I will use an example to illustrate my question. If I wanted to make my player`s characters more complex and support/motivate my players to actually role-play, then I would take the char belief concept/rules from Burning Wheel and add them to my game. Done!

So, my question is - can similar things be done to make my Call of Cthulhu game more horror-oriented?

I have the problem that the actual rules do not help me create a horror game. 100% of the time if my players get "scared" it is because of the chars I made, the scenes I framed or the likes, but never has a player said to me: "Wow, those rules/mechanics really made that scene tense!" Never!

My group usually wants me to run a Lovecraftian cosmic horror campaign and I have been using the rules as they are written (CoC 7th edition). I usually use characters, scenes and improvisation for creating horror in my games, therefore, I have not tried to really experiment with different home brew rules, but I would like to try now... since the game rules do not help me at all. I hope that helps you to see where I am coming from.


Thanks in advance!

  • \$\begingroup\$ This type of question does not tend to work well for our Q&A format. What would work better for our format is if you had a specific mechanic in mind and wanted advice on integrating it into your game. If you are really looking for suggestions, a traditional forum may be of more use to you. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tritium21
    Oct 7 '16 at 22:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ The Stack has trouble with open-ended idea requests because it's hard to write answers that aren't just guessing. The more detail you add about the problem you face, the easier it will be for answers to be sure they're useful solutions. You can improve this question by adding details like the kind of scary experience you're looking to invoke (dread, terror, gore...); the style of your campaign (splatter, pulp, cosmic or psychological horror...); and by describing what you've tried and how it didn't satisfy your problem. \$\endgroup\$
    – BESW
    Oct 7 '16 at 22:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why are you looking to use mechanics to build tension instead of story telling? \$\endgroup\$
    – Leon7C
    Oct 8 '16 at 0:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Leon7C Because I do not need to buy a game/rules to use storytelling. If I buy a game, then I am expecting to get a set of rules or mechanics that will help me with the storytelling and not just leave everything in my hands alone. Just because CoC gave Cthulhu an HP bar does not really help me. I can do that on my own. \$\endgroup\$
    – Hardrada
    Oct 9 '16 at 22:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Mechanics aren't scary. \$\endgroup\$
    – Beanluc
    Oct 11 '16 at 20:36