Cthulhu Live

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Details

1st Edition Cover

1st Edition

Publisher: Chaosium

Product Code: 6502

Publishing Year: 1997

Pages: 162

Cover Price: $16.95

Author(s): Robert "Mac" McLaughlin, Dan DePalma, Scott Nicholson, Cyndy Schneider

Artist(s): Bob Berta (cover), Robert "Mac" McLaughlin, Michael Tice, Steve Gallacci, Earl Geier, Drashi Khendup, H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, Revisionist Historical Society

Setting(s): N/A

Format(s): Softcover and PDF

ISBN: 1-56882-041-0


2nd Edition Cover

2nd Edition

Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games

Product Code: 0004

Publishing Year: 1999

Pages: 208

Cover Price: $##.##

Author(s): Robert "Mac" McLaughlin

Artist(s): Christian T. Petersen (Cover), Steve Gallaci, Earl Geier

Setting(s): N/A

Format(s): Softcover

ISBN: 1-887911-71-5


3rd Edition Cover

3rd Edition

Publisher: Skirmisher

Product Code: 0602

Publishing Year: 2006

Pages: 208

Cover Price: $19.95

Author(s): Robert "Mac" McLaughlin and the Skirmisher Game Development Group

Artist(s): Geoff Weber (cover; a photograph of an artwork by Richard Allan Poppe), Christian Matzke, David Meiklejohn, Robert "Mac" McLaughlin

Setting(s): N/A

Format(s): Softcover and PDF

ISBN: 0-9777211-0-8

Contents

Cthulhu Live is a core set of rules for running Live Action Cthulhu roleplaying. The game system is loosely based on Call of Cthulhu but is streamlined, and deviates from the straight skills-based description used by BRP to incorporate a system of Advantages/Disadvantages.

The rules have been published in three editions to date.

1st Edition

The 1st Edition was published by Chaosium as a squarish format (approx 8.7" x 8.2") softcover book. This volume is organized into:

  • Introduction,
  • Definition of Terms,
  • Player's Guide
    • The Character,
    • Playing the Game
  • Keeper's Guide
    • Test Resolution,
    • Magic,
    • Creatures,
    • NPC's and the Keeper,
    • Setting the Stage,
    • Reference Sheets,
  • Scenarios
  • Appendix A: H.P. Lovecraft,
  • Appendix B: (Cthulhu Lives),
  • Index.

Chaosium have never published any further books using the Cthulhu Live system, or integrated notes for Live Action roleplaying into any other releases.

2nd Edition

Two years after Chaosium's edition, a revised 2nd Editon was published by Fantasy Flight Games. This book is a smaller format (5½" x 8½") book organized into chapters:

  • Introduction,
  • Chapter One: The Character,
  • Chapter Two: Playing the Game,
  • Chapter Three: Test Resolution,
  • Chapter Four: Magic,
  • Chapter Five: Creatures,
  • Chapter Six: Game Support Staff,
  • Chapter Seven: Setting the Stage,
  • Chapter Eight: Reference Sheets,
  • Adventure One: The Auction,
  • Adventure Two: The Magna of Illusion.

Fantasy Flight Games went on to publish several supplements to Cthulhu Live including a Cthulhu Live: Player's Companion, a rules-expansion covering cults and secret societies (Cthulhu Live: Lost Souls), a sourcebook for running Pulp Fiction and Film Noir styled games (Cthulhu Live: Shades of Gray) and an adaptation of Pagan Publishing's Delta Green universe (Cthulhu Live: Delta Green).

3rd Edition

Following the release of the Delta Green book, Fantasy Flight ceased production of Cthulhu Live books and no further releases were published for six years. In 2006, Skirmisher published a 3rd Edition, again a small-form book (5½" x 8½"). This book has no scenarios. It was organized into chapters:

  • Acknowledgements,
  • Introduction,
  • Chapter One: Character Creation,
  • Chapter Two: Playing the Game,
  • Chapter Three: Running the Game,
  • Chapter Four: Magic,
  • Chapter Five: Creatures of the Mythos,
  • Chapter Six: Outsiders & Psychic Abilities,
  • Chapter Seven: Stagecraft,
  • Keeper Cheat Sheet,
  • Player Character Sheet

Since the release of the 3rd Edition, Skirmisher have been active in the publication of supplements for Cthulhu Live, initially as a line of books that were both produced in print and available electronically as PDFs. Later the line shifted to being electronic-only (PDF) releases. All of the books supporting the 3rd Edition to date are scenario scripts. Most releases contain a single script, however Skirmisher also released a Cthulhu Live Companion CDROM which includes numerous scripts plus a library of PDFs useful as props.

