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Pulp Cthulhu a setting to far?

Posted by Butters , 27 August 2016 · 4,590 views

Do the Pulp rules where you play a more HEROIC style Investigator take away something from the setting that makes Call of Cthulhu special?
For me one of the things that makes Call of Cthulhu such a different and interesting game is the fact that it derives a lot of its uniqueness and feel from the normality of the characters you play they are not superheroes or special force ninjas they are the mechanics, shop workers and crazy Antiquarian booksellers who have seen or experienced something that they know they cant win against and that will either kill them or at the very least drive them insane but still they have made the decision to fight against it to save others or to delay the inevitable just that little bit longer.
And whilst Pulp is fun (Astonishing Tales is a blast) for me it takes away that bleakness and normalcy as by its very nature the Investigators become heroic because of their special abilities and powers and not just because of their decision to risk everything to fight against the Mythos.
Being able to play a Doc Savage or The Shadow style of character is fun I'm just not sure it fits into my view of Lovecraftian universe.
So what do you guys think is Pulp Cthulhu just another way to experience the Mythos in a new and refreshing way or is it best left as a way to battle jet pack using mutant Nazis?






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Charlie_the_Cat_Pooka
30 Aug 2016 03:03 PM

I think it's better to look at the concept of whether it's fun FOR YOU as opposed to whether it is some existential challenge to the Cthulhu Mythos itself. Brian Lumley's THE BURROWERS BENEATH and subsequent stories are about Pulpy heroes which eventually go on to become Epic Doctor Who sci-fi stories which culminate in the destruction of Cthulhu as well as his armies. August Derleth gets quite a bit of flack for the Good vs. Evil depiction of the Mythos but if you read the TRAIL OF CTHULHU (book, not RPG) you'll find it an amazingly entertaining work. Hawkgirl and the Real Ghostbusters have both fought Lovecraft's monsters.

 

If the answer is to say, "No, this is not for me. I don't like seeing the Cthulhu Mythos and its cultists fought by humans who don't get reduced to

gibbering masses of terror" then that's entirely your perogitive. However, The Masks of Nyarlathotep, Innsmouth Raid, and numerous other mega-modules I've always felt were designed with less of a scholarly band of Investigators in mind than a bunch of ex-WW1 veterans with dynamite and explosives.

 

Is it Cosmic Horror? No, absolutely not. It's Pulp adventure which uses the Cthulhu Mythos.

 

And GOOD for the developers there. I say this as a man who does post-apocalypse Westerns.

Thanks for the reply its true that Masks etc. do lean towards a somewhat Pulpy style I don't find it a to be a problem as the mechanics be they Sixth or Seventh edition allow the Players to do that without falling into Doc Savage territory whilst the Pulp Cthulhu rules do and for me significantly change the atmosphere and feel of the game as it should and its this change I'm not sure about.

Its all personal preference at the end of the day but I not sure there was a real need to add this option as for me it takes away a lot of the cosmic horror aspect of Cthulhu an aspect that I really like because its so different from most other RPG's where you are quite obviously playing the HERO TM with superior powers or abilities to that of others.

 

Pulp Cthulhu Cover For Adcopy  99219.1464808396.190.250
 
Not sure about.

 

CHA2031.main  45555.1403580708.190.250
 
A great game setting
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yronimoswhateley
31 Aug 2016 06:04 PM

One of the nice things about "Pulp Cthulhu" is that the rules are actually a minimal intrusion on the stock Call of Cthulhu rules, keepers can pick-and-choose which (if any) Pulp rules to add, and many of the rules are adjustable from not much stronger than stock CoC characters, up to fairly over-the-top pulp.

 

The result is a small collection of optional rules that can do anything from simply providing rules for adding a psychic investigator or an exorcist to a standard game of CoC, up to allowing for a game where Conan the Barbarian can punch out Cthulhu in traditional Conan fashion, depending on how many optional rules the keeper allows, and just how "pulpy" the keeper allows the rules' adjustments to get.

Optional rules are always a great resource I just think that for the Cthulhu setting the Pulp rules were a somewhat unnessary one as the core mechanics can do fairly Pulpy without turning it up to 11 and thus turning a game that relies on horror for so much of its atmosphere into a parody.
‚ÄčIf I want to have some two fisted action (I know sorry :)) with my band of crazed Scientists and Gadgeteers I think Astounding Adventures can cover it better within its own pulpy setting but that's just my opinion.

Again thanks for the replies as its always interesting to see what other people think and to see if I'm too much of a Grognard yet.

(The answer is probably yes :0)

That was a cool link by the way thanks.