MU Podcast 056 - Boundaries and the Sire of Serpents

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Keeper Dan
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MU Podcast 056 - Boundaries and the Sire of Serpents

Post by Keeper Dan » Mon May 19, 2014 2:27 am

In episode 56, Dan, Jon, Murph and Chad talk about personal boundaries in horror gaming. Plus, a trip to see that slithery citizen of the subterranean sphere -- Yig! Plus, a history field trip to deepest, darkest British Columbia, an update on the IndieGogo campaign and GenCon plans -- plus more!

Campus Crier (recorded on May 18th, 2014)
  • Check out this Mythos-symbol font from Deviantart.
  • Animators have launched a project to bring H.P. Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness" to life in a feature Film! Check out more on their Facebook page.
  • Bret Kramer has announced the call for submissions for Arkham Gazette #3, which will (probably) cover witches and witchcraft in Lovecraft Country.
  • GenCon event registration is open!
For those of you who are planning to attend, here are some events of note to our listeners:

  • 8:00 PM (1.5 hrs) Delta Green: The Roleplaying Game -- SEM1459823
  • 10:30 PM (4 hrs) Keeper Dan's game, for the Eldritch Emeritus level of our IndieGogo backers.
  • 1:00 PM (2 hrs) Miskatonic University Podcast Live Episode Recording -- SEM1453214
  • 1:00 PM (1 hr) Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff Live -- SEM1455624
  • 4:00 PM (1 hr) Call of Cthulhu -- SEM1455302
  • 5:00 PM (1 hr) Roleplaying Public Radio's Game Design --SEM1455039
  • 6:00 PM (4 hrs) The ENnie Awards, Cocktail Reception & Silent Auction -- ENT1453198
  • 8:00 PM (2 hrs) What's New With Goodman Games -- SEM1454859
  • 9:00 AM (4hrs) Age of Cthulhu: Transatlantic Terror - Jon Hook as Keeper -- RPG1455951
  • 2:00 PM (4hrs) Age of Cthulhu: Starfall Over the Plateau of Leng - Jon Hook as Keeper -- RPG1455961
  • 8:00 PM (4 hrs) Jon's MUP game (still has 4 player slots open!)
  • 9:00 AM (4hrs) Age of Cthulhu: Starfall Over the Plateau of Leng - Jon Hook as Keeper -- RPG1455962
  • 2:00 PM (4hrs) Age of Cthulhu: Transatlantic Terror - Jon Hook as Keeper -- RPG1455953
  • 9:00 PM (1.5 hrs) Lovecraft Meets Tradecraft: Delta Green Scenario Workshop -- SEM1459824

IndieGogo Update
  • Since last episode, Stretch Goal 1 has been achieved!
  • Stretch Goal 2 now has Scott Dorward signed on to write a history with plot hooks for a floor plan crafted by the crafty Keeper Dan!
  • Stretch Goal 3 has been revealed! MAPS dice! MAPS Sourcebook!
  • Also, we announce an MU Alumni Dinner at The Ram on Thursday in downtown Indy!
Also, if you haven't seen it yet, we've added an MUP meetup dinner to the IndieGogo page. We have reserved a private room for The Ram in downtown Indianapolis on Thursday afternoon/evening. $50 buys you a meal, 1 bar drink (assuming legal age, of course) and all the Cthulhu gaming conversation you could possibly stand. The reservation is for August 14th from 4 PM to 7 PM, Indy time. We'll need to get a critical mass of people signed up for this before we pull the trigger, so please let us know if you plan to attend (or even better, put some cash down).

Wolf sent us an email:
Hi guys, I listened to episode #47 today and discovered that Murph read my December e-mail in that podcast. What an honour, thank you for allowing me to be part of your show. Best wishes, Wolf
And Aron from our "sandboxing" episode and the Ideology of Madness podcast and Knights of Reignsborough Actual Play campaign sends us a lovely brain dump of ideas inspired by our Star Vampires segment a few shows back.

Sponsor Thanks
A big note of appreciation here for everyone who contributed to our fundraising campaign. Every penny of your generosity will help keep this sideshow running, and push us toward our goals. Thank-you perks for backers are already well underway, and we hope you'll notice show improvements soon! (For example you might already notice that Keeper Chad no longer sounds like he's calling from a cell phone.)

