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  1. Nightbreed24

    Chthonian investigation issues

    I've started writing a Modern (2017) scenario for our annual, week-long summer role-playing event set in the ongoing, labyrinthine Southern Sudanese civil war. We're using the Hungarian 5.5th edition. My future players will choose between being soldiers of the third Chinese peacekeeping infantry battalion, or working for China Central Television. I will even buy some Chinese field rations as props. I want to use monsters I've never used before: the chthonians. These ancient, cunning horrors are exploiting the crisis to feed their spawn by mentally dominating pro-government Sudan People's Liberation Army unit commanders and opposing forces alike. Perhaps the mysterious prophet named Dak Kueth, whose visions influence the feared tribal militia: the Nuer White Army. But how to investigate them if you want to abandon the clichéd egg plot hook? I think, that chthonians are pretty difficult to write about, like nightgaunts and elder things. My ideas so far: - Chanting heard in the distance. (Listen) - Dinka refugees (fleeing towards Juba, the capitol from said White Army) sitting/laying in the bush or on the side of the road, silent and unmovable. - Drained corpses. (First Aid) - Hideous, octopus-like suction marks on the dead. (Biology)
  2. This game was mentioned here months ago but I can't find the thread so I'm creating a new one. A bit of news has popped up regarding the release: http://www.bluesnews.com/s/169468/call-of-cthulhu-next-year
  3. Patterns

    Different magic systems?

    The most alluring horizon in Call of Cthulhu, for me, is the idea of investigators actually becoming part of the mythos they fight against. Genuinely becoming proficient in the kinds of magus arts that are normally reserved for insane villains. The idea that, in a spell-heavy campaign context, an investigator that is low on their sanity meter is not only battered and worn down but also a reservoir of pent up sorcerous rage with nothing to lose. An academic bloodhound of the esoteric that ends his career in an explosion of wizarding warfare against an alien acolyte that is his superior in terms of knowledge, not power. Anyway, coming from that, I find myself a bit disappointed with the magic system in the core book. It's a cool start, granted, but ultimately the spell list boils down to a bunch of fire-and-forget multitools. They take a span of time to learn and penalize you in terms of an accelerating downward Sanity spiral, but they're still a bit utilitarian. I guess I'm looking for something that is a bit more robust, in terms of either processes required in becoming magical or difficult choices that the magician has to make for every blast or divination. Are there any supplements or online resources for alternative magic systems for Call of Cthulhu? I'd bet there are, but I'm new at this and search tools are failing me for some reason. Any ideas are more than welcome, I'm only just starting to brainstorm this out for myself.
  4. golfsale

    Case BRONZE OCTOPUS (The Laundry)

    In a randomly generated scenario, the player characters are sent to investigate the mysterious disappearance of Laundry officer Harry Palmer, who was investigating equally mysterious disappearances at Paradise Mansions housing estate in Hackney Wick. Interviewing his line manager, they discover that there may be a connection to several wild parties held in flat 3b. They search Palmer's properly warded Shoreditch apartment and find that Mr Palmer was a bon-viveur and has ladies' underwear stuffed down the back of his sofa. The agents arrive at "Hackney Wick, twinned with Mogadishu". Paradise Mansions does not quite live up to its name. They already knew there was a drug problem, but did not expect the level of deprivation and vandalism that confronts them. The security door is understandably unlocked and the lift serves as a makeshift toilet. They find flat 3b and the occupant Ronnie gives them a flyer for tonight's party. Sorted. Feanella McKay spends the rest of the day resting before the all-nighter, but new agent Freddy Drake decides to stake out the housing estate. He is approached by a gang of homophobic youths who take exception to the rainbow trainers he is wearing. Time for a sharp exit; time for a sharp half in the nearest pub. That evening, both agents go to the party. They are among the first guests. In addition to Ronnie there are a French couple called Martin and Liliane. "Where about in France are you from?" "Averoigne." "Never heard of it." "Is there anyone good-looking like Maggie Smith?" "Now that's a phrase I never expected to hear!" Little do the agents know, but Martin and Liliane are Masters of the Société Saint Crapaud (see Cultists Under the Bed page 117). Ronnie is a Body. The player characters are Lambs. As the party heats up, the action seems to focus on the bedroom. A surreptitious visit to the toilet and a level 1 Scrying on a Necronomiphone reveals no thaumic energy, as the cult is magic-poor. Feanella is taken to the bedroom and shown a big black dildo; she agrees to take one for the team. Freddy is unwilling to participate and looks like he is about to become a Lamb to the slaughter after he is injected from behind my a hypodermic syringe. Only an emergency call to the Metropolitan Police saves the day and our brave investigators. Another emergency call to the Baggers proves to be a waste of departmental resources, as there is nothing really nasty for them to bag. N.B. According to the agents' field reports, it was actually Feanella who "saved Freddy's ass". Most of the cultists are rounded up, but Martin and Liliane escape the country. Ronnie is interrogated under a level 3 Truth Geas after spending a week recovering from an initial rough encounter with trigger-happy Feanella ("Why did you shoot off his foot, Agent McKay?") and spills what he knows about the cult, which isn't all that much. He doesn't know where Averoigne is, but the big cheese appears to be an aloof Italian by the name of Reggio Salvati. Ronnie and Reggi in the same firm?! The agents research Averoigne and uncover a medieval map, but it doesn't tell them the modern location. However, the Abbaye Saint Crapaud may be the same abbey near Tours that revolutionaries made a point of destroying in 1789; it certainly