Friday, April 29, 2011

Call of Cthulhu RPG --- Minions, Cultists and Scooby-Doo

I used to run CoC a while back and thought I would share a few tidbits about spicing up your game. One thing I used to do was run The Scooby-Doo option. The predictability of knowing that you will be dealing with, at a minimum, cultists if not outright monsters took a bit of the edge out of the game, I found. Instead I told the players that I was going to roll secretly before the game started to determine if the whole thing was a fake or setup by standard criminals to keep people away or possibly a misguided not-very-dangerous group of occult followers.
investigators group photo
This meant that the players did not always know that there was real trouble afoot or just a Scooby-Doo kind of send up by bootleggers. Believe it or not, it really kept the players on their toes and more open to the possibility of normal circumstances, rather than being sure that everything was corruption and evil. You can also use these small scenarios to introduce an NPC, who although does not begin to be evil, forms into an arch enemy or at least become a major adversary (read this as J. Jonah Jameson to Peter Parker) who might be a local police chief, a gangland enemy or a wealthy collector of antiquities who is thwarted out of collectable items by the players. Use your imagination to build your story arc.
Necronomicon Fun

You can interweave these scenarios together to make a campaign and to speed up or tone down the play. It also allows players to gain important skills and pick up items both mundane and occult. For example, the local kooky and harmless cult of Theosophists might actually have an important book in their library or an artifact that could lead the investigators to something important. The bootleggers might have a cache of guns or money so useful in funding investigating.
Light Reading

This presumed the GM is capable of generating a series of low-impact scenarios, but still reward the players with important experience in investigation and handing out a few gems of information. It also lets them build up a network of people who might support or help the investigators over the long haul. The police would be happy that the investigators find a murderer or bootleggers or the local townspeople would be able to forward information to the investigators.
Cthulhu-Doo Where Are You

This type of play will keep the players on their toes, but not so paranoid and distrustful that it makes them over wary of every NPC, major or minor. A series of fun, one evening scenarios will also allow the group to jell as well as give the Game Master a feeling about the wants of the group overall. The combined series of minor scenarios will help you create a tapestry for the background of the group and will lend added depth to individual characters. Slow, creeping madness is always better than a huge shock and a premature end of the group.

1 comment:

  1. Thought you might like my Cthulhu machinima film
    The Highlander; Cthulhu Enigma
    Ia Ia Cthulhu Fhtagn!