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The Good Friends of Jackson Elias

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The Good Friends of Jackson Elias is an irregular podcast devoted to the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game, horror movies and horror gaming in general. It is hosted by Paul Fricker, Matthew Sanderson and Scott Dorward, three freelance writers who have worked on the new edition of Call of Cthulhu and other horror roleplaying games.

Episodes are usually built around a particular theme, always centred on our shared love of all things dark and horrifying. Continue Reading >>
The Good Friends of Jackson Elias is an irregular podcast devoted to the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game, horror movies and horror gaming in general. It is hosted by Paul Fricker, Matthew Sanderson and Scott Dorward, three freelance writers who have worked on the new edition of Call of Cthulhu and other horror roleplaying games.

Episodes are usually built around a particular theme, always centred on our shared love of all things dark and horrifying. << Show Less
Featured Audio
Media Catch-up – Books We&#8217;re back and we&#8217;re making like bookworms. This is easier than it might seem, given that bookworms don&#8217;t really eat books &#8212; just their bindings &#8212; and aren&#8217;t even worms. Then again, they don&#8217;t read much either, so maybe we need better role models. We&#8217;d give the whole thing up if this glue weren&#8217;t so tasty.



Main Topic: Media Catch-up – Books



This episode is the latest in our regular discussions of the media we&#8217;ve been consuming. Once again, we&#8217;re cracking open some books and letting their words run rampant across our minds.



Links



Things we mention in this episode include:






* The History of Middle-Earth edited by Christopher Tolkien* The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath by HP Lovecraft* &#8220;The Lost Road&#8221; by JRR Tolkien* Old English* Beowulf discussion* Weird Tales* The Trail of Cthulhu by August Derleth* &#8220;Herbert West &#8212; Reanimator&#8221; by HP Lovecraft* Space mead* Pulp Cthulhu* Ithaqua






* Special X series* Ghoul by Michael Slade* Headhunter by Michael Slade* The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris* The Expanse series by James SA Corey* Red Dragon by Thomas Harris






* Necronomicon Providence* Nicole Cushing* Thomas Ligotti* Richard Laymon* Jack Ketchum* Clive Barker* The Sadist&#8217;s Bible by Nicole Cushing* Mr Suicide by Nicole Cushing* The Mirrors by Nicole Cushing* Unknown Armies* <a href="https://www.goodreads.
Newest Audio
Media Catch-up – Books We&#8217;re back and we&#8217;re making like bookworms. This is easier than it might seem, given that bookworms don&#8217;t really eat books &#8212; just their bindings &#8212; and aren&#8217;t even worms. Then again, they don&#8217;t read much either, so maybe we need better role models. We&#8217;d give the whole thing up if this glue weren&#8217;t so tasty.



Main Topic: Media Catch-up – Books



This episode is the latest in our regular discussions of the media we&#8217;ve been consuming. Once again, we&#8217;re cracking open some books and letting their words run rampant across our minds.



Links



Things we mention in this episode include:






* The History of Middle-Earth edited by Christopher Tolkien* The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath by HP Lovecraft* &#8220;The Lost Road&#8221; by JRR Tolkien* Old English* Beowulf discussion* Weird Tales* The Trail of Cthulhu by August Derleth* &#8220;Herbert West &#8212; Reanimator&#8221; by HP Lovecraft* Space mead* Pulp Cthulhu* Ithaqua






* Special X series* Ghoul by Michael Slade* Headhunter by Michael Slade* The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris* The Expanse series by James SA Corey* Red Dragon by Thomas Harris






* Necronomicon Providence* Nicole Cushing* Thomas Ligotti* Richard Laymon* Jack Ketchum* Clive Barker* The Sadist&#8217;s Bible by Nicole Cushing* Mr Suicide by Nicole Cushing* The Mirrors by Nicole Cushing* Unknown Armies* <a href="https://www.goodreads.
The Night House We&#8217;re back and we&#8217;re taking an almost Lovecraftian interest in architecture. While we&#8217;re suckers for a good gambrel roof, these blueprints for The Night House are far more compelling. The Welsh maze designs, the oddly reversed floorplans, and the classic Roman curios that adorn the place have quite captured us. We&#8217;re especially taken with the architect&#8217;s cunning use of negative space. And, best of all, it&#8217;s fitted with underfloor corpses! Truly, every modern convenience&#8230; Now, where the hell is the exit?



Main Topic: The Night House



This episode is our discussion of the 2020 horror film, The Night House. As ever, we offer a quick overview of the film&#8217;s background before picking it apart, looking for gaming inspiration. This is an unusual and creepy film and it offers plenty to spark our imaginations.