does not look welcoming... They fill in the requisite forms and get the Eurostar to Paris (retaining their ticket stubs for Accounts). A Laundry asset in Paris provides them with a concealed bulletproof vest and Beretta each, but no banishment rounds. They get the train to Tours, where they hire an off-road vehicle. Feanella is pessimistic about the chances of finding Harry Palmer alive, so has Residual Human Resources on speed-dial. Being dead is no excuse for shirking one's duties as a Laundry operative; in fact Mr Palmer may make a more efficient employee after his death, as he will no longer be throwing any sickies. They drive north west from Tours and, after much searching, Feanella finds the ruined abbey. Both agents approach, but only Feanella hears the chanting of "Ia! Tsathoggua!" Nearing the ruins, Feanella spots a group of cloaked figures surrounding the bound form of Harry Palmer, who is not only alive but pi**ed off. Feanella opens her laptop and casts a level 3 Banishment, but the cultists carry on chanting. Feanella shoots half of them, getting at least one Impale. Freddy takes careful aim with his Beretta and - his gun jams! It is up to Feanella to finish them off. Two of the deceased cultists are identified as Martin and Liliane; Reggio Salvati is not among the dead. Harry is given some clothing and whisked back to London for a stern meeting with his line manager. Incident report: Criminal activities: YES Deaths: YES Unusual behaviour: DEFINITELY Both agents are sent on training courses; Freddy chooses COWE1 and Esoteric History 1. Amazingly, neither his Occult or his pitifully low Handgun Attack go up. Feanella chooses Occulinux Installation & Use. Her Computer Maintenance goes up, but not her Computer Use (Magic). "I rolled for them the wrong way round, didn't I?" "Yes, you did."
  5. I have to share this with everyone at YSDG. This literally took YEARS to accomplish. Way back in in 2014 or 2015, I started an annual tradition with my gaming group. Our October game would be a CoC one-shot adventure. Now in planning this, I made sure that the timeline for the Investigators was prior to 1925 (heh heh heh). It was in the hope that if they got a taste of playing CoC, they'd like it enough to make it our regular game. Now I co-GM with another person in the group, so I'd only run it every other month, because we only get together once a month. Try to avoid burnout ya know, but I digress... Anyway, the first adventure was The Haunting of course in Oct 2014. Went over very well. Oct 2015 was The Curse of Yig. This one I incorporated some more "disturbing" elements (a pic of a sculpture of the god Pan having "relations" with a goat? Yeah, that got some attention) to illustrate how depraved the cults associated with the Mythos are. They have been using the same Investigators for the past two years, so there is a history between them all. I also made sure the scenarios were within the 1923-24 time period, so at any time we may slip into the MoN easily, chronologically speaking. Plus a few of the investigators have a mutual friend: Jackson Elias! Nobody took notice of this. I guess they figured he'll be important in some fashion later on this Elias person, whoever he is.... 2016: Played the final scenario at Origins (literally less than a two hour drive for me) of a three part that my best friend and I started in 2014 ran by Rogue Cthulhu. It was kinda a combo alien infestation post-apocalyptic thing. Let's just say the actions of our characters from the previous years had serious repercussions... alien nanotech anyone? As far as the Oct game, I ran something different. A zombie apocalypse one-off where everyone played THEMSELVES. I made note afterwards that if it ever could happen, our group has plenty of firearms and melee weapons to help us survive (for real: between myself and three others, we have the "Arsenal of Democracy") 2017: went to Origins where the outstanding Rouge Cthulhu group ran a "Reader's Digest" version of MoN! My best friend in the my gaming group and me got to play in 3 of the 4 scenarios (New York, London, Cairo) and he LOVED it! There's was a interesting twist in the fact the pre-gens were historical figures! My friend played Lawrence of Arabia and I played...Nicola Tesla? Just imagine Tesla sitting in the back of a truck manning a Lewis Gun in the hot desert sun? Oct I didn't run CoC. My best friend ran a horror themed Star Wars D6 session from our regular Star Wars campaign. Undead Sith Lord? Yep. Name? Darth Lich! Meanwhile through the years I'd read MoN on occasion just to keep it fresh in my memory. I bought the DVD from YSDG several years back of the campaign and listened to that (which I'll have to revisit here shortly) and kept up to date on how Keepers ran it from the forums here. I also bought the MoN Companion from the Choasium shop. I let Jeff (my best bud) for years now know it was my personal hope to run MoN as a regular campaign. Things were slowly percolating... 2018: at Origins most of my gaming group got to go and got to play in a shortened version of Horror on the Orient Express ran by (you guessed it) Rogue Cthulhu. Side note: Rouge Cthulhu has built a reputation of being one of, if not, the best group that run CoC at cons. I played Tesla (again) where he invented...the shakey light! Dubbed the Tes-Lite by myself...where it was called the Flesh Lite by more unsavory players ( I got the joke. I'm not a prude...) But THIS OCT everyone wanted me to run CoC again. So I looked over everything I had and...I ran Escape From Innsmouth! Time: Oct 22, 1924. they were able to complete the scenario: they helped Brian Burnham escape (along with his girlfriend), discovered with their horror what the "Secret" of Innsmouth is, and ended with a incredibly action packed car chase! Oh BTW, Jackson Elias is involved. A couple of the Investigators recalled a story he told them several years back on how Jackson was doing research on witch cults in the New England area...and he just happened to pass through Innsmouth. He related his creepy story about the town to them: the people on how they looked and how he felt like he was being watched the entire time... Just a few weeks ago, I needed help in chopping firewood and asked if Jeff could help (he has a chainsaw) and it was Veterans Day (we're both Army vets), so we'd make a day of it. Over a lunch of Christmas