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Paul Fricker

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About Paul Fricker

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  • RPG Biography
    Co-author of Call of Cthulhu 7th ed, and host of The Good Friends of Jackson Elias Podcast
  • Current games
    Call of Cthulhu
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    UK

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  1. Part 2 is now out: https://blasphemoustomes.com/2020/07/07/cults-part-2/ 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. 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. 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: Joshua Kennon’s article on cult beliefs Folk Horror Quiverfull Great Replacement The Wicker Man Shub-Niggurath Cthulhu Dark Ages Cthulhu Invictus The VVitch Heaven’s Gate Eschatology The Idol of Cthulhu “The Call of Cthulhu” Red Army Faction Prosperity Gospel The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers Multi-level marketing schemes The blood of the lamb Crucifixion in the Philippines Mortification of the flesh Salad Fingers Mystical religion Buddhafield Holy Hell (2016) Set and setting Candid Camera: Face the Rear Asch Conformity Experiments Cargo Cult “The Dunwich Horror” South China Morning Post article about North Korea Charles Manson The Baader-Meinhof Complex Symbionese Liberation Army 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. 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!
  2. https://blasphemoustomes.com/2020/06/23/cults-part-1/ 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? 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: Religion in Call of Cthulhu Cults podcast Heaven’s Gate Grounded With Louis Theroux Soul Snatchers: The Mechanics of Cults by Jean-Marie Abgrall Spying in Guru Land: Inside Britain’s Cults by William Shaw Cargo cult The Witch-Cult in Western Europe by Margaret Murray Wild Wild Country Peoples Temple Anti-Cult Movement Parliamentary Commission on Cults in France Order of the Solar Temple How Cults Work Jackals QAnon The anti-vaccination movement Manson Family Aum Shinrikyo Branch Davidians Children of God/The Family International NXIVM Malignant narcissism 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. 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.
  3. https://blasphemoustomes.com/2020/06/09/character-development/ We’re back and we’re embarking upon a programme of self-improvement. According to this pamphlet we sent off for, we can build ourselves up into mightily thewed warriors by killing all these rats in the basement. OK, that technically only takes us to first level, but from there, the sky is the limit! We’re just a bit worried about that thing in the corner that looks like a football covered in eyes. Maybe if we kill some more rats, we’ll become tough enough to see it off. This episode is our typically idiosyncratic look at the subject of character development in RPGs. We look at different ways in which characters can change through play, from gathering XP by killing monsters to resolving their messy character arcs. Not every character improves over time, however, and we discuss our expectations, as well as how all this relates to fiction and real life. 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: Bildungsroman Exalted D&D Dungeon Crawl Classics Sorcerer Unknown Armies Savage Worlds The Joy of Failure Hot War Mythos Tomes Hero Games (Champions, Fantasy Hero, etc.) Kult: Divinity Lost Monsterhearts Primetime Adventures Dogs in the Vineyard Apocalypse World The World of Darkness Cold City Conspiracy of Shadows GURPS News More Lockdown Specials We are still putting out our 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 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. If you would like to submit a short article or a piece of artwork, we would love to hear from you!
  4. https://blasphemoustomes.com/2020/05/26/the-fly/ Following on from our episode about body horror, we thought we should discuss an example of the genre. And what better-known body horror film is there than David Cronenberg’s 1986 classic, The Fly? Despite being almost 35 years old, it still has the power to make people squirm and go a little green around the gills. Assuming you have gills, that is. If not, we can just send you through the telepods along with a fish. 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: David Cronenberg The Fly (1958) “The Fly” by George Langelaan Total Recall (1990) Mel Brooks The Elephant Man (1980) Tenspeed and Brown Shoe The Fly II (1989) The Fly: The Opera The Thing The Dead Zone (1983) Max Brooks World War Z Dead Ringers (1988) Cannibal Holocaust (1980) Tetsuo (1989) “Pickman’s Model” Existenz (1999) More Lockdown Specials We are still putting out our 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 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. If you would like to submit a short article or a piece of artwork, we would love to hear from you! Good Friends on Discord As we mention in the episode, we have a very active Discord server. If you would like to join us and other listeners for a chat, you would be most welcome!