Links



Things we mention in this episode include:



* Sundance Film Festival* David Bruckner* The Signal (2007)* V/H/S (2012)* Southbound (2015)* The Ritual (2017)* Luis Buñuel* The Phantom of Liberty (1974)* Super Dark Times (2017)* Siren (2016)* Hellraiser (1987)* Hellraiser (2022)* A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay* &#8220;The Calvary Cross&#8221; by Richard and Linda Thompson









* Pareidolia* Sleep paralysis* Carnival of Souls (1962)* It Follows (2014)* The Louvre Doll* Roman curse tablets* Mythos Deities: Nodens* Caerdroia* The Goetia* Mazes and Monsters (1982)* Caerdroia from Big Finish* Willen Lake* &#8220;The Burning Stars&#8221; from <a href="https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/82117/Terrors-From-Beyond?term=terrors+from+beyond?
The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath part 5 We&#8217;re back and we&#8217;re waking up. It&#8217;s been a long old kip, but not that refreshing really. Dreams of being chased by hunting horrors aren&#8217;t as restful as we might like. On the bright side, we&#8217;ve awoken to a world as wonderous as any dream. Admittedly, that may be more the paucity of our dreams than any praise of the waking world. Who would have thought that our dream city was Milton Keynes all along?



Main Topic: The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath part 5



This is the conclusion of our multi-episode exploration of Lovecraft&#8217;s novel, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. In our earlier episodes (part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4), we looked at the story&#8217;s origins and followed Randolph Carter&#8217;s increasingly odd adventures in search of his dream city. Now, we&#8217;re journeying into Kadath itself, accompanying Carter to, we hope, the fruitful conclusion of his quest.



As ever, we pick the story apart, looking for Call of Cthulhu inspiration. In particular, we spend some time wondering how mountains can tiptoe so daintily. Maybe that extra head helps with coordination.



Links



Things we mention in this episode include:



* Plateau of Leng* Night-gaunts* At the Mountains of Madness by HP Lovecraft* Shantaks* Nyarlathotep* Pschent* Men of Leng* &#8220;The Call of Cthulhu&#8221; by HP Lovecraft* The One Ring* Powered by the Apocalypse



A pschent. Gesundheit!



* Randolph Carter* Howard Carter* Tutankhamen* &#8220;Nyarlathotep&#8221; by HP Lovecraft* &#8220;The Statement of Randolph Carter&#8221; by HP Lovecraft* King Kuranes* Vega* Azathoth* Frankie Howerd



Titter ye not!
The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath part 4 We&#8217;re back and we&#8217;re holidaying in Leng. While it&#8217;s not everyone&#8217;s first thought for a getaway, we&#8217;ve found it really quite dreamy. Leng may have had some shocking reviews on TripAdvisor, but we&#8217;re not sure where its evil reputation comes from. Sure, our stone hut is draughty and the corpse fires do little to take the edge off, but it&#8217;s not the worst Airbnb we&#8217;ve ever rented. The locals have a lively culture, with a special interest in music and the arts. Their extended crotala solos take a bit of getting used to, but the dances that accompany them are lively. We would join in except our legs bend the wrong way. The only irritating thing is how much the locals fuss about spiders. There&#8217;s nothing around here a rolled-up newspaper can&#8217;t take care of. Now, what&#8217;s with all that scuttling outside&#8230;?



Main Topic: The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath part 4



This is the fourth part of our multi-episode exploration of Lovecraft&#8217;s novel, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. In our first three episodes (part 1, part 2 and part 3), we looked at the story&#8217;s origins and followed Randolph Carter&#8217;s increasingly odd adventures as he searches for his dream city. Now, we&#8217;re heading into the most action-packed part of his romp through dreamland.



As ever, we pick the story apart, looking for Call of Cthulhu inspiration. In particular, we spend some time trying to work out why Leng gets such a bad rap. Sure, it seems cold and grey, but by that measure Aberdeen should have a similarly evil reputation.



Links



Things we mention in this episode include:



* Necrotising fasciitis* ICU delirium* The Sopranos* Shantaks* Mister Ed* Night-gaunts* Crotala* Leng* Nyarlathotep* Encyclopaedia Britannica* Lovecraft and the Occult* At the Mountains of Madness by HP Lovecraft* Lengian spiders







* Sarkomand* Diorite* Nodens* Moon-beasts* <a href="https://blasphemoustomes....
Creating Stories at the Table – With Gaz Bowerbank We&#8217;re back and we&#8217;re making stuff up. Sure, it&#8217;s a bit disjointed, filled with inconsistent characterisation, narrative dead ends, and terrible jokes, but it sort of feels like a story. What do you expect when a bunch of people create it on the fly, all pulling in different directions? Any story there owes more to cheap beer and bad dice rolls than careful planning. If we read this tosh in a book, we&#8217;d ask for our money back. Yet, somehow, we&#8217;re all happy with it. And anyway, it&#8217;s still better than a Dan Brown novel&#8230;



Main Topic: Creating Stories at the Table



This episode is a lively discussion of what it means to create stories at the gaming table. Just talking about RPGs in terms of stories is likely to start an argument, and this episode is no exception. What do people mean when they talk about stories in the context of an RPG? Is an RPG scenario constructed anything like a story? And whose responsibility is it to create a story at the table anyway?



