To celebrate Halloween, we’re going to be playing Call of Cthulhu using the characters I stated up. I had the liberty of statting up just one more character, who you’ll see as we begin the game. For this kind of game, we’re going to use the ever so trusty CRGE-Kai, but we’ll use the Horror variation of the Mythic Fate Chart. The major twist about this is that Chaos Factor can only go up. Scene Events are also changed. Instead of Odds and Evens to determine scene alterations or interrupts, 1 to 3 are alterations whereas 4 to 9 are interrupts. With this in mind, let’s begin!
The game begins at Miskatonic University as our protagonist, Edward Carl, is discussing about mathematics. Alfonse and Jeffery, our other protagonists, are in class learning from their teacher. Both fail their mathematics, which means that Edward Carl is gonna have to keep them after school for some additional learning.
[Q: Does the scene end there? Purpose: To Knowledge. A: 95]
Yes, but after an additional cut to detention. Edward is giving them some additional math for their failings, however, someone enters the room. He introduces himself as Harvey Walters and requests that Professor Carl help him on a case. It seems that people have been dying in their sleep, some having cruel scratches over their body. At first, Carl seems uninterested, but Harvey slips him a Ben Franklin and he changes his tune. He even has the boys come along as further punishment for failing their grade.
So, I’m gonna adjust Chaos not based on if we have control of the situation or not, but rather if the situation in question involved things turning from bad to worse. In this case, some kids got detention and the investigator launches the plot. Nothing world ending there. On with the next scene!
[Scene Roll: 9]
So Harvey leads the boys and Carl to his car when he noticed some gangsters are breaking into it. Harvey pulls out his gun and yells at them to stand down.
[Intimidate Roll: 99, a Fumble]
Ooooooooooooooooh, naaaaaaaaaaaaasty. A Fumble is basically a Critical Fail. So, this is what happens: Harvey tries to intimidate the thugs, but he forgot to turn the safety on and accidently lets a bullet loose. Thankfully it didn’t hit anyone.
[Q: Does this scare the Thugs? Purpose: To Conflict. A: 75. Surge goes up to 1]
The thugs are scared off by this and they run for it. However, Harvey chases after them, the scene ending there as Chaos goes up by one.
[Scene Roll: 3, Altered Scene]
So, the chase takes place in a crowded part of the town. Alfonse and Harvey are the only two who were able to keep up with the thug, and thus the chase begins. One of the thugs runs into the crowd as Harvey unloads a bullet. However, since he’s in a crowd, he rolls with a penalty die, which is basically disadvantage. He fires, but misses. The crowd starts to disburse.
Alfonse, meanwhile, grabs a stick off the ground and tries to pole vault over to grab one of the thugs. He scores a hard success and he’s in the same area as the thug. The two get into a bit of a fist fight as Harvey catches up to them and helps Alfonse knock the guy out. With an extreme success, they do so and knock the guy’s clock, thus ending the scene and the Chaos stagnating.
[Scene Roll: 3, another Altered Scene]
With the other thug running away, Harvey and Alfonse only have the one thug to interrogate. Harvey once again shouts at the thug. He fails the roll, but notices the thug seems to be babbling about what to do in this situation. Alfonse tries to calm him down with charm, but fumbles and causes the thug to pull out a knife. He fails to stab Alfonse, but this spooks Alfonse to the point where a Sanity Check is needed.
He fails it, but because of how mundane the situation is, he only takes one damage to his sanity (which he has 99 of) while Harvey is immune to this because this happens every day for him. It seems they won’t get any information of why they were hijacking the car out of the clearly insane man, so the most he’ll do is tie the man to a post.
That’s when Alfonse notices something on the thug’s person. He had a twelve-gauge on him. Well, with the clear indication that he was insane on the table, Harvey confiscates the gun, but he knows that this wouldn’t really fly if this was on him, so he’ll have to keep the shotgun a secret. The two head back to the car to get things rolling, though with that question of what they were doing with Harvey’s car lingering on in Harvey’s head.
Chaos Factor hasn’t gone up.
[Scene Roll: 8, no scene interrupt]
Our heroes enter the house of the latest victim. Harvey enters the house.
[Q: Is the victim living alone? Purpose: To Knowledge. A: 36 (Surge reduced to 34), No. Surge Counter goes up to 2]
The four see a grieving mother as she points them to the scene of the crime. Police have already taken the body, so all Harvey has now for potential evidence is whatever the cops haven’t taken from the room, at least until he contacts a friend in the force for information. Harvey asks the group to help look with him.
Only Edward manages to find something: a book, though not just any book. Edward has some knowledge on this kind of book. He pulls it out and the others are put off by how it looks to be bound in human skin. The fact that it’s sweating is a lot more unnerving for everyone who isn’t Edward. While Alfonse is able to resist the eeriness of the book, Jeffery and especially Harvey go insane. While Jeffery goes insane for seven hours, Harvey is pretty much indefinitely insane. While Jeffery is just laughing at the idea, Harvey is outright screaming in terror. Edward just shrugs and goes “what? It’s just a book.” Then proceeds to read it like it’s nothing.
“Huh, seems this is Latin. Dead language. Can’t exactly translate it. Pages are old, withered… Smells…” As he says that, both Harvey and Jeffery shout. The mother comes up stairs and sees the book. Instantly she snaps as well, but instead of being reduced to a laughing or screaming mess, she just lunges at Edward. The two get into a brief scuffle as Alfonse tries to pull the two apart. He manages to do so and knocks her out. He then proceeds to tie down Jeffery and Harvey. He has no idea what happened, just that the book is driving people crazy. He suggests burning the book, but Edward decides to take the book to a translator. He casually knocks the two insane people out and carries them back to the car, ending the scene.
Welp, that went south quickly, so we increase the Chaos by 1.
[Scene Roll: 5]
OUP! It’s a five, which means Scene Interrupt!
- Event Focus: 99, NPC Positive.
- NPC: 1, Bing Bong
- Event Meaning: 44 & 66, Release Fears
During the drive, for whatever reason, the two insane men wake up with no recollection of what happened. When they look at the book, they just notice that it’s an odd shade of leather bounding. Edward states that they’re going to take the book to someone at Miskatonic who knows Latin and see what he can read. Though he doesn’t know what the book means, but given the strong reactions, coupled with his knowhow of Cthulhu Mythos, he knows this book is a vital piece to the puzzle. So… Yeah, scene ends there, Chaos stills.
[Scene Roll: 4]
Another Scene Interrupt.
- Event Focus: 78, Ambiguous Event
- Event Meaning: 51 & 52: Overindulge Dispute
… I have no idea what this means. I guess what happens is that in the car, Alfonse and Edward have a bicker about over what to do with the book and because Edward is distracted he needs to do a Drive Auto check? He fumbles and that results in the car crashing, knocking all four people out. I say this is a good place to leave things off, sort of a cliffhanger.
So far, I love the game’s emphasis on investigation and how both the skills and combat system work. It definitely feels like you’re reading a pulp detective story and that’s not even getting into the creepy stuff like the human-skin book. It’s pretty intense.
With this being the end of the session, I decided to have my characters do some post-game upgrades. This is basically looking back at all the skills they succeeded at and rolling to see if they get any sort of level up from that. I like that kind of progression. Well, I hope they’re ready for next session, which will involve them being a little more… closer with the villain of this particular adventure…