Cryptocurium Spot
Cryptocurium is now offering three items from the Starkweather-Moore Expedition. Each will be offered one at a time for one week only. The three items are:
  • 1. "Advent of the Shoggoth" (5/11 to 5/17)
  • 2. "The War of Re-Subjugation" (5/18 to 5/24)
  • 3. "Elder Thing Star Stone" (5/25 to 6/1)

Side Topic
This week, we talk about personal boundaries in horror gaming, and how to handle sensitivities during play. This topic was prompted by an excellent thread on our forum, and we'd like to hear from more listeners on this. Is there any room for "lines and veils" in horror gaming? What's the best way to start that conversation?

As an example of sensitive material, Jon mentions his own scenario involving overweight kids, called "The Lock In," which you can hear him run in an actual play.

Main Topic
Yig! We're talking about that old Father of Ssnakes, first referenced in a Lovecraft collaboration called "The Curse of Yig."
But the whisspererss said that Dr. McNeill could sshew me a very terrible relic and tell me all I wanted to know. He could explain why Yig, the half-human father of sserpentss, is a sshunned and feared object in central Oklahoma, and why old ssettlerss sshiver at the ssecret Indian orgiess which make the autumn dayss and nightss hideous with the ceasselesss beating of tom-tomss in lonely places. -- HP Lovecraft and Zealia Bishop, "The Curse of Yig"
There's a lovely short film adaptation available to check out on the Youtubez.

During our disscurssive disscourse on thiss ssubject, we mention a ton of references:

As far as Mythos ties, Yig's avatars are sometimes called Byatis and Han, so he doesn't always look like a big snake man.

In the original stories, he's connected to the cave kingdom of K'n-yan, which is teeming with humanoid space aliens.

Check out a couple of Yiggy pieces from Cryptocurium hereand here.

There's some cool Yigness art on Deviantart hereand here.

Plus one from MUP friend Joe Broers.

Build your own Yig here.

And look at yet more artist's conceptions of this feller here, here, here, and here.

Obvious Yig references in the Samuel L. Jackson vehicle here.

In RL folklore and religion, snake figures abound. There's Glycon,

In RL occult references, a knot of snake references tie together cultures and eras across space and time.

Occultist Michael Bertiaux (not to be confused with alleged Yig cultist Michael Buble) has some interesting things to say about Voudon cults, which Dan Harms links to Yig.

There's the irrepressible Ouroboros symbol, which pops up in occult literature on topics from alchemy to Theosophy.

Robert E. Howard also used Yig (called Setafter the Egyptian god) in various incarnations.

Even your precious Harry Potter is probably just a servant of Yig. Take that, The Internet.

For the sake of posterior, we should post links to a couple of rockin' Yig-related classics:

Check out “Yig Snake Daddy” by The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets:

And “Horror of Yig” by GWAR (R.I.P David Brockie, A.K.A Oderus Urungus)

Discuss what you heard on this show on our Campus Forums here.
Keeper Dan of the Miskatonic University Podcast

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Re: MU Podcast 056 - Boundaries and the Sire of Serpents

Post by Benjamin.wenham » Mon May 19, 2014 6:46 am

Bio-hazard symbols are sometimes described as being symbols of shub-niggurath.

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Re: MU Podcast 056 - Boundaries and the Sire of Serpents

Post by Koakai » Tue May 20, 2014 4:54 pm

Hmm. I need to stop going into the wilds for my audio. Sound quality sucks otherwise.

Now if I had only known the topic was Yig, I would have sent in something a little different.

Not really enough info to do a full topic on it, but there is a Yiggy kind of thing up here. Seated Human Figure Bowls.

They are strange stone bowls that no native tribe ever claimed making. Found all throughout BC they tend to have odd imagery that includes the depictions of snakes. ... ntrecord=4
PH.D candidate -M.U. Western Annex

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Re: MU Podcast 056 - Boundaries and the Sire of Serpents

Post by Dr. Gerard » Tue May 20, 2014 5:40 pm


I'm hoping you don't stop going into the wilds! But if you didn't like the sound quality, maybe we can tweak the settings somehow, or mix outdoor recordings with inside reading.

Love the bowls imagery. Seems like there must be a way to expand that to a segment somehow. It would certainly be great inspiration for an in-game item.

