190 episodes

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.

The Good Friends of Jackson Elias Paul Fricker, Matthew Sanderson and Scott Dorward

    • Games

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.

    Midsommar

    Midsommar

    We’re back and we’re on our Midsommar holiday. Happily, we don’t have anything as horrific as Cliff Richard to contend with. It’s only the usual festivals, drugs and human sacrifice. The locals seem nice enough, although Paul’s comments about their music might be getting to them. Oh well. What’s the worst that could happen?



    According to Matt, being made to watch this film.



    Main Topic: Midsommar



    This episode is our look at the 2019 American/Swedish folk horror film, Midsommar. It is an unusually sun-drenched horror, long in running time and short on action. As you might imagine, this led to some disagreement amongst us as to whether it is the best film of the year or slightly less fun than root canal.



    If you don’t like it, just put something else on…



    Links



    Things we mention in this episode include:



    * Lincolnshire Poacher* Matt’s “Cadenza” scenario from Covert Actions* Hereditary* Folk Horror* The Wicker Man* NC-17 rating* Hårga* Runic alphabets* Necropants* Grease* They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?* Hårgalåten* The Handmaid’s Tale* Blood Eagle* Father Ted* The Poena cullei, penalty of the sack* Roman execution methods* The Tortures and Torments of the Christian Martyrs



    On the back: “Having a wonderful time, wish you were here!”



    News



    Matt at ConTingency



    Once again, Matt is heading off to the seaside. There is no finer time to visit the east coast of Great Britain than late January. The North Sea always has a warm welcome waiting for you. Matt, however, will be spending his time indoors, playing games. This is his annual pilgrimage to ConTingency, the extended residential convention that has now moved to Hunstanton in Norfolk. If you are attending the convention, be sure to sign up to his games and set fire to all the NPCs.







    Smart Party Dragonmeet Seminar



    When Paul visited Dragonmeet late last year,

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Great NPCs of History

    Great NPCs of History

    We’re back and we’re looking for strange and interesting people. Sure, that drunken man on the bus who shared the details of his entire family’s military history before announcing that he loved us is memorable, but does he have what it takes to become a great Call of Cthulhu NPC? Well, bad example. He’s totally going in our next game. But our point is that when planning historical games, it can be helpful to research some real people. Or take a bus ride in Milton Keynes. Great NPCs can be found everywhere.



    The true home of horror.



    Main Topic: Great NPCs of History



    This is our attempt to find interesting and overlooked figures from history and explore how they might make great NPCs for our Call of Cthulhu games. We had a great deal of fun preparing and recording this episode, so it may become a regular format. We will at least have to record one more episode anyway, as we ran out of time and couldn’t include everyone we wanted to.



    What we lack in quantity, we try to make up for in quality.



    Be warned that the latter half of the episode gets weird. One of our subjects was a medical innovator who did things to human bodies that might make you uncomfortable. Then again, isn’t that exactly what you want in a Call of Cthulhu NPC?



    Surely the last place you’d expect to encounter any weird medical experiments…



    Links



    Things we mention in this episode include:



    * Great Lives on Radio 4* Hertha Ayrton* “Hertha” by Algernon Charles Swinburne* Girton College, Cambridge* Arc lamps* The Royal Society* The Ayrton fan* Emmeline Pankhurst* Yithians, from “The Shadow Out of Time”* Realism in RPGs* “From Beyond”* Serge Voronoff* Monkey glands* Xenotransplantation* Charles-Édouard Brown-Séquard* The Eye (2002)* The Hands of Orlac (1924) (and not “The Hands of Orloff“, as Scott said on the episode!)* Mad Love (1935)* “The Body Politic” by Clive Barker* Voronoff’s castle in Grimaldi* Beyond Re-Animator (2003)* Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov* a href="https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19926701-000-blasts-from-the-past-the-so...

    • 1 hr 2 min
    The Appeal of D&D

    The Appeal of D&D

    We’re back and we’re poking around this hole in the ground we discovered. Some more experienced adventurers told us to be prepared, so we have a 10-foot pole, 50 foot of rope and all the lamp oil we can carry. We weren’t quite sure what iron rations are, so we hope we can get by with sucking on a handful of nails. With any luck, this means we’re now prepared for any eventuality.



