September 9, 2012

Even More Ideas For The Call

A new psychotropic drug recently made its appearance on the streets of New York City. From the yuppies to the homeless, everyone is getting addicted to it (easiness of finding, cheapness, fashionable appealing). What the customers don't know is that this drug, aside from its chilling and tripping effects, is also a way to open up their minds and make them dream about R'lyeh in order to create a strong magical field upon all the city, from which the evil cultists (member of the above-mentioned international conspiracy, see previous posts) can barrow the amount of MPs necessary to complete a certain ritual (OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS) and contact (OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS). Three days ago the DEA Police planned a raid in the biggest reputed factory of this new drug, (SOMEWHERE, OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS). It ended up with six dead officers, and one dead drug dealer. (Actually an infiltrated; the police haven't still shared this information because they have two others, and they don't want the public opinion to know about this. So, it's up to the characters to find it out.)

In a public conference, they said the raid failed because of a tip, but really some of the DEA officers were also involved in the conspiracy, and shot the others in the back. The coroner has collected evidences that proof this, but is afraid to share them (most likely received some kind of pressure). She will try to contact the characters in order to receive some help, just because they appear to be out of the conspiracy (she doesn't trust any policeman in service). She will be probably killed at some point before she can reveal too much (who said Hounds of Tindalos? Ah!) so that the players will now they are on something.

On a side-note, think of the international conspiracy as some kind of reversed Delta Green. They can stop the characters bank accounts, make them appear as criminals, even delete all their records so that they officially "never existed".

Some More (Late Night) Thinking On The Call

  • Modern days setting, starting in London or even Milano. The characters get somehow sucked in this world sprawling international conspiracy, whose head cultists masters control everything: politicians, police officers, etc. I can't help but imagine the faces of the players when they realize the only organizations who could provide some help not only don't want to hear what they have to say, but actually try to kill them/have them imprisoned. Perhaps some criminal organization is involved too, and some other criminal organization will provide help just to impede the counterpart etc. Never played Masks of Nyarlathotep but I wonder if the general idea is something similar?
  • I want to make more use of northern/eastern Europe than the average CoC campaign. Perhaps with such things as a pagan druidic cult and scientology fanatics who are actually puppets in the hands of the conspirators.

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.