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.

We’re back and we’re trying to work out how to cook this shantak egg we bought. Boiling it seemed practical until we realised we’d need a pot as large as a house. Frying poses similar problems unless we can work out how to convert a radio telescope dish into a wok. Scrambling seems like the best option as we can do that in batches. Now, how do we get into this shell? Anyone have a jackhammer handy?

Main Topic: The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath part 3

This is the third of our multi-episode exploration of Lovecraft’s first novel, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. In our first two episodes (part 1 and part 2), we looked at the story’s origins and followed Randolph Carter’s increasingly odd adventures. Now, we’re deep into the story and things aren’t getting any less weird.

As ever, we pick the story apart, looking for Call of Cthulhu inspiration. There’s also some debate about the metaphysics of dreamland. And we spend far too long arguing about how dark a journey to the moon might be.

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

A Weekend With Good Friends

A Weekend With Good Friends is approaching fast. 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 signups have now closed and we have around 130 games on offer, spanning 50 game systems. Don’t worry if you missed the deadline — you will be able to offer pickup games throughout the convention.

Player signups open on the 4th of February. Check the main convention page for a link to the signup form once they do.

Unsettling Art

Neal Stanifer very generously sent us two amazing pieces of artwork created by his brother. You can hear our reactions to seeing them for the first time in this episode. Those are screams of delight, we promise you.

Thank you very much to both the Stanifer brothers for their generosity and desire to unsettle us!

We’re back and we’re visiting the dark side of the moon. Not the most popular tourist attraction, but it does have its charms. The leprous-looking coast and fields of white fungi are particular highlights. We just wish that this guest house had windows. Still, it’s giving us an authentic insight into moon-beast culture. Plus, the solid stone walls are helping drown out the loathsome sound of those disgusting flutes. Don’t they ever clean the spit valves out?

Main Topic: The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath part 2

This is the second part of our multi-episode exploration of Lovecraft’s first novel, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. In our first episode, we looked at the book’s origins and development, as well as the start of the story itself. Now, we’re deep into the narrative and and things are getting strange

With Randolph Carter now sailing the dark side of the moon, we’re moving into some of the more fantastical parts of the novel. As ever, we mine all this moon rock for gaming inspiration, as well as discussing how the story has shaped so much of Call of Cthulhu.

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

A Weekend With Good Friends

The next Weekend With Good Friends is approaching fast. This is the online convention organised by the wonderful listeners of the podcast. The con is scheduled to run from the 18th to the 20th of February 2022.

While the focus is on Call of Cthulhu, we’ve already had game offerings covering a wide range of systems. Last time, we had over 120 games and hundreds of players, so expect plenty of variety and excitement.

If you are interested in running a game, you have until the 27th of January to submit it. Don’t worry if you miss the deadline, however — there will be plenty of pickup games running throughout the convention.

The Blasphemous Tome issue 8

Matt’s recent bout of COVID knocked back our production schedule by a few weeks, but The Blasphemous Tome is now winging its way across the globe! Thank you for your patience in what has been a rough time.

The Blasphemous Tome issue 8 cover

Dockside Dogs Revised

Paul has revised “Dockside Dogs”, his modern-day gangster scenario, updating it for Call of Cthulhu 7th edition. You can find it on the Miskatonic Repository.