Copyright © 2020 Omniverse Media

SUBSCRIBE:  Apple Podcast  |  Spotify  |  Google Play  |  Radio Public  |  Stitcher  |  Podchaser  |  RSS

SERIES I - MEET THE CAST:

Before you dive into the insanity of improvised audio drama horror, meet the players and learn a little bit about how we use tabletop roleplaying to help us weave these sinister stories.

 

This debut series of The Call of Cthulhu Mystery Program features cast members from beloved actual play podcasts: Cap Blackard and Ruel Knudson from Dungeons & Doritos, Ghostbusters: Resurrection's Doug Banks, Paranoia XP's Kaymonstar, and Pokéballs of Steelix's Brandon Gerson, along with the podcast debut of Game Master, Luke Stram.

 

Our ongoing journey into unknowable adventure started life here, as a fan-requested special. Join us for our humble beginnings as our cast embarks on a terrifying and hilarious RPG series like no other.

Full Transcript Below

Original score composed and performed by Ryan and Mike McQuinn of Neon Dolphin Music Design

TRANSCRIPT:

[Omniverse audio brand]

Announcer:
The Call of Cthulhu Mystery Program contains content that may not be suitable for all ages - listener discretion is advised.

Visit CthulhuMystery.com and head to Patreon.com/OmniverseMedia to join our community of fans and unlock further secrets.

[Moody music plays]

Cap Blackard - Present day:
Hi there folks, I’m Cap Blackard, the showrunner of The Call of Cthulhu Mystery Program - popping to give you a little modern day perspective on what you’re about to hear.

Before Omniverse, there was The Nerdy Show Network - a collective of geeky podcasts that we started in 2009. The Call of Cthulhu Mystery Program, was originally released on Nerdy Show as a miniseries in 2015. …An experiment, that, in the grand tradition of chilling tales, grew to monstrous proportions and took on a life of its own. But I’m getting ahead of myself...

Back then - our network was gaining a reputation for doing tabletop roleplaying podcasts a bit... differently. We enhanced the gameplay with audio drama elements like sound effects and original score. And this series was the next evolution of that, stepping deeper into an immersive audio drama format, while telling stories improvisationally through roleplaying - Something we took to even greater extremes with the re-launch of Mystery Program as an ongoing show in 2018.

In this short pre-game episode you’ll meet the players and learn a little bit about how we use tabletop roleplaying to collaboratively create a sanity-shredding story. I’ve left this discussion relatively in its original form - so what you should keep in mind going in is this:

We were called “Nerdy Show” then, and these are our humble beginnings, in a world before Patreon, where we ran our own monthly fund-raisers… and the occasional “RPG support drive” where our fans would choose what we’d play next.

Our ongoing journey into the unknowable started life here... so young, so naive… so unprepared for the uncanny adventures to come.


[The Call of Cthulhu Mystery Program theme plays - somber]

Cap Blackard - 2015:
Welcome to a Nerdy Show RPG miniseries. THIS is The Call of Cthulhu Mystery Program. Hi, I'm Cap!

Ruel Knudson:
I'm Ruel.

Kay:
I'm Kay.

Brandon Gerson:
I'm Brandon.

Doug Banks:
I'm Doug.

Luke Stram:
I'm Luke.

Cap:
Yes, introducing Luke Stram, our gamemaster for this series. He's a specialist; we called him in just for this. The Call of Cthulhu Mystery Program is a single campaign that was so big it needed to be serialized, which is a cool development because that means we're able to present it in the style of a classic old timey radio drama.

The show's brought to you as a part of our fan shows and RPG support drive where you guys decided our next system we'd play. And you chose the classic, Call of Cthulhu. That's thanks to Bryce Harris, Cassie Muldrow, Hexual, BigBadShadowMan, Jerome Appel, James Hickson, Tolan, Benjamin Britt, Geoffrey Voss, Tyler Conrad, Matthew Cox, FenrirGochad, Kevin McDonald, Korrik, Jobarda, John Pennington, Anique Zimmer, Sean T. Redd... Together you guys helped fund Nerdy Show and gave us the incredible amount of $859 to make this episode happen.

Brandon:
Holy mother of shit!

Kay:
Holy cow!

Brandon:
Is that like the most ever?

Cap:
It might be the most ever for an RPG. I don't remember off the top of my head.

Brandon:
Well, I'm sorry to disappoint you at how [laughing] horrible this might go.

Ruel:
Wow.

Cap:
Nerdy Show's RPG One Shots are Actual Play radio dramas, so we're going to be playing this game for real, improving the entire thing for real, adding in sound effects and original score.

This original score is composed by Dungeons & Doritos composers Ryan and Mike McQuinn. And if you like it, you can head over to our Bandcamp and support the artists directly by picking up some of the awesome music.

So, this motley crew that we've assembled here, it's very exciting! Right here in the studio for the first time ever, playing as a character, is Ruel, the gamemaster of Dungeons & Doritos.

