104

Cast Off Your Double Standards, and Accept That People Are Different The Double Standard But how about not physical talents? Any good GM would ask the player to be more specific about how he is actually planning to do this and if he can provide a reasonable plan of action, he would allow him to roll on his mechanical skills. I sense a double standard here, ...


83

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, that'...


38

Two reasons. First, the various horrors and Things Man is Not Meant to Know that populate the universe in a Lovecraft Mythos game are not organised enough (against us, at least) to pull this kind of thing off as a regular tactic—if they were, the world would already be consumed, enslaved, or worse. Since we're playing a game where we investigate and try to ...


30

Cultists don't let themselves be taken alive Their madness means surrender will not happen. Even if you manage to knock one out and capture them without killing them, what is to stop them from trying to attack the players again and again. Straight jackets and muzzles are used on dangerous prisoners and psychotics for a reason. Even if they accept their ...


28

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 ...


20

There are different editions of Masks and I don't know the differences between them, but in the one I have the cultists have, respectively: English 10%, Mythos 3% English 55%, Mythos 4%, a "New Yorker cocaine fiend of negligible skills" English 1%, Mythos 5% There's only so much information they could give up even if they wanted to, which they don't. Also, ...


20

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 ...


20

Start (experienced RPG.SE users will guess what I'm going to say next) by talking to them. You obviously have a premise in mind: The player characters comes across something weird, and you expect them to investigate. Your players are obviously on-board with the idea of a Cthulu game, and get that investigating is a thing they're expected to do. They also ...


17

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 this, ...


16

You're not missing anything. Based on the description you provided, it sounds like your player purchased one of Q-Workshop's licensed "Call of Cthulhu" dice sets. Strange as it may seem, the license isn't to the roleplaying game necessarily, but to the story by H.P. Lovecraft and the associated Mythos iconography. The set of dice is decorated to look ...


16

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 ...


14

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 ...


13

You are making two assumptions: First, that the cultists are sane. They are not. they are insane. Second, that the cultists know what is going on. Again, they are insane and may not have been told anything of use apart from "Go there, kill this block, and anyone who gets in your way". However, if the players go to the trouble of having their character ...


13

"I use my high mechanical skills to open the door". Any good gm would ask the player to be more specific about how he is actually planning to do this. Don't worry about specifics here. When the rogue is picking locks, the player doesn't have to describe every single movement about adjusting the pins and holding the tumbler just right. A medic can heal their ...


12

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 -...


12

You don't. Simply because you're not supposed to survive more fights, CoC is about a desperate struggle with overwhelming odds, that will end in doom, not about some epic tale where nobodies defy their fate to save the world. Technically, the only way to increase HPs would be to increase stats and you've apparently read the answers to the other question so ...


11

Here's why these kinds of attacks don't happen more often: Unless they are specific to the plot and you're interested in investigating this kind of attack, they are incredibly uninteresting and often don't suit the kinds of villains we tend to use in RPGs. Let's handle the second one. Most RPG villains (hell most villains in general) are egoists and enjoy ...


11

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 ...


11

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 then,...


11

They all have a stake in it In your example of a missing brother, the easiest way to get everybody to work together in the assignment is to make sure they're all invested in finding that brother. The criminal wants to find him because he's still owed a lot of money, the teacher wants to find him because they've been best friends for years, the doctor fancies ...


10

This page on RPG.net has brief summaries of the different editions. From reading it over basically 1st to 3rd edition were boxed sets with minor errata and the box content changing. Fourth editions changed the game over to a single box and revised the organization and the rule somewhat. From personal knowledge the revision wasn't drastic and was largely to ...


9

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." ...


9

As GM it is your job to determine if an action requires a roll to resolve it. If I remember well, older edition CoC rules actually stated that a successful check is not enough to earn an advancement: it has to be a situation that challanges the character. In later editions it is left up to the Keeper. If they try to "force" rolls for easy tasks, you can ...


8

First Edition changed the world of RPGs. 8o) Second Edition changed how magic use was accounted for by introducing Magic Points instead of "Temporary Pow Loss". Third Edition split the rules into Player and Keeper books but was otherwise much the same as the previous two boxed sets. The hardback book version of 3rd edition combined the rulebooks and the ...


8

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 ...


8

That sounds very much like In Media Res (sic) by John Tynes. It was published in The Unspeakable Oath 10 in 1993 and was republished in The Resurrected III – Out of the Vault (2002). It was probably made for whatever was the current version of Cthulhu in 1993, but (like any scenario) it should be directly compatible with any Cthulhu version before 7. As to ...


8

Good players; keep them. Let me explain : why on earth should a Taxi driver poke his nose into something that may be dangerous? With no reason, he should not run into danger. And should there be a police station nearby, he should go to them. For a totally novice investigator, you'll need a hook to get him into the story. If you need some hook for the ...


8

All CoC adventures can be used without major problems in any of the editions. Only the most "rulesey" of manuals, like the Investigator's Companion section on new occupations, would be mildly affected, but in reality the game systems are 90%+ identical across all 7 versions. I have a large library of CoC books and I have never had cause to worry about ...


8

The Investigators can block the Gate that allows Abhoth into our world with an Elder Sign. Abhoth was brought into the world. From the book Dunwich: Return to the Forgotten Village: Long before the advent of mankind, beings came to this place to make use of the natural magical energies found in the valley. The Mi-Go used these natural rifts between worlds ...


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