Ale and wings (and OMG the Browns are WINNING!), I brought up the cool prop set for CoC made by the HPLHS . In bringing that up, he said to me without any hesitation that the rest of the group made it known that they would like to have CoC as one of our regular campaigns. YES!!! Success!!! So this Saturday we have our annual pot luck for the gaming group. I'm going to bring up the idea of running MoN as a regular game. If they're truly committed to the idea, I'm going to make the investment of buying the prop pack. If all goes as planned we'll start play in Feb. I know this was a long post, but as you can see this has been YEARS in the making. More details to come soon on some special rules I will incorporate. Also, if anyone has any suggestions on running MoN, please do so. this is the BIG ONE! Ok, here's some of the details: Rules: 6th ed, with a few things from Pulp Cthulhu. The Pulp Cthulhu additions will be extra HP, SAN loss and recovery, and use of LUCK points. Masks has this reputation of being a meat grinder, so I want to minimize this...a little. This goes both ways though: cultists and creatures will have the same coming to them. Luck recovery will be tied into SAN recovery I think. Either 1 SAN = 1 LUCK or 1 SAN = 2 LUCK. Not sure yet. The only caveat is you can't recover LUCK if the SAN recovery is tied to pharmaceuticals/drugs. That seems appropriate. Great War vets: rules from the Second Cthulhu Companion by Golden Goblin Press. Mythos tomes: rules from the Miskatonic U campaign supplement. Psychic powers: from Pulp Cthulhu. Not every Investigator will have them. Each Investigator will have a % chance of having one psychic ability base upon their POW if their POW score is 15 or more. This is a one time check to have a psychic ability. Again, this goes both ways: cultists and Mythos creatures could have them too... Weird science tech: not sure on this one. But, the cult in Shanghai IS building an ICBM, soo....yeah...not sure... Existing characters will be "retro fitted" into the new rules. New Investigators are created as normal with the additional rules I mentioned.
  6. Spoilers!!!! for The Burning Stars are below So I just ran The Burning Stars (by David Conyers), which is a 6th ed. (I think) One Shot that is honestly absolutely amazing. When I read it, I was determined to run it almost immediately. People online seemed to suggest that it's best for for veteran players/keepers. So I, being a fairly new keeper, did the only rational thing I could and ran it with a group of people who were more or less not just new to Call of Cthulhu, but RPGs in general. One of them was an old D&D 3.5e player, the other had played in The Haunting (which I had run for her with a different group early), and the last had first heard the phrases "pen and paper RPG"/"D&D" a few days before I ran the game. All in all, despite my reservations, it went brilliantly. Honestly, kudos to David Conyers for creating such a brilliant scenario. I loved every bit of running it and my players loved every bit of playing it. But I digress. In my search to better be capable of GMing the game, I spent hours looking through online resources and found that they were... Quite sparse... If not missing entirely. I was lucky enough to find the redone handouts for the game (Yog-Sothoth link), but other than a few posts by some Yog-Sothoth members which were very very helpful (Kudos to Gil_Trevizo, armyofcats, and wendigogo). So having just finished running the One Shot myself, I decided to write a post to detail what I added and/or changed in the scenario, tips for running it, ideas that you can incorporate into it and other general material relating to this scenario. Spoiler Alert!!! Do not read beyond this point if you wish to play the scenario. The following is intended solely to Keepers. . .. ... .... ..... .... ... .. . Handouts Kudos for David for redesigning the handouts and correcting any mistakes after the publishing of Terrors from Beyond. However, I found that even then the handouts didn't seem that very real to me and so I decided to redesign them all in an attempt to make them a bit more realistic. I'm not a pro at photoshop so it didn't turn out perfect, but they definitely seemed more realistic for me to use. Follow this link if you want to use them: https://www.dropbox.com/s/wyx7fm555b5y98c/TBS.rar?dl=0 A few notes regarding changes to the materials: I updated the Major's business card with the current Haiti US Embassy just for lols and used their official logo in colour. For the Tarot List, I copy-pasted some random text from Wikipedia and another website to give the feeling that the list was found as part of a page rather than a random list. I used an old Western Union Telegram slip for the response telegram from Shaw Investigations (much like the redesigned handouts, but with colour!). Used an old 1920s letterhead for a detective agency as inspiration and created a new letterhead for Shaw Investigations. I don't remember why I used the Bishop as the logo... The Haiti Progres So a lot of changes here. I told my players that the Haiti Progres was a French/English newspaper with only a few English articles and had the American Foreigners article in the middle. There a few minor removals from the text but that was only due to spatial reasons. I played around with the French using GTranslate for quite a bit. Anyone who reads French knows what I mean. For those who don't, the headline says "Wake up Investigator", the left column is a extract about dreams and such from a popular surrealist novel (House of Leaves), and the right column is just my ramblings about dreams, reality and such. I had intended, on the off chance that they succeeded in rolling French, to explain the left and right columns in vague terms and to avoid the headline because "whenever you try to focus on the words, they seemed to bleed away and avoid your gaze". As it turns out, they were far too interested in the English to try to read the French. I repeated the words "wake" and "up" several times all over the french columns to heighten the sense of Dirk's mind trying to snap him out of it. I left the question mark with the paper because a) I couldn't find a better picture and b) it served well to increase the sense of mystery. If you guys want the PSD files to tweak them more/less to your liking, just message me directly and I'll