Abraham Lincoln

Episode 157: I Have Points in Both, Simon

September 11th, 2015 | Robin

A skepticism of all things pseudopod suffuses the question Thomas Deeny poses in Ask Ken and Robin. “Why Cthulhu? By that, I mean, why do gamers love Cthulhu games? Boardgames, RPGs — it seems as if you slap Cthulhu on the game, it just sells. What is the draw?”

Providence proved Providential indeed for our resident bookhound. Ken’s Bookshelf paws through his haul from his recent jaunt to Necronomicon.

We begin to glean the gold of the packed Investigative Roleplaying Seminar of this year’s Gen Con, as once more Ken and Robin Recycle Audio.

Oft-mentioned but not until now explicated, the Priory of Sion finally gets the full treatment from the Consulting Occultist.

It blew up Kickstarter.  It slid into Gen Con on a gurney with both guns blazing. And now Feng Shui 2: Action Movie Roleplaying is laying down the kung fu, the gun fu, and the cybernetic primate fu, and rocketing its way to a retail store near you. Join our friends at Atlas Games in celebrating the long-anticipated release of Robin’s classic game, accompanied by the GM Screen: Fistful of Fight Scenes  and Blowing Up the Movies.


Ken fans who did not partake of the Kickstarter will want to sink their fangs into the pre-order for the Dracula Dossier from Pelgrane Press, consisting of the Director’s Handbook and Dracula Unredacted.

You say that’s still not enough Ken for you? Very well, my friend. His brilliant pieces on parasitic gaming, alternate Newtons, Dacian werewolves and more now lurk among the sparkling bounty of The Best of FENIX Volumes 1-3, from returning sponsors Askfalgen. Yes, it’s Sweden’s favorite RPG magazine, now beautifully collected. Warning: not in Swedish.

Would you like to sharpen young children’s memory skills while also introducing them to the cosmic dread of the Cthulhu Mythos? Then Recall of Cthulhu, Kickstarting from the fine folks at Toy Vault, until September 25, is for you. Amazingly adorable artwork of the Elder Gods and their ilk to delight the young and the young at heart. This classic matching game can be played by up to four of the most deranged patients in the Sanatorium, as well as young cultists aged 4 and up!

8 Responses to “Episode 157: I Have Points in Both, Simon”

  1. Aaron says:

    Regarding the Priory of Sion, Tim Wallace-Murphy was on Richard Hoagland’s Other Side of Midnight the same night as this podcast was posted. Wallace-Murphy seemed more interested in talking about Syria though.

  2. FMguru says:

    An under-appreciated ur-source of Lovecraftian influence on gaming would be the AD&D Deities and Demigods supplement, which had writeups of all the major Lovecraft deities and monsters, complete with completely insane Erol Otus artwork. Plus, it was given an extra aura of mystery when it disappeared from later printings of the book due to copyright claims (making early copies one of RPGing’s first rare collector’s items).

    The Chaosium RPG was obviously much more influential, but I was first pulled into the whole Cthulhu thing by those incalculably weird drawings and names in that AD&D hardcover, and I doubt I was the only one.

  3. Derek Upham says:

    You talked about Mythos nerd tribe signifiers in popular culture without mentioning True Detective?

  4. Coman Fullard says:

    Always love the book hauls … Just makes me jealous that I don’t have more time to read … But can I reccomend a few books for Ken’s Congo shelf… I would guess that you have Mad Mike Hoares memoirs (the mercenary commander he referenced perhaps?) … But Ivan Smith’s memoir of his own time there as a mercenary (Mad Dog Killers) might be worth a look.

    “To Katanga and Back” by Conor Cruise O’Brien, is an interesting insight into the UN activities in Katanga in the pre-Simba years. The Cruiser (as he is known in Ireland) was the UNs Special Representative in Elizabethville at the time.

    “Siege at Jadotville” by Declan Power covers the first time an Irish force went into battle against a foreign force since Ireland’s own independence … “we will hold out until our last bullet is spent. Could do with some whiskey.” Four days later they were forced to surrender to Katanganese and mercenary forces having run out of bullets (I don’t imagine there was much whiskey left either).

  5. Lisa Padol says:

    Another factor in playing Call of Cthulhu at gaming conventions is that the same people tend to show up year after year, self selecting for this type of gaming. Also, there’s the freedom to lose, to choose sub-optimal courses of action.

  6. Paul says:

    Bibliography for the Ken’s Bookshelf segment:

    The Spirit of Revision: Lovecraft’s Letters to Zealia Brown Reed Bishop
    Branney, Sean and Leman, Andrew (eds.)

    The Pirates’ Pact: The Secret Alliances Between History’s Most Notorious Buccaneers and Colonial America
    Douglas R. Burgess

    Spies in Revolutionary Rhode Island
    Christian M. McBurney

    Protectors of Privilege: Red Squads and Police Repression in Urban America
    Frank Donner

    When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler
    David M. Glantz, Jonathan Mallory House

    Cold Warrior: James Jesus Angleton : The Cia’s Master Spy Hunter
    Tom Mangold

    P. L. Thyraud de Vosjoli

    Symbol & Magic in Egyptian Art
    Richard H. Wilkinson

    Pulp Macabre: The Art of Lee Brown Coye’s Final and Darkest Era
    Mike Hunchback (Editor), Caleb Braaten (Editor)

    Unutterable Horror: A History of Supernatural Fiction, Volume 1
    S. T. Joshi

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