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JamesHuds

Horror movies adapted to Call of Cthulhu?

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JamesHuds

Hey everyone,

 

Are there any call of cthulhu scenarios adapted from horror movies, I mean, apart from that most scenarios are horror movies in essence. But for instance has anyone ever made a scenario from things like Friday 13th, Nightmare on elm street, The Babadook?

 

The Babadook would be quite fun to try and run, an entity that drives someone to the brink of insanity before possessing them making them angry and paranoid and killing their loved ones.

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gomyar

I've been toying with the idea of a Jurrasic Park version where they accidentally re-geneer a bunch of snake people. But that hasn't gotten out of the random statement stage yet.

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Nightbreed24

Here's a list of films I've seen that feature fishmen:

The Creature from the Black Lagoon

Revenge of the Creature

The Creature Walks Among Us

Humanoids from the Deep

Creature of Destruction

Spawn of Slithis

Zaat

Curse of the Swamp Creature

Demon of Paradise

War-Gods of the Deep

The She-Creature

The Loreley's Grasp

The Monster of Piedras Blancas

The Swamp of the Lost Monsters

The Monster Squad

The Horror of Party Beach

Creature from the Haunted Sea

Bog

Island of the Fishmen

Rana: The Legend of Shadow Lake

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alter

Blood Brothers. This was suplement with scenarios based on horror flicks. Both parts. Shadows over Filmland for ToC is also very good source for this type of modules.

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Travern

While copyright issues preclude publishing scenarios explicitly based on film properties - even licensed games are few and far between (e.g. Ghostbusters, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) - that shouldn't stop creative Keepers from homebrewing their own.  Psycho, for example, is low-hanging fruit, but fruitful nonetheless.  Replacing Robert Bloch's emphasis on realism with the Mythos isn't too hard, as it turns out.  Where Norman Bates in Bloch's novel is definitely interested in the occult and theosophy and owns copies of The Witch-Cult in Western Europe and the metapsychology study The Extension of Consciousness, in a Lovecraftian CoC scenario, he would have learned of the existence of the Great Old Ones, presumably through Bloch’s forbidden tomes, Cultes des Goules and De Vermis Mysteriis. Then it's an easy matter of choosing which of HPL's stories to use as a template.  Maybe Norman, instead of merely practicing taxidermy, is experimenting with full-blown necromancy, à la The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.  Or perhaps, in a riff on "The Thing on the Doorstep", Norman doesn't have a split personality but instead truly shares his consciousness with his deceased mother, who in life was a secret member of the Witch-Cult.

 

edit: Seconding Shadows Over Filmland.  Its "Backlot Gothic" subgenre for emulating the tone of Universal monsters-Uberwald horror makes for a nice alternative to "pulp" style play or the campy b-movie tone of Blood Brothers.  If you like the 1930s movie versions of Dracula, the Mummy, the Wolf-man, etc., Robin Laws's and Kenneth Hite's Mythos versions are excellent (and don't infringe on existing intellectual property).

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DavetheLost

The Horrible Secret of Monhegan Island, the old Grenadier Models scenario, is an adaptation of The Wicker Man set in coastal Maine and featuring Deep Ones.

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Graham

I'll throw in this 1980's 'straight to VHS' horror movie.

 

High Desert Kill

 

Like every year, Jim, Ray, Brad and Paul leave the town for a week to go hunting in the woods. But this year everything is different: There's not a single animal to be found, the whole forest has fallen quiet. Two female campers they meet have mysteriously disappeared the next day, leaving their whole equipment behind. And then they start to behave weird themselves... An alien power is using them for cruel psychological experiments.

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097504/

 

If that doesn't suggest the Mi-Go, I don't know what does.

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DeaconBlackfire

One I'm currently working on adapting (sorta) is The Fly -- guy studies hypergeometry, "Dreams in the Witch-House" stuff, and basically ends up learning Create Gate Box scientifically rather than mystically.  Of course, with dire results though what exactly those are I have yet to determine.

 

I've always felt that an old Lee/Cushing British horror, The Creeping Flesh, was ready-made for Lovecraft use as well, what with the ancient evil, cure for madness, etc., all seems very Machenesque to me.

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DeUniversumMysteriis

It's always fun to take a Horror film plot and twist it into a Call of Cthulhu scenario. My homebrew scenarios are always inspired by films (And I go as far as crafting a fake film poster for each one of them to tease the sessions to my players).

 

One thing I'm intending to do regarding the campaign I'm currently running is

 

to take inspiration from The Omen franchise. I'm a big fan of the original film which is among my favourite horror flicks of all time but while I don't appreciate the other two the same way, I will borrow their depiction of Damien Thorn and his Disciples of the Watch.