be more than glad to give them to you! :) Tarot Cards So... It's not really a secret that the Tarot handouts from the original scenario are.... Pretty bad. I mean no disrespect for any of the creators, but I felt like using them would definitely affect the realism that I wanted to bring to the table. So I looked around... For hours... To no avail until I came across armyofcats's post about his redesigned cards and fell in love with his art style (by means of internet stalking). Unfortunately all his links were dead so I emailed him and requested that he provide them to me if he still had them and, lo and behold, much like a saviour of the lost, he replied to me within a few hours with the cards and wishing me luck! I'd like to avoid everyone emailing him for it so I'm going to provide a link to it here (link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/03zhwapahzese8q/burningstars_tarotcards.pdf?dl=0). But please, while you're at it, take a look at his art/material here: http://armyofcats.com/ Additionally, I only used his Mythos versions of the cards. For the normal cards for the Marie's Tarot reading, I borrowed a Tarot card deck from a friend and simulated a real reading so that it seemed all the more real. In order to do this, I took the following steps: I took the 5 important cards out, put them in order and left them behind my Keeper's screen in advance. I handed Dirk (who volunteered for the reading) the rest of the cards and asked him to shuffle it in any way that he saw fit. I took it back and covertly placed it behind the keeper screen for a few seconds before putting the 5 cards on top of the deck. While I was doing this, I talked to them a bit about how Tarot cards work and what would come from it (just stuff that you would imagine a real tarot card reader to say) while gesturing with my left hand. I then said something about the screen being in the way and moved it aside and did the reading normally. Watch as the players are seriously spooked! Alternatively use real magic tricks... Something I couldn't do because reasons... If you're planning on buying a deck, I suggest the Rider-Waite tarot deck or the Tarot of Marseilles. You could use the Crowley/Thoth tarot decks as well but they look newer than the other two and, therefore, a bit more out of place, in my opinion. Interactions Despite what people say about how hard it is to run the interactions, I think even a new keeper (such as yours truly) can run them quite easily as long as they remember a few key points. Avoid naming anyone like the plague, apart from Dirk. Always use "You" contractions of "You" when referring to the characters but make sure that you spend a relatively equal time looking/talking at different players so they are given the illusion that they're all in the game. Whenever Dirk or others mention a female companion, someone other than themselves, etc, have the NPCs act confused and respond as such, but never let that be the end of it. In other words, make sure that the conversation can still flow forward. Oftentimes I would respond to such statement with, "I don't know what you mean but..." or "If you say so Monsieur, but..." etc, immediately following the confusion with a question addressed to them or something of importance or something that seemed important. This way the players were aware of the confusion but didn't let it take centre stage. When they did inquire into such confusion, they would always give up and focus on something else when the NPCs didn't seem to budge. This is a personal preference, but I would suggest trying to do French/Haitian/West African accents. I found that this brought the characters to life, but also allowed me to say some pointed things without being immediately thought as suspicious. I suck at accents so I essentially just substituted half the English alphabet with the letter z for French and spoke in a strong low voice whilst attempting to mimic Black Panther for the other two accents... Aha... Ha... Whenever mentioning things like fearing that they were the dead foreigners in the hills, I always made a point for the NPCs to stress that Dirk was currently alive by stating something along the lines of "But now I know you're alive! And you're here! Bless the Gods" and so forth. Improvising is everything. Have a few plan Bs if you're not good at improvising. There will be moments when you know that the NPC needs to react in a certain way that will definitely make the player suspicious but you have no choice but to do so. A few examples of these for me was when I mentioned the dead Americans for the 3rd time (Mama Josephine) and when Maria mentioned Dirk's companion coming with him last time but not this time (as Guy was not present in my scenario as I had only 3 players and wanted there to be at least 1 female PC). You would really be surprised how much you can say and do and get away because players just focus on something more important or just assume that it's because the character is French. Selling the Twist (with an aside about the newspaper article) In my opinion, hands down, the original scenario does not give you enough occasions where you can hint at the fact that all is not as it seems. This, in my opinion, was done purposefully to give Keepers more room to do what they wanted. The only examples of weirdness that I remember is the one with the kids nailing the footprints and losing time (which wasn't elaborated on either). So I decided to play with this to it's logical extreme. I had them lose time whenever they were doing separate things (e.g. whilst in the Library or investigating separate things and so on). But I went into a lengthy description of how it felt, how they would blink and they suddenly realise that there's a gap in their memory with no recollection of doing anything. About how it gave them a sick sense of dread and a salty-bile like taste in their mouths. I had them go through some weird time lapses whilst in the hospital and made them seem like they were going insane with morphing walls and shrinking rooms and the doctor/nurses appearing and disappearing in front of them due to the time lapses. I had them wake from nightmares every night they slept. These ranged from running down an endless corridor trying to reach a mirror that did not near despite them running, dreams about them finally reaching the mirror and coming face to face