All posts by CthulhuBob Lovely

Call of Cthulhu is not D&D

First, I am not attacking people who enjoy Dungeons and Dragons. It is simply an excellent example to illustrate my point.

There are a zillion pencil and paper RPG systems–of various genres and degrees of high and low genre. Personally, I love and prefer low regardless of genre.

That, my love of the Cthulhu Mythos, and my being introduced to it the year it was first published, is why I love Call of Cthulhu.

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Glass of Enhancement

A normal, innocent looking drinking glass

         It was just a glass, or so I thought. That’s how it appeared anyway. Really simple, like from a cafeteria–complete with those white rings of tiny little scratches from the dish machine shaking them around. 

I chose physical and drank down the water. It happened fast; I felt confused and a little dizzy. I have to admit, since that day I’ve felt a little dumb. But strong, really strong

–William Watkins, a member of a group of friends who have stumbled onto greater truths.
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Eye Drops

a magical elixer with a dropper

 He was so damn insistent I almost did it just out of frustration, to get him to shut up. I didn’t know why it had to be done in some dank, musty old cellar, though I do now. He said the location and the work of the alchemist, some ancestor of his, had to be kept secret. Clearly he was correct.

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The bugs in my brain
Alien thoughts compel me
Bugs, so many bugs

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Organ Donor

Yes Ma’m, you were right, of course. There was a guy there, a wizard, sorcerer I guess you want us to call ‘em. Lucky you got that whole armory of weapons left over from the Great War. I was pretty nervous about the whole thing, my first mission. Cedric, Mr. Fong, let me check out two of the 12 gauges, thank God.

The people in the house looked normal, but they still tried to kill us. Had to put ‘em down. That was weird. We found a trap door under a large Oriental rug in the parlor.

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The Rat King, avatar of Mordiggian

The Rat King

I was there when it started, the plague, right there in that alley. I seen him, hunched old guy in a torn up, dirty brown bath robe. He had full facial hair, brown, and his hands and feet were covered with it too. His finger and toe nails were long and pointed.
He walked along, saying hello to everyone. When he smiled, his teeth were all brown, yellow, and black–rotten. He started doing this weird dance, held up his arms, and stared shouting or chanting in some weird language. “Eeya,” more digging,” that’s all I can remember.
He split up a little blood, started laughing, and huge rats started flowing out from under his robes–hundreds of them, thousands. They bit everybody in the ally. I don’t know how any of the other people ended up, but I got the fever and lived–as you can see.
What? Damn you, I’m not just some crazy old guy! I was an accountant before the market collapsed again. That’s how it works you know, up, down, up, down. When it’s down the world goes to shit.—Gerald Simmons, CPA.
“The old Rat King,
Is a very bad thing,
And where he goes,
The rats he brings”

–Popular children’s rhyme during the global plague of 2030-2043
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Skeeter Man, Unique Entity

It was just as I had read. It appeared as a large man in tattered clothes. Its jacket had two vertical slits in the back, from which its wings emerged. The bats swirling around it blocked most of the damage from Dawson’s shotgun. Thankfully, my Invisible Blade spell bypassed them. Between that, and the little bit of damage which made it through from Dawson, we finally put it down. The streams of bats were very distracting but, thankfully, they caused little harm.

—Byron Timmons, Team Wizard, Strike Team 1.
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The Filing Cabinet

The Filing Cabinet is four drawers high, and appears perfectly ordinary. Either wood or steel, it is slightly worn, has a few scratches, a touch of rust, very small dents, etc., but is in fine condition. It will appear to one or more of the Investigators as an auction item, at a yard sale, as a gift, simply standing on the porch when they go out in the morning, etc.

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Icky Ichor of the Beast

One thing which can be very unsatisfying in an investigative role playing game about the paranormal, the cosmic, the profoundly non-human, is a lack of results from scientific analysis.

If a player chooses a character who is a chemist, a biologist, a physicist, etc., they have as much right to fruitful scientific research as the tough character has to punch people, the shooty character to shoot stuff, and so forth.

Behind the screen I know the armor value, hit points, POW, etc. of the bad guys and monsters, but what do I know about the biology, biochemistry, and anatomy of the monsters themselves? Once the player characters have defeated the threat though the use of punching, shooting, and magic, what does the scientist do? They collect samples and bring them to their lab.

What is their reward? “It’s an unknown protein,” “The musculature is very unusual,” “It’s the scale of an animal you can’t identify” are not gratifying answers–in fact they’re simply unfair. Subsequent evidence which proves to be identical to previous samples may help in solving the problem, but it still yields no reward for playing the scientist character.

I did a couple of Google searches: first involving blood, the other cellular structure.

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CthulHaiku Beach Fun

Playing at the beach
Peculiar rock formation
Oh, shit, a deep one

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