It’s official, me and 4 of my good friends are going to start our first Call of Cthulhu 1990s game next week. I picked people who I not only get along very well with, but these guys are also not as nerdy as one might think. Alright, we’re all a bunch of geeks, but they have about as much Pen and Paper RPG experience as I do. I’m gonna fulfill two roles during the campaign: that of the Keeper (COC’s equivalent to a DM) and the part of a nerdy and awkward, but witty and sarcastic journalist named Warren Lawrence. His name was taken from two of my favorite musicians, Warren Zevon and Steve Winwood (middle name “Lawrence”), and his physical appearance is based on those of Zevon himself and John Lennon, with none of the sex appeal. I though I might show you guys my character sheet.
Wish me and my players good luck. We’ll need it. Especially them.
I don’t play DnD. Or any other paper and sheet RPG at all for that matter. Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually pretty interested in the pretty books, the rules, the gameplay, the universe and many other things about these games, but there’s one thing I cannot stand, at all, the other players. I’m sure most DnD players are balanced, normal people (perhaps occasionally a bit nerdy, but I can be quite the nerd myself) who just enjoy a crawling imaginary dungeons with friends (nothing wrong with that), but there are always those annoying, stupid, angry point dexter geeks who take every single aspect of the game WAY too seriously. I’ve only played about 5 “games” in my life, and there always seemed to be this annoying douchebag who made you ashamed to be in the same room as him and throw dices like a moron.
At least, that’s how I saw things until I developped an interest in H.P. Lovecraft. For those unfamiliar with him and his work, he created the Cthulhu mythos and wrote tons of novels about it. To make a very long story short, Cthulhu is a super powerful aquatic God from space who went to Earth with a few of his buddies, and the humans who live their lifes quietly and unsuspecting might actually go bat shit crazy if they discover the horrors of the world and how insignificant they are in the grand scheme of things.
Now that might sound stupid, but it’s only because I bastardized and butchered a great idea in a single sentence. But doesn’t that sound fun for a Role Playing experience: normal people whose sanity could be challenged at every step they take, to the point where they might become so crazy there’s no coming back from cuckoo land? It sure does to me. And luckily, a game named “Call of Cthulhu” exists. There are many different “timeframes” for the game, the most prominent being in the 1920’s, but I chosed the “Cthulhu Now” (second edition) itteration, which takes place in the present time of… the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.
Some may find that lame and outdated, but personally, I can’t wait to go back in the times when the Nintendo Entertainment System, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Vanilla Ice and Bill Clinton ruled the world! Add unspeakable horrors from dark and unknown places to the mix and you know you’ve got an awesome setting for a game!
Still, there could be the overly nerdy player problem to ruin my fun. NOT ANYMORE. First of all, I haven’t received the books by the mail yet, but when I do, I’ll learn all of the rules to be the master of the game (or whatever you call this job) myself, and this time there will only be close personal friends invited, and I know they’re not this way. And even if they were, it wouldn’t matter. You apparently can’t become an all powerful god with tons of magic equipment in this game even at the highest levels. You stay a pink (or whatever color your character is) and squishy bag of flesh for the whole game, and combat is generally avoided at all cost. And the game is skills based (I believe), which means that leveling up won’t do a whole lot to make your character become better at what he does. And as it’s pretty much a detective story, you actually gotta use your head to solve the cases instead of relying on your stats modifiers and dices.
So, have any of you guys ever played any of the Cthulhu games? If so, how were they? Do you have any memorable moment to share? Any tips to give me? And are you interested to know how the game goes once we start?