with a human-like figure with no face, no features, just a faceless mass of flesh (I made a point for Dirk to see a face with 6 eyes and many many facial features amalgamated into one blistering mess of flesh), etc. I had some of their interactions be super weird, like whenever they went to order food, the waitress would ask them if that really was their order because that was a lot of food. I had people stare at them when they spent time discussing matters, etc. Most importantly!! I typed down almost everything (conversations, scenarios, etc) that I considered "odd" for later use. How to sell the newspaper article and the dead American Foreigners: So there seems to be a lot of debate on how to actually sell this without it being a dead giveaway. I totally agree. It's very risky, especially for a veteran player or someone who watched a lot of movies and reads a lot of books. My players fell into the latter category. So in order to sell it, I pushed the contrary idea until the dead american foreigners seemed to be just something in the background. I had characters mention them but all in different ways. The Major mentioned them as an aside as he ranted on about how dangerous Haiti was at the moment because of the rebels. Maria mentions it in passing just before they leave as a reason to be extra safe/cautious. Mama Josephine is the only person who explicitly mentions that she thought they were dead but that she was now assured and happy that "you are not". I only brought forth the newspaper when they did a spot hidden at the reception desk and even then I made it seem like it was just an arbitrary handout by asking them if they wanted to see the newspaper before giving them the handout. In the end, the decision remains with you. If you think that your players are very very good at guessing twists and also are familiar with CoC, perhaps avoiding the newspaper/foreigner thing is best. It just worked perfectly for me. Music and Sound Sounds and music definitely help! I used a normal hospital sounds track (with beeping) for the first part of the scenario, but used multiple tabs of "Asylum sounds" from youtube to overlap the sound and make them seem insane whenever I wanted them to. I used mosquito and bustling sounds for their journeys during the night and day. I used overlapped fly sounds tracks as well for finding Bruce's body. Used tropical forest sounds with crickets for the forest. I avoided using sounds for the other scenarios (except for the festival during which I just played a festival sounds track) because I couldn't find anything good, but if you can find something you're comfortable with, go for it! Finally, I used random monster noises for the Star Pool Lurker in the final phase. The Big Twist So my players didn't actually realise that they were dead immediately because though Donna saw a burnt woman and James saw human bits, Donna just thought it was a dead woman and James actively avoided looking at the head that was on the ground. I had to make him keep "mysteriously walking back on the site" until he finally checked it and it was only then that the players realised that they were "dead" (Dirk thought so too). Soon after as they were entering the area of the Star Pools, I had Dirk go through several flashbacks to the "odd" interactions that I had noted down earlier. It was only then that they truly realised their plight. I still remember the "oh damn"s of the players, haha. From that point forward I forbade everyone but Dirk to talk and requested that they communicate with me through messenger to heighten the sense of loneliness and dread. The Final Battle Now... I may have significantly changed the scenario with what happened here and a lot of Keepers may hate me for it but at the time I thought it was the best option and my players did agree later on. After being defeated quite easily by the Host, Dirk collapsed onto the ground, unconscious. Given that my other two players hadn't had combat (they had managed to completely avoid combat) until this point and because they hadn't said anything in the past 10-15 minutes, I had them both roll sanity against each other and then described how they felt Dirk's consciousness ebb away and how their own semblances of consciousness fought and raked up a mental wall until they were able to take control of the body again and fight again with, as it turns out, full/half/quarter of their HP (depending on how well they rolled sanity). I did this twice for each other character. Personally, I think this allowed them to feel like they accomplished something as well but at the same time, I do believe that it kinda deviates from the dreadful loneliness that the scenario is supposed to bring. Honestly, I suppose it's up to you guys on this one. Epilogue and What I Did Wrong The main thing I think I did wrong was misjudge the time it would take to run this scenario. I didn't realise that the characters were 6th ed (just goes to show you how new I am to this >..>) and so we spent about an hour transcribing the characters into 7th ed versions (using the official Chaosium guide for conversions- Yay Chaosium!) and going through what each skill stood for and such. In addition to this, it took us around 8 hours for the full scenario (7 pm to 2:30 am) and this was only because I rushed past the last few encounters/interactions. I really really regret doing this and although I was still able to get through everything important, two characters weren't introduced very well (Senegal and Francis) and the whole of the final battle was slightly rushed as well (they didn't wait until the 2nd of November so the area wasn't populated by many cultists of sorts, just King Kaliko, the Host, and the Lurker). For your own good, leave at least 10-12 hours (at the very least!) for this scenario if you want to go through everything calmly and thoroughly. In the end.... Everybody died... Dirk and the Host killed each other, James took control of the body and was killed soon after by Kaliko, who also managed to almost kill Donna who took over after James. Unfortunately for Kaliko, Donna managed to cut off the necklace that controlled the Lurker who marched straight to Kaliko and ate him whole. But since Donna was at 0/1 HP and had lost a lot of... Well... Everything (in terms of damage to the body and such), I made her roll Dex and Strength and when she failed on both, I explained to her how she was unable to move and that soon after the cultists returned and sacrificed Dirk's body with Donna still in it. Cue the Floating Horror. Cue destruction of Haiti, followed by the world. All it all it was incredibly fun and we all loved it. I definitely recommend that anyone who hasn't tried it should definitely try running it with their group. It definitely requires a few tweaks, as I did, depending on the style of the player, but I think it is definitely an amazing CoC One Shot. All three of my players are asking for more and thought it was amazing, haha. I only hope I can run a campaign as exciting as well :) tl;dr: Ran The Burning Stars, changed stuff to better suit running/playing the scenario (I hope), everyone died, everyone liked it, now they expect me to run a campaign as well as I apparently did this... xD