We&#8217;ve paused our discussion of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath for a few episodes as Matt has been seriously ill. During his absence, we have called upon some of our good friends in the podcasting world to stand in as guest hosts.



This time, we are joined by Gaz Bowerbank, co-host of the What Would the Smart Party Do? podcast. Gaz&#8217;s co-host, Baz Stevens, joined us a few episodes ago for our &#8220;Everything is Horror&#8221; discussion, so we thought it was time to complete the set.



* Gaz on Twitter* What Would the Smart Party Do?* &#8220;Puppy Love&#8221; for Tales From the Loop* &#8220;Unbearable&#8221; for Vaesen* &#8220;Midnight Hunt&#8221; for Vaesen







Links



Things we mention in this episode include:



* Genre Emulation episode* Appendix N* Critical Role* World of Darkness* Live performance with How We Roll at PodUK 2019* How We Roll* Hot War* Nathan Ballingrud interview* Legend of the Burning Sands* Legend of the Five Rings* Delta Green* <a href="https://www.
Mythos Deities: Cthulhu We&#8217;re back and we&#8217;re lost in reverie. These dreams are really something &#8212; so vivid and insistent. We just wish we knew whose dreams they are. Regardless, they&#8217;re inspiring us to create strange, wondrous new works of art. Only, why are we compelled to make them with our own viscera? At least we can arrange these intestines to look like tentacles. Yes, that looks right, doesn&#8217;t it? So majestic. So divine. Maybe now we can sleep more deeply and become one with these glorious dreams.



Main Topic: Mythos Deities – Cthulhu



This episode is the latest in our ongoing exploration of the deities of the Cthulhu Mythos. Previous entries include Dagon, Shub-Niggurath, Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathotep, Hastur, Azathoth, Nodens, Ubbo-Sathla and Mordiggian, Ithaqua, and Daoloth and Eihort.



We have discussed Cthulhu as a pop-culture icon and Lovecraft&#8217;s original story, &#8220;The Call of Cthulhu&#8221;, in earlier episodes. Still, it is long past time we had one of our usual deep dives into the origins and development of the dead dreamer himself. So here we are.



We&#8217;ve paused our discussion of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath for a few episodes. Matt has been seriously ill, requiring a lengthy stay in hospital. We don&#8217;t know how long he&#8217;s going to be out of action but we wanted to save the resolution for his return. Until then, we&#8217;ve called upon some of our good friends in the podcasting world to stand in as guest hosts.



This time, we are joined by Chris Lackey, co-host of the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast and author of the new Chaosium publication, Cults of Cthulhu.



* Chris on Twitter* The HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast* Rachel Watches Star Trek







Links



Things we mention in this episode include:



* &#8220;The Mound&#8221; by HP Lovecraft for Zealia Bishop* <a href="https://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/ee.
Breaking the Law We&#8217;re back and we&#8217;re on the lam. Setting fire to all those libraries seemed like a good idea at the time but apparently the authorities disagree. We&#8217;ve tried explaining that there are simply some things humanity was not meant to know. If there were a better way of protecting people, or at least one that didn&#8217;t singe our eyebrows so badly, we&#8217;d do that instead. But, instead, we hide in the shadows, living one step ahead of the law. It&#8217;s a dangerous life protecting people from Dan Brown novels&#8230;



Main Topic: Breaking the Law



This episode is our discussion of the thorny topic of what happens when investigators get on the wrong side of the law. Almost every Call of Cthulhu campaign requires the investigators to commit burglary, fraud, assault, murder and arson. So much arson&#8230;



But does this always have to be the case? How should the Keeper deal with blatant criminal behaviour? Is it ever fun for the investigators to face the consequences of their actions? And why is the library on fire again?



We&#8217;ve paused our discussion of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath for a few episodes. Matt has been seriously ill, requiring a lengthy stay in hospital. We don&#8217;t know how long he&#8217;s going to be out of action but we wanted to save the resolution for his return. Until then, we&#8217;ve called upon some of our good friends in the podcasting world to stand in as guest hosts.



This time, we&#8217;re joined by Lynne Hardy, associate editor for Call of Cthulhu and line editor for the Rivers of London RPG. Lynne has shared a stage with the Good Friends at a number of live events, as well as our episodes about the development of the new edition of Masks of Nyarlathotep.



