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MU Podcast 067 – Blinded With Science


MUP_067_Blinded_with_Science2In this week’s potpourri of hypotheses, Chad, Murf, Dan, and (eventually) Jon brainstorm about how to overcome some of the perceptions and stereotypes about Call of Cthulhu. We also put Lovecraft’s science fiction under the knife, and talk about how to reassemble its parts for your games. Plus other nameless things, and more! This episode was recorded on November 16, 2014.

 

Campus Crier

  • Thanks to Zjivagoth for another excellent version of our show intro. – …. .- -. -.- … / – — / –.. .— .. …- .- –. — – …. / ..-. — .-. / – …. .- – / .- — .- –.. .. -. –. / .. -. – .-. — .-.-.- / .- .-.. … — –..– / .– …. . .-. . / .- .-. . / – …. . / .- … .–. .. .-. .. -. ..–..
  • Kidthulhu! The story of Kidthulhu is a ridiculous re-imagining of the Cthulhu Mythos as seen through the eyes of a 10-year-old monster of madness, accompanied by his faithful shoggoth Shog, and his best friend Capi, The Albino Goat of the Woods with 999 siblings. Boom. Kickstarted.
  • Masks of Nyarlathotep Re-imagined Prop Set
  • Strange Aeons update — project mothballed.
  • Houston, TX psych rock band The Linus Pauling Quartet have released an official music video for their track “C Is For Cthulhu”.
  • Chad went to CarnageCon in Killington, VT. It was much awesome.
  • Dreamhounds of Paris has hit the shelves!
  • Horror on the Orient Express is shipping!
  • Bunnies are terrifying!*

(*Thanks to Max from SoC for the cunicular nightmares.)

Feedback

We got a message from a listener who wanted us to talk more about the 7th Edition delays and how Chaosium is handling their recent backer updates. We read excerpts on the air, but here’s the whole letter:

Hello MUP Faculty.

My name’s RJ MacReady on the forum, and I’m a long-time listener, fan and sponsor of the podcast. I have a question I’d like to share and hope to get your feedback on the matter.

I’m wondering if you can address the continuing issue with the Call of Cthulhu 7th edition Kickstarter project being repeatedly delayed over and over. The Kickstarter was funded on June 29th 2013 and as of now physical copies of the core and investigator books won’t be in the hands of backers till the late winter or perhaps spring sometime. I say that with waning confidence as the backers have been receiving these notices of when the product will be arriving for quite some time now. Last January they said late spring 2014, then from there it was pushed back to Halloween 2014 (today by the way) and as of a few weeks ago they are saying they will be hopefully be shipping for a early February 2015 arrival.

Whether that happens or not only time will tell, but I can’t help but feel Chaosium has handled this kickstarter quite poorly in several ways. Aside from the obvious delays of the books, the explanations given sometimes were odd (the artists didn’t meet their deadlines so they set new longer ones for them.) Also backers were supposedly getting their PDFs on Halloween, but a week ago we received yet another email from Chaosium saying it would be another 2-4 weeks after Halloween so they could bookmark them.

While they have been quite transparent in these matters and conveyed that they appreciate our patience, I feel (and many others do as well) there has been very little by the way of apologizing for the delays and repeated acknowledgement of how frustrating it must be for backers. To add insult to injury the backer email a few weeks ago that informed us it would not be Halloween, but February instead for our books, contained several advertisements within including links to buy other Chaosium products. Not in the best taste when backers like myself have shelled out $100 for a product that is looking like it’s going to be close to, if not, a year overdue. The last thing I wanted after getting that particular news was to give them more of my money.

I realize of course that this was a massive Kickstarter and the scope of the project became much larger than anticipated. I was expecting some delays for sure, but I also feel that when you’ve raised $561,000 some of those delays may have been minimized by hiring the right people to expedite the project, deliver artwork on time and so forth. Was Chaosium being reckless and/or irresponsible with their estimates and promises to backers? What is the proper balance for backers to have realistic expectations and be reasonably patient, but also assume a successful Kickstarter will responsibility satisfy their customers?

Wondering what you guys think about the matter. Keep up the great work and of course, GO PODS!!!

Discuss!

Cryptocurium Spot

We talked about the first Non-Lovecraft entry into the Cryptocurium catalog, The Xenomorph Life-Cycle Magnets!

Side Topic

Here’s a message from Adrian

Firstly, Call of Cthulhu has the reputation at my table of being a ‘one shot’ game. It’s the game that my players might consider as a ‘fill in’ between other games. This brings me to the second reputation of ‘madness and death’. How would you sell a longer running game of Cthulhu to a group that loves horror games (they play a lot of classic World of Darkness, and our chronicles have lasted years) but are extremely reticent to give Chthulhu a chance (that would make an excellent song title – you could see Sir Bob Geldoff grooving with the crowd to ‘Just Give Cthulhu a Chance’ right?).

Second question. What do you see as the potential advantages and drawbacks to a game that might only have a Keeper and two investigators? If this was your group, how would approach this, and what modules would you recommend?

For solo adventure that could be adapted for two players, check out the free book called Monophobia from Unboundbook.

Main Topic

Here’s Jon’s original topic, which we didn’t really cover in the last show:

“My idea is to have a discussion/debate on aspects of science fiction in Call of Cthulhu, versus aspects of horror, (both physical and psychological). Lovecraft used all of those aspects in his work, and different stories accentuated each differently. How do we as Keepers use those aspects in our games?”

Here’s a list of Lovecraft’s actual science writing, for possible reference (though you’ll have to track down the articles).

During the discussion, we mention a bunch of things to link to:

An episode of Blurry Photos about Nikola Tesla.

The 1920s invention of an actual mechanical television, a Youtube video that shows one working, and some more background on the invention.

For Keeper inspiration on contemporary science, the magazine Popular Science has scanned 140 years of its archives into a searchable database. It even includes a word-frequency search function to help you drill down to particular topics.

Refrigerator or Germ-Breeder? (Page 12)

For more inspiration on science and expeditions, check out old National Geographic issues on Archive.org.

Dan posits a possible science-forward cult that could use some of these strange sci-fi inventions, and Chad mentions the Futurist art movement that was sympathetic to the Fascists, as a possible tie-in to history.

And we leave you with a stellar Lovecraftian Science blog with scads of fodder for use in your games.

Discuss this episode on the Campus Forum.

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