Saturday, 3 April 2010

Running Call of Cthulhu - Some Background

I'd been ruminating for a while on running a game for the Tuesday Knights group, to give Phill a chance to play & allow him to be able to focus a bit more on the Thursday night game he's currently running (Mundus Senecit: The World Grows Old). Phill tended to be the main GM for the Tuesday night game as well, with Scott recently (the last year) running some Conspiracy X scenarios on occasion.

I wasn't sure if people would be interested in playing Call of Cthulhu due to the similarities to Conspiracy X as well as Deadlands (in fact the last Deadlands adventure we played was a converted/modified CoC adventure). Also most of the games we'd been playing on Tuesday nights tended to be pulpy/heroic in feel. The core CoC is decidedly not. On top of this, several of the players seemed to have developed short attention spans and didn't seem to be interested in long running games (I suspect their Magic the Gathering addiction to be the cause of this). The Cthulhu I preferred was the Campaign style adventures.

My ruminations on this reached critical mass & I posted up the suggestion of me running to the Tuesdays list, giving options as to which version (in the last couple of years "Chaosium has licensed other publishers to create supplements using their rule system") and time period. The response back was positive with people wanting to play in the Classic(1920's) period using the core Chaosium rules. One of the players who seems to be on a Roman kick at the moment, put forward the Roman period as the setting, but no one else took up this idea (I have however just purchased & received a copy of Cthulhu Invictus, so we shall see what the future holds). I suggested adding bennie/fate/fudge/poz (whatever you want to call them) points. This was rejected, the players wanted no safety net. They wanted it gritty! One of the players even stating that he expected there to be character death.

So I started preparing, going through the various adventures I have, from Chaosium & licensees supplements to those published in magazines such as The Unspeakable Oath, Worlds of Cthulhu and Dagon. I ended up settling on an adventure from one of the earlier issues of UO as it wasn't as soft as the adventures that were written for starting characters. I've even started reading/working out what to run next on the hopeful assumption, that when this adventure finishes the general feeling isn't Let us never speak of this again.

I also attempted to streamline & modify character creation, partly based on Sandy Petersen's "new quickie Character generation rules for CoC". Not sure how successful I was on this.

The big question was, how would I go on the night, how well would it be received. It's not the first time I've run CoC, so I wasn't nervous about that. I ran a couple of adventures (which I'd written myself)for Heroic Cthulhu over skype which were also podcasted. I ran some CoC several years ago which included some of the people involved in the Tuesday nights game. And years before that in a long running CoC game where several of us took turns in running.

Hmmm it appears I'm suffering from logorrhoea.

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