We’re back and we’re trying to stop Matt drooling in our popcorn. Listen to the episode. It’ll make sense.

Main Topic: Media Catch-Up – Films

This is the latest of our occasional discussions about the media we’ve been consuming recently. After our earlier episodes about television and books, we’re turning to the big screen. Well, not that big. We’re all still watching most of our films at home.

The three films we discuss are:

Paul: Free Fire (2016)

Matt: No One Gets Out Alive (2021)

Scott: Candyman (2021)

As ever, we pick the films apart, looking for gaming inspiration.

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

free fire film poster
no one gets out alive 2021 film poster
candyman 2021 film poster

News

Issue 8 of The Blasphemous Tome

Issue 8 of The Blasphemous Tome is almost ready to go to press. This is the semi-annual fanzine we produce for our Patreon backers. While we will send printed copies of the Tome to anyone backing us at the $5 level by the end of the year, you need to act fast if you’d like to receive one of our special Christmas cards as well. We shall only post these to people backing us before the end of November. Any later and the festive byakhee might pull a wing trying to get it to you in time for the solstice!

Covers of Tomes of yore

October Horror Movie Challenge 2021

Scott has now finished his October Horror Movie Challenge for 2021, watching a horror film every day and posting a full review to this very website. His post mortem, discussing the best, worst and weirdest picks of the month, is now available. If you would like to talk about any of these, please join the discussion on our Discord server or on Twitter.

OHMC 2021 logo

HPLHS Kickstarter: Miskatonic Missives

Our good friends at the HP Lovecraft Historical Society are in the last days of a new Kickstarter campaign. Building on their Voluminous podcast, Miskatonic Missives reproduces three of Lovecraft’s famously long and revealing letters in book form. Of course, this being the HPLHS, not only are the books beautiful, but they come with reproductions of all sorts of related ephemera. Act quickly, as the campaign ends this Friday, the 12th of November.

miskatonic missives
220: The Tower of the Elephant

We’re back and we’re preparing to pillage. This weird, shining tower looks like it should contain treasures, or at least an interesting story to discuss. There’s rustling in the undergrowth surrounding it, but we’ll just ignore that for now. If it proves to be something dangerous, Matt can rip up one of his rare Magic: the Gathering cards and blow the remains at it. And once we’re inside, we must find out why they call it Tower of the Elephant. Maybe there’s a petting zoo.

Main Topic: The Tower of the Elephant

After spending a couple of episodes discussing Robert E Howard’s life and works, we’re now exploring one of his stories. “The Tower of the Elephant” was the third Conan tale published and arguably the first to really pin down his character. As well as discussing the story itself, looting it for gaming inspiration, we use it as a springboard to talk about Conan in general.

If you haven’t already done so, you may also want to check out our discussion of the sword and sorcery genre, of which “The Tower of the Elephant” is one of the earliest examples.

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

40th Anniversary Edition

This Halloween sees the 40th birthday of Call of Cthulhu. Despite making us feel old, this is a cause for celebration! At Chaosium, the celebration is taking the form of a special 40th anniversary edition of the Call of Cthulhu rulebook. With its leather binding and sinister sigils, this looks like just the kind of tome we were warned would destroy us.

Issue 8 of The Blasphemous Tome

Issue 8 of The Blasphemous Tome is nearing completion. This is the semi-annual fanzine we produce for our Patreon backers, containing brand-new licensed material for the Call of Cthulhu RPG. The latest issue will contain a full-length, modern-day Call of Cthulhu scenario called “Night Bus”, by our own Scott Dorward.

Covers of Tomes of yore

Ain’t Slayed Nobody Halloween Game

Scott is running what seems to have become the annual Halloween game for Ain’t Slayed Nobody. Following the success of last year’s “The Green Pumpkin”, we are improvising another Call of Cthulhu scenario based on listener suggestions. The main theme this time is “Totally Not a Cult Gathering”, with cuppycup, Wes Davis, Rina Haenze, and Joe Trier from How We Roll as players.

The stream goes out on the ASN Twitch and YouTube channels on Wednesday, 27th of October, at 3-6 PM EDT/8-11 PM BST. It will be available on demand at the ASN YouTube channel afterwards, and will eventually appear as a podcast episode too.

We’re back and we’re hitting the books. That’s probably not fair, though. Just because they’re full of boxing tales doesn’t mean they can hit back. And two-fisted stories don’t actually seem to have any fists of their own. We’re beginning to suspect that this fiction stuff is all made up.

Main Topic: The Works of Robert E Howard

This episode is the conclusion of our two-part look into the life and works of Robert E Howard. Last time, we offered an overview of Howard’s life. This time, it’s the turn of his work.

As well as being the creator of Conan the Cimmerian, Solomon Kane, Kull of Atlantis, and the Pictish king, Bran Mak Morn, Howard initiated both the sword and sorcery and weird western genres. In his sadly short career, Howard wrote horror, boxing yarns, comedies, historical adventures, and action stories. With the encouragement of his friend H P Lovecraft, he penned tales of the Cthulhu Mythos. And that’s without mentioning his voluminous poetry output. He was as versatile as he was prolific. While we cover the broad strokes of his career, we would need dozens of episodes just to catalogue his work. As a result, this is an incomplete and highly idiosyncratic summary of Howard’s career and legacy.