You see, in the original Omen film there was that mysterious woman called Mrs Baylock. She was Damien's nanny and it seemed that she may not be human at all (We see her interact with the dog which appeared right before the previous nanny's suicide, the same kind of dog that will appear and attack Robert Thorn in Italy, and Mrs Baylock showed to be quite resilient to physical harm during the last part of the film (But died eventually).

 

However, in the sequels, there are the Disciples of the Watch. No supernatural element here. These are just puny humans who worship the Antichrist and who will do everything he says... And they are everywhere : they are priests, salarymen, policemen, politics, nuns, even children.

 

So... My campaign's big bad would be very much like Damien Thorn.

Not the Antichrist of course, nor even the heir of some malevolent entity, but the entity itself... Disguised as a mere human being and followed by an army of apostles. This character will have great power in the World, being very prosperous in the world of Finance and Industry. The cult won't be some deranged misfits lurking in the depth of Society and having ceremonies in some forgotten ruins. The agents of the Big Bad will look "normal". They will act normally for only those who are ranked the highest in the cult will know the truth about the universe. I want the players to get more and more paranoid about the world. Maybe this cop who helped them before is one of them or maybe his wife is one of them. Danger is everywhere and the PCs will be quite desperate when they find out WHO is their Enemy and HOW difficult it would be to get close enough to harm him.

 

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Dispaminite

Last year I ran a horror film inspired scenario set in the 80s.

 

The background for the scenario is in the late 1600s, there is a group of cultists through Europe who worship some vague aspect of Nyarlothep. Through periodic human sacrifice. They're granted some super-human abilities (in 6th Edition terms, they had one stat at 19). Throughout the years they got arrogant, and sloppy, which lead them to be chased from Europe to the US, and spread through the US. in the 1800s, they had, again grown arrogant, again chased away, this time to a small town in South Carolina. where they continue their practices of human sacrifice. 

 

By the time the PCs show up, they have started to get arrogant again, which leads them to getting sloppy in their behavior (giving the PCs a chance).

 

The scenario is set in 1985. The PCs have just graduated high school and are on their way from Ohio to Florida for one last hurrah. Borrowing one of their dad's old RVs. they head out on the road. The trip is cut short when, taking a backroad short cut, they run over a black-painted strip lined with nails that someone through across the road.

 

And thats where the scenario starts. 

 

The townsfolk through set up the trap to lure in the PCs to be sacrifices. Once all four tires on the RV are blown, the PCs are in the middle of no where with very little chance of help. 

 

After a few minutes of thinking about what to do, and consulting the map on where to go (the last town they saw was several hours (by car) behind them a old pick up truck shows up (heading in the same direction they came from). These overly friendly hillbillies quiet helpfully agree to drive some (or all) of them to the auto-shop a couple miles down the road (in the direction they were headed). 

 

At this point I let the PCs sandbox it within the town full of weird and overly friendly townspeople (based on personalities from the Andy Griffith Show).

 

The NPCs plans are to treat the PCs are royalty (since they are going to be sacrificed to their god) as part of the ritual and and the NPCs to act completely contrary to their supposed small rural town christian facade. Everyone is overly helpful, never getting upset a the PCs actions). 

 

The sheriff will even invite the PCs to have dinner with his family.

 

A couple events I through in include:

 

-The PCs finding a still alive, but completely skinned, cat in the street, yeowling in agony.

-The woman behind who runs the Bed and breakfast putting on a show of making sure the girls PCs virtues intact.

-The B&Bs rooms were obsessively cleaned to the point there that even under their beds were immaculate.

-The locale diner had some of the best food they have ever had in their lives. 

-A gang of locale school kids (none older than 12) harassing the PCs including groping them (both the males and female) before running away taunting them.

-The older kids are down at the pond, lots of drugs and sex going around. Clearly loud heavy metal music. None of the adults seem to care.

-Library having a lot of weird books interspersed with the standard library books. Things that no small rural community would normally have. (use your imagination). 

-At the dinner with the Sheriff's house, the 18-year old 19 APP daughter of the sheriff and his wife tries to get one (or more) of the PCs upstairs. The parents clearly know whats going on and don't seem to care. Anyone willing to be pulled in should be shocked by how far the girl is willing to take things. Literally make the PCs uncomfortable as possible. 

-Anything the PCs do are met with amusement from the NPCs. Even to the point where they terrorized a small child (which they did in my runthrough) in front of the parents. 

-The deputies (all 19 CON) are keeping a close eye on the PCs. The PCs should have a chance of spotting their being stalked by the police, but nothing overt. cop cars driving by often.

