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The Good Friends of Jackson Elias

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willmize

Hello my Good Friends!
I just became a Patron JUST so I could get my hands on the Blasphemous Tomes!

Where, pray tell, can I get the download link(s) to past issues in PDF form?

Thank you, and good hunting.

 

- Bill

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PaulFricker

Hello and thank you very much for your support Bill! We very much appreciate it. As a backer you'll get access to occasional readings of short stories ('Weird Whisperings' of which there are two out so far - if you look at recent Patreon posts you should find them - message me if not), as well as several other small backer-only rewards. You will also receive the next issue of The Blasphemous Tome (issue 4) in its full, 80's-style, paper fanzine glory. We issue the Tome as a reward for those people who back us on Patreon - I regret to have to tell you that we're not issuing back issues and have not issued the Tome as a PDF. Sorry about that. Perhaps we should do a best of?

 

- Paul

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willmize

Hello and thank you very much for your support Bill! We very much appreciate it. As a backer you'll get access to occasional readings of short stories ('Weird Whisperings' of which there are two out so far - if you look at recent Patreon posts you should find them - message me if not), as well as several other small backer-only rewards. You will also receive the next issue of The Blasphemous Tome (issue 4) in its full, 80's-style, paper fanzine glory. We issue the Tome as a reward for those people who back us on Patreon - I regret to have to tell you that we're not issuing back issues and have not issued the Tome as a PDF. Sorry about that. Perhaps we should do a best of?

 

- Paul

 

Hey Paul!

I love your 7th Edition Quick Start videos! I would love to see more of those.

And yes, I think that folks would love BOTH being able to get past issues of the Tome as PDF, and also maybe after 5 issues, a Best Of, because, as you know, we are greedy little b**tards.

 

- Bill

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PaulFricker

Thanks Bill! I have another video in the works, looking at the chase rules. Watch this space, but don't hold your breath!

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willmize

Thanks Bill! I have another video in the works, looking at the chase rules. Watch this space, but don't hold your breath!

 

You can't have it both ways! :)

 

- Bill

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evantheracoon

Hello, I am a new keeper who is using the quick starter rules. I have yet to actually run a game, but there is a sentence in the rules regarding dodging that I haven't quite grasped. I will state it here:  "If you are dodging use your Dodge skill. Your attacker needs to achieve a higher level of success than you."What does it mean, your attacker needs to roll a higher level of success than you? Don't you need to roll lower than your dodge skill (half of your DEX)? please advice. thank you.   

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MrHandy

I'm not familiar with 7th edition, but I'd think you do still need to roll equal to or lower than your Dodge skill to avoid a successful attack. If you fail your Dodge roll, and your attacker gets any level of success, then your attacker has a higher level of success than you, and you are hit. If your attacker fails, you won't be hit even if you fail your Dodge roll. Even if you succeed at Dodge, if your attacker gets a better level of success, you will still be hit.

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Chitin

What does it mean, your attacker needs to roll a higher level of success than you? Don't you need to roll lower than your dodge skill (half of your DEX)? please advice. thank you.   

 

I'm not familiar with 7th edition, but I'd think you do still need to roll equal to or lower than your Dodge skill to avoid a successful attack. If you fail your Dodge roll, and your attacker gets any level of success, then your attacker has a higher level of success than you, and you are hit. If your attacker fails, you won't be hit even if you fail your Dodge roll. Even if you succeed at Dodge, if your attacker gets a better level of success, you will still be hit.

 

In 7e, an attack is always contested by either the defender dodging or fighting back (can't fight back against ranged weapons), so the attacker and defender will both always roll, and compare to their skill in dodge or the appropriate attack skill. Levels of success are Extreme (skill/5), Hard(skill/2), or Regular (skill, no modifier). To successfully Dodge, you must equal or better their attack result (defender wins ties). FIghting back, you must better their attack result (attacker wins ties). With fighting back, if the defender wins, the attacker takes damage (in an attempt to speed up combat).

