We’re back and we’re running low on dogs. Have you any to spare? For some reason, we seem to be getting through loads of them. They are considered consumables, right? We tried asking the breeder at the kennels but he just told us that we’re barking. And the fact that Professor Armitage only needed one dog to deal with his intruder is making us self-conscious. Regardless, we’ll carry on throwing dogs at this problem until it goes away. We’re dogged that way. Main Topic: The Whisperer in Darkness part 3 This is the third instalment of our multi-episode investigation of Lovecraft’s classic weird tale, “The Whisperer in Darkness”. Last episode, Albert Wilmarth had made a new pen pal up in Vermont, Hnery Akeley, who told him some troubling tales linked to local folklore. Now, things are ramping up as Akeley’s farm comes under attack from shadowy alien presences. Once again, the pandemic means we recorded this episode remotely. Our current working arrangements are like the long-distance collaboration between Wilmarth and Akeley, only with fewer dead dogs. Links Things we mention in this episode include: * “The Whisperer in Darkness” by HP Lovecraft* The Return of the Living Dead (1985)* The Usual Suspects (1995)* The Invaders (1967)* The HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast* De Profundis RPG* Hastur and the Yellow Sign* Shub-Niggurath* At the Mountains of Madness by HP Lovecraft* “Who Goes There?” By John W Campbell* Sound of My Voice (2011)* Scream (1996) News The Blasphemous Tome 6 Issue 6 of The Blasphemous Tome is heading off to the printers. This is the print-only fanzine we put out every year for our Patreon backers. It is licensed by Chaosium and contains material for the Call of Cthulhu RPG. In particular, this issue features a new scenario by our own Paul Fricker, called “Of This Men Shall Know Nothing”, set in the later days of World War II. Interview With Matthew McLean of A Scottish Podcast Scott recently interviewed Matthew McLean, the writer, producer and co-star of A Scottish Podcast. While the name may not suggest it, this is an audio comedy/drama that feels like a Call of Cthulhu campaign. As well as talking about finding the humour in Lovecraft, Matthew offered some fantastic advice about how to create audio dramas. The <a href="https://blasphemoustomes.
We’re back with another special interview episode. This time, however, we’re breaking away from cults and turning back to a topic we discussed in episode 127: that uneasy ground that lies between comedy and horror. Matthew McLean is the writer, producer and one of the stars of A Scottish Podcast. While the name may not suggest it, A Scottish Podcast is steeped in Lovecraftian horror. It’s also pretty damn funny. The basic premise is that Lee, a failed disc jockey, has decided to reboot his career by starting a paranormal investigation podcast. He ropes his long-suffering friend Doug into producing it and the two of them travel across Scotland, investigating weird cases they are increasingly forced to take seriously. What stops A Scottish Podcast from being just another paranormal drama is its cast of wildly eccentric supporting characters. The stories swing wildly between comedy and horror, usually keeping the two elements discrete but sometimes mixing them to great effect (such as in the recent special, “Fish Supper Over Innsmouth”). Be warned that A Scottish Podcast is even more sweary than the Good Friends and that the humour is very Scottish. As Matthew mentions in the interview, however, this has not proved a barrier to international listeners. In our discussion, Matthew and I talk about the relationship between comedy and horror, where the humour lies in Lovecraft, and how he goes about writing and creating the podcast. This last part turned into a general discussion about producing audio drama which should prove informative to anyone thinking about doing so. Links Things we mention in this episode include: * A Scottish Podcast* Trainspotting (1996)* Edith Nesbit* Point Horror* “Man Size in Marble” by E Nesbit* Joe Abercrombie* Viz * Roger Mellie* Saw (2004)* Pine by Francine Toon* Ash by James Herbert* “Sweet Ermengarde” by HP Lovecraft* “Cats and Dogs” by HP Lovecraft* The Black Tapes
