Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Did You Just One-Shot Cthulhu?

Two to six unconventional individuals step off the day’s last coach by the lingering light of dusk. A sleepy town on the thin edge of what one might call civilization greets them with a sad, somber air of both quietude and disquiet. 

The individuals look to the town, then to one another, then back to the town. They steel their resolve, for this is the sort of place that tests one’s resolve by its mere contemplation. One by one they proceed from the platform toward the outskirts to do what they came to this desolate and depraved place to do: 

They investigate. 

Here are all the rules you’ll need to adjudicate their investigation — and encounters with the unspeakable horrors it uncovers.

Did You Just One-Shot Cthulhu?

Choose your investigators:
  • The Professor, The Librarian, or The Author
    • Advantage: chosen field of expertise and research tasks
    • Briefcase: books, papers, typewriter, intriguing letter from a colleague
  • The Journalist or The Private Detective
    • Advantage: pressing interviewees and suspects
    • Pockets: notebook, camera, pen, hard liquor, victim’s photo
  • The Doctor
    • Advantage: medicine and autopsy
    • Medical Bag: stethoscope, bandages, syringe, scissors, spirits, disturbing medical report
  • The Preacher
    • Advantage: ministry and inspiration
    • Shoulder bag: scripture, book of prayers, holy symbol, vestments, urgent request from ecumenical order
  • The Antiquarian
    • Advantage: appraisal and artifice
    • Heavy-duty case: telescope, magnifying glass, chemical testing kit, chronologically incongruous local artifact
  • The Medium, The Psychic, or the Paranologist
    • Advantage: empathy and communion with entities
    • Chest: silver mirror, astrolabe, focusing crystals, spectrometer, portent of doom
  • The Soldier
    • Advantage: applied force
    • Soldier’s pack: jack knife, revolver, field rations, discharge papers, pocketwatch with the victim’s name engraved in it 
  • The Salesperson or The Con Artist
    • Advantage: chicanery
    • Carpet bag: hair oil, tie selection, comb, straight-edge razor, freight bill of goods, local delivery manifest
  • The Heir
    • Advantage: powerful connections
    • Luggage: fine clothes, recreational pills, letters of credit, threatening message from family, invitation from a prominent local

Cash on hand: Roll 3d6 x 10 each for dollars.

Test fate with a 2d6:
  • 10+ success
  • 7-9 success at a cost
  • 6- failure at heavy cost
Choose how the investigators take harm:
  • Fall unconscious or
  • Lose use of a body part or
  • Gain a madness (check out Black Stars Rise for some good examples) 

Best of luck, investigators. It probably won’t save you.

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