MUP Episode 170 – The Glamorous Gatsby


This episode Jon, Murph, and guest Jenn Martin talk about running Gatsby and the great Race. This episode was recorded on March 28, 2019.

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Lovecraft created his “shadowy congeners” because the stories of vampires, werewolves, and ghosts had become too familiar. Now, his own monstrous races seem like comfortable story furniture too. In Hideous Creatures: A Bestiary of the Cthulhu Mythos for the Trail of Cthulhu RPG, Pelgrane Press brings the horror back to Lovecraft’s monsters, blurring boundaries and erasing certainties in the name of the uncanny. These creatures are adventures by themselves, leaving physical traces, occult clues and madness in their eldritch wake.

Hideous Creatures: A Bestiary of the Cthulhu Mythos features 31 full creature write-ups, including nine mythos monsters that have never taken stat-block form in any game! Get 10% off the pre-order in the Pelgrane Press webstore with the voucher code MISKUPOD2019.

Campus Crier

  • Chaosium has announced that Lynne Hardy will now serve as permanent Associate Line Editor for Call of Cthulhu. Congratulations Lynne!
  • Wilum Hopfrog Pugmyr, celebrated author and creator of the Sequa Valley and the weird tales therein, has also passed away. Wilum died on March 26 after suffering a heart attack the week prior. Rest in peace, Willum.
  • The internet is freaking out about the New Jersey high school play of “Alien.” Clips are totally awesome.
  • According to small press The Sons of the Singularity, an official with the Chinese government has ordered an entire print run of The Sassoon Files to be destroyed. We mentioned the  kickstarted Call of Cthulhu supplement that is set in 1920s Shanghai a few episodes ago. Like a lot of publishers, they chose to print their work in China. In a video on YouTube, one of the creators, Jesse Covner, announced that their printer contacted the creators to say there was a “sensitive issue” with books’ content, and government officials ordered all copies destroyed by the next day. Jesse initially said “burned,” but later corrected and said they were likely pulped. The words “burned” and “incinerated” have been repeated in media coverage despite the creator’s correction. There’s two separate issues going on here. One is the Chinese government’s suppression of free expression, which has been worsening for more than a decade, is very serious, and has an astronomically larger effect on Chinese creators than those with expat privileges looking for a cheap printer. The government’s crackdown on free expression can’t be justified. Full stop. It’s far from the first time China has targeted a foreign creator for censorship.Likely reasons cited by Conver himself include photos of Chinese historical figures and heroes, a historically accurate flag that is also the current flag of Taiwan, depiction of soldiers of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army fighting Cthulhu, reference to time travel, reincarnation, Christian cultists, and plagues that start in China. Conver also called the local official who made this decision a “dumbass.” other issue is the sensitive content itself. The KS page pitches this project explicitly from the perspective of Victor Sassoon, a colleague of Henry Armitage who, in an era of vile racism and wrongs perpetuated by the British Empire, “fights to keep his empire safe,” while keeping Shanghai free from Mythos, much like a white foreign savior. And then add to the list things like a corrupted Daoist ritual. Making Colonial Shanghai into a play space is treacherous ground, particularly from the perspective of expats representing oppressors. There are things about this project that are just as problematic inside the country as they are outside.
  • An Inner Darkness, the latest book by Golden Goblin Press, has successfully been funded! Congratulations to Oscar Rios and the entire team of creators.
  • There is a new expansion for Munchkin Cthulhu, Munchkin Zombie, & Star Munchkin available from Steve Jackson Games on Kickstarter. As a big fan of Munchkin Cthulhu I’ve already backed this for a copy, and at just $8 for a single expansion, you really can’t go wrong. The Kickstarter has already funded, and the numerous stretch goals are adding single cards to the packs.


The Card Catalog:

Steam wagons were a widespread form of powered road traction for commercial haulage in the early part of the twentieth century, although they were a largely British phenomenon, with few manufacturers outside Great Britain. These unique vehicles could be an excellent addition to a Pulp Cthulhu game.

Thanks again go out to Graham for sending in this cool card catalog entry. If you have an idea for a Card Catalog entry, please email us or post it in our forums.

The Listening Room:

Mr. Tyler is back again – This time to finish his talk about The Black Paintings of weird Spanish painter Francisco Goya.

Please remember that if you have any interest in producing a segment for the podcast, please email us or post it in our forums.


Feedback #2–

Have to say my jaw dropped during the Scum and Villainy episode, and not
in a good way. For the love of the Orne library, please don’t encourage
your listeners to portray disabled people specifically as villains.

It’s too much like how Hollywood movie casting has traditionally ignored
minorities’ existence unless directly called for in the script as gang
members or villains. So that’s the main way they showed up. Not cool. It
adds to a dehumanizing, Othering mindset. See the opening statistics from
the CDR essay and the British Film Institute links below for the real
world effects.

Please, do include disabled NPCs in your world, but not only as villains
or victims. Like racial minorities and women, these characters can help
your game get more interesting if you include them like people beyond this
one aspect, not as a handy-now Generic Disabled Stereotype.

Sidenote as a female player and Keeper, I have a request to explicitly
state, because I still see and read way too many of these in modules.
Please let the following female villainy tropes die in a fire: femme
fatale who lives for her power over men, manhaters, and the non-beautiful
or spurned woman taking vengeance against those who ignored or mocked her.
Also, please get more creative than the woman hunting for a man, pursuing
her chosen love at all cost, or “but she did it for her kids.” Time for
some updated thinking.

I really liked the butler example you worked through. Her motivations were
completely unrelated to the stereotypes of her gender. It would be great
if more folks took that approach.

Go, Pods!
Christine F.

Main Topic:

Interview with Jenn Martin about Gatsby and the Great Race