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Scott Dorward

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  • RPG Biography
    I've been playing RPGs since the early eighties, including a lot of Call of Cthulhu and Runequest.
  • Current games
    Call of Cthulhu, Monsterhearts
  • Location
    Milton Keynes
  • Blurb
    I write games.

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  1. https://blasphemoustomes.com/2021/07/19/weird-science-in-call-of-cthulhu/ We’re back and we’re playing God. It’s a demanding role but we have hubris to spare! In fact, no one has ever had as much hubris as we do. We shall use our hubris to remake the world in our image! Our hubris will shake the very pillars of the universe! Those fools at the institute told us that hubris would be our undoing, but what do such petty-minded idiots know? We’ll show them! We’ll show them all! Main Topic: Weird Science in Call of Cthulhu This episode is our exploration of the role played by weird science in Call of Cthulhu. From Crawford Tillinghast and his resonator to Herbert West and his ill-fated experiments in reanimation, Lovecraftian horror is built upon the archetype of the mad scientist. Pulp Cthulhu has expanded this reach, drawing in elements of the weird science hero from the pulp magazines. But how does all this work at the gaming table? What can we steal from other media? And will anyone notice if we transplant our laboratory assistant’s brain into this handy gorilla? Listen to find out the answers to at least two of those questions. Links Things we mention in this episode include: The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by H P Lovecraft “Dial F for Frankenstein” by Arthur C Clarke “Herbert West – Reanimator” by H P Lovecraft Pulp Cthulhu Doc Savage “From Beyond” by H P Lovecraft Masks of Nyarlathotep Beyond the Mountains of Madness The Mythos as Science Fiction “Cool Air” by H P Lovecraft Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft (Godwin) Shelley The Island of Moreau by H G Wells The Invisible Man by H G Wells Frankenstein (1931) Young Frankenstein (1974) Lake Vostok Michael Crichton Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton State of Fear by Michael Crichton Westworld (1973) Adrian Tchaikovsky interview Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson Horror on the Orient Express The Cthulhu Mythos skill in Call of Cthulhu The Outer Limits (1995) The Time Machine by H G Wells “A Stitch in Time” episode of The Outer Limits Inception (2010) “The Sentence” episode of The Outer Limits Deep Space Nine “White Christmas” episode of Black Mirror Existenz (1999) The Prestige by Christopher Priest Rogue Moon by Algis Budrys “The Thing on the Doorstep” by H P Lovecraft Petersen’s Abominations The Two-Headed Serpent Narbonic Mansions of Madness vol 1 The Blasphemous Tome Galactica (formerly Air) at Alton Towers The Boys (2019) Keep Off the Borderlands Grizzly Peaks Radio The Good Friends of Jackson Elias Discord News A Weekend With Good Friends returns At the time of posting, we are a month away from the next Weekend With Good Friends, starting on the 20th of August 2021. This is the online gaming convention organised by our wonderful listeners and hosted on our Discord Server. If you would like to offer a game, GM sign-ups begin on the 31st of July. Player sign-ups begin a week later. Full details can be found on our website. Chase rules videos on Arkham Studios Paul and Mike Mason chased Nathan from Arkham Audio all around the place and recorded it for posterity. The resulting videos now provide examples of play for the Call of Cthulhu chase rules.
  2. Glad you're enjoying it! All three of those characters are accomplished sorcerers so it would make sense for them to know the deeper version. And it's Pulp, so it's not as if a one-hit kill has to be fatal...
  3. I really should have listened to it before writing the show notes! Soon, I promise.
  4. I debated something like this with Matt and Paul recently on an episode of The Good Friends of Jackson Elias, although relating to shoggoths. It makes sense to me that the circumstances under which you encounter a Mythos entity would impact how shocking you find it. Seeing a Deep One swimming around in an aquarium, for example, might be unsettling, but I can't imagine it being sanity-blasting. Being pursued through unlit sea caves by a mob of Deep Ones, catching hideous glimpses by torchlight as they close in would be terrifying. Encountering a hybrid that shares a family resemblance to you would be even worse. The fancy dress party sounds like an even more special case, as it would be easy to rationalise the Deep One's appearance as normal in that context. Maybe the SAN loss could come later when you realise they wear no mask.
  5. While at Necronomicon, I recorded a short interview with Brian Courtemanche, who wrote the first part of Flotsam & Jetsam. Brian talks a little about the influences that shaped "The Star Brothers". We also discuss whether his being a university librarian in New England makes him a Lovecraftian protagonist.
  6. With the flame weapons in The Two-Headed Serpent, we suggested that the player character should roll Luck to see if their target caught fire.
  7. If The Two-Headed Serpent wins, I'll change my name.
  8. I use Rolz for my online gaming these days. It's just a dice roller, with some chat functionality, which means it doesn't do a lot of things I have no need of. Roll20 is neat, but it's complete overkill for my requirements.
  9. You're right in that the New York chapter is meant to be a metaplot that twists between the chapters. You should definitely play it out as much as you can, letting your players have lots of opportunities to interact with people at the Caduceus offices. There should be plenty of events to make the heroes suspicious about Caduceus. The campaign starts out with the heroes discovering that they've been lied to about the organisation's true motivations. From there, they are sent out to use what is effectively a nuke on a civilian population in North Borneo and to neutralise a largely peaceful cult in Oklahoma for what appear to be ideological reasons. The main hook, however, is the Mafia subplot, where the heroes are pushed into investigating their employers by outside forces. The implication that Caduceus may be involved in smuggling heroin should stir up some interest. With respect to point 3, there are some guidelines in the text about when the memos about Mu should come into play. If the heroes are poking around the offices early in the game, these memos simply won't exist yet. You are in complete control over when these clues turn up. Don't feel pressured to reveal them early if you don't want to. The heroes have a chance to encounter Rose Meadham in the Iceland chapter, although not in person. She is speaking to the other serpent people in the control room, using a remote video connection. There are some guidelines there for how she might interact with the heroes. Hope this helps!
  10. The default in the scenario is that the investigators retain any taint they acquired, even if they destroy the Earth's Womb. That said, I've heard of Keepers reducing or undoing the effects, which seems entirely reasonable to me. It all depends on how horrible you want to be to the investigators.
  11. I'm not sure I accept that chases aren't part of purist Lovecraftian play. The main inspiration for putting the chase rules in 7th edition was the long, memorable chase scene from The Shadow Over Innsmouth . We wanted to make sure that you could recreate that in your game with mechanical support.
  12. That's pretty much what we set out to do with the scenarios in Nameless Horrors. The idea was that they should all be weird, with no reliance on violence. I'll leave it up to others to decide how successful we were.
  13. You can get the 7th edition version free in the quickstart rules.
  14. Destroying the capstone is enough. That allows the formless spawn to escape, breaking the power of the ward. Someone could inadvertently release the spawn by breaking the capstone without realising its purpose -- this is what happened to the first one.
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