  7. How hard is it to convert seventh edition to earlier editions? I'm quite happy with fifth edition but I'd love to do the Australian part of Masks and I was considering gifting it to my GM, but if they're not compatible I won't bother
  8. drone232

    Two Player Campaign

    I have been wanting to do a capaign for some time. I still see myself as a novice keeper, but I have run enough games to know generally what works and what doesn't. My brother's home from college for the summer and my girlfriend completed her second succesful Call of Cthulhu game. They have both accepted to partake in the mini campaign Escape from Innsmouth. I just want to know if anyone has any advice before I run this. This will be game with two dedicated players and the possibility of other players dropping in and out. I plan to encourage the two players to recruit volunteers throughout their adventure to round out the party and keep the actual players from dying in combat. I plan to run a surprise pre-adventure using the scenario Deadlight. They'll be on the road to Innsouth to start the campaign and get caught into an unrelated little survival horror game (more investigation then survival really) where they'll learn to pay with eachother before going onto the actual campaign (they haven't done a scenario together yet, but they have both done scenarios). I plan to run this scenario in two weeks.
  9. PaulStJohnMackintosh

    A darker 1920s?

    One of my main beefs with Classic/1920s era CoC and many of the campaign books for the period is that it's not dark enough. There's plenty of Jazz Age jollity, quasi-steampunk fun with Orient Expresses and Chicago Pianos, but not enough true cosmic horror. Lovecraft himself managed to craft true existential terror from materials like these - why shouldn't CoC scenarios and campaigns do the same? So, does anyone have any recommendations for existing scenario books or campaigns that capture a true darkly horrific flavour while staying within the Classic period? Or any key events that can act as a focus for such a mood and such a campaign? For scenario books, my examples would be The Fungi from Yuggoth and Beyond the Mountains of Madness (though oops, already more 1930sish). For events, the US rejection of the League of Nations, the Irish War of Independence, the March on Rome, the Great Kanto earthquake, the Sacco and Vanzetti trials, the Beer Hall Putsch, the Scopes Monkey Trial, the 1925 KKK march on Washington, the Great Mississippi Flood, the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre, and as a grand finale, the Wall Street Crash. Any other ideas?
  10. A comment to a Kickstarter Update got me thinking - When dealing with Mythos Tomes, are there any specific ones that are evocative of a certain theme? How do you impart that tome's "flavor" to your players? For an example of what I'm wondering, I'll refer you to Shimmin Beg's blog posts about "fun-sizing the Great Old Ones" which kinda talk about how to infuse a GOO into a scenario beyond just having it make an appearance (and he's tackling world-ending ones at that). Based on his post, here's a few things to start off thinking with: cues that can be used to evoke the feel of what the tome is/does slanting descriptions towards the tome's theme/purpose NPC behaviors and actions non-plot events/"random occurrences" The readers of the tome, whether cultists or not - is their mood or behavior impacted by it, either due to proximity or what they read? What mythos entities would be logical inclusions for scenarios with said tome(s), that don't just end the game?
  11. Malkavellian

    Utter damnation

    I was wondering how you best would describe a possible upcoming fate for one of my players investigators: After a run in with a Nyarly cult in India, which resulted in the investigators fleeing the country and leaving a NPC priest in their clutches, this priest (Unknown to them now possessed by The Chaos himself, ) shows up to mock them every now and then. So.....ahem... One of the investigators studies the 12th Book of Moses (from TUO), goes temp insane, passes out and the next morning he vomits up the missing pages from the book. Within a week Y'Golonac will come for him. He's already doomed. I was hoping we could at least finish the current scenario with the investigator, but it got worse. In an encounter with the priest mentioned above he offers the investigator "a easy deal" to help him with his predicament. Without asking questions in pure desperation, a verbal pact is made. So now the investigator is twice damned. The investigator is slowly beginning to realize who this priest really is, and with that comes despair: He has previously learnt the spells in The Turner Codex and conciders making the Unspeakable Promise as a final cry for help (and thereby damning him three times.) So what kind of spectacular situation will this lead to ? By now I'm startig to get some "Dangerous Habits" (Garth Ennis' take on Hellblazer) vibes here.
  12. Raiders of R’lyeh: Gamemaster’s Guide & Complete Rules* from Cipher Bureau is discounted 40% to $23.99 from its normal price of $39.99 at DriveThruRPG.com for their "Deal of the Day". (Offer expires at 3 PM UTC tomorrow.) * Yoggie affiliate link
  13. Has anyone ever linked these two scenarios? The names are of course suggestive. My idea is that the eponymous antagonist of Mt Corbitt is the grandson of Walter. But other than the vicarious thrill players would experience, can anyone suggest anything of substance that could be added?
