Fourth favorites RPG entry this week for the #RPGaDay2015 challenge! Big thanks to everybody who’s left a comment, liked or shared in social media, It’s good to be back blogging, and one of the best things is getting back in touch with the wonderful community of Stargazer’s World and the greater RPG blogging community.
The topic today is spine tingling, in special mythos vision!
Day 21 – Favorite horror RPG
No contest, Call of Cthulhu!
The first edition I owned!
Lately it seems Cthulhu is everywhere, like John Kovalic said in Dork Tower, Cthulhu is the bacon of gaming! There are so many systems you can play a Cthulhu game in, D20, Gumshoe (Trail of Cthulhu), Tremulus, and I’m missing a few, but for me the original Basic RPG, percentile based, Call of Cthulhu, is still the best.
Amazingly I’ve never run a CoC game! I’ve only ran a couple of horror one shots using a freeform system, a one shot zombie game and a 7 session zombie mini campaign using Savage Worlds, but never Call of Cthulhu. Why is that?
I really believe it has a lot to do with player expectations, CoC really requires a different mindset from the combat intensive, kill’em loot’em typical fantasy game, and sometimes players are not ready to play character with sanities flimsier than a Kleenex.
However, I LOVE playing horror games, I was spoiled by my good friend Luis Miranda who really ran some amazing Call of Cthulhu games. I would play another of his CoC adventures in a heartbeat.
On the last three posts I’ve listed all the genre media that inspired my love of those games, but in the case of Call of Cthulhu it was the game that introduced me to the works of HP Lovecraft, others that contributed to the mythos and all the wonderful horror literature inspired by this mythology. Granted Lovecraft can be a controversial figure, but his stories still hold my interest and I discovered so many wonderful authors thanks to this game, and that’s a good thing!
What’s your favorite horror game? Let us know in the comments. See you tomorrow.
PS – I might have shared them before, but I think they are appropriate for the post, the Reaper Cthulhu miniature (and that term is relative) painted by my good friend Braulio Rivera in front of a CoC boxed set. Enjoy…
Seems like the series will make up for a bit of a hiatus of your posts Roberto 😉 or is it me not visiting the site in a while.
Good form Sir! Indeed the CoC is the definitive horror rpg no question about it. The first ever game I ran in earnest and one which has been my favourite ever since. I think that the best testament of its quality is the fact that it remained virtually unchanged throughout editions – even the new one – 7th – is nearly fully compatible with material released 30 years ago (!). That, I find amazing and Chaosium as well as other publishers who supported the line (Pagan Publishing) deserve every accolade for that.
I wish I could play it more – mine is the reverse of your predicament – I ran the game a lot but scarcely played. I’m sad to admit that I’ve done neither in years and the wicked, nay, blasphemous nature of that fact has touched the very essence of my wretched soul. The ancient gods are fickle though and I still carry a glimmer of hope that I may join a party of investigators one day to unravel a mystery or two very likely going insane in the process 😉
The miniature is out of this world – literally 🙂
All the best
Voidman, thanks for the comment! I’m sure there is no lack of love for CoC in these parts. I really wish I ran it more, still probably can. I want to get 7th edition. I brought a 4th ed book, and inherited the box set from my good friend, the Storyteller I mentioned above. The miniature is indeed a great piece, but my friend Braulio did such an amazing job painting it, it sits on the book shelf with the CoC and other horror books, standing guard…
That’s possibly the best bookend I’ve seen in a long time 😉
The 4th ed you have is pretty special for me as this was the first ever CoC edition I saw – a mere photocopy back then. Then I got the 5th Ed which I used in my games. Years after, I bought the venerable 4th Ed off eBay to massage that nostalgia gland we’re all so fond of. It’s a great edition – the first not released as a box but a single book with evocative cover and modernised (for the 1989 😉 ) layout and content but still has the very traditional feel.
The new 7th edition is probably the most innovative of all of them – it’s bigger and full colour – result of a very successful Kickstarter campaign.
The core mechanic is still there albeit some minor changes have been introduced notably additional dice for penalties or advantages which adds some narrative “colouring” to the test resolution. Character attributes are reworked a tad and so are the skills. It comes in two books – although you really need only one of them (hint Keeper Rulebook). Nothing that I saw would make me think: “This is radical! What have you done to my game?!”
Is the new edition needed? That’s debatable. As a backer I’m biased and for me a new edition of CoC is always welcome – especially as we know they do not change that much between them. Still, it is not revolutionary or does not feel in any way “definitive”. One can enjoy the peculiar type of CoC role-play with any of the previous releases – which might not be as glossy but retain that lovely antiquated style which I find as iconic as The Haunting adventure. Nevertheless if you like PDF editions, this is the one to go for, with it being properly formatted for the digital book format.
If you however think yourself a connoisseur of book editions I recommend tracking down the excellent Games Workshop edition of the game released as the 3rd edition in the UK (some interrior pics here: http://sorcererundermountain.d101games.com/2014/12/08/old-school-call-of-cthulhu/ )
It predates your 4th edition by 3 years but the layout is excellent plus it came with a few full colour plates – something not found in CoC corebooks until the most recent one – omitting the non-Chaosium editions if I may). Contentwise it is the boxset booklets bundled in hardback format so as old school as it gets. It is a true classic – my favourite edition – yes I like it more than the 7th one or the 35th Anniversary collector’s edition 😉
Phew that’s quite a write up 🙂 – pardon the rougue post 🙂
Just to add that the horror game that I find could rival CoC for the top spot is Kult. It is a very late-90s game with that fatalistic millennial vibe and sometimes not quite clear what it’s trying to be for players or the GM. But damn it is atmospheric! Dark, fatalistic, controversial, blending the psychological horror with the viscera. Very, very mature game, quite demanding and serious but in terms of horror rpg it could be extremely rewarding. Check it out if you’re looking for something a little different than all that melodrama of the World of Darkness games – sorry couldn’t resist ;)… WoD is alright… it really is 😉
I didn’t know about the GW edition,, interesting… I will get 7th ed asap, I really like everything I’ve seen.
I ‘m also a big fan of Cthulhu by Gaslight, I own two copies.
Kult I own but never played. It does seem very Interesting.
I don’t mind the jab at WoD 😉
And don’t worry about the lengthy reply, love the conversation and the interaction.