We’re back and we’re knee-deep in letters. It’s all very well communicating with strangers via columns in the local press but sometimes you need the intimacy of personal correspondence. This is especially true when exchanging dangerous secrets about the nature of the universe. Sadly, even the postal service can’t always be trusted. Sure, they say that our parcels were stolen by sinister forces, but why can’t these aliens ever take our junk mail while they’re at it? Main Topic: The Whisperer in Darkness part 2 This is the second instalment of our multi-episode investigation of Lovecraft’s classic weird tale, “The Whisperer in Darkness”. Part one offered some background to the story and a poke around the first chapter. This time, events are in full swing and tension is building! Once again, the pandemic means we recorded this episode remotely. We have each forgotten what the others look like. These are strange times. Links Things we mention in this episode include: * “The Whisperer in Darkness” by HP Lovecraft* “Vermont — a First Impression” by HP Lovecraft* Dictaphone* Wax cylinders* Twin Peaks* “The Novel of the Black Seal” by Arthur Machen* Coconut crab* “The Seven Geases” by Clark Ashton Smith* “Fungi From Yuggoth” by HP Lovecraft* Hastur* “The Maker of Moons” by Robert W Chambers* “Skull-Face” by Robert E Howard* Bran Mak Morn* Magnum Innominandum* “Through the Gates of the Silver Key” by HP Lovecraft and E Hoffman Price * United States Postal Inspection Service* The Great and Secret Show by Clive Barker* The Black Lodge* “The Dunwich Horror” by HP Lovecraft* Brian Courtemanche* “The Million Favored Ones” by Lin Carter* “The Call of Cthulhu” by HP Lovecraft* The X-Files* <a data-ytta-id="-" hre...
We’re back with the conclusion of our special interview with Robert Howells about secret societies, building on our recent episodes about cults. The first part of our discussion focused on how secret societies differ from cults and magical orders. This time, Robert offers some items from his research that he thinks may be of particular interest to Call of Cthulhu players. Robert Howells is an author and researcher into secret societies. He has written books about the Priory of Sion and the Illuminati, and worked on a number of related television programmes. Links Things we mention in this episode include: * The Men’s House by Bro. Joseph Fort Newton* Freemasonry* Canonbury Lodge* Rosslyn Chapel* Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn* Continental Freemasonry* Order of Saint Lazarus* Propaganda Due* Order of the Solar Temple* Jonestown* Order of the Knights Templar* Illuminati* Priory of Sion* Bletchley Park recruitment via crossword* Cicada 3301* Rennes-le-Château* Menorah* David Woods* Ark of the Covenant* Bloodline (2008) * Alchemy* Kabbalism* Sufism* Sicilian Mafia* Tongs* Wikileaks* Anonymous* Roswell UFO Incident* Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment* Zen archery* Abramelin working * Necronomicon* <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/17967.
We’re back and we’re heading up into the hills of Vermont. A folklorist friend told us that the nice creatures that live there might make us some surprising offers. There’s a risk that we could undergo a repellent mental change, but it seems unlikely anyone will notice that. The whole thing sounds like it should be a mind-expanding experience that’s out of this world! Main Topic: The Whisperer in Darkness part 1 This is the first instalment of a multi-episode delve into Lovecraft’s classic weird tale, “The Whisperer in Darkness”. As well as being a gripping yarn, this is one of the key stories of the Cthulhu Mythos. It not only introduces the mi-go, one of our favourite monsters, but also draws in a number of other writers’ creations. Once again, the pandemic means we recorded this episode remotely. We have each forgotten what the others look like. These are strange times. Links Things we mention in this episode include: * “The Whisperer in Darkness” by HP Lovecraft* The King in Yellow by Robert W Chambers* “Supernatural Horror in Literature” by HP Lovecraft* A Dreamer’s Tales by Lord Dunsany* At the Mountains of Madness by HP Lovecraft* “The Shadow Out of Time” by HP Lovecraft* An HP Lovecraft Encyclopedia by Joshi and Schultz* “Vermont – a First Impression” by HP Lovecraft* The Kalem Club* The discovery of Pluto* “The Novel of the Black Seal” by Arthur Machen* The Three Impostors by Arthur Machen* “The Great God Pan” by Arthur Machen* “The Dunwich Horror” by HP Lovecraft * The Great Vermont Flood of 1927* The HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast* Black Shuck* Jiangshi (Chinese hopping vampires)* Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)* The Pennacook people* The New Annotated HP Lovecraft by Leslie Klinger* Kallikanzari* Mi-Go as yeti/abominable snowmen* “The Abominable Snowmen” from Doctor Who* <a href="https://en.wikipedia.