Ruel:
[Breathy] Yeah.

[Laughing]

Ruel:
That's me.

Cap:
How often, Ruel- I mean, you design systems. I assume you're a gamemaster more than you are a player. Is that correct, or...?

Ruel:
No, actually, I get to play- well, except for Nerdy Show- I mean, I get to play just as often as I have to run 'em, so.

Cap:
Well, that's cool. This is the first time we're gonna record with you!

Ruel:
Yeah, it's gonna be fun.

Brandon:
Speaking of Doritos... I have a surprise for everyone before we begin this episode.

Cap:
Oh.

Ruel:
Bet it's Doritos.

Brandon:
And I thought- no, it's actually not Doritos, it's these things called Paqui Tortilla Chips, “Haunted Ghost Pepper”.

[Loud laughter]

Brandon:
I thought in the spirit of things, since we always, y'know, eat stuff before D&D and shit, that maybe we could all try one or two? I don't know- I mean, they're from a grocery store, how hot could they really be?

[Multiple people call out that the bag says 'ghost pepper']

Brandon:
I mean...

Cap:
That bag illustration is amazing.

Doug:
Everyone, smell it first and see if it's, like, spicy.

Ruel:
We gotta have a Crunch-Off.

Cap:
Yeah, we do need to do a Crunch-Off.

Brandon:
No one eat it yet, we'll all eat it together.

Cap:
So, we got Doug, the gamemaster of Ghostbusters: Resurrection.

Doug:
Yes, also a first for me.

Cap:
Yeah, I mean, you've never done a Nerdy Show show where you've been a player for an RPG.

Doug:
No, no, yeah.

Cap:
And of course we have Brandon and K, who you may know from Paranoia XP one shot. And Brandon's of course Jamesy Roquette, the perhaps most famous character of Pokéballs of Steelix.

Brandon:
Yay! Alright, alright, so we're gonna eat these now.

Cap:
O-Okay, we're gonna- we're gonna eat these now and then we'll talk about Luke.

Brandon:
Haunted Ghost Pepper chips

Luke:
Sounds good.

Brandon:
Let's do it.

[A prolonged cacophony of chip crunching occurs]

Brandon:
[Coughs] It- I feel like it might hit me in a second.

Ruel:
It does, it takes a second.

Cap:
Oh man, that's a whole- that's a whole carriage of scovilles just runnin' down my tongue!

[Laughing]

Kay:
It's not bad.

Doug:
I know I need something, yeah.

Ruel:
Wow.

[Brandon laughs]

Doug:
Oh man...

[Lots of laughing]

Cap:
Brandon's taunting everybody with his Gatorade.

Brandon:
Oh, these are so good!

[Cap laughs]

Brandon:
I bought, like, several of 'em. [Laughs]

[Laughing]

Luke:
I think I'm crying thyme

Cap:
Their tagline is, "Homemade Horror."

[Laughing]

Luke:
Nice

Brandon:
They make a habanero one, but I was like, “that's not hot enough”.

Doug:
At first I didn't think it'd be that bad, because as soon- as soon as I bit into it--

Brandon:
It tastes like a Dorito.

Doug:
Well, the thing is, I bit into it- I don't know if it kicked up some of the dust, but it hit me in the nose.

[Chuckling]

Doug:
I felt like something kicked me in the nose. I'm like, "Oh, hey, is that it? Well, I guess that's okay." And then, no.

Brandon:
No, it builds, it builds.

Ruel:
Oh my god, it's like a stalker!

[Laughing]

Ruel:
You don't see it comin', and then it grabs you and it just won't let go! It's still there!

Doug:
Hence maybe why it's the 'ghost' pepper?

Cap:
Again, these are Paqui Tortilla Chips, “Haunted Ghost Pepper”. There's an illustration of a- like, a Mayan knight kneeling to a spectral pepper.

[Brandon laughs]

Doug:
It's got the ghost face on it from, like, Scream.

Kay:
I hope it doesn't bring Montezuma's Revenge.

Ruel:
Oh, man.

Brandon:
When you poop, you'll- it'll burn on the way out.

[Laughing]

Cap:
So, Luke, you are our specialist on this. Your credentials are extensive, you run Paranoia XP and Call of Cthulhu LARP games at Megacon, actually.

Luke:
That's correct.

Cap:
Explain to the listeners how that sort of thing can go down.

Luke:
Really brief. Call of Cthulhu- there's a bunch of people in a room for some reason, and half of these people are crazy. The other half of these people are monsters or sorcerers. Then everybody kind of intermingles working towards their goals... until the last hour of every single Call of Cthulhu LARP ever where it devolves into an orgy of bloodshed until about a third of the characters are left alive.

