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26

I'd like to see it work by creating some kind of link between the character who goes mad, and the one that follows. If you want a simple mechanical solution, get the player to select one mundane skill (i.e. not Mythos), preferably knowledge-based, from the first character's sheet. The next character then gets this skill at the old character's level for free. ...


23

Make the consequences of failure different and interesting. There currently seems to be this problem where either failed sneak = combat, and you go from suspense to violent action (and then it's not easy to get suspense back). Even if you make the penalty almost being caught by a big scary thing, it frames the consequences of failure in statted, fightable ...


20

First of all, start with a different game (system.) Using anything Lovecraftian (CoC, ToC) would be a dead giveaway. Pick a (very) easy, generic system, preferably something your players are not familiar with. You'll want to tell them you read an interesting review about it someplace and would want to give it a few shots, to freshen up your gaming. ...


16

Here's how I'd approach the concept of sneaking through a hostile city. Don't use single stealth rolls on their own. Instead, use series of rolls for each instance. Require two successes out of three checks to get across a section of the city, or perhaps use a system of rolling until three successes (good) or three failures (bad) are reached. This lets you ...


14

I'm writing this from an American perspective, but I'm sure the experience of the 1960s varied wildly depending on where and how you lived. As my father used to say, "If you remember the 60s, you weren't there." His point was that there was so much going on, so much exploration, so much tumult, that even keeping track of it all was difficult as it was ...


13

The classic Call of Cthulhu campaign "Shadows of Yog-Sothoth" prominently features Cthulhu in the last scenario...R'Lyeh rises and the characters can actually face off against the Big C himself (and die horribly, of course). This was first released in the early 80s but has been reprinted since then. It's been a long time since I ran/read this campaign, but ...


11

The 1960s were a time of spiritual exploration and social awakening. In the world of the Cthulhu mythos, these things could represent the sort of knowledge that leads to understanding things that should never be learned. Inside every commune lurks a dangerous cult (artists and sensitives were particularly susceptible to Cthulhu's dreams); "free love" is a ...


11

Call of Cthulhu is being given its first real overhaul in decades. The system is d100, and the emphasis is on immersion in the game world. The default setting is the 1920s, but there are expansion materials available for other eras. Chaosium has created an extensive body of well-regarded CoC adventures over many years. Here's co-creator Sandy Peterson ...


10

It almost seems too on-the-nose, but I'd say that you should keep it very simple and charge money when players want to make investigative spends. Since investigative spends are never (theoretically) required to advance a Gumshoe plot, you're not disadvantaging players who choose not to fork over cash. This idea has the additional advantage that "Spend for ...


9

My go-to solution for this is to dig up scans or reproductions of old catalogs. I like the Sears catalogs quite a bit, as you get a nice cross-section of what people would have been buying at the time. There's several sites online, but here's one with the 1937 Christmas catalog. It's toy-focused, but there's some early electronics and kitchen appliances and ...


8

Ah, the Cold War is in full swing: the communists are fighting revolutions killing thousands in South America, Africa and Asia while America gets dirty by helping dictators. Nuclear holocaust looms on the horizon in Cuba and Germany. Freedom is squashed in Eastern Europe by tanks while hippies trip on LSD. The space race leads to two men walking on the ...


8

The big question here isn't so much how to transport Cthulhu into the 60s but what aspects of the Cthulhu mythos you want to capture and bring ahead. I think people have already explained the turmoil of the time that would seem to make it apt for this period, so instead I'm going to focus on Lovecraft's themes and how you could transport them ahead 30-40 ...


7

Make the threat clear. Show the risk. Find other victims, ideally who died in inexplicable ways. A perfectly smooth hole through the chest. A perfectly smooth face devoid of eyes, nose, mouth, hair. Sliced into razor thin pieces. Minor failures. Make the checks hard with the expectation of failure, but have the immediate response be more threatening than ...


7

This interview with Robin D. Laws might clarify some of the differences. Basically, your investigators won't be denied essential clues throughout the course of the game. GUMSHOE prevents the awkward "Oh, you really missed that investigation roll. Your seasoned detective manages to completely miss any clues in the well-stocked library with a post-it note on ...