We’re back with a special interview episode about secret societies and how they might relate to Call of Cthulhu. In our recent episodes about cults, we briefly touched on how the representation of cults in Call of Cthulhu sometimes more resembled secret societies or magical orders. We thought it might be interesting to dig into what the differences are between these types of organisations. If nothing else, this may offer some inspiration for how we portray them in our games. Once again, we have called upon expert help. Robert Howells is an author and researcher into secret societies. He has written books about the Priory of Sion and the Illuminati, and worked on a number of related television programmes. This is a long and discursive discussion, drifting into many esoteric and occult areas, so we have split it into two episodes. Join us in a fortnight for the conclusion, when Rob and Scott tie all of this further into cults and Call of Cthulhu. Links Things we mention in this episode include: * The Order of the Silver Twilight* Inside the Priory of Sion by Robert Howells* The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown* Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, Henry Lincoln* Watkins Books* Priory of Sion* Alchemy* Sufism* Freemasonry* Order of the Knights Templar* Order of Saint Lazarus* Royal Dragon Court* Freemasons’ Hall* Kabbalism* The Last Pope: Decoding St. Malachy’s Prophecy on the Fall of the Vatican by Robert Howells* The Illuminati: The Counter Culture Revolution-From Secret Societies to Wilkileaks and Anonymous by Robert Howells* Illuminati* Anonymous* Secret Societies* Morality plays * Magical orders* Tongs* Lazarus of Bethany* Horus raising Osiris* Isaac Newton and alchemy* <a...
We’re back and we’re heading down darker trails. We really hope that those are tumbleweeds rolling towards us. That rustling in the sagebrush is making us jumpy too — we’re pretty sure that sagebrush doesn’t usually have that many eyes. For a such a wide-open place, this landscape is getting mighty crowded. Maybe if we read a few passages from this here dime novel Necronomicon we can get through the night without any eldritch varmints making a meal out of us. Main Topic: Three Views of the Weird West part 2 This is the second of two episodes exploring the weird west. Last time, we looked at a couple of other RPGs and what they might be able to teach us about the setting. Now, we’re focusing on the Down Darker Trails supplement for Call of Cthulhu. From our superficial knowledge of the genre, it seems like all this weird west stuff came out of the pulps and Lovecraftian horror, so it’s good to see it moseying on back to its roots. We also take a little time to jaw about the general appeal of playing RPGs set in the Old West, as well as how all this weird stuff got mixed into our westerns. Finally, we tie off our discussion by talking about our own experiences of Lovecraftian gaming in the Old West. Once again, the lockdown means we recorded this episode remotely. We think we’re getting the hang of this. Links Things we mention in this episode include: * Last of the Summer Wine Down Darker Trails * Down Darker Trails* “The Mound” by HP Lovecraft and Zealia Bishop* “Valley of the Lost” by Robert E Howard* The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones* Blackfeet people* “Stagecoach” Mary Fields* America’s forgotten black cowboys* Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown* Medicine shows* World War Cthulhu* Deadlands* For a Few Dollars More The Appeal of the Old West * Donner Pass* Donner Party* Wild West shows* Gudrid Thorbjarnardóttir The Weird West * The weird west on Wikipedia* “The Curse of Yig” by HP Lovecraft and Zealia Bishop* <a href="https://en.wikipedia.
This is the second part of our discussion with our good friend Bence Szlamka about the murky grey area between cults and conspiracy theories. Those of you on our Discord server will know Bence as TRNSHMN, one of our moderators. While Bence is clear that he is not a scholar, he has spent a great deal of time studying conspiracy theories. Our last episode largely focused on QAnon, which dominates the modern conspiracy landscape. In this instalment, Scott talks to Bence about some of the weirder aspects of modern conspiracies, including, mole children, flat Earth adherents, and the role of Jesus in network security. While we try to keep the tone relatively light, some of these conspiracy theories involve unpleasant ideas. QAnon, especially, embraces various beliefs about the abuse, trafficking and sacrifice of children. We avoid going into too much detail, but be warned that we at least touch upon these subjects. In the end, however, this is an RPG podcast, and our focus is to find inspiration for our games. We will be back next week with a regular episode: the second part of our journey into the weird west. Links Things we mention in this episode include: * Anti-vaccination movement* Alex Jones* Save the Children Rallies* Thimerosal* Mole children under Central Park* Adrenochrome* Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson* “The Rats in the Walls” by HP Lovecraft* Praying Medic* John F Kennedy Jr conspiracy theories* The murder of New York mob boss Franceso Cali* Other violent crimes committed by QAnon followers* Marjorie Taylor Greene* The Omega Kingdom Ministry * Dominionism* Comet Pizza conspiracy theory* Prosperity Gospel* Bastard Operator From Hell* <a href="https://blasphemoustomes.