  5. https://blasphemoustomes.com/2020/05/12/disgust-and-body-horror/ This episode is our exploration of the linked topics of disgust and body horror. We were originally going to cover disgust in our episode about Making Call of Cthulhu Scary, but ran out of time. And body horror has been on our list for some time. It seemed logical to send the two topics through the telepods, melding them into a twitching, mewling hybrid of an episode. Once again, Mike Mason, the line editor for Call of Cthulhu, joins the discussion and offers his insights. We explore the role of disgust in horror and how we might go about harnassing it in our games. Then, we move on to discussing what makes body horror so effective. Finally, we wrap up the episode by licking the floor under our fridges. It’s tangy! Once again, the current 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: Paul Ekman Basic emotions Nattō Moral disgust Raiders of the Lost Ark Leeches Nights With Alice Cooper News story about a man with a tapeworm in his brain Tapeworms Body horror The Thing The Fly Re-Animator David Cronenberg Uncanny valley Invasion of the Body Snatchers “The Body Politic” by Clive Barker Evil Dead II Casu marzu Plague of Demons by Keith Laumer Body horror and ableism 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. If you would like to submit a short article or a piece of artwork, we would love to hear from you! News From Chaosium Mike shares details of some exciting Call of Cthulhu publications and actual play recordings from Chaosium. Mansions of Madness Volume 1: Behind Closed Doors Children of Fear Mike Mason on Twitter Chaosium on Twitter Chaosium’s Twitch channel The Dead Within on Chaosium’s YouTube channel A Cold Fire Within on Chaosium’s YouTube channel
  6. https://blasphemoustomes.com/2020/04/28/making-a-monster/ We’re back and we’re heading up to the laboratory to see what we can throw together. There are some leftover eyeballs in the fridge, and an assortment of horns, fangs and claws in those crates in the corner. We seem to be running short on hides, however. Maybe we can mix up a protoplasm cocktail instead. Admittedly, we still need to find a new lab assistant after the last time we tried that… Main Topic: Making a Monster This episode is a discussion of how we go about creating new monsters for Call of Cthulhu. Is it enough (or even safe) to reskin a Deep One or a shoggoth? How do you decide how deadly your monster should be? What kind of stats should you assign? What is the monster doing in your scenario in the first place? And why not just pick something out of the rulebook rather than going to all this trouble? Handily enough, Mike Mason, the line editor for Call of Cthulhu, is on hand to help us with these deliberations. Mike is in the last stages of putting together the new Malleus Monstrorum, and has been giving a lot of thought to such matters. He offers sage advice and helps us brainstorm some new creations. This is the first standard episode we’ve recorded during the lockdown. It’s taking us a little while to get used to doing everything remotely, but we hope the episode still sounds decent. In terms of sound quality, that is. Otherwise, we’ll have no truck with decency. Links Things we mention in this episode include: “Fungi From Yuggoth” by H P Lovecraft Dagon (2001) The Two-Headed Serpent The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath by H P Lovecraft Call of Cthulhu subreddit Dagon ‘zine “You in Your Small Corner” by Andy Bennison Little Shop of Horrors (1986) News Convention Updates In our last episode, we discussed upcoming conventions we were planning to attend. How quaint all that seems now! The best advice we can offer is to check the websites for Continuum and UK Games Expo to see if they will be postponed, cancelled or moved online. Backer-Only Specials During this lockdown period, we’re releasing extra episodes of The Good Friends of Jackson Elias to help you pass the time. These Patreon backer exclusives are going out on the weeks between normal episodes. At the time of posting, we’ve released two, discussing horror films and books we’ve enjoyed recently. If you want to access these and the upcoming episodes, simply back us on Patreon at any level. News From Chaosium Mike shares details of some exciting Call of Cthulhu publications and actual play recordings from Chaosium. Harlem Unbound 2nd edition PDF (print coming soon) Cthulhu Dark Ages 3rd edition PDF (print coming soon) Malleus Monstrorum 2nd edition, coming soon Chaosium’s Twitch channel The Dead Within on Chaosium’s YouTube channel A Cold Fire Within on Chaosium’s YouTube channel