7

The 1930s section of the (rather old looking :)) The People History site (found via google) appears to have somewhat brief yet interesting, relevant info on the era. Note (and check) the links to the individual years in the middle of the right column too. There are quite a number of other (imo poorly designed, yet quite) informative-looking, minor sites ...


6

Contrary to what you say, the ship that was run into Cthulhu in the original story did not kill that entity: ...the scattered plasticity of that nameless sky-spawn was nebulously recombining in its hateful original form, whilst its distance widened every second as the Alert gained impetus from its mounting steam. To answer the question, it seems that ...


6

I would handle this issue within the narrative of the game. First describe the alien construction aesthetics. Make the buildings based on a perfect solids other than cubes. I added an element of horror by saying that the buildings seem to be based on a combination of dodecahedrons (12 sided dice-like) and tetrahedrons (4 sided dice), but somehow 5 ...


6

Offer difficult, maybe impossible choices. You can reach the hostage quickly, quietly, safely, or unshaken. Choose two. When found, the hostage is mobile, aware, sane or healthy. Choose two. The Mi-Go are observant, powerful, deadly or devious. Choose two. If being seen is tantamount to being ripped apart and spread all over the cyclopean street, ...


6

Start by changing the period and the location. Classic Cthulhu periods are the 1890s, 1920s and 1930s (for Trail), so avoid those. Try an Edwardian, Regency, Elizabethan or 1950s adventure, for example. And, as you suggest, keep out of New England. With Trail, you could easily keep Sanity and Cthulhu Mythos to yourself, until the Investigators see something ...


6

Do your own mixing of history and Cthulhu Mythos Take a look to the historical facts of that decade and try to figure out which ones can have some Cthulhu Mythos cult behind. There was some unknown Cthulhu Mythos knowledge behind the Cold war?, which of the important characters of the epoch were Mythos cultists or were influenced by some Mythos ...


6

Trail of Cthulhu is based on the novels and the mythos inspired by H.P. Lovecraft's series of novels. I wouldn't spoil what the content of his novels specifically are, but in modern days it will be comparable with TV series such as X-Files and Supernatural, but in the 1930s. In general, such games usually emphasis research and investigation, and tends to ...


5

The first thing is: there isn't an obvious mechanic in Trail of Cthulhu that does this. That is, there isn't an "altered states of consciousness" mechanic. So you get to make up your own. Hooray! It's a sidebar in your adventure. There are different ways to handle it. Pick some or all of the following. When you narrate what's happening, you incorporate ...


5

I have played a Pulp campaign set in San Francisco in 1932 (plus assorted travel to Peru etc.) - even if it wasn't CoC based, I am familiar with CoC and used some background stuff from it, too - especially the New Orleans guidebook. If you want to include some Voodoo stuff I suggest "Tell My Horse : Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica" by Zelda Hurston ...


5

Why not aim at Carnivàle? As a bonus, there's a subtext you may be interested to weave into your play :)


5

I ran a Serenity game with a Cthulhu basis, and I ran it like @OpaCitiZen said. The first four or five adventures had almost nothing to do with the Lovecraft mythos -- only one of them dealt with the Lovecraftian monsters, and only one character actually saw anything odd. Be patient, and have the first few adventures be traditional crime, ghost story, or ...


5

There is a True20 treatment of the Mythos entitled Shadows of Cthulhu Dennis Detwiller adapted the One-Roll Engine to the Mythos in Nemesis Delta Green will have its own system at some point, as well.


4

I've used this nice little online resource over at The Dirty 30s! for my Hollow Earth Expedition game. Has a basic timeline, covers popular slang and fashion, gangsters, nazis, and commies, everything you would want. :)


4

Regarding Las Vegas, head over to the Wikipedia page for its history. I went there because I immediately recognized, based on reading your setting, that Vegas wouldn't be at that time what we think of now -- most of the big casino development happened after the Cuba embargo, as Havana had (at that time) been what we currently think of Vegas being today. ...


4

In addition to the already-mentioned Shadows of Yog-Sothoth, the Big C did make an appearance in one of the scenarios in Cthulhu Now, albeit indirectly. It's been a while since I read it, but the scenario invovled a facility studying sleep and dreams. The climax revolved around having a dream-powered version of Cthulhu turn up. I don't recall specifics any ...



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