...And Cthulhu Called

So last weekend my number came up and after some 10 months since last helming the GM's chair it was my turn. We had a break in our regular game and decided to try something different. On a lark I tossed out the idea of running Call of Cthulhu, which although we all fondly recalled, hadn't seen any of our tables in years. In fact I'm pretty sure it had been well over a decade since I last played it, much less ran it. Not that I was concerned, I still know BRP pretty well.

At first I planned to run my own session and figure out a 20's scenario about the KKK. Being short on time though I decided on a published module a few days before game time. Now, this was an exception for me, as I normally dislike published adventures, but the module was well-designed and non-linear enough to accomodate flexibility on the part of the Keeper and players (Age of Cthulhu's Death in Luxor, if you're wondering). It also featured the baddies I wanted to use (a Shoggoth - always a hoot - and a Star-Spawn).

One tactic I use in the Keeper's chair is to never announce to a player how much SAN they just lost from failing a sanity check, I just let them know on a note or something. That way the only way the other players can know just how batshit crazy that PC is going is by how well he's roleplayed. Indeed, subtly disguising the mechanics of the game makes for a more immersive experience.

Anyway the adventure was great. I had forgotten how much CoC is such a roleplayer's game, since combat and tactics (something I can admit to fixating on more than not) tends to take a backseat when facing down the horrors of the Mythos. It has a different pacing, and structure then other RPGs and a GM can pick up a lot of useful techniques and tricks applicable to other games. Presenting the flavor and culture of a historical setting is a lot of fun too. All in all, a welcome break from the sometimes board-game like mechanics of traditional FRP's. A game of CoC takes a bit more of a time commitment than other games, but it's far worth it. In this instance, half the party croaked - but everyone still had a good time. Not many games work that way.

link for the day - love this one...

Cthulhu fhtagn!


r4gn4r said...

I've only played C'thulhu a handful of times, but it was great. If you weren't dead, you were still crazy. And probably soon to be dead. But either way, everyone has fun challenging the Old Ones.

JD said...

Exactly! And nowadays every player knows that so the challenge is to roleplay well on your way to death and/or madness.

TheGrumpyCelt said...

I've not played CoC in years. I need to do so again, soon.