March 9 2017

HORROR ROLEPLAYING

A game of endurance

Of all the roleplaying games based on the horror theme, the most well-known and undoubtedly the most enduring is Chaosium’s ‘Call of Cthulhu – Horror Roleplaying in the Worlds of H.P. Lovecraft’. The game is perhaps more popular today than when its first edition — we’re now on #7 — hit unsuspecting streets in 1981. And that’s something that can’t be said for other more well-known RPGs.

But what exactly is a roleplaying game, in this context? The Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition Keeper’s Rulebook describes it this way:

Call of Cthulhu is a game full of secrets, mysteries and horror. Playing the role of a steadfast investigator, you will travel to strange and dangerous places, uncover foul plots and stand against the terrors of the night. You will encounter sanity-blasting entities, monsters and insane cultists. Within strange and forgotten tomes of lore you will find secrets that man was not meant to know.
You and your companions may very well decide the fate of the world.

 

 

Tenuous comforts

Of course, you’ll do none of those things for you’ll remain in the tenuous comfort of your own familiar surroundings. At a table in your dining room, for instance. However, to quote the rulebook once more:

 

 

Gaming is a social pastime. If you want to use your imagination alone, you could simply read a book. However, be warned! When a number of people get together cooperatively, they build a communal fantasy far more interesting and imaginative than a single person can — and the joint effort results in and extremely fun and satisfying experience for all involved.

I’ll go further, in bringing together a group of players around a tabletop, each applying their own inflated powers of imagination toward the collective resolution of a common goal, each game-event represents an opportunity for excitement and adventure. Who needs TV?

Insomnia boxed

It wasn’t long after the Call of Cthulhu game was first released that I bought my first copy. What followed was a feverish delving into the writings of Lovecraft, August Derleth T.E.D. Klein and numerous other authors whose works captured my imagination and prompted me to write my own gaming material based on the Cthulhu mythos.

 

 

In the coming weeks I’ll be adding such material to this site in the form of free downloads. Feel free to use this material in your own games. I hope you enjoy these and I’d welcome your comments, good and bad, along with any accounts of your adventures or characters.

Should you have any suggestions for scenarios using the same, south Lincolnshire setting — or elsewhere in the British Isles of the 1920s, please send them along.