  7. This is the latest instalment in our series on the deities of the Cthulhu Mythos. Earlier episodes have covered Dagon, Shub-Niggurath, Yog-Sothoth and Nyarlathotep. Listen here. This time, the focus is on the blind idiot god at the centre of it all, Azathoth. We dig into Azathoth’s origins and how he changed throughout Lovecraft’s work. Then we move on to exploring how other writers have used and adapted Azathoth (warning: contains Lumley). Finally, we dig into Azathoth’s role in Call of Cthulhu, discussing how we might use him in our games. This is the last episode we recorded in person before the COVID-19 pandemic forced us all to self-isolate. The next few episodes (at least) will be recorded using the wonders of the internet. You may notice that they sound a bit different. Links Things we mention in this episode include: Lovecraft’s Commonplace Book HPLHS replica of Lovecraft’s Commonplace Book “Azathoth” by H P Lovecraft The Azathoth Cycle: Tales of the Blind Idiot God Vathek by William Beckford The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath by H P Lovecraft “The Other Gods” by H P Lovecraft “Nyarlathotep” by H P Lovecraft The Gods of Pegāna by Lord Dunsany “The Whisperer in Darkness” by H P Lovecraft “Fungi From Yuggoth” by H P Lovecraft “The Dreams in the Witch-House” by H P Lovecraft “The Horror in the Museum” by H P Lovecraft for Hazel Heald “The Thing on the Doorstep” by H P Lovecraft “Forever Azathoth” by Peter Cannon “The Haunter of the Dark” by H P Lovecraft The Lurker at the Threshold by August Derleth Paradise Lost by John Milton “The Insects from Shaggai” by Ramsey Campbell The Flying Spaghetti Monster Malleus Monstrorum Richard L Tierney Gnostic Gospels Titus Crow series by Brian Lumley Ernest Rutherford Nuclear fission The Burrowers Beneath by Brian Lumley “Passing of a Dreamer” by Gary Myers “Kill the Moon” episode of Doctor Who “The Colour Out of Space” by H P Lovecraft Elysia by Brian Lumley The family tree of Azathoth Monty Python’s Life of Brian Event Horizon Résumé With Monsters by William Browning Spencer “The Sect of the Idiot” by Thomas Ligotti “Cadenza” by Matt Sanderson, from Covert Actions “The Music of Erich Zann” by H P Lovecraft World War Cthulhu: Cold War Edge of Darkness Doom Patrol Our good friend David Kirkby sent us some wonderfully hideous idols to say thank you for helping him promote his recent charity auction. We are unspeakably grateful to him for this. The idols have now been blooded and we have placed them at the appropriate sites. All is proceeding to plan. If you would like such a blasphemy of your own, please check out David’s website. Continuum and UK Games Expo Back in those long-forgotten days before we retreated to our bunkers, gaming conventions were a thing. People would actually gather in person to play RPGs, gossip, and drink inadvisable quantities of beer. How quaint all that seems now. This episode was recorded just before the world changed, and we discuss a few such conventions we were planning to attend. It is possible that they may still go ahead if quarantine restrictions are eased. They might, however, be rescheduled or even go online. Nothing is certain anymore. We recommend that you check the websites for Continuum and UK Games Expo for updates rather than trusting anything we might say in the episode. Our relationship with reality is tenuous at the best of times.
  8. Listen here: https://blasphemoustomes.com/2020/03/31/more-great-npcs-of-history/ In this episode, we once again seek out historical personages who might make interesting Call of Cthulhu NPCs. We have restricted ourselves to the classic 1920s and Gaslight time periods to best fit your games. This is a follow-up to our first Great NPCs of History discussion in episode 173. That time, Paul and Scott got so carried away (mainly with monkey glands) that Matt never got to present his selection. In an uncharacteristic display of fairness, we let him go first this time and still managed to squeeze in three NPCs. This episode was recorded a couple of weeks before the CORVID-19 pandemic caused us all to self-isolate, so we were all gathered together in Paul’s studio. That all seems like such a long time ago now. We have one more such episode to release before those recorded remotely. You may notice a change in sound quality once this happens. Links Things we mention in this episode include: Nellie Bly Nellie Bly, the musical “Nelly Bly”, the song Six Months in Mexico by Nellie Bly “Ten Days in a Mad-House” by Nellie Bly Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey Ellen Wilkinson The 1913 Suffrage Pilgrimage The Communist Party of Great Britain Communist Women’s International The Black and Tans 1926 General Strike The Jarrow March “The Call of Cthulhu” Franz Kafka’s literary executor The Dead Zone by Stephen King All the President’s Men by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein Red Army Faction Masks of Nyarlathotep Edgar Laplante King Con: The Bizarre Adventure of the Jazz Age’s Greatest Imposter by Paul Willetts Ballyhoo men Medicine shows Tom Longboat Vaudeville The Old Ways Podcast We recently attended the funeral of Jackson Elias, again. This is getting to be a habit. Our good friend Michael Diamond included us as mourners in a recent episode of The Old Ways podcast playthrough of Masks of Nyarlathotep. You can find our appearance by proxy in chapter 5 of the New York season. Type 40 Paul recently met up with Alan and Nicky from Type 40 and learned all about their “artefacts from imaginary universes”. As well as Call of Cthulhu props, they also make all sorts of strange items likely to appeal to fans of SF, comics and other such things.