  14. Hi, hoping to pick the collective Cthulhu brain... I seem to remember a scenario where a woman finds a baseball in a locked truck. I was wondering if anyone could let me know the name of this scenario please? Many thanks in advance.
  15. Just because I was wanting to use some BRP material in 7th ed, and I assumed it would be convertible as 6th ed is to 7th.
  16. The immense popularity of Call of Cthulhu in Japan - "hands down the most popular played RPG: ...where you think roleplaying game equals Dungeons and Dragons in many other countries, in Japan... roleplaying equals Call of Cthulhu." Especially popular with Japanese women gamers. (starts at 2.40)
  17. Hi, I've recently moved to Herefordshire, close to Almeley (about 30 minutes drive from Hereford, not far from the Welsh border). Are there any players or groups in the area? I'd really like to start playing fairly regularly again. Happy to play or GM any edition. I'm 47 now, I've been playing RPGs on and off since I was 13, although only CoC in the last 10. Happy to start a group with new players if anyone is interested. All the best, Andy
  18. I have a bit of a quandary: I starting to prep for our annual Halloween CoC game, and one of the players wants to create a hit man as his PC. Naturally, he wants him to have a Tommy Gun. With that being said, there are a few things I know. 1. automatic fire rules: I fully understand them, and quite frankly they're unrealistic. Having served several years in the military, automatic fire actually DECREASES your likelihood of hitting a target when speaking of handheld weapons like a Thompson. Try firing a M249 SAW while standing on full auto, and I can tell you for a fact your shots go everywhere in front of you, and few land on target. In fact, studies conducted by the DoD during the Vietnam War discovered that fully auto fire from M16s were for the most part ineffective due to lack of control (barrel rise) and removed full auto from later models. You have single or 3-round burst from the M16A1 and after. Generally speaking, auto fire is what "Suppressing fire" is: to suppress the enemy form firing at you and/or maneuvering. Now burst fire is relatively controlled, and that's where the rules do fit as written. 2. Damage: when calculating damage on auto/burst fire is the damage rolled for each round hit, or is the damage rolled for the entire burst? So say for example, 5 rounds hit a target. Is damage rolled for each shot or is it one roll for all 5 hits. The problem I have is with the damage. If it's a roll per shot hit, I don't think I can allow it. It's too unbalancing. Then again I hate saying "no" as well. Right now, I'm going with the historical aspect. They really were rare weapons, and I'd argue a hit man would want something less flashy. Pistols and shotguns were the most common weapons used by gangsters and thugs of the era. A Tommy Gun would be a last resort weapon IMO. Suggestions?
  19. I've hitherto only run CoC as one shots - fiasco scenarios where it was expected everyone would end up insane or dead. I'm considering running a CoC campaign for the first time, and it's causing me to question a bunch of rules that I never had reason to question before because they didn't really have impact during a typical haunted house type scenario. Previously, I never cared particularly what a mythos tome actually did because they typically showed up destroyed someone's mind and that was about it. If someone managed to get 12% Mythos Lore studying a book, or if the book contained a fact relevant to the plot neither was a problem. But if characters are going to go from scenario to scenario, this presents for me both a gameplay problem and a conceptual problem. From a gameplay perspective, it would only take reading 5-6 mythos tomes to level yourself up to where you could produce almost any fact - and at the same time level yourself out of the game, as your fragile sanity would not be able to take it. Indeed, by the RAW, the Necronomicon alone has a reference fact to 80% of the questions that might come up, which is paralleled in general applicability by only the Junior Woodchuck's Guidebook. This hardly seems to be enough manuscripts to make up a campaign. While I'm totally OK with the mechanics of sanity loss and decreasing stability, the speed that you figure out all the secrets of the universe seems to be not only a bit bizarre but down right counter-productive to a good game. One stint in the British Library, and you come out an emotional wreck but able to identify what Cthulhu had for breakfast the last time the stars are right and who Hastur dated in high school. From a conceptual perspective, this is even more bizarre. I would never design a system such that if an investigator read the Oxford's History of the American People and four or five other thick books, they'd come away with 80% in history. We'd expect an actual historian to study scores and scores of books to get in the region of 80%. And this is true of any other subject as well. Yet, conceptually, Mythos Lore ought to cover more knowledge than exists in all the other subject matter combined. Only a cursory understanding of the vast range of human knowledge can be gathered by reading through the Encyclopedia Britannia (if anyone can remember what those tomes lined up beside each other look like). Better can be achieved by reading every page of Wikipedia and following every link to every source. But even that is a drop in the bucket compared to the galaxy spanning multi-dimensional multi-species lore that 'Mythos Lore' encompasses. All of human knowledge is to mythos lore as the first volume of an encyclopedia is to the entire library. The greatest of human sciences are but rudimentary primers. So what gives reading one Arab madman's graduate student thesis paper and coming away with a working knowledge of so much that vast alien lore? I'm thinking that each time you read a mythos book, the sanity loss is per the RAW, but the increased mythos lore is reduced by a fraction that depends on how much you already know. So for example, after reading the Liber Ivonis you might gain +13 lore, but upon adding the Cultes des Goules to your reading list your lore increases by but half the usual number as much of what you are reading is no longer quite as revolutionary. So instead of adding the full +14 for a total of +27, you had +7 for a total of +20. Then, if you're made of stern stuff and read De Vermiis Mysteriis as well, but a third of the usual understanding (+4) is added bringing your total Mythos Lore to +24 (rather than +39). By that time, most investigators will probably have killed themselves casting an ill-advised spell, or sent themselves to the insane asylum, but most of the mysteries of the cosmos are still mysteries. The more books so read the bigger the differences we'd see, as each book eventually adds but 1 or 2 points of understanding - the same sort of advantage a player might gain by studying a more mundane book. Obviously, some tinkering in actual play may be required to make the order your read things in not matter too much, but rather than outlining an algorithm I'll just deal with that in a case by case basis. What do you think the outcome of this change will be? For example, will this make spells too accessible, and is that even a problem?