    All these mentions of dragons were metaphorical, right?



    Main Topic: The Appeal of D&D



    Dungeons & Dragons may seem a little off-topic for a horror podcast, but we stand by our decision. As Paul is so fond of reminding us, it’s where all the other games we love ultimately came from. Our discussion mainly takes the form of a highly subjective exploration of what we do and don’t like about D&D, and some thoughts about its longevity and recent renaissance. And a lot of it is just Matt complaining.



    Save versus kvetching



    Links



    Some of the things we mention in this episode include:



    * John Sumrow’s Patreon* Evan Dorkin’s Patreon* Dragonmeet 2018 seminar* White Box D&D* Chainmail* Basic D&D* Advanced D&D* The Satanic Panic* Jack Chick’s Dark Dungeons* Mazes and Monsters* The Dying Earth by Jack Vance* Forgotten Realms* Tomb of Annihilation* Xanathar’s Guide to Everything* Roll20* What Would the Smart Party Do?* Savage Worlds* Stranger Things* MK-RPG* Pathfinder* OGL* Critical Role* Penny Arcade* The Adventure Zone* Geek & Sundry* Mike Mason running Call of Cthulhu for Penny Arcade* Critical Role playing Call of Cthulhu* Call of Cthulhu Starter Set* How We Roll* D&D Descent* Ravenloft* Masque of the Red Death campaign* a href="https://dnd.wizards.

    • 56 min
    Mythos Tomes

    Mythos Tomes

    We’re back and we’re cracking open the books, trying to ignore the strange wails they issue as we do so. The words probably shouldn’t scurry across the page like that. Maybe we’re lucky and they’re just bookworms. Whatever they are, we wish they would stop whispering such horrible things.



    In practice, most bookworms simply ask for directions to Matt’s house.



    Main Topic: Mythos Tomes



    It’s taken a long time but we’ve finally tackled one of the most important topics in Call of Cthulhu: Mythos tomes. Hell, our website takes its name from the most famous one of all.



    Although maybe not quite this edition.



    We spend a little time talking about how we might use Mythos tomes in our Call of Cthulhu games, how they work mechanically and what new and interesting tomes we might create. Matt’s shrieks of anguish as we discuss players who burn eldritch texts are worth the price of admission on their own.



    Links



    Some of the things we mention in this episode include:



    * At the Mountains of Madness* Maléfique* Our favourite ephemera shop in Newport Pagnell* Kenneth Grant* The Occult and Lovecraft* Finnegans Wake* Walker in the Wastes* The Anarchist Cookbook* Bookhounds of London* Multi-Coloured Swap Shop* The Exegesis of Philip K Dick* Break Today* Planarian worms* Desert Island Discs (not tomes)* Bob Monkhouse’s joke book* Monty Python’s “The Funniest Joke in the World” sketch* “The Treader of the Dust” by Clark Ashton Smith* The Revelations of Gla’aki* Samizdat* Cultes Des Goules* The History of the Necronomicon



    And you thought the SAN loss from the Necronomicon was bad…



    News



    “Number 22” Playtest



    Matt briefly discusses his recent playtest of his scenario, “Number 22”, as found in the new issue of The Blasphemous Tome. We offer places in playtests like this to our Patreon backers first of all. If you are a backer, do check your feed or email for announcements such a...

    • 1 hr 2 min
    At the Mountains of Madness part 5

    At the Mountains of Madness part 5

    We’re back and we’re finally free of the city of the Elder Things. Now, we’re racing off to the aëroplane as fast as our little legs will carry us. Everything will be fine once we’re airborne. We’ve learnt our lessons and we shan’t look back. Nope, no way. Not after that whole shoggoth incident. Looking back only leads to trouble. We’re smarter than that now.



    Oh, bugger. We looked back.







    Main Topic: At the Mountains of Madness part 5



    This is the final part of our discussion of Lovecraft’s epic, At the Mountains of Madness. After all the geological, biological and historical explorations of previous chapters, we find ourselves caught up in something almost mystical. The story ends with another infodump, but one born of madness. As ever, we pick this apart in search of gaming inspiration.



