This episode, Chad, Jon and Murph get Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu line editor, Mike Mason, on the horn to talk about some projects in the pipeline – and sundry “burning questions” from the hosts. The interview potion of the episode was recorded on February 10, and then Chad and Jon recorded the Crier on February 16 (plus some extras added at the last minute).
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Campus CrierThe Chaosium Cult of Chaos Cultists Midwest is running the excellent multi-table Call of Cthulhu scenario by 7th Edition co-author Paul Fricker, Gatsby and the Great Race at Gary Con XI in Lake Geneva, Saturday, March 9th, 2018 at 2 PM at the Grand Geneva Resort! The cultists have converted the scenario to be run using 7th Edition rules. Chaosium has generously provided prizes for the event, so come out and trade your best insane roleplay for awesome prizes from Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu line! Sign up for this and other excellent gaming events of all types at Gary Con XI at their website:https://tabletop.events/conventions/gary-con-xi — For more convention information, check out Gary Con’s home page at: http://garycon.com Chaosium’s latest emailed newsletter announced that the Cult of Chaos Writing Contest has wrapped up. You’ll recall that this year’s contest was focused on RuneQuest: Roleplaying in Glorantha. The winners have been announced, and they are broken into two groups, 2019 and 2020. For 2019, they are: The Fainting Spirit, by Jean Chistophe Cubertafon, Remembering Caroman, by Paul O’Sullivan. For 2020, they are: Flowers of Romance, by Doyle Tavener, Trouble at Day’s Rest, by Benjamin Smith; Honorable Mentions went out to Rob Helm and Stephen Parish. Chaosium also announced in the newsletter some new Call of Cthulhu convention scenarios and a new demo scenario. The demo is The Crimson Carnivale, by Leigh Carr. The convention scenarios are: The Shooting Party, by Jonathan Mosedale; Blood Orgy on Vampire Island, by James Thompson; The Search for Brian Boru, by Shannon Mac. Additional details on Chaosium’s newsletter announcements should be available soon through their various social media outlets and on their website. This Person Does Not Exist — a website that uses an innovative A.I. algorithm called Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) to create realistic portraits of fictitious people. Shadows over Stillwater has dropped. It’s a three-part campaign for the wild/weird/old West setting, Down Darker Trails. Besides the main campaign from Kevin Ross, there’s also an additional scenario (Beneath the Burning Sun), adventure seeds and a “…fully realised town [Stonegarden] in which to base adventures”. Pick it up from Chaosium’s web site now, priced at $18 USD for the 176 page PDF. There’s a workshop out on YouTube called Let’s Write a Scenario with Thom Raley of Into the Darkness, with Tyler Hudak, Oscar Rios, Morgan Llewellyn, Zane Flemming, and Jason Melnichok. There’s two parts so far – Check it out! PART 1, PART 2. Pelgrane Press has released Even Death Can Die, the first scenario anthology for their roleplaying game Cthulhu Confidential. It features nine scenarios based around the characters introduced in the core rulebook, with Langston Wright by Chris Spivey, Vivian Sinclair by Ruth Tilman, and Dex Raymond by Robin Laws. It’s available to buy now in pre-order where on purchase you get immediate access to the contents in “pre-edit” form, with the finalised PDF and print editions following later in the year. The final form of Even Death Can Die will be a 360 page hardcover book available in Autumn 2019. Congrats to Squamous Studios on the successful Feed the Shoggoth Kickstarter. 150 backers pledged more than $6,400 to bring the expansion to life. Chris Spivey is reportedly updating The Pulp Superhero Sourcebook and it is slated to wend its way to Chaosium quote “any week now”. That’s the superhero Dan and I got to play testy and GenCon last summer, and it’s a thrilling ruleset for superpowered fun. Stay tuned for more details later this year. A little teaser about next episode, we’ll be talking to Oscar Rios about a project in the works that is slated to launch as a Kickstarter in March. It’s a book for Call of Cthulhu scenarios that explores social justice themes, called An Inner Darkness. Yours truly is a proud contributor as Charles Gerard, along with Oscar, Jeff Moeller, Helen Gould, Brian Sammons, Scott Aniolowski and Christopher Smith Adair. AND we’ll be discussing and riffing on a favorite weird horror podcast with Oscar. If you want to get yourself up to speed before we discuss and spoil it, give a listen to the two-part arc of Archive 81 called The Golden Age. Both parts are linked in the show notes.
The Listening RoomThis show, we queue up a wintry dispatch from Agent Dinos, and are happy to welcome back Mr. Tyler! He’s got some thoughts to share on a topic that’s come up a couple of times on the show recently. Please remember that if you have any interest in producing a segment for the podcast, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friend of the show, Mike Medwick, wrote in after only partially listening to ep.166, his excitement was so great. His letter is too long to read here, but to summarize, he suggested that Keepers check out the Laundry Files series by Charles Stross to mine for ideas concerning technological Mythos terror. Mike said, “One of Stross’ most compelling themes revolves around the idea of computational demonology, which suggests that extradimensional predators pay attention to, and are attracted by, high volumes of computational activity in both sentient brains as well as technological systems.” Mike was also moved by Chad’s reflections of implicit horror that humanity might be the only spark of sentience in the universe. To which, he suggested that Keepers check out the Mythago Wood series by Robert Holdstock. I looked these books up on Amazon, and they look very intriguing. It was awesome to hear from Mike, and he said he is working on a topic idea for the show that he’ll share with us soon. Thanks, and Goooo Pods, Mike!
We’ve also got some feedback from “Kris”: Hey thanks for the podcast, interesting to hear Sam’s take on the LGBTQ identification with monsters. Monsters are the ultimate transgressive outsider. The best example of what Sam’s talking about for me is Clive Barker’s work. If you read his stories knowing he is gay, it opens them up in a new way. With him it’s more like projection onto the monstrous and grotesque than identification. Claiming it. Barker’s best example of monster projection I’ve read is Cabal, the story the movie Nightbreed was based on. The Barker “Cabal” cut of Nightbreed which came out a year or two ago shows it even more openly, I recommend it. Guy has strange urges, ends up finding a community of grotesque transgressive monsters, realizes he’s one too. Then some intolerant rednecks, a priest and a psychologist (reprogrammer?) who’s secretly the worst monster of all come to step on them. Thanks again! —Kris