 

Example, Hank has a Dodge of 80, while Azaria has a Brawl of 20. Hank rolls a 41 (a Regular success), while Azaria rolls a 9 (a Hard success). So Azaria succeeds in hitting Hank, because, while his was only 11 less than his skill (compared to Hank's 39 lower), it still dropped it into a different level of success, while Hank's did not. 

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PaulFricker

Hello, I am a new keeper who is using the quick starter rules. I have yet to actually run a game, but there is a sentence in the rules regarding dodging that I haven't quite grasped. I will state it here: "If you are dodging use your Dodge skill. Your attacker needs to achieve a higher level of success than you."What does it mean, your attacker needs to roll a higher level of success than you? Don't you need to roll lower than your dodge skill (half of your DEX)? please advice. thank you.

Have the replies cleared things up for you evantheracoon?

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willmize

Well, because I am a glutton for punishment and possibly a completist, I've started toward the beginning of the podcast, and I'm working my way through them, with special emphasis on 7th edition rules. 

Even though I've been playing for some time, it's nice to hear the Gents elaborate on them, as it helps me as a new GM

Thank you again to everyone (Paul, Matt, Scott), your efforts are truly appreciated, and don't spend my Patreon money on anything non-frivolous.

 

- Bill

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evantheracoon

Yes, thank you very much for the quick and thorough reply.  

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PaulFricker

Folk Horror - what's that all about? Mike Mason joins us in search of an answer in our latest show:

 

Episode122.jpg

 

We’re back and we’re hiding in the hedgerows, weaving twisted little corn dollies and performing unspeakable acts of Morris dancing. This episode is our discussion of the very British subgenre of folk horror. In particular, we’re looking into the Folk Horror Revival and how it ties into the childhood fears of those old enough to remember the 1970s.

 

Mike Mason, line editor of Call of Cthulhu, joins us for this discussion. As a lifelong fan of folk horror, who is just the right age to have been shaped by its heyday, he offers a wealth of information and insights. And, as we have learned at great expense, we should always make acceptable offerings.

 

Mike Mason updated us on a few new products from Chaosium Reign of Terror, the French Revolution expansion for Horror on the Orient Express, is now out in hardback. The new collection of Sandy Petersen’s scenarios (written in collaboration with Mike), Petersen’s Abominations, is out in PDF, with the print edition to follow in the very near future. The revised, 7th edition version of the classic solo adventure, Alone Against the Dark, will be available in PDF soon.

 

[Tracking links redacted. ~ Mod.]

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PaulFricker

We climb inside The Wicker Man with Mike Mason in Episode 123:

 

Episode123.jpg

 

 

We’re back and we’re erecting monstrous effigies, playing deadly games and proclaiming that Sumer is Icumen In. OK, it’s February, but we’re sure that summer is out there somewhere. In fact, as we mention, the cast and crew of The Wicker Man had to pretend that a Scottish November offered the warmth of late spring. We Britons are good at lying to ourselves about the weather.

 

As we’ve just implied, this episode is our look at the 1973 classic British horror film, The Wicker Man. Christopher Lee may have claimed that it wasn’t truly a horror film, but, with all due respect, he was wrong. This is one of the Unholy Trinity of folk horror film, as discussed in the last episode. A deeply disturbing look at a clash of faiths, leading to grisly consequences, it is filled with pagan imagery and nihilistic hopelessness. It’s also a musical, so do sing along as you scream!

 

Once again, Mike Mason, line editor of Call of Cthulhu, joins our discussion. Like Scott and all other right-thinking people, Mike proclaims The Wicker Man as his favourite film. As a result, our conversation gets progressively more enthusiastic and geeky as we lose ourselves in its pagan ecstasies.

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PaulFricker

A great film. I recall doing an interview with the late Robin Hardy (Director) back in Yog Radio #12 (2006).

 

Your browser does not support the audio element.

 

 

Ah there's some nostalgia Paul! I remember listening to that - is that really 12 years ago?!

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PoC

Aye. We'd only just been doing Yog Radio for a year or so by then. 

