September 8, 2012

The Call

Ideas for a short Call of Cthulhu campaign:

  • All the characters are part of a very small private investigation office, specialized in the occult and mysterious. Before starting the campaign, each of the players get one random obscure secret from the Kult RPG (they are very cool and vary from "Victim of medical experiments" to "Sole survivor of dramatic/inexplicable event").
  • The game basically works out as a sandbox: at the beginning of every adventure, the party gets clues from newspapers, friends, and even clients. They are free to go wherever they want.
  • Don't use the abstract hit point system. Instead, a localized wounds and wound levels, such that if an investigator gets shot in the arm he/she won't be able to use it for a while, and if a second blow is taken there's a very high probability that he/she will faint after too much pain. And, of course, Things From Beyond and regular street gangsters and cultists can blow your investigator's head out. Mythos entities will still use the abstract hit point system, even if humanoid in shape.
  • No Library Use ability. Instead, use the ability related to the kind of information the investigators is looking after (i.e. if the investigator wants to know about the early days of the Chapel Of Contemplation in Barker Street, roll on History).
  • If you're looking after some evidence, you never fail to obtain it. If you fail the roll, you only get a partly, possibly cryptic clue instead of the real clue. Thank you for nothing Trail Of Cthulhu.
  • The only problem is, as always, the setting. But perhaps I will try something interesting in the Italian edition of Horror On The Orient Express, which has a fuckload of information on many places in 20's Europe. Mh.


  1. Jawsome!

    My thoughts about it:

    1) If using percentile skills, WFRP hit locations system is great to use in CoC games. Plus CP2020 rule saying that 8 or more wounds allocated in single limb from a single hit will completely destroy that limb (head is a limb in that case! :D)

    2) I almost never use abstract methods of gathering evidence ("roll to get one"). If player (not a PC) have an Idea, I reward him / her. If he doesn't, he just suck :D

  2. Of course WFRP! Totally haven't thought about it!

  3. I tend to steer clear of the automatic success when it comes to finding clues, preferring my players to be aware of the chance of failure (although I like the idea of giving them a more cryptic clue) and working around it. Just because they don't find a clue in an obvious place doesn't mean they should stop looking, and the more inventive they are about fact gathering, the more likely I am to reward them with game altering information.