Our next episode wraps up this series by exploring one of Howard’s most famous stories, “The Tower of the Elephant”.

Robert E Howard

Resources

Our main research sources for this episode are:

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

Lovecraft in Brooklyn

News

Issue 8 of The Blasphemous Tome

We have started work on issue 8 of The Blasphemous Tome. This is the semi-annual fanzine we produce for our Patreon backers. While the issue is filling up fast, there is still space if you would like to submit an article of 500 words or under, or any black-and-white artwork. You can contact us at submissions@blasphemoustomes.com.

This issue will include our usual year-end features, including “The Ludomancers” and “Episodes of Insanity”. We offer a few hints about what to expect in the news segment.

Covers of Tomes of yore

Owlbear and Wizard’s Staff

Paul recently attended the Owlbear and Wizard’s Staff convention in Leamington Spa, where he played Barbarians of Lemuria and ran Call of Cthulhu.

October Horror Movie Challenge 2021

Scott is deep into the October Horror Movie Challenge, watching a horror film every day and posting a full review to this very website. If you would like to take part too, please join the discussion on our Discord server or on Twitter.

OHMC 2021 logo
Episode 218: The Life of Robert E Howard

We’re back and we’re spoiling for a fight. Well, a boxing match at least. There’s this fellow we met down at the ice house who’s promised us a bout or two. We heard he’s some kind of writer, so his fists must be more used to hitting keys than jaws. Uh oh. Look at the size of him! Is it too late to change this to a different kind of competition, maybe something like writing a poem? What? He’s good at that too? Boy, it’s really not our day….

Main Topic: The Life of Robert E Howard

Following our recent discussion of sword and sorcery, this episode is the first of a two-part look into the life and work of Robert E Howard. A close friend of Lovecraft (although the two men never actually met), Howard was a cornerstone of the success of Weird Tales. He not only added to the Cthulhu Mythos but created, arguably, two enduring subgenres of fantastic fiction: sword and sorcery and the weird western. Like Lovecraft, most of his success came posthumously, his books selling millions of copies. His creations have appeared in films, comics, video game and even the odd RPG. But who was Robert E Howard?

We examine the man himself, looking at how his life might have shaped his writing. For someone who died so young and spent most of his short life in one town, Howard lived a fascinating life. The era of Texan history in which he grew up was a turbulent one, dealing with the fallout of recent conflicts and the shock of the oil boom. These unique circumstances, as well as the oddness of the Howard family, were fertile creative ground for the young writer’s imagination. We offer a brief overview of the key events of his life and some thoughts of our own.

As a general content warning, this episode includes some brief discussion of Howard’s suicide.

Our next episode builds upon this discussion, looking at Howard’s writing career and his most famous creation, Conan the Cimmerian.

Robert E Howard

Links

Our main research sources for this episode are:

Other things we mention in this episode include:

News

October Horror Movie Challenge 2021

It is that time of year again. Scott is preparing to embark on the October Horror Movie Challenge, watching a horror film every day and posting a full review to this very website. If you would like to take part too, please join the discussion on our Discord server or on Twitter.

OHMC 2021 logo

Issue 8 of The Blasphemous Tome

We have started work on issue 8 of The Blasphemous Tome. This is the semi-annual fanzine we produce for our Patreon backers. While the issue is filling up fast, there is still space if you would like to submit an article of 500 words or under, or any black-and-white artwork. You can contact us at submissions@blasphemoustomes.com.

This latest issue will feature “Night Bus”, a brand new scenario from our own Scott Dorward. Prepare to enter the horrors of late-night public transport in Greater London. Things are going to get weird!

Covers of Tomes of yore
Episode 217: genre emulation in RPGs

We’re back and we’re looking at our underpinnings. This can be an awkward thing to do when you reach our age. We recommend finding somewhere nice and private first. Alternatively, record it all in a podcast and put it out on the internet.

Main Topic: Genre Emulation in RPGs

This episode is our discussion of the role of genre emulation in RPGs. How do RPGs reflect the source material that inspires them? Should they even attempt to do so? And how do we even attempt to define genre? While we may not provide comprehensive answer to these thorny questions, they do at least act as springboards for some robust discussion.

Links

Things we mention in this episode include:

News

Submissions for Issue 8 of The Blasphemous Tome

We have started work on issue 8 of The Blasphemous Tome. This is the semi-annual fanzine we produce for our Patreon backers. While the issue is filling up fast, there is still space if you would like to submit an article of 500 words or under, or any black-and-white artwork. You can contact us at submissions@blasphemoustomes.com.

Covers of Tomes of yore

Paul on Frankenstein’s RPG Podcast

Paul made a recent guest appearance on the Frankenstein’s RPG Podcast. He took a selection of spare parts to the lab and helped stitch them onto the ever-growing monster they’re creating.