Welcome to the next installment of the “For Your Listening Pleasure” series—a series in which we highlight and showcase podcasts and radio dramas that we enjoy. In this installment, I (Modoc) will introduce you to one radio drama and one actual play podcast I have been listening to lately. I invite you to get comfortable, stay awhile, and hopefully find something new for your listening pleasure.
The two podcasts presented in this installment are The Scarab Archives and The Miskatonic Playhouse. Each is written, directed, independently produced, and available on all major podcast streaming services.
As always, we encourage you to comment below with your favorite podcast; don’t forget to tell us what you love about it.
The Scarab Archives
The Scarab Archives – Dr. Delbert East, Ph.D., finds himself working for the mysterious Lazarus Foundation, cataloging the items the Foundation has been collecting for nearly twenty years—supposed paranormal items. The objects and their known histories are now housed at their secret location, known only as the Scarab Archive.
This audio drama takes listeners on a journey with the Archive’s caretaker, Dr. Delbert East, as he creates a digital record of a mere fraction of the Archive’s more mysterious and terrifying artifacts in the Foundation’s possession. Each episode is one of Dr. East’s digital recordings or that of an intern. Through each recording, we, the listener, get an insight into the mysterious nature of the Foundation’s holdings through the description of the items, the acquired notes, and Dr. East’s thoughts. All of this paints a compelling picture of the items being cataloged.
Thomas Crain and his team have been putting together fantastic episodes that are wonderfully written and produced—I sometimes forget I am listening to a podcast and not archival recordings. Currently, there are three seasons, and as of a recent update from the team, the season three run-up episodes and finale will drop on Halloween, and season four is scheduled to begin at Christmas. If you’re looking for something a little different, The Scarab Archives is a must listen!
The Miskatonic Playhouse
The Miskatonic Playhouse – a new actual play podcast “created by the community, for the community.” It is not your run-of-the-mill actual play podcast, of which there are many in the tabletop gaming space. It serves a noble purpose—featuring only Call of Cthulhu scenarios published exclusively through Chaosium’s Miskatonic Repository.
Living up to their motto, “created by the community, for the community,” members of the production team are themselves Call of Cthulhu scenario writers. Furthermore, the rotating cast features other authors and notables within the Call of Cthulhu community. Another of their goals is to highlight the Repository’s best community-created content. As of this article, two scenario playthroughs have been released, and more are in post-production.
The inaugural playthrough featured The Dragon of Wantley. The newest and ongoing features Alpaca in the Sheepfield. There are also several non-game episodes interspersed. Astute readers may recall Rolling Boxcars reviewed The Dragon of Wantley, which was not to our reviewer’s liking. However, I listened to this playthrough, and there may, in fact, have some redeeming qualities. Read our review and listen to the playthrough, and judge for yourself.
The Miskatonic Playhouse is very much a laborer of love by community content creators spreading the word and promoting fellow authors’ works. This is not a high-end, well-financed operation, but the production values are very good and improving with each episode as the team finds its groove.
If you’re a fan of Call of Cthulhu or its Miskatonic Repository, it is well worth checking out, and start listening now.
We hope you enjoyed this article. Our mission is simple: to provide our readers with well-written articles and reviews that inform, promote, and improve the gaming community as a whole. We’re able to do this through the support of our patrons. If you’d like to become a patron and support our work, click the Patreon banner above to learn more.