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.

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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.

The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath

We’re back and we’re descending the seventy steps of light slumber. At least we can take a breather in the cavern of flame before we have to trot down the seven hundred steps to the Gate of Deeper Slumber. Schlepping down all these stairs is knackering. We’re going to need a good night’s sleep before we wade through any more of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. Maybe we’ll have some interesting dreams while we do so.

Main Topic: The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath

This is the first part of our multi-episode exploration of Lovecraft’s first novel, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. While Lovecraft had been writing stories set in the Dreamlands for several years beforehand, this is the book that tied everything together. As well as consolidating the Dreamlands as a setting, it also fleshes out several aspects of the Cthulhu Mythos, offering insights into ghouls, Nyarlathotep, and the Court of Azathoth.

As ever, we begin by discussing the background and context of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. We then move on to the story itself. Our synopsis is peppered with side discussions about how we would use elements of the story in our games. More than any other Lovecraft story, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath is filled with inspirational hints and snippets.

This episode also features the return of Matt! He has largely recovered from COVID, although his voice is still croaky. Patreon backers can enjoy the full range of Matt’s coughs and sputters in the unedited episode.

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Things we mention in this episode include:

News

Delay to The Blasphemous Tome issue 8

Matt’s recent bout of COVID has knocked back our production schedule by a few weeks. The Christmas cards have gone out and most seem to have arrived. The Blasphemous Tome will follow in early January. Thank you for your patience in what has been a rough month.

Dragonmeet special episodes

Paul attended the Dragonmeet convention in London last month. While there, he took part in a few panels and recorded them. Eagle-eyed listeners will already have spotted the Call of Cthulhu 40th Anniversary seminar and the panel on the new Rivers of London RPG in our podcast feed. Paul also joined Baz and Gaz from What Would the Smart Party Do and Matt Hart from Steamforged Games for a discussion about writing RPGs for publication.

Call of Cthulhu 40th at Dragonmeet 2021
Episode 224: Gozu

We’re back and we’re moist. Between all this chicken custard, cow spittle and milk, Gozu has left us downright sodden. We’ve seen films use 3D, moving seats, and even subsonic vibrations to enhance the viewing experience, but this is going too far. Maybe we can scrape some of the muck off using this convenient ladle. Hang on… Why is the handle warm?

Main Topic: Gozu

Following last episode’s discussion of gangsters in Call of Cthulhu, we now look at probably the strangest gangster film ever made. Gozu is a 2003 production from legendary Japanese director Takashi Miike, and it defies description. It may not precisely be a horror film, but it will probably make you more uncomfortable than most horrors. As in so many of his films, Miike sets out to shock and transgress, but does so here in a playful, surreal manner. There is some weird sexual content in the film, so be warned that the discussion may be more explicit than usual.

Once again, Matt is absent from this episode. COVID hit him hard and he has taken some time to recover. Happily, he is doing much better now and will be back for our next episode. Once again, we have called upon our good friend Dirk the Dice to stand in for Matt. You will know Dirk from his marvellous podcast The Grognard Files, as well as our live recording of “The Necropolis”, with How We Roll.

The Grognard Files

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Things we mention in this episode include:

News

The Canterville Ghost special episodes

As we mentioned last episode, our good friend Mike Perceval-Maxwell organised a spirited reading of Oscar Wilde’s “The Canterville Ghost” on the Good Friends Discord server. This followed the success of last year’s reading of “A Christmas Carol”. Once again, this was a full-cast reading, with Mike joined by Dom Allen, John Casey, Scott Dorward, Rina Haenze and Sue Savage. You can now find recordings of all three parts on the Good Friends podcast feed or on this very server.

The Canterville Ghost part 1

The Blasphemous Tome issue 8

You still just have time to secure a printed copy of issue 8 of The Blasphemous Tome. This is the semi-annual fanzine we produce for our Patreon backers. Anyone backing us by the end of December 2021 at the $3 level will receive a voucher for a print-on-demand copy at cost, and backers at the $5 level or higher will receive a copy printed and signed by the Good Friends. This latest issue features an all-new modern-day scenario by Scott, called “Night Bus”, that leans into the weirder side of the Mythos.

As we mention in the news segment, Matt’s recent bout of COVID has knocked back our production schedule by a few weeks. The Christmas card is going out around now and the Tome will follow in early January. Thank you for your patience in what has been a rough month.

Episode 223: Gangsters in Call of Cthulhu

We’re back and we’re trying to understand the attraction of these concrete boots. They’re not very stylish and even less comfortable. Apparently they’ll help us sleep with the fishes, but that’s how we got into trouble last time we were in Innsmouth. It’s a weird life being gangsters in Call of Cthulhu.

Main Topic: Gangsters in Call of Cthulhu

Our latest episode delves into the deadly underworld of gangsters in Call of Cthulhu. Given that the classic era of Call of Cthulhu coincides with the advent of prohibition and the rise of organised crime in the USA, gangsters have always played a large role in the game. In this episode, we talk about the influences we’ve drawn upon when presenting gangsters in our own games, as well as thoughts on how to use gangsters as protagonists and antagonists.

This episode has the unfortunate distinction of being our first standard release not to feature all three of the Good Friends. Matt has been very ill recently after contracting COVID. Happily, he is on the road to recovery and should be back soon. For this and the next episode, however, we have called upon our good friend Dirk the Dice to stand in for Matt. You will know Dirk from his marvellous podcast The Grognard Files, as well as our live recording of “The Necropolis”, with How We Roll.

The Grognard Files

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

dockside dogs

News

Issue 8 of The Blasphemous Tome

There is still just time to secure a printed copy of Issue 8 of The Blasphemous Tome. This is the semi-annual fanzine we produce for our Patreon backers. Anyone backing us by the end of the year at the $3 level will receive a voucher for a print-on-demand copy at cost, and backers at the $5 level or higher will receive a copy printed and signed by the Good Friends. This latest issue features an all-new modern-day scenario by Scott, called “Night Bus”, that leans heavily into the weirder side of the Mythos.

Reissue of The Blasphemous Tome 1

Speaking of Tomes, we have recently reissued the first Blasphemous Tome. All backers can now download a PDF of issue 1 from our Patreon feed. Additionally, anyone backing us at the $3 level or higher before the end of 2021 will receive vouchers for print-on-demand copies of issues 1 and 7.

Issue 1 features a rare thing — a scenario written by all three of the Good Friends. “The Thing From the Shed” can be run using Call of Cthulhu or any OSR game, and involves plenty of icky body horror. Issue 7 features Matt’s sun-drenched scenario, “The Blue”, uncovering horrors beneath the crystal waters of Bermuda.

The Blasphemous Tome issue 1

The Canterville Ghost on the Good Friends Discord

Following the success of last year’s reading of “A Christmas Carol”, Mike Perceval-Maxwell is organising another Christmas ghost story on the Good Friends Discord server. Mike will be joined by Dom Allen, John Casey, Scott Dorward, Rina Haenze and Sue Savage for a spirited rendition of Oscar Wilde’s “The Canterville Ghost”. We will read the story live over three evenings — the 13th, 14th and 16th of December, at 22:30. Each reading will take approximately 30 minutes.

If all goes well, we shall release recordings of each episode on the Good Friends podcast feed, for those who can’t make the live events.

“We Will Remember Them” on Spectre in the Fog

Our good friend Robin has been running an actual play of Paul’s scenario “We Will Remember Them” for the Spectre in the Fog podcast. This tense tale of heroism and body horror is plucked from the World War Cthulhu scenario collection Europe Ablaze.

spectre in the fog podcast logo

New Arcs on Grizzly Peaks and How We Roll

And speaking of actual plays, two of the podcasts Scott appears on have begun new arcs recently. Grizzly Peaks Radio has just started a playthrough of a modified version of “Ghost Jackal Kill”, from an ancient issue of White Dwarf magazine, featuring the lovable old codgers from “The Surrey Enigma”.

Scott has also just started running “Inheritance” — chapter two of the Flotsam and Jetsam campaign — for How We Roll. Our all-star cast of Joe and Eoghan from How We Roll, Veronica from Cthulhu and Friends, and Seth Skorkowsky has grown! We have now been joined by special guest Adrian Tchaikovsky, who has volunteered to steer our investigators through the deadly streets of Innsmouth.