Call of Cthulhu is my all-time favorite roleplaying game. For those not familiar with it, it’s based on the works of H. P. Lovecraft, writer of baroque and dark tales of Things Man Was Not Meant to Know. The main conceit of his writings is that humanity is constantly menaced by horrors beyond our understanding, intent on our destruction. His universe is a cold, nihilistic one without hope.
So why on earth do I love that? Probably because I treat it as fantasy. I don’t believe the universe is like that, so to me, it’s another fantasy world like Eberron or Dresdenverse Chicago. The most fun part of Call of Cthulhu is the investigation aspect. And that it’s generally set in the past.
I am a history nut, especially about the 1920s and 1930s, and that’s the time period of most adventures I’ve played. Sure, you can play modern CoC, or even Dark Ages CoC, but I love the early twentieth century feel.
And I’ve always loved mystery novels, so it’s fun to play an investigator into weird goings-on, finding out as you go about the hidden horrors around you and trying to stay sane.
The game is published by Chaosium. I’ve played using the Basic Roleplaying rules as well as the d20 version by Monte Cook and a GURPS version. I’ll talk about specifics in other blog posts, but that’s it for now. Remember, Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn!