The Kult: Divinity Lost kickstarter came to an end on March 31st 2016. Back at the start of the campaign, I put up a blog post mentioning I’d pledged for the Demiurge edition, a unique copy of the rulebook. At the time, it was only advertised as a question mark, with not even a mock-up presented. Well, yesterday (1218 days after the campaign ended), it arrived! It is a question mark no longer.

This edition has been produced by El Artesano Del Rey, the Spanish company that also produced the Luxury Edition of Vampire: the Masquerade 5th Edition. The leather is soft to the touch, slightly scuffed in places (along the edges of the covers, and the raised sections of the hubbed spine, etc.), giving it a “used” or “older” feel, and the front cover features a very shiny metal plate riveted in place with the Kult logo laser-etched, along with the Archon/Tree of Life design. This in turn is surrounded by another “thorny” metal plate, and extra rivets on the spine between the hubs. It is reminiscent, in a way of the Iron Book from the Kult setting. The two satin bookmarks are definitely helpful – I end up bookmarking the copy I use to run games with in several places.

The back is featureless, other than having the El Artesano Del Rey stamp towards the bottom-left corner.

The edges are in red, and when fanned still reveal the same “death is only the beginning” text as the other editions do (with the exception of the Bible Edition). I still think that’s an amazing touch to the design of the book!

The interior is the same as the other main Kickstarter editions (yep, more genitalia per square inch than you’ll find in the normal retail editions!) with the addition of a gold embossed El Artesano Del Rey label on the title page. It’s quite stiff to open due to the nature of the binding, so I didn’t want to force it open too much.

Having the same content, as mentioned, also means that I get to smile when I get to the first of the backer pages. It’s a fine title to have 🙂

Along with the book comes a couple of certificates and a papyrus sheet featuring the Archon/Tree of Life design again. As I don’t speak Spanish, I don’t know what the certificates say, but I can work out one of them confirms this is number “1 of 1”.

While it’s a very nice book indeed, it’s not quite what I was expecting (unlike the pledge description, I didn’t actually get a say in the production in the end, which was a little disappointing, but I think I would have gone for the same choice of leather as it’s so nice to touch), but it’s definitely a unique volume in composition and quality compared to the rest of my collection.

In my mind, I was hoping for some heavier-grade paper, so the book would be thicker (a bit like the Temple Edition was for Call of Cthulhu) and the cover to have featured the pyramid/eye design representing the Demiurge that was used in the recent Kult tarot deck. I kind of wish the metal plates had been sunk into the cover (a bit like the Orichalcum Edition of Exalted 3rd Edition), as that would look a lot nicer, and I wouldn’t worry so much about it scratching anything around it. However, it’s definitely growing on me and I’m happy to have been able to get it. Like I said, who wouldn’t want “the Iron Book” after all?

Just when you (well, maybe just Scott) thought it was safe to hide in the dark – where you thought the darkness could save your eyes from the plushy horrors – something has come to ruin your best laid plans…

The C is for Cthulhu Glow-in-the-Dark Plush is here!

This one’s a pretty short Kickstarter, only running for 10 days (until Saturday June 22nd 2019). At the time of posting, they’ve reached their funding goal.

There’s two size of glow-in-the-dark plushes on offer this time – the usual 12-inch high version to match the normal ones, and the smaller 6-inch high version in line with the baby versions they produced in their last Kickstarter.

This was initially announced a few Kickstarter’s ago, but production went through a few variations before they finally got what they were looking for. This one doesn’t have an internal light, it’s the fabric that glows all by itself.

As with other Kickstarters from the same team, they’re running a caption contest due to close this week (June 19th) with the prize being a free Jumbo Cthulhu plush (not the GIANT one that we terrorized Scott with some time ago, but one that’s about 24-inches tall).

If there’s anything else you wanted from previous Kickstarters you may have missed, there’s a whole bunch of add-ons available too.

Enjoy 😉

We’re back and we’re facing harsh realities. How do we make RPGs feel “real” when we play them? And what do we even mean by “real”? More importantly, how can we ask such questions without passing a bong around?

Main Topic: Realism in RPG Mechanics

Any accusations that we may be hippies are completely overstated, man.

Surely we play RPGs to get away from reality. But even if this is the case, we still need to suspend our disbelief during the game; otherwise, it devolves into even more farce and arguments than usual. But what may feel real to one player might not to another. How do we create consensus and what part do game mechanics play in this?

First point of consensus: we are not bloody rolling to see how wide our anuses are.

In our discussion, we mention the late, lamented podcast, The Sons of Kryos. Judd Karlman and Jeff Lower were pioneers in RPG podcasting, offering sound advice to players and GMs alike. This is the podcast that inspired both Paul and Scott to become RPG podcasters. While their website and RSS feed are long gone, you can still find the complete run on archive.org.

Rules are not the only factor here. Next episode, we’ll explore what makes a game setting real to us. Or at least as close to real as we’re capable of getting. Making stuff up for a living can do strange things to one’s mind.

News

Pad’thulhu Auction

Anyone who has seen the cover of issue 4 of The Blasphemous Tome has already met Pad’thulhu. This most adorable of abominations was created by comics legend Evan Dorkin. Pad’thulhu has stolen our hearts. And then he ate them.

The Blasphemous Tome issue 4 cover

Good friend of the Good Friends, David Kirkby, was compelled to bring Pad’thulhu to life, rendering him in at least three dimensions. The resulting cuteness in clay perfectly captures every sanity-warping detail, drenching them in vivid colour.

