Monday, August 24, 2009

Call of Cthulhu - what are the rules used for?

Having ended a campaign I tend to think back a bit not only on the regular war stories, but also on the mechanics of the game. I have written about CoC before, and this is another musing an a little point after some real play. YMMV. CoC is an interesting game, based as it is on the very old and classic Runequest from the seventies. Just like D&D you roll your stats with a couple of d6, and they even look a lot the same. You have a Profession and you have skills. Already this is diverging from OD&D, since even if you were fooled into thinking that the Profession was something like a Class, that Skills things is something new. Now, since skills is the basis of everything you do you might sometimes actually wonder what those stats you rolled was actually supposed to be used for, right? This is were I found something interesting in real play.

As you might now, a few of the stats in CoC are used, multiplied by five to make a percentage, as the Luck, Know and Idea rolls. Up until now I have never much considered those. They sit on the character sheet not looking conspicuous at all. I did find out though, that our Keeper used them repeatedly in play and I seem to remember from reading the rules a few years back that thy are supposed to be used just like that. Since almost everything is based on a skill roll I started to wonder if those couldn't be transformed into skills as well, and the rest of the stats be done away with? Considering the age of CoC, I guess this must have been considered before. Even though I am a fan of the game, I haven't been playing it much at home and when you mostly play at conventions the rules often tend to fade to the back. If there have been a discussion about such an elimination of stats, I've missed it. It is intriguing, though.

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