Tomes and Tentacles -- Well Worth The Listen

I am currently gearing up to participate in a Call of Cthulhu campaign. For those not familiar with the role playing game from Chaosium, well why not have them explain it?1

Call of Cthulhu is a roleplaying game of mystery and horror, in which players take on the role of investigators to uncover the secrets of the cosmos. In the course of a game, the investigations may find themselves battling against crazy cults and horrors from beyond space.2

This has involved reviewing the rules for the 7th edition (which I haven’t played yet), reading the
Pulp Cthulhu book, creating a new character, and reading some humorous Mythos based books. Another thing that I did, on the recommendation of the Keeper of Arcane Lore,3 was listen to the Tomes and Tentacles podcast. This is a live play podcast following a group of individual playing a CoC campaign.

This was my first time listening to a live play podcast. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was going to find this enjoyable or annoying. I should have trusted my Keeper.
4 I did whatever the audio equivalent of binge-watching is.6 I stopped listening to my audiobook. I stopped listening to the radio. I put the podcast on when I was doing chores, exercising, and before falling asleep.

It was that much fun.

Part of the appeal was the very unique setting created by the Keeper. Part of it, quite a bit, was the cast of characters and the people portraying them. The cast really got into their roles, to the point of using different voices when speaking in character. This made it very easy to tell when they were speaking to each other out of character and when they were role-playing.

And the role-playing! The role-playing was awesome. There were some very creative problem solving done by the group. In addition to the voice work, the podcast also employs limited music and sound effects. This makes listening to the episodes more like listening to an old school radio show, and it makes it that much more fun.

There are 24 episodes of Tomes and Tentacles, each about 1 hour long. This carries us through the entire campaign, which has two major plots. I am being vague because I don’t want to give anything at all away.

I highly recommend the podcast and I am looking forward to the second season.

1 For more information, check out the Chaosium website here.

2 From the
front page.

3 The Keeper of Arcane Lore, or Keeper for short, is the GM of the game.

4 Always trust your Keeper.

5 Except when you shouldn’t.

6 Binge-listening I suppose.