Let’s Roll: Call of Cthulhu

Siskoid and special guest Ian Fletcher walk a dark path and discuss the classic Call of Cthulhu role-playing game originated by Chaosium Games. It's all about horror, cosmic, existential and otherwise, right down to the GameMaster Advice column. Hold on to your sanity, investigators, it's going to be a terrifying ride!

Relevant images and credits in the Let's Roll Supplemental.

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Leave us a comment, we'll roll with the punches!

3 responses to “Let’s Roll: Call of Cthulhu

  1. For anyone who’s interested, the results of the con scenario I ran:
    1) No one driven permanently insane, but there were 5 temporary madness conditions inflicted
    2) The table had 2 experience gamers, one with moderate experience, and one who was in her 3rd session ever – with the other two having taken place that very weekend. They all did great, though one (a younger fellow) had some challenges not using very modern lingo.
    3) The investigation phase was kept dynamic by making sure all of the NPCs they ran into were very colourful. I played up the distrust of the local “gypsies”, painting the locals as ignorant small-town yokels and calling out their classism and bias without being too overt about it. I also was careful to not confuse the players too much when a potential red herring came up: I made sure to call it out so that our limited time slot wasn’t used up chasing a dead end
    4) The haunted house featured differing time periods from room to room, and vanishing doors. Also, as the character spent more time there, they began to either age or rejuvenate rapidly. This put a sense of urgency into the scenario, even though everyone began middle aged so they had plenty of room to grow (or un grow). It also helped reinforce the theme.
    5) The end of the scenario took a left turn when they couldn’t make any of three attempts to decode the counter spell to fix time and space. In the end I devised an out, and the investigators stumbled into Carcosa, never to return.

    There was an appropriate mix of laughter at the comedy (dark and regular comedy), and some moments where the situation was making people’s eyes widen. Considering we were in a large room filled with other games and noise, I was impressed we managed to keep the atmosphere.

  2. This was a very welcome episode because CoC was a RPG I’ve heard so much about. It seems to be everyone who’s played, seems to have enjoyed it, yet I’ve never had a chance to play it yet. I’m thinking this might be a perfect game to try out at a local game store or a con. This was a great episode to get me excited to try and play CoC soon!

    Keep up the great work!

  3. Thanks for another excellent episode. I’m not a big fan of the horror genre, but I recently had a chance to stream Lovecraft Country, and really enjoyed the series (both the social commentary and the eldritch horror). So, if I were to try out a horror RPG, it probably would be Call of Cthulhu.

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