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67

Powerful drama requires powerful motivations. When everyone at the table agrees that they want a Horror game, they must craft their characters around these motivations. If they don't buy in, then you get the kind of power-fantasy where the heroes do the quite sensible thing of feeding Cthulhu a couple cases of dynamite and legging it. That isn't horror, ...


27

I think you're metagaming. You, the GM and player, know that continuing to pursue the truth will lead to madness. Your characters don't know that. They don't know the risks yet. Your characters are just finding out (possibly for the first time) that "magic" or something like it is real. If you, in real life, just found out that magic was real, wouldn't you ...


16

You have stumbled on the issue (or a primary issue) that prompted the development of the gumshoe system. GUMSHOE is used for a number of games with investigative elements, including Trail of Cthulhu, a GUMSHOE implementation of CoC and Night's Black Agents, a spies-vs-vampires setting with a more militaristic bent. By extension, the solution adopted may work ...


15

In addition to the excellent answers already posted, let me suggest that you look at the kinds of protagonists that Lovecraft wrote about; police investigators ("The Call of Cthulhu", "The Horror at Red Hook"), artists looking for unique experiences ("Pickman's Model"), and people who actually wanted to find out more about the squiggly things under the bed ...


13

It's a good idea to make sure everyone in the group understands what the point of the game is about, so they can build appropriate characters. Sometimes people go in building "survivalist" characters, which means the motivations also don't fit the genre expectations. It's also important to remember that the key point of horror stories is some point of ...


10

Instead of trimming down and modifying systems that are designed for playstyles you're not interested in, consider using a game system that's already doing what you want. BRP and CoC assume combat, and are generally geared toward multi-session campaigns. It's possible to hack them into compliance with your needs, but that's gonna take some effort. Even ...


8

True horror requires player buy in, characters with powerful motivations, a willingness to be less than powerful, and a willingness to make the wrong choices for drama. All it takes is one computational demonologist or heroic soldier and all the "bad decisions" go out the window in favour of "let's shoot the big green monster until it stops making us crazy." ...


7

I love all the info Runeslinger has provided but I respectfully beg to differ. There is a simple answer here: No You do not need to play CoC before playing A!C. You will, however, need more than just the two core books to start. The books seem to support at least 3 systems - Fate Core, Savage Worlds, and Call of Cthulhu 6th edition. You will need to get ...


7

Player knowledge is based on the fact that once you put the book for Cthulu on the table, people will expect this adventure to be about Cthulu. Surprise them. Play adventures that on the outside seem to be mysterious but turn out to be normal life. Play adventures that look like normal life but have horror right where they don't expect it. Now, to do ...


7

Safety in numbers only applies if you can trust the others Are you familiar with the game Werewolves of Millers Hollow? If not; it's basically a game you play with 10-20 people. Each person is either a citizen or a werewolf. The game is divided in "night" where people close their eyes and the werewolves secretly pick a victim who leaves the game and a ...


5

There isn't much to know. Magic in Call of Cthulhu is not something that the player characters deal with much, if at all, since using magic usually means the end of the character: Some characters will learn little bits of ritual magic during their time investigating the dark places of Earth. These spells tend to be very narrow, fairly powerful, and ...


5

Contrasting @BESW's opinion somewhat, I'd say the answer to your core question, namely: "what other rules do I absolutely need to run a traditional CoC game?", is, simply: None. You don't need any other rules besides the obligatory skill checks (have a skill of 0-99, roll d100, if the result is equal or smaller than your skill rating, you succeed, if not, ...


5

Experiment It's a bit like cooking. If you want to serve a new meal and you don't have any new ingredients, try different mixtures or techniques to change the flavour. Have the characters explore new, unprecedented combinations of monsters. Maybe the Elder Ones decided to ally themselves with Nyarlathotep? You can also change the pace and genre of the game ...


3

I think you think you have a problem you don't actually have. Pretty much any genre can be boiled down in the same manner you boiled down CoC. (e.g. Fantasy ends with "kill the baddie, get the reward".) Just because something is iterative doesn't mean that it also can't be varied. That said, let's try and work with practical advise to vary up the feel of ...


2

I think it's best not to force anything. It seems unnecessary and ultimately undermines the logic of the situation and its dramatic effect and immersion. As a player, I would come up with clear understandable motivations that make sense and yet can get the character hooked into the scenario. Then I would discuss with the GM to see if the GM finds them ...


2

If you are running a one-shot (which may run over two or three sessions), then I am afraid the only practical outcomes are success or failure: the fortunate Investigators return to their former lives, sadder and wiser and with a few stories to tell to the few who may believe them. But a long-term campaign needs to touch on the wide scope of the evil ...


2

Call of Cthulu, and by extension Delta Green, are horror games. They're not about strong heroes overcoming evil, it's about getting by with your wits, luck, and the skin of your teeth (or not). Call of Cthulu is as much about failure as it is about success, and as the DM it should be your duty to simply resolve the player's actions, not send them down the ...


2

With reference to Luck rolls (based on Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition rules, which the authors intentionally wrote as compatible with all previous editions), the relevant ruling lies on p90 of the Keeper's Rulebook: If the Keeper calls for a Group Luck roll, the player whose investigator has the lowest Luck score (amongst those present in the scene) ...


1

As far as I know, there aren't any rules for group rolls in Call of Cthulhu. And that makes sense, as it's not possible/logical for someone to hide "on behalf" of the rest of the party (although I recall that in 5th edition at least, Conceal can be used to hide someone/something). The idiot with the air horn is going to draw attention to himself regardless ...


1

Since you've specified this as system agnostic this is really just a logistics problem that boils down to "How do 3 people manage 20 people?" So we'll focus on minimizing downtime and maximizing engagement with a minimum of effort. As far as background I've run multiple con events that involved 100+ people in rotating tables and recurring multi-day ...


1

What is needed to play or run the game? Player As a player, the Player's Guide should suffice if you are familiar with the system that your group is using. At present, Achtung! Cthulhu has versions for Call of Cthulhu and Savage Worlds (these are presented together as a dual-system set), PDQ, and Fate. If you are not familiar with the system, having access ...


1

The integrity rules from the God-Machine Chronicle Rules Update could be a good substitute for CoC sanity. Unlike the previous morality system that is based purely on sins (which the developers for GMC often refer to as a Victorian concept) , this system is based on breaking points, and seeing cosmic horrors is a perfect example of that. If you fail ...



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