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Paul Fricker
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Random NPC in your life
Random NPC in your life

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We’re back and we’re asking you for a location, a profession and the most nightmarish form of death you can think of. This is our look at the role of improvisation in RPGs, from catering for players who go off track to making up entire games on the fly.

Improvisation is something that scares most of us when we start out running or even playing RPGs. It scares us almost as much as that old man who hides under your bed at night. What happened to his eyes?

We may not be able to help you with him, but we can offer some advice about preparing to improvise, techniques to help you cope with the unexpected and how to have a little more faith in your abilities. We believe in you! Almost as much as we believe in the old man under your bed.
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We have a cover for issue 4 of The Blasphemous Tome, and it's wonderful!

The artwork is by multi-award-winning comics artist, Evan Dorkin, a good friend of the Good Friends and all-around wonderful human being.

Evan has also given us a number of pieces of Lovecraftian art to use as spot illustrations, and you'll find them dotted around the issue.

If you want to see a larger version of the cover or simply learn more about The Blasphemous Tome, just click the link below.
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We're back and we're delving into the mysteries of the Crawling Chaos, the Messenger of the Outer Gods, the Black Pharoah, the Haunter of the Dark, or whatever the hell he's calling himself this week.

This is our look at the role of Nyarlathotep in Mythos fiction and the Call of Cthulhu RPG. As well as peering into his history, we think up a few unusual ways we might use Nyarlathotep in our games. He is a versatile so-and-so.

And we sing. Twice.
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We’re back and we’re reporting live from Gen Con 2018!

Well, not exactly “live”, as Gen Con was a month ago. And not exactly “from”, as everything was recorded afterwards. And the whole “we” thing is debatable, as Paul is the only one of us who went, and he conducted the interviews. I stand by the rest, though!

Once again, this has been a fantastic year for fans of Lovecraftian and weird fantasy games. Call of Cthulhu (largely in the form of Harlem Unbound) and Lamentations of the Flame Princess rode high at the ENnies and there were plenty of exciting new projects on offer.

Paul spoke to +Chris Spivey of Darker Hue Studios, author of Harlem Unbound; Sam Riordan of MetaArcade, publishers of the Cthulhu Chronicles app; +Bob Geis of You Too Can Cthulhu; and multi-award-winning writer and artist, +Zak Sabbath, author of Frostbitten & Mutilated.

There is also singing in this episode. Consider yourself warned.
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We're back and we're trying to put a brave face on things. Or maybe we're trying to learn from our mistakes. Hell, we might just be having a good laugh over our latest cock-up.

In other words, this is our look at the role of failure in RPGs. We examine how failure can be a good thing and how we can learn to embrace it.

And speaking of things that shouldn't have happened, we sing.
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We're back with a special episode to tide you over the long, dark fortnight between regular releases. As we discussed Wild Acre in episode 137, we asked Nathan Ballingrud, the story's author, to join us for an interview and he graciously gave us an hour of his time.

Nathan offers insights into where the story came from, as well as his thoughts about the societal role of horror fiction, where his current work is taking him, and how GMing Call of Cthulhu has made him a more playful writer.

This a fascinating discussion for anyone interested in horror fiction, its creation and what it means to those of us who love it.
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We're back and we're continuing our theme of insanity in horror with a look at a story that takes a somewhat different approach.

While the horrors in Nathan Ballingrud's Wild Acre are decidedly unnatural, the trauma they cause is all too believable. Our look at the story serves as a springboard for further discussion about how we might handle mental trauma in our games.

Speaking of unnatural and traumatising things, we sing twice in this episode.
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Does Call of Cthulhu do deal with Insanity right? Is it even right to feature insanity in a game?
We’re back and we’re wrapping up our look at insanity in Call of Cthulhu with a discussion of how it’s used in the game itself. This builds on last episode’s discussion of the role of insanity in Lovecraftian horror.

You may have seen critiques of how mental illness and trauma are handled in RPGs, especially Call of Cthulhu. It’s a thorny issue and some of these discussions can grow quite heated. We thought it would be interesting and useful to tackle the topic head-on, especially as our opinions and experiences differ significantly.

Our hope is that this is a useful discussion and that we weren’t dismissive of other people’s concerns. We would love to hear your opinions and insights on the subject.
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We take a look at the theme of insanity in H P Lovecraft's background and his work. This forms a primer for next episode, in which we will explore insanity in Call of Cthulhu.
We're back and we're having a difficult discussion. The portrayal of mental illness in RPGs can be a contentious subject. It also plays a huge role in Lovecraftian horror. Over the course of the next two episodes, we examine the ways we use insanity in our games, trying to understand how, or even if, genre tropes relate to the real world.

To start with, we go back to the source fiction, looking at mental illness in Lovecraft's life and the way he portrayed it in fiction. This, we hope, gives us a foundation for analysing it in Call of Cthulhu, which is the focus of the next episode.

We also sing. Be warned.

http://blasphemoustomes.com/2018/07/24/episode-135-the-good-friends-wrestle-with-insanity-in-lovecraft/
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