[Brandon laughs]

Luke:
Paranoia, the orgy of bloodshed is a given-

[Brandon laughs again]

Luke:
So, everybody gets their mountain of character sheets. And, that one's a little more freeform; we actually run that, rather than like in a room or anything, it's actually run on the floor of the con. And the teams themselves, they don't have GMs [Game Masters] or anything, they actually kind of move around from place to place. We've got simple rules so that they can kind of fight each other- they can do that. But basically the GMs actually occupy the service sector. So, if somebody wants to go to R&D, they go to R&D, they get a mission from the GM, and then they go off and do whatever ridiculous thing they've been assigned to do.

Brandon:
So, they physically, [Disgusted] actually walk?

Luke:
Yeah.

Brandon:
Oh, I couldn't do that.

[Laughing]

Brandon:
That's terrible, I need a chair, I need to be comfortable.

Luke:
I mean, really, like half of it is torturing the players with ridiculous things like... A common one, one that I love, is the paperwork steeple chase-

[Laughing]

Luke:
-where they need to get a thing. But to get the thing, they need the requisition form. But to get the requisition form, they need to fill out the approval form. But to get the approval form, they need to fill out this other form. And basically, they hit--

Brandon:
[Laughing] That's a fun time.

Luke:
They hit every single place, y'know, along the way. And then some of our stuff is just, y'know, "We really need to test out these weapons, go kill that team over there." "We really need to beef up our reactor shielding, we need more Infrareds to stand in this box." Infrareds, mind you, are all of the con-goers who have no idea what's happening, so...

[Laughing]

Luke:
That's one thing we try to do as much as much as possible - get our players to interact with the con-goers.

Kay:
That's awesome.

Luke:
Usually we give them out, like, candy bribes so that they can bribe people into doing stuff.

Brandon:
So, you go up to someone at the con like, [Creepily] "Here's some candy. Come with me."

[Laughing]

Luke:
"I need you to stand in a box, citizen."

Cap:
So, Call of Cthulhu- I mean, obviously a lot of people love it, a lot of people contributed money for us to play this game. It's a very beloved roleplaying system, and it's very unique in that it has a mechanic that hinges around sanity. So, what do the listeners at home need to know about what we're going to be doing, because I don't believe any of us here have played it before as a tabletop?

Luke:
Okay, well, pretty much basics, uh... Most of the skills and everything is just percentile, so, y'know, if you've got a 75% chance to do something, you roll, get under your 75% chance. Sanity, that's more important than your hitpoints, 'cause usually your hitpoints- you're alive...  or the giant monster mashed you into paste and now you're dead.

But sanity, that's something that tends to go down over time and much like everything else, that's kind of a percentile too, so if you've got 75 sanity, anytime you have a sanity-blasting event happen to you, like you have a nice conversation with your dead mother or something like that, you roll your sanity. If you get equal to or under that, then you take it pretty well. You might only lose a little bit of sanity or none at all. If you fail, you're usually gonna lose a fair bit more. And that's when the insanity starts to kick in, and uh... things get ugly.

Cap:
Gluttons for punishment here. Eatin' more of these ghost pepper chips.

Brandon:
[Choking] I inhaled the dust!

Luke:
Yeah, this game's just gonna be bombs going off occasionally just with people shouting and screaming.

[Multiple people shout "whoo"]

Luke:
And it's got nothin' to do with the game, it's just, "Aw, I just ate a ghost pepper."

[Laughing]

Ruel:
"Aw, fuck!"

Brandon:
Hoo, that's hot!!

Cap:
Well, [Laughing] before we set off another bomb, let's dive into the mystery. Nerdy Show is proud to present The Call of Cthulhu Mystery Program.

[The Call of Cthulhu Mystery Program intro plays - sinister]

Gruff Voice:
Do you hear that?

[SFX: Eerie wailing]

Gruff Voice:
In the cruel blackness of night, an unknowable evil from beyond time cries out! What dark deeds unfold on the streets of Arkham? And which unwitting souls, innocent or impure, will succumb to the maddening call? The Call... of Cthulhu!

[Music swells and fades]

[Calm music]

Announcer:
Thanks for listening to The Call of Cthulhu Mystery Program!

If you enjoy our aural entertainment, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts or Podchaser and be sure to subscribe to our series via your favorite podcast player to get all the latest episodes.

The series is edited and produced by Colin Peterson and Cap Blackard and the original score is composed and performed by Ryan McQuinn and Mike McQuinn of Neon Dolphin - home for all your custom music needs and more. Neondolphinmusic.com.

For full episode credits, transcripts, as well as character sheets and other supplemental material - visit CthulhuMystery.com.


This program is made possible by the support of listeners like YOU. Join us at Patreon.com/OmniverseMedia

All characters appearing are fictitious and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

This has been The Call of Cthulhu Mystery Program… Goodnight

[Music fades]

‚Äč

[Omniverse Audio Brand]
 

  • Patreon_Mark_Primary
  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Discord-Logo-Black