* Lynne on Twitter* UK Games Expo 2017* Necronomicon 2017: Pulp vs Pure panel* Necronomicon 2017: Call of Cthulhu campaigns* Masks of Nyarlathotep part 1* Masks of Nyarlathotep part 2* Call of Cthulhu 40th anniversary panel at Dragonmeet 2021* Rivers of London RPG panel at Dragonmeet 2021



Lynne with the Good Friends and Mike Mason



Links



Things we mention in this episode include:



* &#8220;The Meat Trade&#8221; on Ain&#8217;t Slayed Nobody* Murderhobos* &#8220;Scritch Scratch&#8221; by Lynne Hardy* <a href="https://www.chaosium.
Peril in Call of Cthulhu We&#8217;re back and we&#8217;re in danger. At least, we think we are. Something seems to be at stake, although we&#8217;re not quite sure what. Maybe it&#8217;s our lives, our loved ones, or some of this old junk we have lying around. There&#8217;s just a sense of peril in the air. Maybe it&#8217;ll go away if we spray some air freshener around the place.



Main Topic: Peril in Call of Cthulhu



This episode is our discussion of the role of peril in Call of Cthulhu. Whether your game aims for dark horror or two-fisted adventure, there needs to be a sense of danger for it to have any bite. But how do we engender this sense of peril? What needs to be at stake for a game to feel meaningful? And what are the risks of making things feel too perilous?



We&#8217;ve paused our discussion of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath for a few episodes. Matt has been seriously ill, requiring a lengthy stay in hospital. We don&#8217;t know how long he&#8217;s going to be out of action but we wanted to save the resolution for his return. Until then, we&#8217;ve called upon some of our good friends in the podcasting world to stand in as guest hosts.







This time, we&#8217;re joined by YouTuber, podcaster and author Seth Skorkowsky. Most of our listeners will know Seth from his ENnie-Award winning YouTube channel, as well as Modern Mythos, his podcast with Jon Hook.



* Seth Skorkowsky&#8217;s YouTube channel* The Modern Mythos Podcast* Seth&#8217;s books



You can hear Seth&#8217;s previous appearances with the Good Friends here:



* Interview with Seth Skorkowsky* Interview with Jon Hook and Seth Skorkowsky



Links



Things we mention in this episode include:



* Monsterhearts* Dungeons & Dragons* Character death* Dungeon Crawl Classics* DCC funnel* The Thing* Kult



Hitchcock should have stuck with bombs.



* Jonathan Carroll* Flotsam and Jetsam on How We Roll* &#8220;The Meat Trade&#8221; on Ain&#8217;t Slayed Nobody* Challenge ratings* H P Lovecraft&#8217;s Arkha...
Mind Control in RPGs We&#8217;re back and we&#8217;re growing sleepy, sleepy, so very sleepy. We are listening to your voice. Only your voice. Yes, yes, we are under your control. We shall do you bidding. What is it you demand of us? An episode about mind control in RPGs? We are powerless to refuse&#8230;



Main Topic: Mind Control in RPGs



This episode is our discussion of the presentation of mind control in RPGs. Genre fiction is full of unnatural magic, weird drugs, and sinister devices that twist the human mind according to the wielder&#8217;s desires. Villains may plant compulsions in the heads of protagonists, twist their perceptions, or alter their memories. And, of course, this is reflected heavily in gaming. But how do we make it work? Does it have to remove player agency? And what happens when these tools and techniques fall into the hands of player characters?



We&#8217;ve paused our discussion of The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath for a few episodes. Matt has been seriously ill, requiring a lengthy stay in hospital. We don&#8217;t know how long he&#8217;s going to be out of action but we wanted to save the resolution for his return. Until then, we&#8217;ve called upon some of our good friends in the podcasting world to stand in as guest hosts.



This time, we&#8217;re joined by Keeper Murph of the Miskatonic University Podcast. There can&#8217;t be too many listeners who don&#8217;t know our good friends at the MU. If you&#8217;ve somehow resisted falling under their spell so far, do check them out. They have been our biggest influence and supporters over the years. In the decade their podcast has been running, they have won two ENnie Awards, and with good reason.



* The Miskatonic University Podcast* MU Podcast on Twitter* MU Podcast Discord* Murph&#8217;s secret bunker



You can hear Murph&#8217;s previous appearances with the Good Friends here:



* Cthulhu Through the Ages* Necronomicon 2017 seminar with the Miskatonic University Podcast* Necronomicon 2019 seminar with the Miskatonic University Podcast







Links



Things we mention in this episode include:



* World of Darkness* Powered by the Apocalypse* Monsterhearts* The Two-Headed Serpent* How We Roll podcast* <a href="https://en.wikipedia.
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