RollUP: Call Of Cthulhu 7E Characters

RollUP is a show all about character creation – exploring a host of different systems every Friday! The focus for our first few episodes has been Call of Cthulhu 7e by Chaosium.  In addition to our episodes, we recommend checking out the free Quick Start PDF for more information as well as the Investigator’s Handbook.

Over the last three weeks, @LaughLoveLindy (Masks of Nyarlathotep and more) and I (@Frostfrmfire) have been working on two characters as an example of what could be made for playing in this narrative, and flexible, system. There are so many settings open so to narrow it down we took a poll and the classic 1920s of Lovecraft were chosen.

Our plot hook was simple: a rich Parisian society lady by the name of Madame du Faux has invited a number of guests to a lavish party in her home, the highlight spectacle of which will be the unwrapping of a mummy. What dark secrets will be found within?

Thanks to the help of chat and the random rolling method (p43 onwards in the handbook) we ended up with: Professor Archibald Bennett, a self-taught expert and Gillian Moore, a jewel and art thief. These two characters went to school together in London but their lives had since diverged. The invitation had the Professor searching for a plus one and Gillian ended up conveniently in Paris just in time to oblige.

Professor Bennett is a curmudgeonly fellow, old before his time who has a specific interest in the occult, his most treasured possession is a stolen artefact with a symbol he has yet to identify carved into its surface. He’s generally unkempt with barely tamed hair and a tweed suit a week past laundry day but his brain is organised, and fascinated with secrets the world. Having glimpsed a few of the dark secrets and not being of the best constitution he chooses to arm himself with a revolver. Gillian rides a motorbike and sidecar and appears to have a much more devil may care attitude to life and her work. She seeks a great prize and fortune – adventure isn’t such a bad methodology. Gillian’s prized possession is a compact which contains a hairpin lockpick, a breath mint and a very handy mirror (suitable for many occasions). Gillian has a habit of staring at things – things she desires and into space where she can imagine things she desires.

Professor Archibald Bennett Professor Career, 180 Personal Interest Points, 200 Occupation Points

Gillian Moore Criminal (Freelance/Solo), 150 Personal Interest Points, 250 Occupation Points

Need more Call of Cthulhu content? Check out the Tomes & Tentacles Podcast for some wonderfully spooky and maddening fun with The King in Yellow.

(Sheets compiled using Dholeshouse.org and require Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Call of Cthulhu Goes Mobile

By Jacky Leung     Twitter

Call of Cthulhu is one of the definitive tabletop roleplaying games that portray H.P. Lovecraft’s stories full of madness, eldritch horrors, and ancient creatures called the Great Old Ones. The legacy of H.P. Lovecraft’s stories continue to inspire and terrify audiences with an upcoming video game, various tabletop board games, and plenty of movies, music, and tv shows that have drawn influence from the material. Mobile games have adapted several board games and various other adventure style games. MetaArcade’s Cthulhu Chronicles, partnered with Chaosium, Inc,  brings the classic stories from Lovecraft to life as Choose-Your-Own-Adventure (CYOA) tales. The game was featured at Gen Con with a massive screen demo, and I had a pleasant chat with MetaArcade about plans for this platform of storytelling.

First Cthulhu Campaign

The first Cthulhu Chronicles campaign contains nine stories; most are iconic Lovecraft stories brought into the CYOA genre with a few original pieces to bridge the narrative together into a cohesive experience. During the demo, I had the pleasure of playing Alone Against the Flames. The atmosphere, the aesthetic, and the gameplay were easy to pick up and learn. I quickly became immersed into the story and tried my best to escape but ultimately succumbed to a grisly fate. The game sports multiple different characters with different stats and each story has clues that act as a sort of achievement system. Some stories and sections are more accessible for certain characters than others, but the challenge to get them makes the experience all the more satisfying.

Fans Already In Love

During my interview with MetaArcade, I inquired about the overall reception the mobile app game has received. As of the time of this article, Cthulhu Chronicles is only available on the Apple App Store, but I was assured that an Android version would be made available in the coming months. But overall, the mobile app has received some considerable download numbers, with many fans in between the US and Japan being the bulk of interest. The Asian mobile environment is vibrant, with the US as a close second place, and the opportunities for both a CYOA adventure mobile platform and the love for Lovecraft’s suspenseful tales will undoubtedly improve once the app opens to the Android app marketplace.

Update: As for September 13, MetaArcade has released Cthulhu Chronicles on the Google Play App Store

Familiar Mechanics

Cthulhu Chronicles utilizes the Call of Cthulhu ruleset from Chaosium, Inc but with a streamlined integration and implementation of the iconic horror mystery game. The mobile game acts as a shell for the CYOA narrative along with the unseen game mechanics. Instead of a full-fledged character sheet, prospective players have three primary skills: Appearance, Athleticism, and Intelligence. During the game, players will have encounters and tests that can either open or restrict specific narrative paths. While the tabletop game utilizes a d100 percentile dice, the mobile version incorporates that three skills and the d100 roll through a spin wheel graphic interface. Players will still have the ability to choose specific directions for their adventure, but the addition of tests yield an opportunity to explore new pathways or at least attempt to study them.

