not sell copies of The Blasphemous Tome. It is purely a reward for the wonderful people who back us via Patreon.

The Blasphemous Tome is licensed for the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game by Chaosium, inc.

We’re back and we’re preparing for the end. Prophecy, in the form of our recording schedule, warned us that this day would come. Admittedly, our calculations did initially place the release date for this episode as a Saturday afternoon in late 1844. Prophecies are tricky things and arithmetic even more so. Still, this hasn’t dented our faith, and we are now ready to ascend. Or wrap up this series of episodes. One of the two. We’d better sort out this confusion before we do anything too irreversible…

Main Topic: Cults part 4

This is the conclusion of our discussion of real-world cults and how they might inspire Call of Cthulhu games. We wrap things up by looking at why people stay in cults, how they might break away, and what could happen to those who do.

Once again, the lockdown means we recorded this episode remotely. We hope that we’re getting the hang of making this sound all right. It’s far from the biggest problem current circumstances have presented, but it’s still a challenge.

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

Audio Quality

Since we started recording remotely, we’ve struggled a bit with audio quality. Scott’s Blue Snowball microphone, in particular, has been malfunctioning in alarming ways. With the lockdown easing a little, we managed a brief socially distanced meeting in which we distributed the equipment we’d used when we recorded in person. As a result, you should hear a marked improvement as of this episode.

Oh, KMS 105, how we’ve missed you!

The Good Friends of Jacks-Con Elias

A few weeks ago, our wonderful listeners organised a virtual convention in our name! There were over 50 games run and around 120 players. Thank you very much to Orbital Axolotl for kicking the whole thing off and to TRNSHMN and IPwndMSCS on our Discord server for running it all so smoothly!

Scott on Expedition to the Grizzly Peaks

Scott recently recorded a substantial interview with Andy Goodman of the Expedition to the Grizzly Peaks podcast. The discussion covered Scott’s background in gaming and the various Call of Cthulhu projects he has worked on over the past 10 years or so. Do check out the other episodes, including actual plays of Masks of Nyarlathotep and “Blackwater Creek”.

More Lockdown Specials

We are still releasing fortnightly lockdown specials, discussing films, books and television you might find inspirational in your gaming lives. If you are backing us on Patreon, check your feed. Otherwise, backing us at any level will grant you instant access to the back catalogue.

We’re back and we’re accepting an enticing invitation. Apparently, if we accompany our new friends back to their commune, they’ll give us dinner and share the secrets of the universe with us. We’re more interested in the food, but who are we to turn down some free enlightenment? The meal smells lovely too. It’s roast pork of some kind, although the cuts look unusual. Still, best tuck in and fuel up for the initiation ritual later.

Main Topic: Cults part 3

We are continuing our discussion of real-world cults and how they might inspire Call of Cthulhu games. This time, we’re exploring how cults draw people in and what kind of people they attempt to recruit. Based on the anecdotes we share, the answer seems to be “Paul and Scott”.

Once again, this is a slightly longer episode than usual, mixing together elements from the recording misadventures we mentioned last time.

Once again, the lockdown means we recorded this episode remotely. We hope that we’re getting the hang of making this sound all right. It’s far from the biggest problem current circumstances have presented, but it’s still a challenge.

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

Pictured: irony

News

Full Fathom Five

Paul has a new Call of Cthulhu scenario coming soon to the Miskatonic Repository. “Full Fathom Five” is an unusual adventure set aboard a whaling ship in the 19th century. As well as blood and sea slime, it drips with period detail. It should appear on DriveThruRPG by the end of the month. Watch our Twitter feed for more details.

Featuring a cover and internal art by John Sumrow

Masks of Nyarlathotep on How We Roll

The end is nigh! As many of you may know, Scott has been running his prelude chapter from Masks of Nyarlathotep for an all-star cast on How We Roll. The players include Veronica from Cthulhu and Friends, Keeper Murph from The Miskatonic University Podcast, Seth Skorkowsky, and Eoghan and Joe from How We Roll. Well, we are now in the final stretch. The final episodes will be appearing in the HWR feed over the course of the next month or two. Now is a great time to start catching up if you haven’t already done so!