Scenatios (1st Edition only): The Ooze (Cthulhu Live Script), Horror in the Asylum (Cthulhu Live Script)

Scenarios (2nd Edition only): The Auction (Cthulhu Live Script), The Magna of Illusion (Cthulhu Live Script)

1st Edition Front Cover Text

Live Action Horror Game
Set in the Worlds of H.P. Lovecraft

Complete with 2 Scripts

1st Back Cover Text

Cthulhu Live
Live Action Horror Game
Set in the Worlds of H.P. Lovecraft

Cthulhu Live is a full evening's worth of fun every time it is played. There are no winners and no losers, only a group of friends having a good time. The participants are both actors and audience. Cthulhu Live is set in the universe of eldritch horror created by Howard Phillips Lovecraft - typically play alternates between horror and comedy, as the participants put different spins on the situation they face.

The evening's host (Keeper) controls the flow of action, much as a theatrical director directs a play. Props, costumes, special effects, and interesting locations contribute to a rich dramatic environment. Some players act out the parts of background characters, guided by the keeper. Other participants play investigators, tracking down clues and deducing their next moves. The investigators work together to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles standing between them and their final goal, perhaps rescuing a friend or saving the entire world. All participants react spontaneously - there is no dialogue to memorize.

This rulebook includes a Player's Guide and a Keeper's Guide. Illustrations include photographs from actual live action games. Features include:

  • Simple rules.
  • How to build a reusable costume wardrobe.
  • How to find or build inexpensive and realistic props.
  • How to make monsters, including easy instructions and simple diagrams.
  • Short scripts. A script summarizes the evening's action - two sample scripts are included.

Only one rulebook is needed. With it you can play any sort of horror game, or any plot involving mystery and investigation. A typical game needs no more than eight or ten people.

2nd Edition Front Cover Text

Live-Action Horror Role-Playing Set in the Worlds of H.P. Lovecraft

2nd Back Cover Text

CTHULHU LIVE is set in the universe of eldritch horror created by Howard Phillips Lovecraft. CTHULHU LIVE is a theater-gaming experience of horror, action, and suspense. The participants are both actors and audience. The game is a full evening's worth of fun every time it is played.

The host [keeper] controls the flow of action, much as a theatrical director directs a play. Props, costumes, special effects, and interesting locations contribute to a rich dramatic environment. Some players act out the parts of background characters, guided by the keeper. Other participants play investigators, tracking down clues and deducing their next moves. The investigators work together to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles standing between them and their final goal, perhaps rescuing a friend or saving the entire world. All participants react spontaneously — there is no dialogue to memorize.

The SECOND EDITION of CTHULHU LIVE includes the Keeper's Guide and the Player's Guide. Features include:

  • Simple rules
  • How to build a re-usable wardrobe
  • How to find or build inexpensive props
  • How to make monsters, including easy instructions and sample diagrams
  • Two ready-to-play adventures

New features to CTHULHU LIVE SECOND EDITION are: A greatly revised combat system, more character templates, new monsters, new skills, a convenient rules-booklet size, and two new adventures.

With CTHULHU LIVE SECOND EDITION you can play any kind of horror game, or enact any plot involving mystery and investigation. A typical game needs no more than eight to ten people.

3rd Edition Front Cover Text

No additional text.

3rd Back Cover Text

Horror and insanity are the rewards for those brave and foolish souls who dare to meddle in the dark worlds of Cthulhu Live 3rd Edition. This tome is the latest and greatest rendition of the acclaimed lie action roleplaying game based on the horror mythology of H.P. Lovecraft and other authors. This book offers much more than a unique and richly detailed playable rules system. It incorporates twelve years of best practices and refinements from hundreds of the top live-action roleplayers worldwide.

Some of the features of this self-contained game include:

  • All new rules for skills, combat, Sanity, Magic and Psychic powers
  • Tips on recreating your own tales of the Cthulhu Mythos
  • Guidelines on role-playing Outsiders, agents of the otherworldly beings hell-bent on destroying the world
  • Extensive information on stagecraft, special effects, building your own monsters, and organizing events

... and much more!

Comments / Trivia

Dedication (appears in 3rd Edtion -- ??others too??): "To H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Robert W. Chambers, Clark Ashton Smith, and all the other bards of the Mythos whose visions have inspired this work."

Links

Spoilers - Keepers Eyes Only

Players should not read any further.

Comment here to Keepers about this book. Comments on specific Scenarios and Campaigns go on their respective pages. Keep DISCUSSION on the talk page.