Atmosphere and Mood

In Cthulhu Chronicles, players will have a feel of Lovecraft’s Arkham, with pictures and graphics taken from source material set in the turn of the 20th century (supplied from the Library of Congress) and a soundtrack that genuinely gives that Cthulhu vibe. The text, layout, and even color schemes help to immerse a player into the narrative without feeling like you’re playing a game at all. Even the spin wheel interface sports the lost language of the Great Old Ones.

Free to Play

Cthulhu Chronicles is free to download from the app store, with three free plays a day. In other words, you get three attempts with any of the nine stories available. If you wish to unlock unlimited plays, you can purchase tickets for each story. Given the large bundle packages, I was assured to me that this was not a one a done deal for Cthulhu Chronicles, but hopefully a sampling for more great content ahead. The game is expected to release a second campaign as well though there was no announcement date determined yet.  

Community Content

One of the unique features that MetaArcade is hoping to implement with Cthulhu Chronicles is a community content service, much like other marketplaces as such as the DMsGuild for D&D and the Storyteller’s Vault for White Wolf, this platform has the potential to grow and hopes to do so in the near future with a pilot program for content creation. MetaArcade hopes to expand into other genres, and adapt this opportunity beyond the Cthulhu mythos. Presently, the program has not been established, but prospective writers and creators can sign up to join the pilot program once it launches. There is no definitive date at the time of this article, as such a development may take several months but interested parties are encouraged to sign up to stay informed for any progress

Not Their First Rodeo

Cthulhu Chronicles is not MetaArcade’s first rodeo they have another mobile app that utilizes a game that somewhat resembles Dungeons & Dragons called Tunnels and Trolls. A very similar CYOA style dungeon crawl experience, though the shell is not as refined as Cthulhu Chronicles, though I found myself still enjoying the game with my short time with it. Again, this again showcases MetaArcade’s app platform can work with a variety of different genres in the future and I hope to see this developer’s name more often in future apps

Sample Screenshots of Cthulhu Chronicles

Additional Links

SOURCES OF THE UNKNOWN: MASKS OF NYARLATHOTEP

SOURCES OF THE UNKNOWN

MASKS OF NYARLATHOTEP
You might be thinking to yourself “I thought this was supposed to be about upcoming releases” and you’d be right; Chaosium is releasing the famous and exciting campaign ‘Masks of Nyarlathotep” for Call of Cthulhu 7e. You might be familiar with older releases (Encounter Role Play did an entire playthrough of it) but it doesn’t yet exist for 7e. The updated release is more than just updated mechanics but also expands on the already fantastic story to increase the horror and adventure (and yes, South America is now a part of the story).
If you’ve wanted to GM Masks up until this point (the updated scenario releases July 1st in its PDF version, later in 2018 in hardcover), you’d have to do all of the conversions yourself (which is, admittedly, pretty easy to do) and you’d be stuck with either the handouts that were given (in my opinion, not as good as they could have been) or hunt down usable fan-made handouts (which exist if you look hard enough); not to mention add any additional story yourself. Player creation could be time-consuming but a good Keeper would’ve made it worth the effort.
Masks is one of the most popular titles for Call of Cthulhu but I feel a little awkward giving any kind of review since I haven’t played the updated version at all, my experience rests with older versions. That being said, I’ll tell you what I do know as has been released.

(from the Chaosium website 6/20/18)
The PDF package will cost USD$59.99 and contains the following electronic items:
Masks Book – Omnibus PDF of both volumes (666 pages)
Keeper Screen PDF
NPC Portraits PDF
Keeper Reference Booklet PDF
Handouts (including Maps & Pre-gen PCs)
Book Cover images x 2
Pre-gen Character Sheets x 10
The two-volume full colour hardback slipcase version will be available later in 2018, retailing for USD$129.99*.

129.99 is quite a lot but you get a lot for your money; and 59.99 is reasonable for an adventure of this magnitude (and it might just be me, but I tend to prefer PDFs), plus purchase of the PDF gives you an instant coupon at Chaosium.com for the hard-cover book (the coupon for the Hardcover, valued at $59.99, will drop the HC to just $70). Just look at the list of included downloads and you can see the value. Now, I don’t agree with everything (Pre-Generated characters seem like a waste to me) but I still feel that this would be appropriate. If you love Call of Cthulhu, and want to play this game updated for 7e, I highly recommend. The PDF will be available at chaosium.com and drivethrurpg.com

For more information on the release of Masks of Nyarlathotep, visit www.chaosium.com; to contact me, you can find me on twitter @mbertolini

GOING BEYOND THE GAME: CALL OF CTHULHU – DEPTHS OF MADNESS

GOING BEYOND THE GAME

 

CALL OF CTHULHU: DEPTHS OF MADNESS

 

I didn’t intend to write another one of these articles concerning the topic; but, if you haven’t already heard, Focus Home Interactive is releasing a video game called Call Of Cthulhu: Depths of Madness based upon the rpg created by Chaosium of the same name (if you haven’t watched Encounter Roleplay play various modules of Call Of Cthulhu on Twitch, you’re missing out).  While not a direct adaptation of any game module you may be familiar with, Call Of Cthulhu: Depths of Madness promises to give players that have played Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu an experience that they’ve come to expect while not forcing away people unfamiliar with the franchise.

