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Call of Cthulhu


Kaftan Barlast

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We've begun to play CoC which is an excellent and wellmade RPG in every aspect but I find that it is extremely demanding to lead compared to other games. This far the characters have just began on my modified version of "The Haunting" from the core rulebook but they have not reached the core parts.

 

 

I dont know quite how to create a mood of horror and these players arent making it any easier. I could have scary music, go "..the thing moves slowly, staggering forward. its dead flesh reeks of putrefaction and.." and make scary faces but I swear they will just go "Oh, its a zombie, lets chop its head off"

 

 

How do you go about scaring people like this?

DISCLAIMER: Do not take what I write seriously unless it is clearly and in no uncertain terms, declared by me to be meant in a serious and non-humoristic manner. If there is no clear indication, asume the post is written in jest. This notification is meant very seriously and its purpouse is to avoid misunderstandings and the consequences thereof. Furthermore; I can not be held accountable for anything I write on these forums since the idea of taking serious responsability for my unserious actions, is an oxymoron in itself.

 

Important: as the following sentence contains many naughty words I warn you not to read it under any circumstances; botty, knickers, wee, erogenous zone, psychiatrist, clitoris, stockings, bosom, poetry reading, dentist, fellatio and the department of agriculture.

 

"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

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Screw with them.

 

Don't send zombies at them, let them see something, then when they go to investigate it let them find nothing.

 

When you do send something after them, let them hear scrapping at the door, then when they get ready to open the door and attack, send something in through the the windows behind them, or through a wall.

 

Creating horror in this format means doing the ol' bait and switch, keep them off guard and let them freak themselves out.

 

Another good trick, if one of your PCs is good at keeping their poker face and can keep a secret.. let the PC play one of the monsters.. and when the group isn't expecting it... let the PC go all evil on them. :)"

 

Essentially the way to run horror is to focus more on the story than on the creatures. In DnD you'll see dozens a day.. in a horror game they shouldn't see them until it's time for the player characters to go insane or die :)

 

If you send hordes of critters at them, the players will be desensitized.

Edited by Darque
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Cthulhu is gothic horror, so you have to play with their nerves.

 

First advice is props. Whenever the investigators get a note or other important writing, make sure to have it written out. I prefer to write it in word, print it out, and then tear and fold the paper a bit to make it seem worn and haphazard.

 

Also play on the things the characters can't do anything about. A cthulhu zombie is not of the regular D&D slow-punching-bag variety - in Cthulhu they are actually very dangerous... unless you're playing the d20, which I've never played, nor intend to.

 

IIRC, the Haunting has a bed on the first floor, which the zombie can animate to attack the investigators. That's a good place to start, because how do you fight a bed? They can sit down on it, lie in it, whatever - it's just a regular bed, no questions. But if they go close to the window, it'll suddenly leap forward and push them out.

 

I remember running one Cthulhu game, where the characters were talking to a dying man. To underscore the mood, I had a hankerchief with me, in which I put some ketchup just before I used it in a feigned cough. That sort of thing is good for mood - sure, it's a bit theatrical, but then that's what you want.

 

Oh, and Cthulhu works best in long campaign/adventures, I think, because you'll lose lots of characters along the way. Among the best are "Walker in the Wastes" and the (complete) "Masks of Nyarlathotep".

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What I like to do cause some fear among the players in my campaign is to have the main bad guy get up and personal. Such as I was running this Urban Arcana campaign in d20 Modern. The main baddie was an ancient black dragon named Mercurabon.

 

He has is claws deep in government and criminal organizations. He wanted the last surviving family members of the bloodline of Saint George, the dragon slayer, dead and corrupt the holy sword of St. George. Well, one of the PCs happened to be the direct lineage. Thing his Mercurabon used his cronies to good use. As a distraction and went after the PC himself.

 

Mind you these were 5th level characters at the time. Well, in his human guise he killed the NPC guard and basically hauled the PC to his car, a late model Monte Carlo and was to drive off. It seemed that he needed to do a blood sacrifice in order to corrupt the sword it well, this would be poetic justice to use one of the last of the dragonslayers as a sacrifice in this.

 

He was feeling pretty good for himself til he had to deal with a downtown Denver traffic jam. The PC used this to her advantage and slammed her elbow unexpectedly into his nose then ran out of the car and alerted the police that she was being kidnapped. mercurabon enraged gets out of his car and becomes a full dragon and breathes acid at the police. In the resulting chaos the PC ran away, scared out of her wits and the player breathing a sigh of relief at getting away.

 

He then went to plan B.

Edited by Judge Hades
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Well, we will play the main part of "The haunting" soon and we shall see if I do manage to give my victi.. players a bit of a fright.

