In recent weeks my group has expressed interest in trying a game of Call of Cthulhu despite the fact that none of us have played the game or even read the stories the game is based on. While I have only skimmed the rules they seem very similar to Stormbringer / Magic World (which is what we play) making me unconcerned about the mechanical aspects of the game.
However what does concern me is how to run the game successfully as I have never ran a game focused on horror. I have already learned a lot from this site but would like your opinion on a few things. Also just so you know we play our games online using Mumble. I will be running a modified version of The Haunting.
- How do I make the players (not the characters) nervous or scared? In the Stormbringer game we play, the players play heroes. That works against me here because the players tend to be fearless. I had thought I would introduce supernatural elements at the beginning of the CoC game and then work up towards real threats to their character’s lives, but I’m not sure that will be enough. Any thoughts?
- How do I make research and investigation interesting? For best results The Haunting requires the characters to do extensive research and investigation prior to going into the house. How do I keep the player’s interest? How do I make investigation and research challenging and/or interesting? Does it make sense to use some type social conflict system to model the research such as that used by Revolution D100 and M-Space?
- What is your opinion of using the new Delta Green’s sanity rules as opposed to CoC’s sanity rules? Which would encourage more roleplaying? Which do you think would be more fun?
- With the understanding that my group will be using pre-generated characters (Don’t want them to invest time into custom characters in their first likely deadly game), how can I best encourage roleplaying?
Thoughts are appreciated!
PS – My group plays online using Mumble for audio an RPOL for dice rolling. While this has always worked for us I am concerned that it will impact my ability to describe a stern and scary atmosphere. Also I will be using the 6th edition CoC rules