-The local reverend is 'specially creepy. a exploration of his home finds souvenirs (old drivers license, pictures of previous victims, jewelry, even preserved pieces of the previous victims).

 

The important thing to keep in mind is that everyone in town is overly friendly and helpful, regardless of how far the PCs push it. PCs treated as royalty. A very shallow facade of small town christian fundamentalism (though not hell and brimstone). Kids running around out of control. Scratch the surface and it's all bad.

 

After one day (and night in town), the townfolks were going to capture the PCs (as unharmed as possible), take them to the fairgrounds (which the town has been preparing while the PCs are in town for the "Town Fair"), the characters are dragged there, sacrificed, and their bodies eaten by everyone in town, to consume their power and continue their pact to their evil god. 

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vonkeitz

I originally adapted the 1982 classic The Thing into an adventure called Station 31 in 2000 and ran it at GenCon in 2000 and 2003 (and for my local group, TPK all three times as it arguably should be). I adapted the 1995 movie The Lord of Illusions for my local group, but set it in the 1920s. Station 31 was a CLOSE adaption; the Lord of Illusions was not nearly as close. Clearly, I was not trying running them for profit in any way so I was not worried about copyrights.

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The_Tatterdemalion_King
I originally adapted the 1982 classic The Thing into an adventure called Station 31 in 2000 and ran it at GenCon in 2000 and 2003 (and for my local group, TPK all three times as it arguably should be). I adapted the 1995 movie The Lord of Illusions for my local group, but set it in the 1920s. Station 31 was a CLOSE adaption; the Lord of Illusions was not nearly as close. Clearly, I was not trying running them for profit in any way so I was not worried about copyrights.

 

Given the The Thing's cultural ubiquity among horror fans, how many players demonstrated understanding of the premise? How many metagamed to their benefit or detriment?

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Dispaminite

I'm curious about the Lord of Illusion adaptation. Can you provide more information?

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vonkeitz

Given the The Thing's cultural ubiquity among horror fans, how many players demonstrated understanding of the premise? How many metagamed to their benefit or detriment?

 

Of course they all knew how it played out in the movie. So I changed it so testing the blood so crudely did NOT work. In all three times I ran it, nobody bothered to try it, correctly figuring out it would not "work." The way to discover a Thing was a Thing was for Copper (the MD) or Blair (the biologist) to devise a sophisticated cellular comparison, but they never got that far. In one game, the physician became convinced (like Blair did in the movie) that he had to protect the world from The Thing, so with exquisite (infamous to this day) role-playing, he murdered 3 crew members with "vitamin/amphetamine" injections to help the crew stay sharp for the fight before they gunned him down in shock and horror. Another way to spot The Thing was their long-term memories got fuzzy fast, they knew it, so those already assimilated had to do some clever role-playing to disguise the memory gaps. The first team actually killed two Things and only one was left, but the survivors (3) brought him back with them in the snow cat, 2 convinced through excellent roleplaying that he was one of them, and one PC complaining bitterly that he was a Thing, as the drove off from the burning station into the Antarctic storm...

 

I'm curious about the Lord of Illusion adaptation. Can you provide more information?

 

That's a little less fresh in my memory. Same basic plot as movie, a famous "magician" with a knack for really basic tricks like levitation (but also a legitimate magician), disappears during a show (elaborate stunt, no magic) to avoid some hardcore cultist acolytes of the person who taught him his true magic, whom he and a few friends turned on and did their best to kill (they could not) and dispose of the body. The cultists were out to find their master's body and the magician was one step ahead. The investigators were hired by the missing magician's brother to find him, and one was an insurance investigator, and they soon run afoul of the cultists as they start abducting and torturing the missing magician's friends to find out the location of their Master (and the magician).

 

The adventure was more of a mini-campaign with 3-4 full sessions and moves across the U.S. and a final confrontation with the Master who (of course) had been freed. Actually, very much like the movie come to think of it, which was based on a Clive Barker book. It screamed easy CofC adaption to me way back then,

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vonkeitz

One more movie adaption. I adapted John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness (1987) into an adventure I ran for a one-shot adventure called "A Gathering of Minds" I ran it a GenCon 2007. It went really well. I ran it for a local group in 2011 or so, tweaking it based on lessons learned from how it went at GenCon. Looser adaption,

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YuggothBugOff

I know it's not a horror movie but I ran a short game inspired David Lynch's Eraserhead. It involved one of the characters having a child and then realizing the child wasn't what it seemed, this drove them slowly insane over the course of the game. In the end, killing them. (This was a single player game by the way.)