You may be wishing that this eldritch moppet was perched upon your mantelpiece, filling your dreams with maddening visions of blood and marmalade. Well, this could happen!

We are auctioning David’s sculpture to raise money for Cancer Research UK. The auction will run until the 14th of March. We hope it will raise plenty of money for a cause that is important to so many of us. Look out for updates on social media. Thank you very much to David Kirkby for donating his sculpture and to Evan Dorkin for starting this whole thing off!

ConTingency

Matt takes a little time to tell us what he got up to on his winter holidays. Not many people would take a pleasure trip to England’s east coast in January. In this respect, as in so many others, Matt is not most people. He tells us all about the ConTingency convention, its new home in Hunstanton and all the wonderful games he played there.

Spotify

We are on Spotify! This means that you can now listen to The Good Friends of Jackson Elias pretty well everywhere podcasts are to be found. We might even be on Google Play, but as its podcast service is still unavailable in the UK, we’ll have to take that on faith. Take your time, Google. You can’t rush into these things.

Google+

Much like the British economy, Google+ has about a month to live. A number of members of our G+ Community have already moved over to our Discord server, Facebook page, Twitter stream and shiny new subreddit. If you haven’t done so yet, we would love to see you in as many of these places as you can face. You may also want to back up your data from G+ before it turns into so much digital chaff.

Other Stuff

Songs

The songs we assemble to thank our Patreon backers may undermine your sense of reality. And they certainly show no trace of real talent. They are, however, really heartfelt. There are two such displays of hideous gratitude in this episode. We are really sorry.

Reviews

Once again, we offer a new iTunes review from one of our wonderful listeners. We are ever so grateful to everyone who has taken the time to post a review, whether on iTunes or any other place you might find podcasts. These reviews improve our visibility, stoke our egos and help us draw more innocent minds into our world of depravity. All laudable goals, surely!

We have something very special to announce! Over on eBay, we are hosting a charity auction for a one-of-a-kind sculpture of interest to fans of H. P. Lovecraft, the Cthulhu Mythos and Paddington Bear. That should cover most of our listenership.

Anyone who has seen the cover of issue 4 of The Blasphemous Tome has already met Pad’thulhu. This most adorable of abominations was created by comics legend Evan Dorkin. Pad’thulhu has stolen our hearts. We shudder to think what he’s doing with them.

The Blasphemous Tome issue 4 cover

Good friend of the Good Friends, David Kirkby, was compelled to bring Pad’thulhu to life, rendering him in at least three dimensions. The resulting cuteness in clay perfectly captures every sanity-warping detail, drenching them in vivid colour.

Pad’thulhu was sculpted in Super Sculpey firm with wooden spheres for eyes, dowel for toggles and lollypop sticks with plastic details for his suitcase. The sculpture is 10 cm tall (4 inches), including its wooden base. You can learn more about the creation process on David’s blog.

After hearing all this, you almost certainly wish that this eldritch moppet was yours, squatting atop your mantelpiece and filling your dreams with visions of blood and marmalade. Well, this is your chance!

We are auctioning David’s unique sculpture to raise money for Cancer Research UK. The auction will run until the 14th of March. We hope it will raise plenty of money for a cause that is important to so many of us. Look out for updates on social media. Thank you very much to David Kirkby for donating his sculpture and to Evan Dorkin for starting this whole thing off!

Please share this post with wild abandon!

Episode 127: Comedy in RPGs

We’re back and we’re splitting our sides, busting a gut and otherwise rupturing ourselves in the pursuit of comedy. It’s rare to find a gaming table where no one is laughing, even if the subject of the game is grim or horrible. Whether we like it or not, humour is a big part of RPGs. We may play Call of Cthulhu to scare ourselves, but more often than not, we dispel that fear with laughter. Sadly, the converse is rarely true, otherwise, games of Toon would end in glorious, screaming terror.

Toon cover

Or even more so, in Matt’s case.

Main Topic

It may seem odd for a horror podcast to discuss comedy in RPGs, but as we’ve mentioned in other episodes, humour and horror often go hand-in-hand. Both rely on build-ups of tension, released by an unexpected, absurd or extreme revelation. And, obviously, both involve clowns.

Unsettling clown

Mr Tickles wants to play a game with you.

We talk about the role humour plays in our games, what it is that makes a game funny and how this can all go wrong. Sometimes we really don’t want a game to be comedic, and while we can never cut out those moments of release, we offer some ideas about how to encourage a more serious tone. There are also types of humour we might not want in our games, and we talk a little about how to address this when it comes up.

News

Matt recently received his long-awaited copy of the Temple Edition of Call of Cthulhu 7th edition. This might be the most expensive RPG book ever produced, and Matt talks a little about what makes it so special. He has also written a detailed article about his new precious, accompanied by plenty of photographs.

Covers of the Temple Edition

Possibly the most expensive RPG book in the world.

As we mentioned recently, The Lovecraft Tapes podcast has been running through Scott’s scenario Hell in Texas, from The Things We Leave Behind. Gabe from The Lovecraft Tapes interviewed Scott about the scenario, Call of Cthulhu and some other, rather strange things. Be warned that this interview contains mild spoilers for Hell in Texas.

Other Stuff

Laughter can be musical, like the chimes of delicate bells cascading in delight. Sometimes, however, it is nasal, braying or discordant, grating upon the nerves, leading the listener to imagine smothering the person laughing, or ripping out their vocal cords. The same is true of singing. We leave it to you to determine which applies to our latest efforts. Once again, we have two new $5 Patreon backers to thank in our own exuberant manner. We certainly laughed during the recording session, although maybe not in an entirely wholesome manner.