Reminds me a bit of the "red bowl" items in Borneo, which are invoked during times of conflict. The idea is that the bowls must be fed with the blood of enemies. Supposedly the call to action sends warriors into a kind of violent hypnotic fugue, where their actions are no longer within their control. Dyak "generals," which are sort of like shadow tribal leaders, invoked "red bowls" as recently as 2002 during a conflict with Madurese immigrants, and the results were tragic.
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Re: MU Podcast 056 - Boundaries and the Sire of Serpents

Post by Dr. Gerard » Tue May 20, 2014 6:04 pm

Benjamin.wenham wrote:Bio-hazard symbols are sometimes described as being symbols of shub-niggurath.

Good catch!
Keeper of the Cthulhu Dark "Secret Everest Expedition" PbP scenario
Rip Wheeler in the Call of Cthulhu "No Man's Land" scenario
Plays for Keepers

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Re: MU Podcast 056 - Boundaries and the Sire of Serpents

Post by Graham » Wed May 21, 2014 2:30 am

Good episode, the 'boundaries' talk caused me to remember the first game I ever played of Call of Cthulhu. The group was being run through "The Warren", and we came upon what the Keeper described as a 'rat-thing' playing with a 'doll', then he had everyone make Idea rolls to realize what it really was...
"If you do good, you'll live forever, if you do bad, you'll die hearing a single note for I am the one true sound...", Fragment found in a cult hideout.

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Re: MU Podcast 056 - Boundaries and the Sire of Serpents

Post by trevlix » Thu May 22, 2014 1:06 am

Great episode as always!

Loved the discussion on limits and I agree with talking to your players first. In the end, this is a game, and while we use it to scare/be made outside of our comfort zones, everyone has their own "triggers" that make it not fun anymore.
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Re: MU Podcast 056 - Boundaries and the Sire of Serpents

Post by fallingtower » Thu May 22, 2014 6:20 am

i wish the guys would've played this song either before, during or after the Boundaries segment. Brings back scarface and Grand Theft Auto memories. I actually ran a Grand Theft Thulhu game way back...using the video game as it's basis. Cuban Hybrids and hot Miami nights.

I have always been a boundary breaker and have lost a few players because of it, I really don't like to censor myself. My creative juices must flow, sometimes they land on you.

You guys rawk! :cthulhudance:
If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth, irrespective of artificial backgrounds or practical consequences.

H. P. Lovecraft

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Re: MU Podcast 056 - Boundaries and the Sire of Serpents

Post by fox01313 » Thu May 22, 2014 11:02 pm

Great show guys.

While on the topic of boundaries it immediately brought forth a spot in an audio recording of Eclipse Phase (hard sci-fi transhuman setting with a simple d100% rules plus sanity mechanics, also the art of the main books looks lovely) which covered the other end of boundaries that you might find interesting. While the group at Role Playing Public Radio have been doing a whole campaign of Eclipse Phase & other games for a while, they're used to what boundaries are out there for the group from the sound of it. Though in the recent game of the Devotees written by RPPR's Caleb Stokes, where the team wound up infiltrating one criminal group which mixes voodoo with slavery & a bunch of other nasty stuff, one player who paid money in game to get his character to be part of the group in order to help infiltrate it. At one point there was a test that involved torturing someone's digital mind in a virtual reality, the player got rather uncomfortable with how to go about proving it to the criminal group so the GM did the elegant route of separating the player out of the game by just figuring out the game mechanics & glossing over what the details were for what happened. Just something I figured people would be find how to deal with things if the button is pressed by not pressing it more so when it does happen just go into the mechanics to soften things up some to get the player away from thinking about how to deal with some NPC in bad ways the player probably doesn't want to do.

Link to the Devotees playthrough on Role Playing Public Radio Actual Plays (part 1)
http://actualplay.roleplayingpublicradi ... es-part-1/

One a lighter note, while Snakes on a Plane is rather amusing, a more funny one is another trying to cash into that rollercoaster, Snakes on a Train.
trailer link not working with the youtube code

One fun thing you can do with snakes, especially the super poisonous ones of Yig you mentioned, is give them the intelligence of say a dog or a dolphin. That will get the players losing more SAN with the snakes behaving more smartly.

Thanks to your mention of Snakes & Ladders, I really want to watch again the great British film that mentions it which is highly recommended on fun occult spooky fun, Night of the Demon. Keep up the great work!
"That's funny, usually the blood gets off on the second floor." -Mr. Burns in The Shinning episode (Treehouse of horror V)

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Re: MU Podcast 056 - Boundaries and the Sire of Serpents

Post by SamS » Mon May 26, 2014 10:38 am

Great show guys. Coming from someone in Oklahoma. :lol:
Sam Stamps
Keeper of my own little reality.

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