In the game, you play as Edward Pierce as he investigates the rise of Cthulhu near Boston, Massachusetts.  The game is a mixture of stealth and investigation in a semi-open world of heavily Lovecraftian themes.

A Private Detective, Edward Pierce is a mission to find the truth behind the death of an acclaimed artist and her family on a backwater island. Pierce is used to trusting his instincts, but with whale mutilations and disappearing bodies, this is only the beginning as reality becomes skewed. As your investigation leads you closer to the sphere of influence of the Great Dreamer, you will start to doubt everything you see. You will have to find balance between your own sanity, and your determination in finding out what lurks in the shadows – as they say that madness is the only way that can bring you to the truth.

Focus first announced the game’s development in 2014 and the first trailer was shown at E3 in 2016.  The game had been scheduled to be released in late 2017 but was delayed to 2018.  As of yet, an official release date has yet to be set.  However, if you’re excited about Focus’ new endeavors into some Lovecraftian themes and rpg gameplay, consider some of Focus’ other games: Vampyr (June 5, 2018) and The Council (March 15, 2018).  If I had to speculate, I’d suggest that Call of Cthulhu will either be released sometime around Halloween or Christmas, depending on what other titles are going to be released around that time.  Or, Focus could surprise me and be released on some random date.

The biggest influence of gameplay will be sanity, and how the loss of sanity affects everything else in the world; an aspect of games that has rarely been successful.  Since you’re an investigator, your sanity will determine whether or not your investigation is headed in the right direction.  You won’t necessarily be able to trust your own eyes as the things you see might not be real; though you will believe what you see to the point that you could develop new paranoias that can betray you or even hurt you.

 

If you haven’t checked out Encounter Roleplay on Twitch, you can find it <a href=”https://www.twitch.tv/encounterroleplay” target=”_new”>here</a>.

 

Going Beyond the Game: Call of Cthulhu

GOING BEYOND THE GAME

CALL OF CTHULHU: DEPTHS OF MADNESS

Michael Bertolini

I didn’t intend to write one of these articles concerning the topic; but, if you haven’t already heard, Focus Home Interactive is releasing a video game called Call Of Cthulhu: Depths of Madness based upon the rpg created by Chaosium of the same name (if you haven’t watched Encounter Roleplay play various modules of Call Of Cthulhu on Twitch, you’re missing out). While not a direct adaptation of any game module you may be familiar with, Call Of Cthulhu: Depths of Madness promises to give players that have played Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu an experience that they’ve come to expect while not forcing away people unfamiliar with the tabletop franchise.
In the game, you play as Edward Pierce as he investigates the rise of Cthulhu near Boston, Massachusetts. The game is a mixture of stealth and investigation in a semi-open world of heavily Lovecraftian themes.
“A Private Detective, Edward Pierce is a mission to find the truth behind the death of an acclaimed artist and her family on a backwater island. Pierce is used to trusting his instincts, but with whale mutilations and disappearing bodies, this is only the beginning as reality becomes skewed. As your investigation leads you closer to the sphere of influence of the Great Dreamer, you will start to doubt everything you see. You will have to find balance between your own sanity, and your determination in finding out what lurks in the shadows – as they say that madness is the only way that can bring you to the truth.”
Focus first announced the game’s development in 2014 and the first trailer was shown at E3 in 2016. The game had been scheduled to be released in late 2017 but was delayed to 2018. As of yet, an official release date has yet to be set. However, if you’re excited about Focus’ new endeavors into some Lovecraftian themes and rpg gameplay, consider some of Focus’ other games: Vampyr (June 5, 2018) and The Council (March 15, 2018). If I had to speculate, I’d suggest that Call of Cthulhu will either be released sometime around Halloween or Christmas, depending on what other titles are going to be released around that time. Or, Focus could surprise me and be released on some random date.
The biggest influence of gameplay will be sanity, and how the loss of sanity affects everything else in the world; an aspect of games that has rarely been successful. Since you’re an investigator, your sanity will determine whether or not your investigation is headed in the right direction. You won’t necessarily be able to trust your own eyes as the things you see might not be real; though you will believe what you see to the point that you could develop new paranoias that can betray you or even hurt you.

If you haven’t checked out Encounter Roleplay on Twitch, you can find it here.