  20. [Possible spoilers - proceed with caution] In my MoN campaign, the PCs have just made it to Cairo and I suppose that they soon will be skulking through the pyramids. As written, there's a possibility of meeting old Nyarlahotep himself there. However, I feel that the way the meeting is described is a bit problematic, not to say lame, when meeting Nyarlahotep could be likened to meeting a Bond villain, giving a monologue speech or alternatively described as a boss fight. I have been thinking of alternative ways of conducting this encounter, in order to preserve the mystery and horror elements of the game and would like to ask you, my fellow Keepers, how you ran this particular scene. All input and ideas are welcome!
  21. An exciting new partnership announced today: Call of Cthulhu & Syrinscape: Call of Cthulhu games often involve creating more of an immersive experience than many other types of games. Just like our games often feature elaborate handouts and props, we have also noticed that our players often crave soundtracks that help build that sense of unease, suspense and dread at the gaming table, punctuated by moments of horror and excitement! Syrinscape's sounds provide exactly that, and we are proud to be partnering with them, says Chaosium president, Rick Meints. More details here: https://www.chaosium.com/blogcall-of-cthulhu-coming-to-syrinscape
  22. Darkblaze911

    Miskatonic Scenarios

    So my friends and I are planning to run a game of CoC where we're all high school girls in the 80's from different cliques in "Miskatonic High" (lol). We've each chosen a faction and created 6-8 characters for our factions, but where we only play our main one, the other characters are NPCs played by the current DM (we will be taking turns). We've also created a lot of the faculty also. What we we're thinking was to take old scenarios set in Miskatonic University and injecting our own high school flavor into it. I already know I'll need Miskatonic University Dire Secrets and Campus Life to help flesh out our school, but I was also wondering if anyone had a list of scenarios set in Miskatonic University, especially if it involves the players to be students. I know I could probably run Crimson Letters from the back of the book... But what other ones could I do? Also, is there any other recommendations anyone can give to help me to run this, or know of any more supplements to help the experience of the game? My players are working hard on building an entire universe in this imagiary boarding school, I would love to be able to run old scenarios and convert them to our campaign. Thank you so much!
  23. I have taken it upon myself, after a lengthy absence from roleplaying, to run the Beyond the Mountains of Madness campaign for a group of new players. The intention of this thread is to use it as a space to get my thoughts in order, set down my ideas and bounce them around amongst the denizens of the Yog-Sothoth community. I am hoping that some amongst you will be able to help by offering criticism and advice as I go - many thanks in advance to everyone for their help! I will begin with a short introduction, stating my background and experience with CoC. I will explain why this campaign is important to me and why I want to run it. Next I will touch on my first impressions on reading through BtMoM. Following from that, I will discuss my player-group, how I'd like to prepare them and, crucially, how I intend to prepare myself. In later posts I will put forward specific concerns I have, and ask for ideas and solutions. I will also share pictures of the props I will be making for use in the campaign, along with details of my play-lists and anything else I may use to enhance the game. Please, everyone, do feel free to jump in with comments at any time!
  24. Greetings! Our new roleplaying publication The Dark Times Fanzine is looking for submissions. We are a free pdf magazine dealing with all aspects of the horror, conspiracy and weird roleplaying genres. Our pilot issue will be released in a couple of weeks and will contain material for several game systems. Apart from gaming material we also accept anything that can act as inspiration for games, or has been inspired by them. This includes short fiction, artwork, movie & TV reviews, and even poetry should the muse strike you! If you were a reader of the recently cancelled Protodimension (or even DEMONGROUND "back in the day"), The Dark Times is intended to fill that gap. If you have any material that you think fits the bill, or have any questions, you can send them along to us at: darktimesfanzineATgmailDOTcom Submission guidelines are available from the above address on request. We have not yet put together a publishing schedule so there is no immediate rush, but we are always open for submissions so sooner is always better if you wish to send us something. We look forward to seeing what you have. Thanks for your time!
  25. I am happy to announce, after a long wait, that Arkham Gazette #2 is now available: The issue was written for the 6th edition of the Call of Cthulhu rules (and might be the last thing ever released as such since it was grandfathered in - Thanks Chaosium!) but a separate PDF with 7th Edition conversion notes is forthcoming as is a separate PDF for all the handouts. The price for the PDF of the issue is $12 for 117 pages of Innsmouth horrors of all types. Buy it now before the Deep Ones rise up to destroy us all. http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/172264/The-Arkham-Gazette-2
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