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Ianp

Which published scenarios have you run using Cthulhu Dark?

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Ianp

Cthulhu Dark has sort of become my first port of call when running horror scenarios. I like the elegant simplicity of the rules, the fact that you are not asked to keep track of hit points or health, and the simple rule: if you fight a supernatural creature directly, you will die. That forces players to think of other ways of tackling the threats they face, other than just opening fire or throwing sticks of dynamite at it. 

 

With that in mind, I have begun using Cthulhu Dark quite often to run scenarios written for Call or Trail - usually but not always with very good results. This had me wondering - what other published scenarios have my fellow Yoggies used with Cthulhu Dark? What worked, what did not?

 

I'll go first. I used Cthulhu Dark to run the superb "Dockside Dogs", written by Paul Fricker of this parish, and it worked extremely well.

 

I also used Cthulhu Dark for Robin Laws "the Night I Died" from Shadows over Filmland (originally written for Trail), as well as running a heavily tweaked version of Mater Lachrymarum (from the late Miskatonic River Press). All of these were great fun and easy to run. Plus, there is the original Purist Trilogy by Graham which, hardly surprisingly, also works really well with Cthulhu Dark. 

 

On the other hand, Cthulhu Dark did not work so well for Millionaire's Special (originally for Trail). My rule of thumb at the moment is that if there is going to be a lot of combat (as opposed to a one off desperate fight at the end) Call or Trail are probably better bets. Similarly, if you are running a campaign, as opposed to a one-shot, the older games with their crunchier rule sets may work better. 

 

Ps: I am really not trying to start any arguments about which rule set is "better" - just curious if others have used Dark to run scenarios written for another game. 

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Mysterioso

This is such a great topic.  I wish it was getting some responses. Cthulhu Dark is tempting.  It would be great to know which previously published scenarios work well with it.

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gomyar
 

I've run 2 scenarios for Cthulhu Dark myself. 

 

The Scuttling (out of the Shadows of Yog Sothoth book: https://www.chaosium.com/shadows-of-yog-sothoth-pdf/)


 

They both worked out really well. Given the largely narrative nature of CoC and ToC the transfer seems pretty seamless.

 

I did make one mistake with Scuttling, when:

 

the investigators went under deck to try and fight off the little beasties that were eating all their food, 


 

and I attempted to run it as a straight fight, which meant I was rolling loads and loads of dice and using other dice to keep track of things and it all got a bit messy.

 

What I should have done was just have one roll to see if they got out alive, possibly with successes indicating how many seamen went with them.

 

Dance in the Blood was an even more narrative driven story, so that crossed over really well. Most of it being the interactions with the townsfolk and investigating stuff.

 

So it does seem like you can port over any story, but steer clear of those action sequences unless you can condense them into a single "get out alive" roll.

 

Other considerations may involve the fact that pretty much every dice roll is a success to a degree. This threw me a little, because in that situation the story moves ahead a lot faster than you might think. It also makes setting up failure conditions tricky, so when they try to break into the cult mansion, they automatically succeed? Unsure myself how to play that out.

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UncleRiotous

I've only run Cthulhu Dark once so far and that was with a conversion of the story The Thing In The Vault by David Hambling from the Dulwich Horror collection.  It ran really well and I had an awesome moment where all the lights went out and the next few seconds were only seen as strobe lit from the tommy gun someone let off (it didn't end well for the shooter).

 

I bought Trail specifically to run The Final Revelation (which contains Dance in the Blood) but I've been so busy with other stuff I haven't had time to read the rules.  I'm interested if the other scenarios in The Final Revelation would work in Cthulhu Dark as I've got more headspace for scenarios than for new rulesets at the moment.

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ScottDorward

When developing my two scenarios for Nameless Horrors, I ran them both with Cthulhu Dark as a way of ensuring there was no dependency on fighting monsters directly. The test was a success.

I'm pretty sure that Matt's and Paul's scenarios from the collection would also run well under Cthulhu Dark. There's little combat in any of them.

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DeUniversumMysteriis

Pardon my ignorance but what is Cthulhu Dark?

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UncleRiotous

When developing my two scenarios for Nameless Horrors, I ran them both with Cthulhu Dark as a way of ensuring there was no dependency on fighting monsters directly. The test was a success.

 

I'm pretty sure that Matt's and Paul's scenarios from the collection would also run well under Cthulhu Dark. There's little combat in any of them.

 

Scott, that's awesome to know.  I'll definitely have a look at running those.

Pardon my ignorance but what is Cthulhu Dark?

 

It's a very rules light system (the only stats are Occupation and Sanity).

 

It's been around for a while but the Kickstarter for the latest version has just started sending out the books... https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/78929588/cthulhu-dark

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GBSteve

I've used Cthulhu Dark for Delta Green, but I can't remember what the scenario was. Something to do with a nuclear power plant in Scotland. I added a group score for Heat - how close they were to being discovered by other interested parties. The die could also be used for getting external resources from the various agencies involved.

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DeUniversumMysteriis

It's a very rules light system (the only stats are Occupation and Sanity).

 

It's been around for a while but the Kickstarter for the latest version has just started sending out the books... https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/78929588/cthulhu-dark

 

Oh, okay. Thanks.

Not my cup of tea but the Keeper's section with all the tips about writing a mystery looks interesting.

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rylehNC

I expect combat against ordinary humans and non-Mythos creatures would work better if the stakes and results were spelled out prior to each fight (as is done in Cthulhu Confidential). You might always "win" against a rat horde, but if you rolled a 1 you won't notice the holes chewed in your pockets, or the brake lines of your car.

 

When will the finished product be available to those who missed the Kickstarter?

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GBSteve

I don't know but the four page lite lite version is still on Graham's website.

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Ianp

I've only run Cthulhu Dark once so far and that was with a conversion of the story The Thing In The Vault by David Hambling from the Dulwich Horror collection.  It ran really well and I had an awesome moment where all the lights went out and the next few seconds were only seen as strobe lit from the tommy gun someone let off (it didn't end well for the shooter).

 

I bought Trail specifically to run The Final Revelation (which contains Dance in the Blood) but I've been so busy with other stuff I haven't had time to read the rules.  I'm interested if the other scenarios in The Final Revelation would work in Cthulhu Dark as I've got more headspace for scenarios than for new rulesets at the moment.

 

All of the scenarios in the Final Revelation work extremely well in Cthulhu Dark - I know that's how Graham (the creator of Cthulhu Dark) originally playtested the system - by running the scenarios in what became the Final Revelation. 

When developing my two scenarios for Nameless Horrors, I ran them both with Cthulhu Dark as a way of ensuring there was no dependency on fighting monsters directly. The test was a success.

 

I'm pretty sure that Matt's and Paul's scenarios from the collection would also run well under Cthulhu Dark. There's little combat in any of them.

 

That's very interesting Scott - I will certainly pick up that collection soon. 

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NeferSutekh

Slightly off topic, but I ran a successful Cthulhu Dark scenario at a convention once using the homebrew "Harm Die" rule, the concept of opposed dice rolls, and a couple of encounter-specific rules of my own to handle combat.  It worked so well that I later converted it to another game system (one with a proper combat system) for later publication.

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