252 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

    • Leisure
    • 5.0 • 62 Ratings

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.

    Special: “The Thing on the Roof” by Robert E Howard, read by Mike Perceval-Maxwell

    Special: “The Thing on the Roof” by Robert E Howard, read by Mike Perceval-Maxwell

    We’re back with another special episode. This time, we have a reading of Robert E Howard’s “The Thing on the Roof” by our good friend Mike Perceval-Maxwell. You may remember Mike as the director and narrator of our performance of A Christmas Carol in late 2020. Since then, he has started his own podcast, Mr Spike’s Bedtime Stories, where he reads works of weird fiction. He has also performed many of these live on the Good Friends Discord server. Mike is a seasoned voice actor who has worked with the BBC, and his readings are something special indeed.







    Your narrator, Mike Perceval-Maxwell







    “The Thing on the Roof” is one of Howard’s punchier Mythos tales. While it follows a pretty stereotypical storyline for Lovecraftian horror, it is filled with Howard’s trademark energy. “The Thing on the Roof” was originally published in the February 1932 issue of Weird Tales and has been collected and anthologised countless times since.







    If you are interested in learning more about Robert E Howard, we recently released a pair of episodes on his life and works. Our next episode discusses his classic Conan tale, “The Tower of the Elephant”. We also recently explored the sword and sorcery genre, which Howard originated, in some detail.















    Other classic weird tales you can find on Mr Spike’s Bedtime Stories include:







    * “The Doom That Came to Sarnath” by H P Lovecraft* Two Tales of Wonder by Lord Dunsany* “From Beyond” by H P Lovecraft* “Lost Hearts” by M R James* And many more

    • 28 min
    The Works of Robert E Howard

    The Works of Robert E Howard

    We’re back and we’re hitting the books. That’s probably not fair, though. Just because they’re full of boxing tales doesn’t mean they can hit back. And two-fisted stories don’t actually seem to have any fists of their own. We’re beginning to suspect that this fiction stuff is all made up.







    Main Topic: The Works of Robert E Howard







    This episode is the conclusion of our two-part look into the life and works of Robert E Howard. Last time, we offered an overview of Howard’s life. This time, it’s the turn of his work.







    As well as being the creator of Conan the Cimmerian, Solomon Kane, Kull of Atlantis, and the Pictish king, Bran Mak Morn, Howard initiated both the sword and sorcery and weird western genres. In his sadly short career, Howard wrote horror, boxing yarns, comedies, historical adventures, and action stories. With the encouragement of his friend H P Lovecraft, he penned tales of the Cthulhu Mythos. And that’s without mentioning his voluminous poetry output. He was as versatile as he was prolific. While we cover the broad strokes of his career, we would need dozens of episodes just to catalogue his work. As a result, this is an incomplete and highly idiosyncratic summary of Howard’s career and legacy.







    Our next episode wraps up this series by exploring one of Howard’s most famous stories, “The Tower of the Elephant”.







    Robert E Howard







    Resources







    Our main research sources for this episode are:







    * Blood and Thunder: The Life and Art of Robert E Howard by Mark Finn* A Means to Freedom: The Letters of H P Lovecraft and Robert E Howard edited by S T Joshi, David E Schultz and Rusty Burke* Nameless Cults: The Cthulhu Mythos Fiction of Robert E Howard edited by Robert M Price















    Links







    Things we mention in this episode include:







    * Conan the Cimmerian* Solomon Kane* Robert E Howard’s poetry* “The Sea” by Robert E Howard* “Spear and Fang” by Robert E Howard* Weird Tales* “Red Nails” by Robert E Howard* Sailor Steve Costigan* Boxing pulp magazines* Post Oaks & Sand Roughs by Robert E Howard* a href="https://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0603491h.

