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The Good Friends Of Jackson Elias review

Rating –

For a lot of people, this will be something of a “marmite” review, but I’m an unashamed geek so you’ll just have to indulge me. I’ve been a fan of the roleplaying game “Call Of Cthulhu” since the mid 90’s. Despite that, the lack of a proper gaming group meant I’d only run a few games and that was 20 or so years ago. Call it a midlife crisis if you will, but a year or two back I decided I wanted to get back into it, but I had no idea really how to play anymore. I found this podcast as a recommendation on a Facebook group, and I took the trip to the Dreamlands to meet Scott, Matt and Paul.

So what’s it about

The Good Friends Of Jackson Elias is “a regular podcast about Call Of Cthulhu, horror films, and horror gaming in general”. Even the non Lovecraftian subjects usually end up being tied back into the game in one way or another. I mean, that is the subject of the podcast after all.

The hosts, Scott Dorward, Matt Sanderson and Paul Fricker all write for Chaosium, the company that produces Call Of Cthulhu (from here on out referred to as CoC to save my carpal tunnels), and really, if they don’t know something then it’s not really worth knowing.

Despite this, don’t for one moment think there’s nothing here to enjoy if you aren’t partial to rolling d100 for SAN. The episodes vary from CoC specifics to reviews of horror fiction and films or even tips for writing (for CoC, but easily transferred to other genres). This is truly a treasure trove (or more appropriately an arcane tome of forbidden knowledge) for anything horror related.

Is it any good?

This is easily the best Lovecraftian podcast out there, and not just if you’re into gaming. There is a wealth of knowledge here, and if you have a passing interest in the works of The Old Man Of Providence, then there’ll be something to enjoy. There are plenty of episodes (as I write this, they are on episode 282!) so feel free to pick and choose as you wish. Even if you have some aversion to numbered plastic polyhedra, then you will enjoy the film reviews, and the analyses of stories are in the vein of A Podcast To The Curious (and equally as good).

Final thoughts

It’s come a long way from recording in Paul’s shed and drinking white russians. At first the improvements were instantly noticeable. New mics made everything clearer (yes, I remember the campaigns for new mics, and the teething problems getting them to work!) Since then though, the podcast just seems to have spread its tentacles and inexorably slithered from the aforementioned shed to become the leading podcast in the field.

It’s hard to overstate how much this podcast has benefitted me over the years. Strangely in ways mostly unrelated to gaming. I’ve discovered new authors, new podcasts, films and music. Thanks to Scott, I’ve also started doing the October horror film challenge (currently my second year doing that). Watching one horror film a day for every day in October is a tough task, not because they are horror films, but because the object is to watch ones you haven’t seen before. I tend to save up recommendations over the year just for this challenge. Truth be told, it’s also why I’m posting this today.

This is one of my favourite podcasts, and I heartily recommend you subscribe immediately, or I’ll ask the guys to sing to you!

You can get The Good Friends Of Jackson Elias here:


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