 

 

Ive decided to tone it down a bit, there will be now flying knife or Corbitt actually rising from the dead to battle the players, but more of a low key spook.

DISCLAIMER: Do not take what I write seriously unless it is clearly and in no uncertain terms, declared by me to be meant in a serious and non-humoristic manner. If there is no clear indication, asume the post is written in jest. This notification is meant very seriously and its purpouse is to avoid misunderstandings and the consequences thereof. Furthermore; I can not be held accountable for anything I write on these forums since the idea of taking serious responsability for my unserious actions, is an oxymoron in itself.

 

Important: as the following sentence contains many naughty words I warn you not to read it under any circumstances; botty, knickers, wee, erogenous zone, psychiatrist, clitoris, stockings, bosom, poetry reading, dentist, fellatio and the department of agriculture.

 

"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

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After last nights game Ill just have to admit that Im not scaring them, and that theres no way Ill be able to do that because theyre not that kind of players. So if we play more itll just be purely for the thrill of solving a mystery which isnt so bad when you think about it.

DISCLAIMER: Do not take what I write seriously unless it is clearly and in no uncertain terms, declared by me to be meant in a serious and non-humoristic manner. If there is no clear indication, asume the post is written in jest. This notification is meant very seriously and its purpouse is to avoid misunderstandings and the consequences thereof. Furthermore; I can not be held accountable for anything I write on these forums since the idea of taking serious responsability for my unserious actions, is an oxymoron in itself.

 

Important: as the following sentence contains many naughty words I warn you not to read it under any circumstances; botty, knickers, wee, erogenous zone, psychiatrist, clitoris, stockings, bosom, poetry reading, dentist, fellatio and the department of agriculture.

 

"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

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Only if you give me candy :)

DISCLAIMER: Do not take what I write seriously unless it is clearly and in no uncertain terms, declared by me to be meant in a serious and non-humoristic manner. If there is no clear indication, asume the post is written in jest. This notification is meant very seriously and its purpouse is to avoid misunderstandings and the consequences thereof. Furthermore; I can not be held accountable for anything I write on these forums since the idea of taking serious responsability for my unserious actions, is an oxymoron in itself.

 

Important: as the following sentence contains many naughty words I warn you not to read it under any circumstances; botty, knickers, wee, erogenous zone, psychiatrist, clitoris, stockings, bosom, poetry reading, dentist, fellatio and the department of agriculture.

 

"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

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Since we're on the subject of Cthulhu, I just thought I'd share a few, er, survival tips that I picked up from somewhere on the net - can't for the life of me remember where, so my apologies to the original author... Still, should be good fun :)

 

Here goes:

 

In a game like Call of Cthulhu, where the average lifespan of a player character is less than that of a mayfly, pointers are needed to stay on top of things.

 

Have you just inherited a mansion whose previous owner went mad, died horribly or simply vanished? Never ever sleep in the master bedroom, explore the unmapped caverns beneath the cellar and never try to find the source of that insane piping-sound going on at night. In fact, never ever visit the mansion in question.

 

Conduct investigations while the sun is still above the horizon. The common idea that night is the proper time for sneaking around and committing B&E is even deadlier than The Thousand-Faced Rotting Bubble-Person From Beyond ever could be.

 

Being illiterate is a good thing.

 

Yes, there is such a thing as too many tentacles.

 

Always bring a handgun, that way you can make sure that one of your friends will be in no shape to run when your group is chased by outer-dimensional hunting-creatures, thereby giving the horrible being something other than you to munch on. Hopefully.

 

Never become good friends with University professors. They are the living embodiment of trouble. In fact, watch out for people whose job is to read books, specifically old books, or tomes, as they like to call them. They always want help after having summoned The Horrible Horror with a Shady Reputation. Helping them will get you dead right quick or, at the very least, insane. Surreal happenings or outer-dimensional summoning may be commonplace in their lives; better not make it commonplace in your life.

 

Never date women who refer to themselves as cat-persons. Cuddly or not; the Cats from Saturn be damned!

 

Never go abroad. If you, for any reason, have to go abroad it better not be as a crewmember on an expedition.

 

Egypt and Antarctica kills off more investigators each year than cancer does.

 

Always bring explosives. And not pansy explosives like grenades. Instead bring bundles of TNT. Going to your cousins wedding? Great! Just remember to pack the TNT. TNT is good for so many things, like blowing up blasphemous temples or horrible proto-masses. Failing that, TNT makes great firewood for your final bonfire.

 

Never join a cult or sect. Enough said.

 

Curiosity did not kill the cat. Some unspeakable horror did. Not only that, it also turned the cat inside out, had pseudo pods grow from every orifice imaginable, gave it a taste for human blood and made it six times larger than before. Now the cat is coming for you.