    • 53 min
    The Life of Robert E Howard

    The Life of Robert E Howard

    We’re back and we’re spoiling for a fight. Well, a boxing match at least. There’s this fellow we met down at the ice house who’s promised us a bout or two. We heard he’s some kind of writer, so his fists must be more used to hitting keys than jaws. Uh oh. Look at the size of him! Is it too late to change this to a different kind of competition, maybe something like writing a poem? What? He’s good at that too? Boy, it’s really not our day….







    Main Topic: The Life of Robert E Howard







    This episode is the first of our two-part look into the life and work of Robert E Howard. A close friend of Lovecraft (although the two men never actually met), Howard was a cornerstone of the success of Weird Tales. He not only added to the Cthulhu Mythos but created, arguably, two enduring subgenres of fantastic fiction: sword and sorcery and the weird western. Like Lovecraft, most of his success came posthumously, his books selling millions of copies. His creations have appeared in films, comics, video game and even the odd RPG. But who was Robert E Howard?







    We examine the man himself, looking at how his life might have shaped his writing. For someone who died so young and spent most of his short life in one town, Howard lived a fascinating life. The era of Texan history in which he grew up was a turbulent one, dealing with the fallout of recent conflicts and the shock of the oil boom. These unique circumstances, as well as the oddness of the Howard family, were fertile creative ground for the young writer’s imagination. We offer a brief overview of the key events of his life and some thoughts of our own.







    As a general content warning, this episode includes some brief discussion of Howard’s suicide.







    Our next episode builds upon this discussion, looking at Howard’s writing career and his most famous creation, Conan the Cimmerian.







    Robert E Howard







    Links







    Our main research sources for this episode are:







    * Blood and Thunder: The Life and Art of Robert E Howard by Mark Finn* A Means to Freedom: The Letters of H P Lovecraft and Robert E Howard edited by S T Joshi, David E Schultz and Rusty Burke* Nameless Cults: The Cthulhu Mythos Fiction of Robert E Howard edited by Robert M Price















    Other things we mention in this episode include:







    * H P Lovecraft* Clark Ashton Smith* Texas oil boom* Cross Plains, Texas* There Will Be Blood (2007)* Picts* Bran Mak Morn* Adventure* “Pigeons From Hell” by Robert E Howard* a h...

    • 58 min
    Genre Emulation in RPGs

    Genre Emulation in RPGs

    We’re back and we’re looking at our underpinnings. This can be an awkward thing to do when you reach our age. We recommend finding somewhere nice and private first. Alternatively, record it all in a podcast and put it out on the internet.







    Main Topic: Genre Emulation in RPGs







    This episode is our discussion of the role of genre emulation in RPGs. How do RPGs reflect the source material that inspires them? Should they even attempt to do so? And how do we even attempt to define genre? While we may not provide comprehensive answer to these thorny questions, they do at least act as springboards for some robust discussion.







    Links







    Things we mention in this episode include:







    * Genre* Sword and sorcery* Avatar Legends RPG Kickstarter* Dungeons & Dragons* Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG* The One Ring RPG* Marvel Heroic Roleplaying* Seinfeld* Primetime Adventures* All the President’s Men by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein* Billions* Rivers of London RPG* Dying Earth RPG* Deadlands* Doctor Who RPG* Pulp Cthulhu* Jaws of the Six Serpents















    * Stranger Things* Tales From the Loop* Mad Max* Dead of Night* Monsterhearts* Savage Worlds* Blake’s 7* Appendix N* Alien RPG* Star Wars RPG* Casablanca (1942)* A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin* The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher* Wild Cards by George RR Martin* LitRPG* a href="https://blasphemoustomes.

    • 59 min
    The Changeling

    The Changeling

    We’re back and we’re poking around in our dusty old attic. It’s usually the most convenient place to find ghosts. You’d think that with the number of people who have died over the years, ghosts would be a bit easier to locate. Instead, we end up looking into all the dark corners of our homes, hoping to catch a glimpse of something spooky. It’s mostly just cobwebs and lonely spiders, however. Maybe we’ll just give up and put on this DVD of The Changeling instead.







