Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Prepping Call of Cthulhu

I am going to be the Keeper of Arcane Lore again this Saturday, and now it's prepping time. As usual it's complex. In a scenario where investigation is common, you need to have lot of information available. Not only give the characters enough rope to hang themselves by, but also enough information for the players to to feel it is a real work they are interacting with. I find this is slightly different than a game like D&D or T&T.

The idea of making the game world seem real involves sound. When our Keeper ran us through the Beyond the Mountain of Madness campaign, he made good use of sound. Ambient sound like engine sound, arctic winds or the lapping of waves can go a long way to make the players feel involved, which is something I try to do when running CoC. The coming scenario, Tell Me, Have You Seen the Yellow Sign? (from Chaosium's Great Old Ones) will be set in New Orleans. Guess what kind of sounds I'll need? I don't even like jazz music...

You know what? Right now I'm contemplating how to introduce more yellow objects into our living room, just as "background noise". I wonder why CoC always makes people go that extra mile?

It would be fun to hear if any of my readers have done something like that, or if you have run TMHYStYS?


  1. " I wonder why CoC always makes people go that extra mile?"

    I know what you mean. Most of the people at YSDC scare me with their fanatical devotion to props. I think its probaby just because the game lends itself to props so much more than many games do so it attracts the sortof peoplefor whom that is a big thing.

  2. On the second game of my new CoC campaign (my first since the 90's), and it's going well. I don't use as many props as I used to back in the day (I had those great Kingsport tourist flyers and such), but for the first game of the campaign I put on a lot of prohibition music. I won't do a lot of that, but I wanted to set the mood and that first game was set at a swank Times Square NYE party with a band and all. At this point the session music will be more along the lines of Mike Oldsfeild and Tangerine Dream, but yeah for sure mood setting is a must.

    Although Moutains of Madness is too involved for me I think, I would love to do the New Orleans adventure. That is pretty complex too, and I would probably shorten it and tighten it up a bit. Currently set in New York, I plan to have the characters travel around American a bit, and besides Lovecraft country I want them to hit New Orleans, Chicago, New Mexico...

  3. Malik,

    I have not even dared follow those threads at YSDC about props. I might be a patron, but that will just make me sad because I don't have the energy. Like you said, it might it attract that kind of people, yes.

  4. Brunomac,

    Sounds like a cool start to a campaign!

    Mountain was involved! I would not have started it myself, but we had a very cool Keeper. I have stuff written up here on the blog about it. Our Keeper was very good and he got me back into CoC for real again.

    You think the New Orleans adventure is complex? Might be. I know for sure that this is one I expect them to fail on...

    I have even said that I want to run something else after that. It will be *very* interesting to see how they handle it.

  5. The New Orleans one seemed to have a lot going on, and a lot of timelines and such. I'll take another look.

    In the early 90's I did the Orient Express campaign, and loved it. Not only used most of it as is, but added some adventures to it. If I recall, it was fairly railroady (pardon the pun).

  6. Yeah, I re-read it last night. You're right, there's a lot to keep track of in that one. I just have to have it nailed down until Saturday!

    You really ran the Orient Express? Man, I'd love to run that, but I need to find dedicated players, and my best bet recently started it with another Keeper...


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