 

Stay well away from mountain cabins. Every mountain cabin comes with an obligatory psychopath. Some cabin-retailers may allow for the psychopath to be exchanged for an Unknown Horror Existing in Far too Many Dimensions. Beware cabins!

 

Try not to live your life in England or New England. In fact, you should probably move to Sweden, a country where Mythos activity seems to quite non-existent.

 

Avoid anything that can be associated with the words ancient, elder, forgotten etc. I cannot emphasize this enough. Contracting Ebola is far more enjoyable than being torn to pieces over the course of seven years by the Ancient Guardian-Monstrosity.

 

Make a distinction between Good Slime and Evil Slime. Good Slime does not really do anything except maybe make you disgusted. Evil Slime, on the other hand, tends to eat you, dissolve you, expand like there is no tomorrow, et cetera. A surefire way of distinguishing between Good Slime and Evil Slime is this:

When you see a pool of slime for the first time, ask yourself these questions. But before proceeding, take heed; Good or Evil, no slime at all is better.

1. Does it shiver, move about or show any other sign of having means of producing kinetic energy by itself? No? Then it is probably safe to assume that you are dealing with Good Slime.

2. Does it have countless mouths and bulging eyes? No? Good Slime.

3. Does it talk? No? Good Slime.

4. Do you feel threatened in any way by this slime? No? Good Slime.

5. Poke the slime with a pointy stick. Does it react? No? Good Slime.

6. Have any of your pets disappeared lately? No? If yes, can you see the bones of your pets inside the slime? Yes? Evil Slime.

7. Did the slime come from outer space? No? Good Slime.

 

When dealing with beings of incomprehensible power, tread lightly. If you suddenly decompose, burst into flames, explode or suffer otherwise along similar lines you know you have done something wrong.

 

On the other hand, if you deal with beings of incomprehensible power you are a right git and deserve nothing less. Steer well clear of Outer Gods, Elder Gods, Old Ones and their ilk.

 

If your Keeper asks you to print out a couple of new character sheets before the session begins you know trouble and death are afoot. Suggest that you play Dungeons & Dragons instead; a game where being resurrected doesn

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Make a distinction between Good Slime and Evil Slime. Good Slime does not really do anything except maybe make you disgusted. Evil Slime, on the other hand, tends to eat you, dissolve you, expand like there is no tomorrow, et cetera. A surefire way of distinguishing between Good Slime and Evil Slime is this:

When you see a pool of slime for the first time, ask yourself these questions. But before proceeding, take heed; Good or Evil, no slime at all is better.

1. Does it shiver, move about or show any other sign of having means of producing kinetic energy by itself? No? Then it is probably safe to assume that you are dealing with Good Slime.

2. Does it have countless mouths and bulging eyes? No? Good Slime.

3. Does it talk? No? Good Slime.

4. Do you feel threatened in any way by this slime? No? Good Slime.

5. Poke the slime with a pointy stick. Does it react? No? Good Slime.

6. Have any of your pets disappeared lately? No? If yes, can you see the bones of your pets inside the slime? Yes? Evil Slime.

7. Did the slime come from outer space? No? Good Slime.

:D

OBSCVRVM PER OBSCVRIVS ET IGNOTVM PER IGNOTIVS

ingsoc.gif

OPVS ARTIFICEM PROBAT

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Due to a genuine misunderstanding and some cross wires on our first ever gaming session I packed a .65 calibre elephant gun on a trip to Norway, leading to two things:

 

- Recurring jokes about the rare and graceful 'Alpine Elephant of the fjords, leaping nimbly from rocky crag to rocky crag, it's dainty feet leaving no impression on the virgin snows.'

 

- A long and succesful career, or as it is otherwise known, descent into madness.

 

~~~

 

For getting people scared you absolutely have to move to an unfamiliar location for the session. An old shack out in the woods is good, but please remember not to read aloud from your deluxe player handouts of the Book of the Dead.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Due to a genuine misunderstanding and some cross wires on our first ever gaming session I packed a .65 calibre elephant gun on a trip to Norway, leading to two things:

 

- Recurring jokes about the rare and graceful 'Alpine Elephant of the fjords, leaping nimbly from rocky crag to rocky crag, it's dainty feet leaving no impression on the virgin snows.'

 

- A long and succesful career, or as it is otherwise known, descent into madness.

 

>_< - I hate when that happens... :D

 

 

~~~

 

For getting people scared you absolutely have to move to an unfamiliar location for the session. An old shack out in the woods is good, but please remember not to read aloud from your deluxe player handouts of the Book of the Dead.

 

:p

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