Posted by Berath
It’s been a while since my last post. I’ve been busy. First, a lot of thought is still going into scheduling for the new raid. Secondly, it’s my turn to run the game in my Monday tabletop roleplaying group. Three of us run games and we alternate between them. I’m running a Call of Cthulhu (CoC) game set in 1920’s London.
Briefly, CoC is based in the world of H.P. Lovecraft, an American author who wrote mainly in 1920’s-30’s. His works feature horror, alien worlds, cultists and ancient all-powerful Gods, brooding at the edges of reality, poised to destroy humanity; Yog-Soggoth, Shub-Niggurath, Nyarlathotep, how satisfactorily the names slip off the tongue….. Players play ordinary mortals; professors, society girls, journalists, who at the start are blissfully ignorant of the fragility of the world they see around them, but slowly become more horribly aware as they learn of things that ‘mankind is not mean to know’ and come to understand the truth. Often the end game is a ‘choice’ between the refuge of insanity, or death. I love it.
I’m using a published scenario, but I often find I need to change things. Most games run like a detective story with events unfolding and clues leading the players through. However players invariably do what you don’t expect or miss the obvious (to you). Published scenarios can’t cater for this so as the Keeper, you have to build in alternative ways of reaching particular points and prepare to be flexible.
I also like to emphasise the role-playing. My game is set in the 1920’s. So, I’ve got hold of contemporary magazines, brochures and maps for players to look through. They can decide where they might live , things they might buy. I have a Harrods brochure (cover feature; their winter slipper selection) for players to browse through, this also includes listings of shows that are playing and restaurants some of have dancing. A copy of the Vegetarian, which, as well providing an aid for character development, contains recipes; for cutlets (main ingredient rice), fritters (main ingredient rice) and curry (main ingredient rice), addresses of boarding houses and, most importantly in a CoC campaign, lists of Sanatoriums where player characters might rest a while and attempt to recover some elements of their shattered sanity.
Throughout, I encourage player characters to live as normal people, with ordinary hopes and concerns, and lives which they want to strive, fight, to maintain. And to make the contrast truly, rightly, terrible, between reality’s façade to which the ignorant prescribe and the darkness and dissolution which the player characters find, in actuality, lies behind.