MU Podcast 063 – Star Spawn of GenCon!

MUP_063_Star-Spawn_of_GenConHere it is! In this episode, we bring you a recording of our live show at GenCon, with special guest Mike Mason, the line editor for Call of Cthulhu. We take a trip back to the Bestiary for a look at those oddball octopi offspring, the Star Spawn of Cthulhu. For the main topic, we talk how to make a big bad villain for your campaign. Plus news, audience questions and comments, an electrifying, audience-participation history segment — and more in this week’s show!

Campus Crier

Brian Sammons has been announced as line editor for a new weird fiction line at Dark Region’s Press. Here’s a word from Sammons himself:
After the success of WORLD WAR CTHULHU, Dark Regions Press has announced their new Weird Fiction line, of which World War Cthulhu will be its premier release. In addition, I am thrilled and proud to say that I will be the Managing Editor of Dark Regions Weird Fiction. … If you are a writer of the weird and you’re looking for a publisher for your next work, feel free to reach out to me at and maybe together we can put something a little weird out into the world. You may also want to follow me on Twitter @BrianMSammons as news and other tasty bits are sure to find their way there.


We got a great comment about guns, following up from our discussion in Episode 62, from John:
Finally something I can actually shed some light on. As a beginning keeper and a bit of a gun nut I can add a little to your gun discussion. 1) up until 1933 there were NO restrictions on anything but a local level on automatic weapons, sawed off shotguns and scary things like silencers. So the Thompson a character buys in a hardware for $200 is a full complete submachine gun.  There was no kit to make them full auto, it was actually the other way around as they had to be redesigned to be semi auto as well after 33. 2) One of the best discussions of how the details of a gun beyond damage and capacity came from d20 Modern. In Die Hard the main characters sidearms are intended to emphasize the difference in personality. Sgt. Powell is the old fashioned cop with a revolver while McClain is the wild and crazy new guy with those “new fangled” polymer semiautomatic. With the 1920s the choice of gun can be a statement of how tech savvy a character is or strange places they’ve seen. Other guns can emphasize strange habits, like an American Great War vet with a Chauchaut machine gun (he’s obviously a masochist and stubborn beyond belief) or the dilettante with a Purdey shotgun (insanely engraved, modern day value in the six digit range). 3) even with all the firepower legally obtainable in the 20s a Cthulhu Invictus warrior is still better equipped to handle the mythos Thanks for the awesome podcast  — John
John also mentioned a good essay on the topic that’s still kicking around on the Wizards of the Coast website.

Lecture Series:

This week’s LIVE lecture from Dr. Gerard explores the misty waters of the Pacific Northwest, on the topic of Puget Sound’s Electric Monstrosity. With sound effects provided by the MUP Orchestra!


Ia! Ia! Our monster mash segment this week is centered on the Star Spawn of Cthulhu. Here’s a quick look at the Surinam toad, which could induce an acute case of Trypophobia. Answering a question about how to use these creatures without triggering a Total Party Kill, Mike Mason mentions that investigators in the upcoming Pulp Cthulhu world might have a fighting chance against a SSoC – though survival is still not guaranteed.

Main Topic:

We talk about how to create a good Mythos (or non-Mythos) villain for campaigns or one-shots. Then we take some questions and comments from the audience. Some listeners had created their own Big Bads for games, including something inspired by the Vonyich Manuscript and another one based on a corrupted version of the Cult of the Skull. Audience questions: How long does it take to edit the podcast? How did Murph handle player death in Sense of Slight of Hand Man? One listener offered to run a game of Trail of Cthulhu – and plans are afoot. What’s next for the MUP website and forums? What kinds of support would Mike Mason like to see from the Call of Cthulhu community? What do you do when someone derails the story, pulling an “Old Man Henderson”? What do you do with timid players who play so cautiously that they don’t engage with the plot out of fear? When will the next episode of Masks of Nyarlathotep Actual Play be released? What other live plays are you planning to release? What was the real story behind the disappearing printer for the Horror on the Orient Express? What are Chaosium’s plans for 7th Edition support, and what plans are afoot for future Kickstarters? Is there any particular part of the product line that Mike/Chaosium would like to see new writers working on? Do you see anything ahead for the Cthulhu Dark Ages line? Suggestion: take a scenario do some analysis, and go over what each of our individual approaches would be. Suggestion: go over scenarios in depth sometimes with spoiler alerts.     Image Attributions from Flickr- Feather Warrior Crowd Shot Drow & Woman Warrior King in Yellow Avatar of Grenth Discuss this episode on the Campus Forum!]]>

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