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The Trail of Cthulu is an investigative horror role-playing game designed by Kenneth Hite and published by Pelgrane Press. It uses the GUMSHOE system designed by Robin Laws. It is a stand-alone game, licensed by Chaosium, and separate from their own Call of Cthulu. A distinctive quality of the GUMSHOE system that gives the game its investigative feel is the fact that finding clues is not the focus, but interpreting them. This allows for play that emulates both styles of H.P. Lovecraft's writing - Pulp and Intellectual Horror.

It includes its own unique take on the creatures and mythology of H.P. Lovecraft, and unique character creation and play aspects that take into account the staples of such fiction, the most defining of which is dread and sanity- or the loss thereof as knowledge is gained.

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