    We then offer a quick overview of other works inspired by At the Mountains of Madness. Unsurprisingly, Beyond the Mountains of Madness, the classic Call of Cthulhu campaign, plays a big part in our discussion.



    It says a lot about our interests that we completely neglected to discuss any video games. There are plenty of fine games out there that draw upon Lovecraft’s tale, but you’ll have to turn to younger and hipper podcasters for details of them.







    Links



    Some of the things we mention in this episode include:



    * “Pharos” from Fungi From Yuggoth* The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath* “The Thing on the Doorstep”* “The Dreams in the Witch-House”* The House of Doors by Brian Lumley* “The Colour Out of Space”* Jacob’s ladder* The Archetypes from “The Seven Geases”* Beyond the Mountains of Madness* Assault on the Mountains of Madness* The Antarktos Cycle* Frozen Hell by John W Campbell* The Great White Space by Basil Copper* “Shaft Number 247” from New Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos* “The Crevasse” from Nathan Ballingrud’s North American Lake Monsters* Monsterland — the upcoming TV programme based on North American Lake Monsters* “Branch Line Rep...

    • 1 hr 6 min
    At the Mountains of Madness part 4

    At the Mountains of Madness part 4

    We’re back and we’re nearing the end of our expedition. The tunnels below this ancient, pre-human city are full of penguin droppings but somehow these aren’t the foulest things down here. Something has been polishing these floors like a giant protoplasmic Roomba. We’re not sure what it is yet, but it does seem to have a lovely singing voice. Maybe it will be our friend.



    It looks like it packs a mean cuddle.



    Main Topic: At the Mountains of Madness part 4



    This is the penultimate part of our discussion of Lovecraft’s epic, At the Mountains of Madness. We’re well into the action-packed part of the story, with monsters aplenty. Sure, some of these monsters are penguins, but they do look really creepy down here in the dark. Especially the ones without any eyes.



    Links



    Some of the things we mention in this episode include:



    * The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath* The lost colony of Roanoke* Y’ha-nthlei* “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”* The Antarctic Regions by Karl Fricker* Fricker Glacier* The Generation Game* Giant penguins!* Penguin biscuits* Palimpsests* “The Shadow Out of Time”* The Private Life of Elder Things* The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket* Penguin Fringed Abyss podcast* Isaac Bonewits* Yukio Mishima* Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters* Frankenstein* The Singularity



    “Can you tell me how to get, how to get to…”



    News



    The Blasphemous Tome issue 5



    We have finished laying out issue 5 of The Blasphemous Tome and it will soon be heading to press!



    The Tome is the print-only fanzine we produce exclusively for our Patreon backers. This issue features a new scenario for Call of Cthulhu, called “Number 22”, written by very our own Matt Sanderson. You will also find plenty of other juicy articles, stories and artwork, including many contributions from our wonderful listeners! If you would like to secure your copy, simply back us on a data-ytta-id="-" href="https://www.patreon.

    • 1 hr 6 min

Customer Reviews

TomasDeTorque ,

Excellent Listening

As I re-emerge myself into the RPG world finding podcasts has been a great help. This one is brilliant and about my favourite game, Call of Cthulhu. I am working my way through back episodes while eagerly awaiting the new ones. Through this podcast I have come up with new ideas for scenarios, how to write them and learnt to be more confident with improvisation. I enjoy the discussion between Matt, Scott and Paul and how they don't always agree. I find myself joining in the discussion as I'm driving to work.

Dalex D. Diddlesticks ,

Be Warned

The Good Friends will entertain, stimulate and intrigue you for hours, however be warned...
Do not fall asleep during this podcast or you shall awake, shivering from the darkest nightmare, with the demented wails of 'thank you to our latest Patreon backer!'

JR Wilkinson ,

Great podcast for a great game!

Paul, Matt and Scott are so knowledgeable about Call of Cthulhu I’m particular and RPGs in general, that this podcast is a delight to listen to.

The recent episodes interviewing Mike and Lynne from Chaosium were brilliant, but I want to reserve special mention for the episode about Player Engagement. As a ‘keeper’ myself, I thought this discussion was a joy to listen to, and provided me with so many tips and advice.

Can’t wait for the next episodes to be released!

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