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PaulFricker

We discuss scenario inspiration and development in episode 124, plus a competition in which you could win a copy of Nameless Horrors:
 
Episode124.jpg
 
 
We have discussed the craft of scenario writing before, all the way back in episode 25. Our discussion then was more abstract, however, covering general principles. This time, we thought we should talk in specifics, giving examples from our own work. Obviously, this means that we are going to spoil certain aspects of some published scenarios. In particular, we analyse:

To explain our creative processes, we talk about the initial inspirations for these scenarios, how we grew them, how they changed during playtesting and development, and what we think we might change about them now with the benefit of experience. We have tried to avoid talking about too many plot details, but spoilers are inevitable.
 
Given that two of the scenarios we discuss come from our Nameless Horrors collection, we thought we should spread the eldritch love. Our good friends at Chaosium have generously provided us with five copies of the book to offer as competition prizes. If you share one of our social media posts about this episode (on Facebook, Twitter or Google+), we will add your name to a random draw. We will probably do this when we next meet to record, on the 24th of March. It is probably best to tell us when you’ve shared something, as automatic notifications can sometimes be flaky. The five winners will each win a copy of Nameless Horrors. We would be happy to sign, inscribe or otherwise deface these books in any way that pleases you.

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PaulFricker

Ep125: Yog-Sothoth! Yes, we explore the origins and uses of this mythos deity here:

 

Episode125.jpg

 

We’re back, standing atop Sentinel Hill, chill wind whipping under our robes, shrieking until our lungs hurt. Damn, that wind’s cold! This is our discussion of Yog-Sothoth, the All-in-One, the Gate, the Key, the Lurker at the Threshold and any number of other names. You can tell Yog-Sothoth is an important deity: he has almost as many monikers as Nyarlathotep has avatars. And while his personal appearances are mercifully few, his presence in Lovecraftian fiction and gaming is strong enough to warp space and time themselves.

 

This is our latest dissection of a Lovecraftian deity. We examined Dagon in episode 98 and Shub-Niggurath in 115. Our overview of Lovecraftian gods in episode 67 and of religion in the Mythos in episodes 118 and 119 also relate. Following our usual format, we look at the origins of Yog-Sothoth, how he developed through fiction, how he appears in Call of Cthulhu, and what we might do with him in our games. Well, other than run screaming.

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PaulFricker

Ep126: Thomas Ligotti's story, The Last Feast of Harlequin. Right here:

 

Episode126.jpg

 

While Ligotti may arguably have written stronger stories, this established his reputation as one of the finest modern writers of weird fiction. More importantly for the interests of the podcast, it is one of the few explicitly Lovecraftian tales he has written.

 

Ligotti described The Last Feast of Harlequin as the first of his stories that he didn’t want to throw away, an understatement that should qualify Ligotti as an honorary Briton. While his work has become weirder and more idiosyncratic since this story, The Last Feast of Harlequin is an iconic tale, mixing elements of Lovecraft’s The Festival and The Shadow Over Innsmouth into something original and utterly nightmarish. It is a fine introduction to his writing and to his nihilistic world-view. The latter aspect makes The Last Feast of Harlequin especially rich inspiration for Call of Cthulhu. We dissect it enthusiastically in search of juicy morsels we can steal for our games.

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PaulFricker

What role does comedy play in your games? Do comedy and horror go together? We explore all this and more in episode 127:
 
Episode127.jpg
 
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.

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.

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.

In Other 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.

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.

[Tracking links removed.  ~Mod.]

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PaulFricker

Ep128: Cats in Lovecraft and Call of Cthulhu, and other games that mix cats and tentacles! Listen here:
 
Episode128.jpg
 
We kick off by looking at cats in Lovecraft’s work. Along with his fiction, we find inky pawprints in his poetry, essays and correspondence. The main works we discuss are:

When researching this episode, we were surprised to realise that the goddess Bast does not actually appear in Lovecraft’s fiction. He mentions the city of Bubastis in passing, but its patron deity is merely name-checked in Cats and Dogs. Her presence in the Call of Cthulhu rulebook seems to owe more to Robert Bloch than Lovecraft. Even then, Bloch’s version of Bast is a very different creature, especially in The Brood of Bubastis. We discuss these variations and how they might influence our games.