    Main Topic: The Changeling







    This episode is our discussion of the 1980 Canadian horror film, The Changeling. While horror cinema is hardly short of ghost stories, there’s always room for a well-made one. And there’s good reason why The Changeling haunts so many genre best-of lists. As ever, we pick the film’s bones for gaming inspiration.







    Links







    Things we mention in this episode include:







    * The Changeling (1980)* The Exorcist (1973)* The Omen (1976)* The Shining (1980)* Henry Treat Rogers house in Denver* The Amityville Horror (1979)* Ed and Lorraine Warren* The Conjuring (2013)* Peter Medak* The Babysitter (1980)* Cry For the Strangers (1982)* Species II (1998)* Masters of Horror* Hannibal* The Babysitter (2017)















    * The Landmark Trust* Old Observatory House in Edinburgh* Cryptomnesia* Disappointments rooms* The Disappointments Room (2016)* Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë* Microfiche* Parapsychology* Automatic writing* Austin Osman Spare* Spirit trumpets* Cassadaga* Electronic Voice Phenomenon* White Noise (2005)* “The Whisperer in Darkness” by H P Lovecraft* ...

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Sword and Sorcery part 2

    Sword and Sorcery part 2

    We’re back and we’re ransacking forbidden ruins, crumbling temples, and the shelves of this abandoned video store in search of a sword and sorcery film worth watching. Our quest has has been a perilous one. So often, what appears to be a gem reveals a heart as rotten as any sorcerer’s. The 1980s were truly a dark age. Maybe we’ll have more luck with these ancient scrolls inscribed with RPGs of high adventure…







    Main Topic: Sword and Sorcery in Films and Gaming







    This episode is the conclusion our exploration of sword and sorcery. In our first instalment, we looked into the origins of the genre in the pulps. This time, we’re delving into films and games, seeing how they compare to their source material. While the 1980s were a boom time for sword and sorcery films, were any of them actually any good? We pick apart a few of the more notable films of the time, offering our usual range of conflicting opinions.







    In the second half of the episode, we do much the same with games. There have been any number of sword and sorcery RPGs published over the past 50 years, but which ones are worth looking into? And how do different games approach the genre, focusing more on swords, sorcery, or that atmosphere of sensual dreaminess that pervades some of the stranger tales?







    Links







    Things we mention in this episode include:







    * The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)* Ray Harryhausen* Jack the Giant Killer (1962)* La Belle et la Bête (1946)* Day of the Dead (1985)* Hawk the Slayer (1980)* The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982)* The Grognard Files podcast* Rifftrax* Heavy Metal (1981)* Heavy Metal magazine* Métal hurlant* Den by Richard Corben* Arzach by Moebius (inspiration for Taarna)















    * Fire and Ice (1983)* Ralph Bakshi* The Lord of the Rings (1978)* Fritz the Cat (1972)* Tolkien Experience Podcast* Frank Frazetta* Boris Vallejo* Roy Thomas* Gerry Conway* The Savage Sword of Conan* Wizards (1977)* a href=...

    • 1 hr

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
62 Ratings

62 Ratings

NatManBurgess ,

Good Friends indeed

I have been listening to this podcast now for over a year and I am now in 2017.. the accessibility of this podcast is something else, when I’m running a game I know that GFoJE would of covered any questions I may have and if not they soon will..

This podcast has gotten me through some tough times especially during the pandemic as I work for the NHS as an acute mental health support worker! I’m currently on the Storytelling collection course so watch out Scott, Matt and Paul!

Sending lots of sanity
Discord: NatMan

thermalsatsuma ,

Cthulhu and much more

Although this is billed as a gaming podcast, it covers a broad range of subjects, including in depth discussion of the works of HP Lovecraft, horror films (both classic and obscure) and a recent run of episodes looking at cults and conspiracy theories in an informative and entertaining way. The three hosts are clearly long term friends with a great rapport that comes over in the podcast.

Victor78610 ,

Best Call fo Cthulhu podcast

regardless if you are a player or a DM, you will find very insightful ideas for your campaign here

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