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DeUniversumMysteriis

One more movie adaption. I adapted John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness (1987) into an adventure I ran for a one-shot adventure called "A Gathering of Minds" I ran it a GenCon 2007. It went really well. I ran it for a local group in 2011 or so, tweaking it based on lessons learned from how it went at GenCon. Looser adaption,

 

Funny, I'm actually planning to take some inspiration from Prince of Darkness for a future adventure.... It will not be exactly the same thing of course but my players

 

will have to deal with dozens of possessed NPCs including policemen, hobos and various people in a building of New-York. (The villain will accidently release some malevolent spirits)

 

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vonkeitz

DeUniversumMysteriis, as for your spoiler, I did the same, effectively trapping the character's on-site. I also wove in a totally cool (if I say so myself) little known series of historical events into the story, more than a red herring, like a school of red herrings. Took place in Detroit, 1950.

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DeUniversumMysteriis

DeUniversumMysteriis, as for your spoiler, I did the same, effectively trapping the character's on-site. I also wove in a totally cool (if I say so myself) little known series of historical events into the story, more than a red herring, like a school of red herrings. Took place in Detroit, 1950.

Creepy historical events are always a cool addition to a story. :D

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Graham

DeUniversumMysteriis, as for your spoiler, I did the same, effectively trapping the character's on-site. I also wove in a totally cool (if I say so myself) little known series of historical events into the story, more than a red herring, like a school of red herrings. Took place in Detroit, 1950.

 

I'm intrigued about the mysterious events you hint at, could you summarize them?

 

Getting back to films that could be adapted into plots, here is another 'fishman on the loose film' which has, cultists, fishemen and the added bonus of the sight of James Earl Jones in a wetsuit...

 

Blood Tide

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083661/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

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DeUniversumMysteriis

I watched 400 Days on Netflix yesterday.

 

Not really a horror film (rather a thriller) but I think it can be turned into a nice one-shot adventure for Cthulhu Icarus.

 

Here is the plot :

 

The story takes place nowadays, after that private companies gained the possibility to have their own space travel programs.

 

Such company, Kepler Industries, has hired four people but not for a space mission. Instead, they will perform a simulation of a deep-space travel. They get inside a fake spaceshift with all the confort and features needed that has been buried underground to cut them from the world. They will have to stay 400 days inside, living together and reacting to every "curve ball" and surprises the Control Center will create. The goal is to test their skills and abilities before they can be sent on a real space mission.

 

However (spoiler)

 

Things get quite eerie after a few weeks of "travel". The crew loses contact with the Control Center (After a "solar array accident" they don't understand) and they start having hallucinations (One of them sees his dead son. Another sees himself bleeding to death etc...) and tension is rising among them.

 

On Day 398, something unexpected happens : a man in very very bad shape breaks inside the "ship" and escapes when seen by the crew. Apparently there is a breach in the ship and they've been losing oxygen for months (And that's why they're hallucinating, says the doctor among them but others think it's actually the shots she gave them on a regular basis).

 

Upset about what the company made them go through, the crew decides to go outside... Where they find that the area is very different from before. The sky is pitch black with no star visible except for a strange astronomical none of them is able to recognize, and the land looks desolated and covered with a strange dust (After analysing it, it appears it's a substance found by Apollo 11 on the Moon).

 

Confused, they walk until they find a town, miles away from the ship area. The place is populated by humans who seem unphased by the presence of the astronauts or the black sky (And the sun never shows up). In a restaurant, the crew manages to make a man called Zel talk about what is going. Apparently, a few weeks ago a "very brillant thing" crashed into the Moon and destroyed it, covering the earth with dust that blocks the sunlight and every signals. Nobody knows if there is other survivors, Zel says that the crew must have been very well hidden if they have not witnessed it.

 

After eating and drinking (the "House specialty" that "you better not know what is made of") the crew goes to a bar and things gets stranger. One of them, the more skeptical (Who is sure that he has seen a few of the local folks at the press conference before the "launch") disappears. Then it's another one (Who wonders if they've been druged the whole time).

 

And when they ask the locals, everyone says there have always been only two of them and not for.

 

Then they find the mysterious man who broke inside the ship.. Locked in a cage in the restaurant kitchen (And they guess what the specialty actually is...) then the locals start attacking them.

 

Our two survivors manage to go back to the ship where they kill Zel and two of his henchmen.

Wounded and confused, the astronauts sees the mission countdown reach zero and the main screen of the ship turns on and show Walter, their boss from the company. He says the mission is over and congratulates the astronauts. He then invites them to go outside to join the crowd and celebrate their achievement.

 

Not sure if the video was recorded beforehand or if it was a live transmission from the Control Center, the astronauts waits... And hears the ship's main hatch open...

 

The end

 

 

I have a few idea about how to turn this into a Cthulhu game... Maybe a multi-sessions one.

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