This is the next instalment of my RPGaDAY month.
5th Which RPG cover best captures the spirit of the game?
For me it has to be the original Call of Cthulu from way back in 1981. For someone whos entire experience of RPGs at about that time had been D&D and a bit of Boot Hill CoC was like nothing else!
6th You can game every day for a week. Describe what you’d do!
I am a big fan of ‘bitesize’ rpgs. When my PBP game was running I would dip in an out of that two or three times a day updating players posts and in the game I was playing in updating my actions.
My main Face to Face game I don’t think I could play that every day. There are just too many alpha male personalities in the group. We play for long weekends normally and that is about the limit before we get conflicts forming. We have been friends for over 30 years so everything gets forgiven and forgotten but a week would be too long.
Running this blog and all the other RPG related projects on the go makes it feel like I am almost playing at or with something every day.
So if I was to play every day then it would be an experiment of playing via Facebook messenger with an almost real time where the characters had a week to save the world. The players would be able to update their story at any time and I would do my best to reply as fast as I could. For me it would be most probably a week of sleep deprivation but it would be a memorable experience!
7th What was your most impactful RPG session?
This was a session where almost nothing happened, action-wise. The characters had been tricked into killing the dwarven queen of the iron hills and her bodyguard. We had then landed in a dwarven jail awaiting execution. As characters were were immensely powerful and could pretty much have walked out of there at will. The characters started a debate, it was obvious we were going to escape as we were on a quest to save middle earth but what do we do if confronted by dwarves? We were guilty of the crime we had committed but we were innocent of criminal intent and the world needed us. Do we take any more lives? What if it became unavoidable. We had an excess of righteous paladinic characters in the group alongside some rather more pragmatic characters.
The debate raged on for several hours, never once did anyone break from being in character and we had no NPCs with us. The party had only male PCs and female NPCs and the cells were split along gender lines. The GM did nothing for all that time except sit back and occasionally correct a factual error in someones statement if the character would have known the truth but the player had forgotten.
Eventually the escape did take place and only one dwarf died and that was an accident, quite literally as a result of a failed moving manoeuvre.
That was pure ‘role playing game’.
3 thoughts on “#RPGaDAY2017 5th, 6th & 7th”
I’m not sure if I’ve ever actually played Call of Cthulhu. I’ve got plenty of supplements – I’ve even written things directly or indirectly aimed at the game – but I don’t recall every actually playing it. If I did, it was some time back.
We played Cthulu once. By the end of the session, everyone was either dead or insane.
It was a fun game, and the high death toll is certainly in line with the spirit of Lovecraft’s writings. I just found that the rules — especially the sanity rules — meant that campaigns were very difficult to sustain. Sooner or later, everyone dies or goes nuts.
“You meet Great Cthulhu. He attacks, killing 1d3 Investigators.”
Yes, it’s a game that’s really hard on characters. Horror on the Orient Express (the original version) had a fatality rate of 70% during playtests. Any major campaign needs a reserve of other characters already rolled and ready to use.
One thing I really didn’t like about a few of the published adventures wasn’t so much the deaths but the deaths that happened without any interaction with the players. Such as the Keeper having to decide which character was killed overnight (and a character would automatically be killed every night) or a character being killed before the actual scenario in order to kick it off. Yes, Call of Cthulhu is dangerous, but players should at least be responsible for their characters’ deaths, not Keeper fiat.