Of course, we also look at Cats in Call of Cthulhu and some other Lovecraftian RPGs. There are a surprising number of games in which you can play a cat and fight eldritch horrors. We mention a few of them.

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Cole

Finally stumbled back and found the podcast.  Enjoy it.

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PaulFricker

We discuss survival horror and interview Susan O'Brien of Chaosium about their new boardgame, you can listen here:

 

Episode129.jpg

 

We start out by trying to define what survival horror is, using examples from media. It’s a surprisingly hard thing to pin down. What are the common factors that define the genre and only the genre? Where do slasher movies end and survival horror begin? Who ate the last protein bar, probably condemning the rest of us to death? From there, we talk about how (and if) we would run a survival horror game. Finally, we wrap up the discussion by brainstorming a few survival horror plot hooks.

 

If you hold on until the end of this episode, you will also find an interview with Susan O’Brien of Chaosium. She talks to Paul about the ongoing Kickstarter campaign for their new board game, Miskatonic University: The Restricted Collection

 

Survival horror is all about struggling through situations that would destroy lesser people. The same can be said of any episode in which we sing, such as this one. This assault on your senses and moral fibre is our way of thanking those special people who back us at the $5 tier on Patreon. Just hold tight and wait for dawn.

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PaulFricker

Following up on our episode on Survival Horror, we discuss the 2017 film, The Ritual. Listen here:
 
Episode130.jpg
 
There seem to be some familiar landmarks, however. If we look to the left, there’s The Blair Witch Project. Over there on the right is The Wicker Man. And sneaking up behind us is just about every rural horror film made. What, if anything, makes The Ritual stand out in this landscape?

The Ritual is a 2017 British horror film, based on the 2011 novel by Adam Nevill. We decided to discuss it because it follows on nicely from our episode about survival horror. The book especially is a great example of the genre, combining isolation, a hostile environment, dwindling resources and an unkillable threat. The dynamic of a group of friends who disagree about everything also appealed to us for some reason.

As ever, we offer an overview of the film, picking it apart as we go, then tear deeper into the remains to see what we can scavenge for our games. We also do something a little different this time, comparing the film to Nevill’s original novel.

We all know people who complain about film adaptations, with their rambling rants about how the book was better. It’s irritating. Any film based on a novel has to change and simplify elements to better fit the new medium. An adaptation does not replace the book and merely offers a fresh perspective. Still, it’s interesting to compare the two, looking at what is different and the impact of these changes. So we do. And we complain a bit because we are flawed and complex human beings. Consistency is for insects.

At least some of us will be at the UK Games Expo this year. Expo is the UK’s largest gaming convention, hosted in Birmingham, and runs from the 1st to the 3rd of June. Matt and Scott plan to be there on Friday the 1st, running some games, signing books at the Chaosium stand and generally drifting around like lost souls. Please do say hi if you’re there.

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PaulFricker

Get your shovel and meet us in the graveyard! We're exploring subterranean spaces in Lovecraft's writing and Call of Cthulhu: listen here

 

Episode131.jpg

 

Many of Lovecraft’s stories involve the buried remains of alien cities, caverns best left unexplored or tunnels dug by things that should not be. It’s only natural that many Call of Cthulhu scenarios should build upon this. Or build under. We’re not quite sure how this works.

We try to get to the bottom of the appeal of subterranean spaces in Call of Cthulhu, but the deeper we dig, the more we find to explore. As well as archetypal dungeon-based scenario designs inherited from D&D, we find connections to mythology, symbolism and Hollow Earth theory. We could so easily get lost down here. Before struggling to the surface, however, we find time to offer a few scenario seeds involving sinister underworlds.
UK Games Expo is this weekend (1st-3rd of June). Matt and Scott will be there on Friday, running games in the Cthulhu Masters tournament, signing books and generally milling around. Please say hi if you spot us!

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