  9. Special: Parapsychology and Ghosts – a Conversation With Christian Jensen Romer part 2 Listen here: https://blasphemoustomes.com/2020/03/24/special-parapsychology-and-ghosts-a-conversation-with-christian-jensen-romer-part-2/ We’re back with the second part of our discussion with parapsychologist, RPG author and raconteur, Christian Jensen Romer. In the first part, CJ told us how he became involved with ghost hunting. In this episode, he delves more into the various studies of ghost phenomena and some possible explanations for ghost sightings. In the process, CJ clarifies and corrects a number of points we made in our recent episodes about ghosts. We really should have talked to him before recording those! NEWS Further to yesterday's post, just to clarify, the Patron-only meet up will take place on Saturday 20th March 2020 at 7PM GMT, and we will use Crowdcast. If you have not already received the link, we will send it again on the day.
  10. We’re back with something of an impromptu special. Scott recently joined our good friend Joe Trier of How We Roll for a chat about playing RPGs online. This seemed timely, with almost everyone we know going into self-quarantine due to COVID-19. Our discussion covers tools and techniques, with an emphasis on how to get into online gaming for people who have never done so. While our main focus is on D&D and Call of Cthulhu, we do mention a few other suitable games. If the format of this episode sounds different, this is because we recorded it for How We Roll. Joe has kindly agreed to let us release it on our feed. We have simply added our usual intro and outro to stop you getting too disorientated!
  11. Listen here: https://blasphemoustomes.com/2020/03/17/a-warning-to-the-curious/ While we’ve wrapped up our discussion of ghosts, we haven’t quite left the spectral world behind yet. Or maybe it refuses to leave us alone. Once these spectres set their sights on you, they can prove vexingly dogged. We’re going to keep away from any Martello towers, just to be safe. This episode explores M R James’ classic English ghost story, “A Warning to the Curious”. England has an enduring love for ghost stories, and James is the towering figure in the field. We spend some time talking about the man himself and how his work has retained its appeal. Then we go digging for treasure in one of his best-known tales, looking for inspiration for our Call of Cthulhu games. We’re sure everything will be fine. Links Things we mention in this episode include: M R James Whistle and I’ll Come to You (1968) A Ghost Story for Christmas (BBC TV series) A View From a Hill Number 13 Whistle and I’ll Come to You (2010) The Tractate Middoth Martin’s ClosThe man himself Aldeburgh in Suffolk Martello towers “A Warning to the Curious” read by Michael Horden Redacted dates in fiction A Podcast to the Curious “The Stalls of Barchester Cathedral” “The Treasure of Abbott Thomas” The Coat of Arms of East Anglia Rendlesham crown The BBC Adaptation of “A Warning to the Curious” Church grims Black dogs Bungay black dog The boots The Babadook Hounds of Tindalos Ten Candles A Ghost Story for Christmas playlist No Diggin’ Here Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange by Adam Scovell Our folk horror episode “Three Crowns” by The Triple Tree from their album, Ghosts The Lost Crown video game “An Amaranthine Desire” from Nameless Horrors Dunwich in Suffolk News Ain’t Slayed Nobody Paul recommends Ain’t Slayed Nobody, a relatively new Call of Cthulhu actual play podcast focusing on Down Darker Trails. They are up to three episodes now and may branch out into other Cthulhu settings in subsequent shows. One Cut of the Dead on Tear Them Apart Our good friends Evan Dorkin and Paul Yellovich at the Tear Them Apart podcast recently released an episode about the marvellous Japanese horror film, One Cut of the Dead. You should seek this out even if you have no interest in found-footage or zombie films (especially if you don’t). It is full of surprises and pure joy. You should also go into it with as foreknowledge as possible of what you are about to see. And then you should listen to the Tear Them Apart episode about it. Voluminous: The Letters of H P Lovecraft And we have yet another newish podcast to recommend: Voluminous. Our good friends at the H P Lovecraft Historical Society are discussing Lovecraft’s copious correspondence, with each episode focusing on a single letter. And, as Paul mentions, who could be a better choice to present such a podcast?