The Blasphemous Tome Issue 5.5

We are currently putting together issue 5.5 of The Blasphemous Tome. This is an interim digital edition of the fanzine we publish for our Patreon backers. Issue 5.5 will contain a number of pieces we couldn’t fit into our last print edition, along with all-new articles and artwork. It will also feature a new Call of Cthulhu scenario by Scott, titled “The Murder Shack”. Anyone backing us at the time of release (expected to be early July) will receive a PDF copy.

The Murder Shack claims another victim

More Lockdown Specials

We are still releasing fortnightly lockdown specials, discussing films, books and television you might find inspirational in your gaming lives. If you are backing us on Patreon, check your feed. Otherwise, backing us at any level will grant you instant access to the back catalogue.

We’re back and we’re examining our beliefs. Everyone believes things that seem weird to other people. Whether this is that a dead god speaks to us in our dreams or that podcasting is a serious career, others may be bemused or horrified when we express it. Most of the time, however, these beliefs don’t impact others (although our sacred tenet that we should only bathe during solar eclipses has cut down on party invitations). When a cult forms around such beliefs, however, things might become more sinister. Probably no more fragrant, however.

Main Topic: Cults part 2

We are continuing our discussion of real-world cults and how they might relate to Call of Cthulhu. This time, we delve into the kinds of belief systems cults build themselves around. In the process, we cover some unusual variations, from terrorist groups to multi-level marketing firms. We try very hard not to conflate the two.

Perceptive listeners will notice that this episode is a little longer than usual. There is a story behind this…

We meet (online, these days) once a month to record our standard episodes. Usually, this gap doesn’t present any problems, as our episodes tend to be on discreet subjects. The longer runs are either heavily scripted, as in At the Mountains of Madness, or broken into subtopics, like The King in Yellow. With the cults episodes, we are just working to a single page of bullet points, bringing our own research and experiences to the conversation.

While we go into some detail about Paul and Matt’s experiences with a certain cult-like organisation, we are once again very cagey about names. Sorry! We can’t afford to get sued!

Well, during the last month, we lost our place in our notes and completely forgot where we had got to. Paul and Scott are old, and so have an excuse for poor memories, but we are very disappointed in Matt!

All this means that we ended up talking about some of the same things in episodes 2 and 3. To save on redundancy, we have edited two recordings together into a single episode, removing repeated talking points and anecdotes. The two recordings aren’t exactly duplicates, however. The unedited versions going out to Patreon backers will have plenty of juicy material that didn’t make it into either episode.

Once again, the lockdown means we recorded this episode remotely. We hope that we’re getting the hang of making this sound all right. It’s far from the biggest problem current circumstances have presented, but it’s still a challenge.

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

All praise this mysterious object from David Kirkby!

Patty Hearst was not your average cultist for many reasons.

News

The Blasphemous Tome Issue 5.5

We are currently putting together issue 5.5 of The Blasphemous Tome. This is an interim digital edition of the fanzine we publish for our Patreon backers. Issue 5.5 will contain a number of pieces we couldn’t fit into our last print edition, along with all-new articles and artwork. It will also feature a new Call of Cthulhu scenario by Scott, titled “The Murder Shack”. Anyone backing us at the time of release (expected to be early July) will receive a PDF copy.

The Murder Shack claims another victim

More Lockdown Specials

We are still releasing fortnightly lockdown specials, discussing films, books and television you might find inspirational in your gaming lives. If you are backing us on Patreon, check your feed. Otherwise, backing us at any level will grant you instant access to the back catalogue.

The Good Friends of Jacks-Con Elias

Our wonderful listeners over on our Discord server are putting together an online gaming convention in our honour! The Good Friends of Jacks-Con Elias will take place over the 10th-12th of July, with game slots running around the clock. Everyone is welcome to come and join in.

