Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hexcrawling Call of Cthulhu

This coming Saturday I'm supposed to be running a Call of Cthulhu game. I guess it goes without saying that if you plan on playing in that game, the rest might be less fun to read before the game.

Since I like Arkham, and I own the sourcebook, I had planned to run the scenario The Hills Rise Wild from that book. But, some parts of it I'm not very sure on how to handle.

Basically, the scenario is about finding pieces of a crashed meteorite. While searching in the rural outback the investigators will find this cabin where a homicidal maniac keeps his family in thrall, and plans to do the Investigators in as soon as he can.

The problem I'm having is the part where the players are supposed to be driving around in the rural outback, talking to farmers and searching the area for hints of a crashed meteorite. How do you make that part fun?

Looking at the scenario I think it's quite likely that rolling a few rolls for reactions, rolling a few rolls for search skills and then suddenly start to flesh out a cabin and some individuals living there, will be a dead give away that seems people are special and probably the main focus of the adventure. In CoC that means scary stuff to run away from. It will be a very short session if they do.

Improvising some odd rural folk and their quaint tales I can manage, and probably also describing the increasing decrepitude of the area and buildings. But, how to make the search in the fields interesting?

Anyone have any experience running that scenario, or have any hints on how to make a rural trek and meteorite search more engaging, so as to not bore the players until they get to meet some crazies?


  1. Call of Cthula as a hexcrawl? Sheesh. I have no experience to draw upon. But perhaps a random table of things encountered in the field to break up the monotony of search roll after search rolls with no result? things like: you startle a crow. Whats that moving in the corn? Old rusty farm implement encrusted with blood, things like that?

    Sorry that's all I can come up with. My brain seems to be struggling today.

  2. Interesting. I imagine you could set up a lot of backwoods towns and ramshackle villages like the kind Silver John from Wade Wellman's books might come across. You could have a random table for what is in the town after rolling the population, etc. It could have a satanic cult running it, or maybe it is being preyed upon by a werewolf or pack of ghouls. Or a valley or hollow with a demon living in it. That would be an interesting table of scary stuff.

    Wow. The more I think of it, the more I like it. I rarely get inspiration from a game blog lately. Kudos!

    And, and I almost ran that hills run wild aadventure in the 90's when the players were in the backwoods of New England, but then I saw Blair Witch and did a rip off of that with the characters instead.

  3. Some encounters:

    Moonshine-making hillbillies. Will be unfriendly or hostile if they believe the PCs come from the Gummin't.

    Government agents searching for manufacturers of illegal liqour. Will be hostile if the PC's appear to be bootleggers.

    Abandoned native american cemetary. Don't bury things there at full moon.

    Strangely proportioned wildlife and vegetation, courtesy of said meteorites (re. "The colour out of space")

    Unsettling portents. May provide information, but also cause sanity loss.

  4. This scenario is very much Blair Witch Project, except I think it could be good. :)

  5. Thought you might like my Cthulhu tribute machinima film
    The Highlander; Cthulhu Enigma


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