104 votes

Skills the player has, but the character doesn’t vs. skills the character has, but the player doesn’t

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 ...
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84 votes
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Why wouldn’t I just run away from the eldritch horror?

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 ...
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29 votes

Why wouldn’t I just run away from the eldritch horror?

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 ...
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  • 1,075
20 votes
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How to find the line between an investigation and railroading

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, ...
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  • 32.9k
20 votes

Encouraging players to not ignore the story

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 ...
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  • 21.1k
17 votes

How can I keep the Cthulhu mythos new and mysterious to experienced players?

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 ...
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  • 21.6k
16 votes

Why wouldn’t I just run away from the eldritch horror?

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 ...
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  • 3,131
14 votes
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Cthulhu Campaign - How to create a more satisfying climax?

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 ...
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  • 3,473
13 votes

Skills the player has, but the character doesn’t vs. skills the character has, but the player doesn’t

"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 ...
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  • 1,352
13 votes
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In Call of Cthulhu 7e, how does one increase their HP Max?

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 ...
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  • 1,208
12 votes
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How can I keep the Cthulhu mythos new and mysterious to experienced players?

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,...
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  • 16.9k
11 votes

Making a rules-light non-combat version of Call of Cthulhu

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, ...
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  • 52.7k
11 votes
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How to bring together characters from different walks of life?

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 ...
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  • 35.5k
9 votes

Do I need to play the original Call of Cthulhu before Achtung! Cthulhu?

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 ...
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  • 32.9k
9 votes

How to execute horror when there is safety in numbers

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 ...
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9 votes
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Dealing with skill spamming in Call of Cthulhu (6th/7th edition)

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: ...
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  • 60.3k
9 votes
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Do Call of Cthulhu manuals depend on the core rulebook version?

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 ...
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  • 173k
9 votes
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How can the Investigators banish Abhoth permanently?

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 ...
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  • 6,075
8 votes
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Identify a Call of Cthulhu scenario where players start with a blank character sheet

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 ...
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  • 235
8 votes

Encouraging players to not ignore the story

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 ...
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  • 1,531
8 votes
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Skills the player has, but the character doesn’t vs. skills the character has, but the player doesn’t

Things don't happen if nobody at the table knows how they could. The right thing to do in the Medicine case was ask for a Know roll, assuming you're playing Call of Cthulhu 7E (CoC7E) and you want to ...
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  • 34.3k
8 votes
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Are there official or unofficial rules for drugs and addiction?

Berlin the Wicked City has a list of effects for various drugs, heroin included, on p40. Heroin Duration: 1D3+1 hours. Effects: a bonus die is applied to all Sanity rolls. Insanity effects that would ...
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  • 15.6k
7 votes

How to execute horror when there is safety in numbers

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 ...
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  • 77.9k
7 votes
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Making a rules-light non-combat version of Call of Cthulhu

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 ...
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  • 38.7k
7 votes
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Dealing with too powerful forms of transport

Rivers: Like Roads, But Water. Unless your map of the Exclusion Zone goes way further out than the real-life Exclusion Zone, the points of entry by water are probably going to be limited to the ...
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  • 34.3k
7 votes
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Can a player character increase stats?

There is no "advancement system" when it comes to attributes, but ageing modifies them, sometimes significantly. It's usually an EDU check which could raise it of 1d10, coupled with some automatic ...
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  • 1,208
6 votes

Do I need to play the original Call of Cthulhu before Achtung! Cthulhu?

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 ...
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  • 9,399
6 votes

An explanation of magic in Call of Cthulhu

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 ...
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6 votes
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Is there any reason not to always try to knockout rather than damage?

From a mechanical, Rules as written standpoint, there's probably no reason NOT to try this every time. But the Keeper may throw a monkey wrench into your plans. But keep in mind just because you can, ...
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  • 3,571

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