You can find out more details on this very website, or, better still, join our Discord server and take an active role. Thank you very much to Orbital Axolotl for coming up with this and bringing it together, and to everyone else who has chipped in with logistical support, ideas and games!

We’re back and we’re preparing for Ascension. All right, we’re not entirely sure what Ascension involves, but it certainly sounds exciting. Our glorious leader, the beacon of effulgent wisdom that he is, assures us that the flame of enlightenment awaits us all. We merely have to follow his instructions precisely and question nothing. We have faith that this can only lead to wonderful things. Um. Yes. Wonderful things. Now, where’s that smell of smoke coming from?

Main Topic: Cults part 1

This is the first of a multi-episode look at cults in the real world and how (and even if) they relate to what we see in Call of Cthulhu. Over the course of this series, we will discuss what kind of person forms a cult, how cults recruit, how they indoctrinate their members and what kinds of things they might believe.

This episode is largely taken up with trying to pin down what a cult is. Trying to do so proved contentious, especially as “cult” is such a loaded term. No organisation in the modern day would willingly call itself a cult, and some fight hard against the label. But why is it such a pejorative term? And are people right to be afraid of organisations they consider cults?

Sometimes, absolutely, yes.

Once again, the lockdown means we recorded this episode remotely. We hope that we’re getting the hang of making this sound all right. It’s far from the biggest problem current circumstances have presented, but it’s still a challenge.

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

The Blasphemous Tome Issue 5.5

We are currently putting together issue 5.5 of The Blasphemous Tome. This is an interim digital edition of the fanzine we publish for our Patreon backers. Issue 5.5 will contain a number of pieces we couldn’t fit into our last print edition, along with all-new articles and artwork. It will also feature a new Call of Cthulhu scenario by Scott, titled “The Murder Shack”. Anyone backing us at the time of release (expected to be early July) will receive a PDF copy.

The Murder Shack claims another victim

More Lockdown Specials

We are still releasing fortnightly lockdown specials, discussing films, books and television you might find inspirational in your gaming lives. If you are backing us on Patreon, check your feed. Otherwise, backing us at any level will grant you instant access to the back catalogue.

Matt on Roll to Save

Matt recently appeared on the latest episode of the Roll to Save podcast, discussing his love of Vampire: the Masquerade. He will also be returning in a later episode to discuss Paranoia. We assume he means the RPG. At least that’s what they tell us.

The Good Friends of Jacks-Con Elias

Our wonderful listeners over on our Discord server are putting together an online gaming convention in our honour! The Good Friends of Jacks-Con Elias will take place over the 10th-12th of July, with game slots running around the clock. Everyone is welcome to come and join in.

You can find out more details on this very website, or, better still, join our Discord server and take an active role. Thank you very much to Orbital Axolotl for coming up with this and bringing it together, and to everyone else who has chipped in with logistical support, ideas and games!

Scott in Trebuchet Magazine

Scott has an article in issue 8 of Trebuchet Magazine, due out in July. The theme of the issue is Contemporary Surrealism. His article, titled “Lovecraft, Artificial Intelligence, and the Limits of Human Imagination”, is a playful piece about the role AI weirdness might play in bringing Lovecraftian madness into the real world.

If you would like to try a digital issue of Trebuchet, simply order one from their website and enter the code CORONA2020 at checkout to get it free of charge. Assuming this impresses you as much as we think it will, you can then pre-order a print copy of issue 8 at a discount — £10 (instead of £14) in the UK and £15 (Instead of £19.50) everywhere else. This is a 180-page, full-colour arts magazine, and promises to be a thing of beauty.

New Kult: Divinity Lost Kickstarter

Matt has a scenario in the upcoming Screams and Whispers anthology for Kult: Divinity Lost. This book, along with many other goodies, is currently being Kickstarted by Helmgast. The campaign finishes on the 2nd of July, so act quickly if you would like to back it!