  12. And also, Scott has recorded two bonus episodes: Following our recent discussion of ghosts in Call of Cthulhu, we thought it might be useful to get an expert opinion. Luckily, our good friend Christian Jensen Romer (CJ to his friends) is a qualified parapsychologist. He is also a member of the Society for Psychical Research and a familiar face to viewers of TV shows like Most Haunted. Listen here As if that weren’t enough, CJ has also written for Call of Cthulhu and other RPGs. In particular, listeners may know him as the author of The Parapsychologist’s Handbook. This was one of the first monographs that Chaosium published, back in 2008. Basically, he’s much better qualified to talk about this stuff than any of us. Scott spent some time talking to CJ about his experiences and how parapsychology treats the subject of ghosts. In fact, we spent so long talking that we are going to have to split the discussion in two. This first part largely covers CJ’s personal experiences with ghosts. Part 2, scheduled for release on the 24th of March 2020, focuses more on general parapsychology.
  13. And here is part 2! Listen here This is the second of two episodes looking at ghosts and how they tie into Call of Cthulhu. The first focused on ghost stories and folklore. This time, we discuss how (and if) ghosts might fit into Call of Cthulhu and the wider Cthulhu Mythos. While Lovecraft wrote a handful of tales which might be considered ghost stories, these were usually unrelated to his Mythos fiction. We debate whether it is reasonable to draw all of Lovecraft’s work into our own interpretations of the Mythos, regardless of Lovecraft’s intent. Building on that, we discuss which canon elements of the Mythos might serve as substitutes for ghosts in a more purist game. Mostly, however, we just argue about stuff. You know the drill. Links Things we mention in this episode include: “The Horror at Red Hook” by H P Lovecraft “The Music of Erich Zann” by H P Lovecraft “He” by H P Lovecraft “Hypnos” by H P Lovecraft “The Street” by H P Lovecraft “In the Vault” by H P Lovecraft “The Evil Clergyman” by H P Lovecraft The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by H P Lovecraft “The Outsider” by H P Lovecraft The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath by H P Lovecraft “The Dreams in the Witch House” by H P Lovecraft “The Haunting” “From Beyond” by H P Lovecraft The lloigor Yithians Sapphire and Steel The Stone Tape Supernatural Ghostbusters The English Ghost by Peter Ackroyd “The Ash-Tree” by M R James The Felix Castor series by Mike Carey Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch “The Terrible Old Man” by H P Lovecraft Pepper’s Ghost Tupac hologram Walker in the Wastes The Walking Dead “The Turn of the Screw” by Henry James Don’t Rest Your Head “Dockside Dogs” Pulse (2001) The Haunting of Hill House (2018) Haunted by James Herbert The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens The Muppet Christmas Carol Henri Loevenbruck Concrete Cow 20 Concrete Cow 20 will take place on Saturday the 14th of March. This is Milton Keynes’ own one-day RPG convention, held in the Old Bath House in Wolverton. Tickets are £5 on the door. We will be there and we would love to see you! Scott on the RPG Heroes Podcast Scott recently appeared as a guest on the relatively new podcast, RPG Heroes. As the name implies, the main subject is who the guest’s heroes are in the world of RPGs. Klaas also talked to Scott about building atmosphere in horror games and whether Call of Cthulhu scenarios need to be investigations. Paul on The Grognard Files Podcast Paul has also been guesting on other podcasts. The recent interview he recorded with Dirk the Dice at Grogmeet 2019 for The Grognard Files is now available for your ears to enjoy.
  14. This is the first of two episodes looking at ghosts and how they tie into Call of Cthulhu. Our original plan was to do it all in a single episode, but we talked too much. Listen here. As a result, this first part is largely us exploring what we think ghosts might be, as well as discussing what we do and don’t like in a ghost story. If you think the answer is “ghosts”, you might be surprised. Next episode, we shall dig more into how we’d use ghosts in our games, and whether ghosts even belong in Call of Cthulhu.
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