We’re back and we’re saddling up our shantaks, filling our waterskins with space mead and heading out to where the land is weird. For a long time, we thought that “weird west” just meant Austin, but it turns out to be a whole subgenre. Let’s hope we can explore it before the heat, outlaws and eldritch monstrosities leave us as nothing more than bleached bones amidst the sagebrush. Main Topic: Three Views of the Weird West part 1 This is the first of two episodes exploring the weird west in gaming. With the release of Down Darker Trails, Cthulhu has followed the pioneers out to a strange new frontier. We thought it would be interesting to map out some of this territory. In this instalment, we discuss a couple of the weird west games that predate Down Darker Trails. First, Matt guides us through the pulpy mayhem of Deadlands. Then, Scott preaches the word of the King of Life Reborn and the glory of Dogs in the Vineyard. Oddly enough, we also mentioned both these games in our episode about our favourite game mechanics. Once again, the lockdown means we recorded this episode remotely. We hope we’re getting the hang of this. Links Things we mention in this episode include: Deadlands * Deadlands: The Weird West* Savage Worlds* The Esoterrorists* Manitou* Big Trouble in Little China (1986)* Judge Death* The Mandalorian (2019)* The Burrowers (2008) Matt earns his bennies * Adios A-Mi-Go* The Shining by Stephen King* Deadlands Noir* Hell on Earth* Lost Colony* Firefly (2002)* The gunfight at the OK Corral Dogs in the Vineyard * Dogs in the Vineyard* The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints* The State of Deseret* The Milgram Experiment* The Mormon settlement of Utah* Joseph Smith* The California Gold Rush* “Jailbreak” by Greg Stolze from <a href="https://www....
1 hr 1 min
In our recent episodes about cults, we mentioned how social media has blurred the line between cults and conspiracy theories. Phenomena like QAnon display many cult-like attributes but lack formal leadership. We thought it would be interesting to dig into this a little more. As none of us knows much about modern conspiracy theories, we turned to our good friend Bence Szlamka for help. Those of you on our Discord server will know Bence as TRNSHMN, one of the moderators there. While Bence is clear that he is not a scholar, he has spent a great deal of time studying conspiracy theories. Scott talked to Bence for a couple of hours, delving into the darker corners of QAnon, the anti-vaccination movement, flat-Earthers, and other cult-like conspiracy theories. While we tried to keep the tone relatively light, some of these conspiracy theories revolve around unpleasant ideas. QAnon, especially, embraces various beliefs about the abuse, trafficking and sacrifice of children. We avoid going into too much detail, but be warned that we at least touch upon these subjects. In the end, however, this is an RPG podcast, and our focus is to find inspiration for our games. This turned into quite a long discussion, so we have split it into two episodes. Join us in a fortnight for the conclusion, when Bence and Scott talk about some even stranger contemporary conspiracy theories. Links Things we mention in this episode include: * Knowledge Fight podcast* Alex Jones* QAnon* Bill Cooper* The Satanic Panic* The Shaver Mystery* Theosophy* The Protocols of the Elders of Zion* David Icke* 4chan* Q clearance* 8chan* Sovereign citizens* Moloch* Witch panic* Changelings in fairy folklore* Blood libel* Adrenochrome* QAnon Anonymous podcast * Sealed indictments* PACER* 2018 Horizon Air Q400 incident* Apophenia* Jim Watkins* Sound of My Voice* Project Looking Glass* John Titor* Art Bell* <a href="https://en.wikipedia.
1 hr 3 min